April 23, 2014

Tag Archives: film

‘Non-Stop’ dethrones ‘The Lego Movie’ at the Box Office

Happy Oscar Sunday everyone! While wait for the show to start later on this evening, it’s time for the weekly box office report. Leading the way this weekend was a new film for a change, as Liam Neeson’s thriller Non-Stop debuted at number one with an estimated $30 million. At number two we had the debut of the religious flick Son of God, which took in an estimated $26.5 million, and down at number 14 we had the re-release of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues in a special R rated edition. That movie grabbed an extra $1.3 million from fans. Among the limited release openings, we had a wide range of indie titles that failed to make much of a mark, including The Bag Man, Ernest & Celestine, The Lunchbox, and Stalingrad. They didn’t embarrass themselves, but none look to be a crossover hit or anything of that sort.
Liam Neeson continues to be a reliable action hero, as Non-Stop had a very solid first weekend haul. As for Son of God, folks didn’t seem to mind that it’s just an expanded version of the TV series The Bible that they already could have seen for free. As for Anchorman 2, that re-release was only designed for hardcore fans of the film, so don’t read too much into that small cume.
Among the notable holdovers in theaters, The LEGO Movie continued to be a blockbuster with another $21 million in its bank account. The other good holds were that of The Monuments Men, which made $5 million and keeps right on chugging along, as well as the $3.6 million more that Frozen took in this weekend.
Here now is what the top ten looked like at the box office for this particular weekend:
1. Non-Stop – $30,019,000
2. Son of God – $26,500,000
3. The LEGO Movie – $21,015,000
4. The Monuments Men – $5,000,000
5. 3 Days to Kill – $4,900,000
6. RoboCop – $4,500,000
7. Pompeii – $4,300,000
8. Frozen – $3,611,000
9. About Last Night – $3,400,000
10. Ride Along – $3,065,000

Oscars: Get to know the Best Actress race

Best Actress
Nominees: Amy Adams for American Hustle, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Judi Dench for Philomena, and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County
Notable precursor wins: Adams wins Golden Globe Award (Comedy), while Blanchett wins BAFTA, Broadcast Film Critics, Golden Globe (Drama), and Screen Actors Guild Awards, while McConaughey wins Broadcast Film Critics Association, Golden Globe (Drama), and Screen Actors Guild Awards
Current frontrunner: Cate Blanchett
Next in line: Amy Adams
Dark horse: Judi Dench
Continuing on with my “Get to know” series, we now turn our attention to the Best Actress race today. As you can no doubt see above, the ladies making up this category are Amy Adams for American Hustle, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Sandra Bullock for Gravity, Judi Dench for Philomena, and Meryl Streep for August: Osage County. From the very beginning, it always appeared to be an Adams vs Blanchett race, and that’s what’s come to pass, though most thought it would be closer than it’s turned out to be. Right now, Blanchett looks like a lock to take home the Oscar.
From the start, Blanchett has basically swept the precursors, with Adams really only scoring when the Actress field is split up between Comedy and Drama. There was a brief moment before the awards started coming in where it seemed like someone could step up to beat here, with the buzz mainly surrounding Adams, but time after time when they’ve gone up against each other, Blanchett has come out on top. That leads me to believe that she’s more assured of a win than some claim.
Now, unless somehow Woody Allen’s recent bad publicity has an effect, Blanchett is going to win her second Oscar. If she winds up being beaten, the upset is going to come from Adams, though there’s a small chance that it could be the late charging Dench that wins, but realistically it’s going to be Blanchett. She’s a pretty safe bet here too.
Stay tuned for the rest of the acting categories this week, with Best Supporting Actor up next!

Another week on top of the Box Office for “The Lego Movie”

Happy Sunday once again everyone, time for the weekly box office report! Leading the way this weekend for the third time was The LEGO Movie, which had a very strong hold again, taking in an estimated $31.4 million, again easily taking the top spot, with no signs of letting it go anytime soon either. New release 3 Days to Kill opened mildly at $12.3 million for the runner up spot, while Pompeii disappointed at number three with just barely over $10 million. Among the limited release openings, Academy Award nominees The Wind Rises and Omar opened decently, while In Secret did as well. That being said, no one lighted up the specialty box office, though that could change in the weeks to come once the Oscars are over and the focus turns fully onto 2014 releases.
The LEGO Movie continues to dominate through and through, with potentially another week on top still to come before it relinquishes its grasp on audience members. In terms of the films that debuted this weekend, 3 Days to Kill underwhelmed but didn’t outright bomb, while the same can not be said for Pompeii. That one was a bit of a disaster folks…no pun intended.
Among the notable holdovers in theaters besides The LEGO Movie, RoboCop finished fourth with $9.4 million, while The Monuments Men dropped to fifth with $8.1 million (continuing to display better legs than expected), About Last Night fell to sixth with $4.6 million, and Ride Along finished seventh with another $4.6 million.
Here now is what the top ten looked like at the box office for this particular weekend:
1. The LEGO Movie – $31,450,000
2. 3 Days to Kill – $12,300,000
3. Pompei – $10,010,000
4. RoboCop – $9,400,000
5. The Monuments Men – $8,100,000
6. About Last Night – $7,400,000
7. Ride Along – $4,667,000
8. Frozen – $4,357,000
9. Endless Love – $4,301,000
10. Winter’s Tale – $2,130,000

The Sound of Lone Survivor – Featured interviews

We talk with the Oscar nominated sound team behind Director Peter Berg’s film Lone Survivor which is based on the 2007 nonfiction book of the same name by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson.
Featured interviews include Supervising Sound Editor Wylie Stateman, Re-recording Mixer Andy Koyama, Re-recording Mixer Beau Borders, Sound Designer Harry Cohen, Sound Editor Dror Mohar, Supervising Dialogue and ADR Editor Renee Tondelli, and Sound Editor Brandon Spencer.

Synopsis
Marcus Luttrell, a Navy Seal, and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. After running into mountain herders and capturing them, they were left with no choice but to follow their rules of engagement or be imprisoned. Now Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.
To read more go to The Sound of Lone Survivor – SoundWorks Collection Exclusive
Sound Credits
Beau Borders Sound Re Recording Mixer
Charlie Campagna Sound Effects Recordist
Harry Cohen Sound Designer
Nerses Gezalyan Sound Mixer
Hector C. Gika Sound Effects Editor
Gary A. Hecker Supervising Foley Artist
Michael Hertlein Dialogue Editor
Rob Hidalgo Utility Sound
Zack Howard Assistant Re Recording Mixer
Andy Koyama Sound Re Recording Mixer
Kyle D. Krajewski Adr Recordist
Gary Marullo Foley Artist
Michael Miller Adr Mixer
Dror Mohar Sound Editor
Edwardo Santiago Boom Operator
Gary L.G. Simpson Dubbing Stage Engineer
Brian Slack Dubbing Stage Engineer
Branden Spencer Sound Editor
Wylie Stateman Supervising Sound Editor
Tim Hoagland Re Recording Mix Technician (Uncredited)
Patrick Spain Mix Technician Recordist (Uncredited)
Greg Steele Adr Mixer (Uncredited)
Billy Theriot Adr Mixer (Uncredited)
To read more go to www.soundworkscollection.com

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Terence Winter
Main cast members: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Rob Reiner, Jon Bernthal, Cristin Milioti, Jean Dujardin, P.J. Byrne, Jon Favreau, Christine Ebersole, Shea Whigham, and Joanna Lumley
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 5
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Scorsese), Best Actor (DiCaprio), Best Supporting Actor (Hill), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Winter)
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globe Awards, Won Best Actor in a Comedy at the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, and Won Best Adapted Screenplay from the National Board of Review
Chances at winning Best Picture: Slim to none, quite frankly
Chances at other Academy Award wins: A shutout is pretty likely, though DiCaprio has an outside chance to pull the upset in the Best Actor race
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, HER, Nebraska, and Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street is the ninth (and final) film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s one last nominee that realistically has to look at the very nomination itself in this category as the only award that it can count on. For the longest time, it was sort of an awards season X factor, as no one quite knew if it would come out in 2013, let alone if it would be Oscar worthy. Well, it got in just under the wire and turned out to be easily the liveliest of the Best Picture contenders, inspiring some early talk that it could win. That hasn’t sustained, but Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio did get nominations as well, with the latter still having an outside chance of a victory in Best Actor. The likely result is a shutout for the movie, but it’s a memorable flick and an out of the box nomination from the Academy, regardless of anything else.
Working in The Wolf of Wall Street’s favor is how enthusiastic fans of the movie are and how successful it has been at the box office. This is a big hit and the most overtly funny flick in the lineup, so it’s able to differentiate itself from a lot of the more independent and serious minded films making up the nominees. The presence of DiCaprio and Scorsese certainly doesn’t hurt either. They took home the big prize once before for The Departed, [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Philomena”

