Screen Junkies » mars needs moms http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:02:10 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 The 12 Biggest Flops Of The Past 12 Years http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-12-biggest-flops-of-the-past-12-years/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/the-12-biggest-flops-of-the-past-12-years/#comments Tue, 07 Feb 2012 15:28:31 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=241045 Starring Nicole Kidman is not necessarily a prerequisite.

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While it’s too early in 2012 to tell what movie is going to suck the hardest (although Big Miracle is certainly on it’s way), we can turn to the past and evaluate the missteps of Hollywood from yesteryear. Compiled below are a list of the biggest flops, one per year, spanning from 2000 to 2011. The classification was applied after careful calculations that factored in total box office gross, number of screens, per screen average and other math stuff that you’re just going to have trust. Whatever. Do you really want to be the guy defending The Adventures of Pluto Nash?

Mars Needs Moms (2011)

With a budget of $150 million, 2011′s biggest flop earned $39 million worldwide. Mars Needs Moms tells the story of a boy who takes his mother for granted but then goes to great lengths to save her when she’s abducted by an alien race. Without any real star power attached, the motion-captured feature took a big risk putting all of its fate into a technology that has had a shaky history with moviegoers. As if losing $111 million weren’t bad enough, it must be terrible to admit having any participation in making this film.

Jonah Hex (2010)

Though $10.9 million on a $40 million production budget doesn’t seem like the hugest of losses, a lot was put behind publicity for this comic book adaptation. Planned to be a summer tentpole, the movie crashed in burned in America causing the studio to scrap a large rollout overseas. Word is that the studio lost as much as they typically earn from a Harry Potter film on Hex. But, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I find the film delightful and hilarious. Just not for the reasons filmmakers would have liked me to.

Land of the Lost (2009)

It’s sad to see this one on the list. Budgeted at $100 million, the adaptation of the classic show earned only $35 million at the box office. The reason that it’s a shame for Land of the Lost to wind up on a flop list is because it really was an entertaining movie. Marketed COMPLETELY wrong as a goofy romp for kids that parents would enjoy too, it’s actually anything but that. In fact, it brought back the snarky vibe of an 80′s comedy that has been so missed in film. Give this one a shot. Unless you’re the type to have Will Ferrell fatigue. Then there’s no talking any reason into you.

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Let’s Laugh At The 7 Biggest Movie Flops Of 2011 http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/lets-laugh-at-the-7-biggest-movie-flops-of-2011/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/lets-laugh-at-the-7-biggest-movie-flops-of-2011/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 17:00:08 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=239790 Insert fart sound here... just because.

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Enough basking in the success of the films of 2011. Let’s enjoy some failures. Not failures by artistic or critical standards, but failures that result in massive financial loss and unemployment. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Making a list of year-end flops is a mixed bag. For the most part, I take pride in the hubris of Hollywood going unrewarded, punishing studios for taking the “bigger is better” approach. But without fail, there always sneaks in one or two films that deserve better. I only feel that way about one such film on this list, and hopefully its take is buoyed by international markets. While it wasn’t my cup of tea, it was a “good” film.

But enough sadness. Let’s watch these giants fall.

Mars Needs Moms

Mars doesn’t, in fact, need moms. This film was the latest misstep for Robert Zemeckis, who is known for, after achieving success with films like Forrest Gump and Back to the Future, squandering lots of goodwill by forcing motion capture films like The Polar Express and A Christmas Carol down moviegoers’ throats. He decided that maybe he hadn’t been forceful ENOUGH with the mo-cap, so he brought to us Mars Needs Moms, a film that raked in $21 million on a budget of $150 million. The film was completely ignored by audiences. Critics, given that they couldn’t ignore it, gave it almost universally low marks.

Let this be the final word: Zemeckis’ motion capture films look creepy and no one wants to see them.

Conan the Barbarian

Sometimes stupid action movies are too stupid. This debacle scored only $29 million against $90, and was forgotten about as quickly as it was introduced. Star Jason Momoa had garnered acclaim for his role in HBO’s Game of Thrones, but when it came time for him to speak and carry a film, he just wasn’t up to task. Critical acclaim was non-existent, but fans and audiences seemed to be a little more forgiving, probably because the type of people who pay to see Conan have different standards than those who pony up for Gosford Park and the like.

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7 Motion Capture Performances Deserving Of A Razzie http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-motion-capture-performances-deserving-of-a-razzie/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/7-motion-capture-performances-deserving-of-a-razzie/#comments Fri, 02 Dec 2011 17:07:57 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=238400 You can't have a rainbow without the rain...unless it's a CGI rainbow, I suppose.

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Just in time for Tintin, there’s a considerable amount of Oscar buzz surrounding Andy Serkis and his performance in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Fox is mounting a huge campaign to push for a nomination for the actor’s motion capture performance of Caesar the chimpanzee. While there is an argument as to whether or not a motion capture performance should be eligible for an “acting” award, there is one thing you can’t deny. Andy Serkis is really good at acting like a monkey.

Motion capture strips an actor of their identity and allows them to invent a character completely from scratch. Serkis knows this and has spent a good part of his career honing these abilities. He’s at least deserving of recognition for his accomplishments. These other guys, not so much.

Tom Hanks – The Polar Express

Tom Hanks finally shed his nice guy image with his performance in Robert Zemeckis‘s The Polar Express. Once regarded as the nicest man in Hollywood, the multiple Academy Award winner is now known as a dead-eyed, clammy-skinned abductor of children. Look at the stern, cold reserve in those eyes. You don’t want that climbing into your son’s room in the middle of the night.

Sam Worthington – Avatar

Though Avatar was a huge leap forward for 3D and motion capture technology, it was criticized for its weak plot and acting. A lot of the hate was directed at the film’s lead, Sam Worthington. I feel that this was unfair. He played a pretty convincing paraplegic turned giant cat person and he hardly even slipped back into an Australian accent. Still, the movie wasn’t exactly Ishtar.

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‘Mars Needs Moms’ Thankfully Drowned Zemeckis ‘Yellow Submarine’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mars-needs-moms-thankfully-drowned-zemeckis-yellow-submarine/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/mars-needs-moms-thankfully-drowned-zemeckis-yellow-submarine/#comments Tue, 15 Mar 2011 02:00:11 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201635 Like a beloved uncle who hits the sauce too much, Zemeckis has gotten drunk on motion capture technology. Now it looks like he might sober-up and stop putting actors into ping-pong ball suits.

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Robert Zemeckis has directed some of my favorite movies of all-time. However, like a beloved uncle who hits the sauce too much, and won’t admit he has a problem, Zemeckis has gotten drunk on motion capture technology. For the past decade, we’ve watched his glossy-eyed, creepy computer mannequins get all up in the uncanny valley. Now it looks like he might sober-up and stop putting actors into ping-pong ball suits.

Disney has canceled Zemeckis’ latest motion capture project: a high-profile remake of The BeatlesYellow Submarine. Yes, because the story is really the best part of Yellow Submarine, and it’s a story that’s just begging to be retold today. I’m sure there’s some parallel between the bad economy and whatever it is that happens in the film, which I either sleep through, or don’t remember because I get very high when watching it. Anyway, Disney harpooned Yellow Submarine because Zemeckis produced the epic flop Mars Needs Moms for the studio, which cost $150 million and only made $6.0 million this past weekend. Yikes.

It’s been rumored that Zemeckis went back home to Montana to regroup. Hopefully he’s thinking about live action again, and not how to revive the S.S. Motion Capture. (Hollywood Reporter)

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Weekend Box Office Report: America Does Battle With Los Angeles http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-america-does-battle-with-los-angeles/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/weekend-box-office-report-america-does-battle-with-los-angeles/#comments Mon, 14 Mar 2011 16:03:46 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201445 Earth doesn't need 'Mars Needs Moms', apparently.

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Sometimes, an underdog beats all the odds and leaves all the naysayers scratching their heads, and can be an inspiration to us all. Battle: Los Angeles, for instance, conquered the obstacle of not being a very good movie and rocketed to the top spot at the box office this weekend. I’m certainly going to remember this the next time I do a mediocre job. Thank you, Battle: Los Angeles, for the sterling example you’ve provided – just because a movie sucks, doesn’t mean it can’t succeed where it counts.

Elsewhere on the new release schedule, the news was not as inspiring. Red Riding Hood, with its apparently insufficiently sexy Big Bad Wolf, came in a distant 3rd behind golden oldie Rango. And, excitingly enough, we had a genuine flop this weekend in Mars Needs Moms, which cost 150 million dollars to make, and only grossed 6.8 million dollars over the weekend. Maybe this means Robert Zemeckis will make a movie with real people in it again. (via The AV Club)

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Review: Mars Needs Moms http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-mars-needs-moms/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-mars-needs-moms/#comments Fri, 11 Mar 2011 17:21:06 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201174 This will not be one of the animated movies you enjoy in spite of being grown up.

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My Hollywood travels took me to a screening of Mars Needs Moms so I might as well review it. This will not be one of the animated movies you enjoy in spite of being grown up.

Milo (Seth Green) is a bratty kid who wishes his mom (Joan Cusack) would go away. When Martians abduct her, he hitches a ride and realizes he wants to save her after all. Kids may enjoy Milo’s adventure through Martian headquarters, but it’s nothing more than a light show.

This kid really is an obnoxious brat. Milo refuses to eat broccoli, which really? Are we still on “kids hate broccoli?” Maybe I can’t understand because I always liked broccoli, but I thought kids were all vegan now anyway. Milo’s an obnoxious smartass. This isn’t Home Alone where the kid is really better off without his abusive family until some Hollywood propaganda dictates he misses them.

The Robert Zemeckis Image Movers motion capture animation is worse than ever here. The facial reactions look like robots from the flesh fair in A.I. When Mom realizes she’s on Mars and freaks out, it doesn’t look like a face. It doesn’t look like a human face or an animated face. The computer approximation of Joan Cusack’s face looks like nothing. I don’t get how anyone can look at that and think, “We’re onto something. Next time we’ll tweak the cheeks a little more.”

A rebel Martian, Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), moves her arms around way too much, like Jar Jar Binks. Her translator gets English grammar wrong, just like the dogs in Up. At least Ki provides a romance for Gribble (Dan Fogler), the other earthling stranded on Mars since the Regan era. He references Top Gun for the kids.

The 3D really irritated me from the beginning. To be fair, I think it’s the theater. I saw this at Universal Citywalk’s Imax theater, which has really old style glasses and I’ve had problems there before, even with Toy Story 3 which is top of the line. But strobing lights and lasers are pretty mean to your eyes, and fuzzy satellite screens, ugh. I actually took the glasses off because blurry 2D gave me less of a headache.

There’s a healthy amount of trauma with flashbacks to dead moms. Not the elegant kind of trauma like Bambi’s mom or Mufasa, just blatant tear whoring. But it ain’t Disney without a dead parent.

The only thing I liked was that they show motion capture sessions in the credits, so the kids can see what it looks like in a white room with jumpsuits. Then you can compare it to how bad the finished product looks and learn a valuable lesson about filmmaking — what not to do.

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