MCN Originals Archive for October, 2010

Weekend Box Office Report – October 31

The seventh annual edition of the Saw franchise was hoping for an exit with bite with the addition of stereoscopic imagery. But pre-release tracking indicated that with or without gimmicks the mania was fading and its mid-$20 million weekend tally was pretty much in line with pundit’s predictions.

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Friday Estimates – October 30

It’s a tale of two horror flicks on Halloween weekend, as Saw 3D and Paranormal Activity battle for the top box office treats, while three very different films – Red, Jackass 3D and Hereafter – squabble over third.

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Unstoppable, director Tony Scott

DP/30 – At 66, Tony Scott is still one of the industry’s envelope-pushing visual stylists. But as you will hear in this conversation, his priorities start with story. We talk about his new film, Unstoppable, and many others from his career, including his first, The Hunger, and his fear of Deneuve & Bowie.

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MW on Movies: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Paranormal Activity 2, and CIFF Wrap-Up

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest (Three Stars) Sweden; Daniel Alfredson, 2009 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third of the Steig Larsson “Girl” movie adaptations — about a leftist Swedish investigative reporter named Mikael Blomkvist, a dragon-tattooed Lesbian computer hacker/investigator named Lisbeth Salander, and the rat’s nest of government corruption, private…

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18 Weeks To Oscar: In The Shadow Of The Hurt Locker

The clearest lesson of last year’s Oscar winner was that you don’t have to kill yourself in September or October or November to win Best Picture. But does that trend-setting experience set the season on a good track or a bad one?

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Box Office Hell – October 28

It’s a battle of the horror flicks for the top box office position over Halloween weekend, with pundits predicting Saw 3D will offer enough fake blood for the buck to grab the lead. Paranormal Activity 2 may have enough bumps in the night to be a contender, though.

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DP/30: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, actor Noomi Rapace

DP/30 – She’s one of the current IT Girls of Hollywood, scoring a supporting role in the next Sherlock Holmes film, as well as being seriously considered for the role of Ripley in the Alien prequel. How did this actress get from Stockholm to The Movie City? Spend 30 minutes with Noomi Rapace and find out…

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The DVD Wrap: Sex and the City 2, The Girl Who Played with Fire, Kisses, Alien Anthology, Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy

Sex and the City 2: Blu-ray After scoring a direct financial hit with the first feature-length adaptation of HBO’s Sex and the City, its producers naturally elected to push their luck with this sequel, which adds yet another 150 minutes to the saga. What, on television, could easily be digested in tidy 30-minute portions, now…

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The DVD Geek: Harry Brown

As they go over how the film was staged and what went on during the shoot, Caine shares many terrific anecdotes about his career, including marvelous stories about Charles Chaplin and Alfred Hitchcock (who wanted Caine for Frenzy and was annoyed when Caine turned him down), and quite a few excellent insights to his craft.

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A Conversation with Tamara Drewe Director Stephen Frears

Interview by Andrea Gronvall – We shot it late in the year–in September, not in mid-summer. By September the sun was starting to get low in the sky, so that’s when it looks especially beautiful. And this [the story] had to cover all of the seasons, so you wanted a time of the year that gave you the most possibilities.

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Frenzy on the Wall: I’m Not Scared of Slamming Doors

I can’t understand why anyone would stay in these situations. I mean, why wouldn’t you move out of this house? I understand there are real-world difficulties to maneuver, like mortgages and such, but if there is an entity in my house that is threatening my family, I think I’ll just put the house on the market and move to a hotel for a few months.

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Weekend Box Office Report – October 24

Critical response to sleeper sensation Paranormal Activity 2 was at best tepid with the more negative reviews viewing it as a cynical rehash of its inspiration. Nonetheless avids were cueing up to provide Thursday midnight shows a record preview for an R-rated film. It lost traction as the weekend proceeded but the fast start was sufficient to speed past tracking that suggested an opening salvo of not much more than $30 million.

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Friday Estimates – October 23

Paranormal Activity 2 gets off to a solid start as we kick off the weekend, while Jackass 3D tries to hold onto second place, and RED and Hereafter battle it out for third.

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The King’s Speech, actor Geoffrey Rush

DP/30 – A favorite to earn his second Oscar for his work in The King’s Speech, Geoffrey Rush talks about his life, career, the film, and a little bit o’ Pirates 4 with David Poland.

