MCN Originals Archive for April, 2014

The DVD Wrapup

Best Offer, Selfish Giant, Hill Street Blues, Mr. Selfridge, Devil’s Due, Dead Shadows, Bucksville and more.

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Countdown To Cannes: Bennett Miller

The third in a series of snapshots outlining the nineteen directors in the 67th Palme d’Or Competition.

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The Weekend Report

The Other Woman was the top choice at the weekend box office with a debut estimated at $24.8 million. Two other films also entered the marketplace at a lower threshold. Actioner Brick Mansions slotted fifth with an okay $9.6 million while chiller The Quiet Ones hardly nudged the thermostat with an opening gross of $3.9 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Fox counterprograms the comic books, tweener, and kids movies with the first comedy with aggressive appeal for women since Enough Said & Baggage Claim back in September 2013… and wins big. It isn’t Bad Teacher but it will be Cameron Diaz’s best start as a non-animated lead aside from that since Charlie’s Angels And it will be Leslie Mann’s biggest opening as a lead and her biggest since Knocked Up. Paul Walker’s 2nd non-F&F release in the last 7 years will open… to about half of what his other one, Takers snatched. Does anyone really know what that means? Not likely.

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Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (spoiler-free)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a piece of quality filmmaking with actual attention to consistent coherent (and emotionally coherent) storytelling.

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Wilmington on Movies: Bears

Three bears huddled on the snowy lopes of a vast white mountain as a raging avalanche crashes down alongside them. Fish fighting their way upstream in a glistening river, with one spunky salmon rising up from the spume and spray to nearly swat a waiting bear. A mama bear bravely standing between her two threatened cubs and a renegade clanless bear who circles and circles and wants to make a meal of them.

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Countdown To Cannes: Atom Egoyan

The second in a series of snapshots outlining the eighteen directors in the 67th Palme d’Or Competition.

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The DVD Wrapup

Bettie Page, Inspector Lavardin, Cell Block 11, Sorcerer, Pawnbroker, Tin Can Man, Junction, Billie Jean and more.

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Countdown To Cannes: Tommy Lee Jones

The first in a series of snapshots outlining the eighteen directors in the 67th Palme d’Or Competition.

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Wilmington on Movies: 2014 COLCOA Film Festival — Truffaut, Lelouch

Here’s the bill of fare. The COLCOA Film Festival, a fixture in Los Angeles for 17 years, shows new and classic French films in two American movie theaters at the Directors’ Guild complex: plush theaters named for legendary French filmmakers, François Truffaut and Jean Renoir. They mean a lot to me — the filmmakers, the films, and especially those two directors (or cineastes), Renoir and Truffaut.

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The Weekend Report

A quartet of new releases couldn’t unseat Captain America: The Winter Soldier from the lead on Easter weekend. The Marvelous super hero grossed an estimated $26.2 million, with Rio 2 not far off with $22.6 million. Among new national releases was the unexpectedly competitive true-life inspirational saga Heaven is for Real with $21.2 million and, conversely, the unexpectedly non-competitive Transcendence, which downloaded only $11.1 million. Chiller spoof A Haunted House 2 did an OK $8.9 million and nature tale Bears was off to a fair start of $4.8 million.

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Wilmington on Movies and DVDs: The TCM 2014 Classic Film Festival: How Green Was My Valley; Meet Me in St. Louis; Make Way for Tomorrow

Families, at their best, give us solace and they give us joy. At their worst, they tear us apart. Both extremes were visible on screen at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival: often the best (How Green Was My Valley) and sometimes the worst (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?), but always the crucial parts of a film to remember.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The numbers are 21% smaller, but once again we have a $100,000 lead for Rio 2 over Cap 2 on Friday. This weekend, however, we have four new films chasing the top spot – and failing to come close – instead of two. The top of the group is Heaven Is For Real, which opened on Wednesday and should be over a $25m cume by the end of the weekend. After uniformly negative reviews, WB’s big hitter, Transcendence, has technology running well behind God. The new sequel in town, A Haunted House 2, has been crowded out, but not so much as DisneyNature’s Bears.

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The DVD Wrapup

Ride Along, Labor Day, Invisible Woman, Bastards, Everyday, Ripper Street, Bletchley Circle, Black Nativity and more.

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The Torontonian Tips Cannes

In sticking with the Festival’s long-standing tradition of programming veterans in Competition, 13 of the announced 18 films are from returning auteurs. 18 is a small number for Cannes, though, so expect one, two, and possibly even three more films to be announced in the coming weeks.

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The Weekend Report

Captain America: The Winter Soldier remained at the top of the charts despite significant incoming competition from newcomer Rio 2. The Captain grossed an estimated $40.9 million to the feathered flock’s $38.5 million. The session also featured two other national openers, which fought for positions three and four on the charts. Mirror chiller Oculus bowed to $11.8 million while football-themed Draft Day touched down with $10 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Captain America: The Winter Soldier takes a predictable 54% drop, opening the door to Rio 2 taking the top slot with around $40m for the weekend.

Also in more modest debuts, the horror film that no one can pronounce beats Kevin Costner’s oddly-dated feel-good football comedy.

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17 Weeks Of Summer: Episode One – The Studios

There are 30 wide-release films due to be released by the 6 major studios in these 17 weeks of summer (May 2-August 24). And the majors haven’t done anything to change the popular media tune about an ongoing obsession with big, expensive movies.

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DVD Geek: 12 Years a Slave

How can the random displacement of humans being distributed as property sustain a consistent intrigue of character? How can modern actors embody any of the characters, black or white, truthfully, without going insane? McQueen oversees all of these challenges, creating a powerful, beautiful work—no more or less violent than many great films that have addressed violence—that is entertaining and exciting throughout its 134 minutes.

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Wilmington on DVDs: The Hidden Fortress; Blue Jasmine; August: Osage County; Saving Mr. Banks

Like all the best Kurosawas — which encompasses most of his output — this is a beautifully crafted, tremendously exciting movie, and it features some of Kurosawa’s best action scenes, shot and cut in his characteristic vigorous three-camera set-ups. It’s better than Star Wars.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Most of these women were in their early twenties. Most of them refused to go any further with him, but a few went to dinner, or to some sort of casting situation, or to someplace private… if the stories were just about some crazed sex addict who approaches thousands of women on the street trying to get laid, I wouldn’t be posting this now. I don’t want to be attacking every Hollywood douchebag who hits on countless women. That type of behavior isn’t cool, but I think it’s important to separate douchebaggery from any kind of sexual coercion. But the women I talked to who DID go someplace private with Toback, told stories that were worse than the women only accosted on the street… So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him… I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light (him and a couple others, frankly). So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the L. A. Times.”
~ James Gunn

“BATTLE OF THE SEXES: Politics and queerness as spectacle/spectacle as politics and queerness. Pretty delightful, lovely, erotic. A-

“Not since EASY A and CABARET have I seen Emma Stone give a real sense of her range. Here, she has pathos and interiority and desire. I love the cinematography and the ways in which the images of the tennis icons are refracted and manipulated via various surfaces/mediators. Also, wild how a haircut is one of the most erotic scenes in cinema this year. Spine tinglingly tactile that feels refreshing. Proof that *cough* you don’t need to be ~graphic/explicit~ to be erotic *cough*. Also, it made me want to get into tennis. Watching it, at least.

“There are interesting touches and intimations as to the cinematic nature of sports, & unpacking the formal approach of broadcasting sports.Also, I was here for Sarah Silverman smoking. And also, hi Mickey Sumner!! It’s a really interesting film about the ways in which public spectacle is never apolitical, and how spectacle is prone to assignation.

“There’s this one other scene from BATTLE OF THE SEXES that I love, and it’s the one in the bar. You see Billie looking after Marilyn as she dances. Through a crowd. There’s a paradoxical closeness and distance between them. In the purple light, and the kitschy decor, everything is distorted. But Billie catches a glance and you can feel the nervous swell inside.”
~ Kyle Turner