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« Besties Bounce Bell Bio-Pic | Main | Meanwhile in Venice... »

Riddick Beats The Butler. What Did You See This Weekend?

It feels somehow right in early September while the world's film critics, pundits, and bloggers and world class auteurs are all over the Globe at festivals (Telluride, Venice, Toronto) that the mainstream has to reheat ole' hit leftovers for their movie dinner. Riddick, the long awaited ... another sequel to the Pitch Black franchise took the top spot at the box office with a decent $18 million. It'll eventually turn a profit since they kept the budget reasonable (a good lesson for all B franchises... or anything really).

In other news, Lee Daniels' The Butler, which came in second after three weeks at the top, will be Lee Daniels' First 100 Million Hit by this time next week... though I can't help wishing we lived in a world where The Paperboy and Precious also got there on the grounds of "you have to see this madness!" and "can you believe the genius of Mo'Nique/Kidman?" What a wonderful world that would be! 

Also worth noting: Blue Jasmine crossed $25 million (a huge sum for a Woody Allen film though still less than half of Midnight in Paris's eventual domestic gross, and Short Term 12, buoyed by the strength of my awesome Brie Larson interview (kidding... but you should read it), took in another $100,000+. That doesn't sound big given that box office reporting tends to care only about movies with at least two more 0s on that number, you try marketing a movie about troubled foster kids and their supervisors. Well done, Cinedigm! Next week it adds 30 cities or so and if you go see it in droves I promise to quit bugging you about it. Deal? 

What did you see this weekend? Care to share?

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Reader Comments (27)

Already bought my ticket for "Short Term 12" in advance of its release here in San Diego next week :D

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

The first half hour of "Riddick" is gripping sci-fi adventure as Vin and his CGI pet dog creature ( who gives the best performance in the movie) must survive a hostile planet. But when an annoying group of bounty hunters arrive the movie turns into a predictable action movie with monsters.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Saw The Family and it wasn't bad. It wasn't good either. Dianna Agron is the standout, surprise, surprise. Pfeiffer still has killer (pun intended) cheekbones, Tommy Lee can do this kind of thing in his sleep.

And DeNiro. After watching The Big Wedding on an airplane and this on a big screen, I reallixrd that I still love this man's work. Even in fair-to-middling to absolutely worthless crap, he always gets to me, if only for a few moments. Sue me.

Also saw Kill Your Darlings, which I liked more. Daniel Radcliffe could be a truly compelling screen presence if he weren't such a "good student" in his performances. I think he's miscast in this, by the way, but he does his best. Dane DeHann's work reminded me of Ben Whishaw (in a good way), and I hope he packs on some pounds before tackling James Dean in that Corbijn project. I wish Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael C. Hall and Kyra Sedgwick had had more to do. In fact, I wish they'd had anything to do with each other. But that would have been a whole another movie.

Still digesting both of these films, obviously.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

I saw Blue Jasmine. It was so good. Cate deserves all the praise.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKD

I saw nothing, but was living vicariously through coverage of Toronto and Venice. Truly, there was nothing good playing here in New York that hasn't already been out for several weeks and the few things I've missed so far (Una Noche, for instance) seem to be middling hits. Looking forward to Wadjda next week and Prisoners the following. The Fall movie season can't get here soon enough...

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

I watched Antiviral. I'm still recovering. I almost feel like Brandon Cronenberg made the film just to make his father blush. There's one clear homage moment to the senior Cronenberg. The rest is pure Brandon and I'm terrified of what he'll do next. I've never seen medical syringe work look so realistic in a horror film before. I know how they did it. It's just super high quality practical makeup execution. Flawless work. The film gets muddied in the visuals but such is body horror.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

I saw the Spectacular Now, which pleasantly surprised me. Shailene Woodley continues to impress me.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

I saw Fritz Lang's M for the first time and was blown away. It's just as brilliant as everybody always says, and several decades ahead of its time in themes and filmmaking. I'm going to see it again on Tuesday because I may never get to see it again on the big screen.

(Did that mean you liked The Paperboy or is that a sneer? I loved it myself, but I seem to be in the minority)

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVickieW

Saw "Adore" ... I love Naomi Watts ... but this has to have been her lowest hour... an absolutely
ludicrous film ... the ending made it even worse.

saw The Butler ... mediocre at best in every regard... hope the upcoming Afro-American films blot this one out completely for awards season ...

also saw Ain't Them Bodies Saints... I can't explain the film ... the acting of Casey Affleck, David Carradine and especially Ben Foster (Wish he would get way more recognition ) was excellent not so great with Naomi..

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Finally saw "The Butler", and I must say I was quite impressed with Miss Oprah. The movie that I really am most looking forward to finally seeing is "Short Term 12". I've been a huge fan of Brie Larson's dating back to when I first saw her on the underrated, "United States of Tara". Hoping we get it in Raleigh, NC soooooon.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterZacary Landolt

"The World's End" finally found its way to my local theater, and more than any of Wright's prior films, it felt like it fully embraced it future status as cult classic. It was practically a commentary on the cult legend, and I was taken aback by how heavy it sunk into the personal issues of its characters. Then it had to actually end, which almost inevitably felt rushed away, but didn't entirely derail the film.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Houst


September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Saw Afternoon Delight, which you should see Nathaniel, I think you'd appreciate its rougher edges. And Kathryn Hahn is fantastic.

