MCN Originals Archive for September, 2012

The Weekend Report

Audiences checked into Hotel Transylvania and the occupancy rate in its maiden edition topped session charts with an estimated $42.6 million. The bridesmaid’s spot went to freshman sci-fi entry Looper with $20.9 million and a third national debut – the hot button education yarn Won’t Back Down – flunked the commercial test with a $2.7 million gross. Also upbeat was the limited opener of the tuneful Pitch Perfect (expanding nationally next weekend) that tallied $5.2 million at 335 venues.

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Wilmington on Movies: Looper

To tell the truth, Looper has a plot almost as tricky and paradoxical enjoyable as “All You Zombies” — or as Heinlein’s earlier classic “By His Bootstraps,” or as Alfred Bester’s amazing “5,271,009,” or as Philip Dick’s (alternate universe) “Eye in the Sky,“ or as Fredric Brown’s well-named “Paradox Lost,“ or as Chris Marker’s melancholy French film-poem La jetée, and the nightmarishly weird American movie it inspired, Terry Gilliam‘s Twelve Monkeys (which also starred Bruce Willis).

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Friday Estimates

Sony takes the two top spots with an animated film about a guy who never dies and his daughter and the hotel they own and a live action thriller about a guy who is supposed to kill himself and a kid and a mom and the house in the cornfield. Two other new entries, focused on female audiences, open to considerably less box office, though the singing hotties nearly doubled up on the shouting mommies.

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Review: Life of Pi

I sat in the film, completely open to all of the elements of the film. Ang Lee, check. Irrfan Khan, check. Fantastical journey story, check. Spiritual enlightenment, check. One man confronts his soul, check. The elements had me at “Hello.” But…

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Pride’s Friday 5: Looper, Drunkboat, Woman In The Fifth, Damsels In Distress,The Samaritan

This was a Sunday afternoon a long time ago, sometime near the end of the twentieth century. In years of theatergoing in Chicago and other cities, I’d seen some grand coups de theatre, but this one, this one that shaped itself beyond the actors’ pace, made an indelible mark. Outside, a sunny afternoon on the second floor above the Victory Gardens theater; inside, a variation on Fritz Lang’s M. Somewhere in the middle of the brief, striking piece, the sound of whistling rose from the Clark Street sidewalk a floor below. The character of The Detective stood at an open window, listening to the whistling, holding the pose, holding the scene…

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The DVD Wrapup: Klown, Avengers, American Horror Story … More

Because Klown is the product of a country, Denmark, that isn’t afraid of portraying the sexual maturation process in an honest and occasionally comedic way, director Mikkel Norgaard can have his cake and reserve a large slice of it for viewers, too.

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Wilmington on DVDs: Lonesome, The Last Performance, Broadway

Ah wait, you say. You’ve seen and heard it, or something like it, before. Indeed. Your grandparents probably saw and heard it before, and maybe theirs as well. In fact, as in countless other Hollywood movies, this is a classic example of the famous movie romance formula “boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy…”

Stop. You know the rest. Or do you?

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Wilmington on Movies: End of Watch

End of Watch is a pretty damned exciting Los Angeles buddy-cop movie, made with lots of energy and style. But it has one pretty big flaw: Those damned cameras.

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The Weekend Report

The fight for bragging rights dominated weekend estimates with three incoming movies all claiming top spot on the charts. From this perch the lineup shakes out with the cop on the beat End of Watch ahead with $12.9 million, Clint in baseball Trouble with the Curve right behind with $12.7 million and the chiller The House at the End of the Street trailing with $12.4 million.

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Wilmington on Movies: Dredd 3D

Hmmmm. I don’t know if any of you have had deranged fantasies of running around a 200-story vertical slum in a stiff black mask, dodging gun battles and massacres and periodically going into slow-motion attacks, or being hurled out of windows or whatever and dropping slowly to the street. But, if you have, this movie will almost certainly satisfy them all, perhaps forever.

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Friday Estimates

Jennifer Lawrence, Jake Gyllenhaal, Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Chair lead the box office in a heavy weekend of new titles. The other newbie cracking the Top Ten is Dredd, though it is a bit disappointing at $2.2m on Friday. The Master goes semi-wide (783 screens) and the per-screen plummets from $48k to $1800 per-screen for the day. This weekend’s muscular exclusive release is The Perks of Being A Wallflower with just over $21k per-screen on 4 on Friday.

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The DVD Wrapup: Chico & Rita, Detachment, Cabin in Woods, End of Road … More

In the powerful ensemble drama, “Detachment,” director Tony Kaye and writer Carl Lund imagine what it might be like not only to teach in a school that, in and of itself, could constitute a level in Dante’s “Inferno,” but also how that experience might impact the teachers in their off-hours. As somber and dirge-like as “Detachment” often is, it demands that we not give up on our public schools and children who were born behind an 8-ball.

