8 items from 2015
What is it about "Clue"? Thirty years after the kooky non-hit murder mystery left theaters (along with its three original endings), it's become as much of a cult phenomenon as "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," Tim Curry's other mansion romp with a delirious lineup of characters. Don't believe me? Until Paramount stepped in to protest, La's NuArt Theatre conducted "shadow cast" screenings of "Clue" featuring costumed cast imitators who mimed the movie in front of the projection. That's a next-level tribute. Based on the Parker Brothers board game, "Clue" is a whodunit in a very traditional sense. It is literally a dark and stormy night, there is literally a butler who might've done it, and there are Agatha Christie-type explanations for the homicides at the end of the movie. So why is it beloved? That answer, unlike the culprit of the movie's seven murders, reveals itself quickly: "Clue »
- Louis Virtel
Excuse us if we go out on a limb here, but something tells us the collective brain trust at The Academy is glad this awards season has mercifully come to an end. After an incredibly diverse 86th Academy Awards ceremony, where "12 Years a Slave" took Best Picture, a Mexican filmmaker won Best Director, Lupita Nyong'o earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and John Ridley won Best Adapted Screenplay, the Oscars appeared to take a step back in 2015. It wasn't just that "Selma" was snubbed in a number of major categories. The #OscarsSoWhite hashtag became a historical footnote that will haunt the Academy for years (and, trust, it will be back again if the public wills it). But it had more to do with all white nominees in the acting categories than just "Selma" itself. This also brought to light that it was yet another year without a female nominee in the Best Director category, »
- Gregory Ellwood
Manuel here. The Costume Design Guild has announced that they’ll be celebrating Naomi Watts with the Lacoste Spotlight Award when they announce winners for their film, TV and commercial awards on February 17th. While they bill the award as honoring an “actor whose talent and career personifies an enduring commitment to excellence, including a special awareness of the role and importance of costume design,” their choices so far (previous recipients include Anne Hathaway, Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry and Emily Blunt) have yet to really reflect the award, no? Whither Keira, Nicole, Tilda or heck, even Colin Firth? The man can wear a sweater (among other things), you know.
Anyways, we should really focus on the positive and be thankful Watts was able to bounce back so quickly from that horrible triple-whammy of Movie 43, Adore and Diana. Let's just hope she can keep up the momentum going. And so »
- Manuel Betancourt
American Sniper grossed $107.3 million in its first four days of wide release this past weekend and on top of breaking January box office records and in only a few days becoming the highest grossing of all the Best Picture nominees, it has also become the latest film to have its nits picked. Controversy is swirling as to whether or not the film's subject, Chris Kyle, is actually a heroc Is the film to "rah rah"c Is the "real" Chris Kyle at all similar to the character portrayed by Bradley Cooperc And on and on... However, one topic concerning the film I find somewhat hilarious and I'm glad people are bringing it up is the fake baby used in the feature. I'm glad because during my screening of the film when the scene below played I leaned over to the person next to me and said, "I think that's a fake baby. »
- Brad Brevet
American Sniper was expected to do well this weekend after an impressive limited release, but not this well: The Clint Eastwood-directed war film took in an estimated $90.2 million—and broke a few records. The Oscar-nominated film set a new record for a January opening by taking in $30.5 million on Friday, breaking the mark set by Cloverfield ($17.2 million on Jan. 18, 2008). January is a notoriously slow month at the box office, so Sniper‘s debut is particularly eye-opening. American Sniper also took a couple records from James Cameron's Avatar, which previously held the records for biggest January weekend performance (it »
- Ariana Bacle
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
My first thought was: “This isn’t a movie. It’s a eulogy.” I meant it, in my head, metaphorically: American Sniper felt like sitting through a story told at a funeral during which the poor sap of a cousin who got roped into the job is trying to dance around the fact that the deceased was kind of jerk by deploying a bunch of clichéd claptrap about warm cozy mundane things that no one could possibly be crass enough to object to, not at a funeral, fer cripes’ sake. “He liked a good beer. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Taken franchise ended on a high note this weekend, as the third and final entry opened in first place with an excellent $39.2 million. Civil rights drama Selma got off to a slow start, while Inherent Vice opened well below writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master.The Top 12 earned $110.2 million this weekend, which is off 10 percent from the same frame last year. Taken 3's $39.2 million debut is off 21 percent from Taken 2's $49 million start; when considering how poorly that movie was received, that's actually a really good hold. It's well above star Liam Neeson's Non-Stop ($28.9 million), and is also a bit higher than Lone Survivor, which opened to $37.8 million on this same weekend last year. In fact, Taken 3 wound up with the third-highest January opening ever behind last year's Ride Along and 2008's Cloverfield.Fox is reporting that the audience was 54 percent male and »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
In its first international showing, Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” opened solidly in Italy on New Year’s Day with $1.6 million at 425 screens — the biggest launch ever of an Eastwood film in that market.
“American Sniper,” starring Bradley Cooper, has performed impressively in the U.S. with $1.55 million at four theaters in eight days, setting a Christmas Day record for an opening on less than 10 screens. The studio will expand the film in the U.S. on Jan. 16, the day after Oscar nominations are announced.
“American Sniper” will also launch in the U.K. on Jan. 16. It will open in France on Feb. 18, Spain on Feb. 20, Japan on Feb. 21, Australia on Feb. 22 and Germany on Feb. 26.
- Dave McNary
8 items from 2015
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