Matt's Blog

A Matter Of Taste: It's "OK" Not To Like Sandra Bullock

  
Sandra Bullock

 

When it comes to movies, it seems there’s no actress I dislike more than Sandra Bullock.  I have gone through 14 years of reviews and categorised her movies by grading – good (A+ to A-), average (B+ to B-) and bad (C to C-).  Here are the results:

 

Good

Average – Infamous, Crash, Two Weeks Notice, Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, In Love And War, A Time To Kill, Two If By Sea

Bad – All About Steve, The Proposal, Premonition, The Lake House, Miss Congeniality 2, Murder By Numbers, Miss Congeniality, 28 Days, Forces Of Nature, Practical Magic, Hope Floats, Speed 2

 

Of the 19 Bullock films I’ve seen, there were 12 which I strongly didn’t like.  There wasn’t a single film which I gave a good review.

 

Now, of course, I’ve never met Sandra Bullock and have nothing against her personally.  I’m sure I’d be star struck if I was ever lucky enough to meet her.  I just hate her taste in movies.  She’s made some really bad decisions throughout the last decade of her career.

 

And guess what?  Bullock herself agrees!  Here’s an extract from her speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards this year…

 

“I am Sandra Bullock and I am actor.  And I am so proud to say that in a room full of faces that have inspired me, and allowed me six years ago to say I’m going to stop working because I wasn’t doing good work.  And audition again.  And you say good-bye to the money and you say good-bye to all the things that you became comfortable with.  And in 2006, I sat in this room with a little film called Crash and I got to look at the people who got me here.  So the Screen Actors Guild, thank you so much.”

 

That was a classy speech.  The way that Bullock has handled herself throughout the award season this year has been tremendous.  She’s quick on her feet (unlike Drew Barrymore) and she’s delivered some heartfelt speeches.  There’s a part of me that wants to see her win the Oscar next month.  I love comeback stories and this one would be right up there (which is why I was so gutted when Sean Penn beat Mickey Rourke last year). 

 

But the point I want to make in this week’s blog is that’s “ok” not to like a certain actor, actress or film.  We all have different tastes – and these tastes define who we are as people.  I’ve made plenty of jokes over the years about how much I dislike romantic comedies and Sandra Bullock movies (there’s often an overlap).  I’m not being mean spirited (or at least I’m not intending to be).  I’m just revealing what my taste in movies is like.

 

If we all liked the same stuff, the world would be a pretty boring place.  The reason we often become friends with people is because we share common interests.  I’ve got a small circle of friends who love Coen brothers movies (as do I).  We quotes lines to each other and compare our favourites.  I know others who HATE Coen brothers movies.  That’s ok – they’re find to do so.  I admit the Coen’s have a very warped sense of humour.  There’s a line I always use – “to each their own”.

 

And yes, there are millions of people in this world who love Sandra Bullock.  Miss Congeniality made $106m in 2000.  Two Weeks Notice made $93m in 2002. The Proposal made $163m last year.  The Blind Side, currently in release, has turned out to be her biggest yet.  Despite going head-to-head with Avatar, it has made a phenomenal $239m in the United States to date.

 

Now, we’ve reached the crossroads.  The Blind Side is being released in Australia on Feb 25 and I’m hoping to catch a preview of it next week.  Is Bullock’s performance as good as people say?  Is it Oscar worthy?  Or are they over-hyping her performance?  Do they think her performance is “great” only because they’re comparing it to her past works?  Should Carey Mulligan or Meryl Streep win instead?

 

I try to see all films with an open mind and I suddenly find myself very excited about The Blind Side.  The fact that it scored an upset best picture nomination at the Oscars also has be intrigued.  After years of frustration, can my mind me changed on Sandra Bullock?  I’ll find out very soon!

 

Avatar

 

Last week, Titanic’s 12 year record atop the all-time box-office chart in the United States came to an end.  I’ve loved that record.  It’s amazing that a film could stay on top for so long.  $600m was always going to be a tough record to beat.

 

Just as amazing is the fact that the film which beat Titanic was James Cameron’s next film – Avatar.  Say what you will about Cameron, but his films connect with audiences.  The numbers speak for themselves in that regard.

 

Avatar’s total in the United States is now $630m from 8 weeks and it’s still going strong.  It took in another $23.6m on the weekend alone.  Where will it stop?  It’s possible it could finish up with around $750m.

 

It gets better here in Australia.  As of Sunday night, it had taken in $98.3m.  It’s still number one after 8 weeks and by a considerable margin.  It took $3.9m over the last four days.  Mel Gibson’s Edge Of Darkness was next best with a paltry (in comparison) $1.4m.  Avatar will certainly pass the $100m mark in Oz in the next few days.

 

Again, keep in mind that the second highest grossing film in Australian history was Titanic with $57.6m back in 1997.  Not only has Avatar beaten the long standing record here in Australia – it could quite possibly double it!

 

Now I know people throw in the higher 3D ticket price and inflation arguments and yes, they’re true.  If you want to be picky, Gone With The Wind’s inflation adjusted total of $1.5 billion in the United States makes it the “biggest film of all time”.  Still, times change.  There are lot more ways in which people can spend their money now in comparison to 1939.  Avatar deserves a place in box-office history and it’s well deserved. 

 

Oscar Odds

 

Current odds per Centrebet for the best picture Oscar are as follows – Avatar = $1.52, The Hurt Locker = $2.50, rest = no chance.

 

I think this is exceptional good odds for The Hurt Locker.  As I mentioned last week, it’s won all the lead up awards and the majority of Oscar pundits are tipping it to win – see here.  There aren’t many lead up awards left but perhaps the British Academy Awards might tell us something.  I’m kind of hoping for Avatar (given the $500 Oscar bet I placed a month ago) but I don’t know if the British Academy will support it as much as their American counterparts.  Fingers crossed.

 

The Hurt Locker

 

To finish this week, good news for those looking to see The Hurt Locker.  The release date has been brought forward from Feb 25 to Feb 18 and there are advance screenings from this weekend (Feb 12 to Feb 14).  I’ve been frustrated by my inability to be able to see this film but the timing might work out well – I’m sure there will be plenty of Australians keen to see what all the hype is about and I’m sure it’ll do well at the local box-office.