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

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“I had this friend who was my roommate for a while. She seemed really normal in every way except that she wouldn’t buy shampoo. She would only use my shampoo. And after a year it’s like, “When are you going to buy your own shampoo?” It was her way of digging in her heels. It was a certain sense of entitlement, or a certain anger. It was so interesting to me why she wouldn’t buy her own fucking shampoo. It was like,“I’m gonna use yours.” It was coming from a place of “You have more money than me, I just know it”—whether I did or I didn’t. Or maybe she felt, “You have a better life than me,” or “You have a better room than me in the apartment.” It was hostile. And she was a really close friend! There was never any other shampoo and I knew she was washing her hair. And clearly I have a thing about shampoo, as we see in ‘Friends with Money.’ I had some nice shampoo. So I found that psychologically so interesting how a person can function normally in every way and yet have this aberrance—it’s like a skip in the record. It was a sense of entitlement, I think. I put that in Olivia’s character, too, with her stealing someone’s face cream.”
Nicole Holofcener

“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady