MCN Blogs

By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

BYOMost-Anticipated Pictures Yet To Be Seen

beale_stills_round_1__2.21.1.T

Photo by Carlos Somonte

Burning Still set 4

6

119 Responses to “BYOMost-Anticipated Pictures Yet To Be Seen”

  1. Sideshow Bill says:

    The House That Jack Built (sue me), Buster Scruggs, Beale Street, Bird Box, Assassination Nation, Vice, Aquman (against my better judgement), The Favourite, Creed 2 (also suspect), and , I’m totally serious when I say I’m gonna watch that cheap Hallmark looking Christmas movie on Netflix because Kurt Russell, one of America’s finest thespians, as Santa Claus is just too much to resist

  2. Stella's Boy says:

    Watched The Christmas Chronicles with the whole family on Thursday night. Russell ia great and it’s delightful. Everyone enjoyed it.

    Buster, Beale, Destroyer, Wildlife, The Favourite, The Mule, and Roma.

  3. JoshRF says:

    If Beale Street Could Talk
    The Favourite, Vox Lux, The Mule
    Capernaum, The House That Jack Built, At Eternity’s Gate
    Destroyer

    Hoping for one or two more masterpieces in this bunch.

  4. Joe Leydon says:

    Did I miss something, or is no one talking about Welcome to Marwen?

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    If I remember correctly it’s been mentioned here a few times but not in a positive way.

  6. movieman says:

    Universal doesn’t seem to be talking much about “Marwen” either.
    It’s nowhere to be found on their awards website (unlike, say, “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” and “The Grinch”).
    Not even sure whether they’re positioning it for awards attention; which is strange since the trailers practically scream “Oscar” versus hoi polloi.
    Of course, WB has been remarkably hesitant to announce “The Mule” (still MIA from their awards website) as an “awards movie,” too.
    And its trailers seem directed more at Academy voters than, say, Dirty Harry fans.

  7. Glamourboy says:

    Roma is amazing…The Favourite is fun and with great performances, but ultimately doesn’t add up to enough…..the biggest, happiest surprise is that Mary Poppins Returns is fantastic….pure entertainment from start to finish…Blunt is a better MP than Julie Andrews…the songs are terrific, as are the production values….the audience was full of captivated kids and weeping adults.

  8. Pete B. says:

    ^ “Blunt is a better MP than Julie Andrews”

    Isn’t that borderline blasphemy? When they finally get around to making a new sequel to Casablanca, will someone say ‘Leonardo DiCaprio (or whoever is in it) is a better Rick Blaine than Humphrey Bogart’?

  9. JS Partisan says:

    The Artemis Fowl trailer is a perfect example, of how bad some trailers can be. I understand that some people love the books, but look at it compared to the Detective Pikachu trailer. One, just shows off weird visuals, and doesn’t explain anything. While the other, gives you some story beats, shows you the world, and explains what the gist of the story is.

    All Disney did today, was either anger/please book fans. Everyone else, or anyone else that cares, will have to google what the hell is going on in the trailer. Which, come on. No one should have to google to figure out a trailer.

    It’s like Disney doesn’t get, that their name isn’t always a guarantee of quality.

  10. MarkVH says:

    I really enjoyed Buster Scruggs. I’m usually not a fan of saying “minor [DIRECTOR’S WORK] is better than most other directors’ major work” because it’s usually a cop-out and excuse for not allowing directors to fail (as if a good director can’t make a bad movie), but…well shit, a “minor” Coen film is better than most other directors’ major films. Some segments come off as better than others but the best ones (I’m looking at you, Meal Ticket) are absolutely great, and the film as a whole is a joy to look at. As a whole it’s utterly watchable with tons to chew on.

  11. Hcat says:

    ‘that their name isn’t always a guarantee of quality’

    I would like to add a hearty TESTIFY to that understatement.

    Marween has seriously scrambled my radar. Carrell has shown some very good taste in projects the last few years, Zemeckis has more than proven himself to be capable of magic (excluding his trip down the animation rabbit hole) in the past and as recent as Flight, but he is not a name that creates a pavlovian response anymore. The trailer looks horrendous and leaves the taste of stale maple syrup in your mouth. Yet I am still anxious to hear the reviews and hold out a glimmer of hope, it is the darkest horse in a season of them.

    Is it possible that Uni is not pressing this for awards since it is a DreamWorks film? I am not sure how that whole relationship is set up.

  12. Glamourboy says:

    Pete, I get it. I would have said the same thing before I actually saw MP Returns….(SPOILERS PERHAPS) but Blunt is just a better Poppins. She is allowed to be more dimensional….she grieves for a moment as she realizes it is time to leave the Banks’ home once more. She is allowed to be a little sexy…Blunt brings on all of the Poppins wisdom, but she is also charming as hell. She could never compare to Andrews’ singing voice but there is more warmth to Blunt’s performance. I didn’t think it could happen…but she fills those shoes, and then some.

  13. movieman says:

    I concur w/ Glamour that “Roma” is fantastic. Along w/ “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” I think it’s Cuaron’s best film to date. High praise indeed.
    But I clearly liked “The Favorite” more than you, Glam.
    Loved picking out the references–Greenaway, Kubrick (duh), Richard Lester and Ken Russell (yay!)–but it’s a Lanthimos joint every step of the way.
    Have a strong hunch that it’s going to reward him w/ his first Best Director nomination. And not his last either.
    Weather was too dicey for a drive into Cleveland yesterday for “Mary Poppins.” Except for “Into the Woods,” Marshall hasn’t impressed me much. (I’m not even a big “Chicago” fan, truth be told.) Hoping for a transformative experience, though. “Poppins 1″ was a childhood favorite.

  14. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah, I had no idea Blunt had such a great voice, til watching the My Little Pony movie for the fifth time with my kid, and asking my wife, “Is Emily Blunt singing that song?” Sure as shit. She did, and it’s some amazing vocal talent on display in it. This just added to my excitement for Mary Poppins, because Blunt is the real fucking deal. This is the first time, that I’ve felt her turning down Marvel was not a bad idea, because it got her here, and the world needs more Mary Poppins.

    WELCOME BACK MY EDIT BUTTON! YOU HAVE BEEN MISSED! SO MISSED!

  15. palmtree says:

    Emily Blunt also proved her singing chops in Into the Woods.

    Speaking of Blunt, she was great earlier this year in A Quiet Place. I wonder if that film gets any awards love. Making the National Board of Review is a start.

  16. Hcat says:

    I can certainly see Blunt getting nominated in the two lead categories for the globes. They love to do such things.

    Still stunned that anyone can be seen as topping Andrews in the (or any, well OK Darling Lili) role. That had to be terrifying to agree to.

    Somewhat related, is this the record for the biggest gap between sequels? I remember when the Two Jakes seemed like an eternity.

