(Photo by Buena Vista/ courtesy Everett Collection)
Diane Lane has been leading films since age 14, when she debuted in 1979’s first-love story A Little Romance. In the ’80s, she brought New Wave to the big screen with hip, unusual musicals Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, and Streets of Fire, along with collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola in Rumble Fish and The Outsiders.
In the ’90s and early 2000s, Lane appeared in a variety of big productions, including Chaplin, Judge Dredd, Jack, and The Perfect Storm, pulling her away from leading roles. That changed with 2002’s Unfaithful, the erotic sizzler with Richard Gere for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. This led to a mid-career blossoming as romantic lead, with films like Under the Tuscan Sun, Must Love Dogs, and Nights in Rodanthe.
Since then, Lane’s movies have been among the most critically acclaimed of her career, including Certified Fresh marks for Inside Out, Trumbo, and her latest, Let Him Go, opposite Kevin Costner. She’s also been Ma Kent in the DC Extended Universe since 2013’s Man of Steel, helping guarantee we’d never hear the name Martha the same way again. And now we look back on all Diane Lane movies ranked by Tomatometer!
We meet again. Here, on the internet. What are the odds? You, me, at this junction in this series of tubes, when we could be anywhere else online: Watching a movie, scattering reasonable comments on news, or ordering replacement Encarta 95 discs. All just wonderful stuff.
But were you aware of the internet’s dark side? This Friday, Friend Request plays on every parent’s worst online fears: That their daughter will become Snapface friends with a thing that looks like a man but the thing is really the devil!! Welcome to the darkest web, triggering this week’s gallery of 24 best and worst movies about the internet by Tomatometer!
Spaced, the UK cult hit series, is finally headed to the States this summer – but guess what’s here now? A 3-disc Indiana Jones DVD collection and Narnia in Blu-ray! (Plus, we hear there’s a bit of a virus going around overseas…) Read on for more news and releases.
America Gets Spaced!
Region 1 denizens should mark their calendars for July 22 (and set aside about five Alexander Hamiltons) for the North American debut of the UK smash sitcom Spaced. Created by Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson) — and directed by Edgar Wright — the surreal pop culture-referencing television show will finally make it to our shores in a 3-disc edition. Bonus material will include a 2007 cast reunion, an Homage-O-Meter that tracks each pop culture reference as it happens, and a commentary by Wright, Pegg, Hynes, and celeb-hipster buddies Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Bill Hader, Matt Stone, Patton Oswalt, and Diablo Cody.
Meanwhile, McG Gets De-Spaced…
…and if you’re a fan of Spaced, Edgar Wright, and Simon Pegg, then perhaps you’ll be happy to hear that the planned American remake of the show is now D.O.A., according to industry pundit Nikki Finke. Why is that good, you ask? Mostly because the folks behind the re-do, first announced last October, were plotting the series without any involvement by its creators. Also, it had Charlie’s Angels/Terminator 4 director McG at the helm — leading Wright to blog-dub the project McSpaced. Death to McSpaced!
Criterion Goes Blu-Ray
In more highbrow news, the cineastes at the Criterion Collection announced last week that Criterion will be going Blu-ray this fall! They promise “glorious high-definition picture and sound, all the supplemental content of the DVD releases” — and best of all — “they will be priced to match our standard-def editions.” Because it’s not like standard Criterion releases come on the cheap. The first batch of Blu-ray Criterion releases will include Bottle Rocket, Chungking Express, The Last Emperor, Gimme Shelter, Contempt, and The 400 Blows. Click for full titles.
Also announced this week
— Early box art reveals that a sneak peek of the teenage vampire romance Twilight will appear on Summit Entertainment’s DVD release of Penelope, starring Christina Ricci. A fable about a pig-nosed girl who finds romance and a first look at the star-crossed love between a high schooler and a handsome bloodsucker? Guys, try to contain yourselves. On shelves July 15.
— Could the National Lampoon brand thrive again, after years of being licensed out to drastically unfunny films like Dorm Daze and Golf Punks? We shall see this summer, when the first National Lampoon movie to be produced by National Lampoon in 19 years comes to DVD: National Lampoon’s Bag Boy. (It’s about competitive grocery bagging. Which reminds us of a funny episode of 10 Items or Less…wonder when that will hit DVD?) Also on shelves July 15.
–Lastly, the Washington Post calls a quietly brewing problem to attention regarding our troops overseas and home video entertainment. Remember to pick up legit adult videos when sending your care packages!
Click for this week’s new releases!
The ladies of fellow new release Mad Money are in good company as Diane Lane‘s stab at girl power — the gruesome thriller Untraceable, which pits Lane as a female cop on the trail of a modem-empowered killer — also makes its way to DVD this week.
Director Gregory Hoblit (Fracture, Frequency, Primal Fear) provides some insight into what he was thinking in a commentary track; watch picture-in-picture interviews, storyboards, and clips during the feature in Blu-ray.
Denzel Washington directs his way to Certified Fresh territory for the second time (after 2002’s celebrated Antwone Fisher) and stars in a true story about a debate coach (Washington) leading his all-black college team to the national championships.
Genius Products and The Weinstein Co. are releasing a single-disc version with no extra features, but we say go for the 2-disc package for a commentary, documentary, and informative bonus materials about the actual events and figures that inspired the Oprah Winfrey-produced film.
Fun fact: Mad Money is directed by Callie Khouri, the same woman who made one of the best female empowerment flicks of all time: Thelma and Louise.
Who really watches extras like “Behind the Scenes of Mad Money??”
Francis Ford Coppola‘s pet project about a man (Tim Roth) supernaturally touched by youth was, to put it mildly, not quite a success. Is it still worth a shot, considering it’s Coppola’s first film in a decade?
Again, Coppola the Auteur is what’s appealing about Youth Without Youth, sprawling failure or no. Check out his commentary track and three making-of featurettes for insight into the mind of a modern legend.
It’s Criterion time! Delight in not one, but two Louis Malle releases this week: The Lovers, Malle’s second film about an adulterous woman (Jeanne Moreau) and The Fire Within, about a suicidal writer.
Criterion serves up a newly restored, unedited version of The Lovers, which caused quite a stir when it censored upon debut in 1958 and sparked a Supreme Court obscenity case. But with more new material like video interviews with cast members and a 2005 documentary featuring Mathieu Almaric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace) Criterion’s The Fire Within has a smidge more to offer. Who are we kidding — get them both!
With Prince Caspian gearing up for a big opening this Friday, Disney and Walden Media are releasing the first film of the franchise, 2005’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, on Blu-ray for the first time — which means you’ll be able to see every hair on Aslan’s furry frame in inscrutable detail. Woot!
Use Blu-ray’s picture-in-picture element to watch extras like pop-up trivia. A second disc full of features should provide all that you ever wanted to know about the making of the hugely popular adventure.
The best collection of the week has arrived! Compiling all three Indiana Jones adventures — Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, and the misnamed Last Crusade — this three-disc release is all you need to get ready for Indy’s return on May 22. We made a marathon out of all three discs in one weekend, and you’ll want to do the same.
The notoriously press-shy Steven Spielberg and George Lucas make appearances “introducing” each film, sharing memories of casting and filming the series while simultaneously offering glimpses of the forthcoming sequel, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Each disc has its own bonus menu of related materials, including features on the ladies and sidekicks of the series and the famous “melting face” effect.
Fun fact: George Lucas tells us he wasn’t so keen on casting his Han Solo, Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones. He also reveals he thought Sean Connery wouldn’t work as the elder Dr. Jones. (Good thing Spielberg convinced him otherwise.)
‘Til next week, happy viewing!
A slow week at the nation’s theatres saw Jason Statham surprisingly emerge as the king of the box office. The chrome-domed mockney thesp stars in crime caper The Bank Job, which narrowly overcame Will Ferrell’s new comedy Semi-Pro in a less-than-epic struggle for the number one spot.
This time of year is notoriously slow for cinema releases, with studios usually sitting on their big guns for summer releases and instead using the period as a dumping ground for their less-than-promising, lower budget offerings. This year executives at the big five have bucked the trend a bit – Paramount’s Cloverfield and Fox’s Jumper together raked in big bucks.
This week, though, has seen normal service resumed, with the soulless accountants totting up the profits from The Bank Job and Semi-Pro sure to be disappointed with their takings; the films both scraped less than a million each. The Stath can at least console himself with the fact that The Bank Job received surprisingly good reviews — with an 81% score on the Tomatometer, but Semi-Pro had no such luck. No fewer than three quarters of critics gave the pic a negative review, with the Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw labelling the film “chillingly devoid of laughs”.
