Archive for November, 2013

Berlin International Film Festival to honour Ken Loach

November 30th, 2013 - admin

As Ken Loach completes his final fiction feature, ‘Jimmy’s Hall’, it is wholly appropriate that the Berlin International Film Festival will pay tribute to the British auteur with the award of an honorary Golden Bear.  Loach has made a huge impact on world cinema over a fifty year period with his influential blend of social realism and engaging drama, often tackling controversial political subjects.  It is no coincidence that Loach has won over 75 awards during his illustrious career, including Cannes’ Palme d’Or for ‘The Wind That Shakes the Barley’.  He falls into that small group of filmmakers who have eschewed Hollywood but their films still attract an event buzz.

Eye catching opening for ‘Frozen’

November 29th, 2013 - admin

Disney animation, ‘Frozen’, made a flying start at the North American box office, grossing a powerful $15.2m on Wednesday as the Thanksgiving session got under way.  With first night audiences awarding the film an outstanding ‘A+’ CinemaScore, word of mouth should propel it to a $75m+ five-day tally.


Usually that would be enough for ‘Frozen’ to claim the No. 1 spot but ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ is showing no sign of slowing down.  The action sequel earned a whacking $20.7m on Wednesday and should enjoy a second weekend hold close to the $100m mark.

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Release date for Mann’s cyber thriller

November 29th, 2013 - admin

We shall have to wait until January 2015 for the North American release of Michael Mann’s next feature, Cyber, which is currently in post production.  Mann will bring globalisation to his trademark thriller style when an international anti-cybertheft task force pursues an elusive hacker.  An intriguing cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis and  Tang Wei.

Independent Spirit Awards 2013

November 27th, 2013 - admin

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire blazes to $146m internationally

November 26th, 2013 - admin

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire dominated the international weekend box office, debuting on an impressive $146m after claiming a hatful of No.1’s.  The film was active in 64 international markets and the UK led the way on $19.8m with Lionsgate’s highest ever opening for the territory.  After factoring in North America, Catching Fire has already amassed over $300m globally.


Alfonso Cuarón’s award season contender, ‘Gravity’, arrived in China where it earned a jaw dropping $35.5m with Imax screens contributing $7.4m towards the tally.  Catching Fire’s release in the territory just two days later will damage the prospects for both films being a deliberate ploy by the protectionist local film industry.


Last weekend’s No. 1, Thor: The Dark World, took a further $24.8m internationally, increasing its running total to $381m.  The Disney sequel remains a presence in 72 territories.

Hunger Games 2 catches fire after quiet Friday

November 25th, 2013 - admin

1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) Lionsgate International $161.1m (NE)
2. Thor: The Dark World (Buena Vista) WDSMPI $14.1m ($167.8m) (1)
3. The Best Man Holiday (Universal) UPI $12.5m ($50.4m) (2)
4. Delivery Man (Buena Vista-DreamWorks) WDSMPI $8.2m (NE)
5. Free Birds (Relativity Media) Relativity International $5.3m ($48.6m) (4)


Hunger Games: Catching Fire debuted on $161m at the North American weekend box office in line with more conservative market forecasts.  It follows a turbulent few days with Thursday night late shows indicating that the action sequel could challenge the $174m highest weekend launch of the year from Iron Man 3, only for a quiet Friday appearing to place the film in the same ballpark as the original’s $152.5m.  And then, a powerful ‘A’ CinemaScore from first night audiences built on strong reviews and Fandango’s 92% pre-sales market share to lead a recovery and the film’s final tally easily went on to become the territory’s highest ever November opening.  Without the premium boost that goes with 3D screenings, Catching Fire was always facing an uphill challenge in topping Iron Man 3′s total.


Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth all return from the original and Francis Lawrence, best known for I Am Legend, takes over the directing duties from Gary Ross.  Lionsgate is already preparing the next two films in the franchise.

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November 25th, 2013 - admin

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November 25th, 2013 - admin

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November 25th, 2013 - admin

If we judged cinema by the quality of its special effects alone, then Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’ would, indeed, be worthy of the huge praise that critics have almost universally bestowed upon it since the film opened Venice earlier this year.


Never before have we seen such expansive use of cinema’s resources, the overwhelming sense that the cast and crew have metaphorically relocated to outer space and filmed this sci-fi thriller high above earth, which we see, intermittently, drifting into view in all its incandescent wonder.  So emphatic is the insistence of unexpected reality, it enters the realms of the surreal, an extreme hyperreality that is both unsettling and enticing at one and the same time.  And setting out his store, Cuarón opens with a masterfully choreographed exposition in the form of a 17 minute long take, which is a technical triumph by anybody’s reckoning.


And yet, a cheesy script, cliché plotting and predictable performances ground the film in the past – the mainstream world of pastiche – which imposes a blockbuster entertainment mentality on a new cinematic reality that rejects anything blatantly contrived.  It creates an unwanted tension at the heart of the film that nags away throughout and, at best, comes across as faintly ridiculous.  Others have chosen to ignore it – arguing that the stylistic wizardry in some way subsumes all else – but they know – don’t they – how film form works and it is not that way.


Sandra Bullock and George Clooney play astronauts Dr Ryan Stone and Matt Kowalsky, a formulaic pairing of a nervy rookie and experienced old pro familiar to us from the cop genre in particular.  It is one hell of mission for a first timer, you might think, as Stone goes about her business carrying out important work to a space telescope, with Kowalsky aimlessly drifting around on a spacewalk, engaging in quasi-smart conversation with Houston control – trade mark Clooney stuff – and listening to Hank Williams jnr – honest – on his headset.  Imagine one of those Deep South road movies with country music radio stations providing the soundtrack suddenly transported to outer space.


One of the film’s most successful moments sees things take a dramatic turn for the worse when Russians have a catastrophic accident with their equipment, causing a storm of debris to hurtle towards the Americans; one of those post Cold War incidents, post modern style, where old habits never quite die when it comes to portraying the old enemy.  It is spectacular stuff; objects smashed to smithereens in seconds, space apparatus spun around uncontrollably and the frantic astronauts spiralling helplessly towards the void without the gravity of the film’s title to save them and with Stone’s oxygen running dangerously low.  The camera is in hot pursuit, performing breathtaking cinematic gymnastics of its own, first swinging this way, and, then, swerving the other – as if avoiding the rapid-fire shrapnel bullets itself – and totally engulfing the audience in the chaos.


And there is a well judged change of perspective, when we find ourselves inside Stone’s helmet, looking – as she does – at her shell-shocked translucent reflection in the glass and listening to her fast breathing break the terrible silence of doom.  It is the briefest of moments that somehow fully encapsulates her plight and the awesome power of nothingness.


But, having set the scene for something on a huge cosmic scale, Cuarón inexplicably returns to matters terrestrial with a backstory for Stone, who, we are told, had lost a daughter in a freak accident.  Shamelessly obvious ‘mother and child’ symbolism – there is even a foetuses position set-piece alongside umbilical cord metaphors all over the place – serve a sub-plot that barely reaches beyond the ambition of an afternoon TV drama and hits an embarrassing low point with a hackneyed dream sequence that threatens to tip the film over the edge in the gravitational sense.  Later attempts to tie it in with a rebirth theme lacks depth and, hopelessly, misfires.


That said, none of this should come as a surprise.  Cuarón already has form with the strangely overrated ‘Children of Men’ for failing to find a workable balance between innovation and commercialism.  Cuarón is an excellent filmmaker when he remains true to his indie roots and sensibility and ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ was easily one of last decade’s most engaging films.  It begs the question as to what kind of ‘Gravity’ that Cuarón would have made but the more he continues with a Hollywood career and chasing award season success, the harder it will be for him to make uncontaminated films that endure in the real sense.  Time will tell whether Carlos Reygadas, who has resolutely avoided Hollywood like the proverbial plague, will make more of a mark on film history than his better known contemporaries in the Mexican new wave.


This was a missed opportunity.  Notwithstanding all of the jaw-dropping spectacle that ‘Gravity’ offers, David Jones’ small budget low-fi ‘Moon’ gave us far more to ponder during and after the film.  That’s the point.


And as for the 3D debate, a film should be capable of standing up to a normal screening without the aid of a gimmicky pair of glasses that compels us to watch it in a strange artificial twilight.  Clearly, ‘Gravity’ doesn’t.

Catching Fire on pace for the second highest launch of the year

November 24th, 2013 - admin

Hunger Games: Catching Fire’s debut weekend at the North American box office has proved one of the year’s hardest to predict.  A spectacular $25.25m on Thursday night suggested that the film would exceed the $170m at the top end of market expectations but surprisingly quiet Friday matinees – not the most reliable indicator – pointed to it falling $20m short of the $160m at the bottom end of the analysts’ predictions.  As it turned out, the action sequel gained some additional momentum Friday night to close the day on $70.5m and it weekend’s takings should now fall somewhere close to the half way point between the matinees’ projection and the lower market forecasts.  This would leave it in the same ballpark of the original’s $152.5m weekend launch notwithstanding stronger reviews and Fandango’s highest pre-sales of the year so far with a 92% market share.


A further twist in the saga is not entirely out of the question with its excellent ‘A’ CinemaScore suggesting powerful word of mouth going into Saturday and Sunday.  But Catching Fire does not have the premium boost that goes with 3D screenings to propel the film in the same way as Iron Man 3 when it achieved $174m for this year’s highest weekend debut so far.


The sequel has a new director with Francis Lawrence, best known for I Am Legend, taking over from Gary Ross but co-stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson both return.

Adam Driver joins Jeff Nichols’ sci-fi drama

November 23rd, 2013 - admin

Jeff Nichols has expanded the cast of his forthcoming ‘Midnight Special’ to include emerging star, Adam Driver (‘Lincoln’, ‘Frances Ha’).  Michael Shannon, returning from all of Nichols’ previous three films, Kirsten Dunst and Joel Edgerton are already on board for the filmmaker’s first excursion into the revitalised sci-fi genre.  But the plot, focusing on a father who discovers that his son has special powers, indicates that Nichols will not be drifting too far away from his strong character-led narrative style.generic cialis imagesorder cialis from india cheap cialis indiabest place to order cialis online
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Sequel of Capra classic in pre-production

November 20th, 2013 - admin

What are they thinking?  Bob Farnsworth and Martha Bolton are working on a script for a sequel of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, which, by the sound of it, will rework Frank Capra’s Christmas classic but with George Bailey’s grandchildren becoming the central characters instead.  The production team has not yet assigned a director to the rip-off.cost of cialis 10mg cost of 20mg cialis at cvs buy cialis pills onlinegeneric cialis safe
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Outstanding launch for ‘The Best Man Holiday’

November 18th, 2013 - admin

‘The Best Man Holiday’ exceeded market expectations by more than $10m upon its North American release, finishing the weekend on an outstanding $30.5m from just 2,024 theatres.  A combined pre-release event buzz and solid reviews gave the comedy sequel a stronger Friday than ‘Thor: The Dark World’, and a stunning ‘A+’ CinemaScore fuelled powerful word-of-mouth throughout Saturday and Sunday.


Malcolm D. Lee has reassembled the cast from the original, ‘The Best Man’, including Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs, despite the 14-year gap.  With the audience being 87% African American and 63% thirty-five or over, the original’s fans seem to have returned in their droves.  This was very much Universal’s target audience, of course, but it will be looking to expand the film’s marketing over the holiday season.


‘Thor 2’ recovered from a quiet Friday to finish the three days in first place with a respectable $38.4m.  Benefiting from a strong 3D presence amongst its market-high 3,841 theatres, the film was always well placed to attract Saturday and Sunday audiences.price of 5mg cialis at walmart generic cialis for sale online cialis price in dubai cialis 20mg online australia

Captain Phillips

November 18th, 2013 - admin

Western nations found it very easy to ignore the ugly side of globalisation when the fallout from extreme exploitation led to civil wars and appalling poverty in distant lands with little comeback for the perpetrators.  It was a one way ticket or, at least, that is what they thought until new information technology reached the victims, who suddenly found some pretty ugly means, themselves, to tear up the rule book and turn the tables.  It was this perilous state of affairs that lay behind two worlds colliding during the mid-noughties when local fisherman/pirates picked off commercial ships as they turned the corner at Somalia – still a necessary trade route – and routinely demanded and received huge ransom payments from insurance companies prepared to chuck dollars by the sack-load from airplanes flying above the Indian Ocean coastline.


By the time that Maersk Alabama was caught in this economic rupture four years ago, it was the sixth vessel in a week to suffer a sustained piracy onslaught.  The vessel’s captain, Richard Phillips, provided a blow by blow account of the incident in a book co-written with Stephan Talty, which Paul Greengrass has now adapted for the big screen with a script from experienced screenwriter, Billy Ray.


This is familiar Greengrass territory; an explosive true story, intelligent contextualisation and a turbo-charged tension racked-up to maximum that keeps us on the edge of our seats even though we know the ending.  It is most closely related to his 07/11 drama, ‘United 93’ – almost forming a companion piece – and, once again, Barry Ackroyd’s hand-held camera places us at the heart of the action, giving it the cinematographer’s now trademark docu-drama aesthetic, which earned him an Oscar nomination for Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘The Hurt Locker’.


Tom Hanks delivers a powerful performance as Phillips, the Everyman hero out of his depth when faced with extreme danger but who holds his nerve in a battle of wits that threatens to mutate into violence any second.  He has a sense of foreboding as soon as two pint-sized skiffs hit his radar – ”They’re not here to fish!” he warns – but it counts for nothing when the ship’s defence system amounts to little more than short range water hoses.


Enigmatic newcomer, Barkhad Abdi, is equally good as the pirate’s razor-sharp leader, Muse, who, with just three men, secures control of the ship too easily.  Pointing towards his eyes, Muse commands Phillips to look – “look at me, look at me” – before declaring that he “is the captain now”.  These are eyes with a magnetic attraction, drawing us in every time Abdi is on screen but, ultimately, they reveal nothing of what’s going on beneath.


It’s a fascinating dwell between two men, whose respective worldview’s preclude any mutual understanding beyond second guessing each others’ tactics.  One has everything to lose and the other starts with nothing but both, in very different ways, are beholden to greater authority; Muse to the Somalian warlords who arm him up to the hilt and Phillips to invisible forces that deny him protection but mobilise powerful ‘state of the art’ navel arsenal as soon as the US’s credibility is at stake.


The most affecting scene comes at the end when Phillips, temporarily stripped of his dignity, gives way to trauma.


The most revealing scene takes place in Muse’s Somalian village before the attack.
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Imogen Poots comes aboard ‘Beautiful Ruins’

November 18th, 2013 - admin

Imogen Poots has joined the cast of Todd Field’s first film in seven years, ‘Beautiful Ruins’, which enters production next Spring.  Based on Jess Walter’s bestseller, an enigmatic actress from the set of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s iconic ‘Cleopatra’, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, changes a young hotelier’s life in unexpected ways.  Field and Walter are co-writing the script.cialis online lowest pricepurchase cialis in australia generic cialis in mexico cost for cialis 20mg

Predictable picture at the international box office

November 18th, 2013 - admin

‘Thor: The Dark World’ grossed a reasonable $52.5m over the weekend in line with expectations to retain the No. 1 position at the international box office.  It represented a week-on-week fall of 55% during the action sequel’s third weekend in play and increased the film’s international running total to an impressive $332.8m.  This compares favourably with the original’s final international tally of $268m and it still has the Italian and Japanese markets to come.


Alfonso Cuarón’s ‘Gravity’ remained active in 62 international territories and earned a further $18.5m from 4,688 screens.  It takes the Oscar hopeful to $274.3m internationally, and after factoring in North America, the film has now crossed the $500m milestone worldwide.


Next weekend will see a new No. 1 with the arrival of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ in 64 international markets.generic cialis real cost of cialis 5 mg in canadageneric cialis manufacturers order cialis europe

‘The Selfish Giant’ wins in Stockholm

November 17th, 2013 - admin

Clio Barnard’s second feature, ‘The Selfish Giant’ has taken the Bronze Horse for best film at the 24th Stockholm Film Festival, which came to a close today.  Conner Chapman and Shaun Thomas star as two teenage boys, who come into contact with the perilous copper theft trade when operating on the edges of society.  It is the film’s second notable prize after claiming the Golden Starfish Award at the Hamptons International Film Festival earlier this year.




Best Film
The Selfish Giant by Clio Barnard


Best First Film
Fruitvale Station by Ryan Coogler


Special Mention Best Film
12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen


Special Mention Best First Film
Återträffen (The Reunion) by Anna Odell


Best Actor
George Mackay in For Those in Peril by Paul Wright


Best Actress
Jasmine Trinca in Miele (Honey) by Valeria Golino


Best Script
Miss Violence by Alexandros Avranas
Script: Alexandros Avranas and Kostas Peroulis


Best Cinematography
Lorenzo Hagerman for Heli by Amat Escalante


Best Music
Hans Zimmer for 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen


Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award
Claire Denis


Stockholm Visionary Award
Peter Greenaway
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‘The Best Man Holiday’ in box office sensation

November 16th, 2013 - admin

Malcolm D. Lee’s sequel, ‘The Best Man Holiday’, took the market by surprise with an outstanding $10.7m opening Friday at the North American box office.  This was not out of keeping with pre-sales – Fandango reported a 49% market share on Thursday – but analysts had underestimated the film’s ‘event’ buzz and overcompensated for the ‘Thor’ factor.  It is now on pace for a three-day $30m, being $10-12m more than market forecasts.


The ensemble cast, including Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs, all return from the original, ‘The Best Man’, notwithstanding the 14-year gap between the films.  The original won best director and screenplay at the Black Reel Awards.


‘Thor 2’ grossed $10.4m for a disappointing second Friday but should still finish the weekend in the No. 1 position on the back of its high 3D presence.  It is currently on course for $35m, which would be approximately $5m short of market real cialis online canada cialis price pharmacy order daily cialis cialis price comparison uk
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‘The Best Man Holiday’ set to recover production cost during debut weekend

November 16th, 2013 - admin

Malcolm D. Lee’s sequel, The Best Man Holiday’ with Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs all returning from the original, should recoup its modest production cost of $17m and gain a little more upon opening in North America this weekend.  The original, ‘The Best Man’, which was Lee’s debut feature 14 years ago, won best director and screenplay at the Black Reel Awards.


Meanwhile, with limited competition, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ will easily retain the No.1 position with a moderate hold around the $40m mark.  It opened last weekend with $85.7m, slightly below market expectations.


Alexander Payne’s Cannes title, Nebraska, starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte, arrives in the speciality market with a platform release in New York and Los Angeles.  Dern, who won best actor at Cannes, is one of the frontrunners for an Oscar nomination.generic cialis greece order generic cialis online canada cialis online belgiumbuy cialis tablets uk


November 14th, 2013 - admin

Stephen Frears’ new feature ‘Philomena’, is something of a rarity, based on a true story where the protagonists are still alive and, yet, it is both compassionate and intelligent without any sense of compromise; making for a deeply moving cinematic experience that remains with us long after the closing credits.


This is in no small measure thanks to Steve Coogan.  He was instrumental in bringing it to the big screen after stumbling across the story online, won the best screenplay prize at Venice along with Jeff Pope for their perceptive adaptation of Martin Sixsmith’s non-fiction source book, ‘The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and a Fifty Year Search’ and delivers – as he did with his portrayal of Paul Raymonde in the underrated ‘The Look of Love’ – a wholly engaging but restrained performance as one of the two leads.


Throw in a beguiling performance from Judi Dench – you cannot take your eyes off her – and the expressive photography of one of the world’s leading cinematographers, Robbie Ryan, this was a serious coming together of many talents all on top form.


Dench will be in the awards mix – Oscar and BAFTA nominations at the very least – for playing Philomena, an elderly Irish lady, who had kept a terrible secret for the fifty years of the book’s title.  She had served time at a vile Magdalene institution/laundry for unmarried mothers – false imprisonment in all but name – where the authorities unlawfully sold off her three year old son for adoption, which, apparently, was not a sin in their rule book.  We see her story unfold in flashback, with Sophie Kennedy Clarke as the young Philomena, and almost look the other way during a harrowing childbirth when sadistic nuns turn up the pain dial to maximum.


Steve Coogan plays Sixsmith, the former BBC foreign correspondent who became a Director of Communications for Tony Blair’s Labour government before a political spin scandal forced him out of his job – possibly unfairly.  Finding himself at a loose end, he covers Philomena’s search for her son, something that he contemptuously dismissed as a “human interest story” and only accepted for the wrong reasons; part of coming to terms with being an insider now on the outside.  It’s an unpleasant arrogance of the kind that sometimes comes with high-education – one that could have tripped him up during the political spin saga – but it doesn’t override a ruthless intelligence and a fiery anger when faced with rough justice.  And Coogan tempers this loftiness with a certain warmth, an unforced childlike vulnerability that contradicts Sixsmith’s Oxbridge sophistication, making for a more endearing character than his words sometimes warrant.


There is far more to Philomena than meets the eye; missing obvious jokes, laughing at the wrong times, overjoyed by those little things – a chocolate on a hotel pillow – which the worldly Sixsmith takes for granted, but possessing an instinctive insight that these frivolous details conceal and a steadfast compassion and dignity that Dench – on home territory – delivers with an understated but, nevertheless, commanding authority.  She catches Sixsmith off guard with compliments of a double edged type, gets his measure – dismissing him as a ‘fecking eejit’ for overdoing the self-importance thing once too often – but without being completely in control.


It sets up an odd couple road movie of sorts, which takes us on a full circle from Tipperary to the US and back again before Philomena finds closure but with an outcome that defies our expectations.  Along the way, their dialogue goes off on many tantalising tangents, which are all the more engaging for the strong chemistry between the leads.


This is a film with a winning blend of hardship and charm, which provokes anger and hope in equal measure – one where feel good moments have paid their dues in advance.cialis price with insurance cialis sale online canada cialis express shipping cialis online canadian
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New release date for James Brown biopic

November 14th, 2013 - admin

Universal has moved the North American release of Tate Taylor’s James Brown biopic, ‘Get On Up’, to an earlier than expected August 1, 2014.  It is Tayor’s first feature since the Oscar nominated ‘The Help’ and covers Brown’s difficult early years in poverty and prison through to his astonishing musical career where he became known as the ‘The Godfather of Soul’.  Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer return from ‘The Help’ and star alongside Chadwick Boseman in the title role.  Filming is already underway.generic cialis 20 mg canada buy cialis by paypal price cialis walgreens cialis cost nhs
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‘No One Knows about Persian Cats’ tragedy

November 12th, 2013 - admin

Disturbing reports have confirmed that ‘The Yellow Dogs’, who featured in Bahman Ghobadi’s provocative ‘No One Knows about Persian Cats’, have been found dead in their Brooklyn apartment.  The indie band emerged from Tehran’s ‘unlawful’ underground music scene before moving to the US after Ghobadi’s film.  Police suspect that a recently expelled band member exacted revenge with a cialis online in europe cheap cialis uk next day delivery generic cialis tablets purchase cialis with mastercard
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‘Thor 2’ controls international markets

November 11th, 2013 - admin

‘Thor: The Dark World’ grossed a strong $94m from 66 international markets during its second weekend in play.  China was the ‘Thor’ sequel’s  strongest market where it opened on a powerful $19.6m to exceed the original’s final tally for the territory.  The film has already amassed $240.9m internationally, and after factoring in this weekend’s North American launch, it now stands on $327m worldwide.generic cialis reviews webmd cialis fast delivery uk buy cialis locallycialis fast delivery usa
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Solid launch for ‘Thor’ sequel

November 10th, 2013 - admin

‘Thor: The Dark World’ grossed $31.6m at the North American box office upon its Friday opening, which fell short of market predictions but was higher than the studio’s modest expectations.


But the devil could be in the detail, with it receiving an ‘A’ CinemaScore from under 18’s – against a still impressive ‘A-‘ across all age groups – and Disney will hope for some serious momentum as younger audiences turn out over the weekend.  Don’t be surprised if it reached the $90-95m range by Sunday night in line with original forecasts.


Even without an additional word-of-mouth push over and above that normally attributable to an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore, the ‘Thor’ sequel should be on pace for a $86m weekend, compared to the original’s $65m launch.  Either way, it would be the fourth highest opening of the year so far.


Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston all return from the original.  Alan Taylor takes over the directing duties.

Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon to star in financial crisis drama

November 10th, 2013 - admin

Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon have come aboard Ramin Bahrani’s financial crisis drama, ’99 Homes’, which enters production later this month.  Exploring the kind of moral dilemma that goes with desperation, a victim of the economic downtown finds employment working for the ruthless businessman/enforcer who evicted his family.  Bahrani’s last film, ‘At Any Price’ competed for the Golden Lion at the 2012 Venice International Film Festival.

Like Father, Like Son

November 9th, 2013 - admin

Be careful with this one.


The baby switch storyline has become something of a plotting cliché ever since Mark Twain’s mid-period novel, ‘The Tragedy of Pudd’nhead Wilson’, exploiting ready made binary opposites for all their worth.


At first sight, Hirokazu Koreeda seems to have made a rod for his own back by drifting into this territory with his latest film, ‘Like Father, Like Son’; particularly as he structures the inherent nature/nurture themes around a social divide in much the same way as Twain all those years ago.  But Koreeda has a grander scheme at play, one to which the baby switch conceit lends itself rather than the other way around and, subsumes the sub- genre’s baggage and conventions into a rich and subtle drama, which belies the film’s plot synopsis and sits comfortably within his overall oeuvre.


Accidental baby swaps are rare in the real world, of course, but not so in Japan, it seems, during the ’60’s and 70’s.  Koreeda was struck not only by the frequency that the couples elected to take back their biological children but with the fathers’ obsessive/compulsive commitment to blood ties and feelings of incompleteness until reinstatement.  It’s a scenario that Koreeda explores in his film but within a contemporary setting where traditional characteristics of the Japanese family do not always apply and which brings the fathers’ cultural significance into sharp focus.


Koreeda struck gold with Masaharu Fukuyama, the Japanese pop star and occasional actor – mainly on TV – who delivers a low key but compelling performance playing a forty something architect, Ryota, struggling with an unwelcome crisis and self-examination.  Something of a cold fish, Ryota takes after his own father in being ambitious for his son, Keita, but maintaining an emotional distance.  He was a high achiever at school and cannot understand why Keita is slow on the uptake, or, at least, until discovering that his real biological son was switched at birth six years before – “Now it makes sense” is the rather shocking response.


Equally impressive is Rirî Furankî, playing Keita’s real father, Yudai, a devoted and fun loving family man with a reckless streak, just making ends meet in a poorer district.  He has raised Ryota’s biological son as something of a free spirit in his own image, but takes his fatherly duties seriously.


Fathers clash, mothers bond and they arrange a phased process for re-swapping the boys that feels uncomfortable for all concerned but so does the alternative.


And the new context changes things in ways that take Ryota by surprise; discovering a belated parental love for Keita at the same time as his biological son settles into the new family home.  It compounds the emotional turmoil – largely internalised – one where “Daddy is not daddy anymore” as Keita puts it and leaves Ryota in bits.  There would be no easy answers in real life and Koreeda offers none here.


The film in many ways forms a companion piece with Koreeda’s earlier, ‘Still Walking’, a look  at contemporary Japanese families from the other end of the spectrum, old age.  And like ‘Still Walking’, it will inevitably draw comparisons with Yasujirō Ozu but it’s a potential burden that Koreeda wears lightly, probing with a grace worthy of the great auteur but doing so in his own way; content to rely on the odd affectionate nod or stylistic motif but no more.


‘Like Father, Like Son’ screened in the main competition at this year’s Cannes and picked up the jury prize; Koreeda’s first major award at the festival, surprisingly.

‘Thor’ sequel could be in line for $95m weekend

November 9th, 2013 - admin

After a strong showing internationally, where it stands at $152.8m after seven days in play, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ arrives in North America this weekend.  The ‘Thor’ sequel, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman, made a flying start on Thursday with a powerful $7.1m from late night screenings and seems set to gross around $95m by Sunday night.  This compares favourably with the original, which earned $65m during its debut weekend two and half years ago.

‘Jane Got a Gun’ fallout escalates

November 8th, 2013 - admin

The dispute following Lynne Ramsay’s departure from ‘Jane Got a Gun’ earlier this year is heading for the courts.  Inevitably, there is the usual fierce disagreement over the surrounding facts but, either way, the fallout had a massive impact upon the production with Ramsay exiting on the first morning of the shoot.  The producers, who swiftly engaged Gavin O’Connor to takeover, have now issued a lawsuit against Ramsay, making multiple claims, including breach of contract.  No doubt, Ramsay will respond with an equally rigorous defence. assignment helper

Michael Caine unites with Italian auteur

November 7th, 2013 - admin

Michael Caine has joined the cast of Paolo Sorrentino’s next feature, ‘In The Future’, which should get under way in the New Year.  Sorrentino, who is refusing to provide any plot details at this stage, has indicated that Caine will have a leading role.  The news arrives just nine days before the US release of Sorrentino’s Cannes title and foreign-language Oscar submission, ‘The Great Beauty’.  Sorrentino will be visiting the US to promote the release where he may be more forthcoming about his new project.

Sayles offers pessimistic assessment

November 7th, 2013 - admin

John Sayles has cast doubt over the existence of an independent film business in the current age.  Uncertainties surrounding the definitions of the sector – does it include speciality subsidiaries/divisions of major studios, for example? – have always complicated the issue.  Sayles, who acknowledges that distribution companies remain, specifically refers to the lack of production finance in North America where he had to self-finance his latest feature, ‘Go for Sisters’.  The current outlook may be bleak but it is too early to assess whether this is a reflection of the wider financial position or indicates a structural change in the film industry, which would remain after an economic recovery.

Is Buying Essays Plagiarism

November 6th, 2013 - admin

The catholic churches all around the earth share frequent principles of church guidelines common trust and firm and also popular liturgy. Churches are spots where propaganda can be handed towards the masses therefore the churches keep much power-over its people because they might folks mindset towards specified political figures, one example of political power used by churches is the charge of Galileo who found that the sun doesn’t proceed round the planet however the world moves round, Galileo was jailed as a result of fact that he had provided contradicting information from the roman catholic church conclusions. (more…)

Berlin announce opener

November 6th, 2013 - admin

Wes Anderson’s next feature, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’, will open the 64th Berlin International Film Festival on Feb 6, 2014.  It has the look of a typical Anderson idiosyncratic comedy where the characters are more important than the plot, this time set between the wars in a famous European hotel.  Ralph Fiennes plays the hotel’s concierge alongside a stellar cast that includes, amongst many others, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton.  The film opens in North America next March. pay for essays

Oscar submissions for best animated feature

November 6th, 2013 - admin

There were no surprises in today’s announcement of the nineteen films competing for the 86th Academy Awards’ best animation feature.  Potentially one of the least competitive categories, it is already shaping into a two horse race between Hayao Miyazaki’s Venice title, ‘The Wind Rises’ and Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s action adventure, ‘Frozen’.  All films are eligible for other categories.


Submitted features:


Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest and Celestine
The Fake
Free Birds
The Legend of Sarila
A Letter to Momo
Monsters University
O Apostolo
Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie – Rebellion
Rio: 2096 A Story of Love and Fury
The Smurfs 2
The Wind Rises
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Third nomination for ‘The Act of Killing’

November 5th, 2013 - admin

Joshua Oppenheimer’s Indonesian death squad feature, ‘The Act of Killing’ picked up its third best documentary nomination of the awards season as the European Film Academy followed the IDA and Gotham Awards.


The nominations included another atrocities doc and possible Oscar contender, Rithy Panh’s ‘The Missing Picture’, which won the Un Certain Regard award at this year’s Cannes for its examination of the Khmer Rouge.


And Kaveh Bakhtiari’s debut doc, ‘Stop-Over’, focusing on Iranian fugitives in Greece, completes the list.
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‘Thor: The Dark World’ conquers international markets

November 4th, 2013 - admin

‘Thor: The Dark World’ left the opposition in its wake at the international weekend box office, grossing an outstanding $109.4m from 36 territories for the fourth highest launch of the year so far.  The UK was its most successful market where the film earned $13.4m and boasted a whopping $26,379 per theatre average.  The Marvel superhero sequel arrives in China on Friday.


Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Gravity’, the international No. 1 for the last four weeks, remained active in 55 markets.  It earned a further $27.1m over the three days to take its international running total across the $200m mark.

US deal for Toronto title, ‘Dog’

November 4th, 2013 - admin

Drafthouse Films and Cinedigm have taken US distribution rights to Allison Berg and Frank Keraudre’s Toronto title, ‘Dog’.  Being of particular interest to cinephiles, it is a bio-doc on John Wojtowicz, the real life bank robber who inspired Al Pacino’s Sonny in Dog Day Afternoon.  Unfortunately, it is a case of better late than never with the release date not scheduled until next summer.

‘Ender’s Game’ makes solid start

November 4th, 2013 - admin

1. Ender’s Game (Lionsgate-Summit) Sierra/Affinity $28m (NE)
2. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount) PPI $20.5m ($62.1m) (1)
3. Last Vegas (CBS Films) Good Universe $16.5m (NE)
4. Free Birds (Relativity Media) Relativity International ($16.2m) (NE)
5. Gravity (Warner Bros) WBPI $13.1m ($219.2m) (2)


Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure, ‘Ender’s Game’, starring Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Harrison Ford, grossed a respectable $28m during its opening weekend at the North American box office.  Although the film’s takings for the session finished $3m higher than market expectations, its overall tally is unlikely to justify Summit resurrecting the planned sequel.


Word of mouth seems to have been stronger for ‘Ender’s Game’ than its ‘B+’ CinemaScore indicated.  The film’s Friday launch was only marginally front loaded notwithstanding that it played to an older than expected audience with 54% being over 25.


Hood adapted the screenplay from Orson Scott Card’s classic novel of the same name.  A social media campaign to boycott the film as a protest against the author’s well publicised controversial right wing views seems to have had little impact.


The R-rated sixty something frolic, ‘Last Vegas’, made the most of a strong cast, including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, to earn an impressive $16.5m over the three days.  Its ‘A-‘ CinemaScore translated into a 39% word of mouth increase after Friday’s opening and, unsurprisingly, over 83% of the film’s audience fell into the over 25 age group.


The other wide release, ‘Free Birds’, recovered from a disappointing Friday launch on the back of an ‘A-‘ CinemaScore but still fell below market expectations.  The animation comedy finished the weekend just $3k behind ‘Last Vegas’ in the fight for third place.


Last weekend’s No. 1, ‘Jackass Present: Bad Grandpa’, enjoyed an excellent hold in the runner’s up spot.  Its three-day tally of $20.5m represents a mere 39% drop from last weekend’s debut.

‘Ender’s Game’ overcomes boycott

November 2nd, 2013 - admin

Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure, ‘Ender’s Game’, performed stronger than market expectations upon its North American launch but may still fall short of the necessary returns to justify the franchise extension that Summit had planned.  Based upon Orson Scott Card’s classic novel of the same name, a social media boycott campaign against the author’s controversial right wing views seems to have had little impact.  It grossed $10m on Friday and, having received a reasonable ‘B+’ CinemaScore and solid reviews, should finish the weekend in the $26-27m range.


The R-rated sixty something comedy, ‘Last Vegas’, capitalised on a strong cast, including Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman, to gross a slightly higher than expected $5.1m on its debut.  Boosted by a strong ‘A-‘ CinemaScore, it should go on to earn $15.5m over the three days.


But the good news did not spread to the weekend’s other wide release, ‘Free Birds’.  The animation comedy grossed a disappointing $4m on Friday but its ‘A-‘ CinemaScore could encourage family audiences to turn out over the weekend.  It won’t hit the $18m market predictions but will be in a close contest with ‘Last Vegas’.


Last weekend’s No.1, ‘Jackass Present: Bad Grandpa’, had a strong $6m Friday hold, falling just 44% from last week’s debut.  It should be enough to secure second place with a three day tally around the $17m mark.
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‘Ender’s Game’ fails to excite social media

November 2nd, 2013 - admin

Gavin Hood’s sci-fi adventure ‘Ender’s Game’, adapted from Orson Scott Card’s classic novel of the same name, grossed a reasonable $1.4m during Thursday late shows at the North American box office when competing against Halloween activities.  It seems set to earn around the $25m mark over the weekend, which will be enough to claim the box office No. 1 spot but falls short of the $30m+ that Summit realistically requires for a franchise launch.  The film has enjoyed solid reviews and lively pre-sales but pre-release social media was surprisingly quiet and negative publicity surrounding Card’s right wing views was an untimely distraction.
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