The Beach Bum Box Office Prediction

Director Harmony Korine brings his drug fueled comedic sensibilities to the screen next weekend with the release of The Beach Bum. The Kids and Spring Breakers maker’s latest casts Matthew McConaughey as a stoner poet named Moondog. The supporting cast includes Isla Fisher, Snoop Dogg, Jonah Hill, Zac Efron, and Martin Lawrence.

There’s a niche market for Korine’s product and more solid reviews may have assisted. However, when Bum debuted at the South by Southwest Festival, it did so to mixed reaction. It currently has a 55% Rotten Tomatoes score.

It was only recently announced that this is being rolled out in wide fashion on Friday. A screen count could change my estimate, but as of now I’ll say it’ll be lucky to reach $2 million.

The Beach Bum opening weekend prediction: $1.6 million

For my Dumbo prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/20/dumbo-box-office-prediction/

For my Unplanned prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/unplanned-box-office-prediction/

For my Hotel Mumbai prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/03/24/hotel-mumbai-box-office-prediction/

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

In the humorously titled Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, there’s a gag involving the terrific Will Arnett that only takes up maybe three minutes of screen time. He plays the host of “CMZ” (think TMZ) as he hilariously chats with his staff of gossip reporters and furiously downs big gulps and other assorted beverages. It struck my funny bone so much that I found myself wondering how good a movie would be if it were just about them. Then I remembered that taking memorable three minute bits and stretching them into feature length comedies usually doesn’t work.

There are other moments in Popstar that work. Yet it didn’t quite change my theory above. Fans of “Saturday Night Live” are familiar with The Lonely Island, Andy Samberg’s music group responsible for several YouTube friendly videos packed with catchy lyrics and musical icon cameos. Here, Samberg and his colleagues Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (that pair share directing duties) make up The Style Boyz – a hip hop pop trio that hit it big. Yet it’s Kid Connor (Samberg) that was the Justin Timberlake (who cameos), Beyoncé or Method Man of the group and branches out on the solo tip. Taccone’s Kid Contact becomes his DJ and Schaffer’s Kid Brain leaves the business to become a farmer in Colorado (wonder where that development will lead to??).

We pick up as solo act Connor4Real is set to debut his sophomore album, which is a disaster looming. Along the way, Popstar parodies the extreme narcissism of its industry while throwing in plenty of ridiculous songs. None of them really hold a candle to the brilliance displayed in the granddaddy of music doc spoofs, This is Spinal Tap.  As mentioned, there’s just not enough solid material to totally justify the 90 minutes here.

One mistake is that the Lonely team who wrote the screenplay seem to believe that cameos count as jokes. There are tons and tons of cameos. Admittedly some work (Seal’s bit is a trip and Timberlake gets to flex his comedic chops), but many others leave no impression. For the performers not playing themselves, a little of Samberg’s Connor goes a long way. Sarah Silverman and Tim Meadows are mostly background players as his publicist and manager. And the versatile Joan Cusack pops up so briefly as Connor’s hard partying mom that I can only think her part was left on the cutting room floor.

While there are laughs to be had here, you’re probably better off looking up the trio’s SNL work. They’re shorter and more consistently funny. See if you can find Arnett’s scenes too…

**1/2 (out of four)

Top Ten Summer Music Hits of 2006: A Look Back

Today on the blog, we look at the top ten tracks that were monopolizing the airwaves ten summers ago. Last week, I gave you the top tunes from 1996 and two weeks ago – from 1986. You can read those posts here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/05/26/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1986-a-look-back/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/06/07/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1996-a-look-back/

As I did with the previous posts, I’ll rate the song on a scale of 1 (summer bummer) to 10 (seasonal masterpiece) and answer the most important query: is it on my iTunes?

Let’s get to it!

10. “Snap Yo Fingers” by Lil Jon feat. E-40 and Sean P.

The middle of the previous decade was heavily dominated by club bangers when it came to hip hop. “Snap Yo Fingers” is basically, well, another one with Lil Jon’s signature shouts and a solid assist from Bay Area legend E-40. For what it is, it’s decent.

My Rating: 6

Is It On My iTunes? No

9. “Over My Head (Cable Car)” by The Fray

I’ll be totally honest here. I completely forgot about this song – the debut single from the Colorado based rock group. Verdict? Pretty good, though it probably says something that I forgot its existence.

My Rating: 6

Is It On My iTunes? No

8. “Unfaithful” by Rihanna

Written by Ne-Yo , this slow track from Rihanna’s second album shows off her fine vocals. It’s not at the very top of her slow tempo ballads, but it’s memorable.

My Rating: 8

Is It On My iTunes? Yes

7. “Buttons” by The Pussycat Dolls feat. Snoop Dogg

With an assist from The Doggfather, The Pussycat Dolls had a smash hit here. It’s no “Don’t Cha”, but it’s catchy.

My Rating: 7 and a half

Is It On My iTunes: Yes

6. “Ridin'” by Chamillionaire feat. Krayzie Bone

The Houston rapper had a phenomenon with the most smooth ditty ever about the issue of racial profiling. I’ll give it a 7 and a half. It might deserve more, but it really wore out of its welcome.

My Rating: 7 and a half

Is It On My iTunes? No (but it would’ve been in 2006)

5. “It’s Goin’ Down” by Yung Joc

Atlanta rapper Joc had a club smash here. Like “Snap Yo Fingers”, it belongs in that danceable, yet easily forgettable sub genre of hip hop.

My Rating: 5 and a half

Is It On My iTunes? No

4. “Me & U” by Cassie

Bad Boy artist Cassie had her only major hit here with this club friendly and pleasing track. No more, no less.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My iTunes? No

3. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley

Who knew a collabo between Danger Mouse and CeeLo Green would mark one of the most fantastic pop creations in years? It might have been overplayed, but this song is a masterpiece.

My Rating: 10

Is It On My iTunes? Yes

2. “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean

Columbian singer/dancer Shakira had her largest hit (and her best) with this instantly dance-worthy creation with an assist from Wyclef.

My Rating: 9

Is It On My iTunes? Yes

  1. “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado

Timbaland was at the top of his game in 2006 and it shows with his production here on Furtado this groovy Furtado song.

My Rating: 9 and a half

Is It On My iTunes? Yes

And there you have it! This list will return next summer with 1987, 1997, and 2007…

 

 

Dre Day

For a hip hop fan like myself, I recognize that I’m lucky to have grown up in what I consider the golden age of the genre: the early to middle portion of the 1990s. It was a time of Wu Tang Clan and the Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. It’s when Outkast and Jay Z and Nas started their careers. It’s also the unforgettable era of Death Row Records – with its notorious co-founder Suge Knight. It is, of course, the label that gave us Snoop Doggy Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound. Most notably, it’s other founder is Dr. Dre, the beat maker behind legendary rap group N.W.A. That rap quintet will be the subject of Straight Outta Compton, out August 14th. The pic is already generating positive buzz.

Speaking of positive buzz, the first release on the Death Row label was The Chronic, released in late 1992. It is a Dre solo album, though none of his works actually are. It featured a smorgasbord of guest stars that Dre allowed to shine – Snoop, Kurupt, Daz, Nate Dogg, Lady of Rage and more. It gave us classics like “Ain’t Nuthin But a G Thang”, “Dre Day”, “Let Me Ride” and more. The funk drenched gangsta rap epic is often called the finest rap album of all time. I don’t disagree.

Flash forward to 1999. Dre had left Death Row three years prior amid issues with Suge and formed new label Aftermath. The long wait between Dre albums had been made easier with his production work in between – on Snoop’s brilliant debut Doggystyle, Pac’s All Eyez on Me album and others. Chronic 2001 came in late 1999 with a difficult charge to keep – holding up compared to his first “solo” work. It did. Chronic 2001 was another masterpiece, complete with assists from Dre’s new protégés Eminem and Xzhibit, as well as Snoop. Singles like “Still DRE”, “Forgot About Dre”, and “What’s the Difference?” tore up the charts.

And then… The music stopped. Sort of. While rap’s most ingenious producer kept putting out hits from Eminem works to Mary J. Blige’s “Family Affair” to 50 Cent’s anthem “In Da Club”, the music community kept waiting for Dre’s promised album Detox. And waiting. And waiting.

Detox was announced as his first final solo album. Official word of its eventual release was first discussed in 2001. Known as an extreme perfectionist, fans just assumed he was taking his time. A lot of time. Finally it late 2010, it seemed Dre’s long gestating project was finally coming to fruition. A first single featuring Snoop – “Kush” – was put out. A follow up track “I Need a Doctor” with Eminem quickly followed. And then radio silence again.

In recent years, Dre has been known more for his successful line of headphones that’s made him a billionaire. The hope of a new album with his name on it seemed unlikely at best. And then… some news broke over the weekend from the Doctor himself. He has made a brand spanking new album called Compton – The Soundtrack, inspired by the film out in two weeks. It features, among others, previous collaborators like Snoop, Ice Cube, and Eminem. And after 16 years of anticipation – Dre casually announced that it’ll be out Friday. As in THIS Friday, August 7th!! For hip hop lovers, it’s tough to properly describe how exciting this news is.

I’ll sort of try. The first two Chronic albums are essentially the rap version of the first two Godfather movies. They’re untouchable and pretty much perfect master works that hold up as well today as when they were released. For many who proclaimed hip hop a fad and “not real music”, Dre provided a prescription of stunning production that made their argument tougher to make. The Godfather comparison is not one I would make lightly, but the comparison is deserved.

And the news that we are at last getting another album from this certified genius was music to my ears. We shall learn Friday if it’s worth the wait. The Godfather comparisons continue. Sixteen years passed between the release of part II and the much lesser received Part III. It will be coincidentally be the same passage of time between Chronic 2001 and Compton. I am hopeful the Doc has some more wonderful work left in him. Frankly, he rarely disappoints. Therefore, I will be his willing patient on August 7. Friday, to be sure, will be Dre Day.

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. 20-11

The Top 20 has arrived in my personal Top 90 hip hop singles of the great 1990s decade! Please feel free to peruse my other entries by scrolling through the blog or clicking the Music tab to review numbers 90-21. We’ll get to the Top 10 tomorrow (!), but here are the fabulous tracks comprising nos. 20-11:

20. “Tha Crossroads” by Bone Thugs n Harmony (1996)

The Cleveland rap group’s tribute to their founder, Eazy-E, was a soulful summer anthem of 1996.

19. “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D and the Boyz  featuring Aaron Hall (1991)

This Teddy Riley produced dance hit marked a career highlight from the late Heavy D… and his Boyz.

18. “Scenario” by A Tribe Called Quest (1992)

The brilliant hip hop group had their best known track with this banger that featured an amazing verse from one Busta Rhymes.

17. “Regulate” by Warren G. featuring Nate Dogg (1994)

Fantastically sampling Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin'”, Warren G and Nate Dogg burst onto the west coast scene with this classic from the Above the Rim soundtrack.

16. “Hypnotize” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1997)

The first single off 1997’s Life After Death found Biggie rapping over a sample from Herb Alpert’s groovy “Rise”.

15. “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” by Busta Rhymes (1997)

Mr. Rhymes has given us plenty of terrific rap tunes, but this first single of his When Disaster Strikes album is his finest hour.

14. “Hard Knock Life” by Jay-Z (1998)

Shawn Carter is one of the few MC’s alive who could take a sample from Annie and make it relevant to his music. And did he ever!

13. “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” by Missy Elliot (1997)

Our first taste of the incredible collaboration between Missy and producer Timbaland, this is an impossibly infectious groove from the best female rapper we’ve likely ever seen.

12. “So What’cha Want” by the Beastie Boys (1992)

So many unforgettable tracks, yet the Boys second single from their Check Your Head project is perfect.

11. “What’s My Name?” by Snoop Dogg (1993)

Mix Dre’s production with Snoop’s natural flow and this first single from his debut smash Doggystyle has everything you’d want.

Top Ten tomorrow, friends! Until then…

Top 90 Hip Hop Songs of the 1990s: Nos. 30-21

We’re into the Top 30 of my personal top 90 hip hop singles of the 90s decades! If you’ve missed any of the entries covering numbers 90-31, you can peruse them by clicking the Music tab on the blog or simply scrolling through.

Let’s bring it:

30. “Big Poppa” by The Notorious B.I.G. (1995)

One of Biggie’s signature tunes from his Ready to Die debut album, this gave the brilliant rapper his most prominent nickname.

29. “Bring the Pain” by Method Man (1994)

One of the stars of Wu-Tang Clan, this was Meth’s first single from his acclaimed Tical album.

28. “Insane in the Brain” by Cypress Hill (1993)

Cops come and try to snatch Cypress Hill’s crops (likely marijuana) in the group’s best known hit.

27. “Fu-Gee-La” by Fugees (1996)

The lead single from Wyclef, Lauryn, and Pras’s landmark album The Score.

26. “The Choice Is Yours” by Black Sheep (1991)

Engine engine… number 9… Black Sheep had an amazingly catchy smash with this release.

25. “The Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground (1990)

Digital Underground released their signature tune that memorably described lead rapper Shock G’s proclivity to do things at Burger King that didn’t involve typical menu ordering.

24. “Triumph” by Wu-Tang Clan (1997)

The RZA led hip hop super group showcased the talents of all its rappers on the first single off their Wu-Tang Forever album.

23. “Rosa Parks” by Outkast (1998)

The lead single off Aquemini offered one of the most commercial and catchy tracks from Andre 3000 and Big Boi.

22. “Can’t Truss It” by Public Enemy (1991)

Many PE fanatics might rank other songs higher, but this has always remained my personal favorite track from the iconic group.

21. “Deep Cover” by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg (1992)

The world got its first taste of the Dre/Snoop combo in this title song from a 1992 Laurence Fishburne crime thriller. Rap would never be the same.

And that’ll do it for now! We’ll enter the top 20 tomorrow…