Movie City News Archive for August, 2018

The DVD Wrapup: American Animals, Book Club, Woman Walks Ahead, Bound, Mind Game, Shadowbuilder, Poetic Trilogy, Boss N-word, Crazy Six, My Life With James Dean … More

If, however, the Southern-fried bozos damaged any of the treasures during their ill-conceived caper, had accidentally killed the librarian they tazed, or had managed to hand them off to a fence who could profit from making them disappear, the movie would be more depressing than entertaining.

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The Weekend Report

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Crazy Asians remain the Richest, as Melissa McCarthy’s star gets shadowed by felt in the r-rated puppet comedy The Happytime Murders. A-X-L is a d-o-g. In limited, Searching finds a good sized audience on 9 screens and Papillon may find a million dollar weekend on 544.

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The DVD Wrapup: 1st Reformed, Bleeding Steel, Higher Power, Black Water, Porcupine Lake, Tingler, Strait-Jacket, Tideland, Wild at Heart, Jack Ryan, Terror, Hillary, Outback, Blacklist, Walking Dead … More

First Reformed is set in a religiously minded community of New Englanders caught between traditional beliefs and the commercial realities of megachurches and politically connected preachers.

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The Weekend Report

Orient Express   Appropriately Crazy Rich Asians debuted on Chinese Valentine’s Day and its sweet message took the weekend box office crown with an estimated $25.3 million. The session saw two other national freshmen releases. The testosterone-charged Mile 22 ranked third with $13.6 million while the tale of canine origins was a couple of slots…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Weekend of Dichotomies: Crazy Rich Asians continue to get love from the media and audiences… but haven’t started mining the big bucks yet. Mile 22 open shows how strong Mark Wahlberg is and that his non-franchise stardom may be fading a bit. Four new arthouse films will be over $10k per screen (The Wife, We The Animals, Juliet, Naked, and Blaze), though all of them are limited to 2, 3 or 4 screens.

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The DVD Wrapup: Avengers, Ninko, Escape, Aim for the Heart, Yellow Birds, Affairs of State, Gregorio Cortez, 200 Motels, Done to Your Daughters?, S.F. Brownrigg, Muppet Babies, BBC Earth … More

And, looking ahead, it’s entirely possible that “Infinity Wars,” “Black Panther” and “Deadpool 2” – all based on comics by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee – could end up competing for the dubious honor of carrying home the first Oscar as Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film.

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The Weekend Report

Movies with Bite   Super shark The Meg tore through the competition to take the weekend box office crown with an estimated 44.4 million. The session saw two other films debut in wide release and a third launch a bit less wide. The urban legend horror yarn Slender Man slotted fourth overall with $11.2 million…

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The Meg looks to be Warner Bros’ biggest opening of their rather quiet 4-film summer, cracking the Top 9 of domestic launches. The biggest question is whether the PG-13 monster shark comedy will draw family audiences today and Sunday or if they will be scared away by how big Meg’s teeth are. Screen Gems throws the somewhat controversial Slender Man into theaters and makes a small ripple. And the much praised, Cannes-awarded BlacKKlansman opens in wide-narrow, just 1512 screens, to what should be just over $7k per screen. It is a strong opening by Spike Lee standards, behind only Malcolm X in traditional Spike joints, and Original Kings of Comedy and Inside Man, which were not sold primarily as Spike films. It may also be the biggest Focus opening of under 2000 screens in their storied history. So, glass half…

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The DVD Wrapup: Bye Bye Germany, John From, Marrowbone, Wildling, Dead Shack, Bitter Money, Big Fish & Begonia, Street Mobster, US Fest, No Offense … More

Because he still considers himself to be an expert in the schmatte game, Bermann arranges for his band of peddlers to access French linens on the black market and sell them to the relatives of German soldiers killed in action, whose names and addresses he found listed in the obituaries and notices on bulletin boards.

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The Weekend Report

Mission: Impossible – Fallout proved its mettle and continued to lead weekend movie going with an estimated $35.3 million. Three new national releases entered the fray with the family friendly Christopher Robin slotting second with $25 million and the comic mash-up The Spy Who Dumped Me one spot back with $12.2 million. However, there was no yeah for the YA The Darkest Minds that bowed with $5.7 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Three disappointing launches this weekend. Disney has it’s softest non-animal opening in almost 2 years, reminding us both why they need a different marketing team if they are going to add Fox product to their line-up. Very few teams re built to hit to more than one spot at the very highest level. Meanwhile, Fox fails utterly to open The Darkest Minds. And Lionsgate has a comedy that stumbles into the market, about 60% behind its similar male take, The Bodyguard’s Hitman.

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The Gronvall Report: Director Marc Turtletaub on Puzzle

Puzzle, a beguiling contemporary love story adapted by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann from Natalia Smirnoff’s 2009 Argentinian film Rompecabezas, heralds producer Marc Turtletaub’s arrival as a director. Upon leaving a long career in the financial industry he transitioned to film in 2004, and after only four features, enjoyed his big breakthrough in 2006 as one of the producers behind Little Miss Sunshine.

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The DVD Wrapup: Final Portrait, Overboard, Dark Crimes, Iron Brothers, Streets of Vengeance, Piranha II, Star Wars Rebels, Myanmar … More

Although known almost exclusively as a sculptor, Final Portrait focuses on the creation of one of Alberto Giacometti’s hauntingly distinctive paintings, “The Portrait of James Lord.” The American journalist/critic first met Giacometti at the Café des Deux Magots in February 1952. As Lord recalled later, he was ‘instantly mesmerized’ by the artist.

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Movie City News

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon