Oscar History

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William Holden in Picnic

"I find Holden has a more earthy sex appeal in his early roles, you could kick your shoes off and put them on his lap and he wouldn't flinch." - Mark

"My mother's favorite actor. His dance with Kim Novak is an unforgettable movie moment." -Jaragon

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Box Office: Can a Plane Stop The LEGO Movie?

Amir with the weekend’s box office report. The LEGO Movie managed to fend off meek competition and remain in the number one spot. Three weeks at the top and the amount of money it has cashed in so far have warranted Warner Brothers to announce a sequel, already planned for 2017! But don’t expect it to stay number one next week, when the Liam Neeson no-snakes airplane thriller, Non-Stop (featuring Lupita Nyong'o in an abrupt change of pace) hits the screens. That film has taken its title as a cue for its advertising and I suspect enough people are intrigued to see it despite what sounds like a ludicrous plot.

01. THE LEGO MOVIE $31.4M (cum. $183.1m)
02. 3 DAYS TO KILL $12.3m new
03. POMPEII $10m new
04. ROBOCOP $9.4m (cum. $43.6m)
05. THE MONUMENTS MEN $8.1m (cum. $58m)

This weekend saw two new wide openings: Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii, which managed to earn back 1/10th of its production budget and died faster than an entire city under a volcano.  When I was a child, I was absolutely obsessed with the real life story of this natural disaster - I had a large collection of books, pictures and other pre-internet Pompeii-related memorabilia. That the marketing campaign of this film managed to keep me away from the theatre tells you just how much the studio did everything wrong. 3 Days to Kill was the other offering. I can’t think of anything interesting to say about this one, which is possibly the same position McG and Kevin Costner have found themselves in since signing on.

In limited release The Wind Rises, Hayao Miyazaki’s maybe-last-film-maybe-not, maybe-a-masterpiece-maybe-just-propaganda opened on 21 screens did modest business. (Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, reviewed here, was the only film with a better per screen average this weekend.) I’m afraid I found Miyazaki's Oscar nominee a bit underwhelming at TIFF – and I still hold a grudge because the screening kept me from guesting on Nathaniel’s festival podcast – but it’s definitely worth your time. What is not worth your time is In Secret, formerly known as Therese, that I caught up with at the same festival. In my review I called it the second worst film I have ever seen in seven years of attending the festival. I stand by that statement and advise you against spending any money on this atrocity, unless you are looking for a lot of unintentional laughs.

As you read this I'm watching Agnès Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) for the first time. For the FIRST time! What have you watched this weekend?

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Reader Comments (8)

I've watched so much of the Olympics that I was starting to think that the Oscars would be giving out gold, silver, and bronze medals as well.

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteradri

adri- I've totally had that thought in the past few days as well. I shared it with a friend who is not really a "film person" and his response was "Geez, then the Oscars would be three times as long."

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

I've been obsessed with Pompeii ever since I saw " The Last Days of Pompeii" (1935) and that movies special effects are still more exciting than the 2014 CGI spectacle.

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

I watched Philomena and Pompeii. after Philomena, now I watched all nominated Best Picture but Nebraska. My thought:

On paper, Philomena is a slow and sentimental movie. In reality, it still is sentimental but it is not slow. At 95 minutes, the chronicle of Philomena's journey in search of her son passed by in a blink of an eye. Plus, it actually is charming and humorous in a lot of scenes. British, you know... they always take themselves lighter even in heavy topic.

On paper, Pompeii is a sword-and-sandal epic full of beautiful bodies and heart-pumping actions. In reality, it still consists of beautiful bodies, but the actions... let's just say I wished I had a remote control that can fast forward all the action sequences, cuz' you knew the hero always win. Yawn. All the fighting, all the running... makes the movie feel longer than the Bastille song Pompeii.

At home, I watched Ang Lee's old movie The Wedding Banquet for the first time, and it's another example of heavy topic presented in comedy format. I like it a lot.

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

I really enjoyed The Wind Rises and don't quite understand the controversy over it. The film hammers the point home that Jiro's invention was responsible for the devastation that Japan incurred at the end of the world.

I really enjoyed the movie, its dream motifs, imagery, and score.

February 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Saw the Oscar nominated shorts Friday, and would have seen Lukas Moodyson's We Are the Best Saturday as part of Film Comment Selects had a projector issue not forced an emergency screening of the German horror movie Blood Glacier instead. So I saw Blood Glacier, and I wouldn't say my life is better for it, but it was an ok time.

But the real highlight of my weekend was finishing up season one of Hannibal. It's a gorgeous, disturbing show that puts every other moody serial killer series from the last year (including the excellent True Detective) to shame.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I watched Random Harvest and Ordinary People for the umpteenth times. These are what all films should be.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

As Costner's #1 fan, I can still safely say we won't be discussing this one at this time next year.

But it's mildly entertaining as a mindless rainy day afternoon Big Dumb Action flick.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

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