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 »

“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho