Shaft Box Office Prediction

The third generation of the Shaft family debuts in theaters next weekend with Jessie Usher playing an FBI agent in the action pic. Arriving nearly 50 years after Richard Roundtree played John Shaft and almost two decades after Samuel L. Jackson played his nephew, both actors are present in the newest iteration. Tim Story (maker of the Ride Along pics) directs with a supporting cast including Alexandra Shipp, Regina Hall, and Method Man.

Reportedly made for a smallish $30 million budget, the studio behind Shaft would love to match the $21 million opening weekend debut of the 2000 Jackson led summer flick. Tracking puts in right in that range. However, we’ve seen reboots disappoint in 2019.

I’ll say this gets to mid to high teens and considering the price tag, that’s not too shabby.

Shaft opening weekend prediction: $16.8 million

For my Men in Black: International prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/05/men-in-black-international-box-office-prediction/

For my Late Night prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/__trashed/

For my The Dead Don’t Die prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/the-dead-dont-die-box-office-prediction/

Peppermint Box Office Prediction

Jennifer Garner is back to her action roots when Peppermint arrives in theaters next weekend. The revenge tale casts the former “Alias” star as a vigilante avenging a double family tragedy. While Garner has been out of this particular genre for a bit, director Pierre Morel has not. He’s best known for making the first Taken a decade ago, in addition to From Paris with Love and The Gunman. Costars include John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz, and Method Man.

Peppermint will hope to bring a female and action oriented audience to the fold. Some of its anticipated crowd could be busy watching The Nun instead. You have to go back to 2005’s Elektra for the last time Garner was headlining a genre flick like this.

For a decent comp, I’m going all the way back to 2007 when The Brave One with Jodie Foster opened in the same time frame to $13.4 million. That actually sounds just about right, give or take a million or two.

Peppermint opening weekend prediction: $11.8 million

For my The Nun prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/08/28/the-nun-box-office-prediction/

For my God Bless the Broken Road prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/02/god-bless-the-broken-road-box-office-prediction/

Keanu Movie Review

It may be called Keanu with an adorable kitten named after the actor who gave us Neo/Johnny Utah/John Wick, but the debut feature starring Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele” could’ve been titled George Michael as well. The iconic 1980s British crooner gets his props throughout this action comedy that may have felt right at home in theaters when “Faith” and “Father Figure” were burning up the charts.

The duo’s basic cable program was a rather groundbreaking show with some truly inspired bits. You won’t really find that here. Instead, Keanu is a breezy if rather forgettable tale of the tail of the cat who captures the hearts of everyone who comes in contact with it. Jordan Peele is Rell, who’s depressed after his girlfriend broke up with him when that darn kitty comes into his possession. His best bud/cousin Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key) is stuck in a dull middle class existence with a bored wife (Nia Long) who’s out of town for the weekend. The pair soon learn that Keanu is actually the property of a drug kingpin whose employees were recently mowed down by assassins known as The Allentown Boys (also played by Key and Peele). Before you know it, Rell and Clarence are posing as them in an effort to get the kidnapped Keanu back.

Their journey brings them to the underground L.A. drug scene and a crew led by Cheddar (Method Man) and Hi-C (Tiffany Haddish), who Rell has the hots for. Of course, they need nifty nicknames, too. Tectonic and Shark Tank suffice. As they try to find that fabulously cute feline, the guys teach some criminals the joys of George Michael in a humorous bit that just keeps going and going.

Maybe that’s part of the problem here. The shark out of water premise of Keanu barely can sustain itself for 100 minutes. There are moments sprinkled throughout that work well. An unexpected cameo from Scary Movie lead Anna Faris is amusing. Key and Peele do succeed in proving that their charisma on the small screen translates to the big one. And, yes, that kitten really is a gem. Yet the concept of these guys having to “get hard” (to borrow a phrase from a far worse Kevin Hart vehicle that uses similar plotting) is a rather familiar one. This is a talented pair at work, though. I wouldn’t hesitate to sign up when they get “One More Try”, as that hit song says from Mr. Michael.

**1/2 (out of four)

Keanu Box Office Prediction

The comedic stylings of Key (Keegan-Michael Key) and Peele (Jordan Peele) come to the big screen with Keanu, out next weekend. The R rated laugher centers around a cat theft and our leads getting caught up with some violent criminals. Method Man, Gabrielle Union, Nia Long, Will Forte, Luis Guzman, and, yes, Keanu Reeves costar.

Keanu’s dynamic duo are known for their hit Comedy Central show, which just ended its run last year. Their first film vehicle premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival to solid buzz and its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 75%.

Will audiences follow Key and Peele to the multiplex? If this got to over $20 million in its premiere, Warner Bros would be over the moon. I believe a more likely result is in the mid to high teens.

