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Entries in zoology (80)

Friday
Dec232016

This One's For All You Cat People...

Year in Review. Each day a new wrap up list. Today Nathaniel with a litter of cinematic felines...

 It's time for a purrfect top ten list. The following list is dedicated to your editor's beloved and much-missed furbaby, Monty who left us in August. In honor of Monty, the web's first Oscar pundit cat, here are some of the most memorable felines of this screen year on movies and television.

Sorry not sorry to all the dog people out there. Isn't that unconditional love from your pup reward enough? Must you always demand doggy time? Let we, the crazy cat ladies, have the spotlight this time!

10 BEST CINEMATIC CATS OF 16

10 Mountain Lion The Neon Demon
This menacing cameo is primo WTFery and hard to forget but surely I did forgot some other key cats. You'll fill me in in the comments about felines who might have made this list, I'm sure...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov172016

Yes No Maybe So: "The Zookeeper's Wife"

No matter how many times we hear the story of World War II and The Holocaust it seems like we're still susceptible to forgetting their lessons. But at least filmmakers and novelists around the world tried to warn us to never forget. In our current climate where hate crimes are skyrocketing and a demagogue prepares to ascend to his throne after blaming our nation's problems on immigrants, how painful is it going to be to watch World War II movies?

Oh look here's another one...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug122016

World Elephant Day

Happy World Elephant Day!

"Happy" might, alas, be the wrong word given how pachyderms have been treated in this world, practically always shamefully despite so much evidence of their intense family bonds, good natures (unlessly treated cruelly and then who doesn't lose their temper?) and their other cute qualities we may or may not be anthropomorphizing. Elephants may go extinct in our lifetime (which is unthinkable) so here are some charitable organizations you should consider supporting if you can that are fighting to save them. 

Elephant activists also suggests never supporting the ivory trade which is easy and never going to elephant attractions (I once rode on an elephant as a child but I didn't know anything about animal cruelty back then) because most of them have taken from their mothers to train them. If you're interested in a good doc on the subject of elephants in captivity -- or rather the ways their captors grapple with the morality of it and how thinking around the topic is changing, I'd suggest One Lucky Elephant (2011) which is about a circus man giving up the elephant he'd raised and lived with for 16 years. It's both hopeful and sad.

After saying all that it may seem hypocritical to share favorite photos of celebrities with elephants (as these beasts have obviously been trained or been living in captivity) but we aren't perfect and can't resist the combo of movie stars and anything glorious that they happen to pose with. A beauty break with lots more photos after the jump including Lupita Nyong'o, Barbra Stanwyck, and Harrison Ford...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Aug102016

Beauty Break: World Lion Day

Today is World Lion Day so let's gaze at those utterly majestic felines posing with actors and actresses because it's an excuse to honor them. A beauty break gallery after the jump featuring Kirsten Dunst, Joanna Lumley, Buster Crabbe, Gregory Peck, Cara Delevigne and more...

Tippi Hedren with her pet lion "Neil" in the 1970s

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul102016

Box Office: Dory Keeps Swimming as Other Pets Rise.

This weekend Dory swam easily past Captain America to become the biggest grossing US hero of the year. (Captain America still leads internationally by a lot, which is funny if you think about it). That's quite impressive for a forgetful blue tang who could have gone 'straight to video' -- Wait, are we still saying that? If not, what's the new phrase. I'm scared of what this means for the future with all those cheapie animated sequels but it is what happened. The current top ten of 2016 includes only two originals (Zootopia & Central Intelligence) but otherwise it's all brand extensions / revisions. It didn't use to be this way but it's been a slow erosion. Consider by comparison: 2006's top ten had 5 originals; 1996 had 6; 1986 had 7. Since we get less original hits every year how soon until we have none?

It should be noted that an original won the weekend but since The Secret Life of Pets famously steals so shamelessly from the Toy Story template, and since it's been promoting itself for what seems like YEARS already it feels like it's a sequel to itself so should it count? Animated films continue to be the safest box office bets.

Mike and Dave performed fairly well in its opening weekend and The Legend of Tarzan had a strong second weekend. In platform release Captain Fantastic had a decent debut with a teensy tiny theater count: not terrible, not great. Will it win strong word of mouth? We deserve more Viggo in our lives but if we don't support his movie we won't get it.

TOP WIDE
800+ screens. arrows indicate gaining or losing screens
๐Ÿ”บ01 Secret Life of Pets $103.1 NEW 
๐Ÿ”ป02 The Legend of Tarzan $20.6 (cum. $81.4) Review 
๐Ÿ”บ03 Finding Dory $20.3 (cum. $422.5) Review
๐Ÿ”บ04 Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates $16.6 NEW 
๐Ÿ”บ05 The Purge: Election Year $11.7 (cum. $58.1) 
๐Ÿ”บ06 Central Intelligence $8.1 (cum. $108.3)
๐Ÿ”ป07 Independence Day: Resurgence $7.7 (cum. $91.4)
๐Ÿ”ป08 The BFG $7.6 (cum. $38.7)  Review
๐Ÿ”ป09 The Shallows $4.8 (cum. $45.8) Costume Honors
๐Ÿ”ป10 The Conjuring 2 $1.7 (cum. $99.3) Heroes and Villains
๐Ÿ”ป11 Now You See Me 2 $1.3 (cum. $62.2)
๐Ÿ”ป12 Free State of Jones $1.3 (cum. $19.2)

TOP LIMITED
Less than 800 screens. Excluding previously wide. 
๐Ÿ”บ01 Sultan $2.2 (cum. $3.2) NEW
๐Ÿ”บ02 Our Kind of Traitor $731K ($2.2)
๐Ÿ”ป03
 Swiss Army Man $690K ($3.1) Best Actor

๐Ÿ”บ04 Hunt for the Wilderpeople $413K (cum. $754K)  Review 
๐Ÿ”ป05
Love & Friendship $326K (cum. $12.9) ReviewPodcast, Best Picture  
๐Ÿ”ป06 The Lobster $309K (cum. $8) ReviewishPodcast 
๐Ÿ”ป07
Maggie's Plan $180K (cum. $2.9) Review

๐Ÿ”บ08 Cold War 2 $165K NEW

๐Ÿ”บ09 The Music of Strangers $144K (cum. $566K)

๐Ÿ”บ10
 Weiner-Dog $105K (cum. $288K)
๐Ÿ”บ11
 Captain Fantastic $98K NEW Review
๐Ÿ”ป12
 Genius $80K (cum. $1.2) Review


What movies did you catch this week? Remember to watch Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on Netflix for Tuesday night's "Best Shot" party.

Monday
Jul042016

Review: The Legend of Tarzan (2016)

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. Our "Swing Tarzan Swing" column, investigating the shifting portrayals and quality of Tarzan films over pop culture history will resume next weekend. We'll circle back to Skarsgård at the end.

You know that antipiracy text that sometimes appears on movie screens now post-credits? "The making and legal distribution of this film supported over X-many thousands of jobs." This message kept bothering me the day after seeing The Legend of Tarzan (2016). Yes, piracy is bad but you know what else is terrible? That none of those jobs were for animal trainers! I swear that not a single real animal appears in the new film, which has to be a first for a Tarzan film. And hopefully a last. It's all computer generated imagery for this jungle adventure...

Click to read more ...