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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

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Entries in Fast and Furious (12)

Saturday
May072016

Where My Girls At? New Roles for Jess, Charlize, and The Bening

Four new projects for three favorites, two of whom are in theaters right now in a bad movie called Winter's War.

Charlize Theron
Her Gorgeousness will star in a new comedy called Tully which is not to be confused with that new drama called Sully starring Tom Hanks. Theron will play a woman who has difficulty dealing her child's new nanny (who happens to be the title character). But here's the best part: It's reuniting the core Young Adult team with Jason Reitman behind the camera and Diablo Cody scripting and since Young Adult is all three of them in peak powers, we can be very grateful/hopeful about it. If lightning strikes twice we'll know the three of them all bring out the best in each other creatively.

In related news that's the first set picture of Charlize on Fast & Furious 8 (gee, they didn't waste any time getting another film going) in which we think she's playing the villain. They've apparently gone meta with her 'Angelina Jolie Gone in 60 Seconds' look -- Drag racing car fetish movies have to stick together!

Jessica Chastain
Jess will headline Molly's Game with Idris Elba as her co-star. Since this is Jess we're talking about there's already a cutesy photo to illustrate.

 

 

Molly's Game is  based on the memoir by skier Molly Bloom which chronicles her arrest by the FBI for a high stakes poker game. Sounds like a string of words that don't make much sense together right but apparently it was a true enough story to write a book about and get a movie deal. Famed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will write (duh) & direct (wha?!?).

And the best news for last...

Annette Bening
After headlining 20th Century Women and a supporting role of some sort in her husband's still Untitled Howard Hughes film, The Bening will be back in a bio: She'll be playing Academy Award winning actress Gloria Grahame in a drama about the star's final days battling cancer when she was 57. The casting is totally brilliant visually. Our collective images of Grahame are all from her youthful heyday in noirs but if you imagine her growing older offscreen it's easy to imagine her looking exactly like the 57 year-old Annette Bening of right now. The project is called Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (I can't imagine they won't change the name) and Jamie Bell will play the male lead of Peter Turner who wrote the memoir it's based on and who cared for Grahame in her last days. Sherlock director Paul McGuigan is on board and the screenplay is from the writer of Control & Nowhere Boy

In related news: Annette Bening is still aiming for that Oscar so this may well be her backup plan if she doesn't win it this year...

Thursday
Feb112016

Charlize Theron Plays Fast & Furiosa With Her Action Star Potential

Daniel here. If your Charlize senses have been tingling lately then it’s fair to assume your road rage has set in: Variety reports that Universal is circling Imperator Furiosa herself to star as the lead villain in Fast 8, the latest model in their rubber-burning line of Fast & Furious flicks. 

Gallons of credit go to this high-octane franchise for encouraging onscreen diversity and staging sky-is-the-limit set pieces, sure, but just because Charlize Theron can drive, it doesn’t mean she needs to take your wheel.

The main attractions in a Fast & Furious are smash ‘em up automotive melees with basic visuals broken up by character-light screeds on the true meaning of family; you’ll find none of Mad Max: Fury Road’s kinetic wizardry or redemptive arcs. Pitting their rogue gallery of villains against Charlize Theron is like straight-up reaching for the wrong Ben & Jerry’s pint. Jason Statham or Luke Evans’ unhinged, kitchen sink nutsos are more Everything But The… whereas her slow burn Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz charisma sneaks up on you before you realize your heart’s about to explode.

Surely we can find a better action franchise for our feminist warrior to throttle into high gear. And, yes, options are aplenty.

• ALIENS. The logical place to start is unfortunately a moot point. The Aliens series already had their chance for another fearless Ripley type in Ridley Scott’s underrated franchise refraction Prometheus, where you’ll remember (or not) that she was relegated to playing comatose corporate ethics incarnate, Meredith Vickers.

• BOND. Although her co-star Idris Elba is everyone’s favorite hypothetical James Bond, it’s a safe bet that she could outsmug Craig, outdrink Connery, and outlast Lazenby. 

• MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. Let’s relieve Tom Cruise of jet-hugging duty and let Agent Charlize hunt down snipers at the opera in Mission: Impossible.

At the very least, she’s a shoo-in for that rumored all X-chromosome Ocean’s ElevenWhich action franchise should Charlize Theron anchor instead of Fast 8?

Thursday
Jan072016

The Case For "See You Again"

Kieran, here. Full disclosure—Best Original Song is my least favorite category. Though the last three winners of this category have been worthy entries, this relative hot streak doesn’t overwrite the fact that the category’s mandate for existing is somewhat dubious.  For every “Glory” or “Skyfall” the category of late will award many more “We Belong Together” and “Man or Muppet” level winners.  That’s why when a movie song comes along that feels emotionally or architecturally integral to its film’s narrative, it’s difficult to argue against it as a winner.

That brings us to Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again” from Furious 7. Look…I can already hear and see the exasperated sighs and eyerolls that accompany any advocacy for this hit as an Academy Award Winner. Its tedious ubiquity in 2015 can easily (and fairly) prompt the response of “Does it need Academy Awards advocacy on top of everything else?”

More...

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Sunday
May032015

Podcast (Season Debut): Furious Ultron 7 

The Podcast is Back!

