Jun 26, 2016

WIWTW #52

The summer of 2016 hasn't been that great for poor 'ol Hollywood. Sequels have been bombing left, right and center, leaving only a few movies collecting all the summer riches such as Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book and right now Finding Dory (see a pattern?).

Looking at myself, I feel like I'm sort of representative of all this summer movie apathy. I love movies and going to the cinema to watch them on the big screen, but there's been barely anything that's made me want to go out and spend my money. The last movie I saw was The Jungle Book, but there's really nothing else that's screamed "GO SEE THIS!" 

Maybe I'll go see the new Bourne movie? Maybe Suicide Squad? Honestly I don't even know because when I go see a movie in theatres, I want to be practically assured of satisfaction and that's seemingly been in short supply this summer with so many movies getting bad reviews. Warcraft? Yeah I'll wait to see it on video. Same goes for the X-Men movie and Independence Day: Resurgence.

The summer of 2017 is shaping up to be way more interesting. Fast 8, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Bad Boys III, Wonder Woman, The Mummy, War for the Planet of the Apes and way way more. It's almost as if next summer is going to be too cramped. In the meantime, I got things I can do at home. Looks like those five 2-for-1 codes I got for movie tickets are going to expire unused June 30th and I can't bring myself to even care a little bit. 

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • There's a new streaming service on the block and it's exclusively for the more indie-type of films. @Huffington Post
  • Box office report: Finding Dory topped the box office this weekend and I'm pretty sure that even somebody with no hands could count on their fingers how many people were surprised. $73.2 million proves that people love talking fish and it'll continue Pixar's current practice of harvesting all its older properties with sequels. Independence Day: Resurgence wasn't quite as lucky with only $41.6 million. That's actually less than the $50.2 million the original opened to and it only had a budget of $75 million compared to the $165 million of this one. Fox better hope that the international markets perform well. Central Intelligence added another $18.4 million and Sony's shark film The Shallows made $16.7 million, almost equaling its budget of $17 million which is a welcome victory for the struggling studio. 
  • Nostalgia is proving to be a major ingredient for success at the box office as Finding Dory proves. @The Guardian
  • Will bland action movie actor #548 (Kellan Lutz) land the role of He-Man? Looking like a possibility. @Screen Rant
  • Let's not get into the politics of it all, but it looks like Brexit could seriously affect the UK film industry. @The Guardian
Video of the week: Every Johnnie To movie is worth a look, so here's the trailer for his upcoming film Three.

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 6.19
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Jun 19, 2016

WIWTW #51

Today's Father's Day and if there's one thing that's true about movies is that there are loads of great fathers throughout cinematic history. Yes, there are loads of bad ones too, but I almost feel as if cinema has explored the concept of fatherhood a lot than it has motherhood. I could be wrong here and be getting caught up in the Father's Day groove, but I'm not about to do a month-long study into the issue.

My favourite cinematic father? For me it's probably Henry Jones, the father of Indiana Jones and played by Sean Connery. OK, so the character's been a bit of deadbeat father for some time, but going on an awesome archaeological adventure together seems like a fair trade off to me. Connery was just a runaway success in the role of Henry and I wish we could've gotten more of him somehow. Crazy to think that Harrison Ford was older than Connery in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and still in the starring role. He'll be far older in the next installment.

From Darth Vader (Star Wars) to Bryan Mills (Taken) to Jim's Dad (American Pie) to Mufasa (Lion King), father's are an important part of movies as they are in real life. Be sure to tell them that today.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • The craziness of the MPAA's rating system: @Vulture
  • Box office report: Quickly making up for the rare flub that was Alice Through the Looking Glass, Pixar's Finding Dory earned a mighty $136.2 million this weekend. It now holds the record for the highest grossing opening for an animated film, taking the crown from the uh, slightly undeserving Shrek the Third which made $121.6 million back nine years ago. It was a good weekend for newcomers as Central Intelligence banking heavily on Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart made $34.5 million. Pretty good for a movie with a $50 million budget. The Conjuring 2 finds itself in third with $15.6 million and now sits at $71.7 million domestically. Now You See Me 2 and Warcraft split the scraps.
  • Still a lot of release date shifting over at Warner Bros following the disappointment of Batman v Superman@Deadline
  • Speaking of Indiana Jones, here's a look at a documentary about a fan film of Raiders of the Lost Ark. @Little White Lies
  • And to finish off with a very bizarre piece of news, Brendan Fraser will be plying his craft over in Bollywood as the villain of the upcoming film The Field. Alimony isn't going to pay itself I guess.
Video of the week: Arnold Schwarznegger trumps all.


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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 5.56
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Jun 12, 2016

WIWTW #50

I'm pretty encouraged about what I'm hearing about the new Predator movie that's due out in 2018. We're a long way off from knowing if it'll actually be good, but director/writer Shane Black is definitely saying the right things.

It's hardly an original or unique thing to be pumping out yet another movie set in the Predator world. What's to make this one genuinely good? We already have six movies if we include the AVP movies (wish we didn't have to) and nothing has come close to matching what the original Predator was able to do.

I think the key factor that this new Predator movie needs is the ability to stand on its own two feet. That's why I actually didn't mind Predators that much. Sure it wasn't executed all that well, but it did have a pretty original set up. Nothing will sink this new movie faster than inserting a bunch of callbacks to the original movie. Star Wars: The Force Awakens can manage it because it's freakin' Star Wars, but this is Predator and it's time to bring that fear of being watched in the jungle back again. If anyone knows that, it's Shane Black. The guy was there.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Very happy to hear that composer John Williams is going to be a busy man. @Comicbook.com
  • Box office report: Some good news for Hollywood at last with The Conjuring 2 scaring up some good business over the weekend. With $40.5 million, that's only a tiny bit less than the original made in the summer of 2013 and it equals the film's production budget. Prepare for The Conjuring 3. At number two we find Warcraft which managed $24.4 million which quite honestly is a disaster given the film's $160 million budget. It's been released overseas for a couple of weeks though and that's actually been very beneficial, especially the $144.7 million it has gotten from China so far. At number three we got Now You See Me 2 which added Daniel Radcliffe to its star-studded cast and it earned $29.4. That's actually a smidge more than what Now You See Me did, but Lionsgate did spend an additional $15 million on this sequel, so they're going to have to make up the difference somewhere.
  • Some discussion about the recent "collapse" of Hollywood sequels. @ScreenCrush
  • Sounds like Danny DeVito missed out on the role of a lifetime. @Philly Voice
  • So this all-female Ocean's 11 thing is really happening eh? It's going to have to really prove itself in being more than just a gimmick. And not be anything like Ghostbusters too I guess. @Comingsoon.net
Video of the week:I seriously didn't remember the opening credits to Friday the 13th Part III being this cheesy/80's.

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Number of movies watched: 8

Average rating: 5.63
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Jun 5, 2016

WIWTW #49

Disney has had its first misstep in some time with Alice Through the Looking Glass and so here we are with everybody jumping to the conclusion that Hollywood is dying and everything is flopping left, right and center. Right.

It's true that there seem to be way more flops than there used to. I'm not going to go compile a bunch of box office data and prove that right or wrong, but it doesn't take much to remember movies like Gods of Egypt, Allegiant or Zoolander 2. There are many other examples and on the flipside, it's only a select handful of movies that are collecting all the box office dough like Star Wars and Captain America.

THIS is what truly concerns me. I like Star Wars as much as the next guy, but if all we're going to get are save, risk-adverse tentpoles than we're in trouble. It's stuff like this that leads to filmmakers like David Cronenberg going into retirement because he can't get financing for his projects. Different and smaller is good sometimes and all I can say is that I hope studios get a little bit smarter in what they sign off on because audiences aren't stupid (not all of them anyway) and they're going to get tired of being fed the same thing over and over again eventually.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Really cool Roger Ebert article as he reviews Rocky II in the company of Muhammad Ali. @rogerebert.com
  • Box office report: Both X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass disappointed their parent studios last week (one not as much as the other obviously) and this week is looking no different. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows won the weekend with $35.3 million, but that's pretty off from the $65.6 that the original 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made in its opening weekend. Meanwhile, X-Men: Apocalypse did nothing to really disapprove that it's under-performing with $22.3 million this weekend. Newcomer Me Before You almost managed to almost cover its entire budget with a healthy $18.3 million. The surprise of the week was Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which only drummed up $4.6 million from 2,311 theatres. That's not going to hurt a low budget mockumentary ($21 million) too much, but it better hope to be embraced by the home video/streaming market. 
  • I don't usually post reviews, but this was an entertaining one for Warcraft courtesy of David Ehrlich of IndieWire. He's far from the only one who's ripping the video game adaptation to shreds, but this one does feel a bit exaggerated. @IndieWire
  • A remake/reboot of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen has sprung up over at Fox. Hate to sound like a Debbie Downer here, but is this our next big flop? @Variety
  • A recently published list over at BBC with the top 100 American films using a poll from critics around the world. @BBC
Video of the week: Guess most of the audience was scared away during this bizarre promotional event in Japan.

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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 5.43
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