Summer Winner: Original Summer Content

Another winner this summer was original summer content that came in the form of Baby Driver, The Big Sick, Dunkirk, and Girls Trip.  47 Meters Down also makes the list given how much it made at the box office against its budget. Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver opened in late June to an opening of $20.5 million.  Wright’s film used a musical soundtrack in ways that the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise may never reach.  The…

"Summer Winner: Original Summer Content"

Summer Winner: Comic Book Movies

Yesterday examined the summer losers.  Today, I’m looking at the summer winners at the box office.  The first winner over the sumer movie season: Comic Book Movies. This summer saw quite a few comic book films: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man Homecoming.  Where many studio films suffered over the summer with the critics, these three films were hits with both the critics and fans alike. Through Labor Day weekend, all…

"Summer Winner: Comic Book Movies"

Summer Loser: The Month of August

The next summer loser was the entire month of August.  In a month packed with so many independent films fighting for an audience, it was the studios that failed to offer a film that could appeal to the entire family or at least a few of the movie-going quadrants. The month started off with the release of The Dark Tower from Sony Pictures and Aviron’s Kidnap starring Halle Berry.  Nevermind the fact that Sony had…

"Summer Loser: The Month of August"

Summer Loser: The R-Rated Comedy

The R-rated comedy is going to need to be revamped heading into next year because aside from Girls Trip, they landed with a dud.  The best comedies this summer were all indie comedies and I’ll have more on that when I visit the summer winners on Monday. Snatched, starring Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, opened against King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.  But a front-loaded opening weekend of $19 million wasn’t enough to keep it…

"Summer Loser: The R-Rated Comedy"

Summer Loser: Franchise Fatigue

The summer movie box office was down this year and one of the reasons can be blamed on franchise fatigue. This summer saw the releases of Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and Transformers: The Last Knight.  Unfortunately for the studios, audiences just really didn’t care to see them.  It didn’t help that several movies in the franchise preceded them. Despite the box office appeal of Tom Cruise and Russell…

"Summer Loser: Franchise Fatigue"

John Musker on Animation, Filmmaking, and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers

Walt Disney Animation Studios director John Musker was in Chicago this week and addressed students of The Second City Training Center and Harold Ramis Film School.  I didn’t take a lot of notes during the Q&A session but here’s a recap of what I did jot down. Musker has an impressive resume over the years, having co-directed The Great Mouse Detective, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Hercules, Treasure Planet, The Princess and The Frog, and most…

"John Musker on Animation, Filmmaking, and Advice for Aspiring Filmmakers"

Telluride: Darkest Hour puts Gary Oldman in Oscar race for Best Actor

Following the world premiere of Darkest Hour on Friday night at the 44th Telluride Film Festival, Gary Oldman’s Oscar for Best Actor is more than likely his to lose. The next stop for the film, directed by Joe Wright (Atonement) from a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, will be the Canadian premiere on September 11th at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Oldman leads a cast that includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James, Stephen Dillane, Ronald Pickup,…

"Telluride: Darkest Hour puts Gary Oldman in Oscar race for Best Actor"

Footnotes: French Musical Has Awesome Choreography

Footnotes (Sur Quel Pied Danser) is a French musical comedy with amazing choreography even if I couldn’t understand the language they were speaking. Directed by Paul Calori and Kostia Testut, the musical comedy stars Pauline Etienne, Olivier Chantreau, François Morel, Loïc Corbery, and Julie Victor. Footnotes is a musical comedy that was inspired by the films of Jacques Demy and Stanley Donen.  At the film’s start, we meet Julie (Etienne).  She’s losing her job at…

"Footnotes: French Musical Has Awesome Choreography"

I just watched Blade Runner for The First Time

I just watched Blade Runner for the first time after checking out Blade Runner: The Final Cut from the local public library.  Aside from some unfortunate skipping issues on the DVD, the film holds up well even on first viewing. Based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the Ridley Scott-directed film was first released in 1982 and it’s yet another role that actor Harrison Ford will revisit when he reprises…

"I just watched Blade Runner for The First Time"

My Own Memories of comedian Shelley Berman

I learned this morning that Shelley Berman, a longtime comedian, has died at the age of 92.  Folowing a brief obit, I share my own thoughts of emailing with the late comedian. A statement on his fan page says that he died “at his home in Bell Canyon, CA, due to complications from Alzheimer’s.” A Chicago native, Berman performed back in the day with the Compass Players, a predecessor to The Second City.  With the…

"My Own Memories of comedian Shelley Berman"