First, allow me to apologize for missing last week’s Weekend Returns. The beginning of 2012 has not been kind to the Murray House, as the flu has run amuck. Fortunately, my daily baths in sanitizer added with me sleeping in a bubble on the couch has kept me out of harm’s way. For now.
I wanted to blog about last week’s box office winner, which was Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. I wanted to draw parallels to my new favorite animated series on FX, Archer, which is also about spies (sort of). But I figured I’d have another week to bring it up.
That’s why I was a little shocked to see Mission Impossible IV fall in the first official weekend of the new year. And to a horror movie, no doubt. If anything, I thought Girl With The Devil Tattoo would sneak in there, but it turns out another devil possessed the top spot. As in Lucifer himself.
The Devil Inside scared up enough viewers to claim the top spot at the box office. It’s the latest in “found footage” movies that has become the norm at the cineplexes. From Blair Witch to Cloverfield to the surprisingly fun Troll Hunter, this sub-genre continues to flourish. Not only because the shaky-cam feel makes it seem real, it’s because it’s so cheap to make. Devil was made for less than $1 million, but brought in $33.7 million last weekend.
There’s even a series on Animal Planet called Lost Tapes, that attempts to document paranormal creatures like Bigfoot, chupacabras, the jersey devil, etc., cut with “found footage.” It uses unknown actors doing things that would happen to put them in the path of these beasties.
But other than horror movies, what else can you do with “found footage”? It’s not like you can base a movie on three reels of film are found in some dank basement featuring Robin Williams and Vin Diesel trying to carry on an intelligent conversation about global warming.
No, it seems “found footage” seemed destined to be intertwined with horror movies. And here we are in January, and audiences still want to have the crap scared out of them. But documenting a possession isn’t new: Paranormal Activity has become a viable franchise, and is expected to crank out a fourth installment this year. Eli Roth also made The Last Exorcism in 2010. There’s a slew of more coming this year.
You know what else is scary? The lack of scoring the Kings’ have. Check out where the Kings fall on our media power rankings roundup:
• The Hockey News’ Adam Proteau’s Week 14 rating: 9. Last week: 11.
Kings have allowed just eight regulation/overtime goals in their past eight games, but have scored just 13 in that span.
• Sports Illustrated’s Adrian Dater’s Week 14 rating: 10. Last week: 11.
They improved to 6-1-3 under new coach Darryl Sutter with Monday’s
impressive win over Washington and finally won a game in which they
didn’t have to get headstand goaltending. Even Dustin “Pancake Man”
Penner got a point. It will be interesting to see the reaction of the
fans in Calgary when Sutter is introduced Saturday night at the
• ESPN.com’s Scott Burnside’s Week 14 rating: 12. Last week: 15.
Yes, the Kings have made significant strides under Darryl Sutter, but they still can’t score, as witnessed by their 1-0 loss to lowly Columbus at home Saturday. This team doesn’t make the playoffs unless the offense becomes more consistent, Sutter or no Sutter.
• CBSSportsline’s Adam Gretz’s Week 14 rating: 15. Last week: 18.
I’m expecting a big second-half surge from Los Angeles. You should, too.
• TSN’s Scott Cullen’s Week 14 rating: 17. Last week: 16.
1-for-31 on the power play in the last seven games, the Kings’ offensive woes are almost comical for a team with the talent they have on their roster.
• Fox Sports’ Jim Rosen’s Week 14 rating: 18. Last week: 12.
The Kings have killed off 34 straight penalties while their power play has scored one goal in its past 31 chances. They’re also struggling to score five-on-five, which has led to three 1-0 games in the past two weeks.
Take the average and you get the Kings’ Power Ranking of
Since I will not be denied promoting the upcoming season of Archer (Jan. 19 on FX), here’s one of my favorite episodes from season one.