MCN Originals Archive for June, 2015

30 Weeks To Oscar: Trailer Parade (20 Currently Available)

Here are all the trailers currently available – some domestic, some international, one just a clip – for films from the broad contenders list published Monday.

Read the full article » No Comments »

30 Weeks To Oscar: Setting The Field

So our big list is already at 14. Let’s take it to 25 with titles with serious awards potential from major Oscar-playing distributors…

Read the full article » 8 Comments »

The Weekend Report

Jurassic World took the hat trick as top viewing choice for the frame with an estimated $54.2 million and set a new speed record for a movie grossing $500 million. It now ranks fifth among all time domestic box office champs (unadjusted). And still radiating joy in second position was Inside Out with $52.2 million. Neither of the session’s new wide releases performed up to expectations with Ted 2 napping third in the lineup with $32.9 million and Max, the Afghan vet pooch, grossing $12.2 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Inside Out again leads Friday with Jurassic Park nipping at its heels. Jurassic Park has held like a family movie through its first two weekends, so expectations will be for more of the same this frame. Ted 2, which was projected at $50 million early in the week, then $40 million in the last couple of days, is looking like it will come up short on both of those marks. And WB’s fifth release in seven weekends, a family dog movie called Max, could end up being right in the middle of the WB summer pack in terms of openings with anywhere from $11m – $14m, depending on how strongly it plays today with families.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Timbuktu, The Bridge, Pit Stop, Dog Soldiers and more

When Kidane confronts the belligerent fisherman, the pistol he’s carrying to intimidate the man accidentally discharges, killing him. This sets off a series of events that puts Kidane in direct contact with the jihadists and their alternately severe and absurd interpretations of Sharia law. It outlaws music, dance, laughter, cigarettes and, even, the bare hands of women selling messy products in the market, while authorizing stoning adulterers to death, lashing outlawed musicians and accepting bribes and granting favors. Kidane’s biggest problem is his inability to come up with the compensation – 40 cows – ordered by the court, which includes a man who’s itching to steal the herdsman’s wife. If this was all Sissako gave us to ponder in Timbuktu, it would be an unbearable experience. Instead, he lightens the overall tone by demonstrating the determination of residents to get around the rules, even under the watchful eyes of the fanatics.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Review: Ted Again (Ted 2)

A basic rule about narrative art… the first thing with which an audience connects is the heart of what the material is about. Ted was a sensational idea to which people could universally relate. What if the childhood toy you were obsessed with not only came to life, but continued to live past his cuteness, your cuteness, and to the point where he was keeping you from becoming an adult?

Read the full article » 6 Comments »

Review-ish: True Detective, Season 2, Episodes 1-3 (spoiler-lite)

“True Detective” Season 2 is nothing like “True Detective” Season 1. Just take a minute and clear your palate. I’ll ease you in… the song… the theme song… not as good. Not as memorable. Not eerily memorable.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

The Weekend Report

The debut of animated Inside Out had ‘em in the aisles clapping with an estimated $91.2 million opening. But that wasn’t quite enough as the second weekend of Jurassic World plowed ahead with $101.9 million, seconds away from a possible record speed to a $400 million gross. The frame’s other wide newcomer – urban high school comedy Dope – bowed to a disappointing $5.8 million.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Inside Out looks to be the second biggest Pixar opening ever, behind only Toy Story 3, with a launch (with Thursday sneaks) in the low 90s. Jurassic World holds well for a mega-opening, dropping just 55% Friday-to-Friday (remember to forget the $18.5m Thursday sneaks), suggesting an $86.5 million second weekend (382.5m cume), which would keep its domestic just ahead of The Avengers after two weekends. No other films are looking at $10 million or better for the weekend. The Overnight looks to be the strongest arthouse player with a strong $15k per-screen (maybe more, if it plays as a date film tonight) on three screens.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Review: Inside Out (spoiler-free)

Inside Out is about one specific step in growing up. It may be, in some ways, the end of innocence… but it’s hardly the giant leap into the teenage abyss of fear, loathing, and wild insecurity. But it’s glory is in that simplicity. It allows Team Pixar to bring every detail to life in tremendous ways.

Read the full article » 9 Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Welcome to Me, Wild Tales, Gett, Bob Hope and more

Any doubts that Wiig might not be able to accurately depict her character’s tortured mental state disappeared when leaked photos of a stark-naked Wiig, walking through a crowded Palms Spring casino, began to appear on celebrity-skin websites. It’s a brave performance and Wiig is excellent throughout Welcome to Me. How far her fans are willing to accompany Kleig into her journey into madness is open to question.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Confessions Of A Film Fest Junkie: LAFF 2015

Toronto always seems to be compete with the events of the day. I can remember everything going gloomy (including the weather) when Princess Diana was killed during TIFF 1997 and it’s difficult to convey the impact of 9/11 on that Canadian metropolis all those many years ago. Los Angeles is divorced from reality in any event.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The Weekend Report

