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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd 

 

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COMMENT(s) DU JOUR
Yes No Maybe So: CREED, SECRET IN THEIR EYES, STEVE JOBS

CREED "I'm so here for Michael B. Jordan becoming a bona fide movie star. It'll just take the right project to put him in the public consciousness. Creed looks like it could be it." - Kate

STEVE JOBS "Isnt it too soon for a Jobs biopic?" - Amanda

SECRET IN THEIR EYES "I loved the original -- without the background of the Argentinian dictatorship a huge element of the plot tension gets lost. I wonder how they'll deal with that." - Felix


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Sunday
Jan192014

Box Office: America Goes For a Ride Along

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. Initially I had decided to mirror last week’s column and predict Oscar winners based on their current financial gains – hey! It worked for the Globes! – but Ride Along’s performance has been so stellar that it warrants a mention.  The buddy cop comedy starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart has been described in some quarters as a comedy version of Training Day with a romantic subplot. That’s probably enticing enough; add to it the fact that Kevin Hart’s hot off the incredible box office performance of his standup show, Let Me Explain, it’s really no wonder Ride Along did so well. Still, snatching the best ever January opening, beating a six year old record set by Cloverfield in the process, is beyond the studio’s best expectations. January is always dominated by the previous year’s holdovers though, and remains a box office hell for new films. To put things in perspective, Ride Along would not have had the biggest opening of all time in any other month, coming only close to the September record (Hotel Transylvania).

Ice Cube and Kevin Hart in Ride Along

Lone Survivor occupied second place with a respectable drop. I have yet to see it for myself and my level of interest in ever seeing it can probably be found with a very powerful microscope somewhere, but the film’s been creating “controversies” because of its – depending on who you ask – realistic depiction, endorsement or sanctification of soldiers. You can count on it to continue to do good business based on the on-going conversation. Another film that’s still going strong is Frozen, which continues to sing and dance its way into American hearts in its eighth week. This week’s 18 percent drop is better than most had expected because direct competition has finally arrived in the shape of The Nut Job, which is surprisingly not a porn parody. Given the latter film’s modest budget, we can expect a profit despite its limited appeal to adult audiences.

BOX OFFICE
RIDE ALONG $41.2m new
LONE SURVIVOR $23.2m (cum. 74m)
THE NUT JOB $20.5m new
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT $17.2m new
FROZEN $11.9m (cum. 332.6m)
AMERICAN HUSTLE $10.6m (cum. 116.4m)
DEVIL’S DUE $8.5m new
AUGUST: OSAGE $7.6m (cum. 18.1m)
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET $7.5m (cum. 90.2m)
SAVING MR. BANKS $4.1m (cum. 75.3m)

Among the Oscar nominees, the biggest winners were American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave. The former lost more than 400 screens but had a nearly 30% improvement in sales; the latter regained 650 screens and sold five times as much as last week. Captain Phillips also added more than 700 theatres and saw a dramatic surge in ticket sales, but the nominations didn’t come to the rescue of two films: Inside Llewyn Davis and Her. Last week I mentioned that the Oscars would need to help them out if they want to turn their small fortunes around. I was proven right in the case of Llewyn Davis, as it failed to gain any momentum from Thursday’s announcement and sadly saw its numbers crash. Her experienced a more modest drop but still didn’t benefit at all from its Best Picture nomination. I have several theories, but none of them seem plausible. My best guess is that, the demographic to whom Her appeals, was always going to watch it irrespective of its awards success. Oscar nominations can’t convince everybody to watch a mustachioed, bespectacled man dressed in high pants fall in love with a computer.

Anyway, I didn’t hit the theatres this weekend, and looking ahead, nothing appeals to me before Rhymes for the Young Ghouls, which opens on January 31st in my corner of the world. What did you watch this weekend? Any theories on the Her drop?

Sunday
Jan192014

Four Links To Go

Vulgar Cinema "You're nothing to me until you're everything" strong piece on American Hustle
E! Why Emma Thompson won at (if not won the) SAG Awards
BDC Wire A satirical Bro ode to The Wolf of Wall Street. So much choice lingo.

Best. Picture. Of. The. Year, playa! This is a motion picture that is exploring new terrain, broseph"

Den of Geek "Why Jennifer Lawrence is Good for America"

Finally... I would like you to know that I can't stop staring at this picture. Since I didn't see the SAG Awards this year I can only imagine that Emma was quipping about Ewan McGregor backwards aging (seriously what is happening there?!)

