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Entries in Thor (26)

Friday
Dec062013

VFX Finalists. Which will have the honor of losing to Gravity at the Oscars?

The Academy has named ten films finalists for the visual effects Oscar and now the branch members will screen 10 minute clip packages from each film and make their selections.  Half of these films recede into the ether and the other half enters the history books as "Oscar Nominated" on January 16th, 2014. 

the cavalry in Iron Man 3... soon to be Oscar nominated

TEN FINALISTS

I am clearly not adept at predicting the finalists because two of the film's I had actually predicted for nominations did not even make the list: say goodbye to the Man of Steel and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Other films that Oscar won't even be considering now for this prize include: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Conjuring and The Wolverine. 

Each of the ten films listed above will be able to hide their clunkiest CGI and just show the really great stuff to the branch. Which films will be nominated and share the honor of losing to Gravity? Time will tell but it might be too steep a wall for World War Z to scale since Oscar doesn't like zombie flicks (in any category) and a bridge too far for Thor since he wasn't nominated last time around. Franchise history suggests that the crews on Iron Man 3 and The Hobbit can start fitting their tuxes. If we still had only 3 nominees in this category the nominees would be Gravity, The Hobbit and Iron Man 3. Which means there are essentially only two spots open. Any combo of the others seems possible which means we'll soon be haunted by this agonizing possibility: will The Lone Ranger be forevermore referred to as  'The Oscar-nominated The Lone Ranger'?)

A final tangential thought: I'm glad that we don't have bakeoffs and "showreels" for acting categories. Could you imagine? Not that greatest hits clips aren't how some people experience the acting nominees in the age of YouTube but you can't properly judge a whole unless you've seen all the parts. Even the lesser parts. Each of these ten films will be able to hide their clunkiest CGI and just show the really great stuff. Which films will be nominated and share the honor of losing to Gravity? Time will tell. 

Sunday
Nov172013

Box Office, Best Men, and Bootlegs

Between "Frozen" and "The Best Man Holiday" it's going to be a good year at the Diggs/Menzel householdI live in Harlem where bootleg copies of Tyler Perry movies are priced $2 higher than all other bootlegs. I only tell you this because I was hoping to have some choice 'overheard' tidbit about The Best Man Holiday to share with you, picked up on my street or elevator or some such since I knew it would open big. You can sometimes somehow hear future box office receipts, in the stale air of movie theaters when certain trailers play. But the only movie conversations I've heard on my street lately were about superhero movies (pick a movie, any movie) and, in my lobby, 12 Years a Slave... where three elderly women were complaining about how expensive the tickets were. "When did they raise the price?" I'd say those ladies don't get out to movies much but then I myself am often surprised at the ticket counter. I'm not sure what the algorithym is or the triggers to raise them but it's been happening so often lately I'm beginning to think the trigger is each new Matthew McConaughey movie. He's in another one? alright alright Raise it again, people!


BOX OFFICE BAKER'S DOZEN
01 THOR: THE DARK WORLD $38.4 (cum. $146.9) Review
02 THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY $30.5 *new* 
03 LAST VEGAS $8.8  (cum. $46.9)
04 FREE BIRDS $8.3 (cum. $42.2)
05 JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA $7.6 (cum. $90.2)
06 GRAVITY $6.2 (cum. $240.5) All Posts 
07 ENDER'S GAME $6.2 (cum. $53.7) Posts
08 12 YEARS A SLAVE $4.7 (cum. $24.9) Discussions
09 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS $4.5 (cum. $97.6) Podcast
10 ABOUT TIME $3.4 (cum. $11.5) Review
11 CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE... 2 $1.9 (cum. $113)
12 DALLAS BUYERS CLUB $1.7 (cum. $3.0) Posts
13 ALL IS LOST $0.9 (cum. $4.2) Review & Podcast

The Best Man Holiday came a lot closer to shearing Thor than I expect most expected. And with a budget exactly 10% of Thor's ($17 million vs. $170 million) it's got to be feeling pretty great about itself right now. In limited release, Nebraska opened at 4 theaters on the coasts. The Oscar-baiter won the highest per screen average (for context a better original per screen average than All is Lost or Dallas Buyers Club in their tiny opening weekends but not as good as 12 Years a Slave) but we'll know more about its box office prospects in the next couple of weekends. The last three Alexander Payne movies, buoyed by the chattering Oscar classes, have averaged $72 million in theaters. But can a black and white movie without a Jack Nicholson or a George Clooney at the helm do that well? Time will tell. 

What did you see this weekend? 

Sunday
Nov102013

Box Office: Thor Hammers Non-Existent Competition

Amir here, bringing you the weekend’s box office report with the world’s easiest, least funny pun in the title.

