10 items from 2015
'Affliction' movie: Nick Nolte as the troubled police officer Wade Whitehouse. 'Affliction' movie: Great-looking psychological drama fails to coalesce Set in a snowy New Hampshire town, Affliction could have been an excellent depiction of a dysfunctional family's cycle of violence and how that is accentuated by rapid, destabilizing socioeconomic changes. Unfortunately, writer-director Paul Schrader's 1998 film doesn't quite reach such heights.* Based on a novel by Russell Banks (who also penned the equally snowy The Sweet Hereafter), Schrader's Affliction relies on a realistic wintry atmosphere (courtesy of cinematographer Paul Sarossy) to convey the deadness inside the story's protagonist, the middle-aged small-town sheriff Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte). The angst-ridden Wade is intent on not ending up like his abusive, alcoholic father, Glen (James Coburn), while inexorably sliding down that very path. Making matters more complicated, Wade must come to terms with the fact that his ex-wife, Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt), will never return to him, »
- Andre Soares
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' 2015: Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' movie is a domestic box office bomb: Will it be saved by international filmgoers? Directed by Sherlock Holmes' Guy Ritchie and toplining Man of Steel star Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer, the Warner Bros. release The Man from U.N.C.L.E. has been a domestic box office disaster, performing about 25 percent below – already quite modest – expectations. (See also: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie: Bigger Box Office Flop Than Expected.”) This past weekend, the $80 million-budget The Man from U.N.C.L.E. collected a meager $13.42 million from 3,638 North American theaters, averaging $3,689 per site. After five days out, the big-screen reboot of the popular 1960s television series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum has taken in a mere $16.77 million. For comparison's sake: »
- Zac Gille
'The Man From U.N.C.L.E.' with Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' box office: Bigger domestic flop than expected? Before I address the box office debacle of Warner Bros.' The Man from U.N.C.L.E., I'd like remark upon the fact that 2015 has been a notable year at the North American box office. That's when the dinosaurs of Jurassic World smashed Hulk and his fellow Halloween-costumed Marvel superheroes of Avengers: Age of Ultron. And smashed them good: $636.73 million vs. $457.52 million. (See also: 'Jurassic World' beating 'The Avengers' worldwide and domestically?) At least in part for sentimental (or just downright morbid) reasons – Paul Walker's death in a car accident in late 2013 – Furious 7 has become by far the highest-grossing The Fast and the Furious movie in the U.S. and Canada: $351.03 million. (Shades of Heath Ledger's unexpected death »
- Zac Gille
'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' with Henry Cavill. 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' box office: Hollywood's third domestic bomb in a row Right on the heels of Chris Columbus-Adam Sandler's Pixels and Josh Trank's Fantastic Four comes The Man from U.N.C.L.E., a big screen adaptation of the 1960s television series, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Man of Steel hero Henry Cavill and The Lone Ranger costar Armie Hammer. (See updated follow-up post: “'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' Movie Box Office: Bigger Bomb Than Expected.”) Budgeted at a reported $88 million, to date Pixels has collected a mere $61.11 million in North America. Overseas things are a little better: an estimated $73.6 million as of Aug. 9, for a worldwide total of approx. $134.71 million. Sounds profitable? Well, not yet. First of all, let's not forget that distributor »
- Zac Gille
Post-production tampering mitigates against this Western by Sam Peckinpah finding its deserved reception from better-class audiences. Shortened release version is vague, confusing, and is being sold as routine action entry in saturation breaks where it should perform routinely, no more. Kris Kristofferson and acting debut of Bob Dylan provide youth lures. Rating: R.
“It feels like times have changed,” says Pat Garrett. “Times, maybe—not me," says Billy the Kid. A classical Sam Peckinpah exchange, reflecting one of the numerous obsessive themes that run through his latest Western. But times certainly haven’t changed for Peckinpah—for, despite the overdue success of his last venture, The Getaway, the embattled and iconoclastic director who revolutionized the Western with The Wild Bunch »
- Joe Dante
Well, I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t quite follow this one. In his 1957 review of the film for Cahiers du cinema (reprinted in the booklet accompanying this release), Jean-Luc Godard wrote that Forty Guns “is so rich in invention – despite an incomprehensible plot – and so bursting with daring conceptions that it reminds one of the extravagances of Abel Gance and Stroheim, or purely and simply of Murnau.” For a movie featuring a half-dozen standoffs, at least as many deaths, two musical numbers, and an honest-to-God tornado, nothing much seems to happen in Forty Guns. The tone and tenor of the thing feels as relaxed as Rio Bravo. I’ve seen it twice now, and viewed a few scenes here and there beyond that, and I still can’t quite reconcile the whole. But Godard’s right – it’s a hell of a thing to see. »
- Scott Nye
Known primarily for his war films and crime dramas, American director Samuel Fuller also directed a quartet of westerns, the last of which being 1957's Forty Guns. The film was part of a deal struck with 20th Century Fox after the success of Fuller's breakout film, about the Korean War, The Steel Helmet. Wooed by the studio's dedication to making "better movies" rather than lining their own pockets, Fuller signed a seven-picture deal. Forty Guns is loosely based on Wyatt Earp and the iconic "gunfight at the O.K. Corral", which went down in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881. Here, the Earp surrogate is Griff Bonnell (Barry Sullivan), who rides into town with his two younger brothers, Wes (Gene Barry) and Chico (Robert Dix), with a warrant...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Monica Lewis, a former Benny Goodman vocalist who headlined the very first broadcast of “The Ed Sullivan Show,” was the voice of the popular Chiquita Banana cartoons, clowned opposite Jerry Lewis, Red Skelton and Danny Kaye, and had co-starring roles in such films as “Earthquake,” “Airport 1975” and “The Concorde — Airport ’79,” died on June 12 of natural causes at her apartment in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 93.
Lewis was born in Chicago to a musical family headed by her father Leon Lewis, who was a symphonic composer and conductor. Her mother Jessica sang with the Chicago Opera Company and her sister Barbara was an accomplished classical pianist. Her brother Marlo became head of variety for CBS-tv and created Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” show.
Monica studied voice with her mother from the time she was a toddler, but when the family lost everything during the Depression, they moved to New York to start over. »
- Variety Staff
'San Andreas' movie with Dwayne Johnson. 'San Andreas' movie box office: $100 million domestic milestone today As the old saying (sort of) goes: If you build it, they will come. Warner Bros. built a gigantic video game, called it San Andreas, and They have come to check out Dwayne Johnson perform miraculous deeds not seen since ... George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road, released two weeks earlier. Embraced by moviegoers, hungry for quality, original storylines and well-delineated characters – and with the assistance of 3D surcharges – the San Andreas movie debuted with $54.58 million from 3,777 theaters on its first weekend out (May 29-31) in North America. Down a perfectly acceptable 52 percent on its second weekend (June 5-7), the special effects-laden actioner collected an extra $25.83 million, trailing only the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Statham comedy Spy, (with $29.08 million) as found at Box Office Mojo.* And that's how this original movie – it's not officially a remake, »
- Zac Gille
Young Robert Redford and politics: 'The Candidate' and 'All the President's Men' (photo: Robert Redford as Bob Woodward in 'All the President's Men') A young Robert Redford can be seen The Candidate, All the President's Men, Three Days of the Condor, and Downhill Racer as Turner Classic Movies' Redford series comes to a close this evening. The world of politics is the focus of the first three films, each one of them well-regarded box-office hits. The last title, which shows that politics is part of life no matter what, is set in the world of competitive sports. 'The Candidate' In the Michael Ritichie-directed The Candidate (1972), Robert Redford plays idealistic liberal Democrat Bob McKay, who, with no chance of winning, is convinced to run against the Republican incumbent in a fight for a California seat in Congress. See, McKay is too handsome. Too young. Too liberal. »
- Andre Soares
10 items from 2015
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