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Entries in Gangster Squad (5)

Monday
Jan212013

Gangster Squad: Bullets and Boredom

Michael C here to kick off the movie year with my first review of 2013 for a movie I noticed had slipped through the cracks here at the Film Experience in the rush of Oscar Nomination Fever. But surely 2013 will get better than this! 

Gangster Squad is a film haunted by the ghosts of its superior cinematic ancestors. Some films do gain resonance from evoking earlier titles in their genre but Ruben Fleischer’s crime saga is such a creative void that it can’t wrestle the audience’s attention away from the specters of film noir past. So much more rewarding to occupy one’s mind with fond memories of Chinatown, than to watch characters we don’t care about exchange gunfire in action scenes we can’t follow for reasons not worth understanding. 

Penn vs. Brolin in "Gangster Squad"

The most obvious film intruding on Gangster Squad (2013) is The Untouchables (1987) - at times the new film borders on a beat-for-beat retelling of the earlier story with Al Copen switched out for Mickey Cohen... [more]

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Tuesday
Jan152013

Curio: Marie Harnett's Pencil Drawings

Alexa here with your weekly art inspiration.  Marie Harnett is an artist out of the UK whose focus is on film. She makes widescreen-format, small yet intricate pencil drawings of filmstills that "capture fleeting moments of drama, suspense or beauty and, when released from the original context of the film that inspired them, the drawings each tell a story of their own."

Marie holds a miniature Keira

I recently came upon her work and was struck by the level of photorealistic detail she manages to cram into her tiny compositions, and by how they evoke the history of cinema, despite her of-the-minute subjects (she even draws stills from trailers).  And she's doing quite well for herself; tiny mezzotints of her drawings sell for upwards of $2000! Here are some examples of her current work; you can see more on her website.

'Gatsby' series, 2012

Gangster Squad, Chéri, and A Single Man loveliness after the jump

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Sunday
Jan132013

Multiple Zeroes. Dark Thirty

With a post Oscar nominations wide expansion into movie theaters Zero Dark Thirty won a strong $24 million opening weekend. $24 million is chump change for superheroes and cartoons but it's a big deal for contemporary dramas without bankable stars. Put it another way: that's well over what The Hurt Locker earned in its entire theatrical run here in the States. The torture controversy may have soiled ZDT's Oscar winning prospects somewhat (including that surprise snub for Bigelow) but it hasn't hurt it at the box office.

The Top Five This Weekend

Chart repurposed / visually adjusted from Box Office Mojo

Gangster Squad grossed less than the cheapo laughs of A Haunted House once again confirming that the earth is doomed and also that filling your movie with stars doesn't necessarily help (which also means the earth is doomed... at least for those of us who like our movies with movie stars in them.) That said it took Brad Pitt a long time to be considered "bankable" and Ryan Gosling is inching ever upwards. This is his second best opening (after Crazy Stupid Love, which was also jam-packed with fellow stars) though he has yet to star in a $100 + million hit.

Meanwhile Django and Les Miz continue to prove that their hit status is bonafide. With only three weeks in theaters both are well over $100 million and are on their way to very healthy profits, with or without Oscar statuettes.

Fantine may be impoverished and unemployable but Anne Hathaway now has her SEVENTH $100+ million hit.

I've noticed that that really tired annual meme that Oscar hates blockbusters and that general audiences don't like "Oscar-Bait" movies has died this year thank God! That death rattle lasted forever. Your Best Picture lineup this year is more proof that that's only ever been partially true at best and is often misleading. The average gross from this year's crop is $76 million and it's going up every week. Among the nine only (arguably) Silver Linings Playbook has underperformed given it's box office friendly stars / genre but that's only because they opted to pretend it was a tough arthouse sit with that crawling release pattern. Even after the Oscar nominations its still in less than 900 theaters. 

Do you support Oscars economy each year by seeing the nominees in the theaters?
 

Tuesday
Jul242012

The Link Squad

The Film Stage Gangster Squad, with its machine gun in the movie theater moment -- already revealed in the trailer --  may be delayed or reedited now in the wake of Aurora Colorado tragedy. (I figured this was coming)
i09 Lt Ellen Ripley and Child, painted. Other sci-fi women also iconized. 
Telegraph RIP Actor Simon Ward of The Tudors, Three Musketeers, Supergirl, and Young Winston fame. He was 70 years old.
Rope of Silicon is wondering about the Oscar chances of Beasts of the Southern Wild now that it's expanded well.

My New Plaid Pants Quote of the Day via The House of Kermit
Pajiba Dustin recounts his single most humiliating experience as a critic. Curse you, Taylor Lautner!
The Broadway Blog celebrates musical theater's belters: Sutton, Babs, Lupone and more
Hollywood Elsewhere has lunch with the Criterion Blurays of Rosemary's Baby and Sunday Bloody Sunday
Vanity Fair says goodbye to The Dark Knight Trilogy with a behind the scenes slideshow 
Vulture looks at the dissolution of the TomKat marriage
NPR this is sweet, actor Donald Faison (Clueless, Scrubs) on the movie he has seen a million times: The Empire Strikes Back
The Film Doctor discusses The Dark Knight Rises with a film major at Waffle House. Cheese, eggs, raisin toast, and spoilers.

P.S. Yes, yes. I did start a review myself and I hope to have it up today but I'm moving in slo-mo this week.

Saturday
May122012

Yes, No, Maybe So In a Man's Man's Man's Man's World

Trying to catch up here so herewith, a quartet of big groups of male actors committing daring crimes/heroics in two minutes flat so that you can see the best parts* of the movies for free. 

*that's how it works, right?


We'll break Argo, Expendables 2, Lawless and Ganster Squad down into quick threes via our infallible Yes No Maybe So™ system after the jump.

Click to read more ...