MCN Originals Archive for September, 2013

The Weekend Report

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 supped on an estimated opening salvo of $34.4 million to easily take top spot with weekend moviegoers. Three other films debuted nationally and, like Meatballs, none had quite the spice that had been anticipated. Following last week’s teaser opening, Formula 1 racing saga Rush slotted third with $10.3 million while urban romantic comedy Baggage Claim grossed $9.4 million. The naughty but nice Don Jon trailed with $9 million.

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Friday Estimates

Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 opens about 12% better than the first of the fledgling series, but the key number for the film, with kids back to school, will be Saturday’s. Meanwhile, the two sex romp comedies—one from New Jersey and one traveling from Los Angeles— romanced the same estimated opening number… which suggests that Don Jon will likely do slightly better over the weekend run. But it also suggests that both films probably would have been better off not opening against one another, even if all answers to opening weekend are not black-and-white.

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The DVD Wrapup

The East, Gimme the Loot, Iron Man, Room 237, Augustine, Rosselli/Bergman, Fill the Void, In the House, Foyle’s War… and more.

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Wilmington on DVD: Iron Man Three

In Iron Man Three—capstone of the trilogy of films in which Robert Downey, Jr. plays brainy CEO Tony Stark a.k.a. the robo-suited super-hero Iron ManDowney spends far more time out of his Iron Man suit than in it. But that’s okay.

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The Weekend Report

It was definitely a case of take all Prisoners as the gripping child abduction drama ascended to the top in its debut with an estimated $21.2 million. The weekend’s other incoming wide release saw dancing but no stars as Battle of the Year grossed $4.8 million to slot fifth overall. Exclusive newcomers also provided a couple of potent entries starting with the adult rom-com Enough Said that sparked $240,000 from four screens. Just a lap behind, Formula 1 nail-biter Rush revved up $198,000 from five tracks.

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Friday Estimates

Jackman & Gyllenhaal & WB classic thriller marketing lead to a solid opening for Prisoners. How big the movie ends up being will depend on how much audiences enjoy the creamy metaphoric filling once they’ve bitten in and word-of-mouth begins.

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The Torontonian Reviews GRAVITY

Gravity is really, really cool.

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Pride’s Friday 5, 20 September 2013

Prisoners, After Tiller, Out 1: Noli me Tangere, Simon Killer and Gimme the Loot.

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Gurus o’ Gold Post-Venice/Telluride/Toronto

We tried something a little different this week. First, we picked our Top 8, without ranking them. Then, we picked out Next 7, also without ranking them. The idea was to create some degree of hierarchy without beating the rankings to death this early in the award season.

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The Weekend Report

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The Torontonian Reviews UNDER THE SKIN

Glazer’s decision to light the film with heavy chiaroscuro makes getting lost in the ambiguity sexy and mysterious, and it’s rare that you see the fullness of a character’s face. There is almost always something obscuring the skin or hiding the face of both prey and predator, which makes the shadows and confusion a bewitching result.

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Wilmington on DVDs: World War Z; The Bling Ring

Pitt doesn’t usually take the Tom Cruise stud-hero route; he’s done a lot of interesting projects. And though he’s wearing a strange hairdo for this type of role, he makes for a likable hero, if not a plausibly written one.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Insidious: Chapter 2 goes “boo!” with $20.1 million, while The Family serves up $5.3 million. And The Butler‘s only $3.9 million from serving up a cool $100 mil.

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The Torontonian Reviews PRISONERS

An unspoiled viewing of the film is so completely engrossing that every little clue or tidbit rattles and teases us. But the best mystery films are often those that withstand repeated viewings, for we watch these movies again and again to revisit how expertly handled each revelation is and how the characters react to them. Prisoners is this kind of mystery movie.

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The DVD Wrapup

War Witch, Star Trek, Friday 13th, Love Is All You Need, Strong Language, Ruby, American Hippie in Israel… and so much more.

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The Weekend Report

To no great surprise, the debut of Riddick shot to the top of the weekend charts with an estimated $18.6 million. It was the sole new national release in what is traditionally one of the lowest attended movie periods of the year. There was a tidal wave of exclusive openings but only doc portrait Salingerposted big numbers of $89,200 with a mere four carbons.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Riddick‘s got kick; The Butler stands ready to serve; The Millers have no intention of leaving town.

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Wilmington on Movies: The World’s End

I’ve let The World’s End go unremarked—so far—even though this cheerfully outrageous new comedy by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (all of Shaun of the Dead) is one of my favorite movies so far this year—and judging by the reviews, the favorite of lots of other critics (and audiences) too.

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The Torontonian Reviews PARKLAND

Their stories would likely be far more interesting in a written format, like Vincent Bugliosi’s “Four Days in November,” the book from which the film is adapted.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Winged Serpent (Q), The Iceman, Now You See Me

A sleazy little semi-classic from the more daffily glorious times when horror movies had less gore, smaller budgets and more personality, The Winged Serpent (or Q, as it was called when I caught it in New York City on its first release) is a delightfully cheesy monster movie from Larry Cohen in his heyday.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I suddenly couldn’t say anything about some of the movies. They were just so terrible, and I’d already written about so many terrible movies. I love writing about movies when I can discover something in them – when I can get something out of them that I can share with people. The week I quit, I hadn’t planned on it. But I wrote up a couple of movies, and I read what I’d written, and it was just incredibly depressing. I thought, I’ve got nothing to share from this. One of them was of that movie with Woody Allen and Bette Midler, Scenes From a Mall. I couldn’t write another bad review of Bette Midler. I thought she was so brilliant, and when I saw her in that terrible production of ‘Gypsy’ on television, my heart sank. And I’d already panned her in Beaches. How can you go on panning people in picture after picture when you know they were great just a few years before? You have so much emotional investment in praising people that when you have to pan the same people a few years later, it tears your spirits apart.”
~ Pauline Kael On Quitting

“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