  17. Dan H. says:

    At the time, Andrews’ Oscar win for MARY POPPINS was seen as A) something of a consolation prize for the fact that Jack Warner snubbed her for the role of Eliza Doolittle in the film version of MY FAIR LADY and B) the result of 1964 being a rather weak year for female performances. (Anne Bancroft likely would have won for THE PUMPKIN EATER if she hadn’t won two years before.) It may surprise people, but there was a time when Andrews was considered a good stage actress, but not so hot on film. Pauline Kael, in particular, thought she was just mediocre in film after film after film. The love for her now just goes to show, though, that if you live long enough, you become a legend and everyone decides you’re great.

  18. MarkVH says:

    Dan, I think it also shows that you can put together a run of mediocre work, but if you’re lucky enough to star in one beloved movie (or two) and history elevates you to royalty.

  19. Hcat says:

    Or if you are the biggest box office draw for four years in a row? If you anchor the first film to cross a hundred million during its initial release? It wasn’t just Poppins and Music. Hawaii, Torn Curtain, and Millie were also huge, just not largest of all time huge.

    I look at her career the same as Meg Ryan’s. Everyone always complained that she always played the same person in every movie but when she swerved out of the lane at all she was completely ignored. Andrews was probably the biggest casualty of New Hollywood. Fans wouldn’t have accepted her in an R rated film and studios dove headfirst into grit and realism. I don’t lament the loss of bloated kaleidoscopes like Dr. Dolittle and Hello Dolly but Andrews was a real talent.

  20. Dan H. says:

    To be fair, Hcat, if we’re going by box office winning streaks alone, then we’d have to say that Michael Bay is a great artist/legend of Hollywood, too.

  21. Hcat says:

    I would think Cameron would be the better comparison since he twice rung the bell on worlds largest box office performer (why do we always go with Bay, there is Columbus and other middling yet successful directors). But I wasn’t saying we should only go by Box Office, just that the awards were already mentioned and that it wasn’t simply one or two films she was known for. Though as time goes on aren’t the majority of actors from 50 plus years ago only remembered for one or two roles.

    A closer equivalent than Bay would be maybe Charleton Heston or Burt Reynolds? Quick burning run on top with a lot of missteps after? or even Monroe or Temple? They are considered legends or royalty right?

  22. JS Partisan says:

    Michael Bay is a legend of Hollywood. He’s fucking Michael Bay. Everyone knows what he is, because he’s FUCKING MICHAEL BAY! Always remember: he has two criterion collection titles, because… MICHAEL BAY :D!

  23. Hcat says:

    I would never call Bay a legend, but wouldn’t call him a hack either. Like M Night he is able to completely get his vision onscreen, its just that I don’t often care for that vision. I have probably written this before that we often refer to ‘Big Mac’ filmmaking, but Big Macs can, by design, be made by anyone, Bay is more of a food challenge guy, putting eight patties and an half pound of bacon with six jalepanos and giving you fifteen minutes to eat it. Armageddon and Bad Boys II are practically endurance tests that should come with a commerative t-shirt.

  24. Dan H. says:

    Hcat, our personal opinions aisde, if filmmakers-who-make-a-lot-of-money-but-are-reviled-by-the-critical-establishment were an encyclopedia entry, there would be a little headshot of Michael as the primary example.

    He’s always the go-to example. As for Andrews, I adore her as a person, I enjoy her performances more and more the older I get, but to claim there’s no way Emily Blunt could top her performance (as a technical acting accomplishment) seems like nothing more than falling prey to nostalgia. It’s like saying there’s no way Jeff Bridges could top John Wayne in a TRUE GRIT movie. (Bridges did, actually.) Peace.

  25. Hcat says:

    Great point about Wayne and I agree that the new Grit was better by every single measure.

    Not sure I said it was impossible to top, just stunned that it happened. I never have any faith in Disney to deliver anything more than pleasant competence, to hear that they have improved upon one of their historical crowning achievements is a genuine surprise. Though I do have to give them credit as Moana, Panther and Coco (that was like a Whale Rider amount of tears) were amongst the best things the studio has ever produced (even better than the Bays! though I think Open Range still holds the title slot).

  26. Hcat says:

    So just read about the tracking for the Christmas week, somehow Aquaman is rolling right alongside or ahead of Poppins. For some reason I thought after Justice League people would have been finally turned off by this thread of films but instead another big opening. It looks to be double what the spidey toon is going to open to, and that actually looks somewhat interesting and is getting strong reviews.

    What made me laugh though was apparently no one knows Mortal Engines is coming out.

  27. Stella's Boy says:

    The Spidey toon raves are unexpected. The trailer is fine but certainly doesn’t hint at the masterpiece all those reviews suggest it is. The Aquaman reviews I saw are all the same. Not everything works and it’s plenty flawed but don’t worry it’s fun. Can’t say I’m convinced. Is Aquaman’s tracking due to the fact that it looks much less dour than most DC fare?

  28. movieman says:

    What also makes the “Aquaman” raves suspect is that they’re all from fanboy sites, not legitimate “critics.”
    Ehhh.
    I’ll believe it when I see it.
    Agree that the “Spider-Verse” reviews are mind-boggling. (Best Animated Film laurels from the tony NYFCC?!?) Of course, I’d completely forgotten that it was from Lord and Miller, so…
    A throwaway, “do I really need to see this?” has suddenly morphed into a “must-see.”

  29. movieman says:

    “Vice” is scathing, bilious, uproariously funny and soberingly chilling.
    It’s also unimpeachable entertainment.
    Was well worth the wait.
    After this and “The Big Short,” it’s time to acknowledge Adam McKay as America’s Armando Iannucci.
    Bale’s physical morphing into Dick Cheney is beyond mind-blowing: it’s also one of his very best screen performances to date.
    Everyone is top-notch, but special kudos to Amy Adams’s Lynne Cheney and Steve Carell’s Don Rumsfeld.

  30. Hcat says:

    The inclusion of Spider-Ham and whatever Cage’s character is certainly ups my curiosity level for Spidey. I am going to be steering the kids toward that choice over any Disney product they might clamor for this season.

    I love McKay’s second act. That the guy behind Step Brothers and Pearl morphs into an angry documentarian of recent history gives me hope for the medium.

  31. movieman says:

    Yeah, McKay’s transition from the guy who simply (!) made the best, funniest Will Ferrell comedies to “The Big Short” and “Vice” is pretty damn remarkable.
    The risks McKay takes w/ the material–and film form itself–helps make “Vice” consistently enthralling and, yeah, pretty darn delightful.
    If a movie about Dick Cheney can be called “delightful,” lol.
    Definitely a wild ride.
    Annapurna needs to get the message out that “Vice” is spectacularly entertaining and not some dreary civics lesson. A platform release is the smartest, safest way to go.

  32. Stella's Boy says:

    McKay is an interesting dude. The new New York Times Magazine story about him is a great read. I am thrilled you like Vice so much movieman. Can’t wait to see it.

    I was disappointed by Widows. It has an exceptional cast and some very memorable performances, and there are great moments here and there, but I don’t think it adds up to a satisfying whole. There are too many characters and too much going on. People come and go and some get backstories and some don’t, and not all the flashbacks work or seem necessary. It’s overstuffed. I sort of liked it and was let down by it at the same time. Feels like it could have been something truly special, but falls short.

