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Entries in Liam Neeson (6)

Monday
Sep222014

Box Office: The Lost Cause of September

Amir here, back to weekly box office reporting duty. Coming back from TIFF, I tried to catch up a bit today with all the sales numbers I’d missed since August. It turns out the biggest bit of news was... the release of Forrest Gump IMAX??? Really, September? Is that the best you can do? Turgid stuff.

On the bright side, with awards season now slowly getting into full gear, we can look forward to the highbrow films the studios have been withholding from all us all year, starting with this weekend’s... The Maze Runner and This Is Where I Leave You? Damn it September; get your act together!

big name casts don't always make big time movies

WIDE RELEASE BOX OFFICE
01 THE MAZE RUNNER $32.5 NEW Review
02 A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES $13.1 NEW 
03 THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU $11.8 NEW
04 NO GOOD DEED $10.2 (cum. $40.1)
05 DOLPHIN TALE 2 $9 (cum. $27)

Maze Runner easily topped the weekend’s box office. Our very own Nathaniel didn’t think much of the film and he seems to be with the majority. This is Where I Leave You? premiered at TIFF and was met with something resembling vitriol. Post-festival reactions from the mainstream press are only slightly better. The ensemble comedy starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey and Adam Driver performed below expectations, as did the film that actually surpassed it to second place, A Walk among the Tombstones. The new entry in the “Liam Neeson as the Saviour in an Action Film” series failed most likely because its only hook was Liam Neeson as the Saviour in an Action Film, with no aid from planes or wolves.

Limited releases were more exciting.

have you seen Love is Strange yet?TOP TEN LIMITED (EXCLUDING WIDE RELEASES LOSING THEATERS)
01 TUSK $.8 NEW 
02 MY OLD LADY $.4 (cum. $.6)
03 THE SKELETON TWINS $.4 (cum. $.9)
04 THE TRIP TO ITALY $.3 (cum. $2.1)
05 CANTINFLAS $.2 (cum. $6)
06 LOVE IS STRANGE $.2 (cum. $1.5) Review
07 THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM $.1 (cum. $.2) right way to watch? / review of him/her
08 THE GUEST $.08 (cum. $.1) Review
09 ZERO THEOREM $.08 NEW Review
10 CALVARY $.05 (cum. $3.4)  

At least three films worthy of your time opened this weekend. Michael liked Tracks for the most part. I’ve been falling more and more in love with Stop the Pounding Heart, a modest, evocative film that blends fiction and documentary to study a religious community in Texas. It’s almost ethereal in its beauty and very challenging in its subtlety and frankness. There was also 20,000 Days on Earth (review forthcoming) which is a fictionalized documentary about the creation of Nick Cave’s latest album. It’s a very interesting film about the creative process and one that really delves into the psyche of the man at its centre to contextualize his work. None of these films passed the $100k mark and neither did Simon Pegg’s Hector and the Search for Happiness or Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem (reviewed), but here’s hoping they get a fair shake soon.

What have you watched this week?

Thursday
May082014

Links

Salon "Dear serial tweet-favoriter: you are a coward" lol. a must read for anyone with a Twitter account
The Uncool Cameron Crowe's agonizing search for a title for Almost Famous (2000)... in notepad form
Film School Rejects two members of the staff watched "the 50 best movies of all time" and here are their takeaways from that two year process
Antagony & Ecstasy on King Vidor's The Crowd (1928) at the great end of silent filmmaking
Kenneth in the (212) shares a pretty great X-Men related Graham Norton wherein Fassy & McAvoy see gay fan art of themselves


MNPP tries to rekindle his love for George Clooney with his three favorite Clooneys. Good choices
Variety asks where the kids movies are this summer in the absence of Pixar
The Wire "Zac Efron hits bottom by accepting life advice from Tom Cruise" haha. I'm linking that for the title alone 
i09 see what your favorite webcomics would look like animated 
Cinesnark terrific examination of why Captain America films are what Superman films have failed to be 

news bits
Empire the ever employed Liam Neeson joins A Monster Calls... the new feature from the director of The Impossible. I can't wait until it's retitled something dull like "Dark River"
Cinema Blend The Flintstones getting a new animated feature because no franchise is allowed to ever die
In Contention The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby will be released in three different versions. It's a neat experiment but it fills me with horror. Goodbye final cut and "definitive" versions. That's a thing of the past (Malick, Lucas, and Scott have been trying to force that on us for years with their "oh, i'm sorry did i say i was finished i wasn't finished" tinkering so I'm sure they're thrilled.)
Guardian Andrea Arnold to direct first US film, a road trip called American Honey. I hope she casts professional actors this time. 

Saturday
Apr262014

Tribeca: "Third Person," An Inconclusive Panorama of Trust Issues

Just a few more Tribeca reports to go. Here's Diana on "Third Person."


In another chapter on writer stereotypes (see also: 5 to 7), Paul Haggis’ Third Person opens on Liam Neeson’s hulking handsome frame sitting at a hotel desk, staring at his computer, with an open bottle of red wine and an ashtray heavily weighted down by burnt out cigarette ends. In the midst of the toiling and typing, he hears a child’s voice say, “Watch me.” This phrase becomes an iteration throughout the film, linking together three stories of loss and trust issues. You know how Paul Haggis likes to link (see also: Crash). To paraphrase author Michael (Neeson), all three are weak, but each have strong, albeit bordering on cliche, choices.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb282014

Review: Non-Stop

Here's Amir on this weekend's high-octane Oscar escape starring 3 Oscar nominees.

In the opening scene of NON-STOP, federal air marshal Bill Marks is sitting in his car in the parking lot of the New York airport before he enters the building to take his flight. As he fidgets with his phone, making one last call before departing, he turns the radio on. The radio voices just happen to be discussing the issue of airport security in the post 9/11 world. Fast forward to ninety minutes later when the mystery of the film is solved and the dead and alive are separated and the television is on. The newscaster, mic in hand, looks us straight in the eyes and, under the guise of national news, explains what we have just witnessed. She clarifies the twists of the film with sincerity and merrily wraps up by tying everything with a bow. As the title suggests, subtlety is not Non-Stop’s strongest suit, but it is precisely the combination of ridiculous and grandiose that makes it such an enthralling experience.

Liam Neeson, in the latest episode of the subtextual franchise which reinvents him as America’s unlikelies action star, stars as Bill Marks (that name!) an air marshal who has been assigned to a New York to London flight. Also on the plane: Jen Summers (Julianne Moore) a seemingly nervous woman intent on finding a window seat – she ends up in the one next to agent Marks, a school teacher named Bowen (Scoot McNairy), an NYPD officer named Austin (Corey Stoll), Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong’o as flight attendants, and a seven year old girl called Becca, whose first interaction with Marks screams "Emotional Subplot!" thousands of miles ahead of its destination.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Oct072012

Liam Neeson Delivers Another Box Office Beatdown

Jean Grey, mysteriously having lost all of her mutant powers, relies on Liam Neeson for rescueLiam Neeson's surprising late career popularity continues. People love to see him putting the vicious beat down on evil types. Even if the film is as generically titled and redundantly plotted (from what I hear) as Taken 2. I wonder when we'll Neeson working a softer side again onscreen like he did in Nell, Husbands and Wives or Kinsey. Well I suppose he was more cerebral than soft in Kinsey, but the point stands. Kinsey was only 8 years ago but it seems like a different lifetime ago. It must be all those dead bodies he's left behind him onscreen since!

Box Office Dozen
01 TAKEN 2  $50 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE*
02 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA  $26.3 (cum. $76)
03 PITCH PERFECT $14.7 *EXPANDING* (cum. $21.6)
04 LOOPER $12.2 (cum. $40.3) review
05 FRANKENWEENIE $11.5 *NEW IN WIDE RELEASE* on the original short

06 END OF WATCH  $4 (cum $32.8)
07 TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE $3.8 (cum. $29.7)
08 HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET $3.6 (cum. $27.5)
08 THE MASTER $1.8 (cum. $12.3) Team Experience
09 FINDING NEMO 3-D $1.5 (cum. $38.9 this time around) 

I'm sad that the surprisingly worthwhile and funny Frankenweenie didn't seem to connect with ticket buyers. It's Tim Burton's best since Corpse Bride. (Maybe he should stick to animation for awhile?).

This weekend I went to Pitch Perfect with my two besties. The movie wasn't quite Aca-mazing -- I wish the filmmaking itself had been stronger -- but it was definitely a good time. Our favorites were Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson) who the marketing campaign is forcing has chosen as everyone's favorite, and Lilly (Hana Mae Lee) who trusted that if you missed her barely audible punchlines, they were still funny. She was right.

I have to set fire to things to feel joy"

What did you see this weekend?

 

Wednesday
Oct032012

The Edge of Linky

Geekologie What if Disney villains had won? Fun illustrations of our favorites including Ursula & Maleficent 
Pajiba reads my mind on the Olivia Newton-John / John Travolta Christmas Album !!! Well they read my mind except the part where the article is all obsessed about John Travolta's fake hair instead of Sandy & Danny reunited again! 
Film Dr 10 Notes on Looper and the reciprocal nature of violence
Fleshbot *NSFW* Daniel Radcliffe gets naked for The F Word and Kill Your Darlings. After this and Equus... maybe he's telling us he's a naturist? 

Gawker Liam Neeson does his naked part for charity on "Ellen"
Badass Digest interesting piece on the splintering of pop culture. Film may no longer rule, but neither does anything else.
Playbill Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, the musically inclined feature that starred Frances McDormand, Amy Adams and Lee Pace may be headed for the Broadway musical stage 
In Contention Beasts of the Southern Wild won't be honored at the SAG Awards who have ruled it ineligible. This could put a dent in Quvenzhané Wallis Best Actress hopes if you ask me since SAG has historically liked little girl performances even more than Oscar.

Team Experience
Pop Elegantarium Alexa loves Looper and Looper paintings by the director's brother
Stale Popcorn Glenn kicks off a miniseries 31 Horrors with Cat People (1982)
MNPP JA loves Barry Levinson's The Bay 
Serious Film Michael survives ocean storms with The Life of Pi 

Exit Music
The hilarious Rebel Wilson sang from her "breast voice" for her Pitch Perfect audition