Archive for Movies

Star-studded Valentine’s Day!

Posted in Movies with tags on September 21, 2009 by funofmovie

Valentine’s Day, directed by Pretty Woman helmer Garry Marshall, is a real star-studded premiere. From to , from Twilight hottie to and (reportedly) Joe Jonas from , this is gonna be a hot February 12 premiere, guys!


Valentine’s Day is a compilation of 10 slightly interconnected stories of make-up and break-up on Valentine’ s Day and how people handle the burden and pressure the holiday brings along.

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Mamma Mia! Breaks Titanic Record

Posted in Movies with tags , , on December 18, 2008 by funofmovie

Move over Titanic, the dancing queens from Mamma Mia! are taking over. Mamma Mia! has officially become the biggest box office hit in the UK, heating out Leo and Kate’s hit movie ‘Titanic’.

mamma mia
The movie, starring Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried, has taken in 69.05 million pounds ($106.75 million) since its premiere on July 18. Titanic previously held the record with 69.03 million pounds, or $106.66 million.

Universal Pictures International president David Kosse explains to the Telegraph why the musical was such a success,

“‘Mamma Mia!’ is pure escapism, proving a fun and inexpensive way to forget about the state of the economy for a couple of hours.”

For Mamma Mia! to make history in this way and beat Titanic, which has held the record in the U.K. since 1998, is truly phenomenal. This film has exceeded our expectations and delighted audiences around the world since it opened in July.”

Trailer for ‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ Released

Posted in Cartoon news, Movies with tags , on November 5, 2008 by funofmovie

Reese Witherspoon, Seth Rogen, Kiefer Sutherland and Stephen Colbert all provided their voices to DreamWorks Animation’s new 3D flick, Monsters vs. Aliens, and now the trailer is available online.

monstersvsaliensMonsters vs. Aliens hits theatres on March 27, 2009.

DreamWorks Animation hit gold this past summer with Kung Fu Panda, which grossed a staggering $633 million worldwide.

Balast movie by Lance Hammer

Posted in Movies with tags , on October 1, 2008 by funofmovie

Indie film’s ultra-realist overdose

Director: Lance Hammer
Writer: Lance Hammer
Genre: Drama

Starring:      Johnny McPhail

Running Time:     1 hr. 36 min.
Release Date:     October 1st, 2008 (limited)
Distributors:     Alluvial Film Company
Lance Hammer’s film “Ballast,” a critical favorite earlier this year at Sundance, begins with a remarkable shot, one of those shots that stick with you long after the rest of the movie has become a jumbled memory. A boy or young man in a down coat, seen from the rear, walks through the weeds into a flat, horizontal field, probably one where corn or cotton or soybeans are grown. From the coat and the light and the empty field, it appears to be winter, although part of the seductive power of “Ballast” is that elemental questions like where and when go unanswered. As the boy advances, a flock of scavenging birds — likely a murder of crows — explodes out of the field, and this almost painterly composition abruptly becomes a chaotic whirlwind.
It’s a heavily symbolic, “auteurist” image, one that seeks to present the film’s story in a single allegorical vision and also to suggest that the film’s characters have a close relationship to the natural landscape. (Closer, that is, than you and I.) “Ballast” was shot on 35 mm film using only natural light, specifically the winter light of the rural American South, a courageous and unlikely thing for a low-budget debut director to do in the age of hand-held video. Hammer and cinematographer Lol Crawley get breathtaking wide-screen results, in this opening scene and many others. But when I say that I’m never sure what “Ballast” is about, from beginning to end, I mean that I suspect that the film’s ambitious form and style are its true subject, and that its poor, African-American characters are themselves elements of that form, or colorful accessories to it.

Let’s back up for a second here, before I get involved in issuing some complicated indictment I may regret. My job in this column (as I see it) is to call attention to movies you might otherwise miss, worthwhile and provocative works likely to get minimal publicity and minimal distribution. “Ballast” is clearly one of the signal accomplishments of American independent film in 2008, and Hammer (previously a visual-effects designer on Hollywood films, including, amazingly enough, the execrable “Batman & Robin”) has embarked on a noble if quixotic mission to self-distribute it after retrieving the rights from IFC. As he correctly observed, his peculiar little film was likely to get lost amid that company’s crowded roster of Amerindies and imports. So now he’s trying to persuade strangers to see an unsummarizable, slow-moving picture about poor black people in the middle of the worst recession anyone can remember. It’s a haunting and beautiful experience and if you get the chance you shouldn’t miss it; whether you like “Ballast” or not, it’ll make an impression on you. Have we cleared that up?

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Finally, some good movies!

Posted in Movies with tags on September 28, 2008 by funofmovie

That’s amazing how life can turn everything its own way. Just like in these two movies opening today. Both of them tell us about two people who find themselves in new circumstances. They both have their own stories and their own reasons to escape, but life or destiny, whatever you call it, brings them together and helps them find answers. The only term to follow is they must stick together to change their lives for good. And find what they’re looking for, of course.

Eagle Eye starring , , , and is a thriller about two strangers thrown together by a strange call from a woman they have never met. Jerry Shaw (LaBeouf) has just lost his twin brother and Rachel Holloman (Monaghan) is a single mom, so they suddenly find out they’re fitted up as terrorists, and are threatened into becoming members of a group aiming to assassinate a politician. They must stick together to find out what’s really happening and why they’re involved.

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‘Solace’ Gets New Release Date

Posted in Movies with tags on August 21, 2008 by funofmovie

In an official news release sent out this afternoon, Columbia Pictures and MGM revealed that the North American release date for the 22nd James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, is being moved back one week to November 14.

Quantum of Solace is a seamless continuation of the storyline that began with the last film. We believe November 14th is a great date that allows us to play straight through Thanksgiving and right into Christmas. The Bond films have a long history of entertaining audiences in this holiday corridor going back to Goldeneye in 1995. The studio enjoyed tremendous success opening Casino Royale in North America on November 17, 2006, and we believe this decision will give the public a wider opportunity to see the film over the holiday,” said Jeff Blake, Chairman of Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for the Columbia Tristar Motion Picture Group, in the release.

The latest installment of the Bond franchise is directed by Marc Forster, whose varied career includes Monster’s Ball, Stay and Stranger Than Fiction.

While Amy Winehouse was attached at one point to sing a new theme song for the film, she was ultimately replaced by the duo of Jack White and Alicia Keys.

This will be the second time that Daniel Craig fills Bond’s shoes. The actor took over for Pierce Brosnan in 2006’s Casino Royale, which grossed a staggering $588 million worldwide.

As confirmed by the release, moving Solace is a response to the decision Warner Bros. recently made to move Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from November 21st to July 2009. Two other films, Disney’s Bolt and Summit’s Twilight, jumped into the position left open by Half-Blood Prince.

Second Opinion: Batman Begins (2004)

Posted in Movies with tags on July 19, 2008 by funofmovie

Spoilers below for Batman Begins and The Prestige.

For some reason, seeing Batman Begins after a couple of go-rounds with The Prestige — which actually works as a sort of companion piece — made a huge difference in how I read it. For one thing, the complexity and intensity of the characters in The Prestige, and that film’s signature idea of recursive psychological torture and physical self-sacrifice, worked as a new angle for my approach to the earlier movie. The Prestige reaches its climax only after magician Robert Angier’s quest for vengeance — which would come, for him, in the guise of a perfect illusion — culminates in the creation of a potentially endless series of doubles, each of which is drowned, night upon night, in a chilling act of self-flagellation. Once the first, magical, bifurcation occurs, it becomes impossible to say in a meaningful or definitive way which version of Angier is real, and which one is the copy — if, after the first duplicate has been made, that distinction has any meaning at all. Angier reaches the terminus of his journey, and finally works some real magic. But only at heinous cost.

Daily Box Office Analysis for June 23, 2008

Posted in Movies with tags , on June 25, 2008 by funofmovie

This week begins with a whimper as Monday box office results reveal that last week was better. Despite two new debuts from high profile actors, top 10 box office had combined receipts of $17,716,720, down 14% from last Monday’s $20,586,002. There are two reasons for this. The first is that this week’s openers are not as strong as last week’s openers. And the second is that last week’s openers are dying faster than Dane Cook’s career.

Get Smart finished in first place for the fourth consecutive day and, barring something unforeseen, will keep this streak alive until it falls to third place on Friday. The Steve Carell comedy earned $5,119,453 yesterday, which is a total representative of 85% of The Incredible Hulk‘s business last Monday, $6,010,045. I say this as a point of reference for making the statement that Get Smart had a much better first weekday than Hulk. The explanation is that the spy spoof earned only 70% of the weekend box office of its comic book counterpart. Closing the gap this much percentage-wise is not wholly unexpected given Hulk’s now-proven lousy legs, but it’s one of only three true positives in yesterday’s top ten.

