Thursday, November 21, 2013

'The Hunger Games' - Circa 2013

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'

Peter Suderman on the disappointing sequel: 
This year's sequel, an adaptation of the follow-up, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," trades on the same sorts of adolescent fears and frustrations. Although it is competent and watchable throughout, it never quite escapes the gravitational pull of its predecessor's great concept. The sequel's approach is to reuse and recycle, expanding the world only when necessary.

MOVIE REVIEW: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' - Washington Times

Top 10 Unexpected Movie Deaths

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

New romantic comedy 'Committed' filmed entirely in Cyprus

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'Thor' Sequel Tops $100M at U.S. Box Office

After an $86.1 million opening weekend, "Thor: The Dark World" looks like another unstoppable Disney/Marvel smash.

The film continues to do well, passing the $100-million-mark on Tuesday. The cumulative domestic gross stands at $101.4 million. 

And you can also tack on $240 million overseas box office total.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The best Christian Bale film you've never seen: 'The Flowers of War'

'The Flowers of War' is one of the most powerful war movies ever made and it stars Christian Bale. So how come nobody went to see it? Check out the trailer and look for it on DVD:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Albright College Presents International Film Series

Among the offerings to be screened over the next few weeks:
  • Sept. 17: Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972). By famed director Werner Herzog, this 90-minute film follows the story of the ruthless Don Lope de Aguirre, who leads a 16th century Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado.
  • Sept. 24: Blackmail (1929). Considered the first masterpiece of Alfred Hitchcock’s U.K. filmmaking, this early sound feature, shot in both silent and sound versions, introduces many of the central ideas and motifs of Hitchcock's later Hollywood creations. The film deals with a woman who kills a man who tries to assault her.
  • Oct. 1: Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder IN-PERSON. Collaborators for more than a decade, Gibson and Recoder unite the traditions of experimental film.
  • Oct. 8: RO.GO.PA.G. (1962). A rarely screened compilation of four short films by Roberto Rossellini, Jean- Luc Godard, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Ugo Gregoretti. The title combines the abbreviations of the four directors' last names.
  • Oct. 22: Micke Cuchar IN-PERSON. Back by popular demand, and prior to his upcoming show at the Tate Modern, an evening sharing Mike Kuchar’s digital dreams.
  • Oct. 29: Fat Girl (2001). France's foremost provocatrice, Catherine Breillat’s polarizing female coming-of-age film about sibling rivalry, family conflict and relationships.
Albright College Presents International Film Series

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Magazine pegs NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg as 'Enemy of Freedom'

Reason Magazine on why NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is its No. 1 Enemy of Freedom:
Here is how New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg explained the importance of his widely derided 16-ounce limit on servings of sugar-sweetened beverages after a state judge overturned it last March: "We have a responsibility as human beings to do something, to save each other, to save the lives of ourselves, our families, our friends, and all of the rest of the people that live on God's planet." Bloomberg literally thinks he is saving the world one slightly smaller serving of soda at a time.
As grandiose as that may seem, it is consistent with Bloomberg's view of government. A few years ago in a speech at the United Nations, he declared that "to halt the worldwide epidemic of non-communicable diseases, governments at all levels must make healthy solutions the default social option," which he described as "government’s highest duty." On Bloomberg's to-do list for government, apparently, defending us against our own unhealthy habits ranks above defending us against foreign invaders or marauding criminals.
Public health is not the only area where Bloomberg's authoritarian tendencies are apparent. There is his enthusiasm for gun control, his illegal crackdown on pot smokers, and his unflagging defense of the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk program, which portrays the Fourth Amendment as a gratuitous barrier to effective policing. But his determination to halt "epidemics" of risky behavior shows him at his most arrogantly ambitious.
Bloomberg has pursued that goal not only by meddling with people's drink orders but by banning trans fats, pressuring food companies to reduce the salt content of their products, imposing heavy cigarette taxes, severely restricting the locations where people are allowed to smoke (even outdoors), mandating anti-smoking posters in stores that sell cigarettes (a policy that, like his big beverage ban, was rejected by the courts), and proposing a rule that would require merchants to hide tobacco products from people who might want to buy them.
The attitude driving Bloomberg’s crusade to "make healthy solutions the default social option" is reflected in another comment he made after his pint-sized pop prescription ran into legal trouble. "It was not a setback for me," said the billionaire with degrees from Johns Hopkins and Harvard. "In case you hadn't noticed, I watch my diet. This is not for me." No, indeed. It is for those poor, benighted souls who think it is acceptable to drink a 20-ounce soda. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


It's official: 'Lone Ranger' one of Hollywood's all-time flops

Who didn't see this one coming, Kemosabe?

Disney has another monster flop on its hands with "The Lone Ranger," which cost $225 million to make and will never break even. 

