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FOXCATCHER & GONE GIRL teasers...

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Entries in religiosity (33)

Sunday
Apr202014

Box Office: Christians Are For Real!

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. It’s Easter weekend and we have proof of it in the box office top ten. When was the last time three films with such strong religious overtones as Noah, God’s Not Dead and Heaven Is for Real were simultaneously in the top ten best selling pile?  The latter film was the new entry this weekend and shockingly grossed more than $20m, helping itself to the third spot behind holdovers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Rio 2. Can you think of any film with a more unappealingly on the nose title? The 3-minute trailer is an excruciating exercise in patience in its own right but I understand I’m not the target audience. I’m sure the people who saw it in droves enjoyed it. Right? Maybe. Possibly. Fuck, seriously? Is this film for real?

Yes, Greg Kinnear. Your son sees dead people (in the afterlife)

01 CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER $26.6 (cum. $201.5) Review
02 RIO 2 $22.5 (cum. $75.3) 
03 HEAVEN IS FOR REAL $21.5 (cum. $28.5) 
04 TRANSCENDENCE $11.1 *new* 
05 A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 $9.1 *new*  
06 DRAFT DAY $5.9 (cum. $19.5)  
07 DIVERGENT $5.7 (cum. $133.9) Review
08 OCULUS $5.2 (cum. $21.1)
09 NOAH $5 (cum. $93.2) Podcast &  Jon Stewart on Noah - a must-see icymi
10 GOD’S NOT DEAD $4.8 (cum. $48.3) 

Transcendence was a failure of epic proportions and managed a 10% return on investment, which is disastrous in any industry. This is either due to the fact that the film’s title is only subtly religious or because Johnny Depp is no longer a draw. The latter is most likely the case and I can’t help but indulge in a bit of schadenfreude. In the 11 years that have passed since Depp delivered something resembling a performance, he’s made billions of dollars and the box office returns of Dark Shadows and The Lone Ranger weren’t nearly dire enough to be considered punishment.

At the arthouse Under the Skin edged past the million dollar mark and The Grand Budapest Hotel is now a single day away from beating Moonrise Kingdom as the top grossing Wes Anderson. Only Lovers Left Alive, however, has failed to draw in audiences, though its screen average is the third best behind Heaven Is... and John Turturro’s weird, Woody Allen-starring passion project, Fading Gigolo.

I spent my weekend cozying up to some Cannes classics, but I will be out soon to catch Disneynature’s Bears, because those things look cute as buttons. What have you watched this weekend?

Thursday
Apr102014

22 Link Street

actually there's only 15 links... 15 link street. Lots of reads for you today, here and elsewhere

My New Plaid Pants has a wonderfully incisive review of Joe starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan
The Film Doctor nostalgia in the Smithsonian. Notes on Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Empire brilliant stage actor Mark Rylance will play Johnny Depp's father in Eyesore in Wonderland's sequel Through the Looking Glass
The Wrap Matt Damon planning to go solo on Mars in the sci-fi thriller The Martian about an astronaut marooned there. Remember when Matt got lost in the desert in Gerry? That was intense. I'm so ready for Matt to impress me again but honestly he's been a little dull onscreen of late. Needs a role that will shake him up.
Cinema Blend 22 Jump Street gets a final red band trailer

The Front Row on dream projects and Darren Aronofsky's Noah
Theater Mania Bullets Over Broadway opens on Broadway today in the effort to make the Great White Way an all 90s film adaptation monopoly. (Seriously there are so many) 
The Wrap The Truman Show (my #1 of 1998) which was about a reality tv show starring a man who didn't know he was the star of a tv show may well become a tv show. The levels.
THR Taylor Kitsch talks about his, uh, crotch in his pants on The Normal Heart. Costume design by Daniel Orlandi
Coming Soon the posters for How to Train Your Dragon 2 have arrived. I love that first film muchly but I worry about a sequel as I always do
Pajiba Mae Whitman (Parenthood, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) inexplicably cast as Designated Ugly Fat Friend in new comedy
The Wire has done a smart thing, surveying where we've been with each crucial Mad Men characters these past six years as we begin the final season this Sunday 
Vanity Fair Kierna Shipka (Mad Men) can't promise she won't break our hearts 

Anniversaries
The Wire Joe Reid ranks the cast of indie hit Go (such a good one) long after that road trip movie on its fifteenth anniverary. My favorite part was always the subtitled cat. 
Film School Rejects looks back at Shaun of the Dead on its 10th anniversary. What does it teach us about relationships?  

