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By Ray Pride



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61 Responses to “BYOBlog”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    The Landmark Theater here has two screens and it’s playing Downton Abbey on both this movie is Avengers for old people.

  2. movieman says:

    Really loved “Ad Astra.”
    It’s beautiful, mesmerizing, hypnotic–all those cliche critics’ adjectives–and ultimately very, very moving.
    My favorite Gray after “Lost City of Z” (and just ahead of “The Immigrant”).
    While watching it, I reflected on Pitt’s career.
    He’s part of a generation of actors (Leo, Clooney, Damon, Joaquin, possibly Affleck) who’s done pretty consistently work in pretty consistently interesting films for more than two decades without selling or copping out.
    When you consider how many other actors burst onto the scene in that timeframe and ultimately faded from view, his/their longevity is impressive indeed.
    Long may Brad run; and hope this is the year he finally wins an Oscar.

    Not sure what mainstream audiences will make of “Ad.”
    Like “First Man,” it’s probably too cerebral, slow-moving and, yeah, quiet for the masses.
    Wondering if it might have benefited from a platform release…or maybe not.
    Doubt whether Disney had the interest in/patience for nurturing it.

  3. movieman says:

    I love that Paramount’s first two 2020 releases are femme-driven:

    Miguel Arteta’s “Like a Boss” with its juicy ensemble female cast, and the Blake Lively actioner “The Rhythm Section” directed by Emmy-winning distaff helmer Reed Morano.

    Good for them.
    Hope both movies are as good as their trailers and click with audiences.

  4. Stella's Boy says:

    Like a Boss looks like fun. I love the leads and the trailer is pretty funny. Rhythm Section trailer didn’t do much for me. Hope it’s not just a generic revenge movie. Definitely hope both are good and successful. I just watched A Vengeance, the arthouse vigilante movie with Olivia Wilde. Liked it a lot. Not what I was expecting.

  5. Stella's Boy says:

    Ah A Vigilante not A Vengeance.

  6. movieman says:

    I liked “A Vigilante” as well, SB.
    At this point in time, Wilde’s “Vig” performance is still my favorite female lead perf of 2019.

  7. Hcat says:

    I think Boss was originally this November but once What Woman Want performed well they dropped in the safe slot. Whatever gets it out, Haddish and Byrne deserve all the praise they’ve received over the years and Hayek is welcome to grace the screen anytime.

    Looking at Paramount’s release schedule there is a small but not impossible chance that they might not have a 100 million dollar grossing film this year. Even higher chance that Fox won’t get a film across that as well. When was the last time a major studio failed to hit that, much less two?

  8. Stella's Boy says:

    Yeah it’s a really strong performance movieman. And an interesting little movie. Just saw Hustlers. It’s as good as advertised. Much more somber than I expected but extremely entertaining. Cast is exceptional, especially Lopez. I remember some weeks ago someone wondered why Wu got top billing over her. Makes sense after seeing the movie. It’s Wu’s story and she’s the lead. Plus it seems like the kind of thing Hollywood does, give top billing to the up-and-comer. Anyway the movie is very good. Laughed a lot. Great performances. And it’s got some heft.

  9. movieman says:

    Just watched Raymond De Felitta’s “Bottom of the 9th” which was a pleasant surprise. Of course, I’ve always been a sucker for a good baseball movie.
    I’ve liked a number of De Felitta’s earlier films (“Two Family House,” “City Island,” “Rob the Mob”), but figured this must be a stinker due its stealth theatrical run.
    Very impressive starring turn by Joe Manganiello, another actor in the Cole Hauser tradition who’s just waiting–excuse the cliched baseball metaphor–for his shot at the bigs.
    Somebody mentioned “Tango and Cash” in another blog.
    Manganiello (and Hauser) are just the kind of rugged he-men (who can actually, y’know, act) who’d be perfect in a big-screen macho pairing like that old Stallone/Russell movie. (But hopefully better.)
    It’s a shame they’re both reduced to the straight-to-video farm league. (Another tortured baseball metaphor, lol.) Hauser is in the latest Nic Cage “B” movie opening in a handful of theaters today–“Running With the Devil”–before segueing to DVD in a few months (or weeks).

