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Will The Dog Days Of Movie Summer Pass Soon Enough?

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112 Responses to “Will The Dog Days Of Movie Summer Pass Soon Enough?”

  1. Hcat says:

    Curious to hear if anyone thinks that Alladin’s success might boost Gemini Mans profile later this year?

  2. Sideshow Bill says:

    I think Gemini Man looks kinda fun. Throwback-y, but that’s ok.

    The next few weeks will be interesting. Finally some stuff I want to see in quick succession. Curious to see the reaction to Midsommar. And just see it.

    Toy Story 4 tonight. Child’s Play early next week, probably. I in the minority in thinking it looks fun. I also liked Dark Phoenix so…I’m not hard to please.

    I will not see Endgame again, in the theater. I have more urge to see Brightburn, Rocketman, Godzilla or Booksmart again. For me Endgame came and went fast. Left my brain really quick. And I liked it. But once was enough.

  3. Stella's Boy says:

    I think so Hcat. Will Smith getting some good press. Though October is a ways away so who knows.

    The next few weeks look a whole lot better than the last few. Hopefully seeing Toy Story 4 with the family over the weekend. For sure seeing Child’s Play next week. Will check out Annabelle 3. Midsommar, obviously. Probably take the kids to Spiderman. Only wide release title of next few weeks that doesn’t interest me at all is Yesterday. Trailer makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

  4. palmtree says:

    SB, wow, I LOVE the Yesterday trailer. To each their own.

    Gemini Man looks good if only to spend more time with young Will Smith. That guy was great.

    I already saw Endgame twice, and while I enjoyed it a lot the second time (seeing it with a person who hadn’t yet), a third time is just excessive. I’d rather just read about the new footage than go see it.

    However, there’s one thing I like about the new footage. It’s just baldly about big old Disney loving them some bragging rights. It’s almost like they read box office movie blogs and want to give us things to talk about.

  5. Hcat says:

    Seeing Rocketman tonight, and Yesterday is about the only other must see for me for the summer. Though I am intrigued about Childs Play, love me some Plaza, and hopefully they keep Chucky menacing and not the catskills comic all non mute serial killers tend to turn into.

    Saw Pets on Tuesday with the family, at least I think I did, nothing really stuck with me.

  6. Stella's Boy says:

    The last two Chucky movies, Curse and Cult, are pretty good and were well-received by genre fans. And Mancini is continuing to make more of them along with a Syfy series. Really curious to see how Child’s Play 2019 handles the character. Apparently it’s tracking to open in the mid-to-high teens, so we could see two different versions of Chucky for many years to come.

  7. Sideshow Bill says:

    God, I loved Rocketman, hcat. And it’s not a genre I care for. But it was exhilarating and joyful and honest. It’ll probably be on my top 10.

  8. Sideshow Bill says:

    Toy Story 4 is great. A complete oddball joy. Deeply dark but hilarious and, again, very touching.

    Keanu is MVP.

  9. Sideshow Bill says:


    I’m at the AMC awaiting Child’s Play.

    Watched Nightmare Cinema last night. Mediocre. Nice to see Joe Dante working at least. It wasn’t dull just nothing I’ll really remember. I like Mick Garris. I love his podcast. I love his knowledge and enthusiasm. But he is not a good filmmaker at all.

  10. Sideshow Bill says:

    I thought the Child’s Play remake was an absolute hoot. Gory and hilarious, and Aubrey Plaza, and the new Chucky design works better in the context of the ridiculous film and Mark Hamil is great. A few missed opportunities to completely lean into the nuttiness and ideas but it could have been awful. Chucky looks ridiculous but it worked for me. The whole thing was heightened silliness. Speaking of Joe Dante, it strikes me that in his prime he would have killed this. Especially the third act. I wish it had gone further but i still enjoyed it. Nice surprise. It’s quite divisive so others might think I’m nuts.

  11. movieman says:

    I can’t remember a period of time when so few wide studio releases were of interest to me.
    Both “Anna” and “Child’s Play” can wait for either second-run/dscount or DVD.
    Feel like I’ve already seen them: many, many times.
    I’m putting “TS4” off until Monday when I’ll take in the sole non-premum-priced matinee. (20 shows a day; only three that aren’t in 3-D, IMAX, etc. That’s total b.s.)

    Enjoyed Ron Howard’s “Pavarotti” doc despite having minimal interest in either opera or Pavarotti himself.
    I’m still not convinced there’s really such a thing as a “Ron Howard Film,” but his eclecticism remains impressive.
    And I just read that he’s planning to direct his first animated movie.
    Go, Opie.

    Has anyone else seen “Knife + Heart”? It’s pretty insane and kinda awesome.
    If “Body Double” had been directed by a French gay Brian DePalma, it would’ve been “K+H.”

  12. Amblinman says:

    @SB Rocketman killed me. I’m agnostic about Elton John, or at least I was until Rocketman. The movie is a gem. Big Egerton fan now too. The Troubadour sequence is why I go to the movies.

  13. Bulldog68 says:

    I haven’t seen John Wick 3 yet, but Rocketman is the best time I’ve had at the movies this summer.

  14. Pete B. says:

    Anna was a serviceable Luc Besson film. It almost would have worked better as a pilot for a USA Network series.

    When they get around to the live action version of The Incredibles, Helen Mirren already has the Edna Mode part down pat. (Minus the Russian accent of course.)

  15. palmtree says:

    Pete, isn’t Helen Mirren too tall for Edna? I imagined it more as a Linda Hunt.

    TS4 opening at $118m was way below expectations. Wonder what happened.

  16. Pete B. says:

    Palmtree, you’re probably right. But Helen was sitting down for most of the movie and with her black wig & giant glasses, I kept thinking of The Incredibles. Don’t think that was Besson’s intent.

  17. movieman says:

    If the only movies I see in a theater the rest of this summer are Tarantino, Linklater and Ari Aster, I’m OK with that.

    OK, maybe that f****ed up-looking Searchlight August release that looks like “You’re Next”-level Lionsgate.

  18. leahnz says:

    toy story 5: the great escape, gonna be lit!

  19. Bulldog68 says:

    Love Helen Mirren, but there’s no way you give the part of Edna to anyone but Linda Hunt. No fricken way.

  20. leahnz says:

    or you could actually employ the imagination, make fresh, well-written, -conceived, and -executed live action movies, not copy someone else because the bean-counters are afraid of their own shadow, and leave the animated classics to stand alone

  21. Sideshow Bill says:

    Leah, that thread is heartbreaking. I don’t know what to do with my anger anymore.

    Anyway, glad Rocketman was enjoyed by others. It’s a terrific film.

    I tend to think studios will adjust and get their feet under them again but I don’t really know anything honestly. But like any other business if you start losing money or customers you either adjust or die. I love going out to the movies. I also love staying home and streaming things. I want both to thrive and, as Leah pretty much says, they can if the product is better.

    I don’t know. I’m just a fan.

  22. leahnz says:

    barest of bare, bare minimum, don’t look away

  23. palmtree says:

    Bill, definitely I think it’s worthwhile looking into places to donate to that are trying to help these families. RAICES is the one that comes to mind. I realize not everyone has extra money to donate, but even just a little is a step in the direction of humanity.

  24. movieman says:

    Follow-up to my earlier post:

    I could probably add “Yesterday,” “The Lion King,” “Blinded by the Light” and “Good Boys” to that list.

  25. Hcat says:

    I finally saw Rocketman last week and thought it was just very good, not incredible, it never pushed through the border for greatness. I have been a huge Elton fan for decades (the H in my name stands for Honky), so the idea to switch up the chronology of the songs and zip through the story while never really knowing what year it was felt disorientating. Though obviously that was intentional to show how quick it must have seemed to happen from Elton’s perspective. Honestly I don’t know if I am just unhappy that I didn’t get the type of movie I wanted so I am having trouble judging what they did make.

    I would love for them to now make a smaller Southside with You type movie called Your Song which is about the friendship that grew between Elton and Bernie as a result of their writing songs together.

  26. Hcat says:

    As for the box office, I’m not sure it is time to worry, but it certainly is not the time to be calm. Tracking had TS 20 million higher, and while it should certainly not be taken as gospel its often accurate with the audiences that Disney was pursuing.

    Box Office is down 5% through the prior weekend and they fell behind another 77 million this weekend. I don’t want to belittle a 118 opening no matter who it is or what was expected. But nothing seems to be on too solid of ground anymore. If the studios insist on nothing but bland blockbusters they actually need to pull through on the blockbuster side of it.

  27. Sideshow Bill says:

    Leah, palmtree I’m looking at donating today. People came out for me when I was in the hospital. I like to try and return that energy. I donate to The Trevor Project and ACLU regularly. I gonna redirect that $$ to this cause in July.

  28. amblinman says:

    toy story 5: the great escape, gonna be lit!

    I just fucking can’t with this admin, and this country any more. I am a Jew. These are concentration camps. Full stop. This is how holocausts begin. This is exactly what it looks like. Fuck Pelosi, fuck Nadler, and fuck the Dems for insisting “he’s not worth it.”

  29. movieman says:

    Really loved “TS 4.” Next to #2, it’s my favorite in the entire series.
    Woody and Bo Peep heading off to spend their retirement years together darn near moved me to tears.

    Amblin: I totally feel your rage and feelings of impotence re: the unprecedented monstrosity that is Donald Trump.
    95% of the content on my Twitter feed is Trump-related.
    I think it’s time for every sane American voter to step back and consider just how much worse this is going to get if he somehow manages to win the 2020 election.
    The thought of an even more emboldened Trump is beyond terrifying. He truly will never leave the White House…unless it’s Jr., Ivanka or Jared replacing him.

  30. leahnz says:

    y’all are in deep, deep trouble

    (immigrantfamiliestogether is another good org with boots on the ground according to my Uncs, anything you can do, do it now)

  31. palmtree says:

    Anybody watch the Mueller Report Play? Kind of a brilliant way to dramatize the report. I really don’t see how you can watch it and not think impeachment.

  32. Amblinman says:

    “Anybody watch the Mueller Report Play? Kind of a brilliant way to dramatize the report. I really don’t see how you can watch it and not think impeachment.”

    He just declared he didn’t rape a woman because she’s not his type. Fuck Pelosi.

  33. Amblinman says:

    PS: Dems are gonna win the WH back in 2020. Bank on it. However, if it’s Biden we are just gonna be back to square one in 2024, or maybe worse.

    Leah: correction: EVERYONE is fucked. Welcome to a world in which the US doesn’t even want to pretend to be one of the good guys. Welcome to this: Trump is moving heaven and Earth to arm the Saudis with nukes.

  34. Stella's Boy says:

    Seeing Child’s Play today. Looking forward to it. Surprised by how many people like it. Still going to keep expectations in check. But fingers crossed.

    Movieman I watched Knife + Heart on Shudder the other day. It’s very good. Loved the mood. A throwback without straining to be one. Also, watched The Hate U Give over the weekend. Wow. Wish it got more love. So, so good. Really hit me hard. Was not expecting it to be so thoughtful and moving.

  35. Hcat says:

    Biden is ahead simply because of his name recognition. Once the bottom 15 contenders get knocked out things will get tighter. Once people realize that any of the top five can beat Trump they will pick their favorite rather than who they think can best beat him.

    But they should pull the trigger on impeachment immediately, even if just to reinforce the investigative process. Political reality right now says it wont go near passing the senate, but then you make those senators defend their actions on the trail.

    I really thought we were better than this as a country. And I’m not just pissed at the people who are fine with 5 year olds sleeping on concrete because they lack proper papers, but am just as furious at the people who don’t know that this shit is going on. Its like the old saying if you are not outraged then you are not paying attention, well it seems like very few people seem to be paying attention.

  36. amblinman says:

    “Biden is ahead simply because of his name recognition”

    It’s still early but that’s just not true anymore. Emerson just had Biden at 60% with Dem black voters. His support isn’t deep but it’s been stable. I’m hoping the debates shake it up.

  37. Hcat says:

    I hope the field gets cut at least in half very soon, most of these people could be competitive in senate races, which would be much more beneficial. I’m all in on Harris, but would be fine with any of them. I’m impressed as hell by Warren’s campaign and don’t know why that is not every candidate’s strategy. Maybe I’m too wonkish but POLICY POLICY POLICY.

  38. amblinman says:

    I’m all in on Warren. She’s the hero we need (we *do not* deserve her, that’s for sure).

  39. Stella's Boy says:

    I loved Child’s Play. Better than it has any right to be. Had a total blast with it. I laughed hard and often. It’s so bizarre and twisted. Many great WTF moments. Gory and memorable kills. Lots of wacky lines like “white man dead in a watermelon patch; poetic.” Good times. Aubrey Plaza being the least credible parent in cinema history only adds to its many charms. Highlight of the summer so far. Definitely got my $5 worth and look forward to another one. Can’t believe it exists alongside Don Mancini’s series and I like both.

    Also Team Warren right now.

  40. palmtree says:

    Warren fan here too. I’ve been a fan since she tried to prevent the financial crisis, and she’s only gotten better with experience.

  41. Bulldog68 says:

    On day 32 of release, Aladdin has survived attacks from the X-MeninBlack, a rampaging monster fest, and animated pets to climb into the #2 spot on daily grosses today. And you’d think that TS4 would take away some of the family audience, and instead it had its smallest weekend drop to date.

    Its actually noteworthy that in May 2014 you had basically the same race, with Maleficent opening to $69m while both Godzilla and X-Men Days of a Future Past opened just north of $90m, but the live action remake won the race with $241m domestic and $758m worldwide. What a come down for non Disney franchises.

    My thought is that Disney does not have a patent on live action remakes and you gotta think that someone somewhere is eyeing a Shrek, Dragons, Kung Fu Panda live action series.

  42. movieman says:

    Glad you liked it, SB.
    Curious to see Gonzalez’s first film now.
    It was never released theatrically in the U.S., but IS available on DVD.
    You can watch it for $2.99 on Amazon.

  43. movieman says:

    I’m surprised HBO (or Netflix?) didn’t pick up broadcast/streaming rights to the staged reading of the Mueller Report.

  44. Stella's Boy says:

    Lars Klevberg’s first movie is Polaroid right? Did that have the misfortune of being a Weinstein movie that got delayed many times and then unceremoniously dumped onto VOD?

  45. Hcat says:

    Bulldog, I have to expect the eventual live action Toy Story is going to be creepy as anything. I am actually very surprised they haven’t done a broadway version of it yet.

    So in everything I read people keep referring to Late Night as a flop or disappointment. Seeing that neither Kaling or Thompson are big above the title draws, and that Amazon, while a huge company, is not a major theatrical force, this seems to be performing so far nearly exactly how it would be expected to. I find this everything needs to reach a certain level or be branded a flop without regard to budget or distributor size. That’s what is going to kill theatrical, when people do not want to bother putting films in theaters because they might not do 50 or 100 million.

  46. Hcat says:

    For Fox it looks like Dark Phoenix will land right in the box office neighborhood of The Happening, Good Day to Die Hard, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (from 03, not adjusted for inflation).

    MIBI will gross less than White House Down for Columbia.

  47. palmtree says:

    movie, I think the idea is that the Mueller Report is a public document and should be disseminated for free to as many people as possible. And I think everyone did it knowing they would forgo money to make a free public piece of art.

  48. movieman says:

    Palm- I bet it would be must-see TV in the same HBO households where Bill Maher reigns on Friday nights.

    I know I’d love to have seen it: too bad it was just a one-shot deal that so few people got to see.

  49. Stella's Boy says:

    I agree Hcat. Old methods are being applied to judge a film’s box office success and we need to readjust for 2019. How many people (like me) are just waiting to watch it when it hits Prime? And as you say, the lack of box office draws and Amazon not being a major theatrical force. So many factors are being left out when someone just declares “Late Night grossed less than $15 million so it’s a failure.”

    Was the Mueller report reading recorded? Maybe there’s a plan to upload a recording and make it widely available?

  50. movieman says:

    Re: Hcat & SB: You’re both right about the unfair brandishing of non-blockbuster films these days as “flops.”
    Case in point, “Booksmart.”
    Realistically speaking, did anyone really think it would do “Endgame” or (more in its wheelhouse) “Superbad” business?
    Certainly compared to 2001 biz for “Ghost World”–the film it’s most often compared to–Olivia Wilde’s movie is a certified smash.
    Of course it opened on more screens than “GW” ever did, but still.

