Jul 31, 2016

WIWTW #57

Yesterday was Arnold Schwarzenegger's 69th birthday, so I suppose I'd like to just express how much I appreciate what the Austrian Oak's done for the movie industry as a whole.

Sure it might seem silly to heap praise upon an action movie hero like Arnold, but I can think of few actors who have brought as much entertainment as he has in his career. I've seen 36 of his movies at this point and so many of those are among the most rewatchable movies ever made. Even his bad movies are entertaining.

To this day, it still amazes me that Arnold Schwarzenegger came from nothing. He could barely speak English when he arrived in the US, but that didn't stop him. Nothing has stopped Arnold from becoming the motivational tool on two feet that he is today. He inspired me to get fit and be healthy. He's inspired me to live life how I want and I hope he has many more movies up his sleeve because his presence in anything is always worthwhile.

Some Arnold wisdom: "I know that if you leave dishes in the sink, they get sticky and hard to wash the next day."

Too true.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Sony being sued for not having any measures in place to prevent the piracy of To Write Love On Her Arms that was leaked following the 2014 hack. Surprised this didn't happen sooner really. @Engadget
  • Box office report: People still love Bourne if the opening weekend of Jason Bourne is any indication. $60 million is a pretty good opening and it's nice to finally see a bit of competition for Disney outside of animation. The $120 million budget isn't too high, but judging from all the posters I've seen everywhere the marketing budget was pretty expensive for Jason Bourne so it's definitely not over yet. Second place went to holdover Star Trek Beyond which managed $24 million, making that a 60% drop from last weekend. STB now stands at around $105 million which isn't that encouraging given the $185 million budget. Definitely needs that international money bad. Bad Moms actually did very well for itself though with $23.4 million on a budget of $20 million. 
  • This article gives a good idea of the nightmare it is to be the director of the first in a major film franchise and why oftentimes they leave after only one film. @EW
  • In the end, French director/producer Luc Besson has been found guilty of plagiarizing John Carpenter's Escape from New York with his 2012 action/sci-fi flick Lockout. @Yahoo!
  • Where are the truly evil movie villains these days? @The Guardian
Video of the week: James Bond has a pretty colourful past when it comes to being sexist and at times even plain creepy.


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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 4.71
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Jul 24, 2016

WIWTW #56

Besides the fact that it's been Comic-Con all day, every day since Thursday, the big news that I've seen is that there's going to be another Blair Witch movie.

In the style of being suddenly revealed as a sequel à la 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Woods was revealed to be a stealth sequel to The Blair Witch Project (1999) and I'm pretty sure it'll be pretending that The Book of Shadows doesn't exist.

Looks like this will become a new marketing tool to drum up interest, but most interesting to me is the talent attached to Blair Witch. Original creators Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez seem to be long gone, but we get Adam Wingard as director and Simon Barrett as writer. Known for their work on You're Next and The Guest, this has me pretty hopeful. I'll be honest, I watched the trailer (I'll include it after the jump) and I wasn't that impressed. I'm hoping that this is just due to the fact that it's a trailer and I'll leave judgement until I actually see the movie. Key hope: we never see the "Blair witch" and I really hope that Wingard can mess around with our imaginations.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Nice little look at how David F. Sandberg's Lights Out started out as a viral short film and is now a feature length horror movie in theatres right now. @Yahoo
  • Box office report: Blasting itself into first place for the weekend was Star Trek Beyond with a pretty good $59.6 million. That's lower than the previous two "reboot" movies and it's not really a stupendous number given the $185 million budget (plus all the marketing). The international market really needs to come through here for Paramount. Second place goes to The Secret Life of Pets which is now in its third week of release. $29.3 million is welcome and the film has now grossed over $300 million worldwide. Number three with a huge $21.6 is Lights Out. Huge? With a budget of only $5 million you bet it's huge. Fourth place goes to Ice Age: Collision Course which earned $21 million. That's not a good number in any sense, but I doubt Fox is too worried given that the Ice Age movies do incredible business outside North America. 
  • Seems like Avatar came out a lifetime ago. Are we really getting FOUR more sequels? James Cameron says we are. @Screen Rant
  • Looks like The Legend of Tarzan and Star Trek Beyond have something in common. @The Guardian
  • We already knew this, but Alicia Vikander who will be starring in the new Tomb Raider reboot states that the movie will follow the storyline of the reboot game from 2013. A reboot based on a reboot (I apologize for the autoplay video). @IGN
Video of the week: Blair Witch trailer