  10. Dr Wally Rises says:

    I loved Ad Astra too. It takes a lot in today’s world to conjure up a stream of visuals and ideas that truly inspire awe in the viewer, but Gray has managed it here. I feel though that it’s just too somber and solemn for mass acceptance – the movie makes Interstellar look like Armageddon. A couple of questions –


    How exactly did the Surge make the orang-utans on the Norwegian craft go nuts and lay waste to the whole crew?

    And what became of the Donald Sutherland character? He’s taken ill and we hear that he’s gone for emergency surgery. The movie then leaves him behind without another mention unless I missed something.


    Ultimately I’m just grateful that a movie like this exists in 2019. An ambitious, not aggressively commercial, singular epic from a top-drawer director working within the mainstream. I think that Gray might actually be the natural successor to Peter Weir in that respect. Be thankful that Ad Astra just made it under the wire at Fox before Disney and their IP factory could scuttle it.

  11. palmtree says:

    Just caught Under the Silver Lake on Prime, and I loved it although I can see it’s a bit of an acquired taste. Still it was not at all what I was imagining and definitely in the vein of David Lynch.

  12. movieman says:

    I love “Silver Lake,” too, Palm.
    But the director whose work it most reminded me of–even more than Lynch–was Richard Kelly, particularly “Southland Tales” (a movie that’s still waiting to be officially acknowledged as a masterpiece).
    Speaking of which, where the hell is Richard Kelly?
    He hasn’t directed a film in 10 years (“The Box,” another egregiously underrated movie btw).

  13. Stella's Boy says:

    Wasn’t it announced within the last week or two that Kelly is making a Rod Serling biopic? Thought I read that.

  14. Stella's Boy says:

    Damn best opening ever for Focus and it’s not even close. Projecting $33 million for Downton Abbey. Ad Astra might hit $20 million and Rambo around $17 million.

  15. leahnz says:

    though destiny is technically the protagonist, i’d consider ramona the other lead rather than a secondary player like the others (re hustlers derp) — though i drank too much pinot noir at the screening and i can’t handle my wine – just a whiff and i’m tipsy and lightheaded like a goof for some reason – so i need to see it again sober(ish) at least. i may have been wine-warped. (this same thing happened the first time i saw ‘sideways’ at a wine screening, fucking grapes)

  16. palmtree says:

    Never saw Southland Tales though I did quite like Donnie Darko. I guess I found the juxtaposition of modern Hollywood next to nostalgic Hollywood mixed in with a cryptic underworld felt kinda Mulholland Drive to me. In any event, I will give Southland and The Box a look. Thanks!

  17. leahnz says:

    geeze, ‘southland tales’ is a masterpiece now?
    (i think not. darko is kelly’s good movie. ‘lake’ is puerile, self-indulgent nonsense)

  18. movieman says:

    A Rod Serling biopic?
    Sounds cool: hadn’t heard about that before.
    Anything that gets Kelly back to work is fine with me: even a streaming series.

    Leah: I love-love-love “Southland:” it’s also the first time I liked Dwayne Johnson (in a film).
    Guess it’s just me and the NYT’s Manohla Dargis waving the “‘Southland’ is a Masterpiece’ banner,” lol.
    And “DD” remains one of the seminal texts of the (not so new anymore) millennium.

  19. Stella's Boy says:

    That’s fair leah. I guess because Wu is the one telling the story and talking to the reporter, I’d say she’s slightly more of a lead. But that’s quibbling. Don’t mean to quibble. Just not surprised the movie bills Wu first and Lopez second.