    Another factor:
    the Darwinian 21st century corporate megaplex mentality in which films that don’t hit at least a triple their opening weekend are gone. Or relegated to a split-screen run in the tiniest auditorium by week two.
    (Check out the showtimes for “Anna” at your neighborhood ‘plex this weekend. If you can find even find it, that is.)
    The days when slow-starters can build into WOM “sleeper” hits have long past.
    Which is probably why so many smaller films don’t really find a sizable audience these days until streaming/home video/etc.
    But that’s been a recognizable fact of life since VHS in the early ’80s.

  51. Glamourboy says:

    As someone who has been meeting with Amazon about projects, I can safely tell you that they are not in the ‘movie’ business. They are in the hats, shoes, socks, kitchen cleaner business. They are looking for projects that bring people to their website. Of course they would rather that their films do well in theatrical…but ultimately (as they explained it to me)…as long as films are talked about (as Late Night was, to some degree)..and it brings people to their platform when it is released online, it serves their purpose.

  52. palmtree says:

    When I said it was free to the public, I meant you can literally stream the performance for free online on Youtube or on the organization’s website. And it has been available since it was first live-streamed. I tried to post links to it, but the post didn’t seem to be approved, so all I can do is say Google “The Investigation – A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts.”

  53. Hcat says:

    Glamourboy, I would think that will be true of all streamers. And to be honest that may be liberating for some filmmakers to not be under the daily average microscope. But my issue is that the people looking through the microscope are coming to the wrong conclusions. If this was through SPC or Roadside Attractions would it be seen as a debacle?

    As for Amazon, if they wanted splashier films, why would you hire Bob Berney, whose entire history is eking out small profits on quality films? His getting his walking papers seems to indicate they want to go larger but they need to be a little more pragmatic in their approach. According to HR they spent 13 to acquire it and 35 to market it. That would mean they would have to gross 100 million to break even in theatrical, no one in their right mind would expect that to gross anywhere near that no matter the quality of the film or the marketing.

  54. Pete B. says:

    Finally caught Brightburn today. What a delightfully nasty film. It doesn’t try to hide it’s black heart. It’s a shame it didn’t to better at the box office as I’m really curious where they would have gone next.
    (And yet again, a movie partially ruined as the trailer gave away too much.)

  55. movieman says:

    Pete- Didn’t you think that “Brightburn” was a tad undernourished script-wise?
    It felt like a cut-to-the-bone version of a considerably longer cut to me.
    I liked it, too, but thought it was only half-realized.

  56. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s how I felt movieman. Loved its black heart and the ending is so good. But it falls short of greatness and it’s definitely undernourished script-wise.

  57. Pete B. says:

    I wondered if Brightburn was hampered by a limited budget, and some ideas they hinted at couldn’t be flushed out. It would indeed be interesting if a longer cut comes out if/when it hits DVD.

  58. Pete B. says:

    Maybe I missed prior discussions of it, but I saw the trailer for Crawl for the first time today.
    How is this thing not in 3D?

  59. Hcat says:

    Only saw the poster for crawl and that was enough to pique my interest. As one of the few defenders of Lake Placid I am amped for a scary gator flick.

    One of the best scares I had as a kid was the Sayles penned Alligator. I forget what I wanted to watch but my dad correctly overruled it since a monster gator movie was starting. There is a scene where some kids at a birthday party are making a ten year old walk the plank unaware of the gator in the pool; the walkee spy’s it and starts furiously resisting while his friends good naturedly push him toward the edge. Freaked the hell out of me when I was young. Might have been the scariest thing I saw outside of raiders until my dad thought I was old enough for Alien.

  60. Stella's Boy says:

    Crawl looks great. I also love Lake Placid. The more aquatic horror the better. This is a good summer for it and for horror in general.

  61. leahnz says:

    lake placid is pitch perfect comedy/horror though, with chops – david e kelley penned, b-fonda (how i miss thee)/b pullman terrific leads w/chemistry, and daddy gleeson, oli platt – even b white – for supporting players, decent effects, action, there’s nothing even remotely comparable being made today

  62. Hcat says:

    Happy to find I underestimated the love out there for Placid. Are we also a gaggle of Joyride fans as well?

  63. Stella's Boy says:

    Joyride is great. Lucky enough to see the world premiere at TIFF. That was fun. And it’s real good. Love John Dahl.

  64. Hcat says:

    And speaking of trailers, Lord help me, even though its nothing but red flags, Columbia reboot of their own haphazard franchise and based on a television show to boot, I am there for the Angels.

  65. leahnz says:

    roadkill! (sorry it’s weird to think of it as joy ride) i think i’ve professed b-movie roadkill love here numerous times already but i have a soft spot for the b-movie gems, what has become of us (and ted levine’s uncredited vocal perf as rusty nail is such a cracker, and probably the best thing jj abrams has ever had anything to do with writing)

  66. Stella's Boy says:

    Just watched that trailer. Definitely there for the cast. Wish the movie looked a little better.

    B movie gems are the best. With you all the way.

  67. Hcat says:

    “vocal perf as rusty nail is such a cracker”

    Ha, that’s actually a pun!

    Banks gives me a little pause, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt. Pitch Perfect 2 worked very well for what it was, so I can either think that’s all she can do, or figure that she put exactly what she wanted onscreen and can do it again with a larger project. As I find most 70s television unwatchable (Spelling assemblyline doubly so), I am not a fan of the original show, and the movies had an element of hyperactive fun but they were too winky and self reverential, this looks like they might be enough of a correction.

