“The Week in Revue” is a new series aimed to recap important events of the prior week, including links to our external reviews as well as Hollywood Happenings.
Much like the hospitality industry, Hollywood never sleeps, though the automated projection systems and the dimmed projector lamps might say something a bit different.
Following our inaugural box office take last Monday, which seemed to be well-received, I got to thinking that a recap of weekly events, “The Week in Revue” is exactly what The Movie Revue (TMR) needed.
Here are the top items from last week.
The ‘Cinema’ vs ‘Marvel’ Debate Heated Up with Coppola Stepping Into the Fray
We open “The Week in Revue” with the ongoing debate about what defines movies in the Gig Era. The debate rose a couple of notches when famed director Francis Ford Coppola stepped in, calling Marvel films ‘despicable.’
While the honorable Mr. Coppola has a strong oeuvre, and I don’t disagree with the merits of his comments, I would stop short of calling the current trend of franchise films to be ‘despicable’. As we mentioned last week in our box office recap, I thought very highly of Warners/Bron Creative’s “Joker” which is still running strong as of this writing.
I also thought very highly of “Avengers: Endgame“.
But just as I give heavy consideration to “Endgame,” I am equally adept at paying attention to world cinema, having recently seen the Highly Recommended “The Chambermaid,” Mexico’s entry into this year’s Oscar race as well as the Highly Recommended “Queen Of Hearts,” from Denmark.
Independent and World Cinema are a major focus of our efforts here at The Movie Revue.
In fact our highlighted review from last week is Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory,” Spain’s Oscar submission. It is currently expanding around the U.S. and is now playing in Phoenix at Harkins Camelview.
As a child of the 80’s, I do feel a sense of nostalgia for bright and colorful fantasy epics. When a friend told me after “The Avengers” that there was another decade worth of films in the pipeline, the blood drained from my face because I didn’t want to see the local cineplex be overrun with spectacles.
That’s what the modern cineplex was made for.
Cinema is as much about expression as it is about escape, and I think that’s why I have such a profound respect for “Joker” which accomplishes both.
For Mr. Coppola and Mr. Scorsese, I support their work and I support their position. Sasha Stone is correct when she says they are allowed to criticize the state of film making. There is a familiarity we can associate to with Marvel and franchise films. Films like “Joker” drew me in to see “The King Of Comedy” for the first time and to revisit “Taxi Driver”. This weekend is an example of the current state of Hollywood with “Zombieland: Double Tap” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” two films that are Recommended but were not necessary.
Look for our take on the Ultra High Definition release of Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” featuring a review of the audio and video quality of Lionsgate’s UHD BD release from our home video technologist, Terry Broadnax.
In the end, it is about adapting to the changing times that will prove Mr. Coppola and Mr. Scorcese correct, leading me to my next segment . . .
Netflix to Bring “The Irishman” to Broadway and The Egyptian in Response to No Deal with Exhibitors
Netflix is our ‘favorite’ subject and it makes “The Week in Revue” this week.
Though I have not read individual reviews nor checked the Tomato Meter, the reaction from the 57th annual New York Film Festival to Scorsese’s “The Irishman” has been stellar.
Yet Netflix, the Internet distributor who bought out the film when financing fell out from the Paramount deal Scorsese had in 2017, still cannot come to terms with finding a theatrical distribution window which satisfies the larger exhibitors like AMC while catering to their subscribers.
On October 7, Netflix announced that it was running the film for one month on Broadway at The Belasco. IndieWire reported last Monday that Netflix had secured the famed Egyptian Theater for a two week run in Los Angeles, virtually guaranteeing that Academy and Guild members would be able to see the film on as big a screen as possible.
Adapting to the times seems to be coming from both ends as Scorsese and Coppola, who re-released “Apocalypse Now” in IMAX and Large Format Theaters earlier this year are trying to reach a much younger audience while Netflix, who has courted the younger audience is also trying to draw people into cinemas to capture the essence of what cinema truly is.
Studio Ghibli Streams to HBO Max
HBO Max and the U.S. arm of Studio Ghibli, GKids stunned fans here with the announcement that the nascent HBO Max had acquired the streaming rights to Studio Ghbli’s library. The announcement followed a strong denial that Studio Ghibli’s library would ever be available to stream. This announcement was timed with the Animation is Film Festival running now in Los Angeles as well as building a stronger stake in the impending streaming service war.
Riddle Me This: Hill Steps Down, Dano Steps Up In “The Batman” Casting Shake-up
Jonah Hill stunned fans this week by announcing that he was passing on a previously undisclosed role for Warners’ upcoming “The Batman”. Less than 24 hours later, Paul Dano announced that he had taken on the historic role of The Riddler.
“Downton Abbey” film becomes Focus Features’ Highest Grossing Film Besting “Brokeback Mountain”
“Downton Abbey” made the news last week when it became Focus Features‘ highest grossing film, a feat previously held by Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain,” another LGBTQ film.
You can catch my review of “Downton Abbey” over on the Phoenix Film Festival website and Ang Lee is pushing the limits of technology with his current film, “Gemini Man“
Adam Robitel and Sony Have Cast “Escape Room 2”
Sony announced that they had cast Holland Roden, Indya Moore, Thomas Cocquerel and Carlito Olivero alongside Isabelle Fuhrman in the “Escape Room” sequel. “Escape Room,” which did not screen for Phoenix critics, took audiences by surprise opening with $18.2 million domestically and a $155 million global gross. TMR Recommends “Escape Room.”
Director Adam Robitel and the first film’s Taylor Russell and Logan Miller are all slated to return to “Escape Room 2” and it is getting all the attention it wants in “The Week in Revue.”
In Other News
- Robert Zemeckis is in discussions with Disney to helm a live-action “Pinocohio.”
- Netflix has had to shut down the “Cowboy Bebop” live-action film as star John Cho undergoes surgery and rehab following an on-set injury. The hiatus is expected to last between 7-9 months.
TMR would like to take a moment to acknowledge the passing of film and television actor Bill Macy, who starred opposite Bea Arthur in “Maude.” Macy was 97.
In Theaters Now
- Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” appears to have bested “Joker” in its opening frame on 3790 screens taking in $36 million. You can read our Recommended review over on The Cinema Files.
- The case of sequelitis continues with Sony’s “Zombieland: Double Tap,” which appears to have settled for third place in a tight box office weekend, taking $26.7m off of 3468 screens. You can read our Recommended review over on the Phoenix Film Festival.
On Deck This Week
- The final trailer for Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hits tomorrow along with the opening of ticket sales. The last film in the Skywalker Saga opens December 20 with showtimes on December 19.
Look for our review of the current Skywalker Saga starting this week as we countdown to December 20.
- Look for our reviews for Robert Egger’s “The Lighthouse,” Bong Joon-ho‘s “Parasite,” the historical drama “The Current War: Director’s Cut” from 101 Studios, Dan Krauss’s “The Kill Team” from A24 and Taika Waititi‘s “Jojo Rabbit,” which is already showing in L.A. and NYC.
TMR is also pleased to announce the addition of film critic and journalist Nick Clement, a contributor to Variety. His latest article features interviews with the folks behind Virginia’s now-concluded Middleburg FIlm Festival, run exclusively by women and film composer Terence Blanchard (“Harriet”, “Inside Man”. “BlacKkKlansman“)
Ben Cahlamer, a member of GALECA, is a Phoenix-based film critic with reviews running weekly on www.phoenixfilmfestival.com and www.thecinemafiles.com. You can also hear him on the air every Thursday at 4:40 pm on 88.7 The Pulse.