Dec 27, 2015

WIWTW #27

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • So which actor is the best bang for your buck in Hollywood these days? At the moment, that honour goes to Chris Evans of Captain America. Amazingly enough, 4 of the top 11 actors are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which goes to show just how profitable the franchise is. @Forbes
  • Box office report: Star Wars: The Force Awakens has already passed $1 billion worldwide with $544.6 million of that being generated domestically. We're only on weekend #2 people and already it's pretty much guaranteed that it'll pass Avatar as the highest grossing movie of all time. We'll see. Besides Star Wars, the Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell comedy Daddy's Home managed a strong $38.8 million, followed by David O. Russell's Joy which grossed $17.5 million. Kind of/sort of bomb of the week? That would be Concussion which with $11 million now represents Will Smith's lowest opening for a movie he stars in. It's $35 million price tag will most likely save it from being a loss. The true bomb of the weekend? The Point Break remake deserves that title since it only managed a meager $10.2 million on a budget of $100 million.
  • A lot of digital ink has already been spilled regarding the under-representation of women in Hollywood, but the same can be said when it comes to film criticism. Where are all the female critics? @The Atlantic
  • In cute Christmas story news; the astronauts on the International Space Station received Ridley Scott's The Martian as a Christmas gift. @USA Today
  • Let's leave it at that for news since I'd like to go back to lazing around on the sofa in my PJ's. Hope everyone had a merry Christmas.
Video of the week: Cool little video detailing the work being done at Criterion Collection.

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Number of movies watched: 11

Average rating: 6.18
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Dec 20, 2015

WIWTW #26

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Disney is protecting itself by investing in YOUR childhood. Or at least that's what's being said in this article: @The Economist
  • Box office report: You'll probably need to think long and hard in order to guess what movie came out on top at the box office this weekend. Well, only if you weren't aware that a new Star Wars movie came out somehow. So how much did Star Wars: The Force Awakens earn? A cool $238 million is all. While that's a bit lower than some of the projections that were out there, Disney and J.J. Abrams managed to beat Jurassic World's opening weekend of $208.8 pretty handily. Globally, we're talking $517 million which is actually lower than the $525 JW managed. That's without China though which will have to wait until January before being able to see Kylo Ren and the gang. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Sisters also opened this weekend to the tune of $14.4 million and $13.4 million respectively which honestly isn't that bad going up against that Star Wars juggernaut.
  • Star Wars is everywhere, so it only makes sense that the presidency gets involved too. @ComicBook
  • Not too sure what the future holds for Studio Ghibli, but they have a new movie that will be coming out in Japan next September. Definitely a little weird seeing two Euros handling directing and writing duties though. @Rebooti
  • What's the most mistake-filled movie of the year? That "honour" goes to Furious 7 with a total of 41 goofs. You can see the rest of the list here: @NME
  • Katherine Waterson has officially landed. Claiming the female lead in Ridley Scott's upcoming Alien: Covenant, it's left me wondering what's going to happen to Noomi Rapace's Elizabeth Shaw and her story. Oh well. @Collider
  • The prestigious American Film Institute has come announced their top 10 movies of the year. As long as you don't live under a rock, you can probably guess a couple of them. @The Hollywood Reporter
Video of the week: YuGiOh! is still alive these days?

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Number of movies watched: 9

Average rating: 5.39
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Dec 13, 2015

WIWTW #25

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • For those disappointed by the lack of Xenomorphs in Prometheus, no need to worry. Ridley Scott has confirmed that the mythic sci-fi monster will make an appearance in his upcoming Alien: Covenant. Oh yeah, Noomi Rapace and Michael Fassbender will be back too. @Flickering Myth
  • Box office report: Is the Star Wars: The Force Awakens-effect already been felt at the box office? It's definitely possible as Ron Howard's newest film In the Heart of the Sea belly flopped with a measly $11 million despite playing at a huge 3,103 theatres. Movie-goers could very well be holding onto their money for what will no doubt be one of the biggest movie launches of all time. Meanwhile, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 barely held onto the number one spot with $11.3 million and is close to hitting $250 million domestically. Not much else of interest as this weekend is totally the calm before the storm if I ever saw one. 
  • Here's an article about what The Good Dinosaur flopping means for Pixar/Disney. I guess we can all say hello to Cars 3 and a whole lot of Mater. @Cartoon Brew
  • I'm not usually too big into internet lists, but this one is totally worth the read: "The 30 Harshest Filmmaker-on-Filmmaker Insults in History." @Flavorwire
  • Marvel continues to try and get every actor in Hollywood into their superhero movies and this time they came up with Cate Blanchett who will be in Thor: Ragnarok@The Hollywood Reporter
  • The film studio that brought us The Transporter, Taken and Lucy just signed a distribution deal with Amazon. No doubt that those Amazon Prime users will be seeing a lot more Luc Besson mid-budgeted action movies than they used to. @Variety
  • Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, David O. Russell, Danny Boyle, Tom Hooper and Alejandro G. Inarritu got together for a little chat with @The Hollywood Reporter
Video of the week: I seriously love these kinds of videos:

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 4
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Dec 6, 2015

WIWTW #24

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • You can never go wrong with Bill Murray and Wes Anderson. Makes you wonder how many messages Wes had to leave on Bill's voicemail to finally get him to accept. @IndieWire
  • Box office report: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 unsurprisingly finished at the top of the heap with $18.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $227.1 million. That's alright, but don't look for it to beat any of its predecessors. Second place went to newcomer Krampus with an impressive $16 million. With a budget of only $15 million, it has already broken even. Meanwhile, Creed rode the wave of positive word-of-mouth to a $15.5 million second weekend and The Good Dinosaur finished with the same amount as well. That's bad news for TGD since Pixar/Disney movies usually have longer shelf lives in theatres than this.
  • George Lucas has apparently seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens which must have been a pretty surreal experience for him. Did he like it? Well, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy later said "he really liked it." That it? @The Hollywood Reporter
  • I'm definitely pretty intrigued with James Franco's upcoming The Disaster Artist which is going to be a film about the making-of the extremely terrible/wonderfully terrific cult film The Room. Anyway, Josh Hutcherson just joined the cast. @The Hollywood Reporter
  • After experiencing the bad taste that was left in my mouth from Oldboy (2013), I'm really hoping that Chi-Raq will redeem Spike Lee. Certainly looks like that could be the case. Anyway, here's an interesting piece on it: @Vulture
  • Here's the bizarre tale that is the making of sci-fi short film Captain EO which starred Michael Jackson and Anjelica Huston. Oh yeah, it was directed by Francis Ford Coppola too. @Yahoo Movies
  • What do North Korea and Wes Anderson have in common? Maybe more than you'd think. @Visual News
Video of the week: You know the cool-looking Krampus movie that's out in theatres right now as we speak? Well here's the version that you should avoid like the plague. I'll probably watch it one of these days though...


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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 5.57
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Dec 2, 2015

A Bride for Christmas (2012)


It's December people and you know what that means? Snow, ice skating, Christmas trees and more! Why, it's finally time get all those lights, wreaths and ornaments out of storage. Don't forget to dust off that giant inflatable Santa Claus for the front lawn too. It's also time to lose what little common sense we have in public when there is money to be saved on unnecessary household goods. Best of all though, it's time to veg out on the couch with a mug of candy cane-flavoured hot chocolate while endless feel-good TV Christmas movies are playing on the tube.

Watching TV Christmas movies from the likes of Hallmark and Lifetime has been a yearly pastime for me for a couple years now. They're cheesy, unoriginal, melodramatic, and sickeningly idealistic, but man are they entertaining. You just can't help but be impressed with the recipes that Hallmark and Lifetime have come up with. Combining B to C-level stars with familiar rom-com tropes and a slew of other possible elements, it's no wonder that you end up with what resembles that half-eaten panettone you forgot about in the pantry a couple of months after New Year's. Let me tell you, I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.

Nov 29, 2015

WIWTW #23

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • I guess that you can count Ridley Scott as a big Michael Fassbender fan since he decided that he wants the actor in two roles for the upcoming Alien: Covenant. More David? @ScreenDaily
  • Box office report: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 had a pretty strong second weekend, finishing up at $75.8 million which is sure to have Lionsgate at least considering more sequels or even some spin-offs. Pixar's The Good Dinosaur came in at #2 with a $56 million haul. While that's not a bad number, it's not the kind of sterling result that Pixar usually gets. For a movie that had a pretty troubled production, parent company Disney is sure to be disappointed. The big news here is Creed which surprised most analysts by punching above its weight. With an American Thanksgiving take of $42.6 million, it's the kind of victory lap that Rocky Balboa deserves. @Variety
  • Looks like director David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence are going to continue their seemingly endless domination of Award Season talk. @GoldDerby
  • Leonardo DiCaprio is also (unsurprisingly) looking like a very strong contender for Best Actor due to his turn in Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant@Vulture
  • Bond 25 is to start pre-production this spring. Sam Mendes who directed the last two Bonds is apparently not returning but the door remains open for Daniel Craig who last said that he'd rather "slash my wrists" than play another James Bond again. So is that a yes? @Flickering Myth
  • Czech movie pirate Jakub F. went forward with a deal that got him out of paying any damages by producing an anti-piracy film of all things. The terms of the deal included getting at least 200,000 views on YouTube which lucky for Jakub has already happened. @BBC
  • Are you a Star Wars fan? Do you use Chrome as your internet browser? Well then maybe you'd like an anti-Star Wars spoiler browser extension which you can read about here: @Independent
Video of the week: So The Revenant looks pretty brutal...

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Number of movies watched: 11

Average rating: 5.55
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Nov 22, 2015

WIWTW #22

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Ian McKellen opens up like never before and has some pretty interesting things to say about the movies he's worked on and the people he's worked with. What a guy. @The Guardian
  • Box office report: You'd think that Lionsgate would be pleased with The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay - Part 2 winning the weekend with a $101 million weekend right? Normally that would be a great, but it isn't so great when it happens to be the lowest opening film of the franchise. Every Hunger Games movie after the first one has earned less than the one that came before it which probably means we're not going to be getting any Hunger Games sequels or spinoffs which is fine by me. Spectre added $14.5 million to its domestic take and The Peanuts Movie added $12.8 million. The Seth Rogan-led Night Before only managed to earn $10 million on the weekend, but will most likely be OK given that it's a holiday film and has all of December to reap the benefits of that. @The Hollywood Reporter
  • An interesting look at how movie theatres are inviting professional athletes to come out and see movies on the big screen in order to help generate a little buzz. @The New York Times
  • A few words from Nia Vardalos about My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, otherwise known as Unnecessary Sequel #125678. @Greek Reporter
  • So what are Paramount and toymaker Hasbro up to these days? Besides signing off on more Transformers movies, another G.I. Joe movie and a Micronauts movie? Beats me. @Variety
  • Peter Jackson comes clean about the very troubled and rushed production of The Hobbit trilogy. @A.V. Club
Video of the week: Here's the trailer for 100 Years which will only be released in 2115. No, that's not a typo.


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Number of movies watched: 9

Average rating: 6.39
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Nov 15, 2015

WIWTW #21

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Ridley Scott regrets having ever let the Alien series "get away" from him. I regret it too Ridley, if that makes you feel any better. @Terror Time
  • Box office report: Was there any doubt that Spectre wouldn't be #1 once again this week? Didn't think so. With a 49% drop compared to last weekend, it added a nice $35.4 million to its gross which it'll need to offset that massive $250 million budget. Product placement can only go so far. The Peanuts Movie did good business again as well with $24.2 million over the weekend. On the other hand, By the Sea put together a paltry $95,440 from 10 screens which puts it at a $9,544 per-screen average. You'd think that the star power of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie could do more damage than that, but you'd be wrong. Those numbers certainly don't bode well for a sizable wide-release. @Variety
  • Continuing along with Alien, right now it's looking like the title for Ridley Scott's next Prometheus/Alien movie is going to be Alien: Covenent as opposed to the earlier Alien: Paradise Lost. Could be called Alien: Genysis for all I care. I just want an Alien movie that's good. @IGN
  • Danny Boyle is not a fan of how Universal decided to distribute his movie Steve Jobs in the least. Despite some pretty good buzz early on during its limited release, it's looking less and less like it'll be a major player come Award Season. @The Hollywood Reporter
  • Here's on awesome piece on Max von Sydow who now at 87 years old with Game of Thrones and Star Wars: The Force Awakens under his belt is poised to become a cultural icon despite an already incredible film career. @The Atlantic
  • The Oscars continue to warp the genres of competing films as well as the fabric of time and space. The Martian as a comedy? Please. @Los Angeles Times
  • Calls about whitewashing in Hollywood isn't going anywhere and Gods of Egypt is now the new target. If you'd forgotten all about it, Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings was the last movie to be singled out for lacking in the diversity department. @The Guardian
Video of the week: Donnie Yen is back. Here is the trailer.


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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 6.06
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Nov 8, 2015

WIWTW #20

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Amazon made a pretty major move into becoming a significant player in the movie industry by snagging the distribution rights for Nicolas Winding Refn's Neon Demon. It'll be out next summer and no doubt will make an appearance on Amazon Prime. @Digital Spy
  • Box office report: After weeks of bombs, I guess everybody was just saving their money to go see Spectre this weekend. With a massive $73 million from 3,929 theatres, that's unfortunately less than the $88 million that Skyfall opened to back in November of 2012. Still, money is money and one can certainly expect that it should hit $1 billion globally by the end of its run. Family targeted The Peanuts Movie did quite well for itself too with a cool $45 million. Made by the same studio responsible for Ice Age, I guess that probably means The Peanuts Movie 2 shouldn't be too far on the horizon. @Variety
  • Will Warcraft finally be the movie that puts video game movies on the right path towards respectability? Maybe. Director Duncan Jones sure seems to think so. @The Guardian
  • Apparently, books can be adapted into films before they're even published. That's the story with Zoe Quinn's "Gamergate" memoir that's coming out this September anyway. @Deadline
  • Here's Richard Linklater with some pretty interesting things to say about the future of film distribution. He's no Tarantino, that's for sure. @Indiewire
  • Video game giant Activision Blizzard just launched a film and television production arm that they'll no doubt use to develop their many properties such as Warcraft, Call of Duty and more. Honestly looks like video game will be the new superheroes. @Variety
  • Speaking of which, a movie based on The Witcher video game series will apparently hit theatres in 2017. This one's a little different though since the source material for the games is based on a series of fantasy books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. @GameSpot
Video of the week: Video game is the word, so here's the trailer for Warcraft.

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 7.12
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Nov 1, 2015

WIWTW #19

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • So it certainly looks like Indiana Jones 5 is a sure thing. This came direct from Steven Spielberg himself during a Harrison Ford tribute at the Britannia Awards. Let's just hope it's alien-less this time. @Deadline
  • Box office report: Another weekend, another batch of box office bombs. This week we find Our Brand is Crisis and Burnt ending up with nothing but egg on their faces. The star power of Sandra Bullock and Bradley Cooper just wasn't enough to convince adult film goers to go to the movies this weekend, ending up with $3.4 million and $5 million respectively over the weekend. So once again, The Martian is on top of the heap with $11.4 million, followed by Goosebumps at $9.8 million and Bridge of Spies with $8.1 million. At this rate, The Martian should become Ridley Scott's #1 domestic grosser once it passes the $187 million of Gladiator@Variety
  • Seriously love this take on Halloween's Michael Myers, my favourite of all slasher characters. It also explains why the Michael Myers in Rob Zombie's remake is just way less scary to me. @The Andrew Blog
  • The ultimate Jar-Jar Binks fan theory is a must read for all Jar Jar/Star Wars fans out there. I know you're out there. @Wired
  • Although it isn't a perfect website by any means, reaching 25 years is a big achievement for IMDb. As one of my go-to movie sites, here's to 25 more. @Venture Beat
  • Hope Quentin Tarantino never has to call the cops in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Houston or Philadelphia. I get the feeling that he doesn't have many friends there. @The Hollywood Reporter
  • Billy Bob Thornton is coming back for Bad Santa 2. Hard to believe that the original is 12 years old now. @Variety
Video of the week: As a goodbye to October, here's the trailer for Halloween III: Season of the Witch (1982)


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Number of movies watched: 11

Average rating: 6.05
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Oct 25, 2015

WIWTW #18

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Alejandro G. Inarritu came forward to defend his upcoming film The Revenant for having ballooned up from its initial budget estimates as well as his decision to shoot it chronologically. New Regency CEO and president Brad Weston has also said that "Every single creative decision he’s [Inarritu] made has made the film better. … Great directors make great movies. Executives don’t" Who couldn't agree with that? @The Hollywood Reporter
  • Box office report: It was not a fun weekend if you were a new release this week. Taking the number one and two spots were holdovers The Martian and Goosebumps with an estimated $15.9 million and $15.5 million respectively. How about the rest of the gang? The Last Witch Hunter, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Steve Jobs, Jem and the Holograms and Rock the Kasbah did dismally to horribly at the box office and with Spectre lurking in the shadows, it's not like they have much of a chance at redemption either. @Deadline
  • Film studios like Paramount and Universal are sitting on a treasure trove of classic films that are begging to be released to the public. Will they ever do it? @Los Angeles Times
  • Uh-oh, otherwise known as the two words on every Universal executive's lips after Steve Jobs was given a wide release for this weekend, going from 60 to 2,493 theatres. Is this Apple/Steve Jobs fatigue that we're seeing? @Forbes
  • Disney is apparently looking to adapt another one of its theme park rides, Tower of Terror. In case you weren't aware, it's not like this would be their first attempt at a ToT movie. @Terror Time
  • The Star Wars: The Force Awakens marketing team put together an enormous display at the Great Wall of China that's definitely worth a look. @Daily Mail
  • Daniel Craig believes that James Bond is a misogynist and he's certainly not wrong, even if it's a character trait that isn't quite as obvious as it was during Sean Connery's turn at the character. Man talk anyone? @The Red Bulletin
Video of the week: The trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens is kind of an easy choice

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 6.69
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Oct 18, 2015

Idle Hands (1999)

I'll admit, I used to like the stoner comedy genre quite a bit. What teenage boy didn't profess to love all things related to marijuana jokes though? I guess Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was the first movie I'd have thought of if I had to come up with a modern stoner comedy on the spot, but tastes always change. Today, I'm not convinced that HaKGtWC would hold up as well as it once did for me, particularly given the fact that the sequels kind of soured the whole thing for me.

Still, there are still some very reliable stoner films out there. Is Idle Hands one of them? It definitely has a bit of a different spin given that it's a horror/comedy, but I was pretty leery about it given that Seth Green was a part of it. Could the director of Leprechaun 2 really make a good stoner comedy? It just seemed pretty doubtful. 

WIWTW #17 (XL Edition)

Yup, I was away last weekend which is why this edition of WIWTW will cover two weeks worth of movies.

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Have a hankering to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens as soon as it  comes out? Better be ready to buy your tickets online at 8:30 PM EST on Monday the 19th. That's 30 minutes after the final trailer is released. No doubt they'll be selling as fast as podracers. @io9
  • Box office report: The big winner of the weekend will most likely be 90's nostalgia champion Goosebumps which looks like it'll finish with around $25 million. Ridley Scott's The Martian will be hot on its heels with about $21 million which is pretty solid for a holdover. Meanwhile, Steven Spielberg's Bridge of Spies is looking at around $16 million and should be the kind of movie with some legs as awards season approaches. Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak is the underperformer at $13 million for the weekend. @Variety
  • Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension is going with a theatrical/early VOD release strategy that has some theatres up in arms as usual. @The Hollywood Reporter
  • Does anyone actually take Fandago movie ratings seriously? Great investigation into their shady practices regardless. @FiveThirtyEightLife 
  • An interesting look at the economics behind making sequels and their profitability: @MovieScope 
  • John Carpenter walked out of the courthouse a richer man as he won his case vs. Luc Besson and EuropaCorp. @Exclaim! 
  • Alan Tudyk (one of Hollywood's most likable guys) talks Star Wars as well as his Con Man webseries which he's co-created along with his Firefly co-star Nathan Fillion: @The Hollywood Reporter
Video of the week: The title says it all: 92 Years of Disney in 92 Seconds


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Number of movies watched: 15

Average rating: 5.83
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Oct 4, 2015

Trick 'r Treat (2007)


Some films are put through the studio wringer and there aren't many films that demonstrate that better than Trick 'r Treat. Originally due to release in October of 2007, Warner Brothers yanked it from the schedule without a single explanation as to why. It's possible that it was done in an attempt to avoid going head to head with horror jaugernaut Saw IV or even that it was done in response to the poor performance of Superman Returns. Co-written by Michael Dougherty and directed by Bryan Singer, both gentlemen were involved in Trick 'r Treat as writer/directer and producer respectively.