Looking at this week’s numbers, virtually everything screams unremarkable. The mega-blockbuster that tops the list, Thor 2: Marvel blah blah, raked in a solid $86m, but hasn’t really excited anyone. Is this possibly because critical and audience reaction had already been heard when the film opened around the world last week? No. It’s more likely because it has only been 6 months and 5 days since the last Marvel film assaulted multiplexes and it will only be another 4 months and 26 days before another one does the same, and almost all of the studio's outings fall within a very narrow range between B- and B, qualitatively.

BOX OFFICE
01 THOR: THE DARK WORLD $86.1 *new* Review
02 JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA $11.3 (cum. $78.7)
03 FREE BIRDS $11.2 (cum. $30)
04 LAST VEGAS $11.1  (cum. $33.5)
05 ENDER'S GAME $10.25 (cum. $44) Previous Discussions
06 GRAVITY $8.4 (cum. $231.1) Many Previous Posts 
07 12 YEARS A SLAVE $6.6 (cum. $17.3) Slavery in Cinema & Previous Discussions
08 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS $5.8 (cum. $90.9) Podcast & Hanks For All Ages
09 ABOUT TIME $5.1 (cum. $6.7)
10 CLOUDY WITH CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 $2.8 (cum. $109.9)

Following Thor in the second, third and fourth spots are Bad Grandpa, Last Vegas and Free Birds, the three films that occupied the same three spots last week. Free Birds maintained a better hold that I predicted seven days ago, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, always. That means last week’s chart topper, Ender’s Game, nosedived all the way down to fifth. Given the film’s weak business overseas, it’ll be a miracle if it can turn any profit. Talk of a potential sequel is also already turning mute. The three surefire Oscar nominees are still present in the top ten, with 12 Years a Slave doing great business now that it is playing on more than a 1000 screens.

In limited release, The Book Thief opened on four screens with respectable returns. This has been touted as a potential Oscar nominee in some categories by certain pundits, but I just don’t see it happening unless there is… no, it’s not going to happen. Furthermore, At Berkeley, a 4-hour documentary literally about being at Berkeley has opened on two screens for a very lucky few. I don’t know if this one will ever expand, but I regret missing it at TIFF. I’m hearing it’s one of the best films of the year.

Anyway, my weekend consisted of Dallas Buyers Club (B-), Michael Mann’s Heat (A+), Blackfish (B-) and Museum Hours, which I watched for a second time and it is still my favorite film of the year. What did you watch?

Friday
Nov082013

Cate's Campaign, Jackman's Pipes, Thor's Hammer, Katniss' Ride

Today's Linkage
a mix of things we haven't found time to talk about and things slightly more hot off the presses

Harpers Bazaar Cate Blanchett and Woody Allen talk Blue Jasmine and more. (The untold backstory of this cover story is 'how the hell did Cate rope Woody along for her Oscar campaign. He doesn't do that!)
In Contention revisits the complicated journey of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Claire Danes in Interview all the headlines are like "Claire Danes goes topless"... which basically means she crosses her arms over her boobs. But glammy photos for the win

Yahoo Movies Hugh Jackman casually name drops new musicals he might do! I just about died reading "Drowsy Chaperone"... love that one so much (although it's very much a stage piece so who knows how it might transfer)
Playlist the first still from Mojave with Oscar Isaac and Garrett Hedlund
The Dissolve explains why a Hunger Games theme park is a REALLY bad idea. You'd think corporate America wouldn't need this explained to them but you'd be wrong. 

While we're on the topic of Hunger Games: Catching Fire (upon us at any moment, gird your loins) I'm sure you've already formed an opinion of Jennifer Lawrence's new haircut without me. Finally she looks old enough to play most of the roles Hollywood's been using her for!  

Gotham Audience Award I was disappointed that my Short Term 12 didn't make it but go and vote on your favorite finalist. 
Happy Nice Time People sums up our feelings about Carrie Underwood's televised Sound of Music nicely
PopWatch Alanis Morrissette jukebox "Jagged Little Pill" musical? Sure, why not. Everybody else is getting them 
Grantland with another take on that Alanis Morrissette musical

and just for exit giggles
...my two favorite Thor related tweets today 

 

 

 

Wednesday
Nov062013

Review: Thor: The Dark World

Anne Marie here with a look at Marvel's latest blockbuster.

And so the Great Marvel Experiment continues with the studio's latest film, Thor: The Dark World. Marvel can be credited with doing something virtually unprecedented in Hollywood: creating an extended cinematic universe with many different intersecting films, characters, and plotlines. Unlike a universe built by sequels and trilogies (like Star Wars) or subtle Easter eggs (like Quentin Tarantino's films), the universe created by Marvel built on a decade-long-ish Three Phase plan. The Avengers ended Phase One rather spectacularly.

Phase Two got off to a rocky-if-enjoyable start with Iron Man 3. However, as a Marvel character licensed to a different studio once said, "With great power comes great responsibility." Marvel doesn't get a free pass to make an inferior movie just because they're breaking new ground. Unfortunately, Thor: The Dark World, the second installment in Phase Two, might be just that inferior movie. [more...]

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