Screen Junkies » Country Strong http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:39:03 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Weekend Box Office Report: Post-New Year’s Edition http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-post-new-years-edition/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-post-new-years-edition/#comments Mon, 10 Jan 2011 16:38:56 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=14876 As all box-office prognosticators know, the weekend after New Year's represents a traditional slump in box office returns, as the general public becomes numb

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As all box-office prognosticators know, the weekend after New Year’s represents a traditional slump in box office returns, as the general public becomes numb with the crushing oppressiveness of another unrelenting year of births, deaths, and having to buy new shoes. And while I’d love to report that Nicolas Cage single-handedly saved the world’s population from the box office doldrums, the more accurate truth is that he merely contributed to them. His Serious Witchcraft picture Season of the Witch only earned $10.7 million – a paltry sum low enough to make even a warlock blush, and which was only good enough for 3rd place over the weekend behind two movies in their 3rd weeks (Jeff Bridges’ eyepatch in True Grit and Robert De Niro’s boner in Little Fockers).

Meanwhile, real-life witch Gwyneth Paltrow proved that having a terrible title like Country Strong isn’t enough to kill a movie’s financial potential, since a movie with that very (and very terrible) title managed to perform pretty respectably, with a $7.3 million dollar weekend in limited release.

In movies-your-parents-don’t-want-to-see news, the season’s surprise indie hits The King’s Speech Black Swan, and Blue Valentine continued to do very well, with Blue Valentine scoring the highest per-screen average gross of $18,000 per screen. Perhaps a TV sitcom adaptation is in the works?

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Review: Country Strong http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-country-strong/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-country-strong/#comments Fri, 07 Jan 2011 16:26:13 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=13189 Another story of a has-been alcoholic country singer, but Country Strong just revels in the show of tragedy to show off some “intense” performances.

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I may not be the target audience for Country Strong, but all I could think was it’s no Crazy Heart. It is another story of a has-been alcoholic country singer, but Country Strong just revels in the show of tragedy to show off some “intense” performances.

Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) is getting out of rehab. Her sponsor Beau (Garrett Hedlund) is a country singer who plays small bars but seems happy with the crowd. James Canter (Tim McGraw) gets his wife out of rehab a month early to embark on her comeback tour, but Beau knows she’s not ready.

This movie really only exists so that an actress can play all the darkness of alcoholism. To be fair, it’s accurate. Addicts just keep going, but this is exploiting the disease to showcase a performance. I can’t blame Paltrow for being attracted to the opportunities Kelly presents, but it’s too obvious.

James is pretty obvious too. He’s a fixer who thinks he can control everything if he just orchestrates Kelly’s comeback just right and if Kelly just does everything he says down to taking the exact right combination of pills. He’s got the Ron Silver look with the beard and suit, he’s the Ron Silver type but he is no Ron Silver.

The film goes for shock value because it has no human drama. Kelly gets a package with a bloody baby doll and a note that reads “Baby killer.” You’d think an alcohol related miscarriage would have inherent drama, but the movie only uses it to set Kelly off drinking and crying.

When Kelly breaks down on stage, she starts talking crazy. It would be disturbing to hear her talking about how the stars in the sky could take care of you. The movie’s not bold enough to go full on crazy though. They’re just waiting for Kelly to start crying with a jumbotron close-up on stage behind her.

Kelly just happens to wander into the studio while James is recording her new song with young upstart Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester). That happens, again, just so Kelly can cry about it. She dances on the bar at Miss Kitty’s and vomits backstage, although it’s all sound. Paltrow didn’t commit to the chunks.

The dialogue is full of clichés. James tells Kelly, “When I first heard your voice, I thought that’s what angels sound like.” He sounds sincere though. I really believe that guy is so unoriginal. Kelly asks James, “Will you remember me like I was?” because she’s so ashamed of what she’s become. Not rock bottom enough to clean up, but enough to mope. Beau says, “I don’t think fame and love can exist in the same place.” That’s just some B.S. they threw in as a message. Fame wasn’t what corrupted Kelly. You can be famous and sober.

Along the way Beau falls for Chiles. Why? I guess because they played beauty pageant together and he messed with her flash cards. Yeah, that’s a subplot but it’s not the real problem of the movie.

On the plus side, you get to see Paltrow in some mighty scanty outfits. She looks fabulous in a tiny black dress, and wears nothing but a towel in two scenes. Her final performance in a red dress and boots is hot, plus two more costume changes.

I guess there’s a good soundtrack if you like country music. Kelly’s final performance is basically a medley of numbers that will all be available for 99 cents each on iTunes. Maybe if you love the music it doesn’t matter what the story is, but it does show irresponsible lack of restraint dealing with serious drama.

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Gwyneth Paltrow Is Bigger Than Jesus In ‘Country Strong’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/gwyneth-paltrow-is-bigger-than-jesus-in-country-strong-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/gwyneth-paltrow-is-bigger-than-jesus-in-country-strong-trailer/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 The trailer for Country Strong has strummed its way into our Internets, and I seriously think somebody needs to check out Gwyneth Paltrow's Netflix rental history. If The Blind Side and Crazy Heart are on there side-by-side, then I call shenanigans. Between the similarities to those films, and the scenes where people cry so hard they fall on their butts (I counted two), this is such an obvious ploy for an Oscar or a Grammy. In truth, they'd be lucky to get a Razzie for this. Hasn't Sandra Bullock had enough taken from her? Watch Paltrow do her best Lurleen Lumpkin after the jump...

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The trailer for Country Strong has strummed its way into our Internets, and I seriously think somebody needs to check out Gwyneth Paltrow’s Netflix rental history. If The Blind Side and Crazy Heart are on there side-by-side, then I call shenanigans. Between the similarities to those films, and the scenes where people cry so hard they fall on their butts (I counted two), this is such an obvious ploy for an Oscar or a Grammy. In truth, they’d be lucky to get a Razzie for this. Hasn’t Sandra Bullock had enoug taken from her?

Watch Paltrow do her best Lurleen Lumpkin after the jump…

 


Country Strong Trailer – Watch more Funny Videos

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