A trip to the past was well worth it as Jurassic World blew away the competition with an estimated $204.3 million debut. Roughly three of every four moviegoers that bought a ticket this weekend were watching familiar Raptors and the new monster on the block, Dominus Rex. There was no counterprogramming on the horizon.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: Jurassic World

Ever since Jaws made his name and fortune in 1975 Steven Spielberg has been the king of the summer movie, and his production of this weekend’s nearly-record-breaking mega-hit Jurassic World simply continues that tradition. Where would we be if we didn’t have a shark, a dinosaur, a U.F.O., or an E. T. to run from or play with or queue up for? Even when his movies aren’t released in summer, they can feel like summery treats.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Friday Box Office Estimates

Universal’s explosive year (coming off their strongest year of profits without tentpoles) continues, as the return of Jurassic Park captures the imagination of the world 22 years after the original, opening to a then-record $18.2 million (including Thursday previews as seems to be the studio-chosen style right now). The lack of other wide newcomers and the holdovers paid some price on Friday for the Jurassic success. Two strong indie openings, as Me, Earl & The Dying Girl did $4613 per on 15 and The Wolfpack pulled $4550 per on two.

Read the full article » No Comments »

The DVD Wrapup: Camp X-Ray, Free the Nipple, Giuseppe Andrews, Pillow Book and more

Who knows how many of today’s straight-to-DVD movies will stand the test of time and find new audiences decades after their initial release? Some of today’s crop of genre filmmakers almost surely will be asked to look back on their early films in featurettes recorded 20 years from now for Blu-ray or whatever new format is being foisted on consumers.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Confessions of a Film Festival Junkie: LAFF 2015

The Los Angeles Film Festival took a look at a festival topographical map and considered the needs of its core membership and made some sage decisions. The program is chock-a-block with films by members and other indies. Ideally there ought to be a prize somewhere in this box of crackerjack.

Read the full article » No Comments »

Review: Jurassic World

The phrase “all kinds of wrong” is usually about putting multiple spotlights on one tragic flaw. But with Jurassic World, it is an apt description of the film from pretty much start to finish. There are all kinds of things that are wrong with this film, though none of them are really tragic. This is a professionally, slickly made movie.

Read the full article » 10 Comments »

Peter Greenaway talks “Pillow Book” (from the 20th century)

“A writer, or a painter, working on a private basis, the conditions would be even more deplorable. The responsibilities of time and collaborators creates a series of strictures that push you on. Unless those didn’t exist, to push it further there would be no reason to get out of bed in the morning! I would simply sit in bed and write scripts.”

Read the full article » No Comments »

Wilmington on Movies: San Andreas

That famous Fault we Angelenos dread cracks apart and sends much of Los Angeles and San Francisco crashing down into the streets, the freeways, and the ocean and tsunamis rise and skyscrapers topple…

Read the full article » No Comments »

MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“The worst thing that we have in today’s movie culture is Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the destruction of our business. I have such respect and admiration for film criticism. When I was growing up film criticism was a real art. And there was intellect that went into that. And you would read Pauline’s Kael’s reviews, or some others, and that doesn’t exist anymore. Now it’s about a number. A compounded number of how many positives vs. negatives. Now it’s about, ‘What’s your Rotten Tomatoes score?’ And that’s sad, because the Rotten Tomatoes score was so low on Batman v Superman I think it put a cloud over a movie that was incredibly successful. People don’t realize what goes into making a movie like that. It’s mind-blowing. It’s just insane, it’s hurting the business, it’s getting people to not see a movie. In Middle America it’s, ‘Oh, it’s a low Rotten Tomatoes score so I’m not going to go see it because it must suck.’ But that number is an aggregate and one that nobody can figure out exactly what it means, and it’s not always correct. I’ve seen some great movies with really abysmal Rotten Tomatoes scores. What’s sad is film criticism has disappeared. It’s really sad.”
~ Brett Ratner Has A Sad

“The loss of a local newspaper critic is a real loss. People who know the local audience and know the local cultural scene are very important resources. You can’t just substitute the stuff that comes in from nowhere through syndication or the wire. I think at the same time, some of the newer outlets have really beefed up and improved their coverage and made room for criticism. The real problem is in the more specialized art forms — fine arts, classical music, dance and jazz, say. There is a real slowing of critical voices, partly because those art forms have smaller audiences. Newspapers and magazines can say that doesn’t get enough traffic, so we don’t have room for that. To me, that’s especially worrisome. This is the opposite of what newspapers are supposed to do, which is not to try to figure out what people are already interested in and recite that back to them, but to hopefully guide them to something that they should be interested in, connecting potential audiences with more interesting work.

“Then again, not everyone needs a critic. People have been going to movies for more than 100 years now, and probably the vast majority of those people have not read movie reviews or cared what critics thought. But there has always been an important subset that wants to know more, that wants to think about what they’ve seen and what they’re going to see, and wants someone to think along with. I think critics are important, not just as dispensers of consumer advice — though that’s certainly part of it, too — but as trusted voices and companions for people to argue with in your head when you’re going to movies or afterwards.”
~ A. O. Scott