(Photo by Warner Bros/courtesy Everett Collection)
Pick any decade since the 1970s American New Wave, reach in to grab some of the best movies of those years, and chances are you’ll be pulling out some Martin Scorsese pictures. Along with Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Francis Ford Coppola, Scorsese was among the rabble-rousers who shook filmmaking to its core in the 1970s, when all conventional wisdom (and filming permits) were thrown out the window for a more dangerous yet personal style of cinema. When you think of that decade, what better captures its grit, grime, and freewheeling cynicism than Taxi Driver?
He made the 1980s a wash for other directors by releasing his masterpiece as early as possible in the decade, with the transformative Raging Bull, netting star Robert De Niro his second acting Oscar. Scorsese subsequently showed off his lighter side with the media satire The King of Comedy, the Kafka-esque comedy After Hours, and, um, The Last Temptation of Christ. A real knee-slapper!
With the 1990s, Scorsese did it again, releasing beloved mob epic Goodfellas in the first year of that decade. While 1995’s Casino works as a companion piece to Goodfellas, Scorsese films also began to have a more specific otherworldly aura, like in the romantic The Age of Innocence and the religious Tibetan biopic Kundun; he then returned to a more hazy, hard-edged spirituality with Bringing Out the Dead, starring Nicolas Cage.
Scorsese’s post-Casino material was not warmly received by audiences, and by the 2000s he was on the lookout for a new actor-collaborator in the same vein as De Niro for a comeback. Scorsese found his man in Leonardo DiCaprio, himself looking to shed his Titanic heartthrob image. Gangs of New York and The Aviator proved Scorsese/DiCaprio was serious business, leading the way for the 2000s masterpiece The Departed, which won Best Picture and, at last, got Scorsese the Best Director Oscar.
The playful Shutter Island, secret movie history lesson Hugo, and the long-gestating Silence were all befitting his reputation and style, but it might be Scorsese’s latest that will be his defining 2010s statement. 2019’s The Irishman arrived into theaters, all three-plus hours of it, on a massive wave of hype for its promise of bringing De Niro, Pacino, and Joe Pesci together on-screen. Judging by the critical response and Netflix positioning the movie as its grand Thanksgiving offering, Irishman did not disappoint.
Scorsese’s next movie is Killers of the Flower Moon, which will star DiCaprio and De Niro, and explore the 1920s murder of Osage Native Americans over their oil-rich land. With the master director showing no signs of slowing down approaching his 80s, we pay our respects with our guide to all Martin Scorsese movies ranked by Tomatometer!
(Photo by Warner Bros. Thumbnail: New Line, Vertical Entertainment /courtesy Everett Collection)
Ten years ago, Inception, the dream-team movie collaboration between Leonardo DiCaprio and Christopher Nolan, rode into theaters on a wave of hype and secrecy matching the director’s previous game-changer, The Dark Knight. The dizzying dream heist thriller floored audiences with its complex shots – a city collapsing on itself, along with the practical effects wizardry of rotating hallway brawls – and a densely, literally layered plot. It left audiences wanting more… and we’re here to help. If you’re looking for more movies like Inception, the two other Nolan films that hew most closely are 1999’s brain-splitter Memento, and 2006’s treacherous The Prestige. But you, esteemed Tomato-reader, already knew that, have seen ’em both – probably many times – and thus know the joys of a David-Bowie-as-Nikola-Tesla performance! We present, then, 20 more movies to watch if you loved Inception.
First, there’s Shutter Island, which has a lot of overlap with Inception, and not just because they star the same guy. They’re both slick, dark thrillers that question reality and perception. (See our list of 20 movies to watch if you loved Shutter Island, which has more Incept-y movies like Dark City and The Game.)
What makes a movie like Inception? The initial response is for some cracking sci-fi mind-f–kers. The number of these films has exploded since 2000, especially in the last decade: Think the space-time continuum-whacking Predestination, Primer, and Timecrimes. Movies like Mr. Nobody, The Congress, The Cell, Coherence, Time Lapse, and Enemy explore identity across multiple realities. Inception shares the most in the plot department with Satoshi Kon’s anime Paprika.
But the mood really started in the ’90s. An approaching new millennium felt like crossing a threshold into the unknown future, where technology, like Inception‘s mechanics to hijack dreams, brought limitless opportunities and dangers. The Truman Show, eXistenZ, Being John Malkovich, and The Thirteenth Floor explore this space. Earlier brain-hopping takes include adventure romp Dreamscape, and the absurdly violent Total Recall. Then there’s Rainer Werner Fassbinder, who was on simulated realities in the 1970s with World on a Wire, which Criterion has pressed for its original 3.5 hour cut.
Of course, Inception wouldn’t have resonated if it was all just sleight-of-hands and technical games; DiCaprio’s family drama provided a compelling emotional hook. Movies that have this same melancholic thread in complicated settings include Robin Williams afterlife fantasy/drama What Dreams May Come, and the existentially devastating Synecdoche, New York.
(Photo by Universal / courtesy Everett Collection)
Martin Scorsese followed his Best Picture and Director-winning The Departed with his most directly entertaining, plot twist-heavy movie, a psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio investigating a remote asylum with a missing patient. Of course, it’s apparent from the beginning things aren’t as they seem…
If you’re looking for more movies like Shutter Island, why not start with the grandaddy of unreliable narrator movies: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. It may be 100 (!) years old, but it still has the power to spook and captivate.
Part of Shutter Island‘s fun is that it encourages viewers to participate in solving the mystery, poke holes in the movie’s established reality, and look for the actual truth. It requires filmmaking mastery to create these puzzle boxes, so it’s not surprising some of our most beloved directors built their reputation on these: Alfred Hitchcock (Rebecca, Vertigo), David Fincher (The Game, Gone Girl), Christopher Nolan (Inception, Memento), Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan), and David Lynch (Mulholland Drive).
Movies like Shutter Island are all about building paranoia, like the hero has tapped into something true and sinister that nobody else is taking seriously. And frequently they’re told from a female perspective: Along with the already mentioned Black Swan, there’s also The Girl on the Train, the classic Diabolique, and Clint Eastwood’s Changeling, starring Angelina Jolie, who’s convinced the missing son the police have returned to her is not her boy.
Psychological thrillers like Shutter Island differ from typical mysteries in that the nature of the film itself is the central mystery, as opposed to, say, figuring out who the murderer is. Movies in this vein include Open Your Eyes (remade as Vanilla Sky), John Frankenheimer’s Seconds (which helped drive Brian Wilson over the edge in real life), the sci-fi noir Dark City, the relentlessly scary Jacob’s Ladder, and A Scanner Darkly, arguably Keanu Reeves’ best movie made in that period between The Matrix and the Keanussance.
And if you’re looking for something more basic and primal, check out Identity or Secret Window. Not too taxing on the mind, but they’ll still give it a good twist.
(Photo by Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection)
Like Paul Rudd or Jennifer Aniston who would follow, Leonardo DiCaprio got his start in the business befitting all future megastars: Starring in a godawful horror movie. 1991’s Critters 3 was DiCaprio’s rite of passage, followed by a bit part in Poison Ivy the next year — and that about ended his association with the genre. By 1993, DiCaprio was applying his striking cherubic looks to dramatic features like This Boy’s Life and breakthrough What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, in which he shared the screen with already-established heartthrob Johnny Depp. Romeo + Juliet made Bill Shakespeare palatable for the mid-’90s teenybopper set, which set the stage for world-storming Titanic, which won all the awards, made all the money, and fashioned DiCaprio as a legend in his own time.
Not to rest on his laurels like on a haphazard dresser floating in the ocean, DiCaprio spent the immediate post-Titanic years seeking only to work with the best directors on edgy material, even as they were in their creative doldrums: Woody Allen with Celebrity, and Danny Boyle with The Beach. The viscerally negative reaction to Beach was enough to get DiCaprio to seemingly pull a disappearing act for what seemed like ages in the pre-Internet world. In reality, not even three years had passed when he re-appeared in Gangs of New York, igniting a rich De Niro-esque relationship with Martin Scorsese that would pay dividends with The Aviator, The Departed, Shutter Island, and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Beyond his conservation efforts (resulting in documentaries like Ice on Fire and Before the Flood), which have kept him from acting, DiCaprio maintains his brand and allure by making each screen performance a major event, going years between narrative films and working only with the biggest-name directors out there: Clint Eastwood (J. Edgar), Christopher Nolan (Inception), Alejandro González Iñárritu (Best Actor and Best Picture-winning The Revenant), and, most recently, Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood).
Read on to see Leonardo DiCaprio’s best movies (and his worst) by Tomatometer!
This weekend, Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now the number one film all time domestically, The Revenant expanded nationwide to explosive results while Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight crumbled in its second week of wide release.
In a mere 20 days, Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to overtake Avatar and become the highest grossing film of all time domestically. In its 4th weekend (which would be 24 days), The Force Awakens racked up another $41.6M, according to estimates, raising its record to $812M. Internationally it made another $146M (including a record-breaking $52.6M two-day opening in China) bringing its cume to $921M for a worldwide total of $1.73B, overtaking Jurassic World for number three all-time. This leaves only Titanic ($2.1865B worldwide) and Avatar ($2.788B) left in its path. Will it be able to make another billion dollars? That might be difficult but never say never with this film. Perhaps if one person wins this week’s $1.3B Powerball jackpot in the U.S., they’ll spend all their money on Star Wars tickets?
In what turned out to be a close race, Leonardo DiCaprio’s best chance yet at Oscar glory The Revenant exploded in wide release taking in an estimated $38M from 3,375 theaters for a per screen average of $11,259, best in the top 10. If the estimates hold, it’ll be the fifth highest opening weekend in January, slipping right in between 2015’s Taken 3 ($39M) and 2014’s Lone Survivor ($37.8M). The last three years have seen five of the top six January openings. For DiCaprio, it’s his fourth biggest opening behind Shutter Island ($41M in 2010), The Great Gatsby ($50M in 2013) and Inception ($62.8M in 2010). Finally, we have a prestige pic that does well in its nationwide expansion, which should bode well for its Oscar chances.
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg’s Daddy’s Home continued it’s impressive run with an estimated $15M in its third weekend, a drop of 48% from last weekend’s holiday infused grosses. Its total now stands at $116M for Paramount, a studio always in desperate need of a hit.
Debuting in fourth was the horror film The Forest which made $13.1M, according to estimates, from 2,451 theaters for a per screen average of $5,340. January has always been kind to horror films and anytime you can make back your budget in a single weekend, you’re on the right path. Between this and The Revenant, audiences spent a lot of money on films that take place in between the trees.
Also continuing a strong run was the tag team of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler with Sisters taking in an estimated $7.2M this weekend, bringing its cume after four weekends to $75M. Collapsing in sixth place was the eighth film from Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight which fell 60% from last weekend despite adding over 450 theaters. It took in an estimated $6.35M this weekend bringing its total up to $41.5M. So let’s kindly forget my thoughts from last week where I said it had a shot at hitting $100M, shall we?
Holding on in seventh place with the smallest drop in the top 10 (30%) was The Big Short which made an estimated $6.3M bringing its total up to $42.8M for Paramount. A couple of Fox films took the next two spots with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip bringing in an estimated $5.5M lifting its total to $75M and awards-hopeful Joy taking in an estimated $4.5M bringing its cume up to $46M. And rounding out the top 10 was Concussion which became much more relevant after the vicious hit taken by Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers last night left him with a concussion. The Will Smith starrer took in $3M, according to estimates, bringing its total up to $31M.
Outside of the top 10 Anomalisa added 13 theaters but saw its per screen average drop from $35,000 to $13,000 with its total now at $490K.
The top ten films grossed $140.6M which was up 34% from last year when Taken 3 debuted at number one with $39M; and up 25% from 2014 when Lone Survivor jumped into the top spot in its first weekend of wide release with $37.8M.
Requiring legendary levels of bravery, artistry, and intellect, being knighted by the British monarchy is no laughing matter. Some of the 20th century’s finest British talents of film, television, and stage have been honored as a Knight Bachelor for their contributions to the arts, but don’t you just love it when the good knights go bad? Their chivalry aside, many have proven keen to royally misbehaving now and again.
Look no further than Sir Patrick Stewart’s latest leading man gig: Walter Blunt in the Seth MacFarlane-produced Starz series, Blunt Talk. The trailer alone shows the British newsman indulging in sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, so the sky’s truly the limit for where this bad boy’s antics will take him upon the series’ August 22 premiere.
Below, we break down 10 knights who’ve taken a walk on the wild side as womanizers, mutants, dictators, and more.
Knight: Sir Patrick Stewart
Year Knighted: Stewart was first honored by the British monarchy in 2001 when appointed as Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). He was again honored at the 2010 New Year Honours when made a Knight Bachelor for his services to drama.
Royal Misbehavior: While Stewart’s 50-year stage and film career has seen him play any number of roles, he’s become best known for playing the virtuous leader (hat tip to Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Professor Xavier). That’s what makes his most recent outing as Walter Blunt on Blunt Talk such a thrill. As an English newscaster fresh to L.A., he plays a Brit-out-of-water with a penchant for booze, cocaine, and ladies of the night. It’s our fearless leader like we’ve never seen him before.
Where to see him next: Blunt Talk premieres on Starz this Saturday, August 22, at 9 p.m.
Knight: Sir Michael Caine
Year Knighted: Queen Elizabeth II appointed Caine a Knight Bachelor in 2000 for his services to drama.
Royal Misbehavior: You can’t just go around ripping women’s hearts out like that! As the title character and unapologetic womanizer in Alfie, Caine jumps from one relationship — and bed — to the next, fathering children and ransacking the battlefield of love along the way. And when it all catches up to him and he decides to man-up and settle down, the good-looking Brit gets a dose of his own cold-hearted medicine. It doesn’t go down easy.
Where to see him next: The latter half of Caine’s career has seen him become a mainstay in Christopher Nolan’s epics, but he stars next in Youth, an aged buddy dramedy costarring Harvey Keitel and Jane Fonda.
Knight: Sir Sean Connery
Year Knighted: After being nominated and then vetoed for knighthood in both 1997 and 1998, Connery was appointed Knight Bachelor in 2000 for his services to drama. He also holds to his name such distinctions as “Sexiest Man Alive” and “The Greatest Living Scot.”
Royal Misbehavior: Connery is criminally sexy as the historic James Bond, but in director Michael Bay’s 1996 blockbuster, The Rock, he plays a convicted baddie who’s turning over a new leaf. His character, John Mason, is the only prisoner to ever escape Alcatraz, and the FBI — led by Nicolas Cage’s Dr. Stanley Goodspeed — needs his help to infiltrate and terminate rogue Marines who’ve taken over the island.
Where to see him next: Connery, who turned 85 this week, has been largely inactive in Hollywood since his starring role in 2003’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Might be time for a Bond marathon when Spectre hits this fall.
Knight: Sir Daniel Day-Lewis
Year Knighted: The three-time Academy Award winner was officially knighted by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in 2014 — one year after Dame Helen Mirren jokingly bestowed the honor at the 2013 Oscars.
Royal Misbehavior: As sociopathic antihero Daniel Plainview in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 masterpiece, There Will Be Blood, Day-Lewis is utterly unforgettable. Inspired by Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, Plainview is a soulless oil man warped by greed, rage, and lust. And Day-Lewis’ Oscar-winning turn is an undeniable tour de force. You’ll never look at milkshakes (or bowling pins) the same way again.
Where to see him next: Day-Lewis has been on hiatus since snagging his third Oscar for portraying Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s 2012 release, Lincoln. Another of his Oscar performances, My Left Foot, is currently streaming on Netflix.
Knight: Sir Anthony Hopkins
Year Knighted: Queen Elizabeth II appointed Hopkins as a Knight Bachelor in 1993 for his contributions to the arts.
Royal Misbehavior: Few villains are as immediately memorable — or quotable — as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins took home the 1991 Oscar for his Silence of the Lambs role. To this day, he sends chills down our spine with his master intellect and observational prowess — and, of course, his unyielding insistence on snacking on human flesh. No matter how decadent the wine and accompanying hors d’oeuvres, when he says he’s having a friend for dinner, run for it.
Where to see him next: Hopkins has a pair of action-thrillers in the wings: Collide with costars Nicholas Hoult and Felicity Jones, and Solace with Colin Farrell — and will star in the upcoming HBO series Westworld, premiering in 2016.
Knight: Sir Derek Jacobi
Year Knighted: Jacobi’s royally representing more than just the United Kingdom as a Knight of the arts. He was appointed as Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1985, and a Knight Bachelor for services to drama in 1994. Between these distinctions, however, Denmark scooped him up to honor him as a Knight First Class of the Order of Dannebrog in 1989.
Royal Misbehavior: His role as Alexander Corvinus in Underworld: Evolution may have him fraternizing with the undead, but as Stuart Bixby in the British sitcom Vicious, Jacobi goes for Ian McKellen’s throat with the practiced grace of a vampire. Witnessing these two long-time partners get catty and queeny with each other is a schadenfreude-fueled delight, but we’d never want to get caught in the crossfire.
Where to see him next: Season two of Vicious premieres this Sunday on PBS. Also, see Sir Jacobi’s kingly turn in the Certified Fresh film Cinderella when it comes to DVD on September 15.
Knight: Sir Christopher Lee
Year Knighted: Lee was made a Knight Bachelor in 2009 for his services to drama and charity. Thoughtfully enough, Prince Charles allowed Lee to remain standing when knighted due to the difficulty the 87-year-old had kneeling.
Royal Misbehavior: The late, great Lee made a livelihood out of playing the villain — he is perhaps the most famous Count Dracula ever, bringing him to the big screen a whopping nine times. But audiences today will likely recognize him for his work later on in both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises. As Saruman in the latter, he aligned himself with Sauron and waged war on Middle Earth, betraying his old friend, Gandalf, and eventually paying the ultimate price.
Where to see him next: Sir Christopher Lee died at age 93 on June 7, 2015. Look for his final film, the U.K. indie Angels in Notting Hill, coming soon to a film festival near you.
Knight: Sir John Hurt
Year Knighted: Surprisingly, the longtime actor was just appointed a Bachelor Knight this year in the 2015 New Year Honours for his service to drama. In 2004, he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).
Royal Misbehavior: No stranger to futuristic dystopias, Hurt played protagonist Winston Smith in the 1984 adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. In tackling the genre again in 2005, he opted for the dark side. As Adam Sutler in James McTeigue’s adaptation of V for Vendetta, he played a Hitler-inspired fascist dictator and the direct antagonist to our unlikely heroes, Evey and V.
Where to see him next: You can catch Hurt later this year as Tom, the boss-man in Sky Atlantic’s The Last Panthers, a TV biopic of famed heist masters The Pink Panthers.
Knight: Sir Ben Kingsley
Year Knighted: Kingsley was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 2002. Rumor has it, he insists on “Sir” preceding his name ever since.
Royal Misbehavior: Kingsley has proven over the years that he can dabble with both the good and the bad (performances don’t get more benevolent than his Academy Award-winning take on Mohandas Gandhi). But as Dr. Cawley in Martin Scorsese’s 2010 psychological thriller, Shutter Island, he oozes malice. Cawley’s icy demeanor with his patients is less about professional boundaries and more indicative of his heartlessness towards their well-being. It’s a calculated, slow-burning performance, and one that stands out in this Leonardo DiCaprio-starrer.
Where to see him next: Kingsley always has a stacked slate of projects. He just starred as Ay in Tut, a new miniseries on Spike TV, and can be seen in the film Learning to Drive, which opens in limited release this weekend.
Knight: Sir Ian McKellen
Year Knighted: The list of British honors for McKellen have been stacking up for the better part of three decades. In 1979, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 1991, he was appointed a Knight Bachelor for services to the performing arts. And McKellen followed that up with an appointment as Companion of Honour for services to drama in 2008.
Royal Misbehavior: Sure, he’s famed for bringing J. R. R. Tolkien’s beloved Gandalf to life in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, but the indomitable voice and presence needed for Gandalf also served McKellen well when tackling Erik Lehnsherr (A.K.A. Magneto) for the live-action X-Men franchise. His ability to wreck havoc with the wave of his hand — remember that bridge scene in X-Men: The Last Stand? — is simply terrifying. And that Mystique-assisted prison break from X2 is still bait to make any fanboy geek-out.
Where to see him next: McKellen can be caught in theaters now as Sherlock Holmes in Bill Condon’s Mr. Holmes. He also plays the comically snide Freddie Thornhill alongside another knight, Sir Derek Jacobi (who once played Hitler, no less), in showrunner Gary Janetti’s Vicious, which returns for a second season on PBS this Sunday.
This week on home video, we’ve got the latest from a legendary director, an action film set in Paris, and an aging martial arts star’s venture into dramatic acting. On top of that, there’s also a first-time Blu-Ray of a Wong Kar-Wai film, a collection of Bob Hope movies, a comedy classic directed by Harold Ramis and starring Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, a recent period thriller, and, last but not least, the complete series of a certain action-packed TV show whose big screen adaptation opens this week. Check out the full list below.
Martin Scorsese has only briefly dabbled somewhat in themes of horror and psychological terror, but this year he went full force with an adaptation of a Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) novel, Shutter Island. Featuring a fourth collaboration between Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island focuses on U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels (DiCaprio) and his efforts to solve a missing person case on a secluded island that houses a hospital for the criminally insane. As he delves deeper into the mystery, Teddy begins to realize that things are not entirely as they appear to be, and he must separate fact from fiction. The film is bolstered by an impressive supporting cast that includes Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, and Patricia Clarkson, but it received somewhat of a mixed response from critics, who ultimately reviewed the film at 67% on the Tomatometer. It may not be Scorsese’s most distinguished effort, but most felt that it was an admirable stab at the genre, and you can pick it up DVD or Blu-Ray this week.
Last year, director Pierre Morel had a surprise hit with the Liam Neeson-powered revenge movie Taken, and before that, Morel helmed the cult French action hit District B13. So it was reasonable to expect that his latest effort, From Paris with Love, would be an equally surprising gem. From Paris had the director working again with Luc Besson, who wrote and produced the film, and actors John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The story follows Travolta and Meyers as an unlikely duo of CIA agents on the trail of a terrorist plot in Paris; Meyers plays the rookie in over his head, and Travolta the trigger happy veteran agent with a penchant for causing trouble. It’s an old formula that can be effective when properly utilized, and Morel certainly proved in the past that he was capable of handling crisp action. Unfortunately, the critics were less than charmed by From Paris, who thought Travolta was interesting to watch in his over-the-top role, but felt the film itself was too disjointed to satisfy moviegoers. For better or for worse, however, the movie is available this week on DVD and Blu-Ray.
There’s something naughty about watching Caddyshack (the movie that must have inspired Whack-a-Mole) on Blu-Ray. This raunchy slapstick about loaded men and nefarious rodents on a golf course was a low-brow send up of high-brow dimness. Sure the production values were high but the majority of the film’s core fanbase didn’t come to love the film under “ideal” viewing conditions-they were repeat viewing it on duped VHS. This wasn’t some under-the-table fascination–Caddyshack was a big picture and it hit video in the same pocket of time that HBO was keeping families at home on Saturday Nights. Caddyshack‘s legacy of re-watching was done with all the gritty pixel of extensively loved “tape.” You’ll be losing that grit with this Blu-Ray, so manage those nostalgic urges judiciously. Word is the image is far better than it ever was on SD-DVD, the greens are brighter and the Chase more Chevy. Two TV based featurette docs join this garishly bright view of the Bushwood Country Club, including one Biography channel special called “Caddyshack: The Inside Story” and another, more general-interest doc called “Caddyshack: The 19th Hole.”
He may not quite be a household name any more, but at one point, Bob Hope was one of Hollywood’s biggest stars and one of the most famous entertainers to grace an American stage. His presence was ubiquitous in show business, from vaudeville to radio, from television to film, and he even spent a significant amount of his time entertaining the US troops on several USO tours. This week, Universal puts out a collection of six of his films, including Thanks for the Memory, The Cat and the Canary, and Road to Morocco, in an affordable box set with a healthy helping of bonus features. Among them are theatrical trailers, footage of USO performances, photo galleries, and a sing-along. Though he is no longer with us, these films help to remind us just how great he was, and fans of his will want to pick this set up for their libraries.
Loosely based on Steven Millhauser’s short story “Eisenheim the Illusionist,” this 2006 Sundance premiere centers around the story of a magician performing in Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century. After meeting a traveling magician as a teenager, Eisenheim (Edward Norton) becomes obsessed with magic and the idea of manipulating realities before audiences’ very eyes. He unexpectedly ends up falling in love with Sophie von Teschen (Jessica Biel), a woman well above his social class, and eventually loses her because of his inability to make them both disappear when their forbidden love is threatened, compelling him to become a master illusionist beyond anything seen before. As word of his illusions spread throughout the country, Eisenheim attracts unwanted attention from Chief Inspector Uhl (Paul Giamatti), who is committed to upholding the law and doing away with any type of magic that threatens his ordered existence, and Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell), who holds a political secret and happens to be engaged to his lost love, Sophie von Teschen. And as we all know, conflicts of this kind require resolution in dramatic, perhaps even magical fashion in cinematic form. In a film that mixes mystery, romance, political power, and a boatload of magic, this Certified Fresh flick arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week for your period piece viewing pleasure.
This week, we’ll witness the rebirth of the Karate Kid franchise, with a bit of a twist — it’s actually kung fu, it takes place in China, and the wise maintenance man is played by aging Hong Kong action star Jackie Chan. Interestingly enough, Chan’s most recent Chinese import is a gritty crime thriller that takes place in Japan, features no kung fu, and casts the amiable star in a dramatic role much darker than audiences are used to seeing from him. The Shinjuku Incident stars Chan as a tractor repairman named Steelhead who travels to Tokyo in search of his missing girlfriend and finds himself embroiled in the world of the yakuza. Double-crosses ensue, and when the city becomes too hot to handle, Steelhead takes it upon himself to rectify the situation. While fans of Chan’s trademark acrobatics will be disappointed by the distinct lack of martial arts action and Chan’s typically easygoing attitude, others might find his change of pace refreshing. For those who are, at the very least, curious, The Shinjuku Incident is available on home video this week.
By the time Wong Kar-Wai made 1997’s Happy Together, the Hong Kong auteur had already established a name for himself with films like Chungking Express and Fallen Angels, drawing praise for his visual flair, his overt sensuality, and his poetic, almost cerebral treatment of sometimes seedy themes. Happy Together is no different, with critics citing the film’s impressive imagery and intimate aesthetic as major strengths. The story, separated into four segments, revolves around an expatriate Chinese gay couple (Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung) living in Buenos Aires and their rocky relationship, and for his efforts, Wong was awarded Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival. Critics felt that the film was a bit more coherent than Wong’s previous efforts, but with perennial collaborator Christopher Doyle manning the camera, Happy Together still maintained Wong’s knack for visual flourish. This week, the film is available on Blu-Ray for the first time, and special features include a look at the scenes that were cut out of the theatrical release as well as a career retrospective interview with the director, among others.
Now that The A-Team is all set to hit theaters this Friday, it only makes sense that a box set like this would find its way to home video shelves this week as well. Even if you weren’t a “child of the 80s,” as it were, growing up with the show, it shouldn’t be difficult to understand why The A-Team was such a hit. Each of the characters is memorable in his own right, and as one Rotten Tomatoes editor put it, there is more action in the intro to The A-Team than the entire series of most other shows. And in most cases, unlike a lot of other popular programs from the 80s, The A-Team actually kind of holds up over time, despite its over-the-top shenanigans and of-the-time production values. All five seasons of the show are gathered here and packaged in a miniature version of the iconic van from the TV series, but the special features (and, in fact, pretty much everything else aside from the van packaging) are the same as those found on the individual season sets. With all that in mind, this is still a novel pick-up for anyone who wants everything at once, along with a nifty little keepsake (the van).
Written by Ryan Fujitani Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, and David Chung
Unlike the Oscar-winning hit The Departed, Martin Scorsese and
Leonardo DiCaprio’s new crime thriller
enjoyed back-to-back weekends at number one fending off competition from a pair
of new releases with respectable debuts. The police comedy
Cop Out bowed in
second while the horror remake
premiered in third as the overall box office remained strong showing healthy
gains over last year.
Paramount once again claimed the top spot with
which dropped only 46% in its second weekend to an estimated $22.2M. The R-rated
mystery still boasted the best per-theater average of any film in wide release
with $7,393 from 3,003 sites. The total after ten days is a solid $75.1M.
Budgeted at $75M, Shutter could find its way to roughly $125M from North America
alone. The Departed, the previous collaboration between Scorsese and
DiCaprio, opened at number one in October 2006 but fell to second in its
sophomore frame losing the weekend to The Grudge 2. But it did have a
smaller drop declining by just 29% on its way to a $132.4M final.[rtimage]MapID=1198124&MapTypeID=2&photo=22&legacy=1[/rtimage]Bruce
Willis and Tracy Morgan took second place with their new action-comedy
Cop Out which opened
to an estimated $18.6M over the weekend. The Warner Bros. title played in 3,150
theaters averaging a good $5,894 per site from audiences that ignored the poor
reviews. The buddy cop flick marked the first film that director Kevin Smith did
not also write, and represented his career best opening. Though not a stellar
launch, Cop Out did give Willis one of his best debuts for a lead role in
recent years following disappointments like Perfect Strangers, 16
Blocks, and Hostage which all opened in the $10-12M
with the bronze was the new fright flick
which debuted impressively with an estimated $16.5M. The Overture release
averaged a strong $6,670 from 2,477 theaters and played to a young male
audience. According to exit polls, the R-rated pic about a small town in which
residents mysteriously become homicidal maniacs skewed 56% male and 65% under
25. Reviews were quite positive for the $19M production.[rtimage]MapID=1205380&MapTypeID=2&photo=38&legacy=1[/rtimage]Audiences
were still flocking to see nine-time Oscar nominee
Avatar which eased by
a mere 14% to an estimated $14M. The James Cameron smash became the first film
in history to crack the $700M mark on Saturday, its 72nd day of release. The
mammoth domestic cume is now $706.9M. Overseas markets witnessed a 25% drop to
$36.1M boosting the international haul to $1.844 billion which is now more than
the entire $1.843 billion global gross for Titanic. Ticket prices, of
course, have changed a lot since 12 years ago. Worldwide, Avatar has now
banked $2.551 billion with more to come. This Friday, the Pandora pic will lose
a significant number of its 3D screens around the world when Tim Burton’s
Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp makes a colorful splash.
Dropping only 36% in its third round was
Percy Jackson & The Olympians which took in an estimated $9.8M boosting
the cume to $71.2M for Fox.
became the first new release of the new decade to break the $100M mark this
weekend. The Warner Bros. release grossed an estimated $9.5M, off 43%, for a
followed with an estimated $5M, down 30%, with a $72.6M total.
suffered the worst decline in the top ten falling 58% to an estimated $4.1M.
Cume to date is $57.2M for Universal.
The Tooth Fairy still had good legs dipping only 21% in its sixth
weekend to an estimated $3.5M. The Jeff Bridges drama
rounded out the top ten with an estimated $2.5M, off a slim 14%. Total grosses
stand at $53.9M and $25.1M, respectively.[rtimage]MapID=1200453&MapTypeID=2&photo=1&legacy=1[/rtimage]The
top ten films grossed an estimated $105.7M which was up 31% from last year when
Madea Goes To Jail remained in the top spot with $16.2M; and up 39% from
2008 when Semi-Pro debuted at number one with $15.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, Box Office Guru!
Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio scored the biggest openings of their careers with the psychological thriller Shutter Island, the fourth teaming between the two men, which easily led the North American box office. With no other films debuting in wide release, the rest of the top ten was filled with holdovers, most of which dropped by more than 50% from last weekend’s record holiday session. The top ten films beat out year-ago levels, however the Top 20 fell behind last year’s performance due to the current marketplace’s lack of depth.
Moviegoers spent the weekend with the criminally insane as the mystery thriller Shutter Island debuted at number one with an estimated $40.2M. Paramount launched the R-rated film in 2,991 theaters and averaged a strong $13,440 per site. Previous bests for the men were $26.9M for the director’s The Departed and $30.1M for the actor’s Catch Me If You Can. Last August, the studio surprised the industry by moving Shutter from October 2 (the same slot that worked wonders for Departed) to this current weekend. While the date change took the film out of this winter’s awards season, it allowed the pic to squeeze more value from its marketing materials. Plus the studio was able to run a very well-received TV spot during the Super Bowl two weeks ago to help heighten excitement.
Shutter Island scored the ninth biggest opening in February and the fourth best for an R-rated film. It was also the second highest for 2010 behind just Valentine’s Day from last weekend. Studio research showed that the $75M production played evenly among males and females as well as with those over and under 25. Reviews were good overall but critics were not ecstatic. Scorsese’s films have typically been more artsy and have almost always debuted to less than $12M from more narrow releases. Shutter was a more commercial vehicle and was sold as a mainstream thriller from an Oscar-winning filmmaker which was all that was needed to convince ticket buyers.
After a huge top spot debut, the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day couldn’t score a second date with audiences as the Warner Bros. release tumbled by a disturbing 70% to an estimated $17.2M. But it was still a good showing for a film of its type in the sophomore frame and helped to boost the ten-day tally to a solid $87.4M. Much of the decline was due to Sunday’s take which fell sharply from last Sunday which was Valentine’s Day. Compared to last weekend’s daily grosses, the PG-13 film dropped 61% on Friday, 60% on Saturday, but a steep 82% on Sunday. A final tally of $120-130M seems likely.
The unstoppable Na’vi pic Avatar climbed one spot to third with an estimated $16.1M, off only 32%, boosting the record-shattering total to $687.8M. James Cameron is on track to score the first-ever $700M-grossing blockbuster by next Sunday, the last day of February.
Fox claimed fourth place too with the fantasy adventure Percy Jackson & The Olympians which dropped 51% to an estimated $15.3M in its second round. The PG-rated effects pic has banked $58.8M in ten days and has a shot at breaking the $100M mark by the end of its run. Universal’s monster flick The Wolfman suffered a 69% fall to an estimated $9.8M and lifted its cume to $50.3M in ten days. Produced for over $100M, the R-rated thriller should finish with around $70M.
Former chart-topper Dear John ranked sixth with an estimated $7.3M, off 55%, giving Sony $66M to date. Playing to a slightly different audience, The Tooth Fairy slipped only 26% to an estimated $4.5M for a $49.9M sum for Fox.
The studio’s fourth title in the top ten came from Fox Searchlight’s Oscar contender Crazy Heart which dipped only 29% to an estimated $3M for a $21.6M total thus far. John Travolta’s From Paris With Love dropped 55% to an estimated $2.5M while Mel Gibson’s Edge of Darkness fell 54% to an estimated $2.2M. Cumes stand at $21.2M and $40.3M, respectively.
It was an eventful weekend for director Roman Polanski who is currently under house arrest in Switzerland. His newest film The Ghost Writer won him the Silver Lion award for best director at the Berlin International Film Festival and also generated a muscular platform launch in the United States with an estimated $179,000 from just four theaters for a sizzling $44,750 average. Bowing in only two locations a piece in New York and Los Angeles, Summit’s PG-13 film starring Pierce Brosnan, Ewan McGregor, Kim Cattrall, and Tom Wilkinson earned strong reviews but just a moderate B+ CinemaScore from ticket buyers. Ghost expands into ten more markets on Friday as it continues to roll out across the country.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $118.1M which was up 5% from last year when Madea Goes To Jail opened in the top spot with $41M; and up 39% from 2008 when Vantage Point debuted at number one with $22.9M.