MCN Blogs


August movies usually stink. But this month there are strong titles, Detroit is followed by at least three that should find diverse audiences: Wind River, Good Time, An Inconvenient Sequel. (And yes, Dark Tower.) What movies are going to be good? Could Kidnap be a short, sharp B-movie?

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Review: Detroit (no spoilers)

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One of the excellent things about this film is that while non-blacks cannot fully feel the black experience of America, anyone can understand and identify with the experience of this group of victims under the control of that small number of law enforcement officers gone rogue. The threat of state authority is alive and unwell in countries all over this planet, enforced against and abused by people of all races, religions, genders, and ethnicities.

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Weekend Estimates by Len Dinghy

Dunkirk‘s opening is soooo Nolan. I get that it was above expectations. I know that the studio was thinking mid-30s. But with Inception‘s $63m opening and Interstellar‘s $48m opening, you wonder why Nolan didn’t do Inchon. Wait… no… I’ll go with three’s a trend in this case. No one else has delivered like this with…

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Friday Estimates by Beached Klady

A weirdly reflective Friday at the box office… The opening for Dunkirk is almost identical to the Wednesday-Thursday-Friday “opening day” of Interstellar. ($19 million) Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets opened to almost the same number that The Fifth Element opened to in 1997. ($6.1 million) And Girls Trip is right around the…

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Trailering Whoopi Goldberg And Charlie Sheen’s 9/11 for 9/8

Just when American movies were getting good again… Graphic Towers footage, as you would expect. For clearing the palate immediately after, how about Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape Of Water again?

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Review: Dunkirk (spoiler-free)

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It takes a genius. And Christopher Nolan is a genius filmmaker. It is impossible to imagine that he won’t, finally, get his first Oscar nomination for directing this… because it as directed a film as you can imagine. The images are big and bold and every frame is a picture of skill and elegance. The IMAX experience is different than the 70mm experience – one feels like uncharted territory and the other just gorgeous – but either way, it is a visual feast.

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RIP Martin Landau

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BYOFear: RIP George A. Romero

(Image © Ray Pride.)

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Weekend Estimates by War For The Box Office Klady

Apes: Volume 2 – Episode 3, as described yesterday, followed the pattern of a new box office niche. Establish a decent-sized domestic audience, maintain that audience, never grow much past that audience. Some of these audiences are bigger, obviously. Harry Potter, Twilight, and Rings all lived up in the $300 million neighborhood domestically before adding big international…

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Friday Estimates by Primate Klady

Déjà monkey. War for the Planet of the Apes is a perfect example of a pretty new classic… the franchise that does well enough at home to keep going, but grows internationally to make it worth continuing. This is, thankfully, the well-reviewed version of this phenomenon. I am glad we have these films and Matt Reeves…

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  Scary stuff! Talk about A Ghost Story (mark spoilers where necessary)? There’s both hate and love out there for David Lowery’s life-looping melancholy. What have you seen in the past year that rattled the windows, whether new or something you’ve watched for the first time? (Not including the 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 10pm headline…

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Really Simple Perspective On The Film Business (Summer 2017)

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We are at that time of the year when there isn’t a lot of news… so otherwise professional people start mouthing off like a bunch of nattering nabobs of negativity.

In 20 years of doing this, I have had maybe four or five years total in which I didn’t hear “It’s worse than it’s ever been!” Hollywood is always shutting down. It’s always over for theatrical. The Next Big Thing is forever running this town.

Then it shifts.

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Postering Charlie Sheen’s 9/11 Drama With Whoopi Goldberg

For those who have hungered all summer for “adult” entertainment, your wait is over on September 8, for Charlie Sheen’s labor of love, 9/11. (Press release, CHARLIE SHEEN’S “9/11” ACQUIRED BY ATLAS DISTRIBUTION, here.)

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Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (spoiler-free)

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I was entertained every minute of this movie. Honest. There was no room to get bored or not be surprised by what happened, what was happening and what was about to happen.

This is both a virtue and a flaw.

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Weekend Estimates by Automated Suit Klady

Spider-Man Homecoming‘s opening turned out to be… predictable, but in a not-so-great way. The opening 3-day comes in just above the original, then-record-setting, Spider-Man opening. Technically, it opened better than either Amazing Spider-Man movie, but I would argue that the first ASM opened stronger. Of the three $100m+ openers this summer, Guardians 2 did 2.6x opening…

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Friday Estimates by Klady’s Reboot Fever Dream

Okay… At the end of the opening weekend of The Amazing Spider-Man, it had grossed $137 million. Spider-Man: Homecoming is figuring to gross about the same, little more, little less. Yes, ASM had six days rather than three, opening on July 3. But when the audience knows it has all those days, it tends to…

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Here’s Edgar Wright’s 2003 Dry Run For BABY DRIVER (3’30”)

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20 Years And Counting…

Today is the 20th anniversary of my father’s passing. Sid Poland was a good man. He was from a different world, born in Baltimore in 1917, before television, commercial aviation, consumer refrigerators, direct dial, serious nationalized efforts towards racial or gender equality. Don’t even get started on cell phones, the internet or blogs… those all…

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Review: The House

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The House doesn’t suck.

The House is funny. I laughed a lot.

The House is short. It has one of those closing credit sequences that go in slow motion to hope to get the movie to 90 minutes. They clearly came up short of the target.

The House would have been a good mean-as-hell comedy if there were a third act that worked.

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Weekend Estimates by Despicapointing Klady

In the very rare Tuesday 4th of July window, Despicable Me 3 had a softer 3-day than would be expected and will come up short of the $100m 5-day. Don’t cry too hard for the Minions, who will still generate more than $700m worldwide. Baby Driver, on the flip side, overperformed its Friday with over…

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MCN Videos

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Landline, Jenny Slate, Gillian Robespierre, Elisabeth Holm

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Luc Besson, Valerian

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The Big Sick, Zoe Kazan

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The B Side, Errol Morris

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“It would be difficult to find something made by a human being that isn’t pregnant with a vision of the world. Likely impossible. It’s inherent to existence. It turns out that world visions can coincide with a certain hegemonic idea of what the world is —or not. It’s like when they say that “indie cinema” is intellectual, simply because it does not coincide with a narrative system the industry legitimates. But the industry is as intellectual as ‘indie’ movies. The difference is that one affirms reality, doesn’t call it into question. And not all ‘art movies’ are after that. You’ve got to call reality into doubt. Or better yet, I’d say you’ve got to be suspicious of reality. Because if you’re not, there’s no possible transformation. Every one of us who has done cinema —to speak just of moviemaking— has contributed our perspectives to a vision of the world. A community needs that —lots of perspectives. There will be times when some are valued more than others. But the really important thing is that a lot of different visions coexist. The big task is to facilitate that variety.”
~ Lucrecia Martel

“It’s a film festival’s job—and increasingly so—to create moments of recognition, of enjoyment, of shock, of learning. Not of consumerism. Not of implementing cultural policy. But moments without pretence, unclouded by vested interests, by intervention, by cynicism, by everyday business. Committed to nothing but the thing itself. Under obligation to nothing, to no one, not even to the filmmakers themselves. To basically seek access to a form that does not yet exist, a place no one has been to, a time that has not yet come. ’A form that thinks, and a thought that forms,’ as Jean-Luc Godard has it.”
~ Hans Hurch, late director of the Viennale