Category Archives: movies

The Lovers and the Despot

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A mad dictator obsessed with film kidnaps the best director and actress of a rival country, so that his nation can make its movies world-class. In two years, the captive pair churn out seventeen movies, before escaping to freedom. Oh, and they’re married. That’s not the ludicrous pitch to the next Coen Brothers flick. It’s actually a true story. In a limited theatrical run and just released to iTunes today, The Lovers and the Despot lays out the ludicrous details in a fascinating, strange documentary.

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The Magnificent Seven ride to the top of the box office

Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington were a wild and winning combination this weekend at the box office, as their new film scored with audiences. Here’s what went down:

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The Magnificent Seven proved to big a hit, debuting in first place at the box office with a strong $35.4 million. This showing is director Antoine Fuqua’s biggest opening ever, and the second best western debut after Cowboys and Aliens $36 million (and you could argue that that film was more science fiction than western). The Magnificent Seven had a budget of $70 million and should wind up a profitable endeavour by the time its run is complete.  Read the rest of this entry

The Magnificent Seven shooting for the top of the box office

Will a high profile remake of a classic western find favour with an audience this weekend, or will families see what the stork delivers? Here’s our prediction:

The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the classic 1960 western, with an incredible cast that reunites Training Day director Antoine Fuqua with his stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. Throw in recently minted mega-star Chris Pratt and you have all the makings of a big hit. Even with some lacklustre reviews, the names attached here are big enough to guarantee a solid opening weekend. Look for The Magnificent Seven to debut in first place with $48 million.

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Blair Witch, Bridget Jones both bomb at the box office

It was a complete and utter disaster at the box office for one big new release this weekend. When we’re wrong, we go balls out wrong. Here’s what went down:

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For the second weekend in a row, Sully was number one at the box office, bringing in an estimated $22 million. The film has now brought in $70 million, making back its budget and giving Tom Hanks and Clint Eastwood a nice little hit on their hands.

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TIFF 2016 Review: La La Land an exhilarating People’s Choice Award winner

The big Hollywood musical is alive and well. Sure, it’s an endangered species, but Damien Chazelle’s vibrant La La Land is about as fine a specimen as you can find. Chosen by Toronto’s filmgoing horde as the best film at TIFF this year, La La Land is a throwback tour de force.

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The New “Blair Witch” Movie Goes Back to the Original’s Roots – Literally

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Whether you like The Blair Witch Project or not, there’s no denying that it changed horror cinema forever. Capitalizing on the burgeoning power of the Internet, it helped to not only usher in nearly two decades of found footage films in horror, but also predicted the rise of viral marketing.
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TIFF 2016 Review: Into the Inferno finds the many meanings at the brink

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Werner Herzog is a living legend, a madman director who insists he’s “the only sane filmmaker.” The director of the eighties remake of Nosferatu and the surreal “let’s drag an entire steamship over a mountain” movie Fitzcaraldo (plus countless others) has largely turned his attention to documentary in the past twenty years. His latest explores a subject close to his fevered, compulsive mind. Into the Inferno follows Herzog and co-director and vulcanologist Clive Oppenheimer as they traipse around the globe, visiting the world’s mightiest volcanoes.

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TIFF 2016 Review: “Arrival” delivers thoughtful sci-fi with a heartfelt twist

Amy Adams is having a pretty great year. It’s only going to get better. With two top-flight films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, she’s this year’s Benedict Cumberbatch. I already wrote about her note-perfect performance as the love-lorn gallery curator in Tom Ford’s chilly noir Nocturnal Animals. Her role in Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral sci-fi feature Arrival is even better. The movie is pretty great, too. But Amy, she should clear some space on her mantle.

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TIFF 2016 Review: In “Nocturnal Animals”, revenge is a dish best served ice cold

With Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford seems compelled to make up for lost time. Seven years after the success of the fashion designer’s directorial debut A Single Man, Ford’s second feature merges two noir tales into a single multifaceted narrative, dancing through time and multiple fictions. Haunting, by turns icy and anguished, it’s an unsettling and exquisite study of failure, loss and revenge.

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TIFF 2016 Review: “American Honey” crackles with energy, winds up a sticky mess

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Following a rag-tag group of teens selling and sexing across the mid-West, American Honey is a modern-day Kids, minus that film’s relentless pessimism and narrative drive. With a near interminable three-hour running time, director Andrea Arnold’s fourth feature is fuelled by muddled hope and hunger, and the boundless energy of its kinetic youthful stars. If slam-bangin’ road movies across the corroded skeleton of America are your thing, read on.

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