Sure, Trick 'r Treat got released at a couple of film festivals in 2007 and 2008, but it wasn't until October 6th of 2009 that it was finally released to the masses. Direct-to-DVD that is. That's a cruel twist of fate for a movie that has now become a cult classic to a certain extent. Not all movies get their due and even though there was very little chance that Trick 'r Treat could have hoped to compete with Saw IV in October of '07, it deserved to be shown at the megaplexes.

WIWTW #16

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Ah, just what I always wanted. Transformers 5, 6, 7 and 8 have now all been confirmed by Stephen J. Davis who's an executive at Hasbro. Cinematic universe anyone? @Comicbook.com

Box office report: Ridley Scott has another box office success on his hands with The Martian which looks to be finishing the weekend in the $50 million territory. Domestically that is. It's also his first critically approved film after Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counselor which is certainly nice as well. Sicario is looking to have a modest $11 million opening and Hotel Transylvania 2 after topping the box office with $48.5 million last weekend settles to $28 million this weekend. The disappointment of the week would definitely be Robert Zemeckis' The Walk which only managed $2 million at IMAX-only locations. Everest managed $7.2 million with the same tactic. @Variety

Definitely interesting to hear Marvel picking up What We Do in the Shadows helmer Taika Waititi to direct the next Thor movie. @Indiewire

Kevin Feige has some very levelheaded responses to comments from Steven Spielberg and Zack Snyder regarding superheroes and Marvel in general. @Comicbook.com

Robert De Niro + Martin Scorsese + Al Pacino + Joe Pesci = insta-see. @Digital Spy

Cabin in the Woods sequel incoming? According to Drew Goddard, Lionsgate really wants a sequel. @Indiewire

Upcoming fantasy film Pan has a pretty grim-looking future if pre-release tracking is any indication. Joe Wright's re-telling of the classic children's tale looks like it needs a massive advertising push if it hopes to open bigger than $30 million domestically which is pretty dismal when you take into account the $150 million budget. @The Hollywood Reporter

Video of the week: The final trailer for Spectre:

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 7.07
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Sep 27, 2015

WIWTW #15

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

There's over 1.5 billion reasons why there will be a Fast and Furious 8, regardless of difficulties getting a director to sign on for it. Vin Diesel confirmed that we better all gear up for a FF9 and FF10 as well. @Flickering Myth

Box office report: Looks like Sony is finally going to get the break it needs. Hotel Transylvania 2 is looking like a lock for a $46 million opening which is $4 million higher than the original released in 2012. If it comes to fruition, Hotel Transylvania 2 will hold the record for biggest September opening. Besides that, newcomer The Intern is looking at $17 million while Everest is sniffing around $12 million. That's perhaps not as big a number as Universal would've wanted after a $7 million IMAX-only opening last weekend. @Variety

Russian screenwriter Mikhail Raskhodnikov is suing Fox for plagiarism over the script of The Martian. I'm not a lawyer, but I have no doubts that this will not go farther than a settlement. @The Hollywood Reporter

What do guys like Quentin "technophobe" Tarantino and Darren Aronofsky think of Netflix and other streaming platforms? Read on if you're interested: @Indiewire

Writer Jon Krakauer whose book Into Thin Air was used as the source material for Everest, isn't too pleased with the creative liberties that the film takes. He's certainly not the first nor will he be the last. @The Hollywood Reporter

Sure sounds like Ridley Scott is going to be stuck doing Prometheus sequels until the end of his career. @Flickering Myth

Trailer Video of the week: 130 quotes from Arnold Schwarzenegger:


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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 5.7
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Sep 20, 2015

WIWTW #14

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Is Disney preparing to release the original theatrical cuts of Star Wars on Blu-Ray? Cue a thousand voices crying out in joy if this is true. @Twitter

Box office report: With the current predictions, it's looking like Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails ($36M) will win the weekend by the skin of its teeth over Johnny Depp's new crime film Black Mass (35M). The only other thing of interest really is the bold strategy of Everest which is going IMAX only for its opening week. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol did the same thing but it also happened to be the fourth film in what is a pretty big franchise starring genuine A-lister Tom Cruise. @Box Office Mojo

Looks like they're trying to get as much of the old gang as possible to cameo in this new Ghostbusters movie. Not sure how I feel about that. @The Hollywood Reporter

Want to see the inside of Guillermo del Toro's weird house? Here's your chance: @Indiewire

Bill Murray is more than a little hard to reach if you didn't already know. Here are a few roles that he's missed out on because of that: @National Post

The director of Hobo With a Shotgun doing an "underwater thriller" for Fox? Call me intrigued. @The Tracking Board

Trailer of the week: The Last Witch Hunter looks like silly fantasy fare to me but who can hate on Vin Diesel? Definitely not me.

