6 items from 2016
Mid-summer brings the biggest limited opening of 2016, with a return to form by Woody Allen as new distributor Amazon Studios and partner Lionsgate pushed “Café Society” to numbers unseen since last December. It’s not at Allen’s top level, but a huge leap above his last two films as well as anything else so far this year.
For a totally different market, Dinesh D’Souza doc “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party” had a limited opening in Middle America with strong front-loaded initial numbers. The political doc goes wider this Friday and could see a better eventual total —via an entirely different audience—than Allen’s film.
“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” (The Orchard) from New Zealand leads the films in wider release as it continues to build word-of-mouth success. “Captain Fantastic” (Bleecker Street) boasted a decent second weekend expansion and could end up at a »
- Tom Brueggemann
For many, Summer is a time to “get away from it all”. That’s been a theme for lots of movie characters over the years. Robert Redford in All Is Lost and James Franco in 127 Hours escaped the rat race to explore the world solo, but both getaways lead to disaster (we just saw that last weekend with Blake Lively in The Shallows). Of course, solitude is often not a choice, but the result of fate. It perhaps started with Robinson Crusoe (made into several films), the idea of one or two people (or the seven TV folks on a “three-hour tour”) stranded on a desolate island. Swept Away was an Italian flick and an American remake, but the recent epic adventure that most movie fans would recall might be 2000’s Cast Away, This new film explores similar themes, but while Tom Hanks had a volleyball named Wilson as company, »
- Jim Batts
When the raucous survival film Swiss Army Man set Sundance aflame this January – aided in no small part from some infamously inflammatory methane – the only tidbit more shocking than hearing secondhand strands from its preposterous plot was the news that indie dynamo distributer A24 picked up its check to jet ski it across cinemas nationwide. Prompting walkouts that don’t sound too dissimilar from recently announced Tribeca juror and enfant terrible Sebastian Silva’s 2015 submission Nasty Baby, Swiss Army Man was immediately accused of churlish, childish, and undeniably crass crimes against good taste – what else would one expect from a buddy film about Paul Dano enduring starvation and isolation on a desert isle thanks to the multipronged malleability of Daniel Radcliffe’s flatulent, tumescent corpse? Certainly not a Directing Award, which the film’s directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinhart scooped up nonetheless; together, they go by the monicker Daniels… »
- Daniel Crooke
Summit Entertainment has released a first look trailer for their animated film "The Wild Life," a more animal-centric take on Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe". The film is currently targeting a September 9th release.
The story follows several creatures - a snack-obsessed tapir, an acrobatic pangolin, a chilled chameleon, a commonsensical kingfisher, a ditzy goat and a persnickety echidna. All of them find their lives disrupted when a human washes up on their shore and befriends them.
- Garth Franklin
Fans that missed Twilight Time's initial Blu-ray release of Ray Harryhausen's Jules Verne spectacle get a second chance with this Encore Edition reissue. It includes an improved transfer and new extras, including an excellent audio commentary with Steven C. Smith, C. Courtney Joyner and Randall William Cook. The show still sends us, and Bernard Herrmann's powerful music score shakes the rafters. Mysterious Island Blu-ray Twilight Time 1961 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 101 min. / Encoire Limited Edition / available at the Screen Archives Entertainment website; Street Date December 8, 2015 / 29.95 Starring Michael Craig, Michael Callan, Beth Rogan, Gary Merrill, Herbert Lom, Joan Greenwood, Percy Herbert. Cinematography Wilkie Cooper Special visual effects Ray Harryhausen Art Direction Bill Andrews Film Editor Frederick Wilson Original Music Bernard Herrmann Written by John Prebble, Daniel B. Ullman and Crane Wilbur from the novel by Jules Verne Produced by Charles H. Schneer Directed by Cy Endfield
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
Warning: spoilers for The Martian below For a movie about a man stranded alone on the desolate surface of Mars, Ridley Scott.s The Martian managed to maintain an incredible sense of humor. Matt Damon brought an offbeat sensibility to Mark Watney that made the botanist/astronaut endlessly watchable, allowing us to laugh with the character even in his darkest moments. In the end it all felt more like Robinson Crusoe in space than Interstellar. That being said, the film does take some very serious turns at times, which required Damon to go to a darker and more somber place. According to Damon, Scott very much helped him achieve those moments. Variety reports that during a recent screening of the film at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Damon opened up regarding Ridley Scott.s somewhat unorthodox way of filming the film.s climactic scene in which Mark Watney launches »
6 items from 2016
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