3 items from 2014
Liam Neeson may now officially be richer than God -- his thriller "Non-Stop" opened at No. 1 with an estimated $30.0 million -- but God did awfully well this weekend, too. "Son of God" opened in second place with an estimated $26.5 million, far more than the $15-20 million pundits had expected. (Even its distributor, 20th Century Fox, predicted just a modest $12-15 million.)
Christian-themed movies are a notoriously iffy prospect. Faith-based marketing organizations insist that there's a largely untapped audience of moviegoers out there who would gladly spend money on a film that treated their beliefs with respect, even if it came from that dreaded cesspool of sin known as Hollywood. And yet few of Hollywood's offerings have connected with that audience in the decade since "The Passion of the Christ" awakened Hollywood to the potential of Christian-themed films. Of course, "The Passion" was made and distributed independently, as are most religious-themed features these days, »
- Gary Susman
Feature Mark Harrison 3 Mar 2014 - 07:02
Roald Dahl has often been referred to as one of the greatest storytellers for children in the 20th century. His books have delighted children for generations, with their dark and inventive sense of humour and their eccentric, dastardly adult characters.
Likewise, his written work for adults has just as much wit and creativity, and over the years, he also worked as a screenwriter on a number of projects, including TV work on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and his own anthology series, Roald Dahl's Tales Of The Unexpected.
Given how it doesn't even take the likes of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer five years to have their popular works adapted by Hollywood, there has inevitably been an extensive crossover between Dahl's written work and the big screen. »
It's easy to forget that, two decades ago, Jim Carrey was just a talented TV sketch comedian who'd been trying for a decade to break into films. (Remember his roles in "Peggy Sue Got Married," "The Dead Pool," or "Earth Girls Are Easy"? Didn't think so.) But then came "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective" (released 20 years ago this week, on February 4, 1994), in which Carrey starred as a hyperactive sleuth tasked with finding the Miami Dolphins' kidnapped mascot, and suddenly, he was an A-list box office draw.
Critics didn't think much of the puerile Ace, whose favorite gag was talking through his butt cheeks. But audiences loved him, enough to make Carrey an overnight star after 10 years of trying, and enough to put the film on permanent rotation on basic cable for the next 20 years.
Still, as many times as you've seen "Ace Ventura," there's probably a lot you don't know about »
- Gary Susman
3 items from 2014
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