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4 items from 2015

‘Raging Bull’ still transcends genre at 35

14 November 2015 2:01 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull—oft-cited these days as the director’s magnum opus— first premiered in New York on November 14, 1980 to a volley of mixed reviews. At least, that’s what the Internet would have modern researchers believe. Now, 35 years later, digging up a negative review of this not-quite-a-sports-movie, not-quite-a-bio-pic seems limited to a shallow dig by Variety critic Joseph McBride, who wrote that Scorsese “excels at whipping up an emotional storm but seems unaware that there is any need for quieter, more introspective moments in drama.” Meanwhile, a glance at Rotten Tomatoes’ records show that 98 percent of contemporary critics have showered Raging Bull with praise, and even Roger Ebert, reviewing in 1980, rejects McBride’s view, awarding four stars to a film that does “a fearless job of showing us the precise feelings of their central character, the former boxing champion Jake Lamotta.”

Fearless though it was in the characterization of its violent antihero, »

- Christina Leo

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Avengers: Age of Ultron breaks records at the UK box office with biggest ever debut for a superhero movie

28 April 2015 12:45 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 24th April to Sunday 26th April 2015…

Avengers: Age of Ultron opened here in the UK this past Thursday, with the latest instalment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe breaking records with a hefty £18,015,774 weekend – the biggest ever April debut, and the highest opening for a superhero movie. It also surpasses Fifty Shades of Grey (£13.55 million) for the biggest opening weekend of the year so far, and is the biggest UK opening since Skyfall back in 2012.

Despite being knocked from top spot, Fast & Furious 7 added another £1.6 million to leave the action blockbuster closing in on £35 million, but Age of Ultron pretty much sucked the life out of the rest of the chart, with only the Met Opera’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci managing to crack the top ten, claiming fifth with £337,698.

Number one this time last year: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 »

- Gary Collinson

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Avengers: Age of Ultron breaks records with huge UK box office opening

28 April 2015 5:02 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Avengers: Age of Ultron has topped the UK box office, delivering record-breaking figures.

The Marvel blockbuster earned more than £18 million to record the biggest ever April opening, as well as the highest ever for a superhero movie.

Fast & Furious 7 drops to second place after three consecutive weekends at the top, ahead of Cinderella and Home.

The Met Opera's Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci is a new entry at number five, while Get Hard re-enters the top ten at number nine.

The UK box office top ten in full:

1. (-) Avengers: Age of Ultron - £18,015,774

2. (1) Fast & Furious 7 - £1,607,659

3. (2) Cinderella - £757,113

4. (3) Home - £675,401

5. (-) Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci - £337,698

6. (5) Woman in Gold - £281,230

7. (6) The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water - £251,199

8. (4) Child 44 - £229,653

9. (Re) Get Hard - £155,632

10. (8) The Duff - £151,514

Source: Rentrak

Watch Digital Spy's video review for Avengers: Age of Ultron below (contains spoilers): »

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Opera Review: The Met’s Semi-Dynamic Duo of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci

15 April 2015 10:04 AM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, that classic diptych of tuneful weepies, has returned to the Metropolitan Opera in a lopsided new production. One piece is black-and-white, the other polychrome; one stodgy, the other Stooge-y; one grim, the other strenuously entertaining. Serious opera people are constantly apologizing for these enduringly popular one-acts, and director David McVicar hedges his bets, too. He mutes the simple plot and supercharged emotions of Cav with a bleak, bare staging, then amps up Pag with cream-in-the-face, spaghetti-on-the-head, duck-puppet comedy. The result is a show with two halves that each half work. In Cavalleria, McVicar gives us a southern Italian town at the turn of the 20th century, trapped in poverty and perpetual mourning. There’s grace in that starkness, brought out by the choreographer Andrew George and the Met’s unfailing marvel of a chorus. But the stage’s big turntable turns, choristers »

- Justin Davidson

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