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8 items from 2007


Top 10: Best Director & Actor pairings of 2007 (Repeat Offenders)

26 December 2007 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- Today’s Top Ten looks at the best director/actor pairings of the year. More specifically, we are looking at directors and actors who have continued to foster their relationship over the years in the cinematic field - providing us viewers with examples of magical collaborations on screen. I could cite at least 250 other significant relationships of the sort from the past 9 decades of film history, everyone from Dietrich and von Sternberg, Fellini and wife Giulietta Masina, Hitchcock and his slew of muses aka leading ladies, Bergman and Ullmann, Antonioni and Monica Vitti and to Scorsese and DeNiro or Scorsese and DiCaprio. Note sequels and trilogies were not taken into consideration. Enjoy the list!10. Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen The first met in the late 90’s when Seth Rogen was one among many actors starring in the short-lived NBC television series called Freaks and Geeks. Flash forward to 2005, and »

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'Married' beats Clooney's 'Clayton' to the altar

15 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Related story: 'Ratatouille' brings comfort to boxoffice

ORLANDO -- Tyler Perry spanked George Clooney this weekend.

On what was predicted to be an intensely competitive domestic boxoffice weekend, writer-director Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" from Lionsgate grossed an estimated $21.5 million to open at No. 1. But Clooney starrer and putative frame favorite "Michael Clayton" from Warner Bros. bowed with just $11 million to snag a third-place tie with Sony opener "We Own the Night", starring Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix.

Finishing in the silver-medal position was Disney's family laugher "The Game Plan", toplined by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, which grossed $11.5 million in its third outing.

The leggy "Game" performance -- which followed two weekend wins for the Andy Fickman-helmed pic -- moved its cume to $59.4 million. Friday's grosses pushed Disney's annual domestic haul past the $1 billion mark for the 11th time.

Universal's historical sequel "Elizabeth: The Golden Age", with Cate Blanchett reprising her title role, bowed in sixth place with $6.2 million. And Yari Film Group's baseball drama "The Final Season" debuted with 1,011 playdates but a gross of $665,000.

Among holdover pics, "The Heartbreak Kid", the Farrelly brothers comedy from DreamWorks/Paramount, dropped 47% from its opening weekend to gross an estimated $7.4 million in fifth place, with a 10-day cume of $26 million. Fox's youth fantasy "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising" fell 43% in its sophomore session to $2.2 million in 10th place, pushing its cume to $7.1 million.

Universal's Jamie Foxx starrer "The Kingdom" dropped 53% over its third frame to gross $4.6 million in seventh place and move its cume to $40 million. And Lionsgate's Russell Crowe-toplined "3:10 to Yuma", while finishing outside the top 10 in its sixth frame, lassoed another $1.5 million to leg its cume up to $51.4 million.

Industrywide, an estimated $99 million was rung up this weekend, which was down 10% from the same frame last year, according to data tracker Nielsen EDI.

With so many early award-consideration films in the art film swim this year, it's worth noting what may be the season's first belly-flop. »

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'Married' beats Clooney's 'Clayton' to the altar

15 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Tyler Perry spanked George Clooney this weekend.

On what was predicted to be an intensely competitive domestic boxoffice weekend, writer-director Perry's Why Did I Get Married? from Lionsgate grossed an estimated $21.5 million to open at No. 1. But Clooney starrer and putative frame favorite Michael Clayton from Warner Bros. bowed with just $11 million to snag a third-place tie with Sony opener We Own the Night, starring Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix.

Finishing in the silver-medal position was Disney's family laugher The Game Plan, toplined by Dwayne The Rock Johnson, which grossed $11.5 million in its third outing.

The leggy Game performance -- which followed two weekend wins for the Andy Fickman-helmed pic -- moved its cume to $59.4 million. Friday's grosses pushed Disney's annual domestic haul past the $1 billion mark for the 11th time.

Universal's historical sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age, with Cate Blanchett reprising her title role, bowed in sixth place with $6.2 million. And Yari Film Group's baseball drama The Final Season debuted with 1,011 playdates but a gross of $665,000.

Among holdover pics, The Heartbreak Kid, the Farrelly brothers comedy from DreamWorks/Paramount, dropped 47% from its opening weekend to gross an estimated $7.4 million in fifth place, with a 10-day cume of $26 million. Fox's youth fantasy The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising fell 43% in its sophomore session to $2.2 million in 10th place, pushing its cume to $7.1 million.

Universal's Jamie Foxx starrer The Kingdom dropped 53% over its third frame to gross $4.6 million in seventh place and move its cume to $40 million. And Lionsgate's Russell Crowe-toplined 3:10 to Yuma, while finishing outside the top 10 in its sixth frame, lassoed another $1.5 million to leg its cume up to $51.4 million.

Industrywide, an estimated $99 million was rung up this weekend, or 7% more than the same frame last year, according to data tracker Nielsen EDI.

With so many early award-consideration films in the art film swim this year, it's worth noting what may be the season's first belly-flop. »

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'Clayton' takes 'Night' to court for top spot

12 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Even the Amazing Kreskin would be loath to predict the outcome of a weekend like this one.

Three films are opening in wide release and another in moderate release, but it's an expanding release that is poised to take the top spot at the domestic boxoffice this weekend.

The George Clooney starrer Michael Clayton appears to be the favorite to land at the top of the domestic heap. Still, it will be a true coup if Warner Bros. can overcome such a crush of competition and claim the boxoffice flag with its platforming legal thriller.

Clayton grossed $855,340 from 15 theaters during last weekend's four-day holiday session, which included Monday's Columbus Day in the U.S. and Thanksgiving in Canada. Amounting to a mind-bending $57,022 per-screen average, the performance bodes well for the film's expansion into 2,400 locations Friday.

Older males are a key demo for Clayton, which co-stars Tom Wilkinson and began buzz-building limited runs two weeks ago.

"I'm hoping the plan we launched Oct. 5 translates into a commercial success this weekend," Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said. "We have a very solid shot at (winning) the weekend, but it's certainly going to be a close race. I expect to be there at the finish line, but it's all up to the movie gods now."

Indeed, with Sony's We Own the Night, starring Mark Wahlberg and Joaquin Phoenix, numbering among the weekend's rival openers, a photo finish could be in the offing. »

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Duvall's trail leads to ICM

3 October 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Robert Duvall has signed with ICM for representation in all areas. The veteran actor-director, who last month received an Emmy for his performance in AMC's Broken Trail, next appears on the big screen in Columbia's We Own the Night, which also stars Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg. Duvall won an Academy Award for his role in 1983's Tender Mercies. He has been nominated six times for an Oscar and six times for a Golden Globe, winning the Globe for his performances in Stalin, Lonesome Dove, Tender Mercies and Apocalypse Now.

Among other accolades, Duvall won the Independent Spirit Awards for actor and director for 1997's The Apostle. He continues to be repped by manager Rob Carliner and attorney Adam Kaller. »

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Affleck & Phoenix Expecting Second Child

10 September 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor Casey Affleck's wife Summer Phoenix is pregnant with the couple's second child. Affleck and Phoenix, who are the siblings of Ben Affleck and Joaquin Phoenix respectively, married in 2006 and already have a three-year-old son, Indiana. The baby is due this winter. Affleck's spokeswoman Rebecca Feferman says, "They're very happy and excited about the new addition to their family." »

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We Own the Night

1 June 2007 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

This review was written for the festival screening of "We Own the Night".CANNES -- With three feature films to his credit -- "Little Odessa", "The Yards" and now "We Own the Night" -- writer-director James Gray makes essentially the same film over and over again. The focus is on male family members, fathers and brothers, and the setting is the corrupt world of cops and gangsters in New York immigrant communities. The past two films have come to Cannes, and neither has escaped boos following its press screening. The problem is not that Gray is an especially bad filmmaker but rather that he is an unimaginative one.

Clearly, these family themes contain a great deal of autobiography and mean much to Gray. But he insists on setting his analysis of the difficulties experienced by family members who go very separate ways, often on opposite sides of the law, in an overly familiar genre. So many great filmmakers have mined this territory before him that he is reduced to searching for scraps on the mine's floor. Why does he continually want to go up against Scorsese and Coppola -- not to mention "The Sopranos" -- with these small family dramas?

"We Own the Night" -- a phrase used by an '80s-era NYPD street crime unit -- is a more accomplished film than "Yards". Yet it will fail to satisfy police movie buffs, as procedures are de-emphasized, and the drama is too perfunctory and obvious. Falling between the cracks as it does, the film's boxoffice performance, despite the presence of producers-stars Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Wahlberg (who both starred in "Yards") looks very average.

What Gray does best here is create an atmosphere of palpable tension and dread. Once a gangster puts out a hit on a family of cops, all of their lives are in danger every second. You feel the weight of this fate in their every move around Brooklyn.

Phoenix plays Bobby Green, who runs a Russian-owned nightclub in Brighton Beach. Because of this job, he has changed his last name to disguise the fact he comes from a Polish-American family of New York City cops. The name change also betrays an estrangement from his dad, semi-legendary deputy chief Burt Grusinsky (Robert Duvall), and his brother, Joseph (Wahlberg).

The crucial problem here, if Gray seriously wants to focus on family, is the lack of explanation for this estrangement. Does Bobby not like cops? Or maybe just his brother? Did his dad favor his brother when he was young because Joseph had dyslexia? Perhaps he wasn't breast-fed.

Speaking of which, where are the women in this family? Or, for that matter, where are the women in this movie, since the only major female role belongs to Bobby's sexy Puerto Rican girlfriend, Amanda (Eva Mendes)?

With his dad's encouragement, Joseph has targeted the nephew (Alex Veadov) of the nightclub's owner (Moni Moshonov) for drug trafficking. The drug dealer resents this and puts out a contract on Joseph.

Joseph is seriously wounded but survives. Suddenly rediscovering brotherly love, Bobby agrees to wear a wire when he meets with the gangsters to inspect his drug operation since the nephew wants Bobby to become involved in the business.

But the operation goes wrong, a shootout ensues, Bobby's family connections are exposed and a contract is out on all male family members. Which, among other things, causes Eva to have major reservations about continuing a relationship with a guy who now wants to become a cop.

What follows is all too routine and predictable -- the escape of the drug dealer, a betrayal by a friend, an ambush of cars escorting Bobby and Eva to a safe house and a death in the family. The climax, too, reminiscent of that in "The French Connection", is indifferently staged.

The acting is solid but unexceptional. Tech credits are more on the money: Gray shoots the film in a blue-gray that feels ominous and grim. Even here, though, predictability reigns: Nothing good ever happens in a film shot in such a color scheme.

WE OWN THE NIGHT

Columbia Pictures

2929 Prods. presents a Nick Wechsler production

Credits:

Screenwriter-director: James Gray

Producers: Marc Butan, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, Nick Wechsler

Executive producers: Mark Cuban, Anthony Katagas, Todd Wagner

Director of photography: Joaquin Baca-Asay

Production designer: Ford Wheeler

Music: Wojciech Kilar

Costume designer: Michael Clancy

Editor: John Axelrod

Cast:

Bobby Green: Joaquin Phoenix

Joseph Grusinsky: Mark Wahlberg

Amanda: Eva Mendes: Burt: Robert Duvall

Vadim: Alex Veadov

Marat Bujayev: Moni Moshonov

Running time -- 117 minutes

MPAA rating: R »

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Mendes Laughs Off Phoenix Affair Rumors

4 March 2007 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Eva Mendes has laughed off rumors of a romance with her We Own The Night co-star Joaquin Phoenix - after they dined together after work. The Latina actress has been dating director George Gargurevich for the past five years, but is constantly reported to be romantically entwined with her leading men. She says, "God, we went out to dinner together. We were working together so, of course, you'd go out and have a meal after work. Why wouldn't you? I'm a grown woman! Do you think I'd be making out with somebody? I stopped doing that when I was 14. Yuck!" »

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8 items from 2007


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