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Number of movies watched this week: 9

Average rating: 6.3
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Sep 13, 2015

Spider-Man: Episode 0 (1978)


As much as I love Batman and Superman, my favourite superhero has always been Spider-Man. I don't know why really, but I suppose it just comes down to being able to relate to him the best. Peter Parker was just an ordinary high school kid who happened to get bitten by a nuclear spider and gain these cool superpowers. He's funny too, so that helps. I was never a comic book reader though, so I got all my Spider-Man exposure mostly from the old 1967 cartoon. Spider-Man (2002) was also my first superhero movie ever which just solidified it all for me. Spidey is definitely my guy.

Anyway, apologies for the complete lack of complete reviews this past little while. Time has been a bit hard to come by lately and I'll just leave it at that. As you can see if you've been reading my "What I Watched This Week" features lately, I've been going through some of the older Spider-Man TV movies which I never saw before like Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978) and Spider-Man: The Dragon's Challenge (1979), both which starred ex-The Sound of Music alumni Richard Hammond as Peter Parker. Then I stumbled on the treasure trove that is Spider-Man: Episode 0 and I just had to share the experience.

WIWTW #13

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Sounds like Denis Villeneuve wants to do his own thing with the Bladerunner sequel, kind of like how Ridley Scott approached Prometheus@Collider

Box office report: Newcomers The Visit and The Perfect Guy are doing decent business this weekend. Both films are on course for over $20 million openings which is pretty good given their light budgets. That especially goes for Shyamalan's The Visit which like all found footage movies was very cheap to make with only a tiny $5 million price tag. @Box Office Mojo

So Ben Foster certainly took the extra step to ensure that his depiction of Lance Armstrong is genuine... commendable to say the least. @Cycling Weekly

King Kong vs. Godzilla. Book it. @Deadline

Jeeper Creepers 3. Does anyone want this? At least the director/writer of the original is coming back. @Shock Till You Drop

Trailer of the week: Krampus, which comes out December 4th. A horror/comedy in the same vein as Gremlins maybe?

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Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 5.9
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Sep 6, 2015

WIWTW #12

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Is there anyone more perfect for a villain role in Star Wars than Benicio Del Toro? @Outer Places

Box office report: With a predicted $13 million, it looks like War Room will be taking over the #1 spot from Staight Outta Compton. Universal has no reason to complain though since SOC is now in its fourth week since release and has already outgrossed its moderate budget of $28 million by a wide margin. New releases Transporter: Refueled and A Walk in the Woods aren't setting the world on fire in any sense, but things definitely look better for AWitW with less theatres and a much smaller budget. @The Wrap

Is Michael Fassbender due for some love come awards season? With the starring role in the Aaron Sorkin-written and Danny Boyle-directed Steve Jobs, he very well could take a couple Best Actor awards. The hype has begun. @Variety

The official score for Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available December 18th, the same day as the movie is released. That means no Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Qui-Gon Jinn spoilers which is good for everyone. @Star Wars

So glad to see that Black Mass appears to be the return of the good Johnny Depp, the one who doesn't need to be all quirky or wear 10 layers of makeup to be noticed. @The Guardian

Trailer of the week: The 5th Wave, an alien invasion/post-apocalyptic thingy that's probably a bit too YA-ish to actually be good:

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 6.6
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Aug 30, 2015

WIWTW #11

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

You might hate them, but those little minions aren't going anywhere soon. Minions has hit the $1 billion mark at the global box office which now makes Universal the first ever studio to have three billion dollar movies in a single year. Hello merchandising! @The Hollywood Reporter

With Bruce Willis having left the ensemble cast of Woody Allen's next film, that spot was quickly snatched up by Steve Carell. No question that Willis can make up for those lost earnings with a couple of direct to video action flicks with minimal effort... @Deadline

War Room is proving once again that there is an audience for Christian-themed films. We Are Your Friends seems to be proving that there might not be much of one left for Zac Efron anymore. @Box Office Mojo

Some new official Star Wars: The Force Awakens footage was posted on Instagram. I'm ignoring it though, better to NOT know everything if you ask me. Watch at your own risk: @Instagram

Quebec film Turbo Kid is starting to generate some serious hype. Looks to be following in the footsteps of Hobo with a Shotgun to me. Here's the trailer: @YouTube

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 5.9
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Aug 23, 2015

WIWTW #10

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

A long and meandering article about how Disney's revival of Star Wars may just be a massive cash grab and not as great as we'd all like. Talk about depressing. @Grantland

 Nintendo? Thinking about making movies based on their IPs again? We've forgiven them for Super Mario Bros. by now right? @SlashFilm


So how is Robert Rodriguez planning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of El Mariachi? By making a movie with the same $7,000 budget of course. @Austin360

Michael Mann and Christian Bale for an Enzo Ferrari movie? Sounds good to me. @Deadline

Is anyone actually surprised that there's going to be a sequel to Straight Outta Compton? Honestly, I actually am a little bit. I mean it's not every day you get a biopic sequel. Money talks. @Consequence of Sound

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Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 6.06
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Aug 16, 2015

WIWTW #9

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Orlando Bloom's career can be pretty much summed up as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and Pirates of the Caribbean. Not such a bad thing I guess as it's been announced that he'll be appearing in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales which is due in 2017. @Hollywood Life



Colin Trevorrow is officially the director of Star Wars: Episode IX. So far he's known for the very excellent Short Term 12 and the very OK Jurassic World. @Star Wars

Terence Stamp had suffered an almost fatal accident on the set of Bitter Harvest. Here's to wishing the 77 year-old a speedy recovery. @The Hollywood Reporter

It seems like Universal can do no wrong as Straight Outta Compton rocketed to a stunning $60.2 million weekend debut. Meanwhile, the less that's said about Fantastic Four, the better. @Variety

What kind of world are we living in if Sony could seriously be considering a Bad Boys sequel WITHOUT Will Smith. Let's not go there, pretty please? @AV Club

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Number of movies watched this week: 9

Average rating: 5.7

Aug 9, 2015

WIWTW #8

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Besides drawing the ire of critics everywhere (9% on RT), Fantastic Four isn't doing very good business at the box office. That leaves the door half-open at this point for Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation to take the #1 domestic spot in its second week. @Box Office Mojo

Is Gunday really one of the worst movies of all time, if we go by IMDb's Bottom 100 (#17 spot at time of writing)? Probably not, which goes to show just how imperfect IMDb's voting system really is. @FiveThirtyEight

So Universal must be pretty happy about their year so far. Make that 5.53 billion reasons why. @The Hollywood Reporter

The extended edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies will apparently be released with an R-rating as opposed to the PG-rating that the theatrical version got. Question is, does anyone even remember what happened in that movie? @TheOneRing

And in super interesting facts everyone should know, Rocky IV is in fact 1/3 montage, 2/3 movie. Thank you for this Steve McCutchen, this is need to know stuff: @Cavalcade of Awesomeness

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 6.2

Aug 2, 2015

WIWTW #7

But first...

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

Samurai Cop 2 is coming this October. While there's no way that it could possibly recapture the badness of the first one, maybe this'll be another Thankskilling 3-esque situation? @IMDb

This is how you correctly rank all the Tom Cruise movies (by his hair). Well done Matt Singer. @Screencrush

J.J. Abrams literally broke his back for Harrison Ford. Ouch. @EW

Gotta agree with Simon Pegg about what I consider to be an outdated way of marketing a film. The results speak for themselves unfortunately. @The Telegraph

The Vacation reboot is looking like it's going to struggle in its first weekend which is good news to me. I certainly don't need a new comedy trilogy full of edgy humour based off an 80's classic. @Box Office Mojo

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Number of movies watched this week: 9

Average rating: 6.4

Jul 26, 2015

WIWTW #6

News (I Actually Care About)

Visions of Aurora 2012 were unavoidable with the newest cinema shooting in Louisiana. Terrifying stuff. Here's what director Judd Apatow had to say about it. @Rolling Stone

Chris Columbus wants to get the old gang back together again following the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Does anyone actually want this? In my books, Harry Potter's story is finished. Sounds like someone's just trying to drum up some press for his newest movie... @Games Radar

Did Alejandro González Iñárritu push things too far with his upcoming movie The Revenant? Enough to endanger his cast and crew while filming in dangerous conditions? @Indiewire

Interesting article with Jake Gyllenhaal remembering what it was like to work with Heath Ledger on Brokeback Mountain. @Variety

Pixels sucks? I'm trying to act surprised here but it isn't working. @Rotten Tomatoes

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 5.7

Jul 19, 2015

WIWTW #5

News (I Actually Care About)

Does Marvel have a villain problem? Certainly seems easy to think so since I don't even remember a bunch of their names. I honestly think that it comes down to Marvel needing to also stop making things seem so easy for their heroes though.

Jurassic World looks unstoppable. I guess that means we can look forward to more dinosaur movies featuring flat characters with flat stories along with a healthy dose of product placement squeezed in every square inch. Exciting.

Is Judy Greer the female "that guy?" This summer's crop of movies seems to indicate as much.

How awkward is this "thing" to promote Star Wars Episode III: The Revenge of the Sith with Hayden Christensen and George Lucas?

So, who went to audition for Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? A lot of you apparently.

Who asked for a Christian Mingle movie? Wasn't me, but I can tell you that I'm looking forward to mentally trashing it when I eventually see it.

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Number of movies watched this week: 7

Average rating: 6.3

Jul 12, 2015

WIWTW #4

Big week in movies in general with the San Diego Comic Con going on. Yes, I'll admit that I watched the Star Wars: Force Awakens reel more than once. Couldn't resist. All I can say is that J.J. and co. better deliver on the hype. So far so good though.

Superhero movies were a predictable focus of course. It's COMIC Con after all. I'm still trying to process the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer though. I have no doubt that it's going to look amazing from a visual point of view which is an area Zack Snyder is very capable in. But for the story, well it seems promising. We'll see.

Also, what's the the horrible looking orc on one of the Warcraft posters? Really do hope that they look better in the movie because that's no Warcraft orc to me. That's a humungous human being with slightly green skin, big teeth and dreadlocks. Please don't let me down Duncan Jones.

Lastly, anyone who truly knows me knows that I love movies and that I love movies with puppets. Jim Henson Company is apparently developing a murder mystery movie with puppets. So yeah, pretty awesome.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 6.5

Jul 5, 2015

WIWTW #3

So it's looking like Terminator: Genisys isn't going to be performing up to the expectations of what is a $150-200 million summer blockbuster movie. Is there anybody who's actually surprised? Ever since the first promo pictures in Entertainment Weekly were released, I think pretty much everyone knew something was off. The trailer didn't feel right either and worst of all, major plot points were revealed along the way which is a problem with Hollywood in general. Revealing the whole twist with John Connor which can be figured out just by looking at the poster was seriously ill-advised if you ask me and that's all on the marketing team.
Arnold Schwarzenegger sold the hell out of Terminator: Genisys, but he alone isn't enough to convince fans of the old movies to check out this sequel/reboot/whatever they want to call it and sadly that includes me. I'll see it once it hits video since I don't think it deserves better than that. Sorry Arnold. I sincerely hope that the Conan sequel you have lined up next has a better fate.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 6.4

Jun 28, 2015

WIWTW #2

Gotta say, I had a great week from a movie watching perspective which included a couple of the stronger films of 2014 plus a few older classics. Credit for that goes to my girlfriend who is probably sick and tired of my typical choices which prompted her to go out of her way to choose some quality titles. Hey, at least I balanced things out with the mother of all superhero movies, Batman & Robin right? I got a job to do after all.

Number of movies watched this week: 8

Average rating: 7.25


Jun 21, 2015

WIWTW #1

Since I don't have that much time to write full-fledged reviews anymore, I wanted to start a feature that I've dubbed "What I Watched This Week" or just "WIWTW" because who likes typing all that? The idea is simply to give you a quick idea of what I thought about a movie, nothing more complicated than that. Oh, and a week is counted from Sunday to Saturday. So without further ado, here's WIWTW #1.

Number of movies this week: 8
Average rating: 5.19

A "Re-toggle"

I know that I haven't posted a review in some time and I apologize for that. I've been doing some serious thinking about the future of this blog and that put a bit of a crimp in my regular production. No, I'm not closing Cinema Whatever down or anything, but there are going to be some pretty significant changes to it.

First of all, I've enjoyed myself immensely during my time reviewing movies. I've now reviewed 472 films which I'm very proud of. Although I like to pretend that my earliest reviews don't exist (really, don't go look at those), I have to say that I'm very happy with the progress I've made in terms of critiquing films and my writing skills. I've also made some great friends along the way which has been a great experience.

That's why it's hard for me to announce that I'm going to be "re-toggling" Cinema Whatever from its current form. CW has been nothing but movie reviews published close to daily which unsurprisingly does take quite a bit of time. With the way my current life situation is, I can no longer afford to spend that amount of time every day to doing movie reviews. I wish I could do nothing but watch movies and write reviews, but it's just not in the cards.

What I'd like to start doing are opinion pieces about... well whatever has to do with movies really. I've got some ideas swimming around my head as we speak, but that's the direction I see Cinema Whatever going in. I'm targeting a weekly timeline for these pieces and I might just throw in the odd movie review here and there if I really feel like it.

So with that beings said, thanks to everyone for all the support that I've gotten from the start of Cinema Whatever and I hope you'll all still be around for the ride. Cinema Whatever isn't going anywhere. It's just changing direction.


Simon

Jun 16, 2015

Review: Batman Returns (1992)

Batman was as much a corporate entity as it was a movie after Batman of 1989. For Warner Brothers, you can bet that they were drooling at the prospect of future revenue streams from their bat-empire. Merchandising opportunities were pretty much limitless. Tim Burton himself wasn't all that pleased after working on such a "soul-sucking" movie and was ready to move on. Luckily for him, Warner Brothers gave him more creative control and most likely a significant increase in pay. What did WB have to lose after all? A sequel to Batman was most likely a slam dunk.

Unfortunately for them, Batman Returns was nowhere near as successful as Batman was. In the global box office it earned $144,526,570 less than Batman which is pretty significant. The budget had also increased by $45 million and marketing costs were probably higher as well which must've made for a pretty miserable summer at the offices of Warner Brothers. It's pretty unfortunate really because Tim Burton himself was much happier with the finished product and I have to say that I agree with him.

Jun 13, 2015

Review: The Wolverine (2013)


X-Men Origins: Wolverine left a seriously bad taste in my mouth as it did for many fans of the X-Men series. Besides an at-times alright final fight and the presences of Hugh Jackman and Liev Schreiber, there's almost nothing going for it. It was a serious misstep and even Hugh Jackman has admitted as much. Even after an already sub-par X-Men: The Last Stand, it wasn't like the X-Men franchise was in trouble though. Matthew Vaughn's First Class proved that Fox could still make a good X-Men movie and all it took was the right people.

Enter Darren Aronofsky who Hugh Jackman had worked with in The Fountain. He was just coming off the release of The Black Swan and most likely would have been a slam dunk as a director. He unfortunately couldn't come to an agreement with Fox and stepped down. To take his place was James Mangold who had worked with Jackman in romantic comedy Kate & Leopold which is a surprisingly OK movie for its genre. I would rank Mangold as a relatively good director. He's no Aronofsky, but he was definitely a step in the right direction.