  20. leahnz says:

    wu’s role is bigger, no quibbs

    at least kelly’s shitty movies are audacious (i liked dwayne the rock first in that sad sequel to ‘get shorty’ with his wee ‘fro, i’m blanking on the title)

  21. movieman says:

    Leah- “Be Cool,” right?

  22. movieman says:

    Mojo and RT are both down today.
    Maybe they didn’t pay their electric bill(s).

  23. leahnz says:

    yes, be cool

    (shit’s fucked up)

  24. movieman says:

    Mojo’s back.
    RT is still out, and so is Twitter.

    Here are the Friday estimates:

    Focus Features

    3,079 $13,840,000

    — / $4,495
    $13,840,000 / 1


    3,618 $7,170,000

    — / $1,982
    $7,170,000 / 1

    3 AD ASTRA

    3,460 $7,161,000

    — / $2,070
    $7,161,000 / 1

    STX Entertainment

    3,525 $5,410,000

    +130.6% / $1,535
    $50,955,213 / 8

    Warner Bros. (New Line)

    4,156 $4,825,000

    +177.9% / $1,161
    $166,745,563 / 15


    2,025 $720,000

    +154.1% / $356
    $75,515,605 / 36


    2,505 $652,000

    +99.6% / $260
    $62,941,679 / 29

    8 THE LION KING (2019)
    Buena Vista

    1,978 $597,000

    +213.7% / $302
    $535,617,304 / 64

  25. Hcat says:

    On Monday someone somewhere will be green lighting a Call The Midwife feature film.

  26. movieman says:

    September 20-22, 2019

    1 N Downton Abbey Focus $31,000,000 – 3,079 – $10,068 $31,000,000 – 1

    2 N Ad Astra Fox $19,210,000 – 3,460 – $5,552 $19,210,000 – 1

    3 N Rambo: Last Blood LGF $19,015,000 – 3,618 – $5,256 $19,015,000 $50 1

    4 1 It: Chapter Two WB (NL) $17,245,000 -56.5% 4,156 -414 $4,149 $179,165,563 – 3

    5 2 Hustlers STX $17,000,000 -48.8% 3,525 +275 $4,823 $62,553,213 $20 2

    6 5 The Lion King (2019) BV $2,572,000 -29.5% 1,978 -387 $1,300 $537,592,304 $260 10

    7 4 Good Boys Uni. $2,510,000 -40.6% 2,025 -711 $1,240 $77,305,605 $20 6

  27. Stella's Boy says:

    Someone said Downton Abbey is doing so well because it’s PG and families can see it together and I laughed when I thought about taking my kids to it. Plus when I was at a theater on Friday the average age of people going to see Downton was about 85. But hey maybe older kids are into it.

    Every commercial during the NFL today has been for Apple TV. They have spent many millions pushing their shows but the ads are all fairly brief and don’t make much of an impression.

  28. movieman says:

    Really enjoyed “Brittany Runs a Marathon.”
    I was skeptical going in, figuring it was another “Sundance Wonder” that couldn’t live up to its festival hype.
    Plus, I’ve always found Jillian Bell a tad…abrasive.
    But it’s terrific: sort of a “Trainwreck Junior.”
    A big thumb’s up.
    Sorry it’s not doing better.

    P.S.= I’d gladly pay someone/anyone $100 to show me how I can use the Apple TV I bought two years ago to stream stuff from my laptop onto my TV.

  29. Hcat says:

    I would think the “theater kid” contingent would eat up Downton, but certainly not enough to make a dent in the average age of the moviegoer.

    Perhaps the older crowd is flocking to it because there is no chance that anyone under fifty will be attending and they will not have to deal with behavior they find annoying? (though I have to say I find obnoxious theater behavior to be steady across the ages)

    I wonder, given the age of the target audience, if weekday matinee business will be extremely muscular as well.

  30. movieman says:

    “I wonder, given the age of the target audience, if weekday matinee business will be extremely muscular as well.”

    I would say: yep. Seniors love their weekday matinees.

    Personally I find the success of “Downton Abbey” a much-needed tonic in a really depressing, confusing period for theatricals..
    It’s nice to see a movie so anathema to contemporary moviegoing sensibilities
    (where “big, bigger, BEST” rules) have such a stellar opening weekend.
    I just hope it grosses as much as, say, “Good Boys.”
    Or at least “Angel Has Fallen.”

  31. Stella's Boy says:

    My mom is going tonight. It seems like something that will do good weekday business and hold well.

  32. Triple Option says:

    I know we’re movie snobs here but any comments on last night’s Emmys? I’m thinking of the abysmal ratings in particular. Any speculation as to why?

    I didn’t watch. I just couldn’t be bothered. Not that I’ve ever really been big into award shows but I’d often flip through. I wonder what sort of crisis alarms are going off at The Oscars?

    I wonder how much is due to network TV packing it in? It’s not like people aren’t watching TV, they’re just doing so online or subscription. If no one is watching Fox primetime, it stands to reason no one knows the Emmys are coming. Do people who only watch Game of Thrones or Liars or bingeing Netflix bother to turn on regular TV?

    I don’t even know how popular were the shows that won. Well, maybe no one does since they don’t release that data but I wonder if the shows being nominated don’t reflect the tastes of the viewing public? The first incarnation of Roseanne never won an Emmy but I never got the sense the TV voters were as out of touch as the Grammy voters, which certainly came around to biting themselves on the ass. have the past few years been littered with obscure shows taking home the biggest prizes, cuz that’ll wreck a turnout.

    Maybe the concept of the traditional award show is outdated? Which is kinda funny since we live in such a need to be validated era.

  33. Stella's Boy says:

    People are still watching TV but no one’s watching the same shows in large numbers. Game of Thrones gets good ratings, but that’s 2019 good ratings. I love TV but didn’t watch. Just don’t care. I think you’re probably right about a general lack of awareness due to how people watch now. And I’d also think that the sheer volume of shows on now plays a big role. We’re living in an era of 500+ scripted shows per year. There are so many other things to watch rather than an awards show. Plus Sunday Night Football still gets pretty good ratings.

  34. Hcat says:

    I agree, I think the Emmys suffer from the same problem as the Oscars, people think they have gotten too hoity toity and only nominate shows nobody watches. And most of the nominated shows are behind some paywall of some sort. To be honest they never should have let Netflix in. They should have said streaming is not television and let Hulu and Amazon and Netflix create their own academy. This would allow Broadcast and Cable to continue to have crowing rights for nominations and wins.

    Now Game of Thrones is a massive hit (or what counts as a massive hit nowadays), but look at the ratings for Barry or Veep and Emmy is reinforcing a very niche audience. The movie equivalent would be something in the area of Leave No Trace, or of course the Death of Stalin.

    For all the accolades people throw out about how wonderful television has gotten, television is 17 Dick Wolf shows and American Ninja Warrior, that’s what people are actually tuning into.

    And I have to say I find it funny that when a show that was always on the short list for Emmys gets a film adaption no one but no one is mentioning it for the Oscar race. Just different bars to clear.

  35. amblinman says:

    I lost interest in awards shows when Tron lost to Gandhi for best costume.

  36. Paul N says:

    I agree, the lack of well watched shows is a bit of a killer but more importantly I think is the fact the same people win again and again. I really like Frasier but did Grammer need to be nominated 12 times for the role and win at least 4, or Julia Louis-Dreyfus need to win every year of Veep (how much better are you than everyone else on TV).
    Peter Dinkage is the same. I enjoy all of their roles, are they the best on TV every year, not likely.
    Add in Game of Thrones winning in the year everyone hated it and I think you start to have your reasons.

  37. YancySkancy says:

    Many people who watch streaming shows are cord-cutters, and may not even have live access to the Emmy broadcast. People who watch network shows don’t watch the Emmys because their favorites don’t get nominated.

