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Entries in Holidays (104)

Tuesday
Jul012014

Tuesday Top Ten: Unconventional Fourth of July Movie Selections

Glenn here with this week's Tuesday Top Ten. Wikipedia tells this Australian that the Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a day usually celebrated with “fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and political speeches and ceremonies.” Curious that they don’t include movies since, at least since 1991 when James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day premiered to one of the then biggest opening weekends of all time, the big July 4th blockbuster is an annual trend with the likes of Independence Day, the Transformers franchise, Superman Returns and seemingly anything starring Will Smith.

With the holiday this Friday, most lists of movies to watch over the long holiday weekend will feature masculine, almost brutish titles that celebrate America’s achievements in war and rah-rah bravura (The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, Top Gun) or the coming of age of a nation and its people in almost gooey fashion (Field of Dreams, Forrest Gump, The Grapes of Wrath). So let's have fun and mix it up. Some of these titles are a bit off of the beaten path and others are outright bonkers, but I think they perform a somewhat patriotic service in one way or another.

TEN UNCONVENTIONAL 4TH OF JULY RECOMMENDATIONS

10. Mulholland Drive
David Lynch loves America. If we all lived in his world then people in small towns would never have to dream of moving to New York or Los Angeles because they’d all be just as interesting as each other. In Lynch’s world – predominantly the (overlapping?) universes of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway and this, arguably his magnum opus – America is full of weird people doing weird things and he wouldn’t change a thing. Mulholland Drive is the film of a director who loves his home and wants everyone to be as entranced by it as he. In Lynch’s world, the magic of the American dream is alive and well, and even if it doesn’t work out (as, let’s face it, it rarely does) then he’s going to portray it with as much dreamy, sensual beauty as possible.

9 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun152014

Happy Father's Day! What's Your Favorite Dad Movie?

My dad died two years ago so Father's Day is a melancholy abstraction now. I don't have my own kids but I love being a godfather, an uncle, and an honorary uncle. If you're father is still with you, take him to a movie or out somewhere for culture!

My point is this: Our parents aren't with us forever. Cherish them while they are.

What's your favorite dad movie? Mine just might be Beginners (2011) though my own dad certainly would not have liked it - we were very different people. I just find it so moving in its depiction of forging new more loving relationships adult to adult with your aging parent (and others). Christopher Plummer amply earned that Oscar.

There are so many memorable dads in movies, though. Two other semi-recent paterfamilias that really affected me were Donald Sutherland in Pride & Prejudice (2005) and Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life (2011).

How about you?

Tuesday
May272014

Box Office Holiday: Mutants, Reunited Stars, and Immigrants

Amir here, with the long weekend’s box office actuals. All was well in America (and all other markets in the world) as audiences stormed to see X-Men: Days of Future Past. The film’s haul was impressive, even though it fell short of the series’ best (The Last Stand) despite the inflation of 3D tickets, but it’s safe to say fatigue hasn’t yet kicked in with this group of superheroes. In the process, X-Men knocked Godzilla off the top spot perch. Nathaniel quite liked the film, despite its limitations. I haven’t yet seen it, and with the news that Edgar Wright has been kicked off the director’s chair of Ant Man, have vowed never to see another superhero film, but that’s a gripe for another article.

X-Men: Weekend of Godzilla Past

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND BOX OFFICE
01 X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST $110.5 *new* Review
02 GODZILLA $38.4 (cum. $155.7) Review & Podcast
03 BLENDED $17.7 *new*
04 NEIGHBORS $17.1 (cum. $116.8) Review & Podcast
05 THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 $10 (cum. $187.1)

06 MILLION DOLLAR ARM $9.1 (cum. $22.7)
07 THE OTHER WOMAN $4.5 (cum. $78.6)  
08 RIO 2 $3.4 (cum. $122.5)
09 CHEF $2.9 new (cum. $4.2)
10 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $2.7 (cum. $86.5)
11 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $2.2 (cum. $254.1) Review
12 BELLE $2.1 (cum. $4.3) Review

The other big opening of the weekend was Blended, for which the $18m dollar sales is being branded a flop but this isn’t true when you stop to consider just how unappealing everything about this film is. The title sounds like a youtube compilation of mishaps to people who are making smoothies. The trailer sucked the life out of every single theatre I saw it in, and a lot has changed for the leading duo since they starred together in their hit 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer, most notably the fact that they weren’t has-beens then.

Marion Cotillard in The ImmigrantOn the limited side, the Sundance critical hit Cold in July was the most significant release, but without much advertising muscle or star power, it managed a modest $4k per screen average. James Gray’s The Immigrant pulled in similar averages but on a much larger scale as it expanded to 147 theatres. If you live in the vicinity of any of those 147 screens, you Must. Go. Now! It is one of the best of the year.

Nathaniel was on a viewing/reviewing spree this weekend with X-Men, The Normal Heart, Mad Men, and some 1941 pictures (vote!) but I didn’t watch a film. Instead I had the pleasure of talking to Godfrey Cheshire for a few hours! Amazing, right? It was a hoot!

How did you spend the weekend?  

Sunday
May252014

Have a Great Memorial Day Weekend

Any big plans?

(I love Wings (1927) so much. *sniffle*)

 

Sunday
Apr202014

Happy Easter. The Ten Greatest Bunnies in Cinematic History

Since we already named our favorite Bible movies, it's time to turn the conversation over to the most integral part of Easter celebrations: Bunnies! Rabbits. Hares. Whatever you'd prefer to call the hoppy delights.

You will find neither Winnie the Pooh's "Rabbit" or Alice in Wonderland's "White Rabbit" on this list because, frankly, they're way too annoying. 

10 E. ASTER BUNNYMUND (2012)
Because he sounds just like Hugh Jackman 

<-- 09. WERE-RABBIT (2005)
Because he's the only lagomorph who doesn't answer to "Bugs" to ever win an Oscar

8 more awesome movie bunnies after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr182014

Happy Easter Weekend. Complete the Sentence...

I totally forgot it was Good Friday today. Herewith a #faithbased edition of complete the sentence because that's trending now.

"My favorite Biblical movie is ________________ because _______________."

I really wish _________ would make a bible movie because _________ ."

 

 YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO IN THE COMMENTS. I'll get us started. 

P.S.
if you'd like something more secular, check out the ten greatest bunnies in motion picture history 

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