MCN Originals Archive for November, 2017

Gurus o’ Gold: Oscars For The Ages

The Gurus do the normal Top 10, then take a look at what age groups in The Academy they think will be the primary base of support for each movie. (Here’s a hint… Get Out is for the young voters, Victoria & Abdul for the elders.)

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The Weekend Report

The righteous prevailed as Justice League dominated the marketplace with an estimated $95.6 million debut. Counterprogramming still proved effective with Wonder charting second with a potent $27.1 million and inspirational animated The Star grossing $9.8 million.

Exclusives were led by Roman J. Israel, Esq., which launched at four locations to $64,700 prior to a wide expansion Wednesday. Expansions of Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri sizzled as early favorites in an awards season that’s just starting.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Justice League has a better Friday/Thursday Night than Wonder Woman, but is estimated by some to open to less than Wonder Woman over the 3-day. Is WB convincing box office writers to underestimate the weekend now so that a still-soft $105 million opening for the film will seem like a win tomorrow? Probably. Meanwhile, Lionsgate is looking at its best non-Power Rangers opening in over a year, opening Wonder to $9.6 million on Friday with a good chance of gaining strength over the weekend with an appeal to younger audiences and women. Lady Bird expands nicely, as does Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Season of a Different Color

I don’t know if this will be an #OscarSoWhite year. But even if Denzel Washington and Octavia Spencer are nominated, it will be the same way as two seasons ago… and likely, two seasons into the future.

The problem is not how many nominations people of color get from The Academy. The problem is that we have such a small group of “movies of color” for Academy members to consider.

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The DVD Wrapup: Wind River, Unlocked, In This Corner of the World, Funeral Parade of Roses, Zoology, Romero Redux, Indiscretion and more

What makes Wind River compelling is how Sheridan integrates it into the depiction of life above the tree line both for humans and animals.

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The Weekend Report

Thor: Ragnarok rocked and yokked to the top once more with an estimated $57.3 million. A pair of new national releases started out well: Daddy’s Home 2 took with $29.7 million while the remake of Murder on the Orient Express came into the station with $28.3 million.

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Friday Box-Office Estimates

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The Gronvall Report: “Planet of the Apes” Costar Terry Notary Takes Center Stage in “The Square”

“They were real art-world people: donors, billionaire donors, owners of galleries, and famous photographers, and some singers, too. He didn’t tell me any of that. Only on the last day did he say, ‘Do you know who you’ve been throwing water on? A billionaire donor; she’s actually the biggest donor in Sweden.'”

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Gurus o’ Gold: Pick The Winners Way Too Early

As The Gurus get into the weekly habit of prognosticating again, there was no messing around. Who is going to win? The Gurus, who are insightful, but not fools, didn’t vote for any of the movies or performances that haven’t yet been shown widely (that changes over Thanksgiving). For a “wide open season,” there are a bunch of categories that seem surprisingly close to settled in the minds of The Gurus.

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The DVD Wrapup: King George, Cars 3, Overdrive, Afterimage, Glass Castle, Whisky Galore, The Journey, Into the Night, Sissi, Stay Hungry and more

Even if Olive Films weren’t presenting its Blu-ray release of The Madness of King George as a cautionary tale, it would be difficult for any American – Republicans included – not to draw parallels to our current political predicament.

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The Weekend Report

Marvel Studios has its best off-summer opening by a large margin with Thor: Ragnarok. When everyone is following their zig, they zag. (Universal should partner on a Hulk movie. There is too much money in play not to consider it.) A Bad Moms Christmas made a number of mistakes on its way to theaters (including opening an adult Christmas movie on November 3), but $21.5m at the end of opening weekend is only a little off the original, which did five times its opening. Lady Bird delivered the biggest per-screen opening of 2017, just shy of $100k. One of the three or four likely Best Picture nominees at this late date, it delivered appropriately.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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The DVD Wrapup and Gift Guide I: Fellini, Ernie Kovacs, Green Acres, Carol Burnett, Person-to-Person and more

It’s difficult to imagine discovering a movie by Federico Fellini that lovers of foreign films haven’t seen at least once. In the case of Arrow Academy’s “The Voice of the Moon: Special Edition” Blu-ray, “discovery” might not be the right term. The Maestro’s final feature has been sitting around in plain sight for more than a quarter-century, just waiting for some distributor to give it a whirl. Better late than never.

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MCN Originals

Quote Unquotesee all »

“I never accepted the term contrarian. I think that’s offensive, frankly. And my response to that is: if I’m a contrarian, what are other reviewers? What I strive to do is be a good critic, not somebody who simply accepts the product put in front of me. I guess it scares people to think that they don’t have any originality; that they don’t have the capacity to think for themselves.

“There’s a line a lot of reviewers use that I don’t like at all. They say ‘accept the film on its own terms.’ What that really means is, ‘accept the film as it is advertised.’ That’s got nothing to do with criticism. Nothing to do with having a response as a film watcher. A thinking person has to analyze what’s on screen, not simply rubber-stamp it or kowtow to marketing.”m

“To me, everything does have a political component and I think it’s an interesting way to look at art. It’s one way that makes film reviewing, I think, a politically relevant form of journalism. We do live in a political world, and we bring our political sense to the movies with us – unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the movies and shuts off the outside world. I’m not that kind of person.”
~ Armond White to Luke Buckmaster

“One of comedy’s defining pathologies, alongside literal pathologies like narcissism and self-loathing, is its swaggering certainty that it is part of the political vanguard, while upholding one of the most rigidly patriarchal hierarchies of any art form.”
~ Lindy West