  33. palmtree says:

    Destroyer was also a disappointment. The trailers had me amped, and I really wanted Kusama to hit it out of the park. And I know one day Kusama will reach some great heights, but this wasn’t it.

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    Oh damn that’s a bummer. She has reached great heights already though. Jennifer’s Body and The Invitation are really good.

  35. Pete B. says:

    Much love for Jennifer’s Body. That’s a movie I watch every October to get in the Halloween mood.

  36. scoots says:

    I completely agree with movieman re: Vice. Definitely on my top five list for the year. That said, I hope all the chatter about Bale’s physical appearance doesn’t overshadow the absolutely remarkable transformations of John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan (Stan & Ollie) when make-up awards get mentioned.
    Yeah, Vice….gawd, I hope people go see it.

  37. movieman says:

    John C. Reilly is among my top 3 (lead male) perfs of the year for “The Sisters Brothers” and “Stan and Ollie.”
    I’m sure he’s great in “Holmes & Watson,” too, but they’re not screening it in my market.
    (Like it could possibly be worse than, say, “Bumblebee” or “Mortal Engines,” lol.)

  38. JS Partisan says:

    Fuck and no. Vice can fuck off, and find a home on cable. I know people need to know the story, but fuck giving anything associated with that demon any money. Just not happening, and I root for it to fail, but be found on a streaming platform.

    And man, the geek sites have a better track record with accurately depicting a comic book film than anyone like you. Aquaman looks fun, and fun tracks well. Mary Poppins, is NOT EXPLAINING THE ENTIRE PLOT OF THE FILM, AND THAT’S NOT GETTING PEOPLE EXCITED. People, who aren’t invested in Mary Poppins, but the rest of the audience? They need some sort of real connection, and Disney has yet to give them one, outside of, “HEY! REMEMBER THE PREVIOUS MOVIE?”

    I understand, that there are spoiler averse people in the audience. The studios, just have to ignore them now, because who wants to spend money on an unknown? We went to the theatre as a family for the first time, and that shit was wildly expensive. If I am spending a lot money, then TELL ME THE FUCKING PLOT OF THE FUCKING FILM, AND STOP BEING OBTUSE! Again, I am invested in Mary Poppins, but more people seem to be invested in a fun comic book movie. Why? They know what it’s going to be.

    Finally, Spider-Verse is probably going to be exceptional, but it hasn’t explained shit either. Nor, has it given any casual fans a reason to be excited. I know Miles, Spider-Gwen, Noir, and Ham, and I love them. Most people though? Probably indifferent, so that lives Sony selling another Spider-man movie, without the new Spidey everyone loves, or past Spideys they may have enjoyed. If they somehow got Tobey to voice old Spider-man, that would’ve gotten people excited.

  39. scoots says:

    Movieman: I just watched ‘Ralph Breaks The Internet’ yesterday and thought he was pretty good in that as well. He’s having kind of a kick-ass year…..

  40. scoots says:

    I thought ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ to be the perfect companion piece to the original. It’s exquisite and the two kids I watched it with (aged 6 & 8) were completely in its spell. Oscar nominations for both it and Blunt shouldn’t surprise anyone.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    Isn’t Mary Poppins Returns tracking really well though JS? And the name does a lot of the work too I’d think. But I agree with you re: Aquaman and Spidey. The former is being sold well and people know what they’re getting while the trailer for the latter isn’t great.

    You want Vice to fail because its subject is evil?

  42. Hcat says:

    Poppins comes to help a family that has lost its way and they go on magical adventures, seems to be there in the trailer. As for tracking Variety had them neck in neck and Reporter gave the edge to Aquaman. But I would think Aquaman covers one more quadrant than Poppins. No matter what the match up I am not surprised that a comic book movie outtracks a live action family film. Poppins will likely outlast it, but man people are just gluttons for punishment.

    JS, I am also curious about what money you are talking about, was it funded by someone shady? Are you hoping for the demise of Annapurna?

  43. movieman says:

    I finally caught up w/ “Spider’s Web” at the local bargain ($3) house, and ugh!
    Between the digital murk and narrative murk, I couldn’t see what was happening, or even follow the plot.
    What a dismal end to a pretty decent quasi-franchise.

    I need to see “Ralph,” Scoots.
    But that screener pile in my bedroom is getting awfully big: I think another Disney (“MPR”) is going to be my next DVD date.

  44. scoots says:

    Movieman- Did you get the Poppins screener yet? Gotta hand it to Disney for ponying up this far before release….

  45. movieman says:

    Yeah, it came yesterday along w/ “Ralph,” Scoots.
    Planning to watch it tonight.

    Was kind of shocked that “On the Basis of Sex” showed up today (without even an email notifying me of the UPS delivery), esp since Focus has been dragging their feet about “Mary QOS” and “Sex.” As of Thursday, both were still “TBD.”
    The last I heard re: “Mary” was that they wouldn’t be sending screeners because it was “a movie that needs to be seen on a big screen.”
    (I nearly pissed myself from laughing so hard while reading that press statement.)
    Try using that excuse on AMPAS voters, Focus. I dare ya!

    Speaking of screeners, I’m guessing something must be really, really wrong w/ “Marwen” when a (very) screener-friendly studio like Universal isn’t sending it out.
    The fact that WB still hasn’t even set up a promo for “The Mule” less than two weeks before opening is freaking me out.
    If it’s really that shitty–say, “15:17 to Paris” Bad–why are they even opening it at Xmas?
    Wouldn’t a late January (or late April) release have been more inconspicuous?
    The mind boggles.

  46. scoots says:

    MM — In addition to BFCA, I get screeners from the BAFTA list and ‘On The Basis Of Sex’ arrived a couple of weeks ago. It’ll be interesting to see if ‘Mary’ comes in from that list (as well as the other ‘missing’ titles).
    The Whole ‘Marwen’ thing is mystifying. Oh, well…glad you got ‘Poppins’….

  47. movieman says:

    Hey, Scoot:
    I enjoyed “Mary Poppins Returns,” but–truth be told–an even better London-set 2018 kidflick sequel was “Paddington 2.” (Ironically, both feature Ben Whishaw.)
    Emily Blunt is terrific, but I didn’t think there was a single memorable, or even hummable, song in Marc Shaiman’s entire score.
    Also found the “surprise” cameos (Lansbury, Streep, especially Van Dyke) largely shrug-worthy, especially since the cameo we most wanted to see (Julie Andrews’) never happened.
    Overall, it’s still a better movie than “The Greatest Showman,” and should have comparable b.o. legs.

  48. scoots says:

    Guess I liked it more than you did but I will agree the songs were a bit on the soft side. So far, my fave songs have been Dolly Parton’s from ‘Dumplin’ and Imagine Dragon’s from ‘Ralph’ (this despite my inappropriate Man-crush on Troye Sivan and hope he performs on the show).
    And, you’re completely right re: Julie Andrews. I really was hoping that would happen. Oh, well…..
    Just occurred to me: don’t forget cameo from Karen Dottrice (nice touch). I was also hoping for a Glynis John sighting but I’m told she’s not been well and is in an assisted living facility.