  38. Stella's Boy says:

    I liked Sad Brad in fits and starts but when it was over mainly felt frustrated and unsatisfied. I saw it at an IMAX and the picture and sound were incredible. I am a big Max Richter fan and love the score. It looks beautiful throughout and there are many stunning images. But every time I would start to get into it, the voiceover pops up. And the voiceover is just atrocious. Borders on parody at times. Treats the viewer like an idiot and feels like a studio mandate. Just tells and tells and tells. I admire it, I’m glad I saw it, but ultimately I’m mixed on it.

  39. Hcat says:

    So, just to make conversation, I have been trying to fill out the gaps in what I haven’t seen from 50 years ago. I read that book about 1999 being the best movie year but honestly the author might have been 20, 30, or 40 years off. So I had already seen the usual suspects taken care of Cowboy, Easy Rider, Majesty’s SS, Hello Dolly, Wild Bunch and then about a hundred times each for True Grit and Butch/Sundance. So recently I saw Goodbye Columbus (which was awful) am halfway through Cactus Flower (which is magnificent so far) and am quite perplexed by Sweet Charity which I just finished last night. Love Fosse, and Maclaine is probably one of my top five all time actresses. But the mixture of Neil Simon and Fosse was such an uneven pair, and their styles fought against each other the whole time. The Fosse slinkiness only permeated through the dance scenes, half of which seemed out of place in the movie. It was like watching a version of Broadcast News where every 20 minutes a kung fu fight broke out and we are just supposed to take it in stride.

    Medium Cool and Bob and Carol are on deck.

  40. palmtree says:

    I think Paul has hit on something. If Game of Thrones didn’t suck in its last year, then this Emmy Awards might have done well. But it put a damper on the whole proceedings when its most celebrated show was just not beloved anymore.

    They need to start celebrating TV in the Emmys, not just the nominees, but the medium itself. So many good shows don’t get nominated, but they should still be represented, either with presenters or with skits, etc. This year’s show was just so non-celebratory and insulting.

  41. movieman says:

    Hcat- I rewatched “Goodbye, Columbus” recently and thought it was pretty terrific. Marveled at the suitably ’60s downbeat ending (which would never pass muster today), and thought MacGraw and Michael Meyers were both sensational.
    I think it’s Ali’s best performance, along with “Just Tell Me What You Want.”
    Even liked Richard Benjamin who became so irredeemably creepy after “Diary of a Mad Housewife” and “Portnoy’s Complaint” that it’s probably a good thing he went into directing.
    The bubbly theme song is pretty damn infectious, too.

    “Cactus Flower” “magnificent”?
    Surely you jest. Also gave that a new look recently, and found it blandly mediocre despite nice work from Matthau, Bergman and an appealing Goldie (but how did she ever win an Oscar for that?)

    Agree that “Sweet Charity” just doesn’t work. And I’m a huge Fosse fan.

    Anxious to hear your thoughts on “Medium Cool” (I think it’s brilliant) and “B&C&T&A.” Haven’t taken a look at the latter in eons: worried that it’ll seem terribly dated.

    Some other ’69 titles you need to check out (if you haven’t already):

    Once Upon a Time in the West (one of Leone’s three undisputed masterpieces)
    The Sterile Cuckoo (Pakula’s first film with an utterly luminous Liza Minnelli)
    The Damned (“These are ‘The Damned:'” divine decadence)
    Topaz (underrated Hitchcock)
    La Femme Infidele (classic Chabrol: remade as “Unfaithful” by Adrian Lyne in 2002)
    Oh! What a Lovely War (Attenborough’s first–and best–film)
    Last Summer (whatever happened to Oscar-nominated Cathy Burns?)
    Z (I hated the dubbed version I saw as a kid, but seeing it again–properly subtitled–was revelatory: I finally get why everyone flipped over it back in the day; Costa-Gavras’ one masterpiece)
    Alice’s Restaurant (on some days, I actually prefer it to Penn’s “Bonnie and Clyde”)
    Downhill Racer (Michael Ritchie establishing his template)
    The Rain People (why didn’t Shirley Knight become a major player?)
    They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (holds up really well)
    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (magnificent Maggie Smith)
    Take the Money and Run (Woody’s first “real” movie: plus, it’s got Janet Margolin)
    Easy Rider (except for the commune scene, it’s great)
    Isadora (magnificent Vanessa Redgrave)
    Heironymus Merkin (for better or worse, there’s never been anything like it)
    The Gypsy Moths (underrated Frankenheimer)

