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Entries in Ridley Scott (12)

Sunday
Oct272013

Box Office: The Right Country For Old Men

It's Amir here, bringing you the latest box office report. Here's a pop quiz for you dear readers: when was the last time that the top film in both wide and limited releases revolved around an old man on a journey to overcome ridiculously difficult obstacles? By my estimation, it was never. On the face of it, saving one's life from the clutches of the sea and saving one's testicles from a vending machine may seem entirely different but both struggles appealed to their audience this weekend nonetheless. Bad Grandpa coasted on the Jackass brand to dethrone Gravity from the top spot, though if we were thinking Alfonso Cuaron's film is going away, we were proven wrong emphatically.

BOX OFFICE
01 BAD GRANDPA $32 *new* 
02 GRAVITY $20.3 (cum. $199.8) Sandy B & Review
03 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS $11.8 (cum. $70) Podcast & Hanks For All Ages
04 THE COUNSELOR $8 *new*  Podcast 
05 CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 $6.1 (cum. $100.6)
06 CARRIE $5.9  (cum. $26)
07 ESCAPE PLAN $4.3 (cum. $17.4)
08 12 YEARS A SLAVE $2.1 (cum. $3.4) Slavery in Cinema & Podcast
09 ENOUGH SAID $1.5 (cum. $13) Podcast
10 PRISONERS $1 (cum. $59.1) Podcast & Review

Gravity has now earned twice its production budget, is in the top ten grossers of the year, and with $250m well within reach, should remain there when all is said and done. Fellow Oscar hopeful Captain Phillips is also enjoying high times as it keeps trailing Gravity. The Tom Hanks vehicle is following the footsteps of similar prestige October releases that were gunning for the awards season in previous years - the likes of Argo, Ides of March and to a lesser extent The Social Network - and is doing better than all of them at this point in their runs. That's gotta count for something with the voters. And while we're on the topic of awards, let's have a round of applause for 12 Years a Slave. Steve McQueen's film entered the top ten and also had the highest per screen average of any film this weekend, with the exception of one French lesbian epic.

The elephant in the room, and the most interesting question of the weekend, is The Counselor. For several reasons - "stars" that aren't really stars in box office terms, a weak marketing campaign, terrible reviews, etc. - expectations were low for this crime thriller. Unfortunately for 20th Century Fox, the numbers did not exceed those projections, which brings up the question: has Ridley Scott finally lost his mojo completely? Depending on how you define critical and box office success, it can be argued that only two of his films have managed to perform well in both regards this side of the century: Gladiator and American Gangster. In incredibly simplified terms, let's assume that a director's box office cache can be gauged by how excited his name can get the public at large. Does anyone really get excited for another Scott film anymore? I certainly hope there's another Alien in him, but the signs are becoming fewer with each film.

UNDER 100 SCREENS
01 ALL IS LOST $.5 *new* (cum. $.6) Podcast & Review
02 WADJDA $.1 (cum. $.9) Foreign Film Oscar Predictions
03 BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR $.1 *new* controversies
04 INEQUALITY FOR ALL $.08 (cum. $.9)
05 METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER $.05 (cum. $3.4)

Finally, at the specialty box office, Blue Is the Warmest Color managed a respectable $100k on only four screens. With all the controversies surrounding the film's production and given the fact that those four screens are located in cities where audiences care about such things as Palme d'Ors, I have to say I was expecting better, but it was always going to be an uphill climb. My beloved Wadjda - it's one of the best films of the year; go see it! - is slowly reaching the million dollar threshold. Meanwhile, Metallica Through the Never, a film that a grand total of three people have ever talked about has inexplicably grossed more than $3.4m. Metallica are still a thing apparently. Good for them! Rock on! Have you seen their film? What did you see this weekend?

Wednesday
Jun262013

Today's Watch: "The Counselor"

We don't do "yes no maybe so"s for teasers (and I realize we're behind on a couple juicy trailers) but here's the new tease going around for a legal drama (? & zzz) with an all star cast (drool) directed by the still unOscared Ridley Scott (yay... sort of). Do you think this'll win Oscar traction this year or just drama for the multiplexes? What'cha think?

A delicious collection of actors at least, right? So let's do an impromptu poll!

 

 

Tuesday
Aug212012

Posterized: Tony Scott (1944-2012)

As you've undoubtedly heard, director Tony Scott, youngest brother of Ridley, died Sunday after throwing himself off a bridge at the age of 68 just two years after his latest huge hit (Unstoppable). The internet was awash with morbid rumors about why (an inoperable brain cancer diagnosis chief among them) but when it comes to private struggles of the soul, you never can expect to know so we stick to the facts. Facts: A lot of people saw and liked his movies; His feature career as a director spanned from 1971's Loving Memory (not the type of movie you'd associate with his filmmaking persona) through 2010's Unstoppable (exactly the type of you'd associate with his filmmaking persona).

Tony Scott with his preferred leading man Denzel Washington. They made five films together.