  49. Hcat says:

    Moved from curious to confused, how would the cheneys make any money off of Vice? Or do you have a Voldemortian response where we should not be talking about him until his Baker dozenth heart attack fun lay does him in?

    Weren’t we kept in the dark for a similar amount of time on Gran Torino? I hope Mule is superior to tha,t best case scenario they are holding off all reviews to be the last great success story of the year. I feel like no one knew Sniper was a true contender until half way through December as well

  50. Dr Wally Rises says:

    I’m guessing that The Mule isn’t quite done in time for the screeners. The Post was a similarly rapid turnaround this time last year. The work ethic of Spielberg and Eastwood, delivering awards-worthy major movies at TV-level pace, shames the waste that goes on elsewhere in the industry.

  51. movieman says:

    In past seasons, WB got Eastwood screeners (“MD Baby,” “Iwo Jima,” “Gran Torino,” “Invictus,” “Sniper”) out in expedient fashion.
    “Sniper” actually turned up the day after Thanksgiving four years ago.
    I think only “Baby” was down to the wire. Of course, that was a movie that completely came out of left field: it wasn’t even on the radar until early December.
    Hope lightning strikes twice w/ “The Mule,” but the studio’s perverse insistence that it’s a “commercial” vs. “awards” movie just doesn’t compute.
    Wasn’t “Sniper” crazy commercial AND a serious awards contender? (Ditto, uh, “Baby.”)

    P.S.= I completely missed the Dotrice cameo, Scoots. When I saw her name in the end credits (billed as “elegant lady”), I wanted to rewind and see if I could I.D. her.

  52. Hcat says:

    Not sure how commercial MD Baby seemed. Mystic River had made money the year before but Space Cowboys was Clint’s previous on screen hit and Swank hadn’t parlayed her Oscar into any type of lasting stardom. I can’t imagine Warner’s expected those types of returns for the film. Hell at this stage does Clint even screen his films for the suits?

    Besides at the time Warners was probably expecting Aviator and Phantom as their awards pushes.

  53. movieman says:

    “Aviator” was a Miramax release, Hcat.
    And I’ve gotta believe somebody at WB had the good sense to realize “Phantom” was an awards ship that wasn’t gonna sail after the first public screenings.
    “MDB” was the answer to their prayers.
    Clint and Morgan Freeman reuniting for the first time since (the Oscar-winning) “Unforgiven;” a gritty boxing milieu; Swank in her first role of consequence since winning an Oscar…
    It seemed like catnip both to awards voters and mainstream audiences.
    Weirdly, I don’t recall seeing a single “MDB” trailer until AFTER seeing the movie.
    On the other hand, “The Mule” trailer has been getting beaucoup ‘plex play since debuting around the time of “A Star is Born”‘s release.
    Even the more ostensibly commercial “Gran Torino” received a platform launch, with most cities not seeing the movie until January 2009.
    In fact, I think the only year-end Eastwood movie that went wide at Xmas was “Invictus” which, although it failed
    as an Oscar contender, was at least the beneficiary of a pretty substantive awards campaign.
    Why WB isn’t even giving “The Mule” a perfunctory “For Your Consideration” push is inexplicable. (I really thought Clint was unoffically launching the film’s awards campaign at the “special” Oscar awards ceremony last month.)
    If it’s really because the movie isn’t locked yet (highly doubtful), how the hell do they expect to make their December 14th date?

  54. Hcat says:

    I actually liked Invictus more than most, and Warner’s certainly got it into the year end conversation.

    Aviator was a co production between Max and WB. Like Gangs of New York which started as a Touchstone film Miramax was such a brand name at the time it was probably more commercial to drop it under that banner

  55. movieman says:

    Miramax had the U.S. distribution rights to “The Aviator,” right?
    I’d forgotten it was a co-production.
    It was definitely Miramax that sent out the screeners that year.
    I guess the point I’ve been trying to make–running around in circles, lol–is that “The Mule” certainly looks like the type of movie that traditionally gets a full-throttle awards push.
    But isn’t.
    The fact that the studio hasn’t even set up press screenings 12 days before its opening seems kind of unprecedented. And even kind of surreal considering WB’s history with Clint.
    If they really thought it was just a “commercial” movie, why not sell “Dirty Harry Takes On The Drug Cartels” instead of another mournful Eastwood-ian meditation on mortality (which is pretty much what the trailer is)?
    And don’t even get me started on “Marwen.”
    If the movie isn’t awards bait, then what the hell is it?
    Certainly not “commercial” in any conventional sense of the word.

  56. Glamourboy says:

    JS, don’t now which early trailers you are watching, but the Mary Poppins returns trailer pretty much sums up the plot….it doesn’t give a lot of the particulars away….the second trailer (not the teaser) I felt shows what an overachiever this movie is in terms of entertainment value.

    Some spoilers?

    Movieman…maybe it loses something from the big screen….I thought the film was fabulously entertaining, with big production values….and it had all the great animation styles from late 60s/mid 70s Disney. The audience I saw it with cheered when Van Dyke appeared on the screen and they gave him a huge round of applause once he was finished. Even as a kid I found the Sherman Brothers songs for the first Poppins too sweet and sugary…the new songs really stayed with me…I think its a terrific score.

    And yes, in terms of the Favourite..there are lots of pleasures…but I’d be curious as to what you think it adds up to….

  57. movieman says:

    Glam- I never thought I’d be in a position to defend the Sherman Brothers (lol), but after more than 50 years their “Poppins” songs are still floating in my brain. 20 minutes after “MPR” ended I couldn’t recall a single tune.
    And while I appreciated the homage to “classic” Disney animation, I actually thought there was too much of it. (The music hall sequence felt endless to me.)
    I also thought Lin-Manuel Miranda’s character was a problem. He’s fine (w/ a much better British accent than Dick Van Dyke’s in the original), but the character made zero sense.
    Was he supposed to be Mary’s love interest, or Jane’s? I know that Jane is supposed to be the more age-appropriate partner (despite Mary apparently being as ageless as a vampire).
    But since Blunt is (and looks) considerably younger than Mortimer, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense, visually or psychologically.
    Lansbury’s sweet but gratuitous cameo made me think she would’ve made a swell Poppins in 1964.
    But that was before Lansbury’s transformation into a B’way baby, and long before anyone even considered her for musical (or lead actress) roles.
    I don’t necessarily think “The Favourite” is deep-dish Lanthimos like, say, “The Lobster” w/ its layer upon layer of metaphor.
    But as an ice cream sundae of movie (albeit one whose hot fudge topping is generously spiked w/ cayenne pepper), I found it irresistible.
    The performances (and the writing) are pitched at such an elevated farcical level that the entire thing left a giant smile on my face…even after that nasty kick of a final scene between Colman and Stone. It’s one of the few movies this year that I’m dying to see again.

    Maybe it’s because even the favorable reviews were lacking in a certain…passion.
    Or maybe it’s because I’ve never truly loved a Steve McQueen film (I still think “12 Years” was a tad overrated).
    But I thought “Widows” was a “wow.”
    Found it so gratifyingly rich/layered, and w/ a twist I never saw coming. It also has maybe the year’s best ensemble cast.
    Could very well make my 10-best list.

