MCN Originals

Wilmington on Film: Poltergeist / When Marnie Was There

One thing you can say in favor of the latest Poltergeist is that at least nobody in it gets tortured, hideously maimed, eviscerated, eaten, or chopped to screaming bits. Children may take their parents to this picture, without fear of nightmares.

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The Weekend Report (4-Day Estimates)

The four-day estimates are in and Tomorrowland expands its lead slightly for the 34th best Memorial Day Weekend gross ever (but expect the “actuals” to be a little lower because of an aggressive Monday estimate). If Disney wants some information about what went wrong, they can call 411, which is also the number of millions Avengers 2 hit domestically this weekend. Poltergeist turns in the 13th best four-day of 2015 so far. Far From The Madding Crowd expands positively, though gently. And I’ll See You In My Dreams tops all per-screen grossers.

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The Weekend Report

It was the future by a nose as Tomorrowland edged out Pitch Perfect 2 for the holiday box office crown. It opened to an estimated $32.2 million to PP2 with $30.3 million (all figures reflect 3-day box office). Also bowing for Memorial weekend was the reboot of Poltergeist that generated a scary $22.7 million that slotted fourth overall.

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Cannes 68: A Wrap

It was a Festival divided from the outset.

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Wilmington on Movies: Tomorrowland

Watching Tomorrowlan—a great big film hunk of love and optimism and confusion from the Walt Disney Studio—you sometimes get the idea that director-writer Brad Bird and company are trying not just to create a new movie but maybe to found a new movement; Dianetics for Disneyphiles, or Pessimists Anonymous or Worldmakers. (Just kidding.)

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Friday Box Office Estimates

“Let’s play two,” says Pitch Perfect 2 as Tomorrowland comes out of the blocks slow, hoping that family audiences will power it to a long weekend win, while Poltergeist is going to scare up some business, but nothing quite as shocking as a scary clown. Meanwhile, the much beloved Mad Max: Fury Road continues to do mediocre business, struggling towards $100m domestic, while PP2 passses that landmark today, just nine days into the run.

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The DVD Wrapup: Leviathan, Lovesick, Before I Disappear, Blue Room and more

Instead of being iron-fisted by Communist Party functionaries, however, the populace is ruled by an increasingly militaristic government and bullied by plutocrats, gangsters, small-minded politicians and conservative leaders of the ascendant Russian Orthodox Church. That much, at least, can be inferred in Andrey Zvyagintsev’s overtly allegorical drama, Leviathan, which ironically was inspired by the story of a Colorado man whose beef with city officials eventually led him to armor-plate a bulldozer and use it as a battering ram against bureaucratic intransigence.

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Cannes Review: Love

Love is a waste of time. It’s a waste of time because, well, most importantly—does anyone really spend more than ten minutes staring at pornography?

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Wilmington on Movies: Pitch Perfect 2 / Pitch Perfect

Any movie sequel that starts out by having its costar moon the President of the United States and the First Lady at Lincoln Center obviously doesn’t suffer from a lack of self-confidence.

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Cannes Review: Youth

It seems like a lot of Paulo Sorrentino’s work is steeped in the truth that it doesn’t matter what age you are, because the grand narratives of life seem to more or less remain the same.

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Cannes You Dig It?: Episode 3

It’s odd to leave Cannes not having fallen fully in love… with a movie.

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Cannes Review: Sicario

Trust in Denis Villeneuve.

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Cannes Review: Son of Saul

Call it a gimmick, but there’s a ghostly, haunting vibe here, especially in the production design (and of course the historical substance). You and I have seen other films with a similar setting, but Son of Saul really moves through this concentration camp with an overwhelming sense of urgency and context that is unfamiliar.

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Wilmington on Movies: Mad Max: Fury Road

Head-banging, car-crashing action movies with minimal dialogue and maximum carnage may make a lot of money, but they’ve also gotten (deservedly) a bad odor for some film-lovers, including, sometimes, me

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The Weekend Report

Pitch Perfect 2 hit the right note and bowed to an estimated $70.2 million to win weekend bragging rights. The session’s other wide release, Mad Max: Fury Road, also opened dynamically with $44.4 million

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Cannes Review: Carol

Subtle, delicate, exquisite. Like staying up all night to witness the blooming of a flower, Todd Haynes’ Carol is something special.

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Cannes You Dig It?: Episode 2 – Amy

Amyis more than a great doc. It is a shot to the solar plexus… I imagine, even more so for those of us who cover Hollywood or celebrities than anyone else outside of her personal friends.

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Cannes You Dig It?: Episode 1

It’s been an interesting start to this year’s annual family reunion. Some inspired filmmaking, but aside from the most commercial movies here – Mad Max: Fury Road and Inside Out, both playing out of competition – there is a distinct lack of greatness worth fighting about into the night.

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Cannes Review: The Lobster

It’s not that The Lobster is particularly difficult to crack—it’s that there just may not be enough meat inside once you do.

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From Cannes, 90 Seconds Of HATEFUL 8

Impressions: they’re hard and probably reductive, especially when we’re only given 90 seconds. I realize now that I wrote none for Tarantino’s film, because I was glued to the screen for as much information as possible.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“We don’t defy the laws of physics: There are no flying men or cars in this movie. So it made sense to do it old-school: real vehicles and real human beings in the desert. We shot the movie more or less in continuity, because the cars and the characters get really banged up along the way. The biggest benefit of digital technology for me was that the cameras were smaller and much more agile, so you could put them anywhere. We also spent a huge amount of time on spatial awareness—making sure the viewer could follow the action and understand what was happening. There has to be a strong causal connection from one shot to the next, just the same way that in music, there has to be a connection from one note to the next. Otherwise it’s just noise. Too often, if you just cram a lot of stuff into the frame, you get the illusion of a fast pace. But there’s no coherence. It doesn’t flow. It comes off as headbanging music, and it can be exhausting. We storyboarded the movie before we had a script: We had 3,500 boards, which helps the cast and crew understand how everything is going to fit together. Movies are getting faster and faster. The Road Warrior had 1,200 cuts. This one has 2,700 cuts. You have to treat it like a symphony.”
~ George Miller

“I was having issues with my script for It’s All About Love, so I called Ingmar Bergman and we ended up talking about everything but the script. He said, “Well, Festen is a masterpiece, so what are you going to do now?” At that point, I had not decided if I was going to make It’s All About Love, so I answered, “Hmmm, I don’t know. Maybe this, maybe that.” There was just a long pause, and then he said, “You’re fucked.” I said, “Well, how can you know?” “Well, Thomas, you always have to decide your next movie before the movie you’re doing presently opens.” And I said, “Why is that?” “Well, two things can happen. One thing is that you fail, and then you’ll feel scared and humiliated. It’ll get into your head. Second, and even worse, you have success, and then you’ll want more of it, or you’ll want to maintain it. But if you decide on your next film while you’re in the middle of editing, it becomes a very nonchalant choice. And then it’s shorter from the heart to the hand.”
~ Thomas Vinterberg