To my surprise, one of the other positives is The Love Guru, the Mike Myers comedy rejected by North America en masse. The film follows up on a dreadful $13.9 million opening weekend with $2,649,125. This may not sound like much, but it is representative of 19.1% of its initial three-day total. For comparison’s sake, Get Smart is at “only” 13.2% of its weekend number, a performance we have already described as good. Now, I want to stress that it’s a trick of box office mathematics for smaller films to have better hold-over in terms of percentage declines, as has been discussed on the site many times. A $40 million opener is not the same as a $100 million opener in this manner nor is it the same as a $14 million opener. There is a tiering system at work, but even allowing for this, a 19.1% holdover on Monday is strong for almost any title. I hate Myers as much as the rest of you do, but this is a positive after a week of negative press for him. Of course, it’s also far too little, far too late.

The final positive in the top ten is the impressive staying power of Kung Fu Panda. After falling only 34.2% in its second Monday last week, the title performs even stronger at the start of week three. A decline of only 27.2% gives it a running total of $158,861,401. It should be around $169 million by the weekend, meaning it has switched from a possibility to beat Madagascar to a strong likelihood. And, on a personal note, I highly recommend the movie to all of you, particularly the readers who are also parents.

In terms of last week’s openers, we chronicled their plight all of last week. The data points all added up to hefty weekend declines, and the prophecy was fulfilled when The Incredible Hulk fell a stiff 60% and The Happening fell off a cliff with a 66% drop. Both films continued their disappearing acts with Monday box office. Hulk dropped 56% to $2,649,125, mirroring its Ang Lee predecessor. That title fell 60% on its second Monday to $2.461 million. In terms of where both films were at after the same time frame, 11 days, The Hulk was at $103.1 million while The Incredible Hulk stands at $99,704,555. If we account for box office inflation, 2003 Hulk is 22% ahead of 2008 Hulk in terms of actual tickets sold.

Daily Box Office for Monday, June 23, 2008
Rank Film Distributor Daily Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Get Smart Warner Bros. $5,119,453 New $43,802,933
2 Kung Fu Panda DreamWorks $3,030,526 – 27.2% $158,861,401
3 The Incredible Hulk Universal Pictures, Marvel Studios $2,649,125 – 55.9% $99,704,555
4 The Love Guru Paramount $1,789,785 New $15,696,915
5 The Happening Twentieth Century Fox $1,297,044 – 58.6% $52,046,539
6 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Paramount $1,027,200 – 31.2% $291,988,244
7 You Don’t Mess With the Zohan Sony/Columbia $1,011,662 – 54.1% $85,320,080
8 Sex and the City New Line Cinema $931,268 – 39.1% $133,384,037
9 Iron Man Paramount $552,947 – 23.3% $305,369,088
10 The Strangers Focus Features $307,710 – 52.7% $50,067,445
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations

Top 5: Chicks Kissing Scenes

Posted in Movies with tags , , on June 7, 2008 by funofmovie

Number 5
Gia ( 1998 )

Angelina Jolie & Elizabeth Mitchell

Gia is an HBO film that documented the rise and fall of Gia Carangi, one of America’s first supermodels. Angelina Jolie plays the voluptuous Gia, a tough and reckless woman from Philly who ventures to New York, willing to do whatever it takes to rise to the top of the modeling industry. It’s during her rise that Gia meets Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell), and the depiction of their steamy relationship is full of taut skin, luscious lips and licking tongues. Sadly, Gia also spent a fair bit of time shooting heroin, from which she contracted HIV and died by the time she was 26.

Number 4

The Hunger (1983)
Susan Sarandon & Catherine Deneuve

The Hunger is actually something of a horror flick based on the bizarre love triangle that emerges between a doctor (Susan Sarandon) and a chic vampire couple (David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve). Bowie’s character is John, who visits the doctor when he begins an accelerated aging process. The good doctor, intrigued by her patient’s unique symptoms, decides to visit John at his home where she is greeted by Myriam (Deneuve). Naturally, Myriam hungers for Dr. Sarah Roberts’ healthy blood. After a martini, a little small talk and some elegant shots of the two women, Sarandon wets her thin white T-shirt when she spills her drink over her breast, leading erotically to tender kisses on the good doctor’s lips and then all over her goose-bumped body. Finally, when the fatal bite comes, it is just as tender, as blood drips from Deneuve’s lips and appetizingly down Sarandon’s leg.

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June 2008 Cinema Releases JUNE 6

Posted in Movie releases with tags , on May 25, 2008 by funofmovie

JUNE 6, 2008

KUNG FU PANDA – Starring Jack Black and Angelina Jolie
MISS CONCEPTION – Starring Heather Graham and Mia Kirshner
THE PROMOTION – Starring Seann William Scott and John C Reilly
YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN – Starring Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider