Fact: People love themselves from prehistoric monster movies.
Jurassic World (aka Jurassic Park 4) took absolutely no chances whatsoever on losing the collective global nostalgia for Steven Spielberg's original dino-blockbuster, modelling itself almost exactly on its predecessor. The only plot elements and story beats missing in this very very familiar movie are the kind you can't regurgitate: Spielberg's brilliance, Laura Dern's Face o' Wonder, and that scene with the dinosaur poop. As a result its opening weekend was big enough to fund the development of a real life theme park with ½ a billion in worldwide grosses in just 3 days. It's now the second biggest opening of all time after Marvel's The Avengers (2012). Which means that it's fairly certain that Jurassic Park 4 or Star Wars 7 will be the Crowned Champ of 2015 when the year wraps up. Sorry about it Avengers 2, Hunger Games 4, Furious 7, and Originality; you've all lost!
June 12th-14th Weekend
01 Jurassic World NEW $204.6 Jurassic Park Articles
02 Spy $16 (cum. $56.9) Rose Byrne FYC
03 San Andreas $11 (cum. $119.3)
04 Insididous Chapter 3 $7.3 (cum. $37.3)
05 Pitch Perfect 2 $6 (cum. $170.7) Review
06 Entourage $4.3 (cum. $25.8)
07 Mad Max: Fury Road $4.1 (cum. $138.6) Review & Podcast & Random Articles
08 Avengers: Age of Ultron $3.6 (cum. $444.7) Review & Marathon & Podcast
09 Tomorrowland $3.4 (cum. $83.6) Review
10 Aloha $.9 (cum. $18.9) Review
UNDER 800 SCREENS
June 12th-14th Weekend
01 Love & Mercy 573 screens $1.7 (cum. $4.7)
02 I'll See You In My Dreams 246 screens $.8 (cum. $2.9)
03 Home 584 screens $.7 (cum. $119.3)
04 Furious 7 357 screens $.5 (cum. $350.7) Review
05 Far From the Madding Crowd 366 screens $.4 (cum. $10.7) Review
06 Cinderella 270 screens $.2 (cum $199.2) Review
07 Ex Machina 194 screens $.2 (cum. $24.7) Review & Podcast & Random Articles
08 Me and Earl and the Dying Girl NEW 15 screens $.2 Review
09 Paul Blart Mall Cop 2 234 screens $.2 (cum. $68.8)
10 Woman in Gold 198 screens $.1 (cum. $32.2)
The story in limited release was also oldies but goodies: The Beach Boys & Blythe Danner. Love & Mercy got quite an enthusiastic critical (and audience) response and Mama Paltrow continues to headline the non-story story of the summer in that her movie has received very little press but has somehow found an audience anyway and steadily accumulated a very nice little gross for a septugenarian romantic drama. Do you think Bleecker Street will have the guts to fund her an Oscar campaign?
What did you see this weekend?
I saw the dinosaurs (guilty), finished up Sense8, and wisely decided not to binge Orange is the New Black but to truly savor it this time. I'm savoring my visitation privileges with these convicts this year for as long as I can manage will-power wise. Maybe I can make it last through Mid July?!?
The Dissolve Disney's announces the replacement voice cast of The Good Dinosaur - what is going on with that movie?
Guardian this sounds really cool. Director Gillian Armstrong (Little Women, Mrs Soffel) has made a documentary about the Oscar winning costume designer Orry-Kelly called Women He Undressed. He had a fascinating career and was quite a famous figure in Hollywood's golden age, friends with Bette Davis and more than friends (rumored) with Cary Grant
They Live By Night "This is our Furiousa" a reflection on a rare quiet moment in Mad Max Fury Road
Elle randomness! Talking to the art director of the cover of Madonna's debut album
NYT talks to the cast of Goodfellas on their 25 year old classic
The Playlist new images from Terrence Malick's Knight of Cups. Isn't it time to release this one? (I'm getting a To the Wonder vibe)
The Guardian looks back at Helen Mirren's breakout part at 22 (!!!) in Age of Consent (1969)
Shadowplay has a super fun series called "The Sunday Intertitle" and the latest is about Tarzan (1929). I was brainstorming a similar series years ago but never committed so I'm so happy someone else has one! My only complaint is there is no way to link the complete series.
Pajiba wonders why critics and the internet are turning on Game of Thrones for doing the exact same things it's always done (gorey violence, lots of rape, brutal torture, etecetera). I knew to get out after the first season and second book -- definitely way too sadistic/sexist/exploitative for me -- so I've found the recent outrage peculiar since it's describing the show I saw five seasons ago to a T.
EW Mark Harris on the sudden pop culture fascination with actual transgender celebrities as well as their fictional counterparts, particularly on television
CineMunch continues their amusing favorite actress podcast showdowns. This one's about Pfeiffer, Witherspoon, Binoche, and The Lovely Laura Linney among others
Toybox Penny Dreadful action figures!
New Statesman Excellent piece on the enduring appeal and fan obsessiveness towards Star Wars
HuffPost Disney princes reimagined in queer context
Twitter Mulder & Sculley reunited
Two stories from the real world.
The first is horrific and the second heartwarming. A gay man has been severely tortured and his family's business vandalized in Delta, Utah. I bring this up because I've actually been to this tiny tiny city innumerable times in my life. My mom lives near there in an even tinier city and I've even posted about Delta's one movie theater before. Because that story is just too terrible to contemplate -- it could have been me or any LGBT person or any person thought to be gay whether they were gay or not and will likely be someone else in the future of any stripe (hate & violence being dumb, nonlogical, non discerning and pathological) unless the people are caught. Because that story is too depressing for words, here's a cute story about a NYPD officer who saved a kitten and now the kitten is named after him! Awwww.
In the endless press tour leading to this weekend's Jurassic World opening, the best thing to emerge is the internet's obsession with how Bryce Dallas Howard (you know, the one actually in the movie) looks just like another famous ginger, former co-star Jessica Chastain. There's already been a music video (just try getting "I am NOT Jessica Chastain!" out of your head after hearing it - our vote for Song of the Summer). And the two have been playing it up on social media with Chastain posting a video of Bryce Dallas Howard lip synching to the song on her instagram account.
Look alikes in Hollywood are a common occurence. (Remember when everyone kept comparing Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel?) And if there's anything we know here at TFE it's our actresses. Confuse two-time Oscar nominated Chastain with the daughter of Ron Howard? I don't think so! But just to make sure, let's play a highly scientific and educational game. Below are 10 images of the actresses. Try to guess which one is Bryce Dallas Howard and which is Jessica Chastain. If you get any wrong, lie about it in the comments so we don't start questioning your actressexuality. (The answers after the jump)
Members of Team Experience were asked to share personal dream picks for this year's impending Emmy nominations. Here's Jose...
Amy Schumer often gets credit for her ingenious writing, larger than life personality and her lack of fear when it comes to addressing controversial topics like the media’s obsession with youth, the importance of the female orgasm and Bill Cosby. However, like most stand up comedians, she rarely is commended for her acting on the assumption that she’s playing herself. And yet, in just a handful of episodes during the third season of "Inside Amy Schumer "she has played everything from clueless spouses, to child beauty queens and even a black & white heroine.
She was recently rewarded with the Critics Choice Award for Best Actress in a Comedy, and if the Emmys dare to break out of their rut of picking perennial faves, they would do much good including her in a lineup with more established actresses: her timing is as flawless as Julia Louis Dreyfuss’ Selina Meyer, her lack of vanity is akin to Lisa Kudrow’s Valerie Cherish, and her idealism (while slightly more infused with cynicism) makes her as strong a role model as Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope. For someone who’s always playing self conscious characters, it’s astonishing to see how self aware and controlled Schumer can be as a performer. And unless she has multiple personality disorder, she's not just playing herself.
Kim Farrant’s Strangerland is deeply, uncomfortably Australian. In many ways, it goes right to the heart of the country as a family infiltrate a place that is unfamiliar and even hostile to their arrival. A family, all of whom hold secrets and potentially criminal pasts. They could have been dressed up in Colonial costumes and set 150 years ago without much of a narrative alteration, which is probably much the point of Farrant’s debut feature. How our convict pasts have manifested as a society that turns on its own as much as the other.
Strangerland has a fairly simple premise, but one that allows for some fairly wide-ranging readings. After having left their last post due to an ambiguously alluded to crime, Matthew (Joseph Fiennes) and Catherine Parker (Nicole Kidman) find themselves in the remote outback town of Nathgari. He’s a pharmacist and she’s a housewife, neither of whom are able to handle their 15-year-old daughter, Lily (Maddison Brown). When Lily and young son Tommy vanish in the middle of the night, the town deals them with suspicion while Catherine becomes more and more emotionally unhinged at the thought their children may have deliberately abandoned her.
What to do about the Wachowskis? Lana and Andy started so strong and sexy with their lesbian grift noir Bound (1996) - which remains their best work -- and then captured the whole world's attention with the reality-bending sci-fi The Matrix (1999). The global success of that influential movie seemed to give them carte blanche and blank checks going forward and the freedom doesn't appear to have been good for them; the size of their ambitions and geektastic dumb/coolness of their concepts (like college students getting stoned and talking superheroes and theology all night long) is undermined every time by messy storytelling. That's so strange for filmmakers who started with such a tightly constructed narrative piece like Bound.
Tim will be reviewing Sense8 proper for us when he's finished with the first season but for now I want to talk about what I do love about this aggravatingly slow series and that is its radical sexuality. I've never seen the like in American mainstream film or television. NSFW business after the jump...