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Entries in The Avengers (76)

Sunday
May032015

Avengers Assemble... Your Loot! 

As expected Marvel's latest evil plot for world domination was a significant success at the box office. The US opening took in an estimated $187.6 but that's just the beginning of its gross and in addition to what it's already earned overseas ($340 million). Even though its launch wasn't as successful as its predecessor, it should still end the year comfortably with crazy big grosses. How high can it fly? Expect a big drop-off domestically next weekend since audiences and critics seem grumpier this time. I personally don't think that's so much about the movie itself as it is about the increasing ubiquity of its genre. It will be harder and harder for these films to wow people as their ranks have grown so swiftly. The special becomes the standard and so forth. 

In 'it's about time' news, Furious 7 had a big percentage drop and lost 500 theaters. In far more curious news Cinderella one of the year's leggiest hits somehow rebounded (second run houses?) to return to the top ten despite losing more theaters. 

WIDE RELEASE
01 Avengers: Age of Ultron $187.6 NEW Review & Marathon
02 Age of Adaline $6.2 (cum. $23.4)  Trailer discussion
03 Furious 7 $6.1 (cum. $330.5) Review
04 Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 $5.5 (cum. $51.1)
05 Home $3.3 (cum. $158.1) the rise and fall of Dreamworks
06 Cinderella $2.3 (cum. $193.6) Review
07 Ex-Machina $2.2 (cum. $10.8) Review
08 Unfriended $1.9 (cum. $28.5) 
09 The Longest Ride $1.7 (cum. $33.2)
10 Woman in Gold $1.6 (cum. $24.5) 

Limited releases were fairly quiet this week though Far From the Madding Crowd opened with $172,000 at 10 locations and Clouds of Sils Maria got a nice expansion and should soon cross the million dollar mark.

What did you see this weekend?

Saturday
May022015

Age of Ultron... And Marvel's Very Long "Connected" Movie

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Movies really ought to be seen (and reviewed for that matter) on their own terms. But what if their very terms are -- "it's all connected!?" I had the exhaustive if qualified pleasure this week of attending "The Ultimate Marvel Marathon," in which select theaters across the nation played back-to-back screenings of all 11 of Marvel Studio's films. Those take you from Iron Man (2008) through to the latest superheroic orgy of mayhem known as The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Between the screenings (20-30 minute breaks) were interstitials selling the television program "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" that frequently reminded us that it was 'all connected'. Does the latest film The Avengers: Age of Ultron satisfy all on its own? My early guess -- only time will tell -- is "not so much" but then, is it really intended to? 

Seeing the movies back-to-back threw their problems into sharp relief: the movies are ultimately formulaic, disinterested in women, and have weakly conceived villains (an oddity given that good villains are such a comic book staple). They also betray an unfortunate tendency to end with a battle in which large inanimate objects frequently collide or crumble, mistaking mass destruction as the highest form of entertainment when the figurative character beats as well as, yes, literal character beatings are nearly always the most pleasurable moments.

On the plus side, the marathon was a great reminder of why blockbuster culture has been stampeding all over more intimate cinematic triumphs for a long time now. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May022015

Observations from the Ultimate Marvel Marathon

So, as those of you who read every post know, I attended the Ultimate Marvel Marathon from Wednesday to Thursday night. The AMC staff was very present and high energy and it was a fairly well run event. The best part was that once you were seated, you got to keep that seat for the duration so if you wanted a sleeping break, you could have it and when you came back your seat was still there for you! Magic.

The only super gross part? How filthy with popcorn and garbage the theater got by the end as their were no cleaning breaks. Here's my Age of Ultron review but if you're curious about the general marathon event. Read on.

Herewith a few casual observations from the Marathon as well as some impromptu lists

THE EVENT SCHEDULE 

6:00pm IRON MAN (2008)
Twas curious to see this again knowing what it spawned, and how confident it was that it would be spawning it since it ends with an Avengers tease (then still 4 years away). It's also alarmingly sexist which I had kind of forgotten with Leslie Bibb in an awful role as a Vanity Fair reporter.


8:25pm 
THE INCREDIBLE HULK (2008)
This was the film I had the vaguest memory of. Tim Roth makes a committed villain but once he's CGI he's no longer special. Edward Norton is like the opposite body type of Mark Ruffalo so that's an interesting casting switcheroo. It was also funny to notice that they used to paint abdominal muscles on the actors as opposed to making them workout for months prior to filming; things changed quickly as superheroes began to dominate pop culture. P.S. Liv Tyler's voice sure is breathy!

MORE AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May012015

Lost in Translation: Dubbing Movies Into Foreign Languages

Sebastian here with a heartfelt criticism of dubbing movies for foreign markets.

Lake Bell in "In a World…," which isn't about dubbing, but it's a great movie and I needed a picture here.