Directed by: Stephen Frears
Written by: Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Main cast members: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Peter Hermann, and Sean Mahon
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 4
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Actress (Dench), Best Adapted Screenplay (Coogan and Pope), and Best Original Score
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards and Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival last year
Chances at winning Best Picture: Rather slim, though there’s supposedly a late surge going on to at least give it a long shot chance at a huge upset
Chances at other Academy Award wins: It’s potentially going to be shut out, though Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score are certainly in play
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, HER, and Nebraska
Philomena is the eighth (and second to last) film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another nominee that realistically has to look at the nomination itself as the only surefire reward it can count on here. Yes, co-writer/co-star Steve Coogan and his partner Jeff Pope could swoop in and steal Best Adapted Screenplay (while Best Original Score is an open field), but Judi Dench is way behind in Best Actress, so there’s nothing for this movie to hang its hat on. Still, it’s a crowd pleaser for the most part, and that’s always a dangerous contender in Best Picture, so be aware of that.
Working in Philomena’s favor is the Harvey Weinstein factor. Weinstein and his brother Bob have had some tremendous success running The Weinstein Company, especially when it comes to getting their films recognized. They pulled a bit of a rabbit out of their hats getting a Best Picture nominee for this flick and since then have been working overtime to make the case that this movie deserves to win. While Best Picture is a hard sell, they can certainly make the argument that the film should be recognized somewhere, which is why Best Adapted Screenplay is in play. If enough of the older and female voters (which is where the campaign is focused) are taken with this flick, I suppose anything is possible, considering how it’s made so many moves late in the game.
If you’re looking for something that’s not in this film’s favor, it’s the fact that it has the fewest nominations [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Her”

“Her”
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Written by: Spike Jonze
Main cast members: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, and Portia Doubleday
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 5
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Original Screenplay (Jonze), Best Production Design, Best Original Score, and Best Original Song
Notable precursor wins: Won Best Original Screenplay at the Writers Guild of America Awards, Won Best Screenplay at the Golden Globe Awards, and Won Best Film/Best Director from the National Board of Review
Chances at winning Best Picture: It’d be an absolute shock if it managed to win Best Picture, so it’s slim to none here
Chances at other Academy Award wins: It’s the frontrunner for Best Original Screenplay, while it’s not impossible for any of its tech nominations to turn into upset wins.
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Her is the six film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s another nominee that has to consider the nomination itself to be the real reward, at least in this category. That being said, the nod (along with all of its noms overall) is really something to admire. Such a singular and unique movie being nominated for more than a token Oscar or two is a nice change of pace for the Academy. Especially considering that it scored not just a Best Picture citation but a Best Original Screenplay as well, there are voters here who are very fond of this film, and that pleases me to no end. Regardless of anything else, it’s nothing like any other nominee this year, or really in history I’d argue, so kudos to Spike Jonze and company for such fine work. He may not be a serious Best Picture contender, but Jonze is likely to win the Original Screenplay Oscar, so the flick isn’t too likely to go home empty handed regardless.
Working in Her’s favor is just how different and romantic it is. The film has connected with so many people, arguably in a way that no other nominee has been able to do. Members of the Academy were taken by this movie in more than one way, honoring not just the film itself and it’s writing, but the production design and musical components as well. Multiple tech nominations are a sure sign of widespread support. Without it, you have no chance at [...]

Roger Deakins won’t be returning to shoot the next James Bond film

I don’t know about any of you, but one of my absolute favorite parts of the last James Bond film Skyfall was the cinematography of Roger Deakins. Arguably the most talented director of photography in the business, Deakins is an absolute master and rightly was nominated for an Oscar for his work on that movie. That was his tenth Academy Award nomination at the time, and he’s since added another one this year for Prisoners. Sadly, he still hasn’t won, though it’s possible that he could pull an upset and finally score a win next month (don’t count on it though). Still, the job he did on Skyfall with director Sam Mendes was stunning, so I was looking forward to seeing them team up again on the sequel/next installment of the franchise. Alas, it appears like that won’t be happening.
Yes, reports have come out today stating that Deakins won’t be joining Mendes on the movie, most likely due to scheduling conflicts. He’s obviously one of the most in demand cinematographers in the business, so it stands to reason that the allure of something new trumped coming back to shoot a sequel. It obviously puts a bit of a damper on the Skyfall sequel, but with Deakins likely going to be teaming up with his longtime collaborators Joel and Ethan Coen again soon (though there’s nothing official about a new project for them right now), there’s a potential bright side to this news at least.
If you’re looking for when Deakins could finally win his long deserved Oscar, it could be next year for his work on the Angelina Jolie-directed World War II flick Unbroken, which could have some amazing visual components. That’s clearly putting the cart before the horse though, so I’ll steer clear of that for now, but keep that possibility in the back of your minds.
Regardless, this is our first Bond related news in a while, so that’s something, though it’s not exactly the most ideal news. We’ll all be there no matter who shoots the picture though, so it’s not exactly a deal breaker or anything of the sort. The technical prowess of Skyfall just spoiled us is all…

The many facets of Leo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall Street

By Michael Russnow
As Oscar voters continue to mark their ballots until this Wednesday, I wonder what goes into their thinking? Do they vote specifically for what they believe is the best achievement of last year, a surprising performance and accomplishment or is it a cumulative assessment of someone’s career?
For all these reasons, and not just one, I’m going against the grain of what appears to be the general consensus and strongly suggest that Leonardo DiCaprio deserves the Oscar this year for The Wolf of Wall Street, even more than favorite Matthew McConaughey.
This doesn’t in any way diminish McConaughey’s performance in Dallas Buyers Club. It was terrific, and the subject matter of the film made it that much more compelling. However, DiCaprio’s execution, in my view, was even more powerful, in particular as it was a totally different characterization and portrayal than we’ve ever seen from the actor before.
It’s hard to realize sometimes that Leo has been in filmdom’s consciousness for twenty-one years, since he was elevated from his sitcom supporting role in ABC’s Growing Pains to the wow factor engendered in his major debut role opposite Robert De Niro in This Boy’s Life. Later in 1993 that respect was magnified when he stole What’s Eating Gilbert Grape from Johnny Depp and was rewarded with his first Oscar nomination at the age of nineteen.
For the next several years, he continued to intrigue audiences with a different assortment of characters, sometimes in mixed films such as Basketball Diaries and Total Eclipse, in more respected fare such as Marvin’s Room and Romeo and Juliet, and finally emerging as a superstar in Titanic.
Since then he has won fans and critical plaudits for his work in Catch Me If You Can, a young Howard Hughes in The Aviator, as a South African in Blood Diamond and an undercover policeman in The Departed, sometimes Oscar nominated, more times not and sometimes robbed of a nod as in the case of J. Edgar and last year’s Django Unchained.
Through it all, he has mostly been acclaimed for quirky dramatic performances until finally his well-known personal impishness came forth comedically in The Wolf of Wall Street. In this film, which I mostly liked but not entirely, Leo displayed so many facets, delivering emotional high points while also sometimes hysterically funny, that I wonder if his excellence has become so expected we don’t realize how different the role is and [...]

Oscars: Get to know a Best Picture nominee: “Gravity”

“Gravity”
Directed by: Alfonso Cuarón
Written by: Alfonso Cuarón and Jonás Cuarón (reportedly with some uncredited collaboration by George Clooney as well)
Main cast members: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and Ed Harris (voice)
Number of Oscar nominations in total: 10
Other nominations besides Best Picture: Best Director (Cuarón), Best Actress (Bullock), Best Production Design, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects
Notable precursor wins: Tied for Best Picture at the Producers Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Directors Guild of America Awards, Won Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards, Won Best Director and Best British Film at the BAFTA Awards,
Chances at winning Best Picture: One of the top three contenders for the award and a definite co-frontrunner, if not THE frontrunner
Chances at other Academy Award wins: A sure fire win in Best Director, along with Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects, though it could legitimately win every technical award that it’s nominated for
ANALYSIS OF OTHER OSCAR NOMINEES: 12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity and HER.
Gravity is the fifth film in my “get to know a Best Picture nominee” series, and it’s the other main contender in the category. In fact, it’s probably got the best chance of the bunch to win. Sure, I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture, and I’d be one of the few not surprised by an American Hustle win, but still…Gravity is the most likely of that trio. It tied with Hustle for the most nominations overall, has picked up some strong precursor attention, and will likely dominate the tech categories at the Oscar ceremony. That gives it a leg up on the competition for sure. It’ll likely come down to if voters are opposed to citing a science fiction film as their Best Picture winner. If they don’t mind, then this movie is probably winning the Oscar.
Working in Gravity’s favor is just how significant its wins have been and how rare a split between Best Picture and Best Director is. Alfonso Cuarón has dominated the Best Director race, so his win is a slam dunk. With the flick tied for the most nominations overall and a prime competitor for the top prize, it’ll be all too easy for Academy members to not split their ballot. It may not have won the [...]

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