Wednesday, June 25, 2014
If I were William Cage (Tom Cruise), and possessed the power to reset days and make different decisions, I'd go back to Tuesday June 10th and walk into Edge of Tomorrow instead of X-Men: Days of Future Past.
I knew at the time I preferred to see Edge of Tomorrow, but X-Men had already been out for a couple weeks, and the real key was that it started 10 minutes earlier. When I got to the theater unexpectedly quickly at 8:15, it seemed less tedious to twiddle my thumbs until the start of X-Men at 8:30 than the start of Tomorrow at 8:40.
So merely to maintain my thumb muscles, I saw X-Men on a really big screen, and consigned Edge of Tomorrow to something barely larger than a really big headboard this past Monday night at Cinema Kino.
At least I gave the movie my money, which is what I really wanted to accomplish -- especially after seeing it.
My biggest regret in choosing X-Men over Tomorrow didn't have to do with which movie I enjoyed more, which ended up being Tomorrow in a landslide. It was about which movie I was supporting financially. You have to take that with a grain of salt, since Australian box office hasn't much of an impact in the perception of a movie as a hit or a bomb. Then again, a dollar is a dollar is a dollar, and studios are increasingly tailoring their movies to play overseas.
But it was Tomorrow's performance at the American box office that had everyone talking about Warner Brothers potentially having a bomb on their hands. The film famously (infamously?) opened third at the box office, behind one new movie (The Fault in Our Stars) and one in its second weekend (Maleficent). It fell shy of $30 million, which is pretty much a disaster for a movie budgeted at $175 million.
The thing is, I actually knew this when I made my choice at the Hoyts theater at Melbourne Central two weeks ago, since those results had already been in for two days. I knew that paying for X-Men was paying to support the status quo of sequels, prequels and reboots, and that shunning Tomorrow was shunning movies that take risks and aim for originality. (How strictly original Edge of Tomorrow may be is up for debate, as it borrows heavily from a couple other key movies -- but in a totally awesome way.)
When I walked out of X-Men, my middling response to the movie (I gave it a weak 3.5 stars) was made all the more so by my feelings of regret over being yet another person who didn't pay to see Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. No one should weep for Tom Cruise, of course, but I'll tell you -- he never phones it in. This guy is a damn good movie star, and he's still giving us his all well into his 50s. (Okay, one year into his 50s.) And Blunt? Well, I've talked enough about Emily Blunt on this blog for you to know that I'm kind of ga-ga for her. It was those doe eyes of Blunt's that I really didn't want to disappoint.
Okay, so now that I've corrected my mistake, I figured I should use my bully pulpit to get as many more of the rest of you as possible to go see this movie.
I almost called this post "Edge of Goddamnfrickingawesome," so high am I on it. I'm not going to give you a point-by-point explanation of why this movie is so goddamnfrickingawesome, but just the mere fact that I feel like saying that about a summer blockbuster, for the first time in ages, should tell you something. Here are a couple things to whet your appetite, though:
1) It has a clever and ambitious script that never ceases to delight.
2) It has some of the best sci-fi battle sequences I've ever seen.
3) It is, surprisingly, the funniest movie I have seen this year.
4) The stars are great in it, but also
5) Bill Paxton. He's almost worth the price of admission alone.
Fortunately, as is the case with really good movies, you're going to love Edge of Tomorrow even if you wait to see it on an even smaller screen than I saw it: your home TV. But don't deprive yourself until it's out on video in October. Go see it now. You'll also be playing your part in telling studio execs that you want them to continue taking risks with their content. You'll be rewarding the studio execs for giving you some credit.
Prove you deserve that credit by getting out there and speaking with your wallet. Because if this movie whimpers out of theaters as a certified bomb, we won't have a chance to go back and fix it.
And we'll all pay the price for years -- and sequels, and prequels, and reboots -- to come.