  58. movieman says:

    Felicity Jones is fine as RBG (although I would’ve preferred Natalie Portman), and “On the Basis of Sex” is perfectly watchable in an overly prosaic biopic sort of way.
    Yet I couldn’t help thinking that it’d have been better served on HBO where it would surely find a larger audience–and a slew of GG/Emmy noms and even some possible wins.
    As a theatrical release, and Oscar hopeful, it seems destined to be an also-run.
    It doesn’t help that the Bader Ginsburg doc from earlier this year is better-made, and more entertaining.

  59. scoots says:

    The RBG doc killed ‘On The Basis Of Sex’. Jones is not even a contender (imo)…..

  60. JS Partisan says:

    GB, to whom? I know what’s going on, you know what’s going on, and other people around our age know what’s going on. Guess what? Mary Poppins isn’t something they really play on Disney Channel, or even on Disney Junior. It means a lot to me, because it was still relevant to my mom. She loved it, and I saw it. Outside of people our age, Mary Poppins isn’t really a known thing. That’s why I question those trailers, because they are too obtuse. Unless Mary friggin Poppins means something to you, then they are just another whimsical ass looking Disney movie.

    Seriously. Do you folks not remember younger people being confused by the whole Yandu thing last year?

    HC, I am informed enough to know what the fuck Cheney did, and I refuse to support anything to do with that man. I don’t care if he doesn’t get a dime. Fuck Dick Cheney, and fuck being “entertained,” by a fucking demon of a human being.

  61. Stella's Boy says:

    Both of my kids know and love Mary Poppins. We have watched it many, many times. I have friends and family who have also watched it with their kids. Your intel is flawed JS.

    We all are familiar with Dick Cheney. That’s an odd stance you’re taking.

  62. movieman says:

    Simply out of idle curiosity I polled my students last week about which holiday movies they were planning to see in theaters during the semester break.
    “Aquaman” (sigh) was their #1 pick, but I was surprised by how many of them were pumped for “MPR.”
    When I asked how many had seen the 1964 original, more than three-quarters of the class raised their hand. And every one of them had a huge smile on their face.
    Apparently “Poppins” videocassettes and DVDs were as integral to their childhood rearing as “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” or “Shrek.”

    On an unrelated note, I can’t imagine boycotting a movie just because I loathed the (historical) figure it was about.
    Would have hated missing “Downfall,” “Vincere”…or “Vice.”

  63. Glamourboy says:

    JS–a pretty woman flies out of the sky with an umbrella and helps two children….the kids of the two children she helped years ago. That comes across in the trailer even if you’ve never heard of MP. There’s lots of singing, dancing, animation….what more do you really need to sell a film? Apparently, the movie is tracking through the roof (second only to Aquaman)…so I think you’re just wrong here.

  64. Hcat says:

    I have two girls eleven and seven, both have seen Poppins and are curious of the sequel (plus the 11 year old is a HUGE Hamilton fan). Most families I know have watched Poppins if only because they need something appropriate for the very young that is not Goddamn Air Buddies.

    Any underestimating about the property is not taking into account how Moms and Grandmas are going to be steering their kids in to see this. This is going to be something that crosses a ton of demographics. I would not be surprised if the tracking changes and this takes the first weekend by 10 million or so.

  65. JS Partisan says:

    And AGAIN… AGAIN… One more. AGAIN! WE ALL SHOWED OUR KIDS MARY POPPINS, BECAUSE WE ARE A CERTAIN AGE! It’s like, you are all racing to make a point that I conceded about our age, and are ignoring that there are people younger than us. Who may have watched Mary Poppins at a certain age, and didn’t care for it. Seriously. How many of you found people, at any point in your lives, that loved that movie besides YOURSELVES and MAYBE YOUR PARENTS? This isn’t a leap of logic I am taking. It’s just looking at demographics, and all of us in this chat are in the demographic with parents who showed us this movie. Which led to us loving it, and sharing it with our kids. We aren’t everyone, but please feel free to jump to the assumption that we are everyone.

    GB, it’s tracking through the roof because of our demo, but the trailers are still obtuse. It’s the same Disney shit that shows, doesn’t tell, and that doesn’t work for every property. Again I am bought in, but if you are a 20 something? A 20 something without kids like MOST OF THEM? Do you watch those trailers and go, “FUCK YEAH! MARY POPPINS!” Or do you just shrug at them, because they sell you nothing other than more Disney shenanigans?

    Again, we are the demo for this film, but Disney maybe should look past us. That’s all I am stating.

    Oh yeah. HC, Widows. Please, HC the Greek. More prognostications!

  66. Stella's Boy says:

    So it’s not being marketed properly even though it is tracking through the roof? That seems like a contradiction. And that some childless twenty-somethings don’t want to see it is hardly evidence that the marketing is weak. That does not support your claims. My parents have never heard of Aquaman and will never see the movie. That doesn’t mean it’s marketing is a failure because it doesn’t hit every single demo. I’m sure many geezers will see Aquaman. I’d also be willing to bet that many people without kids and many people in their 20s will see MPR. You don’t hit the numbers MPR will hit without reaching a lot of people of different ages right?

  67. Hcat says:

    ‘HC, Widows. Please, HC the Greek. More prognostications!’

    Ha, will do! I said Widows might have legs, currently it looks like it might do just under 4 times opening. But go ahead and snark, I’m not the one who has argued that David Spade is a national treasure but Mary Poppins has faded out of the public consciousness for anyone under 35.

  68. Pete B. says:

    I still want to know what the whole “Yandu thing” was.

  69. scoots says:

    Hey movie– did you finally get your Neon stuff?

  70. movieman says:

    Nope, they never showed up.
    I forced myself to watch “Vox Lux” online, which is maybe why I was mildly disappointed in it.
    But the pack of other 2018 Neon titles (including “The Border” and “Monsters and Men” which I really want to see) never arrived.
    A major disappointment, especially since NEON’s mini boxed set last year was one of the year’s screener highlights.

  71. scoots says:

    Movie– I just dug out the contact info that came with VoxLux. It says any problem with screeners, you should contact:
    NEONawards@neonrated.com

  72. Hcat says:

    Scoots, have you ever had the impulse to email the screener problem address to complain about third act problems?

  73. scoots says:

    Unfortunately, they tend not to share our sense of humor.

  74. movieman says:

    Thnx, Scoots!
    I actually emailed the person at NEON whose email address sent me the digital “Vox Lux” screener.
    She told me that a “replacement” package would be sent out.
    Of course, if it’s USPS it may not get here before 2019, lol.
    My “Bohemian Rhapsody” screener just turned up today after four previous (and changed) delivery dates
    Wild.
    I’m really stunned by Focus’ stubbornness about shipping “Mary, Queen of Scots.”
    At least they had a legitimate excuse last year w/ “Phantom Thread” because P.T. didn’t deliver a final cut until….well, late.
    But “Mary” has been screening for quite some time. You’d almost think they’d given up hope, possibly deciding that “The Favourite” will get all the “British royalty/period/costume” movie votes anyway, so why bother?
    Lunacy.

  75. leahnz says:

    will there be an i-told-u-so thread

  76. Christian says:

    Not to gloat in any way, but I’ve received three copies of “Vox Lux” – two DVDs and one digital screener. I never know what to make of such things. The right hand. Does it talk to the left?

  77. Christian says:

    (in case it wasn’t clear, my “right hand/left hand” comment was directed toward the film’s promoters, or whoever’s handling the awards campaign)

  78. movieman says:

    Scoots- My NEON pack (plus DVD screener of “Vox Lux”!) finally showed up today.
    Kudos to Allison from NEON for her due diligence.

    Did you (and Christian) receive an email notice about a WB delivery tomorrow?
    14 years ago I might have began fantasizing about a last-minute “Mule” screener.
    Maybe I’ve grown cynical with time, but I’m guessing that it’s merely some “ASIB” tchotchke: maybe the soundtrack which (weirdly) hasn’t arrived yet.

  79. scoots says:

    Movie — Hope springs eternal… I have notices from UPS indicating four deliveries by this evening (three from Elite Fulfillment and one from WB).
    ‘The Mule’ would be a nice surprise…..

  80. movieman says:

    “‘The Mule’ would be a nice surprise…..”

    Yeah, but so damn unlikely at this point there’s a better chance of Trump resigning tomorrow and turning himself into Robert Mueller.

    Watched “Destroyer” after physical therapy this afternoon and, damn, pretty freaking badass! I think it’s easily Kusama’s best since “Girlfight” (maybe even better).
    Kidman kills it (of course), and the movie has one of the best ensemble casts of the year.
    It’s an emotional bruiser–to put it mildly–but I think it could actually do some biz w/ the right Annapurna marketing campaign. (Big “if.”)

  81. Christian says:

    My wife tracks package notices and says I still have a second (?) Fox pack out there – the first was delayed several days. Colleagues inform me that THE INCREDIBLES 2 arrived several days ago, but I’ve yet to see it. I do sometimes receive awards-season mailings ahead of my colleagues, so … accept the mystery.

  82. scoots says:

    Alas….”’twas all crap….

  83. movieman says:

    Christian- I had similar issues with UPS delays on (Big) Fox packages this season, but “Incredibles 2″ showed up last week, along w/ “Black Panther.” (USPS, I think). I expected both to arrive weeks ago, not on the heels of “MPR” and “Ralph 2.”

    The no-show of “Scots” remains mystifying, and I’ve given up trying to figure out Universal and WB’s awards decision-making process re: “Marwen” and “The Mule.”
    Like I said earlier, if the Zemeckis isn’t awards bait, then what the hell is it? It certainly doesn’t look like anybody’s idea of a “commercial” movie.

    SPC–who usually sends pretty much everything–forgot three titles this
    season: “All is True,” “Sunset” and “Maria by Callas.”
    The former was a last-minute addition to their awards slate, so maybe they didn’t have screeners ready in time. But the others were prominently featured on the SPC awards website since the beginning of the season.
    You might have thought (big) Sony–who pretty much sat out the season, at least w/ the BFCA–would have shipped “Spider-Verse” (physical) screeners at the last minute, esp after its win last week w/ NYFCC. But nope.
    I’m old enough to remember when Sony was super screener-friendly (e.g., sending a boxed set in 2002 with decidedly non-awardsy titles like “Men in Black 2,” “Stuart Little 2″ and “XXX”).

    As much as I loathe being forced to watch online screeners, one of my favorite “screener”s of the season was “Minding the Gap”–which might be my favorite documentary from a very good year for docs.

  84. Geoff says:

    Movies I still need to see:

    Roma
    If Beale Street Could Talk
    Vice
    The Favourite
    Vox Lux

    And yeah I’m looking forward to both Aquaman and Bumblebee – the latter mainly because I loved Kuba and the job Travis Knight did directing that.

    Welcome to Marwen has always looked extremely odd based on the marketing, almost off-putting to some extent considering the subject matter they are juxtaposing with visuals that seem objectively creepy. I honestly think Universal has had no clue on how to market it….along with Mortal Engines which they SEEM to be dumping.

    Mary Poppins Returns will probably be the biggest hit of the holiday season…probably because every one else seems to be predicting that. I don’t know, I love Blunt too….but I’m admittedly hyper-resistant to any more reboots and/or remakes from the Disney machine and yeah, the original was 54 years ago – I grew up watching it too as have my daughters, it always felt three hours long. All of the critics seem to want to love this new one so they probably will….just like they all pretended to love The Last Jedi a year ago. I’ll say this, the 2D animated visuals look very impressive.

  85. Glamourboy says:

    I am new to the world of screeners, having just joined the WGA again this year…I am in Paris now for the month of December and I received a number of screeners before I left–but if I contact the studios, can they provide me links as I won’t be home to get the rest of my screeners?

  86. JS Partisan says:

    SB, let’s just see how that hypothesis works out this month, and into the new year!

  87. Stella's Boy says:

    Works for me JS.

  88. movieman says:

    The early reviews for “Mortal Engines” would seem to indicate that it’s going to be one of the biggest belly-flops of the holiday season.
    Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s sharing screens in the tiniest multiplex auditoriums on Xmas Day.

  89. Hcat says:

    Engines in the daytime slots, Marween in the evening. And Universal will be keeping the books in the deep red ink they haven’t used since the 47 Ronin Christmas season.

  90. Geoff says:

    JS, I can somewhat see where you’re coming from on Vice….Cheney was a scumbag to end all scumbags and that trailer (love The Killers song) was WAY too entertaining to not give me a little pause – I remember thinking that just like The Big Short, I can’t think of another film coming out anytime soon that’s going to both entertain me AND royally piss me off at the same time!

    But that does seem to be the point though – McKay has always had an indignant streak brewing in him, we even saw it with that very on-the-nose ending credits sequence for The Other Guys. I highly doubt he’s letting Cheney and crew off the hook here….but he’ll make you laugh while he’s riling you up.

  91. Geoff says:

    And Aquaman seems like the real deal – it’s gotten praise from plenty of real critics including a good amount of folks who were savaging BVS just a couple of years ago. It is going to be as good as Wonder Woman or get those kind of raves? No but it doesn’t have to….

    I hate that the RT score has become this universal catch-all but I would be very surprised if it lands below 75% and I highly doubt it will be below the quality of a Thor Ragnarok, Doctor Strange, or Spiderman Homecoming – let’s face it, most of the films in this genre are graded on a curve nowadays and if it had Marvel before the title that it would be guaranteed a 90% just like those films received.

    Do I think Warners should have launched it on another, less crowded weekend? Absolutely….late October would have been better but they clearly wanted to give A Star is Born maximum breathing room. They’re going to leave some money on the table for sure releasing it amidst this onslaught….as will Paramount by sticking to their guns with Bumblebee – this could be the first actually GOOD Transformers movie in several decades and they’re pretty much getting themselves shut out of releasing it on IMAX because all of those screens are going to Aquaman. Just bizarre!

  92. Christian says:

    Movieman: I enjoyed “Minding the Gap” but had a personal issue with it that I wish I could’ve gotten beyond: One of the characters just kind of pissed me off.

