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Everything posted by Webslinger

  1. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Man, can the Fox announcers even pretend to be neutral? Their hard-on for the Yankees is too massive to miss.
  2. The Classic Conversation Thread

    The Yankees are really gonna come back from an 0-2 deficit to win the series again, huh? That said, I'll end up pulling for them if it ends up being an LA/NY World Series. Sorry, Tele.
  3. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Rick and Morty is brilliant no matter what dumb Szechuan-related shenanigans its fan base gets into.
  4. Happy Death Day had a very solid breakout. The premise was intriguing and the market was wide open for an appealing PG-13 film after so many consecutive weeks of R-rated films topping the box office. As the only PG-13 horror game in town, it should nail good holds in the next two weeks. It's too bad that Blade Runner 2049 got hit so hard, and things probably won't get any easier with so many new releases taking up screen space in the coming weeks. Sadly, it's now very safe to rule out a $100 million total, which would have seemed unthinkable prior to the film's opening. The Foreigner did okay in its domestic opening, but the international numbers so far point to the fact that the film is definitely more of an overseas play. Nevertheless, it looks pretty generic and Jackie Chan hasn't been a big domestic draw on his own in quite some time, so opening in double digits is a good accomplishment. It held up well again. A finish in the $325-330 million range is still in order. The Mountain Between Us had a medicore hold in the face of its small expansion. American Made and Kingsman both recovered nicely after their big drops last weekend. Kingsman might just be able to squeak past $100 million after all. Lego Ninjago should see a couple more good holds, but it's not good that the film will ultimately end up needing a month to make as much as Lego Batman did in its opening weekend. My Little Pony got hit hard, but it should benefit from the lack of new kid-friendly films in the next two weeks. Victoria and Abdul has been a nice quiet success story thus far. It has basically become the solid small performer I'm sure most people were expecting Battle of the Sexes to be. Marshall did okay in its limited start. I feel like the ad campaign was very quiet, so a $3 million weekend from such few theatres is a relative win. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women bombed hard. The subject matter isn't exactly an easy sell for mainstream viewers, but Annapurna looked desperate in all its attempts to connect the look and style of the campaign to Wonder Woman. I'm a big fan of most of what Megan Ellison has backed as a producer, so I hope the early floundering of Annapurna as a distributor eventually turns around - especially with, ahem, one classy distribution outlet landing in big trouble.
  5. That would be a great start for Happy Death Day. I guess a PG-13 film was bound to find an audience after so many R-rated films commanded the marketplace.
  6. The Classic Conversation Thread

    I was completely sure the Red Sox and Seahawks were going to lose today. So sure that I posted a Facebook status lamenting their losses hours in advance this morning. That status is going back up for Game 4 of the Sox/Astros series tomorrow.
  7. Definitely a disappointing start for Blade Runner 2049. Sure, the original is much better-known among film buffs than the general audience, but that factor didn't stop Mad Max: Fury Road and TRON: Legacy from opening much higher on similarly-scaled campaigns. I'm guessing the long running time and (purposefully) somewhat cryptic trailers might have turned off some potential viewers. We'll see about the legs; despite the frontloading in the weekend number, I could see strong word-of-mouth carrying it just over $100 million. Either way, like its predecessor, it's going to enjoy a long life on home video. The Mountain Between Us is off to a ho-hum start. The advertising lacked the urgency that the premise suggested - and if the reviews are a proper indication, so did the movie itself. It continues to stabilize nicely. I'm hoping it can translate the approach of Halloween into some really strong holds, even while facing a big competitor in Jigsaw on the 27th. However the rest of its run plays out, though, it's still mind-blowing to see a horror film cross the $300 million mark domestically. My Little Pony was pretty frontloaded, likely due in no small part to the brony component of the fan base. Without any new options for kids until November, it should hold up fairly well. Kingsman had another rough hold and will likely miss $100 million. On paper, it seemed like the kind of sequel that would have little trouble at least matching its predecessor. American Made also got hit hard (and the holds of the last two films mentioned really puts the strength of It's hold in perspective, given how close they were last weekend). Even with Blade Runner 2049 posting a softer bow than expected, it still snagged a chunk of the adult audience American Made hoped to reach. Lego Ninjago continues to post relatively unimpressive holds. I doubt there's a ton of audience overlap with My Little Pony (but maybe bronies get a younger start than I realize...), so I feel like it should have held at least a little better. Fortunately, it still has a few weeks without any new competition for kids. Victoria and Abdul had a stronger performance than I was expecting. Focus would be wise to take it a bit wider in the coming weeks. Flatliners held way better than I was expecting. I thought a drop of at least 50% was guaranteed. Then again, there are so many high-interest R-rated movies in the marketplace right now that I can't help but wonder whether sneak-in business may have helped prop it up.
  8. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

    Wow! Even with the level of hype and critical acclaim having ascended as high as they have, I did not expect to be this taken with Blade Runner 2049. In virtually every respect, it's exactly the sequel Blade Runner deserves: it deepens the mythology and development of the original film's universe while also paying homage to many memorable details; it calls on audiences to ponder many of the original's intriguing questions about human nature while introducing new and equally intriguing questions; and it captures much of the cool, mysterious feel of the original while taking several bold chances as it advances the story in new directions. Whereas the original Blade Runner was a dense film that packed a great deal of material into its two-hour frame, this one uses its near-three-hour running time to its advantage, allowing every plot thread proper room to breathe while also never feeling bloated. Director Denis Villeneuve does an excellent job of representing an expanded vision of Ridley Scott's original landscape (assisted in large part by characteristically outstanding work from Roger Deakins and some eye-popping visual effects) and gets terrifically grounded work out of everyone in the cast. Ryan Gosling eases comfortably into the action hero role and lends K's existential angst some real weight, and his chemistry with Ana de Armas feels reminiscent of the best qualities of the romance in Her while still taking a sufficiently singular direction to fit within its own universe. Sylvia Hoeks is also terrific as the icy henchwoman, and even Jared Leto - a known wild card who can fly off the rails without proper direction - is notably eerie in his few scenes. Harrison Ford's reprisal of Deckard - much like his work as Han Solo in The Force Awakens - also carries enough weight to work as far more than a gimmicky nod to the previous film; as in Force Awakens, he allows the passage of time to inform a more chiseled characterization whose resolution has a big payoff. As much as I enjoy the original Blade Runner and recognize the high perch it rests on in the history of science-fiction filmmaking, I dare say I may have liked this sequel just a bit better. A Stray thoughts, of which there are many of a spoilery variety: - I wish I could have seen this one in IMAX. The cinematography, production design, and visual effects are all handily going to rank among the very best of the year when all is said and done. - As hinted at above, the similarities to Her are unmistakable (especially the sex scene!), but they don't detract from the viewing experience. - Part of the reason why I may well prefer 2049 over the original is the longer running time. As great as Blade Runner is for thriving on ambiguity, I always felt that its two hours felt a teensy bit rushed for all the content it was introducing. That's not an issue here, and the film earns all 163 of those minutes. - I kinda-sorta saw the big twist about the child's identity coming. The fascination K had for Stelline and the fact that she cried upon seeing the childhood memory indicated that at the very least, she'd be back as an important player later in the film. - Not gonna lie: I laughed a little when Luv grabs Joshi's dead body for the facial recognition feature on the computer. Solid little "crosses the line twice" humor. - I LOVED the ending, and I'm glad the filmmakers resisted any possible urge to replay the line about dying for a worthy cause as K lays down on the steps.
  9. Frankly, now that I'm living in an area that is spotty with getting smaller films and never plays anything distributed by A24, I'm all for more contenders going straight to streaming. I also think we're at the height of irony and hypocrisy where many awards voters catch films at home on screener copies, but allowing normies to watch these same films at home would be a bridge too far.
  10. To play devil's advocate to some degree, there were numerous comparisons that pointed toward a higher opening for Blade Runner 2049: TRON: Legacy, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Prometheus. All films that seemed geared more toward film buffs than a more generalized action-hungry audience, and all opened above $44 million. That being said, I still see it having solid legs and a healthy overseas run, so it won't be a dud in the long run.
  11. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Or perhaps the critics who gave it high marks were just drawn in by its techniques and nuttiness? Detractors have been awfully dismissive of any argument for mother! being anything other than an inexcusable dumpster fire.
  12. The Classic Conversation Thread

    I admire Paramount for at least trying to squeeze some awards hype out of mother!, but it's not a film the Academy will embrace on any level whatsoever.
  13. It's too bad it won't live up to the highest expectations. But then again, who does? Seriously, though, that's a letdown for Blade Runner. I guess a mid-30s opening is good when factoring in the long running time, the huge gap from the first film, and the fact that the first film is more of a classic with film buffs than with the general population, but I was at least expecting an opening in line with those of TRON: Legacy and Mad Max: Fury Road, which fit similar descriptors.
  14. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Rent also has a shitload of drug use content (hence the AIDS in a couple cases), so I'm wondering how the school got around that one. Candy addicts?
  15. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Meh, I wouldn't go all gloom-and-doom on the Pats just yet. They were 4-4 in 2014 and ended up winning the Super Bowl, so 2-2 at this point in the season isn't the end of the world. I'm just hoping the Seahawks break out of their funk and start rolling soon. I swear, if we lose to a Luck-less Colts team in Seattle on national television...
  16. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Yeah, but it's still just the third quarter. Plenty of time left for a trademark Brady comeback.
  17. Wow... it's crazy to see such a tight battle for the top! When was the last time we saw a set of estimates where the top three could pan out in any order with actuals? The weekend Fight Club opened in 1999? (For context: it was neck-in-neck for the top spot with Double Jeopardy - which was originally estimated at #1 - and The Story of Us.) I hope It ends up staying at #1 with actuals. The hold is really solid and should set the film up for a total of at least $325 million. American Made debuted within range of expectations. Tom Cruise no longer has the star power to open something that doesn't have a barrage of computer-generated effects, so a high-teens debut for a dramedy is solid. With strong word-of-mouth, it should be able to withstand Blade Runner and put up a leggy run. Kingsman 2 got leveled, as expected. As I said yesterday, it's hard to imagine viewers recommending it as enthusiastically as they did the first one. Nevertheless, it should still be on track to at least squeak past $100 million domestically. Lego Ninjago held up fairly well. Unlike the other two Lego films, it didn't have a holiday weekend to cushion its fall. It's still not performing all that well for its brand, but the limited presence of other family-friendly films in October should carry it for the next several weeks. Flatliners bombed. Rebooting a 27-year-old movie that never got a sequel in the first place always seemed like an odd move, and not even going the softer PG-13 route could rescue it. Battle of the Sexes did okay in its expansion. There's not as much room for it to grow as Gifted had in an especially empty late April, but it should still put up decent legs. I had never even heard of 'Til Death Do Us Part (which looks like a Screen Gems film that Screen Gems somehow didn't produce) or A Question of Faith until this weekend. Their performances and the presence of two sub-$1,000 averages in the top twelve speaks to how weak the box office has been outside of its top performers.
  18. Kingsman The Golden Circle (2017)

    Even with the underwhelming critical response, I still went into Kingsman: The Golden Circle with a reasonable amount of excitement. The trailers were fun, the cast looked great, and the franchise seemed primed for further growth after its promising beginning. And indeed, there are plenty of individual pieces of The Golden Circle that work, but when jammed together into a 141-minute running time that paradoxically feels both too long and too rushed, it's an inconsistent disappointment. The set pieces are all wildly entertaining and the cast delivers fun work across the board, but the film bites off more than it can chew with a barrage of plot threads that feel like they could sustain at least two different movies. I admire the ambition and scope Matthew Vaughn was aiming for in expanding the Kingsman universe, but it's too much at once and doesn't land as effectively as its predecessor. B- Stray Observations: - I enjoyed Julianne Moore's villain thoroughly. She knows what kind of movie she's in and chews the scenery with disturbing glee every time she appears onscreen. - Of all the plot threads to expand upon from the first film, why did they choose to make the Swedish princess - whose major contribution to the first film was being the butt (hehe) of one of its dirtier jokes - the love interest? Pairing Eggsy with Roxy would have been predictable, yes, but it also would have made much more sense in light of how each of these characters were developed the first time around. - Speaking of Roxy... yeah, the fact that she only appeared every so briefly in a meeting room in the trailers was a dead giveaway that she wasn't going to last long. - After seeing the movie, I read on IMDB that the original cut of the film was 80 minutes longer. Given how much happens in the film and how quickly it rushes from point to point, I'm not the slightest bit surprised to hear that the equivalent of an entire feature-length film was left on the cutting room floor.
  19. Looks like American Made should be able to win the weekend, though It and Kingsman are still within close enough range to challenge it. I'm not surprised that Kingsman dropped so hard. I enjoyed it more than I didn't (B-), but given that the premise, cast, and trailers were all pointing toward something that had the potential to be at least as fun as the first, it's hard to give it a really enthusiastic recommendation.
  20. The Classic Conversation Thread

    Just saw the first round of Blade Runner 2049 reviews on Metacritic. My reaction: WOOOOOOOO! YEEEESSSSSSSS!!! I just re-watched the original last weekend and I'll probably do it again once more before next Saturday.
  21. The Classic Conversation Thread

    ...which Flatliners will.
  22. My local cinema is keeping mother! Between the nature of the film and the fact that they booted it to one of the 70-seaters last weekend, I was sure it was a goner...but they're dumping Dunkirk instead, so I'm glad I caught it again on Sunday. ...meanwhile, the other cinema in town that has refused to show R-rated films throughout its 12-year existence is still running Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, and The Nut Job 2 four times per day.
  23. Lego Batman made sense in light of the branding and the character's popularity in the first Lego film; it just didn't perform up to expectations. Doing Ninjago afterward, however, absolutely merits the "whyyyyyyyyy!?" above. It's kinda odd to consider that Lord and Miller had two big franchise films in 2014, and yet neither got a direct sequel and it feels like the ship has sailed on each. And then they get fired from Han Solo. But maybe now this finally opens the door for a Clone High revival? Please, Hollywood?
  24. I honestly expected Kingsman to go a little higher. The weak reviews probably hurt it, but otherwise it seemed like it had all the pieces in place to score a significant jump over its predecessor's opening weekend. That being said, it still fared much, much better than Ninjago. I guess it just didn't connect, even with a dearth of family-oriented competition.

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