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Entries in Fright Night (4)

Monday
Jun202016

Anton Yelchin (1989-2016)

This calendar year has been filled to the brim with unthinkables. The latest terribly sad happening: The talented Russian-American actor Anton Yelchin died yesterday in a freak accident at only 27 years of age. He was crushed by his own car on its steep driveway incline.

Yelchin was best known to general audiences as Chekov in the modern Star Trek franchise but to us he'll always be Byrd Huffstodt (the sensitive brainy teen in the underappreciated cable drama Huff) or awestruck poseur Ian (from the hipster vampire greatness that was Only Lovers Left Alive), and especially Jacob from the college romance drama Like Crazy (2011). Though Like Crazy was mostly heralded at the time for Felicity Jones's work as his British girlfriend, it was Yelchin that gave the movie its lovestruck foolish soul... but nuanced emotionally astute work by male actors, especially young ones, in romantic dramas are rarely given their just critical props. Even when miscast (when Hollywood thinks you're the next big thing they'll put you in anything, even if it's an obviously uncomfortable fit) as in Fright Night or Terminator Salvation, Yelchin was always, at the very least, watchable. 

A tiny gift of remembrance to fans which in no way makes up for this truly absurd loss: Yelchin worked so steadily as an actor that we will still see a handful of new performances released posthumously. The forthcoming films are: Star Trek Beyond (due July 22nd), Rememory (with Peter Dinklage), the family drama We Don't Belong Here (with Catherine Keener as his dysfunctional mother), the international romantic drama Porto (with French actress Lucie Lucas - Yelchin was fluent in multiple languages and it seems likely he would have pursued more international films later in life if Hollywood offers ever got too repetitive or unchallenging), and the thriller Thoroughbred (with Anya Taylor-Joy from The Witch).

He will be missed. Do you have a favorite Anton Yelchin memory at the movies or on TV? 

Sunday
Aug212011

Box Office Bloodbath: The Help Cleans Up.

This weekend was a bloodbath for new releases, and not because Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night's Jerry the vampire were spilling so much of it. Both of them bombed. Though I enjoyed Fright Night, can we at least hope that the combined failure here makes Hollywood question the need to remake every 80s hit? Maybe not. With The Smurfs chuggling along nicely despite virtually no one enjoying it, we'll still get name brand regurgitation until all of them start bombing. 

Box Office U.S. Top Ten (estimates)

01 THE HELP [review] $20 (cum $71.3)
02 RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES [articles] $16.1 (cumulative $133.5) 
03 SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD $11.6 
04 CONAN THE BARBARIAN $10 
05 THE SMURFS $7.8 (cum $117.5)
06 FRIGHT NIGHT [review] $7.7 
07 FINAL DESTINATION 5 $7.7 (cum $32.3)
08 30 MINUTES OR LESS $6.3 (cum $25.8)
09 ONE DAY $5.0 
10 CRAZY STUPID LOVE [articles$4.7 (cum $64.2)

Three Talking Points:
Emma Stone hits are bookending the top ten this week, her star shines ever brighter.

In fact, though one can hardly name Emma the reason for its success, The Help barely dropped at all, doing a rare climb to the number one spot after its debut week (a rarity). In other words, it's shaping up to be a long legged big hit. And people are still definitely talking about it, even if it's mostly to call each other names (such as: this article which has upset some people.) 

The biggest news though occured outside the top ten as Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris crossed the $50 million mark this week. To celebrate, Sony Pictures Classics announced that the comeback hit will be going wide AGAIN (even more of a rarity) next weekend.

Shall we celebrate?


If so, how?

If you haven't yet seen it, here's your last (theatrical) chance essentially. Movies don't generally lose hundreds of theaters and then return to them but the film has had such great legs that SPC is obviously bullish about its Oscar chances at this point. If you don't adjust for inflation this is Woody's biggest US hit ever and if you don't adjust for inflation it will soon be his second biggest hit ever worldwide where it has grossed $84 million; any second now it will pass Match Point though surpassing Vicky Cristina Barcelona's nearly $100 million take might still be a considerable challenge.

What did you see this weekend? Are you also bullish on Midnight's Oscar chances at this point?

Friday
Aug192011

Review: "Fright Night"

Colin Farrell has something of a wolf's reputation as a celebrity and it serves him well in Fright Night, a remake of the 1985 vampire comedy, while playing a shameless monster. Yet, for all his rabid dog violence as vampire Jerry -- "a terrible name for a vampire!" --  the most adorable moment in his performance is positively kittenish. While stepping around a beam of sunlight during one action setpiece he hisses at it with instinctual annoyance. You can't scare sunlight away, dumb Jerry! It's a silly bit of actorly business but the new Fright Night soars whenever the cast or director are having a bloody good time.  Good times at the movies are as infectious as vampirism, though thankfully more common.

READ THE REST AT TOWLEROAD

I'm eager to see the original now that I've seen this. (Yes, it's true. I never have)

Thursday
Apr072011

Links: Penélope & Javier, Guy & Kate, Mavericks & Vampires

 Penélope & Javi
EW Penélope Cruz to headline Woody Allen's upcoming untitled Rome picture.
US Weekly First photos of the Blessed Babe of Penélope and Javi. His name is Leo. Awwww. Love the photo of Penélope with the pacifier in her mouth.
The Wrap Javier Bardem in final talks for Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower.

Awwww. Look at Baby Leo.

More News
Awards Daily
Boon Jong-Ho (of Mother and The Host fame) will head the Camera D'Or at Cannes this year (they're the ones that pick the "Best First Film")
Gold Derby the Grammys are shedding 31 awards in a streamlining effort. The weirdest switch is dumping the gender specificity. I would die if the Oscars did this. Actresses would never get nominated for everything.
Movie|Line attempts to keep track of the competing Snow White projects, currently scheduled to open within six months of each other next year.

Anton Yelchin and Colin Farrell in the FRIGHT NIGHT remake

80s Mania
Cinema Blend Top Gun is returning to theaters for its 25th anniversary. Ride into the Danger Zone!
NY Post shares new photos from the remake of Fright Night.

Finally...
Cinephilia & Sass names his 5 favorite Guy Pearce performances. Agreed fully on #s 1 & 2. Last weekend while watching Part 3 of Mildred Pierce a rather funny R-rated conversation from both straights and gays in the room erupted (It was awesome. As is his ass in Mildred Pierce. Unfortunately I can't share it, the conversation; I've been told by a girlfriend that the convo is strictly off-blog limits. Damn her!). The Guy/Kate scenes are the best ones in Mildred Pierce because they have more life pulsing through them, and not just because half of them erupt into tetchy sex scenes. The series is best when Mildred is angry and Monty & Vida (soon to become Evan Rachel Wood) are the only ones who significantly raise her temperature.

Doesn't it always feel like Guy is going to have a breakthrough that never quite comes? He has these big seminal movies and then... Shouldn't he be as famous as, like, oh Russell Crowe? Well, maybe not that famous. But it does seem like Hollywood has been inattentive? Or hasn't Chris Nolan been inattentive? For someone who reuses actors why not throw Pearce another plum role?

Not that he isn't busy post-King's Speech.

After piercing Pierce (sorry) he'll co-star in the Nicolas Cage thriller The Hungry Rabbit Jumps, headline the Australian drama 33 Postcards, appear in the sci-fi film Lockout with Maggie Grace and then reunite with John Hillcoat (who obviously loves him: The Road, The Proposition) for The Wettest Country in the World.