Keanu opening weekend prediction: $17.6 million

For my Mother’s Day prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/22/mothers-day-box-office-prediction/

For my Ratchet & Clank prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/04/23/ratchet-clank-box-office-prediction/

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 10-1

Well we started from the bottom, but now we’re here – at the top ten of my personal favorite hip hop singles of the 1990s decade! It’s been a lot of fun recounting the fabulous hits of the decade that saw hip hop move from what some thought was a fad to a phenomenon that is here to stay. If you missed any of my previous eight posts covering numbers 90-11, you can find ’em here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/23/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-90-81/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/24/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-80-71/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/25/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-70-61/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/26/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-60-51/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/27/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-50-41/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/28/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-40-31/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/30/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-30-21/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/31/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-20-11/

And now – the Top Ten!!

10. “My Name Is” by Eminem (1999)

Slim Shady burst onto the hip hop scene with his first amazing single with production work from Dr. Dre. He would dominate the following decade, but this is where it all started.

9. “Jump Around” by House of Pain (1992)

With production by DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill, Everlast and company had a smash hit with this party starter.

8. “O.P.P.” by Naughty by Nature (1991)

We still may not know what it really stands for, but Naughty by Nature gave us their true classic with their first single off their self-titled debut album.

7. “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube (1993)

Mr. Cube had a classic with this lyrically brilliant cut about a typical day in the life of a rapper.

6. “Juicy” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1994)

The debut single from his iconic Ready to Die debut album, “Juicy” announced the presence of a rap god that we lost too soon.

5. “California Love” by 2Pac featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman (1996)

Much like Biggie, we also lost the unforgettable 2Pac soon. “California Love” was the smash hit first single off All Eyez on Me with production from Dre and a terrific Road Warrior inspired music video.

4. “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J (1991)

He’d been here for years with some in the rap community doubting him, but LL Cool J gave us this hard hitting and magnificent cut that serves as his signature track.

3. “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” by Geto Boys (1991)

The highest charting single from this innovative Houston rap group, “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” is flat out brilliant.

2. “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need To Get By (Razor Sharp Mix)” by Method Man featuring Mary J. Blige (1995)

A remix of a track off his Tical album, Wu-Tang member Method Man teamed with Mary J. Blige and producer RZA to come up with an unforgettable take on the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrell 1968 hit.

1. “‘Nuthin but a ‘G’ Thang” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (1992)

The 1990s decade was in many ways dominated by Death Row and Dr. Dre. This first single off The Chronic (the album of the 1990s in hip hop) with Dre and Snoop trading rhymes earns its rightful place atop the best singles.

And there you have it, friends! My work is done here. Hopefully, at the least, this list gave you some iTunes fodder or reminded you just how great certain tracks were back in the day. Until next time…

 

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 70-61

We have arrived at part 3 of my personal top 90 hip hop singles of the nineties decade, covering numbers 70-61. If you missed my first two posts covering nos. 90-71, shame on you. However, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/23/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-90-81/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/10/24/top-90-hip-hop-songs-of-the-1990s-nos-80-71/

Here we go:

70. “Hip Hop Hooray” by Naughty by Nature (1993)

With its infectious chorus and its Spike Lee directed video which had us all ridiculously waving our arms to and fro, Naughty by Nature scored a well deserved smash in 1993 with this jam.

69. “Still DRE” by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg (1999)

The lead single off Dre’s Chronic 2001 album found the glorious mix of Dre and Snoop back in business.

68. “Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac (1993)

Pac’s single showcases the more sensitive side of the iconic rapper.

67. “Ice Cream” by Raekwon featuring Method Man, Ghostface Killah, and Cappadonna (1995)

Four Wu-Tang Clan members collaborate on this classic track from Raekwon’s amazing Only Built 4 Cuban Linx album.

66. “Baby Got Back” by Sir-Mix-a-Lot (1992)

It’s still being put to good use today by Nicki Minaj in her hit “Anaconda”, but Seattle based Mix-a-Lot created a booty jam for the ages over two decades ago.

65. “I’m a Player” by Too Short (1993)

So many filthy yet remarkable songs to choose from involving Too Short – but this cut from his Get In Where You Fit In album rose above the rest.

64. “Murder Was the Case” by Snoop Dogg (1994)

One of Snoop’s many masterpieces from his Doggystyle debut album.

63. “Funkdafied” by Da Brat (1994)

Da Brat and producer Jermaine Dupri had a summer 1994 highlight with this title track off her debut album.

62. “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince (1991)

Speaking of summer, before Will Smith became one of the biggest film stars in the world – he and partner DJ Jeff made a seasonal anthem that will never go away.

61. “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer (1990)

Quibble if you want, but this Rick James sampling classic was instrumental in bringing hip hop to the mainstream. Plus – Hammer pants!!

And that’ll do it for now, folks! I’ll be back with part four soon enough…