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Get Out gets it right, scores big at the box office

One of the most anticipated thrillers of recent times opened this weekend, and audiences were ready and waiting for it. Here’s what went down:

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Get Out, the psychological thriller from Jordan Peele, debut in the top spot this weekend with an estimated $30.5 million, definitely on the high side of estimates. I had a chance to see Get Out on Friday night and it was outstanding. The performances from all the lead actors were excellent, it dealt with the subject matter of race relations in a unique method and was genuinely tense throughout its entire running time. My one let down was I was hoping the film would be significantly scarier that it actually was. Regardless, Get Out is a thriller that delivered and then some.  Read the rest of this entry

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Now Streaming On Shudder: Takashi Miike’s ‘Audition’

One of the best things about the horror streaming service Shudder is the depth and breadth of its catalogue. It features not only low-budget films that have been overlooked, but also classics of the international horror canon.

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Takashi Miike is an incredibly prolific director, having helmed more than 90 films since he began his career in 1991. One of his most well-known movies is 1999’s Audition. As a newcomer to Miike’s filmography, I felt it was time for me to finally tackle a film that often appears on lists of the greatest horror films ever made.
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Get Out looking to hit #1 this weekend

If you’re a fan of horror films, this is a big weekend, as one of the most anticipated genre films in quite a while is hitting theatres. Will it make any impact at the box office? Here’s our prediction:

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Get Out is the new thriller from Blumhouse and Jordan Peele, who is best known for his work as one half of the comedy duo Key and Peele. The trailers for this clearly socially conscious film have been absolutely stunning, and should be big drivers in getting a diverse audience to check out the film this weekend. Combined with a current 100% fresh standing at Rotten Tomatoes and its clear that Get Out is the film to beat. Look for a first place debut with $29 million.

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Watching the Weird: ‘Wild Zero’

It’s only ten minutes into Wild Zero when it is clear this film is heading for a perfect rating on my chaos meter.

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Just before the ten-minute mark we’re in the back room of a club witnessing a stand-off between Guitar Wolf (the band, which is made up of men named Guitar Wolf, Bass Wolf and Drum Wolf), a gangster-like talent booker and his henchmen. By this point in the film not much has happened. We’ve met Ace (Masashi Endô), a greaser who loves Guitar Wolf and rock ‘n’ roll in equal measure, and he’s waiting outside the door of this back room to meet his heroes. Just then our dubious talent booker, pointing a gun at the band, says “Rock ‘n’ roll is over, baby” and triggers the beginning of the mania.
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‘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

‘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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