MCN Originals Archive for May, 2018

The DVD Wrapup: Annihilation, Kaurismäki, Borzage, Sweet Sweetback, Two of Us, Cold Turkey, Weinstein, Jackass and more

Alex Garland is a terrific writer-director who challenges the imagination and rewards viewers, for whom patience a virtue. Garland received sole screenwriter credit on 28 Days Later … (2002), Sunshine (2007), Never Let Me Go (2010) and Dredd (2012), while sharing the writing credit with Tameem Antoniades on the video games and “DmC: Devil May Cry” and “Enslaved: Odyssey to the West.” He also wrote the novels from which The Beach (2000) and The Tesseract (2003), were adapted. None of them enjoyed an easy stroll to the big screen. Those difficulties were a walk in the park compared to the difficulties the London-born author and filmmaker faced getting Ex Machina (2014) and Annihilation into theaters. Together, they represent two of the finest examples of Earth-bound science fiction — or, if you prefer, speculative fiction or cutting-edge fiction – to be produced sequentially, in memory.

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The Gronvall Report: Leigh Whannell on Writing and Directing Upgrade

“Well, in Australia, once we did all the rebates and stuff, the film came out to about $8 or $9 million dollars, Australian. Yeah, about $5 million, American, but that’s taking into account the exchange rate, the tax rate rebate, and the fact that I’m Australian. Most movies in Australia are funded by the government, so if you’re Australian, you can actually get some government money. I don’t believe we could have shot this film in Los Angeles; we wouldn’t have been able to do it, but we could pull it off in Australia.”

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4-Day Estimates

102 Getting Shade. Book Club and Life of the Party hold well. And the Gospel According to Andre is the limited per-screen king.

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The Weekend Report

Solo debuted at the top of the weekend with an estimated $83.1 million for the three-day portion of the Memorial Day holiday. (All figures reflect three-day box office). It was the sole new national opener but more than the Force contributed to the absence of a competitive counter-programmer. The long weekend was an overall improvement from 2017, but posted a double-digit decline from last weekend’s Deadpool 2 opening.

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DVD Wrapup: Vazante, Early Man, Elis, Swung, Death Smiles, Of Unknown Origin, Swamp Thing 2, Little Women, MST3K Singles and more

Because historical fidelity was vital to her vision, Thomas employed a team of historians and tribal experts to reproduce the lifestyles and clothing of the era. This included a group of non-actors who are descendants of the region’s former slaves. Thomas’ commitment to a slow-burn narrative wouldn’t have worked if it weren’t for Inti Briones’s gorgeous monochromatic cinematography, whose every frame demands to be savored. The explosive final scene anticipates Brazil’s pluralistic society to come, even as it demonstrates how difficult it might be to achieve.

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The Weekend Report

Deadpool 2 swam to the top of weekend viewing with an estimated $124.9 million. The session’s other national newcomers targeted those averse to snark. The golden girls of Book Club charted third with $12.4 million while the kiddie mix of animation and live-action in Show Dogs grossed $6 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

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BOOM FOR REAL: Sara Driver On A Moment Whose Moment Has Come

“Everybody was going to see bands, going to see peoples’ shows. We were all in the same area… I think Luc [Sante in the film] describes him as “impish,” and, yeah, sort of everywhere.”

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The DVD Wrapup: Black Panther, Forgiven, Monkey King, Sweet Escape, Black Venus, It’s Alive and more

What were Stan Lee and Jack Kirby smoking when they named their new superhero after the militant organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton? Or… what were Seale and Newton smoking when they named the BPP after a comic-book superhero?

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The Weekend Report

Avengers: Infinity War won its third weekend with an estimated $63.2 million. The back-to-school hijinx of Life of the Party was in second spot with $18.3 million followed by the ferocious matriarch of Breaking In with $16.5 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

Avengers gets the third weekend with an easy win, as Disney plotted when moving the film back into April to launch the summer a week early. And next week, they will have a Star Wars at #1 and Avengers at #2. It’s good to be the Mouse. Double counterprogramming keep two films from launching to $20m+, but solid sturdy launches that could lead to decent totals if word of mouth is solid for both or either of the films. On the indie side, $10k+ weekend launches for Sony Classics’ The Seagull, Roadside’s Beast, and Magnolia’s Boom For Real.

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The DVD Wrapup: La Belle Noiseuse, 50 Shades Freed, 4K Titles, Paradox, Manifesto, Dear White People, Butterflies and more

“Take My Word for It” might be a better title for this column, especially as it applies to movies that went to straight-to-video or streaming or are made by filmmakers yet to establish reputations. Jacques Rivette’s 1991 masterpiece, La Belle Noiseuse, doesn’t fit those categories, but, with its four-hour length and ready availability of an inferior 125-minute cut, La Belle Noiseuse: Divertimento, Cohen Media’s upgraded Blu-ray may benefit from any endorsement. La Belle Noiseuse (The Beautiful Troublemaker) won the Grand Prize of the Jury at Cannes and was nominated for a Palme d’Or. Roger Ebert called it “the best film I have ever seen about the physical creation of art, and about the painful bond between an artist and his muse.” The great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa named it one of his two favorite movies of the 1990s — with Takeshi Kitano’s Fireworks – calling it the best filmed display of a struggle of an artist doing his craft, as well as a movie he would have liked to have directed.

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The Weekend Report

Avengers: Infinity War led weekend viewing with an estimated $113.2 million. Three new national releases did little to erode the Marvel juggernaut. Overboard – a remake of the 1987 comedy pairing real-life couple Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell – was second with $14.3 million. Further down the line, the Diablo Cody-Charlize Theron-Jason Reitman reteam Tully struggled to $3.2 million and Bad Samaritan collapsed with $1.6 million.

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Friday Box Office Estimates

When Disney gave themselves an extra week of space at the box office by pushing into an April release for Avengers: Infinity War, no one else moved a muscle. As a result, there are just three counterprogrammers opening wide this weekend, the best performing of which is Pantelion and Lionsgate’s Overboard remake, aimed at the Spanish-speaking market. This will be Eugenio Derbez’s strongest U.S. launch as a brand so far, even if the number looks small. Focus is opening Tully on more than double the screens that Young Adult launched, with about the same result. Electric’s Bad Samaritan is looking like an overreach on 2,007 screens. And the doc RBG will crack $10k per screen on 34 for Magnolia, while it could have probably been stronger at another moment… but hard to say when… hard to plan in the fury of the political climate.

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The DVD Wrapup: In the Fade, Insult, In Between, Please Stand By, Kaleidoscope, Schlock, The Unwilling, Tremors, Capitalism and more

In Fatih Akin’s award-winning drama, In the Fade, we’re asked to share the grief of a woman whose husband and son are murdered in a racially motivated bombing so intense that police say they were burned beyond recognition. German-born Katja Sekerci (Diane Kruger) is married to a Turk – once convicted for selling hashish, not that it matters – whose business is in a part of Hamburg where the immigration community has been vulnerable to attacks by nationalist and anti-immigration groups. Just after she drops her son off at his dad’s office, Katja cautions a young woman against leaving her bicycle unlocked on the street. By the time she returns to pick them up, the bomb has already been detonated and the damage done.

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MCN Originals

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“I wanted that feeling that you could live in a city your entire life and never meet anyone who wasn’t like you.”
Gillian Flynn

“We’re all going to die so it makes it very easy. I haven’t always thought that way but I’ve realized it’s the truth. I think age gets you there, questioning your mortality… When you realize that, it’s so liberating, it’s so free, you can fly! There’s no need to hold on to anything. Like, think of the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you; it’s probably happened to 500 million people as well. Who gives a shit!”
~ Steve McQueen