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Entries in The 33 (3)

Monday
Feb152016

Newish to Watch at Home: Crimson Peak, Trumbo, Grandma, Etc.

Newish on DVD/BluRay

The 33 Antonio Banderas / Chilean miner rescue story
99 Homes the other acclaimed housing crisis movie
Black Mass the gangster movie with Johnny Depp, buried under alien makeup, plays a gangster. Watch out for great performances on the periphery from Peter Sarsgaard and Julianne Nicholson
Crimson Peak from Guillermo Del Toro. Critics were divided or had many reservations but those who loved it really loved it. Here's a rabidly pro piece nicely titled "Ghosts are Movies".

LUNCHTIME POLL:
Would you rather...

- Be seduced by Tom Hiddleston?
- Gain access to all of Mia Wasikowska's money?
- Marry into Jessica Chastain's family?


Girls S4 -I've definitely lost track of this show. Weirdly I quit with an episode I couldn't have loved more (S3E7 "Beach House")
Grandma - Lily Tomlin gets her own well deserved star vehicle and drives it superbly
• Love the Coopers - Diane Keaton earns a paycheck
Spectre  -the first Bond I haven't seen in theaters in some time. It just kind of happened, the skipping of it
Steve Jobs -the intense three act drama starring Michael Fassbender & Kate Winslet
Togetherness S1 the highly undervalued HBO dramedy. Melanie Lynskey and the rest of the cast are just super
Trumbo in case you'd like to discover why it did so well in the precursors

NEW TO STREAMING
Netflix added Dope, The Face of Love (a romantic drama misfire from The Bening), Open Season, and the 2007 Best Picture nominee Atonement (tomorrow) and by the end of the month they'll add Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny which looks terrible *sniffle* despite being something we've looked forward to for so long. Amazon Prime added Solomon Kane a fantasy action film starring James Purefoy, Max von Sydow and Rachel Hurd-Wood that Radius TWC buried in 2009 (never opened in the States but played elsewhere). By the end of the month they'll add Digging For Fire from Joe Swanberg.

Which of these will you be catching up with?

Monday
Nov162015

Box Office: Bollywood Hoopla

Amir here, with the weekend’s box office report. As predicted last week, the top two films didn’t change at the high end of the pile. Spectre is doing impressive enough business in the US, but its record-breaking haul in China was the real gain. The total worldwide gross of the film surpassed the half billion-dollar mark. There were four new wide releases, three of which landed in the top ten and, embarrassingly, I hadn’t heard of a single one of them before sitting down for this column, so let’s give each a crack.

Love the Coopers, is a family Christmas comedy, and because all mentions of Christmas in November should be banned, we’ll skip over it—it was right behind The Peanuts Movie in third place. The 33, the Antonio Banderas-led film about Chilean miners did as well as a film about such a dark—literally and figuratively—tragedy can do. The real story, however, is India’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. It’s an open secret that Bollywood films do really well without significant advertising, but this one is doing even better than usual. Already having the best opening of all time for a Bollywood film in India in the bag, where it opened on the 4-day Diwali weekend, Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor’s newest venture has the best opening weekend for an Indian film in the UK and one of the top five best in the US.

The Weekend's Top 5
Spectre $35.4m (cum. $130.7m)
The Peanuts Movie $24.2m (cum. $82.4m)
Love the Coopers $8.4m (new)
The Martian $6.7m (cum. $207.4m)
The 33 $5.8m

On the limited side of things, Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea grossed a dismal $9k per screen—it’s a shame; this film looks gorgeous—and James White, one of the under the radar gems at this year’s TIFF fared slightly better, but it’s hard to gauge its success given it’s only playing on one screen.

What did you see this weekend? Are you excited to see Prem Ratan Dhan Payo?

Sunday
Oct252015

AFI Fest 2015: Predicting this year's 'American Sniper'

Margaret here. The full 2015 AFI Fest lineup has been announced and it's full of must-sees, from Oscar-campaign heavyweights and indie up-and-comers alike.

Many of the season's most buzzy films have already made a splash at Cannes, TIFF and NYFF, and a few of those will be screening here, but AFI Fest will also as in years past be holding world premieres for a few late-breaking contenders. With the first end-of-the-film-year nominations out (Gotham Awards, always early but never predictable) many pundits would have you believe the shortlists are already set, but there may yet be a few wild cards in the mix.

Last year AFI Fest gave us the world-premieres of two eventual Best Picture nominees (Selma and American Sniper), a critical darling that nonetheless escaped Oscar's notice (A Most Violent Year), and an all-around non-starter (The Gambler). This year the festival will premiere By the SeaThe Big Short, and Concussion, as well as The 33 (already released in Latin America but not yet widely screened in English-language markets). Naturally we're very curious to see which of these, if any, will make the kind of impression it will take to break into the conversation and stay there.

The Big Short: a (comedic?) drama about the bursting of the housing credit bubble in the 2000s. Directed by Adam McKay; starring Christian Bale, Steve Carrell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Oscar loves when comedic actors get serious. Might similar goodwill extend to a director like Adam McKay, who is most famous for his many absurdist collaborations with Will Ferrell? You'll note that the ensemble cast is chock-full of Oscar nominees with atrocious hairdos-- reminds one of nothing so much as American Hustle, which made a killing on nomination morning 2013.  

By the Sea: a marital drama set at the 1970s French seaside. Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, who is also starring with Brad Pitt. As buzzy as it gets: the world's most famous celebrity couple, acting together for the first time in ten years. Jolie's last directorial effort debuted to very healthy box office and decent reviews-- unspectacular, but more than enough to sustain curiousity for her third film. People seem to really want it to be good, and the below the line team (including The White Ribbon DP Christian Berger and The English Patient composer Gabriel Yared) bring a formidable arsenal of talent to the table. But will a romantic drama that's not also a biopic be able to gain traction with Oscar? 

Concussion: a dramatic thriller about the real-life Dr. Bennet Omalu's research on serious brain damage in professional football players and the NFL's efforts to keep him quiet. Written and directed by Peter Landesman, starring Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Albert Brooks. Primed to be a dramatic comeback for Smith, who used to cross back and forth between blockbusters and prestige films much more often. The true story aspect is often irresistable to awards bodies, and it seems that recent-history stories about the investigation of shady dealings by powerful people is a popular theme among this year's Oscar hopefuls (see also TruthSpotlightThe Big Short). But since the trailer dropped, Smith's accent has been the object of many a snide comment-- will we be able to take him and the movie seriously? There are also rumors that pressure from the NFL shaped some of the storytelling, which if true could impact the movie's bite and credibility.

The 33: a true-life drama based on the 2010 Chilean mining catastrophe that trapped 33 miners underground for over two months. Directed by Patricia Riggen, starring Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Lou Diamond Phillips. Not only does it have the true-story advantage, but the subject is an objectively impressive and cinematic human achievement. Binoche and Banderas also both have decades of critical goodwill. The response from critics in Latin America (where it has already opened) suggests that it's something of a broad melodrama, which might not win it die-hard fans among cinephiles but certainly puts it in good company with many Best Picture nominees in years past.

Which of these has the potential to go full American Sniper and sneak into 5-7 nominations? Which do you predict will go the way of The Gambler? And perhaps most importantly: which movies on the AFI Fest slate are you dying to hear more about? Nathaniel, Anne Marie, Kieran and myself will be attending and sharing our thoughts.