It was the big-budget behemoths still lurking in the charts that took the biggest financial hit from the lackadaisical British cinema-going public. Arthritis-riddled killing machine Rambo took in 59% less cash than last week, with studio Sony’s spat with the Odeon cinema chain surely biting into their much-needed profits. The film fell from 3rd to 9th in the charts.
Handheld beasty-mash-up Cloverfield also finally relinquished its slimy grip on a top ten place. The J.J. Abrams produced, ahem, monstrosity tumbled from 9th to 17th place, taking in 74% less moolah than the previous week.
Even RT fave Alvin and the Chipmunks – previously impervious to bad reviews, cinema-going trends and the vagaries of basic human decency – was finally abandoned by its army of loyal fans and also dropped out of the top ten. However, we’re sure the be-suited bean counters at Fox, in between sips of Cristal obviously, will still congratulate themselves on the film’s $22 mill take in the UK alone.
While Brady and Manning duke it out in Phoenix, the $15 movie ticket aims to conquer the multiplexes over Super Bowl weekend. That’s the admission price that theaters are charging moviegoers that line up for Disney’s Hannah Montana concert film which opens Friday on a wave of fan frenzy that has given the hot pic event-film status with young girls everywhere. But other ladies that got their big break from a television series will enter the weekend race at the North American box office too. Jessica Alba stars in the supernatural thriller The Eye while Eva Longoria Parker headlines the comedy Over Her Dead Body. Guys will be tossed their own entry in the form of the nature comedy Strange Wilderness. Disney and Lionsgate will be the studios competing for the box office trophy as Sony’s seven-year streak of ruling Super Bowl weekend will come to an end.
Tween girls who couldn’t get their parents to shell out a grand for a scalped ticket for Hannah Montana’s live concerts can now cough up a Hamilton and a Lincoln and see the big show at their local multiplex. Disney goes 3D for its special one-week-only engagement of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert which aims to capitalize on the immense fan base for the Disney Channel superstar. The G-rated musicfest will play mostly to girls but should lure in nearly 100% of its target demographic with what has become a major event film for lovers of all things Hannah. With a trim 74-minute running time, theaters will be able to squeeze in six showtimes per day to maximize their revenue. School teachers nationwide may have to brace for record high absenteeism on Friday.
The Hannah Montana phenomenon has become a cash cow for the studio. Thanks to last year’s live concerts which sold out within minutes, fans have wasted no time in pre-buying their movie tickets for Best which has been a top seller all through December and January. Fandango.com reported on Wednesday that the film accounted for a whopping 91% of all tickets purchased with over 1,000 showtimes already sold out coast to coast. Rival MovieTickets.com stated that Best has already joined its all-time top ten list of pre-sales ranking alongside tentpole sequels from franchises such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings. Helping Montana-mania at the box office will be those increased $15 ticket prices which will allow the overall grosses to swell.
Best of Both Worlds could very well be one of those box office surprises that exceeds all expectations thanks to intense demand plus brilliant marketing and distribution. This could be a Borat-type weekend when the film with the fewest theaters actually beats out all of its competitors for the top spot. In fact the numbers could climb really high if parents join their daughters for the show, or if repeat business kicks in with fans seeing the film multiple times since it will only be on the big screen for seven days. The Super Bowl should not be much of a distraction since young females are typically the quadrant least interested in the big game. Hitting the stage in 683 movie theaters with digital 3D facilities, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert could open to about $17M this weekend.
Although there are no other major horror flicks out there, The Eye will still face formidable competition. Hannah Montana is a very different type of film, but it will take some teen girls out of the picture. Young males also have plenty of other choices out there. But Alba is a decent box office draw despite the weak launch of her last thriller Awake which debuted to only $5.9M. The Eye is in a much better position to find success, though. A scary trailer, a creepy one-sheet, a commercially-friendly rating, and a popular star in the lead all will contribute to a solid debut. The Eye opens in 2,436 locations on Friday and could scare up roughly $14M over three days.
Sylvester Stallone settled for the vice president’s job on last weekend’s chart with Rambo and with most fans charging theaters in the beginning, not much of an audience will be left. Plus the Lionsgate film lacks the positive vibe that the actor/filmmaker saw with Rocky Balboa last winter. A 55% fall would give Rambo roughly $8M and a sum of $31M after ten days.
Fox could enjoy a solid third frame with its chick flick 27 Dresses which has been holding up well since its strong opening. A 40% decline to $8.5M would give the Heigl hit $57M after 17 days. Diane Lane also could see a reasonably good hold for her crime thriller Untraceable which may drop 40% to $7M for a ten-day tally of $20M. The monster flick Cloverfield fell hard in its second weekend and another sizable drop of 55% could give Paramount $5.5M and a 17-day total of $73M.
LAST YEAR: Super Bowl weekend saw teen girls edge past their moms at the box office as the thriller The Messengers bowed at number one with $14.7M beating out the $13.1M debut of the Diane Keaton pic Because I Said So. Final grosses reached $35.4M for the Sony spookfest and $42.7M for Universal’s star-driven comedy. Holdovers rounded out the top five. Epic Movie dropped from the top spot to third with $8.4M, the hit comedy Night at the Museum followed in fourth with $6.4M, and Smokin’ Aces placed fifth with $6.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Moviegoers chose an army of spoof comedians over an aging one-man killing
machine as Meet the Spartans
outgunned Sylvester Stallone‘s Rambo
to claim the number one spot in a close race at the North American box office.
Both new releases walked away with solid performances and should become
moneymakers. Ticket buyers also flocked to see the Academy Award nominees for
Best Picture with four of the five contenders posting sales increases. Many box
office milestones were also reached as Juno
surpassed $100M, Alvin and the Chipmunks
and National Treasure: Book of Secrets
both cracked the $200M mark, and I Am Legend
vaulted past the $250M barrier. Overall, the box office remained healthy and
showed incredible depth as for the first time ever in the month of January,
seven different movies topped $10M in weekend grosses.
Teens and young adults wanted laughs and they got them from Fox’s latest spoof
comedy Meet the Spartans
which won a slim victory with an estimated $18.7M in its opening weekend. The
PG-13 pic averaged a muscular $7,188 from 2,605 sites and debuted on par with
the studio’s other early-year spoof hits Epic Movie
which bowed on top to $18.6M a year ago this week and Date Movie
which enjoyed a second-place launch in February 2006 with $19.1M. All three
films came from Hollywood’s current spoof kings
Spartans used the same formula of sending up recent blockbuster hits and
pop culture favorites and young people showed up showing no signs of getting
sick of the genre. The $18M production featured no A-list stars and instead
relied on recognizable faces like muscle man
hip hop star
Carmen Electra, and Borat‘s
Date and Epic reached $48.5M and $39.7M respectively so Fox looks
to have another profitable venture on its hands.
lost out on bragging rights at the box office this weekend, but his new action
still performed well opening to an estimated $18.2M. Produced by Lionsgate and
The Weinstein Company, the R-rated shoot-em-up vehicle averaged an impressive
$6,598 per location. It was the first adventure for the character in nearly two
decades following long after 1988’s Rambo III. The first three films helped to
define the action genre in the 1980s grossing a combined $610M worldwide. As
expected, Rambo skewed heavily male with 67% of the audience being men,
according to studio research. The age breakdown was evenly split between those
over and under the age of 25. Although Rambo settled for the runnerup
spot domestically, it should become a much bigger hit overseas than Spartans.
romantic comedy 27 Dresses
held up well in its second weekend grossing an estimated $13.6M for a moderate
drop of 41%. Fox has collected an impressive $45.3M in the first ten days and
could be headed for a $80M finish. Dresses cost $30M to produce.
Not as lucky in its sophomore frame was last weekend’s top film Cloverfield
which tumbled 68% to an estimated $12.7M taking fourth place. The $25M
sci-fi actioner has grossed a solid $64.3M in ten days and should end its run
with roughly $85M for Paramount.
new crime thriller Untraceable
enjoyed a respectable opening in fifth place with an estimated $11.2M from 2,368
theaters for a solid $4,730 average. The R-rated pic about an internet killer
played to young adults with 59% of the audience falling within the 18-34 age
range, according to studio research. Sony’s latest release was budgeted in the
$30M range and played evenly to men and women with females making up 51%.
Fox Searchlight’s hit comedy Juno
became the company’s first ever $100M blockbuster over the weekend as its four
Academy Award nominations helped to keep the quirky film strong. The pregnancy
pic lost 108 theaters but saw its gross inch up 4% to an estimated $10.3M
boosting the cume to $100.2M. Oscar buzz has given this year’s top-grossing Best
Picture nominee renewed interest in the marketplace. Produced for less than
$10M, Juno should now find its way to more than $125M domestically.
Armed with eight Academy Award nominations, Paramount Vantage expanded its
There Will Be
Blood by more than doubling its run and jumped up to the number
eight spot with an estimated $4.9M. The Daniel
Day-Lewis starrer averaged a solid $5,522 from 885 locations after widening
from 389 sites last week. Cume is now $14.8M. The specialty distributor is using
a strategy similar to the one employed by Warner Bros. three years ago for
Baby by slowly building buzz in late December and January before expanding
nationally on the weekend after the Oscar nominations are announced. The wait
allows a hard-to-sell pic to gather enough kudos to validate it before making a
big push with the paying public. Blood will expand again on Friday
reaching 1,350 to 1,500 total sites and hopes to keep the black gold coming in
week after week.
Debuting quietly outside of the top ten was the stepdancing drama How She Move
which bowed to an estimated $4.2M from 1,531 sites for a weak $2,716 average.
Paramount Vantage attracted an urban audience of young females for the PG-13
film which was acquired at last year’s Sundance Film Festival for $3M.
The concert film U23D,
which had its premiere at this year’s Sundance, rocked the box office opening in
only 61 theaters to the tune of $946,000, according to estimates, for a powerful
$15,508 average. Released by National Geographic, the G-rated Imax pic was shot
in Mexico City and Buenos Aires on the band’s lucrative Vertigo tour.
Four films including a pair of megablockbusters fell from the top ten this
weekend. Fox’s runaway smash Alvin and the Chipmunks
eased just 35% to an estimated $4.6M in its seventh frame and boosted its
amazing cume to $204.2M. The family comedy has performed well above expectations
over the holiday season and beyond and smashed through the $200M mark on Friday,
its 43rd day of release. Budgeted at under $70M, Alvin should conclude
its domestic run with $215-220M.
Fellow December 14th opener I Am Legend
hit a milestone of its own this weekend shattering the quarter-billion domestic
mark. Will Smith‘s
gargantuan hit grossed an estimated $2.2M, down 55%, for a total to date of
$251.7M. The sci-fi thriller surpassed 1997’s
Men in Black to
become the actor’s second highest grossing film ever trailing the $306.2M of
Independence Day. MIB still sold more tickets since its $250.1M gross
a decade ago would amount to $370M+ at today’s prices. Look for Legend to
reach around $255M from North America and over $600M worldwide.
Another rapper-turned-actor, Ice Cube,
saw his latest entry First Sunday
tumble 58% to an estimated $3.3M in its third outing. The $20M Sony comedy has
made off with $34.5M in 17 days and should end up in the vicinity of $40M. Best
added screens but slipped 14% to an estimated $4M for a $37.9M sum. It was the
only film up for Oscar’s top prize to see sales decline from last weekend. Focus
should, however, continue to see respectable numbers in the weeks ahead as the
title remains a contender.
Other Academy Award-nominated films in the Best Picture race expanded too and
captured a little more business. Miramax’s
No Country For
Old Men, which won top honors on Saturday from the DGA for directors
grossed an estimated $2.5M from 1,107 locations for a $2,261 average in its 12th
frame. Warner Bros. put the George Clooney legal drama
back into wide release but collected just $2.1M, according to estimates, from
1,102 playdates for a mild $1,869 average in its 17th weekend. Totals now stand
at $52M and $41.5M, respectively. Major Oscar nods can lead to extra box office
revenue for films that did not reach their full potential the first time around,
however there are added marketing and distribution costs associated with these
The top ten films grossed an estimated $109M which was up a remarkable 33% from
last year when Epic Movie opened at number one with $18.6M; and up 17%
from 2006 when
Big Momma’s House 2 debuted in the top spot with $27.7M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
The Internet is the setting for methodical killings in Untraceable, the latest nail-biter from director Gregory Hoblit (Fracture, Primal Fear), but we already know cyberspace comes with its pros and cons. The good? Movie reviews at the click of a mouse (gratuitous self-promotion: check!). The bad? Identity theft, spam, and predators. But what if those offenders were also psychotic murderers, combining the anonymity of the internet and our inherently morbid curiosities to create a traffic-driven killing machine that inflicts more and more pain with each increasing page view?
In Untraceable, Diane Lane — one of the world’s most gorgeous forty-something actresses — goes into Jodie Foster mode as FBI Agent Jennifer Marsh, a cybercrimes specialist whose workload of kiddie porn cases and credit card frauds get pushed to the back burner when a Portland-area killer begins kidnapping people and webcasting their deaths, live on the internet. Rated R for gruesome violence, Untraceable indeed boasts a number of skin-crawling scenes but more importantly questions the limits of freedom in an age where anyone can broadcast anything without leaving a tangible trail.
For Lane, a self-described technophobe who lives quietly outside of Hollywood with actor Josh Brolin and their family, Untraceable is a foray into relatively new territory: the realm of the tough female enforcer. Though she’s been acting since the age of 13, hard-edged roles have been rare for Lane (save a turn opposite Wesley Snipes in 1997’s Murder at 1600) and, as she notes of her latest, “It’s not Must Love Dogs!”
Lane talked to RT at a roundtable interview about her pistol-packing role, societal desensitization to violence, the parity of realistic portrayals of women in movies, and what it’s like having not one, but two career revitalizations at the same time in one celebrity household.
Diane Lane: It’s not a horror movie; it’s a thriller…and I think if anybody’s [torturing people for fun onscreen] they deserve to be stopped by somebody as nice as me.
What was the appeal in playing this female FBI agent?
DL: I like the fact that she was a working woman, and that her job exists and she is real. The need for angels online to intervene with bad guys online is sad, but when I visited the FBI and spent time with this woman who was my role model, she was amazing. She dressed better, she had better hair, she looked great — she just carried herself with dignity, and with style. You could be anyone at a keyboard and a screen doing her job so it’s a non-ageist, non-sexist profession. And yet here she is, a mother of teenagers, the kids are doing great, and I was just very impressed with the need for her job and the fact that she was the one doing it.
So for me, that was a piece of information that I never had before. My references were all from the movies, and they didn’t look like her. I went and got the clothes that she was wearing, and they said “No, it’s too nice. You have to play it down a little, because maybe it’ll be distracting for the audience that FBI people dress well.”
What was it like spending time with the FBI?
DL: That was fun! That was the most fun I had in this experience, as you can imagine, but the preparation was really fun. The firearms training days — it’s fun firing off large ammunitions! — it has a thrill, [but] I found out I’m not a very good shot!
Were you shocked by some of the things that you ended up seeing on the internet in your research?
DL: Yes! I was very shocked. It validated my technophobia, and I’m back happy in blissful ignorance.
Do you let your children go online? That’s the scariest thing, isn’t it?
DL: You know, being a parent is just so fun these days. There’s an alternate universe that kids feel is theirs, they’re entitled to it, and it’s a great big world out there and they’re gonna inherit it anyway. So you try to instill a good Jiminy Cricket and hope that they make good choices. I’m just a tour guide.
No Country For Old Men has been criticized for being extremely violent, but the violence in that movie seemed subdued compared to Untraceable. What do you see in this culture about where movie violence is going, and your place in it as an actor?
DL: I think it’s a statement of our times, and I am a girl of my times. I don’t want to live in a bubble, in my craft or in the world…I can’t, I would be cheating myself out of my generation and the world we live in. I love how uncomfortable everyone is, because that tells me I made the right choice. I think comfort is kind of overrated, and if I’m worth my salt in this business it would be because of the diversity of roles I’ve been able to pull off, hopefully. I was thinking about all the different parts I’ve played recently, and I thought, that’s why I felt so challenged by the offer. Because it was kind of a dare, and I knew that if I didn’t do the film, someone else would.
I didn’t want to chicken out, because when I had my criteria in front of me, the main ones were it’s not misogynistic, it’s not a sexualized kind of negative message, and there’s no subjugation of women — the poster is not going to be offensive to me, and it’s not going to be out in front of a kids’ playground. This is an R picture; those [audiences] are the people that are entertained, and it’s the entertainment industry. I’m not in a ballet here! And even some ballets deal with pretty tough issues if you were to film it rather than do it poetically with pirouetting. So, this is this story, this is this movie, and it’s not Must Love Dogs!
What does the film’s premise — a killer sets up a website with death traps that run on the curiosity of viewers — say about society?
DL: I like the fact that it brings up debate on that subject. I like the fact that it raises some hackles and makes people afraid, because for ten bucks and two hours in the dark, you’re going to a thriller and you ought to be afraid. I like the fact that the premise was intelligent, within our time; I think ten years from now, we’ll have other concerns and this one will be in a bubble of current…nowness. So in that way it’s very zeitgeist-affiliated. But I remember different times and different concerns, and how of their time they were. I just watched this show recently with my kids, and we were looking at the Cold War bunkers that still exist, and the “high tech” things that we had to communicate with our allies; they made this thing [holds up a journalists’ recorder] look like it came from a space ship. And so, how we got here as a species — I marvel every day that we haven’t screwed up even worse.
Do you and your husband (Josh Brolin) read each others’ scripts and say, ‘I think this will be good for you?’
DL: No, but maybe we should! I think that’s where angels fear to tread, to come between an artist and his art, or an artisan and his craft, or somebody who’s got a wild hair to take a dare and do something that is out of character for some expectation. And in some ways that’s the very reason that you’d want to do it.
When No Country started causing a sensation, all of a sudden Josh got hot again…
DL: 24 years in the making…I know a little about that! Honestly, nothing changes. The topic of conversation is probably a little more work-oriented than before. But it sure feels great to be having success and reward for your work. I mean, it’s a crapshoot. Who knows when you’re going to be in a classic film, who knows if you’re going to be in a financially successful film, who knows if you’re going to be in a cult hit? Who knows if you’re gonna be in something nobody’s going to remember? Nobody intends to make…if they wanted to do it on purpose they would, all the time. So there’s an element of gratitude that goes with something fortuitous, and that’s good to have in the house. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, they say, and I agree.
Is there any trepidation that you’re carrying this movie, and that it might fail?
DL: Bring it on! What can I say? If there was trepidation, I guess I got over it because I did it, and there it is. I guess that’s one of those things where it’s sort of a greyhound race and I’m chasing a mechanical rabbit and I can’t really engage in that because it’s too objectified for me. For me, I don’t even like to promote my films but I have to because it’s in the fine print of my contract (smiling)…I just like to do the film, and then “oh, it’s coming out!” Some people track their movies; I just hide under a rock.
Untraceable is in theaters today.
The resurrection of yesterday’s movie heroes continues with Sylvester Stallone‘s new film Rambo which finds the vet in Southeast Asia where he is pulled into another battle with baddies. The R-rated film from Lionsgate follows the actor’s Rocky Balboa which defied the odds last winter to become both a critical and commercial success. Stallone directed both films. Rambo also comes after Bruce Willis saw a lucrative reboot of the Die Hard franchise last summer, and arrives before Harrison Ford‘s much-anticipated return as Indiana Jones this May.
John Rambo may not be as loved by fans as those other characters which means it may gross the least amount of dough at the domestic box office. The new Rambo will surely attract older males with the nostalgia factor, but younger men are also being targeted by using today’s rock music in the television spots and print ads with images of a cult-like Sly. The image could easily be spray-painted on a wall next to the heads of Andre the Giant and Che Guevara. Rambo is getting the widest release of any new film on Friday and with football taking the weekend off, male audiences will be more available. Most of the competition will come from Cloverfield‘s second frame, but those wanting intense violence and a ton of bullets flying around will find no better choice. Attacking 2,751 theaters, Rambo could debut to about $18M this weekend.
Chick flick 27 Dresses is not worried about Stallone, however Diane Lane and the Spartans could provide some competition this weekend for the Katherine Heigl laugher. Audiences have been having a good time with the Fox release so a 40% drop could occur. That would give 27 Dresses roughly $13.5M over three days and a total of $44M after ten days.
Batman franchise alums Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman enjoyed a terrific hold for their pic The Bucket List last weekend which is playing to an older and more patient crowd. A 30% fall would put the Warner Bros. film at around $10.5M pushing the sum to $58M.
LAST YEAR: Spoof comedy led the way with Fox’s Epic Movie which bowed on top to the tune of $18.6M on its way to $39.7M. Opening right behind in second with almost identical per-theater average was the Universal drama Smokin’ Aces with $14.6M from 600 fewer theaters. A $35.7M final gross resulted. Former chart-topper Night at the Museum followed in third with $9.6M while the dance drama Stomp the Yard placed fourth with $7.7M. A hair behind in fifth with a $7.7M debut was Sony’s Jennifer Garner drama Catch and Release which found its way to just $15.3M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
week at the movies, we’ve got vigilante justice (Rambo, starring
Sylvester Stallone), internet intrigue (Untraceable, starring
Lane), deft dancing (How She Move, starring
Wesley), and Spartan satires (Meet the Spartans, starring
Bader). What do the critics have to say?
is back…. but is he better than ever? The critics say he’s about the same
— which is a good thing if you dug
Rambo III, but not if you expected
another First Blood (or
Rocky Balboa, which resurrected another
iconic Sylvester Stallone character — and Sly’s career in the process). Rambo
finds our hero chillin’ in Thailand, enjoying his peaceful existence — until
the disappearance of some aid workers draws him into conflict with the
government of Myanmar. Pundits say Stallone (who also directs) stages some
involving action sequences, but overall, Rambo is unevenly paced, way
too violent, and strangely impersonal. At 25 percent on the Tomatometer, Rambo
isn’t cinema-goers’ worst nightmare, nor is it a dream come true. In fact, it’s
the worst reviewed film in the series. (Check out our
latest Total Recall, in which RT takes a closer look at the Rambo
Internet. It’s a place for finding information, shopping for books, meeting a
potential date…. and, if you’re a serial killer, playing cat-and-mouse with the
FBI. Such is the plot of Untraceable, starring
Lane as a
cyber-agent tasked with tracking down a killer who slays with greater frequency
when, after posting videos of his brutal deeds, his web traffic increases.
Critics say Untraceable has its moments, but it lacks the will to make
any points about our disconnected, voyeuristic society, and instead goes for
cheap, grisly shocks. At 17 percent on the Tomatometer, Untraceable may
be where you draw the line.
another coming-of-age tale of a troubled girl who finds herself through the
power of dance. Been there, done that, right? Not so fast. Critics say the
low-budget How She Move is deeper and more energetic than others of its
ilk. Move tells the story of a young woman grieving the death of her
older sister who enters a step dancing competition to earn money for private
school tuition — and a way out of her grim surroundings. The story may be as old
as the hills, but pundits say How She Move is elevated by a commanding
debut performance by
Wesley, as well as some excellent choreography and a
sense of urgency. At 69 percent on the Tomatometer, this one has some pretty
appears the critics will have to wait to Meet the Spartans, since it
wasn’t screened prior to release. Spartans crosses
Got Served, and also takes shots at Britney Spears. Hilarity (allegedly)
ensues. Kids, it’s time to stop dining in hell for a minute so you can guess
opening this week in limited release:
For Michael Clayton, critical praise has been more plentiful than box-office receipts — but that balance is set to shift, at least a little, when Warner Bros. re-releases the George Clooney film on January 25.
The studio made the announcement Wednesday, noting that Clayton has been “named to more than 100 critics’ top-ten lists, including those of the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, New York Magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, the Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, People, and Time.” (Not to mention yours truly.) If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s a synopsis, just to get you in the mood:
In “Michael Clayton,” George Clooney stars in the title role of an in-house “fixer” at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. At the behest of the firm’s co-founder Marty Bach (Sydney Pollack), Clayton, a former prosecutor from a family of cops, takes care of Kenner, Bach & Ledeen’s dirtiest work. Clayton cleans up clients’ messes, handling anything from hit-and-runs and damaging stories in the press to shoplifting wives and crooked politicians. Though burned out and discontented in his job, Clayton is inextricably tied to the firm. At the agrochemical company U/North, the career of in-house chief counsel Karen Crowder (Tilda Swinton) rests on the settlement of the suit that Kenner, Bach & Ledeen is leading to a seemingly successful conclusion. When the firm’s top litigator, the brilliant Arthur Edens (Tom Wilkinson), has an apparent breakdown and tries to sabotage the entire case, Marty Bach sends Michael Clayton to tackle this unprecedented disaster and, in doing so, Clayton comes face to face with the reality of who he has become.
Currently boasting a 90 percent Tomatometer rating, Michael Clayton looks to improve its roughly $40 million domestic gross with the re-release, which will roll out to approximately 1,000 theaters, where it’ll go up against How She Move, Rambo, and Untraceable.