MCN Originals Archive for March, 2016

Review: Miles from Home and I Saw the Light

Film biographies date to the dawn of cinema with the lives of politicians, entertainers and sports players providing a treasure trove of drama and entertainment. But the rearview mirror hasn’t been kind to the genre. We know that many bygone favorites printed the legend and skirted over or ignored the subject’s flaws. It didn’t seem to matter to the audiences that flocked to The Pride of the Yankeesor The Jolson Story but today’s moviegoer is not as forgiving about blurred lines.

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The Weekend Report

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice wasn’t the only story in the Easter marketplace but its estimated $168.3 million debut did account for approximately 66% of session revenues. There was still good news for the frame’s other national newcomer My Big Fat Greek Wedding that opened at third with $18.1 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Klady has the Thursday-Friday estimate coming in behind Jurassic World. WB would prefer it to be reported as above. Either way, a strong opening day for Batman v Superman. Either way, the minimum target based on this opening day would be $175 million domestic. We are reminded once again that Batman opens.

Meanwhile, opening day for My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 does what the original MBFGW did in its first 6 weeks.

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Review: Batman v Superman (Non-Trailer-Spoiler-Free)

This is a movie that a mediocrity could have done much, much better. This film could only be this bad because the filmmaker was truly ambitious and truly not up the fulfillment of any small percentage of those ambitions.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia stayed at the top of the weekend charts with an estimated $38.1 million, followed by national releases of Allegiant, the conclusion of the Divergent franchise, with $29 million, and the faith-based Miracles from Heaven that praised $14.9 million. A third national frosh, the comedy about Olympic gymnastics The Bronze, failed to qualify with a $403,000 tally.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

The return of the Divergent series takes the top spot for the day, but will lose the weekend to the third weekend of fast and slow talking animals. Also opening, Miracle From Heaven, surprisingly not a remake of Overboard in which Batman gets knocked in the head hard and comes back to life on a boat with the hero of “Alias” in a white dress pretending to still be married to him. Top indie is Midnight Special, which should be over $30k per screen on five.

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The DVD Wrapup: Freaks & Geeks, Daddy’s Home, Censored Voices,Black Mama White Mama, Mammon and more

For all of the respect shown these fondly remembered “cult classics,” however, “My So-Called Life” and “Freaks and Geeks” lasted all of one of season, while “Veronica Mars” was always in danger of being cancelled. Indeed, the shows’ greatest accomplishment might have been clearing the way for “Glee,” a show that smashed through the imaginary lines they blurred.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia posted an estimated $50.9 million, remaining king of the kino kingdom. 10 Cloverfield Lane held captive a solid $25.3 million but three other national openers took it on the chin. Romcom The Perfect Match took a passable $4.2 million gross but both inspirational The Young Messiah and broad comic The Brothers Grimsby showed scant commercial pulse at $3.3 million and $3.1 million, respectively.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup: Agnes Varda, Macbeth, Coming Home, Finding Gaston and more

At 87, the much celebrated European filmmaker Agnès Varda doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Aligned with the French New Wave, her early work not only pre-dated the movement and but also influenced its more identifiable practitioners. If she isn’t as well-known as André Bazin, Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut, Éric Rohmer, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and her future husband, Jacques Demy, it’s because of her desire to make films that didn’t focus on established traditions or classical standards. So it took longer for American audiences to warm to her singular vision and experimentation. Being a woman in an industry dominated by men couldn’t have helped her chances for commercial success, either. Varda also has remained active as a creator of stylized documentaries, a judge at prestigious festivals and frequent recipient of honorary awards. Cinelicious Pics has done the arthouse crowd a huge favor by releasing a double feature of rarely seen films Varda made concurrently with Jane Birkin in the mid-1980s: Jane B. Par Agnès V. and Kung-Fu Master.

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The Weekend Report

Zootopia has a monster Saturday to become an all-time Top 10 animated opener, the biggest ever outside of the summer window, biggest for Disney Animation (aside from Pixar), and except for Inside Out, biggest true original (The Simpsons Movie not being a true original, though the first feature from the franchise). London Has Fallen opened over $20m, but is is still down from the original. And Whiskey Tango Foxtrot has got to be doing a lot of WTF-ing this weekend.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Zootopia looks to return March animation openings to serious business, chasing the March record ’06 open of Ice Age 2 (after that, Fox moved that franchise, ironically, to the summer). London Has Fallen has fallen about 25% off of the first of the franchise’s opening day as Focus releases the former FilmDistrict franchise soon after having schlesseled the top exec it came with. And the only good box office news for Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is that it will outgross Admission and not be Tina Fey’s worst starring launch.

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The DVD Wrapup: Danish Girl, Boy, Intruders, Beautiful When Angry, Iron Sheik and more

The Danish Girl is an intelligent and absolutely gorgeous movie. If neither the book nor the movie bear much resemblance to the historical facts, the film’s interwar European settings, set design and period costumes are splendidly rendered and the lead characters’ paintings are very easy on the eyes.

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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