Z

MCN Originals

Friday Box Office Estimates

In the weekend of familiar franchise entries, the headline will read “Sky Still Falling,” though Star Trek: Beyond could be modestly profitable because of international revenues and Ice Age: Collision Course pretty certainly will be a significant money maker, the last Ice (2012) pulling in $716m from international alone. Another pretty certain cash machine is Lights Out, a James Wan special for WB that was cheap enough to make that even with marketing and big horror drop-offs, domestic theatrical will likely put the film in profit. Strong launch of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie by Searchlight at $2100 per screen on 313 and also for Don’t Think Twice, Mike Birbiglia’s follow-up to Sleepwalk with Me.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: A Perfect Day, Daughter of Dawn, Bridgend, Kill Zone 2, Muriel, Crimes of Passion, Bad Moon and more

I don’t know if Joseph Heller’s great wartime satire “Catch-22” was translated into Serbo-Croatian, then passed around by a future generation of filmmakers in former Yugoslavia under Tito’s nose. It seems that it was, since so much of Heller wrote about the futility of dictating the terms of waging war would be repeated in movie after movie in the wake of the thoroughly illogical Bosnian conflagration. They would include such absurdist depictions of the conflict as Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land, Pjer Žalica’s Fuse and Srdan Dragojevic’s Pretty Village, Pretty Flame. Fernando León de Aranoa’s Balkans-set black comedy, A Perfect Day should have been his ticket to acclaim beyond the Spanish-speaking world, but, after making the nearly year-round circuit of festivals, A Perfect Day opened in a handful of U.S. theaters to almost no business. This, despite a cast that includes Benicio del Toro, Tim Robbins, Melanie Thierry, Olga Kurylenko – all working at the top of their game

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Secret Life of Pets remained top dog  with an estimated $50.5 million weekend gross. Nonetheless, it had stiff competition from the incoming distaff reboot of Ghostbusters that arrived alive with $46 million. The session’s other national newcomer The Infiltrator on the hunt for drug kingpin Pablo Escobar snuck into the top 10 with $5.2 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Ghostbusters gets off to a decent start, but is in danger of coming in second for the weekend to the second weekend of The Secret Life of Pets, which could have a big Saturday bump. Cracking $10k per screen on the exclusive release side, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, rightwing polemic Hillary’s America, and gay-coming-of-age Closet Monster.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Everybody Wants Some!!, Allegiant, Belladonna, Van Gogh, Mecanix, Green Room, With Child, Dark Horse and more

That so many of us recognize ourselves in Linklater’s characters and depictions of the coming-of-age process – mostly told from a young white male point of view — speaks to the commonality of experience in a nation homogenized by stimuli provided by the mass media. The stoners and slackers in Austin, circa May 1976, were then and still are interchangeable with those in Madison or Spokane, while Mason’s boyhood journey resonated with anyone who grew up outside major cities at a time when divorce was commonplace and adults couldn’t be counted upon to serve as role models.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on DVD: Everybody Wants Some!!

Youth is wasted on the young. Maybe. But it definitely wasn‘t squandered on Richard Linklater, that wondrously humane American filmmaker (Austin, Texas-raised auteur of the “Before” Trilogy and Boyhood), who, in his best work, uses his own youth to potently amuse us and brilliantly illuminate the worlds we share.

Read the full article »

Review-ish: Ghostbusters (2016, non-spoiler)

Perhaps Ghostbusters won’t define your childhood. But I don’t think anyone on the team was after that. A good summer laugh at the movies? Absolutely.

Read the full article » 15 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The Secret Life of Pets bow wowed to an estimated $103.1 million to easily take the weekend crown. Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates opened fourth to $16.6 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Fighting The isms: Episode One

We, as individuals, have to be able to be honest about where we really stand. And if we want to have real discourse, we have to be able to accept that other people simply feel differently than we might, and that our job is to bring them around, not beat them until they go silent and become an angry, silenced underground.

Obfuscating the “right” side of an argument to balance out what we see as the “wrong” side of the argument is just as much a failure of real communication.