  42. YancySkancy says:

    Best of ’69 for me is They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? Another great one is Andre De Toth’s Play Dirty. My great “guilty pleasure” is Don Knotts in Nat Hiken’s The Love God?, which I like to call The Reluctant Pornographer. Hiken is the genius behind Phil Silver’s Sgt. Bilko. The Love God? was his only feature film, and he died before it was released.

  43. leahnz says:

    dear news media/other useless dumdums:
    parroting the word ‘transcript’ when one is provided by pathological liars not with a transcript at all but a summary memorandum (in which the word ‘memorandum’ is used verbatim in the document itself to describe the contents comprised of brief cherry-picked notes, memories and thoughts not in any way, shape or form a ‘transcript’) is a gross dereliction of duty, an affront to journalism, conveyance of information, and the very meaning and context of words. get good.
    yours in christ,

  44. leahnz says:

    in other news maybe the todd phillips opening his mouth to say stupid stuff pity party tour is ill-advised

  45. movieman says:

    Yancy- I saw “Play Dirty” for the first time earlier this year. Liked it OK, but for me it didn’t live up to its cult-ish rep.
    (I actually prefer Jack Cardiff’s “Dark of the Sun” from the same period.)
    Funny you should reference “The Love God?”
    I just placed a hold on it–it’s part of a Don Knotts 4-movie set–at the library. That’s a movie which has always managed to elude me…until now.
    I’m even more anxious to see it after reading your high praise!

  46. Hcat says:

    MM – Funny how we are opposite tracks regarding Columbus and Flower. Liked McGraw in it but Benjamin has always grated on me, perhaps its my childhood memories of Saturday the 14th and Love at First Bite.

    Tried last month to watch Oh What a Lovely War and ended up returning it unfinished. I was fine with how it was presented (though Dogville would do this much better years later), but I found it frightfully boring. Once I get farther down the list I might revisit it.

    Been trying to find a way to view Sterile Cuckoo and Gypsy Moths of the ones I haven’t seen so far on your list these are the ones I have been itching for.

    I have seen the Leone two or three times. But should revisit it again, Its my favorite of his and probably one of my top ten films of all time. I never thought anything would knock Unforgiven from the top slot for favorite Western but after finally seeing it (after no less than a dozen false starts, you really can’t start that film upon returning home from a bar, after midnight, with the way that film opens) it was the champ.

  47. movieman says:

    Hcat- I didn’t see the Attenborough until maybe a dozen or so years ago (back in the day when Netflix actually stocked and mailed DVDs).
    The thing I remember most vividly was how extraordinary the print transfer was.
    It looked like a movie that could have been made that year, not 1969. (And it wasn’t even a Blu-Ray: just a good old DVD.)
    Found its anti-war message savagely witty and the whole thing felt remarkably sophisticated/grown-up for Attenborough, most of whose films reek of middle-brow sanctimony.
    The all-star cast was just icing on the cake.

    The Leone is a movie that took me forever to love. But the most recent try–a few months back actually–sealed the deal. I was gobsmacked by its brilliance.

    TCM runs “Cuckoo” and “Moths” fairly regularly. Look for them.

  48. leahnz says:

    well my comment above is positively quaint in light of the NYT subsequently doxxing the IC whistleblower after mob boss tronald dump and his band of craven crims threaten said whistleblower (and importantly anyone else of good conscience who dares cross dumb corleone and co.) with death. bravo NYT on scraping the bottom into a whole new layer of putrid muck beneath! you’re doing great sweetie.
    is this real life

    (why is editing typos on the hotblog so hard, like 15mins to fix 3 booboos)

  49. movieman says:

    Couldn’t access MCN or RT yesterday: anybody else have that problem?

    “Irishman” reviews have started popping up, and it seems to be everything we dreamed it might be. (Pretty much everyone, though, has commented on the CGI de-aging weirdness.)
    Can’t wait to see it.

    Finally caught up w/ “Angel Has Fallen” at a bargain theater.
    It’s infinitely better than “Olympus”/”London,” although overextended by a good 15-20 minutes and w/ 3 endings when one would have sufficed.
    Still, a decent watch.

    Thought “Abominable” was merely OK: don’t quite get the critical love.
    It’s nice-looking, but the denatured Chinese setting (it looks pretty much like any major American city) and characters (all of whom speak perfect, unaccented English, natch) cancels out its sop to multiculturalism.
    Laika’s “Missing Link”–which essentially tells the same Yeti story–was better, a lot funnier and considerably less sentimental.

    Also watched a horrendous piece of dung called “The Manson Family Massacre” that ranks among the worst things I’ve ever seen.
    It’s been a pretty great year for Manson-themed movies (Tarantino, natch; Mary Harron’s excellent “Charlie Says;” even the better-than-it-had-to-be exploiter “Haunting of Sharon Tate”). This, however, is the absolute nadir.
    Are you familiar with “Manson” director Andrew Jones, Leah? Apparently he’s a wildly prolific Kiwi with oodles of IMDB credits, none of which I’ve ever heard of.

  50. movieman says:

    I’m still trying to understand why nobody bothered opening a wide-release opposite “Abominable.”
    Was fear of the encroaching “Joker” that widespread?



    4,242 $5,690,000

    — / $1,341
    $5,690,000 / 1

    Focus Features

    3,390 $4,380,000

    +65.8% / $1,292
    $48,389,850 / 8

    STX Entertainment

    3,508 $3,660,000

    +151% / $1,043
    $72,824,711 / 15

    4 AD ASTRA

    3,460 $2,985,000

    +140.6% / $863
    $28,367,600 / 8

    Warner Bros. (New Line)

    3,611 $2,850,000

    +200.5% / $789
    $186,371,049 / 22


    3,618 $2,340,000

    +122.9% / $647
    $26,915,810 / 8

    7 JUDY
    Roadside Attractions

    461 $900,000

    — / $1,952
    $900,000 / 1


    1,503 $590,000

    +188.4% / $393
    $78,959,855 / 43


    1,652 $455,000

    +127.3% / $275
    $66,104,033 / 36

    10 THE LION KING (2019)
    Buena Vista

    1,691 $385,000

    +163.4% / $228
    $538,807,662 / 71


    1,100 $310,000

    +227.5% / $282
    $171,366,465 / 57

    Roadside Attractions

    935 $250,000

    +139.1% / $267
    $17,470,728 / 50

    Sony / AFFIRM Films

    1,206 $250,000

    +75.8% / $207
    $32,490,049 / 36


    756 $215,000

    +322.2% / $284
    $66,242,005 / 50


    761 $148,000

    +178.6% / $194
    $58,863,406 / 50

    Entertainment Studios

    257 $32,000

    +313.5% / $125
    $21,877,887 / 43

  51. palmtree says:

    MM, just so we’re clear, speaking with an accent doesn’t make it more multicultural. Abominable is being touted because it’s an Asian story with a Asian American cast. That’s significant, because many times we’re so used to the jobs either going to actors who are white and not Asian (thus contributing to the phenomenon of whitewashing) OR going to actors from Asia who have heavy accents and are not suited to English-language voice acting. So Abominable employing Asian American actors without accents, while maybe not to your taste, is a bit of a corrective.