Somewhere along the line I decided I wasn't interested in him as a filmmaker but not every filmmaker is for ever moviegoer (nor should they be). My disinterest was partially spurred on by a me-imposed sibling rivalry with his older brother Ridley Scott -- rather silly since Ridley and Tony worked together often and no love was ever lost. But Ridley already had two indisputable classics under his belt (Alien and Blade Runner) by the time Tony Scott was making his Hollywood debut so the die was cast. If Tony had continued making movies like The Hunger chances are I would never have tuned him out but his bread and butter... in fact his entire diet... was the kinetic multiplex-ready A list male-driven shoot em up. Not enough actresses! But looking back through his filmography brought back more memories than I expected.

How many Tony Scott pictures have you seen?

Loving Memory (1971) | The Hunger (1983) | Top Gun (1986)

The Hunger is the Scott films I've seen the most often, a favorite of my best friend's and thus in regular rotation on VHS for the first decade of its life. Bonus Points: Deneuve & Sarandon making sexploitative vampire love long before True Blood repopularized vampires as sex gods....er, devils. It was also impossible to live through the 1980s without absorbing Top Gun into your very pores (my oldest brother loved it).

more posters and memories after the jump

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun272012

Link Me Like You Mean It

Scanners Alien (1979) in just one frame. On Ridley Scott's compositional skill.
Fug Girls well played, Elizabeth Banks 
My New Plaid Pants Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter in 150 words or less 
The Wrap Metropolis is the world's most valuable film poster. How much will it fetch at auction?
Indie Wire a ten wide Emmy nomination wishlist from Kathryn Hahn in Parks and Recreation (great choice) to Laura Dern in Enlightened "the most burrowing television performance since Tony Soprano" 

Guardian smart piece, neither fully pro nor con on Brave and the evolution of the action princess...

the studio whose most iconic heroes include a toy cowboy, a rat, a fish, a boy scout, and a lonely trash compactor (all male-identified, of course), couldn't figure out how to tell a story about a human girl without making her a princess. That's the problem in a nutshell: if the sparkling minds at Pixar can't imagine their way out of the princess paradigm, how can we expect girls to?

Flavorwire "actors with the worst onscreen love lives" - a fun (?) rundown of heartbreak for Michelle Williams, Leo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Ryan Gosling and more
Huffington Post Mike Ryan took a male stripper to Magic Mike and wrote about their "date". I had this idea too and even lined up TWO of them, former Chippendale's guys that a girlfriend of mine once worked with. But then they both cancelled on account of  'conflicted feelings'. Argh. From conflicted feelings are beautiful movie conversations born.
Coming Soon Angelina Jolie on the very green screen set of Maleficent 
Cinema Blend Viggo Mortensen may smuggle vampires in intriguiging sounding The Last Voyage of the Demeter 

Let's end with two random nifty visuals. THE FIRST ONE IS UNFORTUNATELY A HOAX.

1. It's supposedly a Back to the Future screenshot but I started hearing it was a hoax and I looked it up on The Movie Timeline and it is. The future they were going to was... NOT today :(  I apologize for tweeting and sharing.

2. The second was a birthday gif a reader "Mark the First" made me. xoxoxo Mark.

Isn't it cute?! It totally made my week. At the risk of sounding hopelessly narcissistic ["What else is new?" - all of Nathaniel's friends] I accept birthday gifts all June long  be they handmade and heartfelt blogging fuel like so, generously monetary (see sidebar -- it's only 10¢ a day to make my life way easier) or bartery for those of you with special skill sets in Manhattan; as always I need a photographer, stylist, publicist, massage therapist, yogi, etcetera... I know that you can't always get what you want ♪ but I'm a firm believer that you should try to get it anyway.

Saturday
Jun232012

Another "Prometheus" Mystery: Will There Be Oscar Play?

Ridley Scott's Alien franchise prequel Prometheus should probably be a film I take great objection to. The first reason I ever loved the series (beyond Lt. Ellen Ripley, queen of all action heroines) was how it doubled as an ever evolving adventurous launch pad for young auteurs. It's got the same premise virtually every time so you sit back and immediately see the director's vision in sharp relief against each previous or subsequent film. Even the lesser entries in the series have this to recommend them and in the 90s, even after Alien Ressurection I wanted them to keep making Alien films so we could see it through the different set of rising auteur eyes each time. I didn't really want Ridley Scott to go back for this reason. I especially didn't want him to go back back. Backstory and prequels -- conceptually, they are like safety nets for the imagination. Don't be afraid of wondering... we'll catch you!


Where is the mystery? Or rather, why don't people want more of it. Why do you they want so many answers?

Thankfully, Prometheus doesn't rob the Alien franchise of all of its mystery and magic. It's not midi-chlorian level obnoxious. And given the screenplay and execution, for better and worse, the new film creates its own mysteries. Some or these are intentional and some surely not, some internal some external. What did David⁸ say to The Engineer in the penultimate sceneIs the MPAA's request that Ridley Scott remove the entire abortion sequence -- not so coincidentally the strongest sequence in the film -- the dumbest thing they've done since Blue Valentine's NC17? Or is it just the thousandth priceless example of how aesthetically stupid they remain and or the millionth piece of case evidence that they should never be allowed anywhere near art!

This week since I know I desperately need to update the Oscar predictions I've been thinking of another Prometheus-specific mystery. Will it have an awards future? [Aliens & Oscars after the jump]

Click to read more ...