For this season's spoiler-heavy debut episode, Nathaniel is joined by Joe Reid and Anne Marie Kelly who share their feels about the Furious 7 and its home franchise from corny sentiment to Michelle Rodriguez's biceps. We also talk Joss Whedon, crowded and empty theaters, and the various intermittent joys of The Avengers: Age of Ultron from Elizabeth Olsen's elaborate hand gestures to Mjölnir getting around.

Running Time - 42½ minutes
00:01 Intro and "Previously On..."
02:00 Avengers moviegoing: geek behavior, costumes, crowds
09:00 Age of Ultron
33:00 Furious 7

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of this post or download from iTunes.  

Furious Ultron 7

Sunday
Apr262015

Box Office: Muscle Cars, Curvy Androids, and Eternal Youth

Oscar Isaac Dance Off to celebrate EX-MACHINA's wide release. Who'll join us?The concept of characters that don't age insures of at least one thing: they don't usually get to have sequels without looking ridiculous. Adaline may never age but her actressy vessell Blake Lively will. Still Blake had a good opening for what looked like a ridiculous movie so kudos to her! In other box office news, Furious 7 continued to the success story of the film year having already cracked a billion worldwide and bound to be more succesful domestically than anything released last year since it will soon surpass Katniss and that Sniper.

The happiest news for cinephiles is the success of A24's thinky sexy sci-fi oddity Ex Machina as it went into wide release with a per screen average as good as most of its competition. Russell Crowe's directorial debut (he also stars) The Water Diviner kicked off its US run without much fanfare but still managed over a million in limited release.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Furious 7 $18.2 (cum. $320.5) Review
02 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $15.5 (cum. $43.9)
03 Age of Adaline $13.3 NEW Trailer discussion
04 Home $8.3 (cum. $153.7) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
05 Unfriended $6.2 (cum. $25.1) 
06 Ex-Machina $5.4 (cum. $6.9) Review

Russell Crowe seems pretty proud of himself.

LIMITED RELEASE - EXCLUDING MOVIES THAT WERE ONCE WIDE
01 The Water Diviner (AUS) 320 Theaters $1.2 NEW 
02 Brotherly Love (US) 200 Theaters  $.2 NEW
03 Clouds of Sils Maria (France) 71 Theaters $.2 (cum. $.5) Articles
04 Child 44 (UK) 510 Theaters $.1 (cum. $1)
05 Wild Tales (Argentina) 58 Theaters $.1 (cum. $2.5) Review
06 The Salt of the Earth (France/Brazil/Italy) 47 Theaters $.09 (cum. $.5) Conversation
07 What We Do in the Shadows (NZ) 18 theaters $.07 (cum. $3.2) Review
08 Kung Fu Killer (Hong Kong) 28 Theaters $.06 NEW
09 Adult Beginners (US) 10 Theaters $.04 NEW 
10 Seymour: An Introduction (US) 378 Theaters $.03 (cum. $.5) Review

What did you see this weekend?
Any of these 16 movies listed or did you watch movies at home?

Sunday
Apr052015

Review: Furious 7

Michael C. here admitting upfront that I was wary about the prospect of reviewing an entry in the Fast/Furious franchise. The risk is that a movie like this turns one into a caricature of a film critic, a Frasier Crane type watching the movie through a pair of opera glasses, scoffing and harrumphing at the schlock on the screen. The kind of killjoy who cranks out the cane-shaking screed about how 'in MY DAY car movie had GRAVITAS, not the weightless, video game CRAP that these damn KIDS shell out for! Something, something, Steve McQueen.'

So I am relieved that seventh entry in the franchise did not force me into that unappealing position. Unlike the recent Kingsman, which spoiled the fun of its goofy action with a rancid attitude, I can endorse Furious 7 if only for the tone of goofy positivity maintained by director James Wan. These films are, as they never tire of repeating, all about family. Family and loyalty and introducing every third scene with a shot of a babe’s bikini-clad ass. Getting worked up over the lack of realism on display is like chastising a toddler smashing his Tonka trucks together because, actually, that’s not how to use a cement mixer properly.

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Sunday
Apr052015

Furious #7, Cinderella #1

As expected the big loud noisy high speed franchise on wheels Furious 7 broke April box office records and earned the biggest opening weekend of 2015... until Age of Ultron arrives.

WIDE RELEASE
01 Furious 7 $143.6 new Review
02 Home $27.4 (cum. $95.6)
03 Get Hard $12.9 (cum. $57) 
04 Cinderella $10.2 (cum. $167.2) Review
05 Divergent: Insurgent $10 (cum. $103.3)
06 It Follows $2.4 (cum. $8.5) Review
07 Woman in Gold $2.1 new
08 Kingsman: Secret Service $1.7 (cum. $122.2) Review
09 Do You Believe $1.5 (cum. $9.8)
10 Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel $1 (cum. $30)

The other story is leggy Cinderella. The lux live action adaptation -- which has spurred on much future live-action remake planning from Disney animation (see that bizarre Winnie the Pooh news and next year's possibly even bigger Beauty & The Beast film) has just become the #1 biggest grosser of 2015. Not that the glass slippered princess will wear that particular tiara for more than a day or two at the rate the Fast & Furious company is collecting coin. 

What did you see this weekend?