Read the full article » 24 Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

This weekend, it’s a shower and a grower… a massive start for Pets and what might be the beginning of a momentum hit in Mike & Dave & Anna & Aubrey. Not a lot more greatness in the Top Ten aside from Dory, although Tarzan looks like he may swing higher and longer than naysayers thought.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Hank Williams, Adderall Diaries, 6, Francofonia, Mad Tiger, Suture, Blood & Black Lace and more

don’t take much stock in the complaints of mainstream critics who voiced their disapproval of Tom Hiddleston’s interpretation of Williams’ vocalizing and stage presence in Marc Abraham’s biopic I Saw the Light. The actor moved into singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell’s Nashville home for five months for a crash course in singing, guitar playing and yodeling. If Crowell felt that the Brit entertainer was ready for prime time, that’s good enough for me.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Pride, Unprejudiced: Almost There

I’ve seen Almost There, Aaron Wickenden and Dan Rybicky’s splendid, elusive minor miracle of northwest Indiana nonfiction a few times in the past year or so, and I’m still not sure why it carries so much power. That it’s specific yet elusive, its dense range of fear and hope? There’s much to consider about outsider art, loneliness, mental illness and brightly colored graphomania in its innerworldly portrait of now-eighty-three-year-old Peter Anton, an elderly artist living in squalor in the wet, fetid basement of his parents’ house, moldering atop his art-stuffed living-dying quarters.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: The Purge: Election Year

Back in the 1970s, when the paradigms for shows like this were being set down — by Roger Corman and other ballsy independent producers — this kind of picture would have been a low- budget job, and it probably would have been better for it. If they were going to spend more money on The Purge: Election Year, they might at least have played around more with the idea of an entire nation plunged into chaos.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Wilmington on Film: Our Kind of Traitor

Obviously, they both have superb literary taste, at least in their choice of projects. But Traitor isn’t the kind of success that seems within reach, that might have been. Some of the actors (like the otherwise admirable Lewis) seem younger than they should be. The hooks don’t grip us, and the ending doesn’t wipe you out the way it should. But you can’t have everything, as Perry Makepeace learns

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

Finding Dory was top choice movie for the third weekend during the holiday frame with an estimated $41.8 million (all figures reflect 3-day box office). Three national newcomers followed: The Legend of Tarzan with $37.7 million, The Purge: Election Year grossing $30.8 and The BFG bowing to $19.2 million. The good news was the trio outperformed expectations. The bad newss? Expectations were low.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Early results are in for The Purge: Election Year, though expect it to land in second, maybe even third. Finding Dory will once again float to the top of the bowl, while newcomers The Legend of Tarzan could wind up in the #2 slot (or #3) depending on what audience actually showed up for this swing. The BFG is looking at a $30m+ 4-day, but that is still disappointing versus expectations of a big-budget Spielberg movie. Disney will look for international to make the film profitable. In other news, ID4-2 gets slaughtered on its second Friday, off a stomach-twisting 72%, though this film too could be pushed into black ink by international… as long as crap word-of-mouth doesn’t catch up everywhere outside the US.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: The BFG

Trust the tale and not the teller. Or trust the tittletattler. Maybe that’s why Spielberg and his collaborators gave his BFG the face of a Jewish angel, and cast Mark Rylance to play him. Delumptiously.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Aferim!, WTF, Rams, Family Fang and more

Although slavery hasn’t been a taboo subject for exploitation by Hollywood filmmakers, it took Django Unchained and 12 Years a Slave to fully dramatize the brutality and dehumanization inherent in the long-accepted practice for a new generation of viewers. From Romania,Aferim! tells a completely unexpected story about slavery, this time as practiced against Gypsies, Tartars, Jews and Muslims in Eastern Europe from the mid-1300s to the mid-1800s.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Rush to Judgment: The Legend Of Tarzan

The things that are wrong, or wrong-headed with the latest incarnation of The Legend of Tarzan, are myriad and numerous.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: The Shallows

The Shallows is a genuinely scary movie thriller that spooks you because, in a way, it seems so real — this tense, taut movie manage to get by without ghosts, monsters, supernatural maniacs or The Devil, indeed without almost anything that absolutely couldn’t happen (maybe) in the real world. Like Jaws, it’s the white-knuckle, full-throttle story of a battle between human vs. shark: a visually voluptuous thriller, set in a mostly deserted stretch of Australian coast, about a great white shark that traps a young surfer and medical student on an ocean-bound rock and buoy only about 200 yards from shore — a deserted beach near an ocean that is mostly empty except for that trapped girl and that toothy shark and one other creature we‘ll introduce later. (You’ll like him.)

Read the full article » No Comments »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“It was always a crisis, but we had a great time,” James Schamus said, grinning. “Now I know how much fun directing is. I didn’t know. No one told me.”

“Athina Rachel Tsangari looks at men as if they are creatures from one of the wildlife documentaries she referred to in her poignant debut Attenberg. She is part of a undeclared new school of cinema, which might be called ‘The Behaviouralists’. So far there is only one other member of this school, Yorgos Lanthimos, whom she has previously collaborated with. He recently made The Lobster which sees Colin Farrell play a man who chooses a lobster as the animal he must turn into if he loses a bizarre relationship game in a hotel-cum-sanitorium. Games, systems and rules are essential for the Behaviouralists yet always in flux.”
~ Bert Rebhandl in Frieze

Z Weekend Report