    I don’t remember their names, but he becomes the film’s focus – the guy who fathers a kid and … well, I can’t remember if he has trouble holding a job or what. But the marriage is obviously troubled.

    I like lots of movies with unlikable characters and can’t stand when someone says, “I didn’t like that movie because Character X bothered me” – in fact, in terms of documentaries specifically, I’m a fan of FREE SOLO and have little patience with those who don’t care for the movie because its central figure seems like not a great guy. That’s just who he is. Sorry if you don’t like the guy, but the filmmakers aren’t there to portray him as anything other than the (frustrating) guy he is.

    So why was I put off by the guy in MINDING THE GAP? I think it’s not just because his problems are, at least at some point, self-inflicted (I think he, like the other guys portrayed, has abuse in his past that clearly has affected him in the present), but that viewers around me seemed to view him *sympathetically.* I’m not exactly a Grinch about such things – compassion is always the best default, though I fail to get there sometimes, even when striving to do so. I just sensed a lot of “aww shucks” sentiment from the rest of the crowd seeing the film. Me? I was *mad at the guy* and wanted him to get his stuff together. It’s not just about him any longer; he has a spouse and a child to raise, right? I realize his problems aren’t easily conquered, and that the film doesn’t suggest easy solutions. But some of what the guy did – wish I could remember the film in more detail (saw it way back at AFIDOCS) – was just frustratingly self-destructive, if memory serves.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. Do push back if you’re so inclined. I just needed to raise my objections to *someone* who’s seen the film.

  93. Stella's Boy says:

    Have real critics weighed in on Aquaman? All I’ve seen are reviews from fanboy sites.

  94. movieman says:

    Christian- I get where you’re coming from, but–movies being an empathy machine as Ebert instructed us–I actually “felt” the dude you’re referring to.
    For me, he was a heartbreaker.
    I (emotionally) bled for him.
    Which doesn’t mean that I wasn’t delighted that the other guys from the skating crew got their respective s**t together and seemed to be heading upward and onward. But, damn.
    Yes, it’s cut from the “Hoop Dreams” template (as countless # of docs have been since 1994), but I actually prefer it to “Hoop Dreams.” And it only needed half the (running) time to accomplish what Steve James did 24 years ago.
    P.S.= I think you may be onto something, Hcat. I can definitely seen ‘plex screens splitting “Engines” and “Marwen” on December 25th. In the teeniest, tiniest auditorium at the bottom of the left hallway, too.
    P.P.S.= As someone who actually wants to see “Aquaman” (vs. “Bumblebee” which I’m seriously dreading despite liking “Kubo”), I think the DC entry will do just fine, even in a seriously-f***ed-up-but-coulda-been-worse (see Jim Cameron) holiday slate. But a March opening would have been perfectly OK, too.
    P.P.S.= “Vice” definitely does NOT let Cheney off the hook.
    “Hoisting with your own petard” comes to mind. And stick around for the post-script. Pretty much puts everything into a 2018 perspective.

  95. Geoff says:

    Stella’s Boy, I’m honestly not sure….what constitutes a “fanboy site” nowadays? :)

    I mean SlashFilm, Hollywood Reporter, ScreenRant, IGN, JoBlo, i09, Uproxx…..I guess most of those would be considered fanboy sites?

  96. Stella's Boy says:

    Yes they are, save for the trade, and personally I don’t trust them. Your mileage may vary. I’m not saying Aquaman will for sure suck. Just that there’s a reason those places have seen and tweeted about it.

  97. JS Partisan says:

    And that’s where you seem to have missed what happened, SB. Those are mainstream entertainment sites these days. There really aren’t any geek sites. It’s not 2004. It’s almost 2019, and what used to be fringe is now mainstream.

    I will just state, that James Wan is a fun director. What they’ve shown of the film looks fun, and Momoa is a fun actor. It should be a decent time at the flickering picture show.

    Welcome back, Geoff. You make a good point about Bumblebee, but Bumblebee is being released in this time of year, for the good folks in China. The hope seems to be, to make some money here. While getting China invested enough again.

    We’ve all been throw the holiday song and dance before, and there’s enough money to go around at Xmas.

  98. Hcat says:

    Geof, if the Aquaman review is their biggest story of the day, it’s a fanboy site.

  99. Stella's Boy says:

    I haven’t missed anything, and I know your favorite thing to do here is call people old. That never gets old! We just diaagree. Not a big Wan fan, but I hope Aquaman is fun. That would be great. I’ll see it over winter break.

  100. jJS Partisan says:

    I call HC old, but that’s just a bit of business. I am simply referring to your statement, that there are “geek sites.” When there aren’t really geek sites, because all the stuff that wasn’t mainstream when this shit kicked in 20 years ago is now. Every site you listed above, is a mainstream media site, that has been mainstream for a while now. That’s the only point I am making, and not about you being old. I have no idea how old anyone is but HC, and he’s fucking old :D!

  101. jJS Partisan says:

    HC, and again, it’s a big tentpole movie. They have to treat it that way, but they treat everything coming out for Xmas the same way. Again, the way that some of you view things, is not really in line with how things are heading into 2019.

  102. Hcat says:

    Screenrant, IGN, JoBlo when compared to say the trades or NYtimes, LAtimes, New Yorker etc. are fanboyish. Not much wrong with being a fanboy site, you are serving your audience just as the Cowboy and Indians site that Leydon contributes to serves theirs. I would not begin to argue against the fact that comic culture has entered the mainstream and brought its outlets increased traffic, but a site that serves that specific culture will obviously show a greater interest in Aquaman. Whether you trust their judgement is of course up to the individual, if you spend time on Joblo and find your interests and tastes align I would think they would be an invaluable resource. The definition of mainstream seems to be the sticking point but it seems useless to argue the point. If the site works for you, use it.

    And we are the same age JS, I’m not old, I’m just a fucking crank.

  103. Hcat says:

    Curious to anyone who has seen the Favorite or Widows, Does the Fox fanfare still list it as a News Corporation?

  104. movieman says:

    Good question, Hcat.
    Quite frankly, I didn’t notice.

  105. Stella's Boy says:

    What Hcat said.

  106. Stella's Boy says:

    movieman why has no one seen The Mule yet? It’s not a stinker is it?

  107. Hcat says:

    Mule reviews showed up in the trades today, sounds closer to Gran Torino than a Million Dollar Baby. Certainly not a stinker but sounds like it is not competing for an Oscar either.

  108. movieman says:

    SB- That’s what I thought, too, especially since they didn’t even do a promo in my market. (And there aren’t any Thursday night “previews” either.)
    But the reviews–which are finally filtering in–are pretty decent overall.
    As Hcat said, the comparisons are more “Torino” than “MDB,” so maybe it really is more of a “commercial movie” than an “awards movie.” Which didn’t prevent WB from giving “Torino” an awards push back in 2008, but…

  109. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah they have been better than I expected overall (barring a few “it’s the most racist and sexist movie ever” takes). If it’s actually pretty good, why embargo reviews until the last minute? Let us know what you think when you see it. I’m definitely going to see it, but we get Wildlife, Roma, and The Favourite tomorrow.

  110. Hcat says:

    Impressed on how Netflix is getting Roma in front of eyeballs in the theaters. For them to be doing this with one of their least commercial films (black and white and I assume subtitled) seems to speak to how they must really believe they have a shot at the top award.

  111. movieman says:

    Wow; that’s quite a bounty of greatness to feast on this weekend, SB!
    Anxious to hear your feedback on “Wildlife:” it’s one of my top-ten for the year, and yet it barely made a ripple at the box-office.
    I bet it coulda been an awards contender–and a sizable arthouse-crossing-over-to-multiplexes success–if somebody other than IFC (Searchlight, SPC, A24?) had released it.
    Speaking of IFC, I’m looking forward to watching the (sigh) “R”-rated cut of von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built” on Amazon this weekend. (And “The Mule” is definitely my Friday afternoon movie.)

  112. Stella's Boy says:

    It’s a good problem to have, but I also wish they weren’t all dropping on the same day. Still not sure what I’m going to see tomorrow. I hope they all stick around for a while.

    The Mule reviews fascinate me. I’ve seen it called a masterpiece and a thoughtful and timely meditation on aging, and I’ve seen it called the most racist and sexist movie of the year. Could it be both?

  113. movieman says:

    I’ll just call it “Classic Eastwood” (if I like it, which I’m really hoping to do).
    Clint’s body of work has been spotty this decade.
    Loved “Sniper” and “J. Edgar;” liked “Sully” and “Hereafter;” but was mixed on “Jersey Boys.”
    I appreciated the attempt to stretch, but he was simply the wrong director for the material. It was like John Ford wanting to prove his range by directing “Bye, Bye Birdie” in 1963.
    “The 15:17 to Paris” was a flat-out disaster: his worst directing credit since 1982’s “Firefox” as far as I’m concerned.

  114. Hcat says:

    Firefox? I’ve never heard someone list that as the bottom before. Not pressing but I always thought True Crime was considered the low point. Personally I found Sudden Impact, while sturdily made, to be vile and ugly enough that I easily put it at the rock bottom of the films he’s directed.

  115. movieman says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever been as bored by a movie starring (and/or directed by) Eastwood than “Firefox.” (And that includes “Paint Your Wagon”–which I actually have a soft spot for–and the absurdly overlong, wildly convoluted “Where Eagles Dare.”)
    My only memory of “Firefox” is Clint flying some hi-tech gizmo for what seemed like an eternity and a day.

    No problem w/ “True Crime” which felt like a divertingly low-key Clint before the masterly slate of ’00 Eastwood movies (“Mystic;” “MDB;” his WW II films; etc.) that followed.
    I remember enjoying “Sudden Impact” at the time more than any (Dirty) Harry Callahan movie since the Don Siegel original. Haven’t seen it since, though.

  116. BO Sock Puppet says:

    Movieman, you aren’t wrong about Firefox. At the time it seemed the dullest movie I’d ever endured.

  117. movieman says:

    Sock- Yep, it was like watching paint dry.

  118. movieman says:

    My 1:45 matinee of “The Mule” on Friday afternoon was sold out.
    Not too blow my own horn or anything, but I’m pretty sure I was the youngest person in the auditorium, lol.
    Is it a “Great Eastwood Movie”? No, but I think it ranks w/ “Sniper” as maybe his best directing credit this decade.
    Adjust your expectations going in: this is no breathlessly paced action flick about a drug runner being pursued by the feds.
    Instead it moves at the deliberate gait of Eastwood’s octogenarian character w/ numerous privileged moments along the way. (My favorite scene is a touching conversation between Eastwood and Bradley Cooper in a Waffle House.)
    Is the Mexican drug cartel broadly drawn? Well, sure, but several of them are actually given real characters to play. I was particularly taken w/ Ignacio Serricchio’s Julio (who serves as the mule’s de facto babysitter), and Andy Garcia is a delight as the improbably twinkle-eyed cartel boss.
    Since it was based on a true story, I’m surprised the film didn’t play that up (no “based on a true story” as the movie opens or any post-script before the end credits roll).
    Of course, I’m equally surprised that WB didn’t even consider an awards push. It’s every bit as worthy as, say, “Gran Torino” was. And both Clint (who’s as good here as Redford was in “The Old Man and the Gun”) and Dianne Wiest (deeply affecting as Clint’s long-suffering ex-wife) deserve to be in the Oscar conversation.
    Betting this has legs and turns out to be one of the genuine sleepers of the holiday season..and into 2019 as well.

  119. Christian says:

    Speaking of “The Old Man and the Gun,” has it lost what little heat it had in the awards conversation, or might we be surprised the morning of Oscar nominations? I was very surprised at how low-key enjoyable I found it. Felt a little ragged in spots, but the score carried me through any bumpy patches. Told my mom and dad, both in their 70s, that I thought they’d enjoy it.

The Hot Blog

Triple Option on: BYO Keanu

Hcat on: BYO Keanu

Pete B. on: BYO Keanu

palmtree on: BYO Keanu

palmtree on: BYO Keanu

Stella's Boy on: BYO Keanu

Sideshow Bill on: BYO Keanu

palmtree on: BYO Keanu

Hcat on: BYO Keanu

amblinman on: BYO Keanu

Quote Unquotesee all »

“With any character, the way I think about it is, you have the role on the page, you have the vision of the director and you have your life experience… I thought it was one of the foundations of the role for John Wick. I love his grief. For the character and in life, it’s about the love of the person you’re grieving for, and any time you can keep company with that fire, it is warm. I absolutely relate to that, and I don’t think you ever work through it. Grief and loss, those are things that don’t ever go away. They stay with you.”
~ Keanu Reeves

“I was checking through stuff the other day for technical reasons. I came across The Duellists on Netflix and I was absolutely stunned to see that it was exquisitely graded. So, while I rarely look up my old stuff, I stopped to give it ten minutes. Bugger me, I was there for two hours. I was really fucking pleased with what it was and how the engine still worked within the equation and that engine was the insanity and stupidity of war. War between two men, in that case, who fight on thought they both eventually can’t remember the reason why. It was great, yeah. The great thing about these platforms now is that, one way or another, they’ll seek out and then put out the best possible form and the long form. Frequently, films get cut down because of that curse in which the studio felt or feels that they have to preview. And there’s nothing worse than a preview to diminish the original intent.Oh, yeah, how about every fucking time? And I’ve stewed about films later even more because when you tell the same joke 20 times the joke’s no longer funny. When you tell a bad joke once or twice? It’s fine. But come on, now. Here’s the key on the way I feel when I approach the movie: I try to keep myself as withdrawn from the project as possible once I’ve filmed it. And – this is all key on this – then getting a really excellent editor so I never have to sit in on editing. What happens if you sit in is you become stale and every passage or joke, metaphorically speaking, gets more and more tired. You start cutting it all back because of fatigue. So what you have to do is keep your distance and therefore, in a funny kind of way, you, as the director, should be the preview and that’s it.”
~ Sir Ridley Scott