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Review: Paranormal Activity 2

Fans of surprise horror hit Paranormal Activity will find much to like in Paranormal Activity 2. This second round of things-that-go-bump-in-the-night-vision-cameras retains the slow-building, repetitive pace of the first film, while still delivering (for the most part) plenty of scares to keep you on the edge of your seat.

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MW on Movies: Hereafter

Eastwood is 80. Most of the evidence is in. Frankly, if he were as bad as his blasters seem to think, some perhaps still taking their cues from the late, renowned and brilliant Eastwood-hater Pauline Kael, he would probably have gone the way of all old macho-hunk stars and be costarring this year in The Expendables.

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Box Office Hell – October 21

In a light week for new releases, our box office pundits like the odds on audiences flocking back to theaters for more Paranormal Activity, while Jackass 3-D looks to hold on to second place.

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19 Weeks To Oscar: Looking For A Rush

So far, the season hasn’t sizzled. But new films and the thrill of seeing new faces rise and old faces coming back may turn this into a season of happy fireworks.

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MW on DVDs: Disneynature Oceans, The Maltese Falcon, The Exorcist, Visions of Europe, Predators … and more

PICK OF THE WEEK: NEW DisneyNature: Oceans (Blu-ray & DVD) (Four Stars) France-U.S.; Jacques Perrin/Jacques Cluzaud, 2009 A real gem, from France, where they love to watch the world through a camera eye. Made by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, the two directors of the magnificent birds-in-flight documentary Winged Migration, here’s an equally magnificent view…

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The DVD Wrap: Psycho 50th Anniversary Edition, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Limited Edition, Troll 2, Apocalypse Now: Full Disclosure Edition … and more

Psycho: 50th Anniversary Edition: Blu-ray The Psycho Legacy The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Limited Edition Night of the Demon Assault of the Sasquatch Troll 2: Blu-ray Tales From the Darkside: Final Season Lest we forget, Halloween draws nigh. Psycho is one of those films that require absolutely no introduction. Anyone who considers him or herself…

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MCN Originals

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“My father was a Jerome. My daughter’s middle name is Jerome. But my most vexing and vexed relationship with a Jerome was with Jerome Levitch, the subject of my first book under his stage and screen name, Jerry Lewis.

I have a lot of strong and complex feelings about the man, who passed away today in Las Vegas at age 91. Suffice to say he was a brilliant talent, an immense humanitarian, a difficult boss/interview, and a quixotic sort of genius, as often inspired as insipid, as often tender as caustic.

I wrote all about it in my 1996 book, “King of Comedy,” which is available on Kindle. With all due humility, it’s kinda definitive — the good and the bad — even though it’s two decades old. My favorite review, and one I begged St. Martin’s (unsuccessfully) to put on the paperback jacket, came from “Screw” magazine, which called it “A remarkably fair portrait of a great American asshole.”

Jerry and I met twice while I was working on the book and spoke/wrote to each other perhaps a dozen times. Like many of his relationships with the press and his partners/subordinates, it ended badly, with Jerry hollering profanities at me in the cabin of his yacht in San Diego. I wrote about it in the epilogue to my book, and over the years I’ve had the scene quoted back to me by Steve Martin, Harry Shearer, Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette. Tom Hanks once told me that he had a dinner with Paul Reiser and Martin Short at which Short spent the night imitating Jerry throwing me off the boat.

Jerry was a lot of things: father, husband, chum, businessman, philanthropist, artist, innovator, clown, tyrant. He was at various times in his life the highest-ever-paid performer on TV, in movies, and on Broadway. He raised BILLIONS for charity, invented filmmaking techniques, made perhaps a dozen classic comedies, turned in a terrific dramatic performance in Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” and left the world altered and even enhanced with his time and his work in it.

That’s an estimable achievement and one worth pausing to commemorate.

#RIP to Le Roi du Crazy

~ Biographer Shawn Levy on Jerry Lewis on Facebook

“Billy Wilder said to me, ‘Those of us who are hyphenates deserve a couple more beats,’ and I knew what he meant. As a director, you make sure a scene is not beat-heavy. You need just enough beats in the rhythm. Billy also used to say, ‘Whatever you do, is your mark. You don’t have to go out and impress someone. Let them look at your work.’”
~ Jerry Lewis