The movie is a compromised mess, but that didn't stop Lakeview Terrace from rising to the top of the box-office heap this weekend. I'd like to think it did modestly well ($15.6 million) because audiences were interested in what director Neil La Bute, author of In the Company of Men, Your Friends and Neighbors, The Shape of Things and other blistering intrusions into the male psyche, might do with a conventional crime thriller. Not much, as it turns out. But it's clear that audiences were lining up to see Samuel L. Jackson's L.A. cop get all up the face of his white neighbor (Patrick Wilson) as well as the other movie competition. Last week's top grosser, the Coen brothers' Burn After Reading still had the heat to take second place with $11.3 million, but poor Ricky Gervais found the prickly fun he added to Ghost Town falling on dead houses for a paltry $5.1 million and a tired eighth place. Depressed yet? All of us should be. I'd like some input on why Sam Jackson can still bring in the crowds. And it's time to ask an important question about Big Sam.
Does he still have the juice? Or is he just repeating himself? Jackson has starred in over 40 movies since knocking it out of the park in 1994's Pulp Fiction. But most of the movies are junk. Snakes On a Plane, puh-leese! And don't even bring up the last two Star Wars atrocities. I can make a case for The Long Kiss Goodnight, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable and his voice work in The Incredibles, but such movies as Sphere, XXX, Basic, S.W.A.T. and Jumper smack of the paycheck and the sense of being the same movie.
So let's hear your choices for the best and worst of Sam Jackson since Pulp Fiction.