12 items from 2010
After a string of what could only be called embarrassments—Reindeer Games, Gigli, Jersey Girl, Paycheck,Surviving Christmas—Ben Affleck seems like he’s ready to be taken seriously again. He dropped the high-profile relationship with the Jenny From The Block (you just know they both now regret that music video in which they mauled each other), took some time to clean himself up, got married to Jennifer Garner, accepted quieter parts like his supporting role in Hollywoodland, and emerged, incredibly, as a serious director in 2007 with Gone, Baby Gone. And now, four years after Project Rehabilitate Ben was launched, it can officially »
The Social Network matches critical acclaim to box office success. Here's Ron's look at the weekend box office...
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Facebook shows no sign of slowing down as a phenomenon. Not only is it one of the world's most popular websites, with several hundred million members logging on daily, and not only is it worth billions of dollars, it's also the inspiration for what can officially be called a hit movie. The Social Network (reviewed here), the fictionalized story of Facebook's founding and early years, took in $22 million over the weekend, shooting to the top of the box office. David Fincher likes this.
The weekend's other two major releases, Case 39 and Let Me In, were both aiming for the supernatural audience. Case 39 (seventh place, $5.35 million) promised creepy demon action, and also some supernatural monsters that aren't Renee Zellweger. Let Me In (eighth place, $5.1 million) promised creepy child vampires. »
You have to go all the way back to 1997's The Devil's Advocate to find a horror movie on Charlize Theron's CV (unless you count Reindeer Games). Given the mill she's put through on that film, it's not that surprising that she shied away from the genre subsequently, but that should be about to change, with the news that Theron has personally picked up the rights to Two Eyes Staring.The original Dutch film, titled Zwart Water at home, was directed by Elbert van Strien, and written by van Strien and Paulo van Vliet. It's the story of a nine-year-old girl who discovers that her new best friend has some sinister connections to dark secrets in her family's past. You can check out the trailer here: it's not subtitled, but you'll get the gist.Zwart Water opened in The Netherlands this spring. It hasn't had an international release so far, »
The Town was the talk of the box office over the weekend, Easy A received a lot of attention, Devil wasn't elevated, and Alpha and Omega didn't hunt. Overall business was a bit lower than the same weekend last year when Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs led. Striking approximately 3,500 screens at 2,861 locations, The Town hauled in $23.8 million, earning the comparison its marketing made to The Departed. The latter blazed onto the scene with $26.9 million on around 4,200 screens at 3,017 locations nearly four years ago (though its attendance was about 37 percent greater than The Town's). Like Departed, The Town busted out of its genre norm, grossing more in one weekend than the final grosses of Gone Baby Gone, Reindeer Games and Pride & Glory and more than doubling the opening weekend of We Own the Night. Its estimated initial attendance was in the realm of Cop Land and Sleepers. Upon closer inspection, »
- Brandon Gray <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hey, remember when Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were the two hottest young stars in Hollywood? They'd just won the Oscar for Good Will Hunting and were on top of the world? Then Reindeer Games happened, and Jennifer Lopez, and one of the biggest bombs in box office history and people forgot that Ben Affleck isn't as terrible as everyone thinks. He's just got some of the crappiest representation in Hollywood and keeps stumbling into terrible films.
Well, say what you want to about Bfleck, but I don't hate him and, apparently, people are willing to forgive him his past trespasses.
Spurred on by great reviews, the second movie that Ben Affleck has directed captured this weekend's box office. The Town, a crime caper set in Boston that stars Affleck as the leader of a group of bank robbers, debuted with an impressive tally of $23.8 million dollars. When it came out nearly three years ago, Affleck's first movie as director, Gone Baby Gone, also earned good reviews but only managed to scrounge up $20 million dollars in its entire theatrical run. Any way that you slice it, The Town is both a critical and a commercial success for Affleck and it will likely shake all of the bad ju-ju he heaved on his shoulders for past blunders like Gigli, Daredevil and Reindeer Games.
- Patrick Sauriol
Ben Affleck’s The Town is an exciting, heart stopping thrill ride that will amaze you minute after minute. Now that is a lot of hyperbole to start off a review but that much had to be said. Now that that’s out of the way, The Town is a gritty look inside a small working class neighborhood in Boston. It’s also a great effort from an actor turned director in Ben Affleck that is the real deal. To me, Affleck can now be considered a good actor/director with the likes of George Clooney, Clint Eastwood and Sydney Pollack. The Town is more than solid, it’s highly exceptional with wonderful performances from Rebecca Hall, Jon Hamm and Jeremy Renner.
Starting off with high energy, The Town follows four men dressed in black cloaks and skull masks putting together the final touches of a bank heist. Doug MacRay »
- Rudie Obias
Amanda White, a producer on Casey Affleck's documentary "I'm Still Here: The Lost Year of Joaquin Phoenix," has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court, according to THR, Esq. She cites claims of lurid sexual harassment and a denial of her producing fee after she refused to spend the night with Affleck in a hotel room.
"On one occasion, Affleck instructed a crew member to take off his pants in order to show [White] his penis, even after [White] objected," the complaint alleges. "Affleck repeatedly referred to women as 'cows;' he discussed his sexual exploits and those of other celebrities that he allegedly witnessed; and asked [White], after learning her age, 'Isn't it about time you get pregnant?'" White previously worked with Casey Affleck's brother Ben Affleck when she was an assistant on "Good Will Hunting" and "Reindeer Games"
This is the third sexual harassment case in recent months. »
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Ben Affleck’s directorial follow-up to his impressive 2007 thriller “Gone, Baby, Gone” is called “The Town.” Warner will release it in theaters on Sept. 17, but a full-length trailer has been posted online. Many of you will see it attached to Christopher Nolan’s “Inception,” in theaters today. You also can check it out here.
Like “Baby,” Affleck’s “Town” is set in the decrepit neighborhood’s of the actor-director’s beloved Boston — specifically the downtrodden Charlestown area. Affleck plays a criminal who decides he wants out of the life after he falls for a woman his team has victimized (Rebecca Hall). Walking away isn’t so easy, though. It never is. Standing in his way is former partner in crime Jeremy Renner, as well as “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm as the police officer desperate to bring Affleck’s crew to justice.
Affleck is a curious cat. »
- Sean O'Connell
There’s a bigger mystery plaguing the town of Woodsboro than who’s behind the ghostface mask in Scream 4 - it’s the case of the disappearing cast.
First Lake Bell jumped ship and yesterday we learned that Lauren Graham is out as well. Both actresses cited scheduling conflicts as the reason for their departures but Zap2it is suggesting there’s more to the story.
Apparently Ehren Kruger has been doing on-set rewrites of Kevin Williamson’s script. Kruger’s credits include the American remake of The Ring, Reindeer Games, The Skeleton Key, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and the upcoming Transformers 3. However, fans of the Scream franchise may remember him best as the guy who ruined Scream 3. Kruger was brought on board that film when Williamson became too busy with other obligations and…
- Christopher Schrader
Several of you defended John Hughes against my calumnious scribblings. I responded down in the comment thread, where some of you may not have seen it:
"Look, it's just a matter of taste. For all John Hughes lovers out there – I bear him no malice at all. I do regret the factual error. I enjoyed some of his movies, but I wouldn't call them great. I can think of several directors I'd sooner have seen tributes to. Let's say John Frankenheimer for one. But whatever. We all have our opinions on these things."
In fact, if you asked me what I thought was the single greatest film scene of all time, I would say immediately and passionately: the Sinatra dream scene, »
- Michael Tomasky
The passage of time has done brilliant things for Ben Affleck’s career. While he was once making horrid films like Reindeer Games and Paycheck, now he’s directing his own films like the brilliant Gone Baby Gone. Lines of age have carved themselves into his face, giving him a gravitas he lacked before — a gravitas he shows off in this new teaser trailer for The Company Men.
While I had never heard of the film — which premieres at Sundance this year — before today, a quick glimpse of the teaser makes me want to see it immediately. Played without dialogue, John Wells’ film about the survival of a small band of company executives during the downsizing of their company plays like Up in the Air from the perspective of all those gloomy talking heads.
- John Cooper
12 items from 2010
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