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Entries in sequels (111)

Saturday
May282016

Who should direct / star in the next Bond? 

In not surprising news, Sam Mendes is moving on from the 007 franchise after Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Daniel Craig is probably moving on, too, but rumors about who will replace him are, as ever, premature. The names floating about this time are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston (wishful fan thinking, maybe, since the internet has been suggesting these two names forever) and 30 year old Jamie Bell which is an interesting idea and probably not a bad one. If chosen he'd be the youngest Bond since Sean Connery (who was 30 when he was cast for Dr. No (1962) though most subsequent Bonds have been around 40 when they started. Plus Bell is super charismatic but underused in cinema.

Though Bond films are largely regarded as producer driven and leading actor focused pictures, rather than directorial feats, the man in the chair is important. In the past the franchise has generally relied on mid level directors rather than auteurs, the two with the most success outside the franchise are Oscar winner Sam Mendes and Oscar nominee Lewis Gilbert. Once the franchise even handed the reigns to a Bond editor who graduated to the director's chair (John Glen) for his directorial debut.

Directed the Most Bond Films

  1. John Glen - 5 Bonds: For Your Eyes Only, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, License to Kill (and he edited a few more before those); Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Not really
  2. Guy Hamilton -4 Bonds: Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Live and Let Die, The Man With the Golden Gun; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Force 10 From Navarone
  3. [TIE] Terence Young - 3 Bonds: Dr No, From Russia With Love, Thunderball; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: Wait Until Dark AND Lewis Gilbert - 3 Bonds: You Only Live Twice, The Spy Who Loved Me, Moonraker: Key Picture(s) Outside the Franchise: Alfie (Oscar Nomination), and Educating Rita
  4. [TIE] Sam Mendes - 2 Bonds: Skyfall, Spectre; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: American Beauty (Oscar win), and Road to Perdition AND Martin Campbell - 2 Bonds: GoldenEye, Casino Royale; Key Picture Outside the Franchise: The Mask of Zorro

 If you could bend producer Barbara Broccoli's ear...
What would you whisper to the woman behind the franchise who makes those final hiring decisions?  

 

Thursday
May262016

Bram Stoker's Dracula, Helena Bonham-Carter, and Peggy Lee Fever

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

1828 Feral teenager Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering Nuremberg, claiming to have been raised in total isolation. Theories abound and the story inspires many artists down the road including Werner Herzog in the film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974).
1877 Influential dancer Isadora Duncan is born. Vanessa Redgrave gets an Oscar nomination playing her in Isadora! (1968)
1886 Al Jolson is born. Will later star in the first "talkie" The Jazz Singer (1927)
1894 Silent film star Norma Talmadge is born
1897 Bram Stoker's epistolary novel "Dracula" is published. Never stops being adapted for film and television but our hearts will always belong to Francis Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) despite the aggravating double possessive
1907 John Wayne was born. Did he always talk like that?
1913 Peter Cushing is born in England. Later stars in Hammer Horror films with his irl best friend Christopher Lee, the Dracula to his Van Helsing. Perhaps most famously Carrie Fisher 'recognizes his foul stench' when she's captured in Star Wars
1914 Geoffrey Unsworth, two time Oscar winning genius cinematographer is born. Shot so many gorgeous movies like 2001, Cabaret, TessSuperman as well as a legendary bad one in Zardoz

1920 Peggy Lee is born. The popular singer was mysteriously left out of AMPAS's annual "In Memoriam" section at the Oscars despite numerous film connections, like voicing multiple characters in Lady in the Tramp, starring in a remake of The Jazz Singer, popularizing the song "Why Don't You Do Right?" in Stage Door Canteen (later spectacularly used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?), and even nabbing an admittedly strange supporting actress nomination for Pete Kelly's Blues (1955). Now where's that biopic we were promised from Todd Haynes starring Reese Witherspoon?
1926 Miles Davis is born. His biopic is in theaters currently because famous men get biopics.
1948 Stevie Nicks emerges with her diaphamous shawls from mother's womb; starts spinning. We see her gypsy.
1949 The legendary Pam Grier is born. Also answers to "Coffy," "Foxy Brown," and "Jackie Brown"
1961 Tarsem Singh is born. Eventually trades truly weird beautiful auteurial stuff for still weird CGI mainstream drudgery


1966 Helena Bonham Carter is born. Initially pegged as Merchant Ivory's favorite dress up doll, she goes on to have a rather spectacularly enduring career. Happy 50th Helena!

Helena's 10 Best Performances? My List...

  1. Wings of the Dove (1997) shoulda won the Oscar
  2. Fight Club (1999) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  3. Howard's End (1992) shoulda been nominated for the Oscar
  4. Sweeney Todd (2007) shame about the singing voice. because otherwise...
  5. A Room With a View (1986) 
  6. Suffragette (2015)
  7. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  8. Eyesore in Wonderland (2010)
  9. Lady Jane (1985)
  10. Hamlet (1990)

1971 Lenny, by Julian Barry. opens on Broadway. Barry adapts it to film three years later with Bob Fosse directing. They both receive Oscar nominations. Lenny even gets a third life in a way when it basically serves as the film within the film of All That Jazz
1984
"Let's Hear It For the Boy," from Footloose, hits #1 on the pop charts. Goes on to an Original Song nomination at the Oscars. Loses to "I Just Called To Say I Love You" by Stevie Wonder from Woman in Red
2006 X-Men: Last Stand, the third X-Men motion picture, opened in theaters and was bad enough to destroy the franchise...except they kept right on making them. Tomorrow X-Men 6 opens, better known as X-Men Apocalypse.

Tuesday
May242016

Visual Index - The Force Awakens' "Best Shots"

The Force Awakens may have dominated the world when it debuted at Christmas time but all our Christmas times are devoted to the Oscar race so we didn't truly give it its due here. And thus it's our pick this week for Hit Me With Your Best Shot (though we don't normally do movies this recent) to give us a chance to spend a little more time with Luke, Leia, Han, Finn, Rey, and the galaxy's new collective boyfriend Poe Dameron.

My own Force Awakens post is here if you missed it. I had been running late. Let's blame Thelma & Louise (I've been distracted). The power of the Dark Side or the Light are no match for the Force of Great Actressing in my galaxy right now and close close by.

Alright. Let's see what the Best Shot club chose...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May012016

Box Office Before the Civil War

No, not that civil war. Movies weren't invented yet.

Next weekend Hollywood is steering completely clear of Captain America: Civil War on four trillion screens. Nobody's even trying to counterprogram but just conceding Disney/Marvel's complete dominion over pop culture. Unless of course you are talking arthouse where the sexiest quartet imaginable will be f***ing around in A Bigger Splash. So before Civil War destroys the box office whilst simultaneously ushering in summer movie season and embarrassing its weird thematic twin predecessor Dawn of Justice, here's a look at where the box office for the year stands in four categories along with links to reviews if we did them (though we've been doing a ton more reviews of late the biggest hits seem to have eluded us in most categories).

How many of these pictures have you seen and what did you take in this weekend? I went to Keanu which rustled up just 9 million this weekend. I was sad to feel shruggy about it since I love kittens and Key & Peele but you can only tell the same few jokes so many times...

TOP TEN OF 2016 THUS FAR
01 Deadpool $361+  Reviewish
02 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $325+ Review
03 Zootopia $323+  Reviewish
04 The Jungle Book $252+
05 Kung Fu Panda 3 $142+
06 Ride Along 2 $90+
07 10 Cloverfield Lane $71+
08 Divergent Series: Allegiant $65+
09 London Has Fallen $65+
10 Miracles From Heaven $59+

TOP TEN (NON-FRANCHISE)
01 Zootopia $323+  Reviewish
02 Miracles From Heaven $59+

03 The Boss $56+ Review
04 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi $52+

05 How to Be Single $46+

06 Risen $36+
07 The Boy $35+ 
08 Dirty Grandpa $35+
09 Gods of Egypt $31+ Reviewish
10 Hail, Caesar! $30+ A Secret Musical?

TOP TEN FOREIGN FILMS
01 The Mermaid $3.2 (China)
02 Ip Man 3 $2.6 on (Hong Kong) 

03 Kapoor & Sons - Since 1921 $2.6 (India)
04 Compadres $2.3 (Mexico)

05 Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer $1.7 (Mexico)

06 Fan $1.6 (India)
07 Neerja $1.5 (India)
08 Embrace of Serpent $1.2 (Colombia) Review | Interview
09 Wazir $1.1 (India) 
10 Ki & Ka $.8 (India)

TOP TEN DOCUMENTARIES
01 Where to Invade Next $3.8 Glenn's Review, Manuel's Review
02 Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus $.9 

03 City of Gold $.5 
04 The First Monday in May $.3  Interview

05 Francophonia $.1 

06 Vaxed: From Cover Up to Conspiracy $.1 
07 Requiem for the American Dream $.1
08 Colliding Dreams $.06 (Colombia)
09 Trapped $.06 Review
10 Los Sures $.06

 

Thursday
Apr212016

Yes No Maybe So: Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy. The Bourne Ultimatum. The Bourne Legacy. Miss Bourne If You're Nasty. Universal Pictures correctly assumes "You know his name" which is a brilliant tagline for the forthcoming fifth* entry in the franchise, titled Jason Bourne. In fact, it could well be a tagline for 60% of the franchises out there (the other 40% are led by concepts/groups, created "universes", or in YA dystopia cases >gasp< a young woman).

The question is are we excited to go another round with Matt Damon's leaping, punching, kicking, shooting, indestructable action man and the Oscar-nominated suits that are always trying to hunt him down? Let's find the answer together with our Yes No Maybe So game... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar272016

My Big Fat Superhero Wedding Sequel

Batman v Superman + a little Wonder Woman dominated the weekend with a critic proof opening record for March. The test will be how well it can hold with terrible reviews and lackluster word of mouth. It's unlikely to have the staying power of something like Deadpool for example, which is still in the top ten 7 weeks after its debut. On the other hand it has free reign for a while with no direct competition coming for one entire month. Captain America Civil War arrives on April 8th. The question is this: Will Marvel's superheroes vs superheroes blockbuster be hurt by people feeling all "bleh" about Batman v Superman? Casual moviegoers rarely know the difference between studios and filmmakers and general history of quality, you know.

Meanwhile something girlier: Sally Field's little film is doing great with older moviegoers and enters the top ten in its 3rd week despite being on less than 500 screens. And finally, despite her phenomenally successful My Big Fat Greek Wedding being an ancient memory in pop culture years, Nia Vardalos's sequel did pretty well with a solid third place debut.  She tweeted out this celebratory opening weekend photo

We've never had a billboard.

What did you see this weekend?

TFE is very pleased to notice that Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia's Oscar nominated Amazon journey (which we've been raving about for months) is about to hit a million in the arthouses if it can hold its theaters for one more week. That's pretty good for such a weird black and white movie that didn't really get going until it had already lost the Oscar! 

TOP TEN
01 Batman v Superman $170.1 NEW Review
02 Zootopia $23.1 (cum. $240.5)  
03 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 $18.1 NEW
04 Miracles from Heaven $9.5  (cum. $34.1)
05 The Divergent Series: Allegiant $9.5 (cum. $46.6)
06 10 Cloverfield Lane $6 (cum. $56)
07 Deadpool $5 (cum. $349.4)  Reviewish
08 London Has Fallen $2.9 (cum. $55.6) 
09 Hello My Name is Doris $1.7  (cum. $3.2) Review 
10 Eye in the Sky $1.0 (cum. $1.7) 

RANDOM LIMITED RELEASES - JUST CHECKING IN
Embrace of the Serpent $.1 (cum. $.9) 73 screens Review, Interview
Knight of Cups $.06 ($.4) 68 screens Reviewish
I Saw the Light $.05 five screens NEW Review
Krisha $.03 (cum. $.05) 22 screens Review
April and the Extraordinary World $.01 one screen NEW 

Saturday
Mar262016

Review: Batman v Superman (aka the Dawn of Wonder Woman)

This review originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Just over a hundred years ago the movie serial was born. The stories were divided up into small chapters and kids would return each week to the movie theater to see how the cliffhanger endings were resolved. And then they’d watch the feature presentation. Cut to: March, 2016. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is now open in theaters. There’s no serial preceding it but it is one. While Warner Bros, the studio that owns the DC heroes, has several superhero shows on television and stresses that they’re unrelated to the movies, the lines are ever blurrier betwen the two mediums. In fact, Batman and Superman actually both had movie serials in the 1940s. The most popular movies seventy years later are all what you’d call “franchises”. That’s code name for a very expensive serial which doesn’t air weekly but annually. And you have to see them in movie theaters.

With serials/franchises/TV shows you’re perpetually aware that there will be another episode. So the heroes are never really in danger; contractually they’ll be back next episode/season. But let’s not leap tall buildings in a single bound into the future. Is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice a worthy movie or satisfying episode on its own?

Spoiler alert: It’s not. Many reasons why come after the jump...

Click to read more ...