This is the second summer in a row that Disney laid a box-office egg. Remember last year's "John Carter," another $200M disaster?
'Despicable Me 2' routs 'Lone Ranger'

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Trailer Was Better Than The Movie: 'Looper'

I love time travel movies. I love Bruce Willis. So what could go wrong with a time travel movie featuring Bruce Willis? Plenty. I was extremely disappointed with "Looper," which has a great trailer, but falls apart as a film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt can't carry a movie as the lead actor and Emily Blunt is also miscast as his love interest. Even Willis can't save this confused, pointless sci-fi/adventure film.

Would Batman's Lucius Fox spy on Americans for Obama?

Would Batman's Lucius Fox spy on Americans for Obama? | Human Events

Friday, May 31, 2013

'Monsters University' Trailer

Clint Eastwoodl turns 83

Birthday wishes to my all-time favorite actor, Clint Eastwood, who turns 83 today. I just got done watching Clint's latest film, "Trouble With The Curve," and he was superb in it. It's not just a baseball film. It's a touching story of a man and his estranged daughter (played wonderfully by Amy Adams) trying to reconcile their broken relationship. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Birthday Wishes to Michael Constantine

Birthday wishes to actor Michael Constantine, who turns 86 today. The co-star of the smash hit  movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" is a Reading, Pa., native and a member of my church, Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading. The photo above was taken a church fundraiser that both of us attended a few years back. Michael Constantine has been a fixture in television and movies since the 1950s. "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" remains among the Top 100 all-time box office hits. His best-known television role came in the series "Room 222," which ran on ABC from 1969 to 1974. The role of principal Seymour Kaufman earned Constantine an Emmy Award in 1970.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

'Iron Man 3' debuts with $175.3M at weekend box office

Moviegoers can't get enough of Tony Stark/Iron Man. The third installment of the Marvel comic book franchise earned $175.3 million from 4,253 theaters in North America over the weekend

Only "The Avengers" had a bigger opening weekend at the domestic box office: $207.4 million. And in case you haven't seen it, "The Avengers" also features Iron Man prominently.

Why is Iron May 3 such a smash?

Ray Subers at has an interesting theory?
Iron Man 3's $175.3 million debut is a huge leap over Iron Man 2's $128.1 million. That's a remarkable achievement given the dodgy history of three-quels — nearly all of them decline from their predecessor — and Iron Man 2's questionable reputation. The main reason for this is simple: audiences viewed Iron Man 3 more as follow-up to The Avengers, which is almost universally beloved, than as a sequel to Iron Man 2.

The Avengers was a cultural phenomenon, though, and it took an exceptional marketing effort from Disney to retain so much of that movie's audience. The centerpiece of the campaign was the destruction of Stark's Malibu home, which managed to up the personal stakes while also showcasing some impressive action. The marketing also emphasized Stark's conflict with the elusive Mandarin, which is typically a good strategy with superhero movies (a hero is most interesting when juxtaposed against a strong villain). Add in a marketplace devoid of competition, and this was a perfect recipe for a blockbuster opening.
'Iron Man 3' Kicks Off Hollywood Blockbuster Season | Video - ABC News

Sunday, March 31, 2013

'GI Joe: Retaliation' Tops Easter Weekend Box Office

 Paramount's decision to pull "GI Joe: Retaliation" from its scheduled release date last summer to convert the film into 3-D appears to have paid off. The film topped the Easter weekend box office with a $41.2 million haul.

Rentrak Announces Worldwide Box Office Results For Weekend Of March 31, 2013: PR Newswire: 'GI Joe' earns $41.2M

Sunday, March 17, 2013

'Oz' the first box-office blockbuster of 2013

Despite poor reviews, "Oz The Great and Powerful" continues to dominate the domestic box office. The film has taken in $145 million in its first two weeks of releaswe in the U.S. It's also a huge hit overseas.

Starring James Franco, the prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" still has a ways to go to earn back its $215 million productions costs, but it's headed in the right direction. The film was director by Sam Raimi (of the original "Spiderman" series fame).

'Oz' again tops box office with $42.2 million

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Oscar Predictions 2013

SHOULD WIN: Zero Dark Thirty

WILL WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Day-Lewis

WILL WIN: Jennifer Lawrence
SHOULD WIN: Naomi Watts

WILL WIN: Anne Hathaway
SHOULD WIN: Sally Field

WILL WIN: Tommy Lee Jones
SHOULD WIN: Robert De Niro

WILL WIN: Steven Speilberg

WILL WIN: Wreck-It Ralph
SHOULD WIN: Frankenweenie

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do Not Watch 'The Watch' Under Any Circumstance

Ben Stiller has been making some awful movies of late and nothing is worse than 'The Watch' - a "comedy" that tanked at the box office last July but is dong well on DVD/Blu-ray. Nothing can save this stinker, not even Vince Vaugh and Jonah Hill. Take my advice and avoid this clunker. I did not laugh once and considered shutting off the DVD twice to see what was on C-SPAN. That's how bad this movie is.