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Entries in The Force Awakens (19)

Sunday
Apr292018

Box Office: "Infinity Wars" tops "The Force Awakens" for Most Opening Weekend Loot

by Nathaniel R

Weekend Box Office (April 27th-29th)
W I D E
800+ screens
L I M I T E D
excluding prev. wide
Infinity War Disobedience
1. 🔺 Avengers: Infinity War $250 NEW 
1. Beirut $257k on 237 screens (cum. $4.5)
2. A Quiet Place $10.6 (cum. $148.1) REVIEWSECOND OPINIONSCREENPLAY  2.  🔺 Disobedience $241k on 5 screens NEW REVIEW 
3. I Feel Pretty  $8.1 (cum. $29.5)
3.  🔺 Lean on Pete  $240k on 167 screens (cum. $665k) REVIEW
4. Rampage  $7.1 (cum. $77.9) 
4.  Death of Stalin $210k on 150 screens (cum. $347k) REVIEW 
5. Black Panther $4.3 (cum. $688) PODCAST
5. 🔺 The Rider $188k on 37 screens (cum. $357k) REVIEW

 

Avengers Infinity War  is gigantic in just about every way and the audience responded in kind gifting it the biggest opening weekend of all time. Yes, even the super long awaited return of the Star Wars franchise The Force Awakens fell to Marvel Studio's magical gloved might... The studio is currently saying that Avengers beat the record by about $2 million dollars but Marvel tends to underestimate their opening weekends in a bit of a humble brag way so expect the margin to increase a bit. 

Elsewhere at the multiplex...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec262017

A Slightly Queer Take on "The Last Jedi"

This was originally published in Nathaniel's intermittent column at Towleroad.

There’s a bit of a macro and micro thing happening at the movies. I’m not talking about Disney’s new merchandising bonanza pairing those miniature “porgs” (think CGI puffins) with towering furry Chewbacca. No we speak of the wide release and limited release divide. Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been filling houses at over 4000 theaters and is obliterating the competition (already number #3 of the year in just 10 days) while a bunch of Oscar contenders are playing, not so quietly, in limited release gigs in their pursuit of golden statues. We’ll talk about more of those again soon but first [cue yellow text crawl over space] Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

We now return to The Resistance (aka the proudly defiant “Rebel Scum”) who are even easier to relate to know in December 2017 when it feels like the world will be ending any day with each new disastrous move from our own evil empire. (Sigh) If they can just harness the light side of the force, break through that one gerrymandered code, save that one cornered group of people, fetch Luke Skywalker, they might live to see another day...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
May252016

Thoughts I Had on a Second Viewing of "The Force Awakens"

This week's Best Shot topic looked back at the remake of Star Wars (1977) affectionally dubbed The Force Awakens (2016). Not that the Force ever got any rest. Pop culture could never let Star Wars be, even in the many years between films, so I'll keep this mercifully brief. But it seems strange how little attention we'd given it during its phenomenally successful release during the Christmas glut. For the record though I didn't find the movie all that much more than a fun recycling feat, a second visit reminded me just how well it performs its recycling feat of the unique Star Wars combo of family friend fun, rousing adventure, easily readable almost pantomimed humor, and broad good vs evil drama (aka the Force's light side and dark side) 

a few random thoughts to begin...

• How jealous do you think Batman was when he saw Kylo Ren's ship?

• Stormtroopers can bleed? They've died such unmessy G rated deaths for 39 years. One colored blast topples them with no carnage.  I love this disorienting image of a Stormtrooper, confused, and very much not in military formation. Send this one to reconditioning!

3 more random thoughts, 3 exciting moments, and 3 best shots after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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 ...

Monday
Apr112016

The Furniture: The Forest and "The Force Awakens"

"The Furniture" is our new design series. Here's Daniel...

Once upon a time, Hollywood movie magic looked a bit different. In this age of CGI, with some blockbusters relying so heavily on digital effects that they border on fully animated features, it’s easy to forget how science fiction and fantasy once looked. This is why the throwback technical elements in Star Wars: The Force Awakens are so exciting to behold.

One could go on for quite some time about all these details, many of which come up in the extensive special features included on the Blu-ray. One production design revelation in particular that's worth celebrating is that the final fight scene between Kylo Ren and Rey, set in a dark and snowy forest, was shot on a set.

Initially, a location shoot was considered. Such a choice worked wonders for the forest sequence in House of Flying Daggers (2004) , certainly. Yet, due to the fact that the nighttime setting would severely restrict the schedule, the production design team led by Rick Carter and Darren Gilford began workshopping a solution [More...]

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Monday
Feb222016

Interview: Visual FX Oscar Nominees on Lightsaber Duels and Collaborative Arts

For as many articles I've read and videos and movies I've seen, the realm of visual effects remain a mysterious and magical power... not unlike The Force in that galaxy far far away. Speaking recently with two members of The Force Awaken's visual team, I suddenly imagine my confusion is probably akin to how it would feel to act a scene out with Chewbacca; all the Star Wars regulars understand his throat noises but I would definitely need subtitles.

Nevertheless it was a good time sitting down with Roger Guyett, a four time Oscar nominee who does both visual effects supervision and second unit direction for J.J. Abrams -- he tells me this is somewhat normal since second unit work tends to fall in the visual effects arena -- and Pat Tubach, also a previous nominee (Star Trek Into Darkness) who attempts to explain what "plate supervision" is though my brain won't comply. 

Herewith the parts of our interview that I did understand, I think, and Roger & Pat's game answers including what their loved one think of their work and seeing the movie for the first time. 

NATHANIEL: You're both "visual effects supervisors," so how does the work get divvied up? Do you get specific scenes? 

PAT TUBACH: Roger okays everything. We do break things up a little bit for ease given the sheer number of shots and number of people involved. I worked a lot on the opening scenes: the village raid, the TIE figher escape sequence with Finn and Poe. As well as the rathtar escaping and terrorizing the gang. 

So you had Captain Phasma -- I assume she was the most difficult to pull off since her suit is so reflective and much of her environment isn't actually there!

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...