  68. amblinman says:

    I don’t know what the point of the new Charlie’s Angels is. The style is so generic. MCG is mostly garbage but at least those films were a leap from the source material. This looks like every female spy trope we’ve seen over the last decade+ i.e. they know martial arts, but all their fighting is wrapping-their-legs-around-men-based, with occasional slow mo gun shooting. And is there still a Kristin Stewart market out there?

    Huge pass.

  69. Pete B. says:

    “And is there still a Kristin Stewart market out there?”

    Somewhere L-x G is raising a glass.

  70. movieman says:

    Kristen Stewart is the primary reason I’m interested in queuing up for the new “CA.”
    And Netflix rom-com icon Noah Centineo.
    It was downright bracing to see Stewart lighten her usual angsty mood in the trailer.

    Really enjoyed “Yesterday” even though the first hour is arguably stronger than the second half.
    Himesh Patel and Lily James are as adorable as newborn pups.
    Surprised the reviews are so middling overall: there’s lots to enjoy here.

  71. Hcat says:

    Stewart’s fanbase hasn’t followed her to the arthouse, but I would imagine they are still out there somewhere. Think of her like Travolta or Julia Roberts, she is permanently tattooed on a specific generations brain. Put Stewart in the right thing and they will remember how much they used to love her.

    It will be at least a week before I can partake in Yesterday, would love to hear all your responses.

  72. movieman says:

    True, Hcat, but Stewart hasn’t exactly made it easy for “Twilight” fans, lol.

    Doubtful that many in her YA fanbase would have much interest in “Personal Shopper,” “Sils Maria,” “Lizzie,” “Still Alice,” et al.
    And it’s not like they had easy (theatrical) access to any of those films since they received typical “arthouse” distribution. (“Alice” went a little wider on the strength of Moore’s Oscar-winning performance, but it wasn’t exactly sold as a Stewart vehicle.)
    I’d bet the majority of Stewart’s “Twilight” fanbase think she hasn’t made a movie since “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

    It was great watching K-Stew have fun in the “Angels” trailer.
    “Why so serious?” indeed.

  73. Sideshow Bill says:

    YESTERDAY is the rare movie where I just can’t get past the premise. I cannot buy into it at all. And that makes no sense as I accept all kinds of nonsense. I’ll probably see it eventually but not now.

    Also, I’m kinda annoyed by what it implies: writing great songs makes you a superstar, not corporate machinery. At least that’s what ads convey. Maybe the movie is different?

    Annabelle Comes Home is so slight and inessential that it’s vapor already. That final hour is fun but it’s a Goosebumps episode.

  74. Hcat says:

    I sort of appreciate Curtis’s somewhat lazy approach to his twilight zone premises. Time Travel is genetic, bump on the head counteracts a magical storm. Just as I find Groundhog Day almost elegant in its refusal to explain the phenomena, I applaud Curtis insistence on using the “it just is” approach which tosses out the need for exposition in exchange to getting to his emotional point.

    And from the positive review I heard on my local radio this morning it does sound like they attempt to properly address the current music machine, and also how some of the songs wouldn’t play well with todays audience.

  75. Hcat says:

    We talked about the debates a few days ago, wondering how people feel after watching them.

    I was impressed by Warren and Castro certainly caught my attention but am still firmly on team Harris. Hopefully she is the first of many prosecuting attorneys that will be pulling the rug out from under him the next few years.

  76. palmtree says:

    Bill, the premise of Yesterday is what I find so brilliant. It’s really about the creative process and a metaphor for being visited by inspiration and asking the question of whether anything we do is ever truly original anyway.

    Of course, I’m strictly talking about the premise. The movie could suck, but it’s a killer premise.

  77. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m with you Bill. I find the premise of Yesterday as grating and off-putting as I find its trailer. But my mom said she can’t wait to see it. Different strokes.

    Movieman aren’t you in Youngstown? Just read that the daily newspaper there is folding. Very sad.

  78. movieman says:

    Yep, SB.
    It was the same paper I worked at for many years.
    It’s been on life-support–like practically every small-to-medium-sized daily–for more than a decade. Wasn’t surprised to hear the news.

  79. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah Milwaukee’s isn’t doing much better. Cutting staff and raising subscription cost on a regular basis. Begging for people to support local reporting. I’ll be bummed when it folds or goes digital only. I love reading a physical newspaper.

  80. Amblinman says:

    @Hcat my biggest overall takeaway from the debates is the Dems have an outstanding field this cycle. I’m all in on Warren, but man did Harris announce her arrival in this race with authority. I’m gonna be pretty happy with any of the top tier provided it’s not Biden.

  81. Christian says:

    No movies – again – this weekend. But there’s always THE CRITERION SALE AT BARNES & NOBLE, isn’t there?

    I’m trying not to buy THE THIN RED LINE for 50% off.

    But my resistance is crumbling.

    As for theatrical releases, I do think I’ll make a point of seeing MIDSOMMAR over the holiday weekend. I’m one of the few who intensely disliked HEREDITARY – sorry, but I just shut down after the accident scene (I did revive a bit at the final shot, which I liked, while most everyone else seemed to hate it). But I’ll give Aster another shot. Pagan horror creeps me out – I’m religious – but I’ve found that such films linger in powerful ways.

  82. Bulldog68 says:

    @Stella, Childs Play’s big ending was filmed in Surrey, just outside Vancouver and I had some fun being an extra. Saw myself on the big screen . Lol. Was a fun two nights to shoot, but the highlight of the night was the little girl who got sprayed with blood. They shot her scene over and over and I swear she was hired for her talent at emitting the most spine chilling high pitched screams you could possibly hear. She was a real trooper. Unfortunately her screams didn’t feature as prominently as I hoped in the final cut but it was my takeaway of the two nights. Hearing those screams in a smoke filled echo conducting warehouse was eerie to say the least.

  83. movieman says:

    I had a very entertaining, exceedingly eclectic (library) DVD double bill last night of Maurice Pialat’s 1987 Palme d’Or winner, “Under the Sun of Satan” (it felt like a French-language cross between Bergman and Dreyer; and it’s always nice seeing Gerard Depardieu before he blimped out) and the recent-ish “Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase” which was unexpectedly delightful. I’d love to see it spun off into a series (Netflix, are you listening?) with the same cast.

  84. movieman says:


    1 TOY STORY 4
    Buena Vista

    4,575 $17,036,000

    +49.3% / $3,724
    $196,025,809 / 8

    Warner Bros. (New Line)

    3,613 $6,600,000

    +81% / $1,827
    $17,434,459 / 3


    2,603 $6,060,000

    — / $2,328
    $6,060,000 / 1

    4 ALADDIN (2019)
    Buena Vista

    3,235 $2,899,000

    +62.4% / $896
    $299,416,946 / 36


    3,349 $2,040,000

    +45.5% / $609
    $126,152,000 / 22

    Sony / Columbia

    3,663 $1,880,000

    +54% / $513
    $60,360,511 / 15

    Buena Vista

    2,025 $1,864,000

    +522.7% / $920
    $837,645,161 / 64

  85. G Spot 3000 says:

    Posted on other thread, thought I’d leave here as well since it’s more on point: Anyone else watch Paul Thomas Anderson’s music video for Thom Yorke’s Anima on Netflix? It’s interesting how, even if it’s markedly different from much of his film work, it’s still obviously a piece of it. Loved it.

  86. cadavra says:

    Movieman, funny you should note that about “Nancy Drew.” It certainly did play like a series pilot. But there IS a “Drew” series starting on the CW this fall, but with a different cast. Wonder what the reasoning was.

  87. movieman says:

    A network series with a different cast?
    I think I’ll pass, Cad, and just remember the movie as a pleasant one-off.

  88. movieman says:

    Ugh. It looks every other YA show on the CW.
    What a shame.

  89. movieman says:

    1 1 Toy Story 4 BV $57,932,000 -52.1% 4,575 – $12,663 $236,921,809 – 2

    2 N Annabelle Comes Home WB (NL) $20,370,000 – 3,613 – $5,638 $31,204,459 – 1

    3 N Yesterday Uni. $17,000,000 – 2,603 – $6,531 $17,000,000 $26 1

    4 3 Aladdin (2019) BV $9,344,000 -29.4% 3,235 -200 $2,888 $305,861,946 $183 6

    5 5 The Secret Life of Pets 2 Uni. $7,090,000 -31.0% 3,349 -455 $2,117 $131,202,000 $80 4

    6 4 Men in Black International Sony $6,550,000 -38.8% 3,663 -561 $1,788 $65,030,511 $110 3

    7 13 Avengers: Endgame BV $5,537,000 +178.5% 2,025 +1,040 $2,734 $841,318,161 $356 10

  90. Stella's Boy says:

    That is a cool story Bulldog. That sounds like a really interesting experience. I was on a set a couple times but never as an extra and didn’t see anything cool (setting up a car chase in Wanted and setting up a fake duck in About a Boy). Seeing yourself on the big screen must be a trip.

    Anyone watching Jett? I first heard of it like a week ago and I really have no idea what Cinemax’s overall series strategy is or if they even have one. But it’s a super fun show. Story is nothing special. Convoluted hodge podge of cops and cons and double crosses and triples crosses. But it’s familiar stuff done well and it has an Elmore Leonard vibe I enjoy. Plus, Carla Gugino.

    Movieman you watching season two of Yellowstone? So far I think it’s better than the first. Think it’s kind of found a sweet spot in terms of balancing ranch and family melodrama. Stellar cast all doing great work. Good stuff.

    Finished up Escape at Dannemora over the weekend. Seven episodes probably could have been five or six and it drags a little in the middle, but overall it’s quite good. Amazing performances and production design, and a pretty gripping story. Nice job Ben Stiller.

    Watched Nightmare Cinema. Love a good anthology and big fan of several of the directors, but it’s a mixed bag at best. First one ends up being the best. The rest are OK or worse. I’ve already mostly forgotten it a couple days later.

  91. Christian says:

    Blu-ray question now that I’ve bought Criterion’s THE THIN RED LINE:

    What is the best-looking Blu-ray you’ve ever seen?

    My answer the past few years has been Criterion’s MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, but THE THIN RED LINE may have just displaced it. Extraordinary.

  92. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t have many Blu-rays, but I have no trouble believing The Thin Red Line looks stunning and is a Blu-ray worth investing in.

  93. Pete B. says:

    I caught Jett when I was flipping through channels late one night. It was the 2nd episode and I had no idea what was going on, but I found up watching the rest of it mainly for Carla Gugino. Your “Elmore Leonard vibe” description is pretty apt.

  94. Stella's Boy says:

    I’d say it’s worth watching from the beginning. Enjoyed the first three episodes quite a bit.

  95. movieman says:

    SB- I have the first two eps on my DVR.
    Was out of town for a week, and still have lots of stuff to catch up with.
    Since it’s not on this week, I’ll have extra time to watch 1 + 2 before 3 drops on July 10th.
    Glad to hear it’s not a victim of the sophomore jinx!

  96. leahnz says:
    wake up. time to die

    (demillo’s an election security expert, meant to say, edit didn’t post)

    best-looking blus probably ‘spirited away’ and the extended cut ‘avatar’. the ‘aliens’ blu is also a revelation

  97. leahnz says:

    also, a cry in the dark: will reviewers/critics/everyone else for that matter please stop using the word ‘rich’ to describe movies (almost as useless as ‘flawed’. just waiting for ‘moist’ and ‘sweaty’ to enter the vernacular). instead find actual words to describe the perceived ‘flaws’, and the aspects that make it ‘rich’, blech

  98. Amblinman says:

    DeMillo is a conspiracy theorist who says things like this:

    “Not GA. Relevant state election officials were present and heard the exchange. If it doesn’t come out on its own, I’ll say where.“

    Uh huh. Lefty Qnon. Trump is toast.

  99. leahnz says:

    holy shit amblinman, lefty Qnon, this is utter bullshit disinformation, is everyone losing their goddam minds?
    demillo is a not a ‘conspiracy theorist’ (is jennifer cohn a conspiracy theorist also?) cohn’s been doing detailed investigation and summary for the public of the deeply vulnerable and insecure voting apparatus and voting systems for a couple years now, and demillo is one of the well-known independent computer science/election security experts who’s well respected and been part of trying to sort out the VERIFIED intrusions in voter rolls and voting systems confirmed in multiple states. your quote of him above is from the twitter thread, because he is ACTUALLY currently investigating in several states. get your head right, this ‘trump is toast’ shit is straight-up delusional and frankly going to get us all killed

    i’ve posted cohn before but here you go, an education, she’s the real deal (as is demillo)

  100. Bulldog68 says:

    In the meantime a Canadian cartoonist got fired for his biting commentary on Trump’s immigration policy. This shit just got global.

  101. Stella's Boy says:

    Didn’t much care for Under the Silver Lake. I laughed a few times and there are some cool moments like the nighttime swim, but mostly I was bored. Stuff like Lebowski and Inherent Vice work in large part because of a great, memorable protagonist. Andrew Garfield is not that protagonist. Found him incredibly dull and unmemorable. Seems like a lot of people are loving it and declaring it an underseen gem, but didn’t do much for me.

  102. movieman says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy “Silver Lake,” SB.
    I really dug it.
    Felt like a Richard Kelly present-day reimagining of “Chinatown.”
    Or something like that.

    On a completely different front, does anyone else think it’s lunacy that only one movie is scheduled for wide release on July 19th, July 26th AND August 2nd?
    Yet four (wide releases) are slated for Aug. 9th; six (!) the week of Aug. 16th (two on Wed., four on Fri.); and four more on the 23rd.
    Am I the only one who thinks that “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” (which faces an uphill battle already, let alone opening opposite five other movies) would be nice counter-programming to, say, “Hobbs and Shaw”?
    And wouldn’t, say, “Good Boys” be a decent alternative to “The Lion King”?
    Or “Dora and the Lost City” opening the same day as Tarantino? (Yeah, I get that Disney will suck up most of the “family” oxygen for a few weeks, but what about the kids who see “LK” during its opening week and are looking for something new?)

  103. Hcat says:

    I would think that at least half the titles on those dates are sacrificial lambs. Bernadette probably has the best chance to break out, if its able to connect with the older book club crowd it would likely not do The Help money but I can easily see it doing say Book Club business.

    47 meters will do the same business whatever non hobbs August date it chooses, Informer is grist for the mill, Dora and Angry Birds will be a way to keep the kids out of the hot August sun but will suffer for their half quadrant appeal, and Racing in the Rain looks like spongiest pile of pablum in a while that’s not aimed directly at the Christian market (“I’ll fill them so full of sap they’ll be blowing their nose with pancakes!”).

    So if none of them have a real chance at breaking out it really doesn’t matter how they jockey for position. They’re all going to the glue factory anyway.

  104. movieman says:

    It just seems like a really stupid way to do business, Hcat.
    And the majors continue to whine about their abandonment by the “theatrical audience.”
    Not even factoring in the streaming/VOD/etc. equation, it’s no damn wonder.

  105. Hcat says:

    I agree with you its a dumb way to do business. One giant swing for the fences each week with no counter programming, and all the small films hunched together countering each other, and at least half will not get the BO or reviews to justify their existence (Dora seems like such a cynical bloodless exercise, just a step above that Playmobil thing). The studios need to make more movies for less money so we don’t have this feast and famine months. I am in a smaller market and other than Yesterday, there will be no date night wide release for me until Bernadette.

    And where the hell is Searchlight and SPC? We used to have some under the radar or even crossover indies to choose from. Wasn’t Fruitvale a summer release? There is a malaise that has infected all levels. Its like they have thrown up their hands and are just giving the industry over to Disney and Netflix without a fight.

  106. Ray Pride says:

    Dennis Lim: “The takeaway from the NYT piece is not that movies are dying, it’s that Hollywood is in trouble. If Hollywood is struggling — and along with it, the sliver of the independent sector whose existence Hollywood deigns to acknowledge — maybe it is time to reframe this tired discourse and remind us all that cinema is about a lot more than Oscar movies and summer tentpoles. I watch hundreds of new films from around the world every year (and discover plenty of old ones), and given how much continues to interest and excite me, I find it hard to be pessimistic about cinema as an art. Maybe a more relevant and less cynical question to ask (than “Do the movies have a future”?) is how an art form might sustain itself or even thrive while the business around it flounders. People like to say that movies have lost their place in the cultural mainstream. What hasn’t? What even is the cultural mainstream? What I do know for sure is that promising, meaningful, visionary work is out there, is always emerging and in danger of being overlooked, and those of us in a position to help those films be made and seen, even if on a small scale, have a greater than ever obligation to do so.”

  107. Hcat says:

    While it is not Mr. Lim’s point, broadcast television was going to kill the movie going, cable television was going to kill the movie going, availability of low priced DVDs were going to kill movie going. And while its not in an ideal position at the moment movie going’s tea leaves fall in a nicer pattern than the three of those.

    I do find it odd that the conglomerates have embraced the high acclaim low viewership model for television while seemingly abandoning it for theaters. Neon and A24 have stepped up to fill the gap a bit but nothing like in the previous decade. And I’m not even talking about serious art house, I’m lamenting the absence of middlebrow fare like Becoming Jane, Waitress and Little Miss Sunshine. I would once again like to have a Once as a summer viewing option, and a film like that would be fine to open against a Hoobs and Shaw.

  108. Ray Pride says:

    Further on the Lim:

    There is clearly something about cinema that brings out the doomsday rhetoric. How many times are the movies supposed to have died by now? This is the invention that one of its inventors declared to be “without a future” and that has faced successive existential threats from the arrival of sound, television, home video, digital technology, corporate consolidation, and so on. And cinephilia, if you believe Susan Sontag, is long dead and buried.

    The people who make the most noise about the death of the movies are usually the ones with the most to lose. But besides being an expression of anxiety over a loss of economic and cultural power, this alarmist position — which is by now also conventional wisdom — bespeaks a lack of imagination and curiosity. When people say the movies are dying, it’s often because they aren’t paying close enough attention — to the bigger picture, to the activity on the margins, to the world around them. Then again, this particular brand of tunnel vision is a hallmark of our late-capitalist age: we’re told that the brave new world of digital streaming and instant access is one of infinite abundance when it is the precise opposite, a narrowing of options to an algorithmically determined menu and a simultaneous impression that no other options exist.

    The takeaway from the NYT piece is not that movies are dying, it’s that Hollywood is in trouble. If Hollywood is struggling — and along with it, the sliver of the independent sector whose existence Hollywood deigns to acknowledge — maybe it is time to reframe this tired discourse and remind us all that cinema is about a lot more than Oscar movies and summer tentpoles. I watch hundreds of new films from around the world every year (and discover plenty of old ones), and given how much continues to interest and excite me, I find it hard to be pessimistic about cinema as an art. Maybe a more relevant and less cynical question to ask (than “Do the movies have a future”?) is how an art form might sustain itself or even thrive while the business around it flounders. People like to say that movies have lost their place in the cultural mainstream. What hasn’t? What even is the cultural mainstream? What I do know for sure is that promising, meaningful, visionary work is out there, is always emerging and in danger of being overlooked, and those of us in a position to help those films be made and seen, even if on a small scale, have a greater than ever obligation to do so.

    As someone who programs festivals, retrospectives, and theatrical releases of new and old films all year round in New York City, I can attest that there are still sizable audiences here who value curation and engagement, and for whom the cinema experience remains central or at least part of a balanced media regimen. At Film at Lincoln Center, where we just celebrated our 50th anniversary, 2018 was our best year attendance-wise across the board, for cinematheque programming, new releases, and the New York Film Festival; this past year we’ve had our most successful retrospective ever (Visconti) and our most successful revival run (Sergei Bondarchuk’s War and Peace). Our colleagues in the city are doing well too; despite a few high-profile closures, the NYC repertory and art-house ecosystem is as healthy as ever, and in fact offers more — and more variety — than it did a decade or two ago.

    Back in 1983, Bresson rejected the notion that cinema was a dying medium. He contended instead that it was just being born. “The cinema is immense,” he said, “we haven’t done a thing.” It’s a different time with different problems but his words suggest a useful perspective shift, and we could do worse than keep them in mind as we negotiate this period of uncertainty.

  109. leahnz says:

    this guy’s rather pompous hypothesis would make more sense if he didn’t use the word ‘cinema’ when he what he means half the time is film-making/movies as an artform and then conflates the two, using his anecdotal experience in a bubble as a festival programmer in a one of the planet’s largest and most arts-centric cities as some harbinger of the larger cinema culture. in terms of the apex method of viewing a wide variety of movies, mainstream cinema is without a shred of doubt shrinking before our eyes.
    film-making as an artform will probably survive as long as the human species, the imagination and some type of camera does, because we are stubborn and melodramatic – and the urge to create/watch stories is primal to our species, likely because for much of our evolution we basically lived/survived some form of HERE BE MONSTERS (and often they were us) and storytelling as entertainment is a bit like our dreams: a way to evoke and process our emotions and reality, ours and other societies and culture, our hopes, loves, fears and horrors – and we are by nature creatures of vision and sound.
    whether CINEMA survives as the primary – or even a major – method for viewing a wide variety of movies as an artform is seriously debatable at this point, and it’s not bespeaking of a lack of imagination and curiosity to suggest it.

  110. palmtree says:

    People have been saying the same thing about so many artforms. And there have been cautionary tales along the way. Some artforms do collapse or lose mainstream appeal because they fail to adapt and stubbornly resist changing tastes and times. And now that filmmaking is basically democratic as Coppola envisioned it, the chances of the artform evolving and adapting are pretty high.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon