JA from MNPP here, wishing you all a happy Monday and wishing what would have been a happy 88th birthday to the great, sadly passed Janet Leigh. She's been gone for over a decade but Janet's legacy still looms tall with several classics -- Touch of Evil and The Manchurian Candidate both come to mind -- but as it has been said we all go a little mad sometimes and color me mad when I realized that Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho has somehow never found itself "Beauty vs Beast"-itized. It's a prime pick whose time has come! Slap on your favorite wig and let's play!
PREVIOUSLY This weekend Terminator: Genisys flopped box-office-wise and according to your votes maybe they should've thought about bringing Linda Hamilton along for the ride since her Sarah Connor trounced Full Metal Arnold in our face-off taking just under 80% of the vote. Said SusanP:
"As far as I'm concerned no contest -- Sarah Connor in a walk. Plus, when you list her pros you are neglecting her most important/awesome assets: The Arms "
Awards Daily set pictures on the new film from James Marsh (Theory of Everything) this one starring Colin Firth & Rachel Weitz
Bloomberg Steve Wozniack love the Steve Jobs trailer
Slate Dana Stevens on the particular appeal of Channing Tatum, film star
The Dissolve on Ava DuVernay's hard pass on The Black Panther. I'm so relieved she's not doing this. Now she can make more movies like Middle of Nowhere or Selma. Why lose great individualistic directors to Marvel when what Marvel wants is journeymen to realize their Cinematic Universe goals?
EW Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher got married
Theater Mania has an interest piece on why so many musicals disappear in the development stages
The Film Stage looks at MoMA's Scorsese exhibit of film one sheets
CHUD an editorial on why we need gays as main characters in mainstream blockbusters - written by a straight man
Guardian Hilary Swank scaling back career to care for her ailing father. Best wishes to the family
Salon comprehensive list of booze consumed on True Detective S2
Vulture thinks True Detective Season 2 owes a lot to David Lynch
Empire Fatal Attraction to become a TV miniseries - good luck finding a Glenn Close replacement
Birth Movies Death Marvel/Netflix may be struggling with how to do Iron Fist for the small screen. Whatever direction they go in, please make the character Asian as he always should have been considering his origins
Terminate the Terminator Franchise
Forbes on why Terminator: Genisys opened weak in the States -- curiously no one ever mentions that Emilia Clarke is not a strong actor and she's up against memories of Linda Hamilton's Oscar nomination worthy work!
The Daily Beast interviews Alan Taylor (who has not had much luck as a feature director after proving a hot commodity on TV) and he has curious "just go with it" opinions on how messy his movie is
NYT profiles producer David Ellison (Megan's brother) on his struggles getting Terminator Genisys going and building a multiverse like Marvel. This was a good read but the title is truly bizarre. How is investing solely in mainstream tentpole franchise moviemaking an example of 'not playing it safe.' That's exactly what playing it safe is. Not playing it safe is what Megan Ellison does with her risky art films.
Look, I am one of the biggest Terminator fans that exists. I saw the first two a ton of times, and think they're veritable masterpieces of their form. They still play today and their action sequences are more exciting (still) even knowing every beat than anything in any of the ill-begotten sequels. Enough already. This franchise was already complete when James Cameron was finished with it twenty-plus years ago. Making money is perfectly fine as one goal but if it's the only goal when making a movie, you've already failed. Movies made solely for money (and for no other reason) are never good.
Are you watching True Detective Season 2? Do you also wish Skynet would stay down after being defeated for the fifth time?
Manuel here trying to catch up with plenty of news from this past week but somehow not feeling many of them, maybe I'm having a case of the Mondays? I wanted to kick the week off with some more Julia news (is everyone replaying that Secret in Their Eyes trailer for that one perfect gif-able moment?) but somehow typing “Roberts signs on to Garry Marshall’s Mothers Day” was enough of a letdown that I stopped typing. I mean, sure, we could joke that we can’t wait to see Julia in Marshall’s next film, MLK Day, but 30 Rock beat us all to it.
So why don’t we instead focus on the moody teaser for Oliver Stone’s Snowden?
Intense, right? That cast list alone (Gordon-Levitt, Woodley, Leo, Quinto, Wilkinson, Ifans) looks wonderful, but then flashes of W. keep haunting me and well, let’s just say it leaves me wanting. Can’t start Monday on that note, now can we?
Trust Pixar (currently making bank but somehow unable to dethrone those genetically modified dinos) to finally give me something to be excited about this morning. After what’s easily their worst (worst, I say!) short film (seriously, guys, I do not lava Lava!) they might be priming themselves for a gorgeous surprise this Thanksgiving. From a description of the short Sanjay’s Super Team set to premiere before The Good Dinosaur this fall:
“The seven-minute short begins with young Sanjay watching cartoons and eating cereal in a bland, beige room as his father jingles a bell, beckoning him to join in meditation. Reluctant and bored by the ceremony, Sanjay begins daydreaming a kind of ancient, Hindu version of The Avengers, with the gods appearing like superheroes. As the daydream progresses, the color, light and animation of the film grows increasingly dazzling and cosmic, and Sanjay grows closer to understanding his father's inner world.”
We’d seen some concept art but now we have two gorgeous images and I have to say, I am eagerly awaiting this short probably even more so than the photorealistic dino adventure that will follow it. I mean, look at those big eyes! Those bright colors! Those kickass character designs!
Are you excited that Pixar seems to be actively trying to redress its diversity problem with characters like Riley, Sadness, Joy, and Sanjay? Are you still trying to forget you ever watched Lava? (If I watch Inside Out in the theaters again, I will definitely be skipping that gender normative sitcom of a short).
Nathaniel R is thrilled to welcome Nick Davis back to the podcast. He's been binge-watching 2015 movies after months of deprivation. Seven films discussed if you count Jurassic World... but perhaps you shouldn't. We talk fast because there was just so much to catch up on.
- 00:01 Jurassic World
- 02:00 The Upcoming 1995 Smackdown
- 04:45 Magic Mike XXL and his women
- 10:37 Dope and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: Or, The Good and Bad of Sundance Quirkiness
- 22:10 Inside Out and a little more XXL just because
- 29:24 Love & Mercy and/or 'Admirations & Misgivings' about the movie itself
- 39:00 Spy
You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Please continue the conversation in the comments because if the podcast were twice as long there'd still be plenty left to say. We repeat: seven movies.
You guys. I'm disappointed in the American public. Here we are on a national holiday weekend and they're still going to the dinosaur island off the coast of Costa Rica and a reheated pointless Terminator reboot of much better work from the world's most successful Canadian director! And they're doing that when the All American Pixar is knocking it out of the park with a story about a Midwestern girl moving to San Francisco and Channing Tatum and friends having a road trip strippers party from Florida to South Carolina. But America wants what it wants and in this case they wanted the microwave-reheated franchises from beyond our borders.
Early estimates had Inside Out leading but when later estimates came it it fell back into second place which means it now takes the record from My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) of the highest grossing movie that never had a #1 weekend. And the record will hold since there's no way it hits #1 next weekend with Minions opening to steal the family dollar away.
UPDATE With actuals in My Big Fat Greek's Wedding on most successful film that was never #1 at the box office lives on, since Inside Out just barely edged out the dinosaurs.
July 3rd-5th Weekend
(some "new" titles have cumulatives since they opened early for the holiday)
01 Inside Out $29.7 (cum. $245.8) Inside Out Articles
02 Jurassic World $29.2 (cum. $556.5) Jurassic Articles
03 Terminator Genisys NEW $27 (cum. $42.4)
04 Magic Mike XXL NEW $12.8 (cum. $27.8) Review
05 Ted 2 $11.1 (cum. $58.5)
06 Max $6.6 (cum. $25.3)
07 Spy $5.1 (cum. $97.5)
08 San Andreas $2.8 (cum. $147.1)
09 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl $1.2 (cum. $3.9) Michael's Review
10 Dope $1.1 (cum. $14.1) Sundance capsule
11 Mad Max: Fury Road $1 (cum. $149) Review & Podcast & Random Articles
12 Avengers: Age of Ultron $.8 (cum. $454.2) Review & Marathon & Podcast
13 Love & Mercy $.7 (cum. $10.5) Best Actor
14 Pitch Perfect 2 $.5 (cum. $182.3)
15 Insidious: Chapter 3 $.5 (cum. $51.2)
16 I'll See You In My Dreams $.4 (cum. $5.8) Best Actress
WHAT DID YOU SEE THIS WEEKEND?
½way mark - part 5 of ?
All this week we're taking stock of what's happened thus far in the film year but also at what's to come... at least as it involves Oscar Charts. They're updated in every category now (save Foreign Film... for which I now start the hard 70+ country research work on backstage).
Best Picture | Best Director
In these charts you'll see gains for Inside Out and Youth and Sicario after hot responses in Cannes or in theaters and for Suffragette and Steve Jobs which both arguably aced their trailer game, which helped to build perceptions of "forthcoming jewel - see it!". And though the vast bulk of the contenders in Best Director are still white American men, there is at least one woman (Sarah Gavron's Suffragette) and one African American (Ryan Coogler's Creed) and a few foreigners who you can imagine traction for if their film's explode critically or with the media or at the box office.
I've also added George Miller to the director chart -- I don't really see a precedent for an actual nomination, mind you, but it's fun to imagine the director's branch getting ballsy each year and rallying behind someone whose work really impressed in non-Oscar bait projects. And given that this 70 year old schooled just about any action director whose name isn't James Cameron, there's a lot to be impressed by. It's worth noting that his Oscar record is damn weird. He's been honored in four categories in the past, winning the Animated Feature Oscar (Happy Feet) and receiving one nomination each for Best Picture (Babe), Adapted Screenplay (Babe) and Original Screenplay (Lorenzo's Oil) ...but he's never been nominated for Best Director, and essentially he's a director who dabbles in other things. It's kind of like the hilarious statistic that Lars von Trier is only Oscar nominated as a songwriter. Tee hee.
Visuals | Sound
Though I lost a little faith in In the Heart of the Sea and Bridge of Spies, with buzz on other films growing and in the case of Spies a middling trailer, I didn't drop them for the tech charts per se. As we know the Academy's visual branches are not as prone to think outside the Best Picture box as they once were which is sad for visual artists working on movies (sometimes the individual parts are much greater than the sums). You'll notice thatMad Max Fury Road was also added to a few charts. Given the hallelujah critical chorus that greeted its arrival and the likelihood that a DVD release and top ten lists could result in a reprise of that very same chorus -- we're pretending (at least for the time being) that Oscar voters might consider it despite it being the fourth film in a franchise that they've had no time for.