Also caught up with The Spectacular Now, which is as good as everyone said (but meh to the third act...but then wow with the last shot...so....)

So pumped for Short Term 12 this weekend. (!!!!)

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJake D

Saw ADORE. It was as preposterous as promised.

September 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

VickieW -- i liked the paperboy a lot. My review.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

I got to see Wet Hot American Summer on a print over the weekend. Very fun.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

ADORE is not Naomi Watts' lowest point. wait till u see Diana.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterThe Infamous

I remember enjoying the hell out of the first Pitch Black movie. That was a tightly-scripted piece of low budget sci-fi, the kind of B-movie that doesn't come around often. However, I don't see how that film lends itself to sequels and have no particular desire to find out.

The upside to how blah the cinema has been the last six months is that I've saved money for the end of the year glut. Starting in October, there's at least one interesting film each week: Gravity, Captain Phillips, All Is Lost, Twelve Years a Slave, The Counselor, Dallas Buyers Club, Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska... the mind reels.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterW.J.

I saw "Adore," which is not terrible per se but just a big misfire. The performances are actually fairly good, but the film is completely preposterous. It's high-end Harlequin romance, but it would have benefited had it been trashier.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

I saw In a World, and I actually liked everyone in it which surprised me because I don't really like any of the actors in it. Demitri Marton and Lake Bell had an adorably awkward chemistry.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

Finally saw Jarhead which I really enjoyed. I normally don't cotton to war movies but this one has its own perspective and its own story, plus some great actors. Is Peter Sarsgaard ever bad? Although some of it was cheesy and I never quite understood while Gyllenhaal's character even enlists in the first place, I thought he very good and oh my god the cinematography! Some simply beautiful shots that I just wanted to walk into. I can't believe Roger Deakins has never won an Oscar.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

"Salinger", "The Grandmaster" (sorta) and "Closed Circuit"

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJose

Thanks for the link Nathaniel, I think I liked The Paperboy a lot more than you though. I'd give it an A-. It was uncomfortable to watch, but fascinating throughout. We completely agree on Nicole Kidman's performance.

W.J., I disagree that the last 6 months being blah. But then, I'm lucky enough to live in a city where there are lots of choices, and I'm at a time in my life I can enjoy most of those choices. I'm glad to see people mention films like In A World, Antiviral, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, The Spectacular Now and Blue Jasmine. I've seen and liked them all. In the past 6+ months I've seen and liked The Attack, The Grandmaster, Stories We Tell, The Painting, Europa Report, The Hunt (with Mads Mikkelsen) Drug Wars, The Way, Way Back, Blackfish, Grabbers (a low-budget Irish horror movie that's a hoot), Only God Forgives, Crystal Fairy, Olivier Assayas' Something In The Air, Michael Winterbottom's The Look Of Love, The Bling Ring, The East, What Maisie Knew, Francis Ha, The Iceman (with Michael Shannon), Mud, The Sapphires, Danny Boyle's Trance, Disconnect, Spring Breakers (hush, it's still my favorite movie of the year so far but don't ask me why). I saw and liked other movies (215 so far this year, including the ones I'll see tonight, Brian De Palma's Passion and The Patience Stone) but those stood out. Btw, I'm not a movie critic or blogger or anything. I'm just a regular moviegoer and I paid for all of those. I only saw 2 movies this year for free at sneak previews, Diego Luna's Chavez and Prisoners (both very good btw).

For the fortunate who have choices, and who have eclectic tastes, it can never be a blah movie year. I count my blessings.

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVickieW

Lang was a true visionary director ( a word that is over used these days) just take a look at his still dazzling "Metropolis"

September 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Finally saw "Blue Jasmine". Good Woody Allen as a movie. He may have shined here more as a director than I've seen of him recently. Good performances around, even for an underutilized Louis CK. Only time I've enjoyed Andrew Dice Clay (perfect casting). And Cate Blanchett! Oh my god, Cate. Powerful and affecting. Left the theater wrought from her intensity.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

Saw The Hunt; a solid film, strong performances, but a bit sluggish and vaguely misogynist. Took Mom to see Blue Jasmine; Cate is definitely up for Best Actress (fingers crossed she wins) and I think Sally Hawkins will slide into the Supporting Actress race, as well.

The Extra Nauseating Super Shaky Cam™ on display in the trailer for Short Term 12 is enough to make me NOT want to see it. Will be avoiding it.

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoseph

I just found out about Enough Said playing at Toronto. One question: What world are we in where Toni Collette is co-starring in a movie headlined by Julia Louis-Dreyfuss. The humanity!

September 10, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

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