Category Archives: General

The LEGO Batman Movie holds off newcomers to remain #1

You know all the new releases that debut this weekend? Forget about ’em, as none were able to really make an impact against the holdovers from last weekend. Here’s what went down:

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The LEGO Batman Movie continued its winning ways, holding on to the top spot at the box office with an estimated $32.1 million. The film should clear more than $100 million at the end of the four-day President’s Day long weekend in the U.S.. Read the rest of this entry

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‘A Man Called Ove’: Yet Another Grumpy Old Man, But Better Than Most

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They don’t come around all that often, but the movies love a charismatically gruff old man. From the goofy classic Grumpy Old Men with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau to Clint Eastwood’s racist curmudgeon in Gran Turino, there’s a strange appeal to bitter old cranks. At least, when they discover they have a heart after all. Hannes Holm’s A Man Called Ove, from the novel by Fredrik Backman, follows in the genre’s creaky, recalcitrant footsteps. With a wonderful performance as the titular Ove from Rolf Lassgård, the film hits all the right irascible notes. Nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Film category, and another for Makeup and Hairstyling, A Man Called Ove has been an unlikely success.

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Matt Damon, Ice Cube Looking for Box Office Gold This Weekend

It should prove to be an interesting weekend, as last week’s debut look to hold on to their standings at the box office. A few new releases are hoping to not make it easy for them. Which will come out top? Here are our predictions:

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The Great Wall is a new movie starring the usually reliable Matt Damon. However, last summer’s Jason Bourne underperformed at the box office, and buzz isn’t particularly high about this period drama. Throw in the fact that the action audience is currently being super-served by John Wick: Chapter Two, and I believe Damon is looking at a lackluster fourth place debut with $15 million.

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‘LEGO Batman’ wins the weekend, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’, ‘John Wick 2’ over perform

This was the sort of weekend all the studios love, as three new releases all performed exceptionally well, with one in particular overshooting the estimated mark. Here’s what went down:

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Debuting in first place as expected was the critically acclaimed The LEGO Batman Movie, which brought in a solid $55.6 million. The film manages to appeal to families and adults who love the character, LEGO, and/or both, and it should have some strong legs over the coming weeks, thanks to the rave reviews and likely word of mouth.  Read the rest of this entry

‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ looking to top the box office

It’s going to be a big battle at the box office this weekend, as three diverse new releases are looking to make an impact. Which will be number one? Here’s our prediction:

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The LEGO Batman Movie stars Will Arnett as the voice of the Caped Crusader, a part he played to outstanding effect in The LEGO Movie back in 2014. This standalone film is absolutely outstanding (the Princess and I battled a cough and migraine respectively and took in an early evening Thursday screening), and is arguably the best film featuring Batman since The Dark Knight. The characterization is spot on and, though done with tongue somewhat in cheek, captures both the heart and the darkness that makes the character so iconic. For longtime fans, there are also some hidden and some not-so-hidden easter eggs that will definitely make you laugh out loud. The film should appeal to older and younger audiences alike, and will no doubt be the pick for families heading out to theatres this weekend. Look for The LEGO Batman Movie to debut in first place with $75 million.

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Watching the Weird: ‘Big Meat Eater’

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Radioactivity was all the rage in the 1950s. In Burquitlam (a fictionalized version of the small town between Burnaby and Coquitlam, British Columbia), it’s all about the chemicals. Here, the local butcher’s cast-offs mix with the sludge in the septic tank to create Balonium, a chemical that is apparently highly sought after by aliens.

It’s also desired by teen scientist Jan Wczinski (Andrew Gillies) who is building a cyclotron, a contraption he describes as a power source for common household appliances: “Can openers, space ships, knife sharpeners. That sort of thing.” Wczinski and his Moldavian family live above the butcher shop, and when he discovers the radioactive green chemical he vies for the prize against the aliens who have reanimated the town’s mayor in an effort to obtain it themselves.

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Made by a small group of young filmmakers in British Columbia near the end of Canada’s tax shelter era, Big Meat Eater is a weird blend of musical, sci-fi, horror and comedy, and the result feels like something a bunch of friends put together to compile their strangest ideas. Ideas like a city hall run by people named Alderman Sonny the Weasel, a reanimated corpse singing about its rebirth and a mother recommending her daughter stuff pierogies down her top before going on a date. But for a film that reads like a random mash, it all blends together really, really well.

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‘Dancer’: Portrait of the Artist as a Frustrating Mess

Sometimes a talent is so oversized it’s like a bomb waiting to go off. One look at ballet’s enfant terrible Sergei Polunin and you can see the talent, his mesmerizing form crackling with electricity. You don’t need to know anything about ballet as Polunin launches his wiry frame impossibly high into the air to know that this kid’s got it. Dancer, the documentary from Steven Cantor (loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies) follows Polunin’s evolution, from child prodigy to hard partying success to burnt-out superstar. It’s an interesting if conventional portrait of an artist with tremendous gifts, lacking the tools to sustain a career.

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The Princess, age 6, reviews two ‘The LEGO Batman Movie’ Readers

In our house, the Princess and I are crazy psyched for The LEGO Batman Movie that hits theaters this coming Friday. We were both fans of The LEGO Movie, which has been a fairly regular watch for the last few years. While my girl loves Wildstyle, she’s also got a laugh out of Will Arnet’s take on The Dark Knight.

“He’s funny,” said the Princess when I quizzed her about it this weekend.

To get us primed and pumped for the new movie, our pals at DK sent over a few related books, which would up perfect for us, as the Princess this year has been learning how to read (she’s 6, FYI).

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Shyamalan’s ‘Split’ continues its box office reign

If you’re into horror, it would be safe to say that one horror franchise should have stayed dead and buried considering the results of this week’s box office. Here’s what went down:

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The good news first – M.Night Shymalan’s Split is at the top of the box office for a third week in a row. The film brought in an estimated $14.6 million, raising its total to $98.7 million. It’s the first Shyamalan film to stay on top for three weeks, and in a day or two it will pass the $100 million mark. With two hits in a row, clearly the director is back to his winning ways.

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‘Rings’ looks to scare ‘Split’ from the top of the box office

A new instalment in a horror franchise enters the fray this weekend. Will it find an audience or fail like others before it? Here’s our prediction:

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Rings is the third entry into a franchise that began back in 2002 with The Ring. At the time, the film, about a haunted video tape that killed its viewers seven days after watching its contents, was a fairly big hit at the time, but that was 15 years ago and its fair to say few have been clamouring for a new instalment. Rings hasn’t been screened in advance for critics, and that’s never a good sign. On that note, look for a second place debut with $11.5 million.

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