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 »

“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
~ Michael Bay Gives Richard Brody A Tingle

How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch