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Entries in moviegoing (81)

Sunday
Aug212016

Ben-Who? Weekend Box Office

The name "Ben-Hur" wasn't enough of a brand on its own to lure moviegoers to theaters this weekend for the remake. My guess: Those who know of Ben-Hur love the 1959 version too much to care about a 2016 version. I have zero desire to see it so if you dared the movie theater this weekend to do so, tell me this: did any of the 1925 sensuality or the 1959 homoeroticism survive in the 2016 version. Or is this just all antiseptic generic blockbuster action mode? 

Ben Hur in 1959, 2016, and 1925If you didn't see Ben-Hur, what did you see? Did you like it? More after the jump including the fate of Kubo and the Two Strings and the best thing I saw this weekend...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152016

Link Up

REMINDER: tomorrow night we're doing the first episode of "The Get Down" (now streaming on Netflix) for Hit Me With Your Best Shot

The Best Picture Project advice for taking your toddler to the movie theater
Los Angeles Times report on a South Korean thriller called Train to Busan that's striking a deep chord with moviegoers there
In Contention Kris Tapley has a new podcast called "Playback" - interviews and the Oscar race
Comics Alliance Flash Season 3 News. I cooled a bit on The Flash with the interminable and convoluted plot of Season 2 but season 3 is sounding like great fun: a musical episode (which we were hoping for since so many of the cast members have musical theater backgrounds) and more Gorilla Grodd for starters

MTV Teo Bugbee celebrates the 10th anniversary of Step Up, the sexiest family-friendly dance movie of the decade
Tracking Board we get the movies we deserve (on the success of Suicide Squad despite everyone agreeing that it's not good)
Coming Soon Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water has assembled quite a stellar cast (including Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins & Sally Hawkins) and production has begun. It's  "an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963."
Theater Mania Remember Lesley Headland's Bachelorette? It started as a play before it was a movie and now it's coming back to the stage in September (sadly it's the exact dates I'm in TIFF so I won't get to see this production).
/Film Some of the titular characters from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
Variety Birth of a Nation star Nate Parker responds to new reporting about a rape trial 17 years ago.
Variety Cirque du Soleil is making several changes to its Broadway show "Paramour" after opening night and reviews, which is quite rare. 
This is Not Porn Harrison Ford working out for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
Coming Soon Patty Jenkins respondes to rumors that Wonder Woman, like other DC superhero productions before it is a mess in post. Calls them "entirely false" with a "transparent agenda"
Theater Mania Fyvush Finkel of Picket Fences and Fiddler on the Roof fame has died at 93 years of age 
Tracking Board more discussion of "genderless" acting awards. I maintain that this would be a disaster for actresses because sexist society (and Holllywood) values men so much more and that would only exarcebate the problem of women not getting their deserved kudos in film and television. This particular article seems to think the male acting categories have more range in roles which I think is flat-out crazy. The male acting categories are so much duller and generally only have a few types of genres honored. You get a wider spread with the actresses from all the same genres as men (bios, dramas, dramedies, epics) plus romances, comedies, musicals, etcetera. 

Olympic Fever
E!Online best reaction faces from the Olympics 
Slate on Kohei Uchimura, "the greatest gymnast of all time"
Slate on why Puerto Rico gets its own Olympic team
Towleroad The IOC has deemed the Daily Beast's awful homophobic article about gay Olympians using apps to hookup "unacceptable" (the article has since been removed from the Daily Beast's website but honestly people should be fired not just 'oh we're sorry') and the straight journalist behind it Nico Hines has been recalled from Rio. Still one has to wonder what damage he's already done given that he basically outed athletes from notoriously anti-gay countries whose lives could not be at stake 
Towleroad The Daily Mail has also been on the homophobic attack, labelling hugging between Olympic divers 'unmanly' 

Thursday
Aug112016

HFPA Donates Half a Million Dollars to Renovate Historic Egyptian Theater, Site of First Movie Premiere

by Daniel Crooke

While known most casually as the Cool Mom of awards ceremonies – here, you and your friends can drink as much champagne as you want but make sure you do it under my roof, in front of my cameras – the Hollywood Foreign Press Association accomplishes much more every year than pulling off Oscar season’s liveliest, sloppiest party. At their annual Grants Banquet last week, the HFPA awarded over two million dollars worth of grants to non-profit arts organizations, higher education fellowships, professional trainings, and other film-centric or adjacent projects and spaces.

To Angelino cinephiles, film history buffs, and fans of landmark cultural sites, one additional grant announcement might spark some interest: a $500,000 grant to renovate and restore the legendary movie palace, the Egyptian Theater. Home to reams of Golden Age Hollywood lore and, contemporarily, the encyclopedic repertory organization American Cinematheque – the recipients of the grant, and masterminds of the theater’s first major renovation in 1996 – the Egyptian has held a special place in the past, present, and future of Hollywood film culture since its construction in 1922 by film exhibition (and cultural appropriation) impresario Sid Grauman. While Grauman’s Chinese Theater would go on to secure higher iconography in the pantheon of movie palaces and cemented handprints, the Egyptian arguably influenced the practices of the Hollywood hype machine more integrally and with more longevity; after all, it hosted the first ever movie premiere in history, for Allan Dwan's Robin Hood starring Douglas Fairbanks.

Which is all to say, where we see movies matters. Whether it’s a packed AMC with the comfiest seats and strongest air conditioning, a local independent theater with roots in the community, or a trusted repertory house with a taste-expanding slate, the environment in which we watch has the capacity to add a special new flavor to your filmgoing experience.

Do you have a favorite theater around where you live that makes you feel warm and fuzzy when the lights dim? Personally, The Neon in Dayton, Ohio makes me as bubbly inside as one of their homemade Italian sodas.

Thursday
Jul212016

Melinkia 

Variety Emmys are revoking Peter MacNicol's "Guest Actor" nomination for Veep since he appeared in 50% of the episodes (it's supposed to be under 50% a rule we support after years of abuse by studios and actors) but who gets his spot? Stay tuned.
Pajiba reacts with glorious schadenfreude to the news that Divergent is being demoted to TV for its final film
What Mama Said the best review of The Legend of Tarzan out there
THR the resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons in showbiz as geek culture reigns


Interview revives an old cover story from 1991 on Kathy Bates
Decider Who is the worst character on Gilmore Girls?
No Film School on AMC's giant purchase of Odeon (they're going to be way too powerful for one company in terms of how you see movies) -- and China's growing rapidly growing theatrical business.
Towleroad IFC picks up James Franco's latest gay endeavor, King Cobra, the true story of a murder in the gay porn industry 
Pajiba Diane Kruger and Joshua Jackson have split up after 10 years. Sad face. So Pajiba looks back on their coupledom.
The Film Stage chooses the 50 best sci-fi films this century thus far. 50 is a lot for 16 years. The top ten feels substantial but I can't forgive them for having The Lobster so low it's practically sitting alongside those terrible Matrix sequels and Ex-Machina and Mad Max Fury Road not in the top ten feels... well, these lists are made to get people riled up (and clicking) so I'll stop there.
The Guardian interviews the undervalued Rebecca Hall 

Today's Watch
If you haven't yet seen this bit from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, you must. Longtime readers will know that TFE worships Broadway musical star Laura Benanti. Her voice is spectacular but her comic skills are just as strong. Here she is doing Melania Trump just one day after people noticed their resemblance. [Hat tip: Vulture]

And James Corden gets both FLOTUS and Missy Elliott in the car (Holla!) for some Carpool Karaoke and talk about "Let Girls Learn". Joyful. Inspiring. Just what we need right now. 

Sunday
Jun262016

Water Sports with Dory, Blake, and Dead Daniel

Moviegoers were content to keep swimming with Dory this weekend as the new releases didn't stir audiences. Well that's not wholly true. Moviegoers turned out for other water sports like water skiing on Daniel Radcliffe's corpse in Swiss Army Man (crowded houses but only available in NY & LA) and shark dodging with Blake Lively in The Shallows which had a solid per screen average, a low budget, and surprisingly good reviews. That triple combo could signify big profits for The Shallows ahead if the film finds legs in July, especially if it doesn't lose momentum over the 4th of July holiday week frenzy when The BFG, Tarzan, and The Purge 3 are all newly available to moviegoers. 

The two films that had the toughest time this weekend were the 20 years later (aka way too late) sequel Independence Day Resurgence and the horror/fashion/noir/thriller/satire/whatsit/drama Neon Demon, which risked a nearly wide opening (just under 800 theaters) but couldn't fill theaters -- Elle Fanning isn't bankable yet. Whatever happened to Dakota? *sniffle*

TOP TEN WIDE
1000+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
โ–ซ๏ธ01 Finding Dory $73.2 (cum. $286.5) Review
๐Ÿ”บ02 Independence Day: Resurgence $41.6 NEW 
โ–ซ๏ธ03 Central Intelligence $18.3 (cum. $69.3)
๐Ÿ”บ04 The Shallows $16.7 NEW
๐Ÿ”บ05 Free State of Jones $7.7 NEW 
๐Ÿ”ป06 The Conjuring 2 $7.7 (cum. $86.9) 
๐Ÿ”ป07 Now You See Me 2 $5.6 (cum. $52)
๐Ÿ”ป08 X-Men Apocalypse $2.4 (cum. $151.1) ReviewPodcast
๐Ÿ”ป09 TMNT: Out of the Shadows $2.4 (cum. $77.1)
๐Ÿ”ป10 Warcraft $2.1 (cum. $43.8) Six Questions

Fan Art by The Glitchway. Click here for more

TOP TEN LIMITED
Less than 1000 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”บ01 The Neon Demon $606K NEW
๐Ÿ”ป02 Love & Friendship $490K (cum. $11.8) ReviewPodcast  
๐Ÿ”ป03
 The Lobster $436K (cum. $7) ReviewishPodcast 

๐Ÿ”ป04 Maggie's Plan $297K (cum. $2.2)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ05
Genius $216K (cum. $807K) 
๐Ÿ”บ06 Weiner $115K (cum. $1.2)  Review
๐Ÿ”บ07
Swiss Army Man $114K NEW Review 

๐Ÿ”บ08 Dark Horse $92K (cum. $493K) Review

๐Ÿ”ป09 The Man Who Knew Infinity $88K (cum. $3.5)

๐Ÿ”ป10
The Hunt for Wilderpeople $85K NEW Review 

 

Happy Pride Weekend, Everyone!
What movies did you catch this week?

Somehow I kicked off the weekend by visiting a facade of the Psycho house (Mommy issues for everyone!) with my bestie and The Flick Filosopher who was visiting from London. But I also caught Genius, The Neon Demon and Swiss Army Man and more on those soon.

Tuesday
Jun212016

Linkspray 

The Film Stage Kate Winslet will lead Woody Allen's next film which supposedly involves Coney Island
W Magazine gets Tom Hiddleston stripped down (not an unusual triumph of late: see High-Rise)
i09 even though Sterling Archer may or may not be dead (cliffhangers. argh) Archer has been renewed for 3 more seasons. Yay! 
Playbill Kristin Chenoweth is joining TV's next live musical, Hairspray in the Velma Von Tussle role (yup, the Debbie Harry / Michelle Pfeiffer part)  

Gothamist the Bryant Park outdoor movie series begins. If you watch this footage this is why I never go! I've been once and omg the claustrophia and noise and inability to enjoy the movie (full disclaimer: I also hate summer which might have contributed to my distaste for outdoor summer events)
Kickstarter Here's an oddity. Apparently Todd Haynes and Christine Vachon who have brought us so much eventful art cinema in the past 25 years made short films before the films we know and they're trying to find them and restore them
Guardian Sarah Polley will adapt Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace for a Netflix series
AV Club John Boyega joins Kathryn Bigelow's Detroit riots movie
Boy Culture does his annual review of Broadway Bares - so cool that Daniel Dae Kim did his bit for the cause!
Pajiba The Lego Movie predicted Donald Trump's current villany
Antagony & Ecstasy looooves Piper, the new Pixar short. It's true -- it's better than the feature that follows it. 

Superheroics and Hijinx
Tracking Board  glorious ginger viking Kristover Hivju, who devoted Film Experience readers know as a former nominee here for his perfect supporting work in Sweden's Force Majeure but who most of the world knows from Game of Thrones has joined the cast of Justice League
/Film a very long set visit report from Justice League. I know WB is trying to send the message that this will be fun but this sounds like a mess to me. Especially the part about Mother Boxes. I mean after Horcruxes and Infinity Stones who isn't sick of "collect these objects before the villain and win!" plots. SO DULL 
MNPP why did Zach Snyder make this cut from the Batman & Lois bath scene? 
Comics Alliance I wasn't aware that Tank Girl, a comic that once became a Lori Petty movie in the 90s, has been revived but it has. Tank Girl was always so cool looking. Still is
Coming Soon Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter, is joining the Supergirl TV show. Alas not as Wonder Woman but as POTUS. After all the fictional female presidents we've had over the years we better get a real one soon

Look.
It's the Looking movie trailer. Now I have to sob gay tears all over again that these beautiful characters will soon ascend to showbiz heaven never to be seen again. *sniffle*

 

Sunday
Jun192016

Today in Film History. Meow

It's Father's Day. Happy Father's Day. It's also Juneteenth. The day in which the nation commemorates the end of slavery in the mid 1860s (though like most holidays the actual timeline involves several days and months and years and lots of political manuevering -- see Lincoln and be reminded what a mess governing and policy making and constitutional debates always are). June 19th has another history civil rights event in 1964 with the passing of the Civil Rights Act (see Selma) so exercize your right to vote in November. People are always trying to deny people that right, and if everyone voted, we'd be in such better shape. Now on to cinema...

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

Good god, woman. Let it go.1865 Dame May Whitty, two time Oscar nominee is born in Liverpool. Remember her all caps obsession with winning that damn flower contest in Mrs Miniver
1905
 The first Nickelodeon (an early form of the movie theater) opens in Pittsburgh. By 1910 there are thousands of them and an estimated 26 million Americans visit them weekly. Can you imagine how popular film blogs would be - sniffle. The movies shown in them get longer and longer...

Click to read more ...