Sunday
Jan192014

Sundance: Only Lovers Left Alive

Our Sundance Film Festival coverage continues with Michael Cusumano on Jim Jarmusch's Only Lovers Left Alive.

Tom & Tilda - who needs neck pillows travelling when you have each other

Before Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive I would have gladly placed a moratorium on all vampire films. Beyond the exhausting cultural ubiquity of the undead, Tom Alfredson’s masterpiece, Let the Right One In appeared to be the final word on the sub-genre for the foreseeable future. What was left to say after that?

I should’ve known better.  All it takes is the synopsis “Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton in a vampire movie by Jim Jarmusch” to remind one that there is new life to be found in any song, provided that the singer is right. [more...

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Saturday
Jan182014

SAG Winners Win Again

A quick break from festival screenings to shove food in my face (tortilla chips, peppermint patty, a tangerine. Healthy!) and watch a few minutes of the SAG Awards. But I won't be able to do the whole thing as I'll be racing back to hopefully get into a new Mark Ruffalo movie with the unwieldy title of Infinite Polar Bear. Why must everything happen within the same two weeks? Since I didn't get to watch, not really, I trust you'll share your favorite moments in the comments so I can seek them out on YouTube later (like the non-movie obsessed civilians who see everything they're curious about that way. Such a strange lifestyle!)

It may seem morbid to say but I enjoy SAG's "in memoriam" section so much more than Oscars. Perhaps it's their limited focus on actors but it gives them a chance to show a million clips instead of just quick flashes without much in the way of dialogue

FILM WINNERS

ENSEMBLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

American Hustle

MALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"

FEMALE ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"

MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"

FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"

ACTION PERFORMANCE BY STUNT ENSEMBLE

"Lone Survivor"

TELEVISION

ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES

"Breaking Bad"

ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES

"Modern Family"

MALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Bryan Cranston, "Breaking Bad"

FEMALE ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey"
Dame Maggie has better things to do then attend awards show!

MALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ty Burrell, "Modern Family"

FEMALE ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep"

MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Michael Douglas, "Behind the Candelabra"

FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINISERIES

Helen Mirren, "Phil Spector"

ACTION PERFORMANCE BY STUNT ENSEMBLE IN A TELEVISION SERIES

"Game of Thrones"


I'm always hoping that the Oscar acting races will be real competitions but most years this ends up happening with all the big shows in regimented lock-step for all four categories with maybe ONE errant choice by one show. It's such a drama killer... and these people are in the business of making drama for us to enjoy. Why does this happen, this winner-takes-all effect? Theories. Got any?

Saturday
Jan182014

I Lose It For Lanyards

If it were socially acceptable I would fashion entire outfits only out of press badges for festivals. All the festivals.

In homage to that gold amex dress from the 1994 Oscars. Or for other totally valid reasons. 

Glenn, Michael and I have arrived in Sundance and as you read this, we're all watching movies, different ones. I'm starting with a Norwegian film called Blind and then maybe an African film called White Shadow. We'll see what happens and bring you coverage from the snowy slopes. Utah is as beautiful as ever, with mountains and blue skies and bright moons and the rest of it though this year looks to be 100 times less snow-covered than my last Sundance trip in 2010. I may even be able to see the movie theaters as I approach them this year, instead of wandering into snowbanks, hoping a dark screening room is on the other side.  

Saturday
Jan182014

The 2013 Best Animated Short Oscar nominees

Mickey Mouse is up for his first gold in agesTim here. Having already looked at the newly-minted Best Animated Feature Oscar nominees, let's turn for a little bit towards that category's older, smaller sibling, Best Short Subject - Animated. We already briefly discussed these films back when the 10-title shortlist was announced, but now that it has been whittled down to five, let's take a more in-depth look at each of them.

Feral (Daniel Sousa and Dan Golden)
For solely aesthetic purposes, this would be my favorite of the nominees. It's a simple enough story: a boy raised by wolves is brought back to civilization and has a hard time of it. The greatness lies in the marriage of that scenario with rough impressionistic images, some which look like extra-bleak newspaper comics, some which look like somebody was trying a sheet of paper apart using a pencil.

It's the most distinctive of the five by far, looking handcrafted because it so emphatically is: some of the images are drawn on computer, some are hand-painted, but they all have a desperate crudeness that lacks the polish of most animation, and this couldn't be a better fit for the material. It's available to rent for $1 on Vimeo.

Mickey Mouse, friendly witches, and more below the jump

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