MCN Originals

DVD Geek: Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer

So, the science is at best dubious, the drama, while engagingly performed, is hardly profound, and the story, even aside from the fantasy parts, is illogical and is a mad amalgam of genres. Why, then, is Snowpiercer so entertaining? The answer is simple, it’s a train movie.

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The Weekend Report

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Exodus: Gods and Kings swept into the marketplace with an estimated $24.5 million to lead weekend movie ticket sales. The session’s other national newcomer was raw romantic comedy Top Five that bowed to $7.1 million. The exclusive bow of Inherent Vice generated a potent $336,000 box office from five pads and modest expansions for The Imitation Game and Wild maintained both pictures’ commercial momentum.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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Exodus will “win” the weekend easily, but right there in between December releases with hope of Christian audience interest The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and The Golden Compass, both of which were considered flops at the time. This does not preclude word-of-mouth from arriving for Exodus. But the launch leaves much to be desire. Likewise, Top Five, which has every indication of getting very, very strong word-of-mouth started slow, even on just 979 screens. Paramount clearly saw this problem coming in tracking and slowed the roll (out) to build the chatter on the film. They will know whether that paid off by next weekend .Inherent Vice lands on five pads with a per-screen that should inhale about $80k for the weekend.

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Gurus o’ Gold(-n-Globes)

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The Gronvall Report: Screenwriter Graham Moore on THE IMITATION GAME

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DVD Gift Guide II: Guardians of the Galaxy, Wonder Years, Jacques Tati, Spielberg, Red Skelton and More

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Box Office

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The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
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“The heckler’s veto—the rude interruption that drowns out public discourse—has been replaced by the terrorist’s veto: Anyone with a grudge, a computer and an Internet connection can henceforth block the distribution of any form of communication it dislikes.”
Kyle Smith Looks Down Upon H’wd

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I find it ironic that fear is eliminating the possibility to tell stories that depict our ability to overcome fear.”
Gore Verbinski On His Cancelled “Pyongyang” Project

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The wishes of the terrorists were fulfilled in part by easily distracted members of the American press who chose gossip and schadenfreude-fueled reporting over a story with immeasurable consequences for the public–a story that was developing right in front of their eyes.”
Aaron Sorkin Checks In 

NY Times

“Much of North Korea’s hacking is done from China. And while the attack on Sony used some commonly available cybertools, one intelligence official said, ‘This was of a sophistication that a year ago we would have said was beyond the North’s capabilities.’”
Report: Unnamed American Sources Now Say Sony Hack Came Courtesy Of Pyongyang
While – “The Evidence That North Korea Hacked Sony Is Flimsy”

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“Yes, good movies sprout up, inevitably, in the cracks and seams between the tectonic plates on which all of these franchises stay balanced, and we are reassured of their hardiness. But we don’t see what we don’t see; we don’t see the effort, or the cost of the effort, or the movies of which we’re deprived because of the cost of the effort. Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice may have come from a studio, but it still required a substantial chunk of outside financing, and at $35 million, it’s not even that expensive. No studio could find the $8.5 million it cost Dan Gilroy to make Nightcrawler. Birdman cost a mere $18 million and still had to scrape that together at the last minute. Imagine American movie culture for the last few years without Her or Foxcatcher or American Hustle or The Master or Zero Dark Thirty and it suddenly looks markedly more frail—and those movies exist only because of the fairy godmothership of independent producer Megan Ellison. The grace of billionaires is not a great business model on which to hang the hopes of an art form.”
~ Mark Harris On The State Of The Movies

How do you make a Top Ten list? For tax and organizational purposes, I keep a log of every movie I see (Title, year, director, exhibition format, and location the film was viewed in). Anything with an asterisk to the left of its title means it’s a 2014 release (or something I saw at a festival which is somehow in play for the year). If there’s a performance, or sequence, or line of dialogue, even, that strikes me in a certain way, I’ll make a note of it. So when year end consideration time (that is, the month and change out of the year where I feel valued) rolls around, it’s a little easier to go through and pull some contenders for categories. For 2014, I’m voting in three polls: Indiewire, SEFCA (my critics’ guild), and the Muriels. Since Indiewire was first, it required the most consternation. There were lots of films that I simply never had a chance to see, so I just went with my gut. SEFCA requires a lot of hemming and hawing and trying to be strategic, even though there’s none of the in-person skullduggery that I hear of from folk whose critics’ guild is all in the same city. The Muriels is the most fun to contribute to because it’s after the meat market phase of awards season. Also, because it’s at the beginning of next year, I’ll generally have been able to see everything I wanted to by then. I love making hierarchical lists, partially because they are so subjective and mercurial. Every critical proclamation is based on who you are at that moment and what experiences you’ve had up until that point. So they change, and that’s okay. It’s all a weird game of timing and emotional waveforms, and I’m sure a scientist could do an in-depth dissection of the process that leads to the discovery of shocking trends in collective evaluation. But I love the year end awards crush, because I feel somewhat respected and because I have a wild-and-wooly work schedule that has me bouncing around the city to screenings, or power viewing the screeners I get sent.
Jason Shawhan of Nashville Scene Answers CriticWire 

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies