Asghar Farhadi has another Oscar contender on his hands...

Oscar History

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Oscar Horrors: The Sixth Sense

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Entries in Bourne (11)


Box Office Bourne Again

Off blog my weekend was rough so I didn't make it to the movies. But here's to hoping you did. Nostalgia for Matt Damon's return to the Bourne franchise was greeted with enthusiam by moviegoers and what suffered as a result was nostalgia for another return over at Star Trek Beyond which took a big tumble in its second weekend. Meanwhile yet another nostalgia play (it's all about revivals these days) Ghostbusters became yet another $100 million domestic hit for Melissa McCarthy (she has six of them now) though the problem with this one is that it cost far more than her other films to make.

In other box office news: Cafe Society is about to outgross Woody Allen's last feature (Irrational Man) and it's only been out for a week; The Legend of Tarzan is now the 11th most popular film of the year (but with its hefty price tag will it get a sequel?); and if you want to see Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic (which you really should because it's quite good) get to it in the next couple of days because it's per screen average didn't fare too well with this weekend's significant expansion so it's unlikely to stick around much longer; and we can maybe finally say goodbye to the Ice Age franchise on their fifth outing. Their international box office is what's been keeping the series afloat but the fifth film is significantly underperforming so cross your fingers if you're screaming "enough already" every time that once funny squirrel bounces across your movie theater screens chasing a nut in a trailer. 

๐Ÿ”บ01 Jason Bourne $60 NEW Review 
โ–ซ๏ธ 02 Star Trek Beyond $24 (cum. $105.7) Review
๐Ÿ”บ03 Bad Moms $23.4 NEW
๐Ÿ”ป04 Secret Life of Pets $18.2 (cum. $296.1) 
๐Ÿ”บ05 Lights Out $10.8 (cum. $42.8) 
๐Ÿ”บ06 Ice Age Collison Course $10.5 (cum. $42.1)
๐Ÿ”ป07 Ghostbusters $9.8 (cum. $106.1) Review
๐Ÿ”บ08 Nerve $9 NEW 
๐Ÿ”ป09 Finding Dory $4.2 (cum. $469)  Review
๐Ÿ”ป10 Legend of Tarzan $2.4 (cum. $121.8) Review
๐Ÿ”ป11 Hillary's America $2.3 (cum. $8.6)
๐Ÿ”บ12 Cafe Society $2.2 ($3.9) LIMITED RELEASE Review
๐Ÿ”ป13 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $1.4 (cum. $43.9) Review
๐Ÿ”บ14 Captain Fantastic $1 (cum. $2.4) LIMITED RELEASE Review
๐Ÿ”ป15 Central Intelligence $910K (cum. $125.3)
๐Ÿ”ป16 The Infiltrator $817K (cum. $14.3)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ17 Absolutely Fabulous $800K (cum. $3.3) LIMITED RELEASE Review, Production Design
๐Ÿ”ป18 Purge: Election Year $703K (cum. $78.3)
๐Ÿ”ป19 BFG $416K ($52.1) Review
๐Ÿ”ป20 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $350K (cum. $2.9) LIMITED RELEASE Review 

What movies did you catch this past weekend?

Next weekend Suicide Squad opens and will surely dominate the conversation and may well feel like the end of summer movie season though there are a few weeks left of that. The really interesting contest is the following week when Florence Foster Jenkins battles both Pete's Dragon and those anthropomorphic R rated food items from Sausage Party.  Tough to say which film might survive that brawl.


Review: Jason Bourne

It’s Eric, returning to talk about the fifth chapter in the popular Jason Bourne franchise.   Judging from the discussions I heard coming from the exit of an early screening of Jason Bourne, your enjoyment of this latest installment of the venerated action spy films probably rests in your expectations.  

Because the level of artistry involved with these films has been so high, some out there are naturally hoping that the creative forces behind Jason Bourne found a way to ratchet things up even further.  The main grumble outside the theater seemed to be that the films have gotten repetitive in form and content (Bourne finds himself in a huge public space, uses the natural crowd to escape, etc.).   

I find myself in a different camp:  to me, it’s exactly these set-ups, and specifically the skillfulness with which they’re executed, that fuel the enjoyment...  

Click to read more ...


Yes No Maybe So: Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy. The Bourne Ultimatum. The Bourne Legacy. Miss Bourne If You're Nasty. Universal Pictures correctly assumes "You know his name" which is a brilliant tagline for the forthcoming fifth* entry in the franchise, titled Jason Bourne. In fact, it could well be a tagline for 60% of the franchises out there (the other 40% are led by concepts/groups, created "universes", or in YA dystopia cases >gasp< a young woman).

The question is are we excited to go another round with Matt Damon's leaping, punching, kicking, shooting, indestructable action man and the Oscar-nominated suits that are always trying to hunt him down? Let's find the answer together with our Yes No Maybe So game... 

Click to read more ...


Newish Home Viewing: The Lady in the Van, The Oscar in the Franchises.

Here's what's new recently for your eyeballs.

Newish to DVD/BluRay
Fifty Shades of Black. Marlon Wayans sends up the Grey S&M movie.
The Force Awakens. Not available for rental yet but when it is we shall rewatch
The Forest. In which Natalie Dormer enters Japan's Suicide Forest to confront true terror: the reviews of Gus Van Sant's 'Sea of Trees' which is also set there.
Ip Man 3. For your completists. I haven't seen any of these since I figured The Grandmaster covered it for me. You?
The Lady in the Van. In which Maggie Smith gets grittier and descends the economic ladder for once. Maintain high society snobbier via her delusions of
Norm of the North. Animated. Though probably nothing we need worry about over here.
The Revenant. That which did rob George Miller of his rightful Best Director Oscar in February.

new to streaming
AJIN (S1) on Netflix. An anime sci-fi series about a teenager who realizes he is not human. Cue: suspenseful music, giant expressive eyes.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (S2) on Netflix. I haven't started yet due to travels. Can't wait to see my Jane Krakowski again. Tell me NOTHING. 
Mad Max on Amazon Prime. The original. Roughly 20 years before everyone realized Mel Gibson was also Mad.
Kong, King of the Apes (S1) on Netflix. This is a kids sci-fi series about Kong battling robot dinosaurs or some such. Has Netflix been doing kids series for awhile and we're just now noticing?
Tangerines on Amazon Prime. Not the awesome LA trans hooker comedy but the Estonian Oscar nominated drama.

All the Bourne films (2002-2012 - 4 films thus far) and all the X-Men films (2000-2014 - five films thus far) have been reissued on DVD & BluRay for the obvious reason: new theatrical outing about to happen. This prompted head spinning when randomly thinking about their Oscar histories. Weirdly both series have been popular from the start with audiences but have just one film within them that Oscar responded to: The Bourne Ultimatum (2007, 3 Oscar noms/wins) and X-Men Days of Future Past (2012, 1 Oscar nomination).

Rehearsing a fight scene for Bourne Ultimatum. Photograph by Greg Williams

Isn't it fascinating how non-patterned Oscar is with franchises as a general rule? Sometimes they're not into them at all and then all of a sudden they are (those franchises and James Bond of course). Other times it's steady if halfhearted interest (superhero films in particular categories). Often it seems vaguely disconnected to the particulars of individual films. Consider this: Batman Forever is easily the Academy's second most all time favorite Batman film? WTF.  They've also been weirdly sporadic in Harry Potter love ignoring one of the best entries (Order of the Phoenix) that actually worked hard for an Art Direction nomination while rewarding the film that took place mostly in a tent (Deathly Hallows Part 1).

On the broad surface of things you'd think that Oscar voters, many of whom are ordinary working people who just happen to be in showbiz (like Emmy voters) would treat franchises the way that Emmy treats TV... which is all franchises. Not that we recommend this! With Emmy if they don't notice you at beginning they almost never do -- and they're loyal to the point of stupidity if they like you at all! Oscar doesn't really equate with that at all in ongoing narratives. What do you make of that? I ask because I'm not sure. I don't have all the answers!!! Is it just happenstance involving the every shifting competition in each calendar year at the movies?


What next for our Oscar winners?

From Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars, Charlize Theron in Aeon Flux, Jamie Foxx in Stealth, to Eddie Redmayne in Jupiter Ascending, Oscar winners always ride the momentum of their award glory to the next prestige film. 

So what's next for our Oscar winners?

Leo finally won so he can crawl back into the bear (supermodel) cave (mansion) and never work again right? Unlikely, although he has absolutely nothing on his slate at the moment except for staring at his Oscar muttering "the way of the future... the way of the future....". I would genuinely love to see Leo in a movie where he plays a unlucky in love animal services employee who keeps stealing Kathryn Heigl's dog so he can give it back to her and appear the hero, that gets 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. Lighten UP Leo! There are rumours of another Scorcese collaboration about a serial killer. Just the light material we're looking for.

Brie, Alicia, and Mark after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Good Morning, World

Howdy folks, it's Jason from MNPP here -- over at MNPP I do these posts pretty much every day that are titled "Good Morning, World" or some variation thereof (click here for some NSFW-ish examples) where we take a look at a moment of actorly exposure, morning-themed, in a movie. You know, something to wake us up, get us going, in the day. Well this morning I was just now staring at the first picture of Matt Damon on the set of the next Bourne movie, which just began shooting yesterday, and I felt incredibly bright and bushy-tailed, I tell ya what. So here's that!


Here's the sitch though: I have never seen a single Jason Bourne movie. Not one! Not even the one (ones?) with Joan Allen. I love Joan Allen. I adore and worship Joan Allen. So this post is two-fold: 1) Wowza look at Matt Damon (do you think him and Ben Affleck are in some War of the Pecs?), and 2) Yell at me to watch the Bourne movies... but give me some good reasons. Yes you can just say "Joan Allen," I will accept that answer.


Lukewarm Off Presses: Ben-Hur, Bourne-Again, Baz Junior?

Catching up with some stories we've missed of late.

Morgan Freeman was the first cast member announced for the remake of Best Picture winning Ben-Hur (1959) which was itself a remake of the silent epic of the same name in 1925.  Freeman will play the role of a wise old man who gives advice like a Pez Dispenser with Morgan Freeman's face on it. Can Morgan Freeman do anything else? Shame that a once very gifted actor now plays EXACTLY the same role in everything. Maybe he doesn't care to stretch? Jack Huston of Boardwalk Empire fame (who seems to be in the running for everything these days -even if he hasn't booked the high profile stuff until now) will play the lead Charlton Heston role. But good luck trying to best William Wyler's Oscar winning classic (one of 'em rather). I shudder to think how they'll handle Messala, previously slyly interpreted by Stephen Boyd on the DL.

In a weird case of "WAIT. I changed my mind!" Matt Damon is getting back into the Bourne franchise along with previous director Paul Greengrass (who is also possibly doing an Olympics bombing true story movie) and delaying Jeremy Renner's already begun takeover. The same thing happened with Jeremy Renner's assumed takeover of the Mission Impossible franchise until Cruise wanted back in. This will and already has prompted think pieces on Jeremy's failure to become a star but nobody would be griping on him if his agent (and maybe the man himself) hadn't gotten so greedy. How many franchises does one actor need?(Bourne, MI, Witch Hunters, Avengers, etcetera) Especially an actor that good with two Oscar nominations already?

But if we're going to start interrupting reboots with original casts, can we shelve the next Amazing Spider-Man movies and just get Tobey Maguire back in tights? P-L-E-A-S-E. That'd free up Andrew Garfield to be a real actor again and to say "you better lawyer up asshole" if they drop his surely unending contract. 

I don't mean to be snarky about newbie director Diesel Schwarze, a Baz Luhrmann protege, because it's quite possible that he'll be his own brilliant artist. But I needed another "B" for alliterative blogging, what. SO, anyway, he's doing an original musical that uses pre-existing songs (a la Moulin Rouge!) called Ziggy and Dane DeHaan and Rooney Mara are earmarked to star in it. Can they sing? It's not quite Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman exciting even in terms of in context 2014 vs 2000 stardom levels at press release time, but it's still interesting. Especially since it sounds weird...

Dehaan will play a hunchback in NYC who falls for a beautiful woman already mixed up with a powerful man -- you know how singing hunchbacks do!