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If you have watched the trailer for A24’s “Swiss Army Man,” you’ve seen Paul Dano conspicuously riding atop of Daniel Radcliffe as they speed over ocean waves. It’s as if the former Harry Potter star is some sort of organic, magical jet ski. But what’s propelling them? Believe it or not, it’s farts. Yes, the flatulence of a dead guy, named Manny, pushes Dano’s character, Hank, through the sea after he has found himself stranded in the wilderness. The peculiar indie movie is the brainchild of writer-directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, a.k. »
- Meriah Doty
Halfway Mark Festivities begin now! It's never too early to start thinking about year-end lists. If you keep a list all year long, you make better choices at year's end. Unlike The Academy we don't believe that the film year begins in October. So let's name the best male performances and achievements from the first half of the year.
Disclaimer: Notable films I missed that might have factored in to these categories but that I'll have to catch up with on DVD include 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Nice Guys.
Notable Male Performances
(January through June, 2016 - U.S. Theatrical Releases)
Best Leading Actor
Alfredo Castro as "Armando" in From Afar
One of world cinema's most dependably unnerving actors but his performances are never copies. (He's also great in the predatory priests drama The Club also released this year) Colin Farrell as "David" in The Lobster
This underpraised actor continues to »
- NATHANIEL R
Following its Sundance premiere, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert's indie fantasy comedy "Swiss Army Man" opened in limited release his past weekend and scored one of the best per screen averages of 2016 to date.
When you make a film which features Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse with a boner that serves as a compass, where do you go from there? The pair have one amusing and interesting hypothetical for a potential project, Scheinert telling THR:
"One of my dreams is to make 'White Chicks' as a hard-r, Oscar-worthy drama, starring the original cast. It would be about gender and race relations in the 21st century, starring the Wayans Brothers. I don't know if you have seen 'White Chicks' lately, but it has a lot of meat to it and explores everything, like class, gender, race, the handicapped, age."
Kwan then added: "But it explores »
- Garth Franklin
Somewhat unexpectedly, Sundance drama/adventure thing “Swiss Army Man” proved to be something of an overperformer this weekend. With wildly divided reviews out of Sundance, and the premise of being a buddy movie with Paul Dano as a suicidal stalker and Daniel Radcliffe as a farting corpse with a boner-compass, it seemed like it would be […]
- Oliver Lyttelton
Last week, audiences got one of the oddest movies in some time with Swiss Army Man, an independent film unlike any other. Not only is this a singular cinematic experience, but over the weekend distributor A24 managed to have it open to solid limited theatrical box office. That unexpected success has not only buoyed an initially pegged as unmarketable flick, but has also shown off just how well A24 can handle tricky material. The movie easily could have been dumped, but they weren’t having that. For those who have seen it, it’s apparently a memorable experience, for better or worse, and that’s a special kind of an endorsement. How does one describe this movie? Well, in the broadest sense of the word, the plot follows a depressed man named Hank (Paul Dano) as he’s about to commit suicide on a deserted island. Right as his life »
- Joey Magidson
Coming to cinemas next Monday 4th July is the sequel to the hugely popular Now You See Me. In Now You See Me 2 the master magicians known as the Four Horsemen return for their most daring and astounding caper ever, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights in hopes of clearing their names and exposing the ruthlessness of a dangerous tech magnate.
To celebrate the release of the film, we have some fantastic movie merchandise to give away. The packs, of which we have three to give away, consist of a branded t-shirt, branded playing cards, branded pen and branded portable phone charger.
To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the question below and fill in your details on the form. »
- The Hollywood News
A24 is having a strong 2016. They started out winning Oscars for three films (“Room,” “Ex Machina” and “Amy”), took smart horror flick “The Witch” wide to great success, and now with “The Lobster ” and “Swiss Army Man,” can claim the two highest per theater average limited openings of the year. And they’ve done what other companies seem not to be able to do: reached a younger audience quite different from those that have elevated such adult hits as “Eye in the Sky” and “Hello, My Name Is Doris.”
Among the elevated number of prime openings fleshing out the summer specialized release schedule, the surprise second best was “Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (The Orchard), a New Zealand countryside story that could become a sleeper success with wider audiences.
- Tom Brueggemann
The sequel to the 1996 alien invasion tale grossed an estimated $41.6 million from U.S. cinemas, down from the early tracking estimates which pegged it closer to $50 million. Outside the U.S. though, it made a robust $102.1 million from 57 foreign markets.
The second weekend of Disney and Pixar's "Finding Dory" topped the U.S. box-office, taking in a further $73.2 million - should the actuals hold it will be the second biggest weekend domestically for an animated film. Its worldwide total currently stands at $396 million.
The shark thriller "The Shallows" beat expectations, coming in fourth with an estimated $16.7 million in its opening. It just came in behind the comedy "Central Intelligence" which held strong with $18.4 million in its second weekend.
Not faring so well was the Civil War »
- Garth Franklin
Moviegoers were content to keep swimming with Dory this weekend as the new releases didn't stir audiences. Well that's not wholly true. Moviegoers turned out for other water sports like water skiing on Daniel Radcliffe's corpse in Swiss Army Man (crowded houses but only available in NY & La) and shark dodging with Blake Lively in The Shallows which had a solid per screen average, a low budget, and surprisingly good reviews. That triple combo could signify big profits for The Shallows ahead if the film finds legs in July, especially if it doesn't lose momentum over the 4th of July holiday week frenzy when The Bfg, Tarzan, and The Purge 3 are all newly available to moviegoers.
The two films that had the toughest time this weekend were the 20 years later (aka way too late) sequel Independence Day Resurgence and the horror/fashion/noir/thriller/satire/whatsit/drama Neon Demon, »
- NATHANIEL R
Twenty six weeks into 2016 and Disney's year continues to impress as the studio has the #1 film at the weekend box office for the twelfth time. Finding Dory topped the weekend chart with one of the ten best second weekends of all-time as the animated feature has now grossed over $286 million domestically and nearly $400 million worldwide. As for the weekend's new wide releases, the results weren't quite as pretty as three out of the four struggled in a competitive marketplace. Independence Day: Resurgence was unable to match the opening weekend of its 20-year-old predecessor, Free State of Jones didn't capture the attention of its target audience and The Neon Demon wasn't able to come close to expectations. The only bright spot among the weekend's new wide releases was the "terror in the water" thriller The Shallows, which scored well with audiences and critics, all on a meager budget. Taking the number »
- Brad Brevet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“Finding Dory” showed plenty of box office staying power with $73.2 million in an otherwise modest weekend at the North America box office as “Independence Day: Resurgence” invaded with a disappointing $41.6 million.
A week after energizing the summer season, Disney/Pixar’s “Finding Dory” declined only 46% and generated the eighth-highest second weekend of all time, edging “Captain America: Civil War.” It’s also the best second weekend for an animated title.
“Finding Dory,” the sequel to 2003’s “Finding Nemo,” is already the sixth-highest domestic grosser of 2016 after ten days with $285.6 million — less than $100 million short of the final total for “Nemo.”
Fox’s “Independence Day: Resurgence” finished about 20% below recent forecasts, which had pegged the sequel to match the $50 million opening weekend from the 1996 original. It edged “Kung Fu Panda 2” as the eighth-largest opening of 2016.
“Resurgence” brought back the same fearsome aliens from the original, again bent on destroying the Earth. »
- Dave McNary
Daniel Radcliffe recently compared the UK’s vote to leave the European Union to the rise of Donald Trump in the UK, calling both terrifying. In an interview with Vulture, the “Swiss Army Man” star voiced strong negative opinions about both, saying, “It’s the worst kind of nationalism, the worst kind of patriotism, and it’s scary as s—.” Radcliffe, who had previously voiced support for the UK to remain in the EU, currently stars in “Privacy,” a play inspired by Edward Snowden which examines the vulnerability of personal information in a digital age. Some of the lines are improvised, »
- Reid Nakamura
The master magicians known as the Four Horsemen return for their most daring and astounding caper ever, elevating the limits of stage illusion to new heights in hopes of clearing their names and exposing the ruthlessness of a dangerous tech magnate. 'Now You See Me 2', starring Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers), Woody Harrelson (The Hunger Games), Dave Franco (Neighbours) and Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter franchise) arrives on 4th July and we have 3 great merchandise packs up for grabs. Each pack comes with a branded t-shirt, playing cards, pen and portable phone charger.. Contest Ends on Monday, July 11, 2016 »
“Now You See Me 2” has set a record for a Lionsgate title in China with a $14.8 million opening day, making it the top title in the market.
The number is 679 percent higher than the figure for the opening day of “Now You See Me” in 2013 — underlining the explosive growth of the Chinese market in the past three years.
The film has taken in $45 million during its first two weeks in the U.S. and another $50 million in foreign markets, including $12 million from Russia.
- Dave McNary
$200-million sequel “Independence Day: Resurgence” (20th Century Fox), among the most expensive summer 2016 releases, will test the idea that the public demands something new in a sequel in order to rush out to see it.
With the studio largely skipping pre-release screenings for domestic critics (London reviews were mixed), Fox is banking that two-decade-plus memories of the first film (whose star Will Smith did not return) and selling a surplus of action, effects and 3D beyond what was available in 1996 would give it life.
The first version was the biggest film of 1996, with an adjusted domestic gross of $594 million off a $97 million opening. That made it the fifth-ranked gross of the 90s, and until now was one of the few live-action blockbusters of recent years to lack a sequel.
- Tom Brueggemann
From Todd Solondz and Greta Gerwig to Daniel Radcliffe and his pair of directors known collectively as the Daniels, a notable pack of filmmakers and stars are heading to theaters with limited releases this weekend. Solondz Wiener-Dog, with Gerwig, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn and a rambunctious dachshund (or two) share this week’s Specialty roster with the Daniels' feature bow Swiss Army Man starring Paul Dano and Radcliffe. Also up: New Zealand director Taika Waititi… »
For the most intrepid film geeks, uncategorizable movies are almost always a can’t-fail affair. If a film’s ambition and imagination are so singular and strange that it’s beyond compare, stumbles in storytelling, bad acting, and even poor direction can often be overlooked for the simple fact that, good or bad, the film is showing us something we’ve never ever seen before.
The delightfully demented Swiss Army Man is such a movie. But get this: the acting, direction, set design, cinematography, lighting–the nuts and bolts of the thing–are genuinely inspired and well-executed, which makes the Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert-directed filmic oddity an extremely well-polished diamond in the rough.
The directing duo, quirkily billed as “Daniels,” have a storytelling style that throws conventional rules out the window while using technical proficiency (they’re known for making slick TV adverts) to wrangle the absurdity a »
- Bernard Boo
To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is here! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings.
Starting this month, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list here, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release.
See More: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for June 2016
Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, June 24. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.
Director: Gary Ross
Synopsis: “In Jones County, Miss., Newt Knight joins forces with other farmers and a group of slaves to lead a rebellion against the Confederacy.”
- Steve Greene
Note: With Swiss Army Man in limited release this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the Sundance Film Festival. About five minutes into Swiss Army Man, you’re faced with a choice. By this point in the film, you’ll have seen Hank (Paul Dano), a man stranded alone on a desert island, try to hang himself. His suicide attempt […]
- Angie Han
Swiss Army Man is more than just a symphony of farts and boners — there’s quite a gorgeous score to go along with. To accompany the limited opening of the film, the full Ost has now been released to stream. The directorial debut of duo Daniels, the film follows Hank, a stranded man down on his luck (Paul Dano) who finds solace and maybe even a way home in the form of a talking corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). Due to the inherent isolation and lunacy of the conceit, Daniels’ wanted the entire score to be taking place in Hank and Manny’s heads — songs they’d create themselves — with no real instruments utilized (with a few notably poignant exceptions).
- Mike Mazzanti
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