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Review: QUEEN OF KATWE

"LOVED this move. If the Academy could be convinced to see this, I could absolutely see it sneaking into BP." -Eurocheese

"I would love to see 'Oscar winning director, Mira Nair' written somewhere someday" -Choog

 

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Sunday
Mar082015

We Can't Wait! #14: Knight of Cups

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Jose...

Who & What: Knight of Cups is The Terrence Malick Show ft. Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Freida Pinto, Antonio Banderas and Joel Kinnaman (and whoever else made it out of the cutting room). The story, as far as we can tell, involves a screenwriter (Christian Bale) and the temptations, celebrity and excess of Hollywood. The title comes from a story about a royal prince who drinks from a cup falls into a deep sleep, forgetting his mission and that he is the son of a king.  We've already discussed the trailer and here's the teaser poster...

 

Why We’re Excited About It: Remember a time when Terrence Malick took decade-long breaks between films? Suddenly after The Tree of Life he treated us to news that he would be making up to three new consecutive films within the next five years? This is why we're excited. The more Malick, the merrier..

What If It All Goes Wrong? What can go wrong in a film shot by Emmanuel Lubezki and featuring, wait for it, Fabio (!!!) among the credited cast? Well, they were filming it a full three years ago whatever that might mean. Malick isn't everyone's cup of tea and To the Wonder, was certainly divisive and if you have a low tolerance for wheat or allegories, you already know you're skipping this one. 

When: December 11th. Does this mean Broad Green Pictures thinks it'll actually win Oscars?
 

Sunday
Mar082015

Box Office: Rusty "Chappie" Tops Weak Chart

Hi everyone! Anne Marie here with the weekend box office. We're about a week away from the first big releases of the year, so the news is mostly underwhelming. We had a handful of new releases this weekend with mixed results. Chappie, South African director Neill Blomkamp's third scifi film with a social message, underperformed in its opening weekend, making it Blomkamp's poorest opening yet. This probably won't affect his involvement in the Alien reboot, but I'm sure there are some sweating execs out there at Sony right now. The world gave a collective shrug to Unfinished Business, the Vince Vaughan vehicle that I kept forgetting about, even though it's been aggressively marketed. Other than that, things mostly faded, with Focus and Kingsman maintaining their unsteady hold, while post-Valentine's Day 50 Shades of Grey went soft and Jupiter Ascending finally crashed.

TOP OF THE BOX OFFICE
Click on the highlighted titles for past articles on that film

01 CHAPPIE $13.3 NEW
02 FOCUS $10.2 (cum $34.6)
03 SECOND BEST MARIGOLD HOTEL $8.6 NEW 
04 KINGSMAN $8.3 (cum $98)
05 SPONGEBOB MOVIE $7 (cum $149)
06 50 SHADES OF GREY  $5.6 (cum $156.4)
07 MCFARLAND USA $5.3 (cum $29.4)
08 THE LAZARUS EFFECT $5.1 (cum $17.4)
09 THE DUFF $4.8 (cum $26.1)
10 UNFINISHED BUSINESS $4.8 NEW 

In bolder news: American Sniper became the #1 movie of 2014 outgrossing the second Hunger Games sequel and Guardians of the Galaxy's franchise launcher.

In happier news:  Second Best Marigold Hotel opened in only 1,573 screens this weekend, but managed to make it to the #3 spot on the Box Office charts with the highest per screen average: $5,467. This is wonderful news for the Judi Dench and Maggie Smith fans of the world, though considering its low $8.6 opening, we can safely conclude this was an off weekend for movie watching. 

What did you watch this weekend?

Sunday
Mar082015

I Really Really Really Really Really Really Link You

Vanity Fair documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles (Grey Gardens) has died at 88
MNPP Have you ever noticed that a skull flashes in Gaston's eyes when he falls to his death? Jason on Beauty & The Beast (1991)
Theater Mania Helen Mirren returns to Broadway in her Oscar winning role... albeit for a different property, a play called "The Audience"
Comics Alliance AMC is offering a $65 Marvel movie marathon to celebrate the opening of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. It's  29 hours of movie in one sitting from Iron Man (2008) through Ultron (2015). This sounds exhausting. Thing of all the floating objects in skies you'll see exploding every couple of hours as climax


Interview talks to Oscar winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) on his new project American Crime
Jared Leto cut his hair, shaved his eyebrows, and dyed the rest platinum blonde -- it's very return to Fight Club all told
Coming Soon looks back at the actresses originally considered for the new Cinderella from Emma Watson to Alicia Vikander and everywhere in between. (Lily James from Downton Abbey eventually landed the role)
Variety - see! TFE isn't the only place still handing out awards for the 2014 film year. The Location Managers Guild of America just gave Wild & The Grand Budapest Hotel prizes 
The Cut the milliner who gave us Indiana Jones's fedora and other movie hats is going bankrupt 
Kenneth in the (212) an update on that petition to pardon 49,000 men who were victimized by the same laws as The Imitation Game's Alan Turing
MNPP [NSFW] the marketing department went to the expense of computer generating underwear for naked Dave Franco for the Unfinished Business trailer.
Boy Culture centerfold turned director Dirk Shafer (Man of the Year, Circuit) found dead at 52 

Today's Must Watch
Tom Hanks lip synchs for his life with Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You". Adorable.

Sunday
Mar082015

We Can't Wait! #15: Arabian Nights

Team Experience is counting down our 15 most anticipated for 2015. Here's Amir...

Who & What: This is Portuguese auteur Miguel Gomes’s first feature film since 2012’s Tabu. It is based on the Middle Eastern folklore collection, "One Thousand and One Nights". The original text has a framing device involving the Persian princess Shahrzad, narrating the 1,001 tales to her husband, King Shahryar. Modernised to take place in today’s Portugal, hit by the economic crisis, Gomes’s film will see the princess narrating fictionalized versions of factual stories about the financial pains of the Portuguese. We’ve seen some pictures, heard a lot of promising words from Gomes about his approach and the structure, and know the film clocks at a whopping 6 hours and 37 minutes.

Why We’re Excited About It: Gomes. Gomes. Gomes. He is one of the most exciting directors working today and has made consistently intriguing films since his first short, Entretanto. He built a fan base with 2008’s Our Beloved Month of August on the festival circuit and found more traction four years later with his sensational romantic masterpiece, Tabu. Since then, he has made another short film, the wild, experimental political comedy, Redemption. For Arabian Nights, he’s reunited with the strikingly handsome Carlota Cotta and is working with Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s regular cinematographer. I’m personally further excited by the prospect of an adaptation of Middle Eastern folklore, since that hasn’t happened in decades – and no, Prince of Persia doesn’t count.

Carlota Cotta (and Ana Moreira) in "Tabu" an earlier collaboration with GomesWhat If It All Goes Wrong? Looking back at Gomes’s earlier work, assures that there's little to worry about in this regard. The biggest concern is the running time. The film is broken into three sections: The Restless, The Desolate and The Enchanted, which could mean they will be released separately. Then again, if they are released as one package… 6 hours and 37 minutes? We love you Miguel but you’ll be testing our patience.

When: The Portuguese release date is set for October. Gomes premiered Tabu in Berlin, but that ship has already sailed. Cannes is the likeliest destination at the moment, which, combined with the domestic release date, gives a glimmer of hope that it'll play at TIFF in the fall.

Saturday
Mar072015

We Can't Wait ~ The 2015 Mini-Series

It's that time again. As one film year wraps up we get all antsy with excitement for the next. Team Experience voted on their most anticipated films of 2015 and the 15-strong daily movie countdown starts tomorrow morning. It goes without saying that there are far more enticing propositions than just 15. With the definition of 'arthouse cinema' expanding over the last 20 years to include just about every film starring a woman (Truth: something like Still Alice would have been considered mainstream in the 1980s), and just about any drama, even those with true stars, without genre affiliation and the companion visual fx budget it's safe to say that Team Experience leans heavily in that direction, taste wise.  

But, lo and behold, some of 2015's upcoming would-be blockbusters actually look enticing. After this rough winter, let us gorge on popcorn all summer long. Here's five would be blockbusters on the other side of Age of Ultron (just discussed) that might be great popcorn entertainments ... or hopelessly mediocre but we won't know until we get there. Keep your hopes up!

EVEREST (Sept 18th)
SOUTHPAW (July 31st)
Pick a Gyllenhaal, either Gyllenhaal. Post Nightcrawler we have to pray that he's on a legend making hot streak. Icelandic director Baltasar Kormakur's name might not immediately make dibs on 'quality' given what he's made previously since going Hollywood but it's always possible that Everest, his mountain climbing adventure with a really terrific and terrifically manly all star cast (Jake, plus Borlin, Hawkes, Worthington, and Jason Clarke who we recently spoke with) will be thrilling. Especially in IMAX.

As for Southpaw... Though the cinema has been overrun by boxing pictures since, what, 1931?, if Antoine Fuqua can regain his Training Day mojo and Gyllenhaal's character is as dramatic as he sounds (alcholol, drugs, career immolation, child custody trouble) it'll be well worth checking out. 

MAGIC MIKE XXL (July 1st)
Now only 116 days away ! 

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (December 18th)
"Keeping hopeful" is a true hurdle with this one but let's include it anyway out of curious as to whether the TFE readership is excited to see it? (Let us know in the comments). The Star Wars franchise was horrifically marred by the last three films and J.J. Abrams, despite his skill with a camera, doesn't tend to make films with anything like emotional or pop culture staying power. His Star Trek pictures and Mission Impossible one-off made truckloads of money but, quick, name something about any of that that stayed with you and you think of regularly! They were just piggybacking on accumulated decades of glory. Just about his only film that might well have shown us any real "magic" as a storyteller was Super 8... and even that one was largely hit and miss and a self conscious Spielberg knockoff. So, not hopeful but curious. And then we'll get to see what Lupita Nyong'o has been up to apart from red carpets. Let's hope she's in it for more than 1 or 2 minutes. 

JURASSIC WORLD (June 12th)
Why we didn't ever discuss the trailer I do not know. Chris Pratt as a raptor trainer? Sure, why not. In! 

 

Saturday
Mar072015

Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella (1957)

Cinderella Week continues with Manuel on a true event in showbiz history...

How's this for a televised live event: on March 31st 1957, more than 107 million people watched Rodgers & Hammerstein's written-for-television musical Cinderella starring none other than not-yet-household name Julie Andrews. Critics and networks have bemoaned the increasingly fractured TV landscape and when you look at numbers like that (aided, of course by novelty as well as lack of choice) you can't help but marvel at what that must have felt like. Think of the snarky tweets and memes 107 million people could have come up with! This is, of course, what NBC has been trying to accomplish with its musical events (kickstarted not coincidentally with another Julie Andrews vehicle and followed, oddly enough, with the production that gave CBS the idea in the late 50s to produce a new musical for a Sunday night broadcast).

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