Today's Watch
Jon Stewart educates the Christian Right / Fox News axis of evil on the Bible and Noah. I seriously would lose my sanity dealing with the news if it weren't for Jon Stewart

 

 

 

Thursday
Mar272014

The Story of Noah's Duck

Tim here. Tomorrow, Darren Aronofsky’s longstanding passion project Noah finally opens, continuing the unexpected trend which has found 2014 turning the Year the Biblical Epic Came Back (what with Son of God in February, and Ridley Scott’s Exodus set for December). Compared to a lot of the A-list Bible stories, Noah and his ark haven’t been seen in the movies too terribly often, but there have been filmed versions of the tale stretching back at least to 1928, when Michael Curtiz directed a part-talkie version that contrasted the traditional story with a tale of soldiers in World War I (I haven’t seen it, but it sounds kind of terribly amazing).

But the whole history of Noah movies would be too daunting to talk about in one short post, so I’m just going to focus my energies on the last time that a major studio turned their attention to the story. As good luck would have it, this was a Disney cartoon: the “Pomp and Circumstance Marches 1, 2, 3 and 4” segment from Fantasia 2000, in which the story of Noah was turned, rather weirdly, into a slapstick vehicle for Donald Duck...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar232014

Box Office: Divergent's Not Dead

Amir here, with the weekend's box office report. As expected by every single person not living under a rock, Divergent took the top spot, affirming the unfortunate bankability of YA adaptations. Critically and commercially, it fell somewhere much closer to Twilight than The Hunger Games, but the target demographic seems content and that's all that matters to the studio. I'm sure a sequel is already underway, though my level of interest in finding out whether the source novel actually has sequels or not also falls somewhere much closer to my interest in Twilight than The Hunger Games, no. Sorry. I’ll pass on all of them.

BOX OFFICE
01 DIVERGENT $56 *new* 
02 MUPPETS MOST WANTED $16.5 *new*
03 MR PEABODY & SHERMAN $11.7 (cum. $81) this franchise's history
04 300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE $8.6 (cum. $93.7)
05 GOD'S NOT DEAD $8.5 *new*
06 NEED FOR SPEED  $7.7 (cum. $34)
07 GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL $6.7 (cum. $12.9) 
08 NON-STOP  $6.3 (cum. $78.6) Amir's Review 
09 THE LEGO MOVIE $4.1 (cum. $243.3) Nathaniel's Review
10 TYLER PERRY'S SINGLE MOM'S CLUB $3.1 (cum. $12.9)

Muppets Most Wanted turned out to be an ironic title for a film with such a tepid reaction. It’s a shame considering what a real delight the last Muppets outing was and that the reviews for this aren’t half bad. This one will probably just make a profit because I suspect it will have the legs to stick around for a few weeks without massive drops. You know what will definitely make a profit though and probably already has? God’s Not Dead ! Like you, dear reader, I had not heard of it until this weekend and, like you, I have not rushed to see it. The box office numbers have been astounding though, with $8m already in the bank in three days for the indie on less than 1000 screens, so someone somewhere must have heard about it. Agree or disagree with the film’s beliefs/mythology, we have to concede that no film since 12 Years a Slave had managed to so succinctly describe its entire plotline in the title.

The critical darling of the hour, The Grand Budapest Hotel, earned $6.7m, a weekend gross that Moonrise Kingdom never achieved throughout its run. It’s still a very real possibility that it will end up as Wes Anderson’s most successful hit. On the limited release side, six new films opened on Friday, the buzziest of which are Jodorowsky’s Dune and It Felt Like Love. If you are one of the extremely lucky people who live near those theatres, you might want to keep an eye out.

My weekend consisted of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Arabian Nights, Majid Majidi’s Baduk and George Cukor’s The Philadelphia Story, and I’m happy to report I have nothing to complain about with that trio.

What did you watch this weekend?

Monday
Mar102014

Women's History Month: Ingrid Bergman's Joan of Arc

For Women's History Month ocassional portraits of actresses portraying iconic real women. Here is abstew with Ingrid Bergman as film's favorite saintly female warrior. 

Born: January 6, 1412 (the exact date of her birth is not exactly known, but she stated she was 19 at the time of her trial)

Death: May 30, 1431. After being captured by the English, she was imprisoned and a trial before an ecclesiastic court condemned her with heresy for which she was burned at the stake. Legend has it that her executioner begged for mercy on his soul because he had just killed a saint. 

Click to read more ...