This Monday I took a four hour train ride to see a movie.

I've done crazier things in the name of cinephilia. A few years ago I coerced my friends to take a day trip to Strasbourg just so I could see Steve McQueen's Shame three months before it opened here in Germany. But this time it was't about some small independent film. This time I went to all this trouble to watch a movie called Avengers: Age of Ultron. Maybe you've heard of it?

The superhero sequel had already been playing in German cinemas for a week and it's even playing in my small town. So why go elsewhere?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr142015

Mucho Miscellania, Ya Dig?

MNPP reminds us that today is the 15th anniversary of American Psycho, Mary Harron's masterpiece. True story: I used to get her confused with Mary Lambert as if the same person made Madonna's "Like a Virgin" Hee!
WOW was Dennis Quaid losing his shit on a film set real or staged?
MTV Which Avenger deserves a solo film most? The answer is obvious and Joss Whedon knows it. Weird that Marvel doesn't 
i09 the real reason we didn't get a third solo Hulk film has been unveiled
Comics Alliance the Avengers playing Family Feud on Jimmy Kimmel.
Awards Daily Director Michelle McLaren has left the Wonder Woman picture 
Variety revisits the Sony Hack (remember that? seems so long ago) and the minefield of legal questions its opened up 

I'm sorry there's so much superhero bizness lately but that's all the news feed is ever offering up of late

Biggest Tease
Josh Gad says he can't wait for you to "Be Our Guest"... yep, it's the cast of Beauty & The Beast (2016). Or some of them at least. 

Can't wait for you to be our guest.

A photo posted by Josh Gad (@joshgad) on Apr 14, 2015 at 11:37am PDT

Is that Luke Evan with the suddenly pointy twink hair? If so he looks so different with shorter hair. No Audra McDonald (Wardrobe) or Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts) in this photo though. Grrrrr

 

Earth's Mightiest Illustration
Love this. Well done Stephen Byrne 

  

On The Political/Theatrical Stage
BuzzFeed points out the delightful Hillary Clinton 404 page
MNPP as if those of us with tickets to this summer's Little Shop of Horrors event weren't excited enough. Jake Gyllenhaal is announced as Seymour!
Dissolve Magic Mike franchise may be heading to the stage next
New Hedwig <-- this is my favorite reaction to the first image of Darren Criss as Hedwig. 

Small Screen
Must Love Movies the story of Daredevil's opening credit sequence.
The Playlist Cary Fukunaga doing The Alienist as TV miniseries. That book freaked my shit out back when it was a best seller but I am sad that we've lost Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre) to the overworked land of the serial killer procedurals. Did he really need to do another after True Detective? David Fincher isn't likely to be dethroned as king of the genre so let's have some other genres for our talented rising auteurs! 
Pajiba shares the VERY welcome news that Katee Sackhoff is taking her career into her own hands by creating her own series since Hollywood is far too stupid to notice her gargantuan charisma. It's called Rain and its sci-fi.

Madonna Screen (aka Nathaniel's Brain)
The Daily Beast surveys the rampant bald ageism and sexism that's greeting Madonna's every move this past week or two. It's all become very Freudian with the world's collective fear of 'all consuming female sexuality.'
Watch What Happens Live Andy Cohen invites Sandra Bernhard to watch the latest Madonna video "Ghosttown" (previously discussed) and it is a joy... especially when she sees Terrence Howard cooking beans and hunting Madonna with a rifle.

He's going to barbecue the bitch!

...Get me a rib. Get me a meaty rib" 

LOL. Also on my 130th view I was looking around Madonna's beautifully lit apartment (with dirty mattress) and realized that we'll still have electricity after the apocalypse! Whew, that's a relief

Exit Video
This made me laugh so hard that I now feel bad about myself. Apologies world, I am terrible. (P.S. I'm really hoping Trixie Mattel is the queen that RuPaul brings back that shashayed away too early on this season of RuPaul's Drag Race)  

 

Thursday
Mar052015

The Avengers (Again). Three Grabby Shots

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is nearing Spider-Man 3 levels of giving the game away before it opens. Which worries. Why the hard sell with a third trailer when you're going to break records even if you advertised with only the illustration of a turd -- and I don't mean the shitty poster, but an actual turd. This hard sell combined with the bleak tone of all the trailers (where's the fun of the megahit original?) combined with Joss Whedon calling the production "a nightmare" has me suddenly worried. Because, true story: I want it to be great. I love The Avengers (in comic and movie form). Yes, TFE complains about the glut of superhero movies but that doesn't mean they should've have a place in the movie ecosystem. They just shouldn't dominate it is all. They're dessert, not a balanced meal.

So at the risk of obvious spoilers (hey Marvel provided them not us) here are the three moments we must discuss...

Click to read more ...