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The Torontonian Reviews: The Silver Linings Playbook

The film will assuredly please crowds and win hearts in the end—perhaps even Oscar’s—but audiences interested in something more complex should probably look elsewhere.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Rush To Poor Judgment?

What is The Academy trying to do by shortening the nomination season by 10 days this year? When I spoke to Ric Robertson about it late this afternoon, his only real argument for the shift was that by announcing the nominations 2 weeks earlier, it would make it easier for members to see the already…

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Wilmington on Movies: Searching for Sugar Man

I will say that I loved the movie, that it deserves all the praise it has received, and that, if you care about rock ‘n’ roll, and art, and politics, and the plight of poor people in our rich country, and if you’re curious about the mysteries of commerce and hype (or non-hype) in the United States if America (and the rest of the world), you must see this movie. I watched it again the other night and fell in love with it all over again. What’s more amazing: I just talked to a friend who also loves the movie, and he told me he was sitting in Starbucks last morning when suddenly he heard….Well, I won’t tell you.

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TIFF12 Review: The Act of Killing

As Anwar and company tell their story about their lives as gangsters it becomes quickly evident that what they have in mind isn’t a thoughtful, introspective reflection on their history, but a glorious, bedazzled, trumped up showcase of themselves positioned as the heroes of this bloody tale of horror, augmented with dancing girls in fancy costumes, the rotund, hairy Herman, dressed in makeup and a sparkly turquoise mermaid dress, gleefully bloody re-enactments of the murders they committed, and a giant concrete fish. It’s a truly bizarre perspective on the slaughter of millions and the role this men had in it, so much so that at times, it’s even a little funny, the sheer audacity and absurdity of it all. Until it’s not.

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Wilmington on Movies: Finding Nemo 3D

    FINDING NEMO (Five Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition, with Blu-ray/DVD/3D) (Four Stars) U.S.: Andrew Stanton & Lee Unkrich, 2003-12 (Walt Disney/Pixar) Finding Nemo, the first one, was that epic 2003 Pixar computer-animated cartoon adventure about a boy clownfish named Nemo (Alexander Gould) and his nervous father Marlin, how they were separated on Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef,…

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The Weekend Report

Newcomers Resident Evil: Retribution and Finding Nemo 3D led weekend ticket sales with respective estimated debuts of $20.9 million and $17.4 million. Both films nonetheless bowed to lower than anticipated returns and saw their media thunder stolen by potent returns in the niches. The sessions other national freshman _ the inspirational drama The Last Ounce of Courage _ weighed in with a dull $1.8 million.

The big noise was unquestionably The Master, a daunting, compelling study of inter-dependence that opened with five 70mm engagements and a staggering near capacity $748,000. Also displaying premiere power was the Wall Street cautionary Arbitrage with a $2 million launch from 197 engagements.

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Friday Estimates

About 5,000 people saw The Master on Friday on each of its five 70mm screens. That’s a lot of full or sold-out shows. Can the cult expand? Meanwhile, in studio world, the Resident Evil franchise is back again, still opening to over $8m on Friday, still likely to crack $40m domestic, and chasing the stunning up-shift in international business for the most recent incarnation (2010), which did $236 million overseas. If it does half of that, Sony will still be downright giddy.

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TIFF12 Review: Ginger & Rosa

The leftist bent of the characters and some heavy-handed nuclear symbolism might seem to imply that director Sally Potter’s reaching for a bigger message here, but really, this is a heavily character-driven story about these two young girls whose lifetime friendship grows threatened as they grow in separate directions, and, especially, a coming-of-age story about Ginger, who learns things along the way that force her to reassess all the things she thought she knew, about her parents, about friendship, and about life.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Would I like to see Wormwood in a theater on a big screen? You betcha. I’d be disingenuous to argue otherwise. But we’re all part of, like it or not, an industry, and what Netflix offers is an opportunity to do different kinds of films in different ways. Maybe part of what is being sacrificed is that they no longer go into theaters. If the choice is between not doing it at all and having it not go to theaters, it’s an easy choice to make.”
~ Errol Morris

“As these stories continue to break, in the weeks since women have said they were harassed and abused by Harvey Weinstein, which was not the birth of a movement but an easy and highly visible shorthand for decades of organizing against sexual harassment that preceded this moment, I hope to gain back my time, my work. Lately, though, I have noticed a drift in the discourse from violated rights to violated feelings: the swelled number of reporters on the beat, the burden on each woman’s story to concern a man “important” enough to report on, the detailed accounting of hotel robes and incriminating texts along with a careful description of what was grabbed, who exposed what, and how many times. What I remember most, from “my story” is how small the sex talk felt, almost dull. I did not feel hurt. I had no pain to confess in public. As more stories come out, I like to think that we would also believe a woman who said, for example, that the sight of the penis of the man who promised her work did not wound her, and that the loss she felt was not some loss of herself but of her time, energy, power.”
~ “The Unsexy Truth About Harassment,” by Melissa Gira Grant