  52. movieman says:

    Palm- If they were going to make a film set in China with a Chinese cast, I’d have preferred the dialogue to have been in Chinese with English subtitles.
    But DreamWorks would’ve never financed that.
    The result is bland to the extreme: from the could-be-anywhere setting to the characters, most of whom could pass for white.
    Hiring Asian American actors to do the voice work and then stripping them of their ethnicity/culture is nearly as bad as casting white actors to play Asian characters.
    The effect is the same.
    The mostly favorable reviews reek of condescension.

  53. movieman says:

    Just noticed that WB has quietly dated Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell” for December 13th.
    I wonder if they’ll give it a proper awards push, unlike “The Mule” last December.

  54. Ray Pride says:


  55. leahnz says:

    movieman andrew jones is welsh

  56. movieman says:

    Mea culpa, Leah.
    I don’t know how I got that wrong.
    Must have gotten bad info somewhere.

  57. movieman says:

    September 27-29, 2019

    1 N Abominable Uni. $20,850,000 – 4,242 – $4,915 $20,850,000 $75 1

    2 1 Downton Abbey Focus $14,500,000 -53.3% 3,390 +311 $4,277 $58,509,850 – 2

    3 5 Hustlers STX $11,470,000 -31.8% 3,508 -17 $3,270 $80,634,711 $20 3

    4 4 It: Chapter Two WB (NL) $10,400,000 -38.8% 3,611 -545 $2,880 $193,911,049 – 4

    5 2 Ad Astra Fox $10,143,000 -46.6% 3,460 – $2,932 $35,525,600 – 2

    6 3 Rambo: Last Blood LGF $8,575,000 -54.6% 3,618 – $2,370 $33,150,810 $50 2

    7 N Judy RAtt. $3,091,417 – 461 – $6,706 $3,091,417 – 1

    8 7 Good Boys Uni. $2,010,000 -22.4% 1,503 -522 $1,337 $80,379,855 $20 7

    9 6 The Lion King (2019) BV $1,603,000 -40.1% 1,691 -287 $948 $540,025,662 $260 11

    10 8 Angel has Fallen LGF $1,535,000 -36.2% 1,652 -853 $929 $67,184,033 $40 6

  58. palmtree says:

    “Hiring Asian American actors to do the voice work and then stripping them of their ethnicity/culture is nearly as bad as casting white actors to play Asian characters.”

    They weren’t “stripped” of their ethnicity or culture. They were hired to do voice work. The fact that it takes place in China doesn’t make unaccented English somehow inauthentic, because that’s a standard Hollywood film convention (including in more recent films like Kubo and the Two Strings, for example).

    The fact that Asian Americans are usually only hired to do accented work is kinda insulting. Most are dying to work on something that is just the same regular voiceover roles that non-Asian actors get to do.

    So to reiterate, what makes it kinda cool is hiring Asian American voice talent as opposed to non-Asian actors. Thus it values and employs their work in an industry that has traditionally not. This is a different issue than whether you aesthetically liked the movie or not. It just has to do with employment. Hope that’s clear.

  59. movieman says:

    The movie’s a pretty blank, Palm.
    Not sure whether it merits all the energy you’re expending on it.

    Good for DreamWorks for hiring Asian American actors to do V/O work.
    I wish the director hadn’t been so intent on whitewashing the setting and characters and robbing them of their cultural identity/uniqueness.

  60. palmtree says:

    I’ll chime in again after I’ve seen it. But for now, I just wanted to clarify what I think the point of the casting was. It’s always worth the energy if I think the commenter is in good faith and not a troll.

  61. Bulldog68 says:

    “If they were going to make a film set in China with a Chinese cast, I’d have preferred the dialogue to have been in Chinese with English subtitles.”

    That would virtually guarantee a box office disaster to release a movie aimed at kids and put subtitles in it.

    And I’ll 2nd what Palmtree said.

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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