Category Archives: movies
It was a somewhat quiet weekend at the box office, as no new release really caught on with audiences. Here’s what went down:
Kung Fu Panda 3 hung onto the top spot at the box office for the second weekend in a row, bringing in $21.5 million, raising its total to $69.5 million in North America. It’s doubtful that the film will perform as well as the first two in the series, but Kung Fu Panda 3 should at least cross the $100 million mark.
The first time I ever hard about the original French version of the film Martyrs (2008) was at San Diego Comic Con 2013. I was at a horror panel that featured directors Jen and Sylvia Soska, friends of Biff Bam Pop, who cited Martyrs as an intense viewing experience. Though I never did follow up on watching the film, it did stick with me, mainly because the Soskas are purveyors of a specific brand of horror, so if a film gets to them, there’s likely no way I’ll be able to sit through it. It’s part of what is labelled the New French Extremity movement – I’ll let you look that up yourself. What I can tell is, upon discussing Martyrs with Rue Morgue Magazine Editor-In-Chief Dave Alexander a few days ago, he recalled someone actually throwing up in the theatre at the Toronto International Film Festival screening of Martyrs. So, no thank you.
Then came word that an Americanized remake of Martyrs was on the way from directors The Goetz Brothers, and that piqued my interest. In checking out some reviews, it appeared that the violence had been significantly tapered off (along with some significant story changes as well). On that note, I decided I was ready and willing to take on the film…even if it was a diluted version of it.
Wim Wenders’ visionary Palme d’Or winning film Paris, Texas is the culmination of the director’s many years of hard work capturing life on the road. This poetic study of what it means for one to belong in the world transcends language and reality.
A few new releases are looking for box office gold this weekend, but will any be able to KO a Kung Fu Panda? Here are our predictions:
Hail, Caesar is the latest film from the always reliable Coen Brothers. This time out, the duo are working in comedic territory, with an ensemble cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney and Scarlett Johansson. The reviews have been fairly solid for the film, which is set in 1950s Hollywood. However, the buzz hasn’t been particularly big for this one and opening on Super Bowl weekend isn’t going to help get an audience into theaters. Look for a third place debut with $11 million.
Wim Wenders’ neo-noir thriller, The American Friend, looks like it was cut from the same cloth as other films from the genre. When viewing the film in 2016, it’s hard not to make stylistic connections to such titles as: The French Connection, Chinatown, and Point Blank. However, what makes The American Friend stand out from its counterparts is that it doesn’t concern itself with trying to fulfill a mysterious plotline.
As part of their expansive retrospective on the exceptional German director Wim Wenders, The TIFF Bell Lightbox delivers a rare opportunity to see the man’s early short films as one screening. Most of these films date back to the late 1960s when Wenders was a film student in Munich. The films are the collected diaries of a young filmmaker experimenting with the medium, searching for his voice. While many of the films feel like fragmented snapshots of little consequence, it is evident that a vision is starting to form. Viewing the compilation in the context of Wenders’ later work, it is miraculous to see the jump in craftsmanship in such a short amount of time.
WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT, TT GAMES, THE LEGO GROUP AND LUCASFILM ANNOUNCE LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS™
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Lucasfilm today announced LEGO® Star Wars™: The Force Awakens™, marking the triumphant return of the No. 1 LEGO videogame franchise, allowing players to relive the epic action from the blockbuster film in a fun-filled, humorous way that only a LEGO game can offer. Launching on June 28, 2016, the game will introduce brand new gameplay mechanics to build, battle and fly through the galaxy like never before, as well as new story content exploring the time between Star Wars: Return of the Jediand Star Wars: The Force Awakens, providing additional insight about the new movie and its characters.
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, will be available for PlayStation®4 and PlayStation®3 computer entertainment systems, PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system, Xbox One, Xbox 360, the Wii U™ system from Nintendo, the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems and Windows PC.
“We’re extremely proud of the LEGO Star Wars videogames, truly an incredible franchise that has sold more than 33 million copies and helped ignite a passion for numerous fun-filled LEGO games enjoyed by countless gamers around the world,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be pushing the series forward with innovative new gameplay mechanics, while also exploring new parts of the universe that are sure to excite and delight both LEGO and Star Wars fans, as well as newcomers to our games.”
“We are thrilled to be bringing back the LEGO Star Wars videogame franchise, which kicked off such a beloved series of LEGO titles more than a decade ago,” said Ada Duan, Vice President, Digital Business & Franchise Management, Lucasfilm. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens allows players to experience the new film in a unique way that only TT Games can provide, combining signature humor with epicStar Wars action. With previously untold story content exploring new details about the movie and its characters, it’s a perfect fit for fans of all ages.”
“We are delighted to return to the Star Wars Universe and continue the journey with the franchise that started it all for LEGO videogames,” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for the LEGO Group. “LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens will offer an amazing gaming experience covering not only the movie but also exclusive content with all the fun and humor you would expect from a LEGO game, while delivering the epic Star Wars adventure fans expect.”
LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes players deeper into the new film than any other game with all of the heroic characters from the movie, including Rey, Finn, Poe Dameron, Han Solo, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and BB-8, as well as Kylo Ren, General Hux and Captain Phasma, while also exploring iconic Star Wars locales, such as Jakku and Starkiller Base.
This action-packed adventure introduces new gameplay features, including the enhanced “Multi-Builds” system, where players can choose from multiple building options to advance the game. Gamers will be able to engage in intense new Blaster Battles for the first time, utilizing surrounding environments to drive back the First Order. Fans can also experience the thrill of high-speed flight gameplay through arena-based battles and dogfights in space, while utilizing a multitude of vehicles along the way, including the legendary Millennium Falcon.
PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 players will have access to exclusive downloadable content, the Droid Character Pack and the Phantom Limb Level Pack.
It was a solid but not spectacular showing this weekend for the latest film to top the box office. Here’s what went down:
Kung Fu Panda 3 debut at number one this weekend with $37 million, clearly the film for families. That number was down from both the original’s debut ($60 million) and the first sequel ($47 million), but hopefully the movie will be in it for the long haul over the coming weeks. Read the rest of this entry