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Saturday a.m. Update: With an estimated $19.8 million, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk is heading toward an opening weekend right around $50 million to $52 million. It's a great start for the WWII feature, especially given the holds Nolan's films have shown in recent history as well as the critical response and now the "A-" CinemaScore from opening day audiences, a notch above the "B+" audiences gave Interstellar. Additionally, Dunkirk has now been released in 46 international markets where it has so far grossed $21.2 million after releasing earlier this week in a handful of territories. We'll have more on the overall international performance with tomorrow morning's report. In second is Universal's release of Girls Trip, which is scorching the weekend, delivering an estimated $11.68 million on Friday, heading toward a $29+ million opening. The film should also show long legs looking ahead after receiving a rare "A+" CinemaScore from opening day audiences. Finally, Stx's release of EuropaCorp's »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
Long live Imperator Furiosa!
When “Mad Max: Fury Road” opened in theaters two years ago, two things became instantly clear: The movie was a new action classic and Charlize Theron’s Furiosa was the genre’s new iconic heroine. Fans have been hoping that rumors of a Furiosa prequel film end up happening ever since we met the one-armed badass, and it turns out Theron is still on board with the idea, too. She’s just waiting for Miller to make a decision like the rest of us are.
“I’d love to,” Theron said when asked by Variety about whether or not she’d be interested in a Furiosa prequel. “There were three scripts. They were written as back stories to Max’s character and to Furiosa’s character. But at the end of the day, »
- Zack Sharf
Class-act director John Boorman continues to mix genre grit with European-flavored art cinema, and the result is another winner. Toshiro Mifune and Lee Marvin fight a miniature two-man war when they’re marooned together on the same tiny island. Boorman’s strong direction and Conrad Hall’s knockout cinematography insure a maximum visual impact; it’s great filmmaking all around.
Kl Studio Classics
1968 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 103 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95
Cinematography: Conrad Hall
Film Editor: Thomas Stanford
Original Music: Lalo Schifrin
Directed by John Boorman
- Glenn Erickson
Sean Wilson Jul 6, 2017
Few contemporary film composers have made an impact quite like John Powell. From animation to drama to his immediately influential, propulsive Bourne soundtracks, Powell's energetic, emotional and heartfelt blend of symphony orchestra, electronics and percussion make him a singular voice.
Ahead of his BAFTA Screen Talks event at the Royal Albert Hall on 10th July, we were delighted to catch up with John to discuss his remarkable career and the secret to a truly great film score.
So 10 years after I saw The Bourne Ultimatum on the big screen and being electrified by your score I'm sat here talking to you, which is a real privilege. I wondered was there a particular film score that inspired you to become a film composer? »
China’s Zhejiang Jinke Entertainment has unveiled a partnership with Kurosawa Production that will see the two companies produce unfinished or unmade titles by the late Akira Kurosawa. The first movie to be made by the pair will be the Japanese master’s unfinished “Silvering Spear.”
Jinke is a publisher of mobile applications in China, and was listed on the Shenzhen stock market in 2015. Kurosawa Production is the 58-year-old company established by Kurosawa and now operated by his grandson Ko Kurosawa.
The deal between Jinke and Kurosawa Production was announced Thursday on the sidelines of the Cannes Film Festival. The agreement covers all of Kurosawa’s unfinished features, with the exception of “The Mask of the Black Death.”
Set in the Warring States period, “Silvering »
- Patrick Frater
Revenues also declined 15% to $264 million from $311.3 million. MGM released James Bond movie “Spectre” — which grossed $880 million worldwide — in late 2015 while its only theatrical release during the 2017 quarter was horror-thriller “The Belko Experiment,” which grossed $10 million domestically for Bh Tilt. Film division revenue fell 36% to $155 million.
MGM also reported Tuesday that adjusted Ebitda slid 29% to $88.3 million. MGM cited continued strong performance of TV content business, which grew 26% primarily due to deliveries of new shows, including “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome,” and partial deliveries of “Vikings” (season 5), “Fargo” (season 3), and “The Handmaid’s Tale” (season 1).
Adjusted Ebitda for film content included the pay television premieres of »
- Dave McNary
Unsung actress Beverly Garland becomes TV’s first lady cop, in what’s claimed to be the first TV show filmed on the streets of New York City. This one-season wonder from 1957 has vintage locations, fairly tough-minded storylines and solid performances, from Bev and a vast gallery of stage and TV actors on the way up.
Film Chest Media
1957-’58 / B&W / 1:33 flat full frame (TV) / 39 x 30 min. / Street Date May 30, 2017 / 19.98
Starring: Beverly Garland
Art Direction (some episodes): Mel Bourne
Original Music: Wladimir Selinsky
How did I experience »
- Glenn Erickson
Though some people may be unaware, there’s an awards ceremony held every year to honor the true heroes behind our favorite films: the marketing team. That’s right, the Golden Trailer Awards hand out statues to those who work tirelessly putting together trailers, commercials and posters for hundreds of releases each and every year. And not just in film, but video games and TV, too. It’s an incredibly comprehensive ceremony as well, with awards for a whopping 116 categories. Yes, 116 – though not all of those are given out on stage.
The nominations for the 18th annual edition, set to go down on June 6th at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, are now in and it seems that Warner Bros. is leading the pack amongst the various studios, scoring an impressive 68 nods in total, 11 of which come from The Lego Batman Movie – the most of any title to be nominated. »
- Mark Cassidy
As far as viral video #content goes, the Criterion Collection have got it nailed down with their Criterion Closet series. A sort of cinephile version of Supermarket Sweep, it’s seen all kinds of world-class filmmakers come to the headquarters of the great video label, and get to take with them whatever they can carry from their back catalog, while talking about some of their favorite filmmakers.
The latest to get in there, following the likes of Barry Jenkins, Mike Leigh and Edgar Wright, is Ben Wheatley, who dropped by Criterion HQ on the press tour for his recent, highly enjoyable “Free Fire.” The “Kill List” helmer is, as most visiting filmmakers seem to be, visibly thrilled and like a kid in a candy store, and picks out a fine selection of movies, including “The Seven Samurai, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Dan Stevens is everywhere these days. The star of this year’s “Colossal” and “Beauty and the Beast” will appear next in “Kill Switch,” the sci-fi action film from first-time feature director Tim Smit. In the movie, Stevens stars as Will Porter, a pilot who battles to save his family (and the planet) after an experiment for unlimited energy goes drastically wrong. Charity Wakefield and Bérénice Marlohe (“Skyfall”) co-star.
Smit is a visual effects supervisor who also did the visual effects for “Kill Switch,” which looks at times like a cross between “District 9” and a video game movie. Saban Films acquired the North American distribution rights to the movie out of the Berlin Film Festival when it was still called “Redivider.” The movie is based on a short film of Smit’s »
- Graham Winfrey
More than sixty years after the release of “Seven Samurai,” Akira Kurosawa’s legendary epic continues to leave its mark on Hollywood. While the film is widely known to have led to the 1960 remake “The Magnificent Seven,” directed by John Sturges, “Seven Samurai” has also inspired filmmakers like George Miller as recently as 2015, when he released his epic sci-fi action film, “Mad Max: Fury Road.”
A new video from Fandor explains in depth just how wide ranging the influence of “Seven Samurai” can be felt. While films with enormous battle scenes like “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and “The Matrix Revolutions” unsurprisingly borrowed visual elements from Kurosawa, some unexpected titles that were inspired by the plot of “Seven Samurai” include John Landis’ “Three Amigos” and “A Bug’s Life.”
Some films have even lifted dialogue almost verbatim from “Seven Samurai.” The film’s “everlasting and genre-spanning influence »
- Graham Winfrey
Before Batman and Spider-man, there were American western folk heroes. Characters based off of real live people who roamed the wild west like Bufallo Bill, Jesse James and Billy the Kid. One of these western folk heroes was John Henry "Doc" Holliday, who if past films has been portrayed by Kirk Douglas, Val Kilmer and Dennis Quaid. Doc Holliday went from being a dentist to one of the deadliest gunslingers of the west. He took part in the epic gunfight at the O.K. Corral alongside Wyatt Erap, which has been featured in such films like Tombstone and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
According to The Hollywood Repoter, PalmStar Media has optioned the rights to two novels by Mary Dora Russell one being, Doc and Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral. This book is considered to be the seminal book on Doc Holliday that chronicles his life from »
- Emmanuel Gomez
Author: Dave Roper
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is garnering widespread, positive reviews ahead of its release at the end of this week, with one of its foremost qualities being lauded by critics is the rapport and camaraderie amongst this rag-tag bunch of misfits and outcasts.
Of course part of the appeal of Vol. 1 was the organic and believable way in which this crew was put together, uniting despite their differences, but maintaining character integrity along the way. It has resulted in this family of Guardians joining a long-running tradition of cinematic misfit crews, thrown together (often by adversity) but continuing to niggle and aggravate each other. So who are the other groups in this pantheon?
They were very much not the first to this particular party, but have done it about as well as anyone. The way in which the first film not only threw them together, »
- Dave Roper
04.27.17: This list is now final. While I may in the future see additional films that were released in the awards year of 2016, no more films will be added to this list. (I may add links to reviews of films listed here.)
This ranking includes only new theatrical releases viewed for the awards year of 2016 (for eligibility for the Academy Awards and the Ofcs and Awfj awards); some films released in the UK without Us releases (and so ineligible for those awards this year) may also be included, for my own bookkeeping purposes. Links go to my review. Numbers after each entry are Date First Viewed/NYC Release Date/London Release Date; year is 2016 unless otherwise noted.
worth paying multiplex prices for
La La Land (10.07/12.09/01.13.17)
A Monster Calls (10.06/12.23/01.01.17)
The Lobster (07.16.15/05.13/10.16.15)
Zootropolis (aka Zootopia) (02.22/03.04/03.25)
A Bigger Splash (10.08.15/05.04/02.12)
Miss Sloane (11.20/11.25/05.12.17)
London Road (06.03.15/09.09/06.12.15)
The Girl with All the Gifts (07.26/02.24.17/09.23)
I, Daniel Blake »
- MaryAnn Johanson
…Let’s hope the dogs don’t die.
On Tuesday, the first poster for Wes Anderson’s newest feature film since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was released. Whilst not much is known about the story of Isle of Dogs, its poster reveals small details about what to expect, and, more importantly, the influence of Akira Kurosawa on the stop-motion animation.
Set in Japan, the poster’s large, red font places the Japanese title at the center, with its English translation held within the script. Wes Anderson’s posters usually have either one clear defining image at the forefront or a depiction of the ensemble cast, so Isle of Dogs is a slight departure from what Anderson’s audience are used to.
The poster for The Royal Tenenbaums places family at the center while Anderson’s classic Futura font title stayed beneath the family as something that was not meant to draw attention. Moonrise Kingdom »
- Sinéad McCausland
Legendary filmmaker Walter Hill sat down with Marc Maron recently for an episode of his acclaimed podcast “Wtf with Marc Maron,” and the two men went deep on everything from “The Assignment” to Hill’s early days as a production assistant to the state of cinema today. Before carving out his own filmmaking career, Hill worked with directors including Sam Peckinpah and Woody Allen.
Here are some snippets from Maron’s conversation with Hill.
On working on educational movies at the start of his career:
It was an offshoot of Encyclopedia Britannica movies. They used to make these 16mm films for students….I did research and I wrote part of them, but I immediately said to myself, “What the fuck am I doing? I don’t even like these movies.”
On what »
- Graham Winfrey
We’ve been out there stanning for Ben Wheatley’s new movie Free Fire from the moment we laid eyes on the first trailer. In fact, we’d heard rumors and rumblings about it well before that — a cavalcade of reliable voices telling us that this was going to be our kind of movie. When our Victor Stiff reviewed the film at Tiff in 2016, he wasn’t shy with his praise.
This weekend it arrives in a number of theaters around the country and we’re happy that everyone can see it and discuss it. It’s a lot of fun. But in true form, we also like the idea of going deeper with a filmmaker like Ben Wheatley — and in true One Perfect Shot form, that means digging into some of the filmmaker’s »
- One Perfect Shot
This year will see a bit of a culmination for the DC Extended Universe. Not only will we be getting a standalone Wonder Woman movie, but mere months later, we will be seeing her, Batman, The Flash, Aquaman, Cyborg, and (presumably) Superman take to the big screen together in Justice League.
Of course, in any shared universe, it’s impossible Not to make comparisons to the highly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe, which boasted five standalone films before seeing them all team up in The Avengers. Dissimilarly, DC has only had one standalone film so far, two teamups, and will have one more standalone before Justice League hits the big screen. It’s a much different approach, to say the least, and while it’s all well and good that they’re trying to pave their own path, there is no denying that they’re in a bit of a rough spot. »
- Joseph Medina
Two new theatrical releases powered their way into the two top spots on the national home video sales charts for the week ended March 26, bumping “Moana,” the musical fantasy from Walt Disney Pictures, to No. 3 after two weeks as the top-selling DVD and Blu-ray Disc.
“Sing,” the computer-animated musical from Universal Pictures about a group of animals that enter a singing contest hosted by a koala seeking to save his theater, debuted at No. 1 on both the Npd VideoScan overall disc sales chart, which tracks combined DVD and Blu-ray Disc sales, and Npd’s dedicated Blu-ray Disc sales chart.
The film, which earned just under $270 million in U.S. theaters, features more than 60 songs from famous artists, along with an original song by Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande, “Faith,” which was nominated for a Golden Globe award.
Debuting at a distant No. 2 was 20th Century Fox’s “Assassin’s Creed, »
- Thomas K. Arnold
Each month, the fine folks at FilmStruck and the Criterion Collection spend countless hours crafting their channels to highlight the many different types of films that they have in their streaming library. This April will feature an exciting assortment of films, as noted below.
To sign up for a free two-week trial here.
Monday, April 3 The Chaos of Cool: A Tribute to Seijun Suzuki
In February, cinema lost an icon of excess, Seijun Suzuki, the Japanese master who took the art of the B movie to sublime new heights with his deliriously inventive approach to narrative and visual style. This series showcases seven of the New Wave renegade’s works from his career breakthrough in the sixties: Take Aim at the Police Van (1960), an off-kilter whodunit; Youth of the Beast (1963), an explosive yakuza thriller; Gate of Flesh (1964), a pulpy social critique; Story of a Prostitute (1965), a tragic romance; Tokyo Drifter »
- Ryan Gallagher
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