Category Archives: movies

Will your focus be on Focus this weekend?

Another weekend, another battle at the box office. Can the latest from a tried, tested and true movie star take down Ana and Christian? Here are our predictions:

imageFocus will hopefully be a return to form for the usually dependable Will Smith. His last flick, After Earth, was a colossal bomb on all fronts, so Will needs a hit to be back on track. Focus is a con flic, and we haven’t really had a notable one of those since Now You See Me from a few summers ago. The film’s not so secret weapon could very well be co-star Margot Robbie, who has some serious buzz around her after having accepted the role of Harley Quinn in the upcoming DC Comics film, Suicide Squad (also set to star Smith). With all these factors in play, I think we’ll see a first place showing for Focus with a solid $25 million.

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Blue on Black: It Follows (2014)

I don’t even remember how It Follows ended up on my radar, but I heard it was something I needed to see, found out it was playing at my favourite theatre, and off I went without even bothering (and in fact avoiding) reading anything about it or watching the trailer. The perfectly spooky art house environment I was in made the experience of It Follows more than I could have hoped for.

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The Hot Tub or The DUFF – Biff Bam Pop’s Box Office Predictions

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This weekend we’ll have a comedy showdown at the box office with two new movies vying for the attention of audiences. As The DUFF and Hot Tub Time Machine 2 enter theaters this weekend along with the Kevin Costner starrer with an inspirational true story, McFarland USA, how will the champs of previous weeks like SpongeBob, Kingsmen, American Sniper, and last week’s not-so-surprise blockbuster, Fifty Shades of Grey. Who will stay on top, who will join them? Meet me after the jump for our predictions.

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The Strange Case of Hou Hsiao-Hsien and the Very Very Long Take

Tony Leung is torn between two companions in the sumptuous Flowers of Shanghai

TIFF’s got a retrospective of Taiwanese master Hou Hsiao-Hsien on right now. Which could make you swoon, if you love lush cinematography, oblique story-telling and very long takes with a free-wandering camera. Or it could be as exciting as a long night with your second cousin’s family, driving around aimlessly, wishing these people you barely know actually had something to say. Beautiful, meditative, complex, tedious, distant, and meandering are all words that could apply to Hou’s mesmeric take on movies. Sometimes the spell works. Others… Join me after the jump to find where you fall on the Hou scale.

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Mr. Grey saw you and you and you this weekend at the movies

It’s a long weekend in the United States, so a shout out of Happy President’s Day to everyone reading there. It also means there will be a big emphasis on the four day weekend box office results; for our purposes, though, we continue to look at the three day estimated totals, which should come as no surprise. Here’s who…I mean, what went down:

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Combating some seriously awful reviews, Fifty Shades Of Grey still had an astounding weekend, especially for an R-rated film. The sex-driven movie managed to score $77 million in its first three days, including $30.2 million on its opening day. The Valentine’s Day timing certainly didn’t hurt the film, and neither did the lackluster critical reaction. The question now is, was Fifty Shades Of Grey front-loaded for a strong opening weekend of devoted fans, or will it manage to have legs over the coming weeks. Something to look out for, to be sure.

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Fifty Shades Of Grey looks to tie you up at the box office

Let’s be real – this Valentine’s Day weekend, there’s only one movie that’s going to come close to topping the box office, regardless of whether or not it gets good reviews. So just how much is Mr. Grey going to make? Here’s our prediction:

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There’s definitely some mixed reviews out there regarding Fifty Shades Of Grey, the adaptation of the hugely successful novel of the same name. Newcomer Dakota Johnson is getting decent praise for her performance as sexual neophyte Ana Steele; however, the same can’t be said for Jamie Dornan as BDSM practitioner Christian Grey. So strong in The Fall, it seems as though many feel he’s sleepwalking thorough the film. However, none of this is going to stop this hard R-rated movie from making a huge impact. With $60 million in advance ticket sales already, look for the film to debut with a $80 million when it’s all said and done.

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Fierce: The Films of Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck cons clueless millionaire Henry Fonda in Preston Sturges’ hilarious screwball comedy The Lady Eve

 

Heard of her? Probably. Name a film she’s done? Not so easy. Barbara Stanwyck earned a deserved spot in the A-List of classic Hollywood celebrity in her day. She played in 85 films over the course of 38 years, a Nick Cage-like pace punctuated with terrific range from comedies to tear-jerkers to hard-boiled film noir. She was nominated four times for Best Lead Actress but never won (though she did take home several Emmys for her later work in television), and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. To contemporary eyes she’s in a bit of a fog, not as clear a classic figure as the sharp-witted Katharine Hepburn or the tough gravitas of Bette Davis. Part of that haze is due to Stanwyck’s chameleonic range, the ur Meryl Streep if you will, as she tackled so many different kinds of roles with fluid aplomb. For the next two months, TIFF Cinematheque shines a light on Stanwyck’s wide-ranging career, revealing a fierce, independent icon from a bygone era. Bold and brassy, she’s all the reason they’re calling the program Ball of Fire.

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J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller deliver an acting clinic in Whiplash

If you’re living in the world of genre love like so many of the writers at Biff Bam Pop are, you’ve no doubt heard all the worries about the upcoming Fantastic Four film, directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle) and starring Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller. On set strife, new origin stories, yadda yadda yadda. Hopefully, the trailer from a few weeks ago has helped allay some of your fears. It certainly has me jonesing to see what everyone involved can come up with. And now, having watched Miles Teller in the absolutely fantastic film Whiplash, I’m even more excited and optimistic about the new Fantastic Four.

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If you’ve been waiting for the Spongebob Squarepants movie, it’s your weekend

Three new films are heading into theaters this weekend, and for the first time in a few weeks, we could see something new top the box office. Here are our predictions:

SB-2_posterAre you as surprised as I am that Spongebob Squarepants has had the extended life he’s had? Apparently the kids still love this lovable sponge, so much so that he’s starring in his second movie, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water. truthfully, I have no memory of the first film coming out, but clearly I’m not the demographic the studio is looking for. Mind you, I do have a young child at home, but I won’t be taking her to see this one. Other parents likely will take their kids, though, so look for a second place showing for Spongebob with $25 million.

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Who’s got short shorts? TIFF’s Oscar short-film showcase: Part II – Animation

The Oscars are coming up, airing Sunday, February 22nd for over 40 million people. Yesterday I looked at one of the hardest to follow Academy categories, the award for best live action short. Today we’ll take up another short category, certainly the most fun, the Oscar for best animated short. TIFF in Toronto is showing these for at least the next week, as well, and if you’re in the States, you can find listings for the Academy Awards short programs here.

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