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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 4.79
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Jul 17, 2016

WIWTW #55

I was wrong. I really did think that Paul Feig's Ghostbusters was going to flop. Miserably to be exact. I know I'm not the only one either. I suppose it's proof that no matter how many keyboard warriors you have disliking trailers and saying a movie is going to fail, a movie can still succeed. It also helps when the original movie is a nostalgic power ballad to the 80's. 

Saying that Ghostbusters is a success is maybe a bit overgenerous. After all, it only made $46 million and on a budget of $144 million and it still has quite a ways to go when you factor in marketing and distribution costs. I read somewhere that $500 million worldwide is the threshold for breaking even and I have a hard time believing that this female-led reboot can manage that. It got beaten by The Secret Life of Pets which is in its second week and the nostalgia of Ghostbusters probably doesn't extend beyond the the west.

Still, I suppose this is a minor victory for those saying that sexists are responsible for all the hate that Ghostbusters was getting online (even the marketing department for the movie was using that as a crutch). Let them celebrate I say. I unfortunately don't think it's going to lead to any meaningful changes in Hollywood regarding female actors getting the reigns for major motion pictures, as much as people are hoping that it will. I'm still not cool with taking a pre-established franchise and replacing all the male characters with female ones. It just feel, unorganic if you know what I mean. What we all need is more Bridesmaids and less female-reboot Ocean's 11. That's my .02 cents anyway.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • How many theatrical, feature-length movies are there? About 500,000 apparently. I got a long way to go... @StoryAlity
  • Box office report: The Secret Life of Pets continued its parade to a $50.6 million second weekend. That's a drop of only 51.5% and that's in addition to stellar overseas numbers. Number two for this weekend went to newcomer Ghostbusters which earned $46 million. While that's not as low as haters wanted or as high as Sony would've wanted, there's no doubt that it's going to have to find some long legs to carry it to profitability. There's already talk of multiple sequels, but that strikes me as a desperate plea to get audiences to go see the movie. The Legend of Tarzan in third place dropped to $11.1 million and Finding Dory was right behind at $11 million. In terms of limited releases, Woody Allen's Cafe Society just achieved the highest per-screen average of the year: $71,000. That's from five theatres with a total of $335,000. It'll remain to be seen if that buzz can translate to higher earnings when it opens to more screens.
  • Just a bit of info regarding the upcoming Star Wars movies from the Star Wars Celebration. Biggest point here is that young Mr. Alden Ehrenreich who's been cast as young Han Solo is going to need a ton of luck and most importantly he's going to need to get off social media until his movie comes out. @Entertainment Weekly
  • A look at the IMDb Top 250 which at the end of the day, most people can agree is just a popularity contest. @PurpleCameraMedia
  • And because I never get tired of reading about the king of the B-movie, here's a retrospective on Roger Corman. @Paste Monthly
Video of the week: Watching the Star Trek Beyond trailer in "tri-screen format." Pretty cool honestly.

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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 5.50
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Jul 10, 2016

WIWTW #54

Although I wish I could watch 12 movies every week, things settled back down this week to a more comfortable 7. In reality I suppose it's 5 movies since 2 of them are short films, but who cares?

Anyhow, it was an interesting week of two different movies; Catwoman and Dune. What do they have to do with each other you ask? Well both were critical and commercial flops. Dune only managed $31 million on a budget of $40 million and was famously hated on pretty hard by Roger Ebert. 20 years later, Catwoman thudded with only $40 million ($82 million worldwide) on a budget of $100 million. I don't need to go into how it did with the critics or audiences.

Point is, it's always interesting to see where movies end up, ~10, ~20 or ~30 years later. Catwoman is maybe a bad example to compare with Dune since there will never be any hope of it becoming a cult classic (right?). But let's say something like Only God Forgives. I could see that becoming a cult classic down the line. Crazy to think that a movie like 2001: A Space Odyssey was once hated by critics when it first came out and is now hailed as a masterpiece. Or that a movie like The Shawshank Redemption is now an audience darling after barely scraping into the black in 1994. Goes to show that you never know what can happen down the line.

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • A documentary crew secretly captured the reality of living in North Korea (risking some pretty harsh penalties I should think) and is probably very much worth seeing. @Los Angeles Times
  • Box office report: Movie over Dory, there's a new cat in town and it's The Secret Life of Pets which opened to an amazing $103.2 million. Crazy thing here is that the budget for the film is a scant $75 million, way less than the typical blockbuster animation and it should make Illumination/Universal very happy. Finding Dory floated to $20.4 million this week but became the highest domestic grosser of the year so far, so there's little reason to be disappointed. The Legend of Tarzan slid under 50% to $20.6 million for its second week and that's really not too bad honestly for a movie said to be the next big summer flop. It still has a long way to go before profitability but Warner Bros. must be feeling slightly relieved. Besides Pets, the other newcomer Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates finished in fourth place with $16.6 million on a budget of $33 million.
  • Bryan Cranston has some good things to say about the new Power Rangers movie which he describes as being similar as a gamechanger to Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight@Flickering Myth
  • As a bizarre a deleted scene as I've ever heard, from The Legend of Tarzan to be exact @The Guardian
  • The Ice Cream Truck War of Salem, Oregon is being turned into a movie and what could be better than that? If it were the Glasgow one obviously. @The Hollywood Reporter
Video of the week:With all the unrest going on in the United States, Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing seems extremely relevant at the moment.

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Number of movies watched: 7

Average rating: 5.43
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Jul 3, 2016

WIWTW #53

With last week having been a bit light on the number of movies watched, I made sure to make up for lost time. I guess I went a bit crazy because 12 movies in a week is kind of a lot.

But let's be real, a lot of what I saw this week was on the shorter side. Only 7 of the movies I watched are 90+ minutes, so that's actually pretty fair. A movie a day right? Still, my Tuesday with 4 movies watched is a little surreal. Especially when one of them is VeggieTales: Live! Sing Yourself Silly (which came close to ruining my life) is one of them.

Anyhow, the summer months do make it a little more difficult for me to get a lot of movies in since as a Canadian, I have a moral obligation to take advantage of the good weather as much as I can before it's winter again. There's just something very satisfying about sitting in a dark living room with a movie playing while the cold snowy winds are a long forgotten memory. The summer is all about blockbuster movies in air conditioned cinemas and it's too bad Hollywood just mailed it in this year. 

Now on to this week's WIWTW.

But first...
 

Some News (That I Actually Care About)

  • Samuel L. Jackson's as cool as they come, so here's an article about him being pretty candid (while also promoting Legend of Tarzan). @The Guardian
  • Box office report: Finding Dory had no trouble with the new releases this past weekend and added a strong $41.9 million in its third weekend. Looking very likely that it'll pass Toy Story 3 as the highest domestic grossing film out of Pixar. The Legend of Tarzan unfortunately only managed $38.1 million for its opening and that's not going to be too good for the film's bottom line which has a budget of $180 million. Warner Brothers better hope that international audiences come out. The Purge: Election Year was a big success due to his micro-budget of only $10 million. $30.9 million is a great take and Blumhouse (Insidious, Paranormal Activity) has no reason to change their business plan. Surprisingly though, Steven Spielberg is the big loser of the weekend as his newest adventure film The BFG failed to ignite audiences, earning a paltry $19.6 million. It's also a second and rare failure for Disney after Alice Through the Looking Glass from earlier this season. 
  • Nicolas Winding Refn was approached to direct Spectre? The possibilities... @The Playlist
  • A list of the best child actor performances in Steven Spielberg movies. Not sure I agree 100% though: @Vulture
  • Very promising news with Cliff Martinez signing on to score Wolverine 3@Screen Rant
Video of the week: Bad trailer of the day: Supernova (2000)

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Number of movies watched: 12

Average rating: 5.67
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