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Peter T Chattaway

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Everything posted by Peter T Chattaway

  1. The line about the feather gets me thinking that humans are taking the place of Timothy Q Mouse. I hope I'm wrong about that.
  2. Joel, in your review you wrote: "My theater full of kids and parents was pretty silent, even during a *very* long scene with Wiig’s captured Ruffnut annoying Grimmel until he lets her go." My own theatre was definitely *not* silent during this scene.
  3. Links to our threads on other 21st-century sequels to 1980s movies like Tron Legacy (2010), The Thing (2011) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) -- and one could arguably add Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) to the list, since it was the first Star Wars film to take place after 1983's Return of the Jedi and to feature the principal cast of the original trilogy. And then there is Halloween (2018), which ignored all of the existing sequels and presented itself as a direct sequel to the original 1970s film. Anything else I could add to the list? Anyway. Back to Coming to America. The sequel is coming August 7, 2020. I happened to watch the original film for the first time ever less than a year ago, when I noticed that it was on Netflix. Everyone was talking about the box-office success of Black Panther and how it wasn't *entirely* unprecedented for a movie with a mostly-black cast to be a huge box-office hit. What surprised me, when I looked at the film's box-office stats, was that it actually made more money overseas than it did in North America! That was rare for box-office hits of *any* sort, but especially comedies, in the 1980s. And nowadays, when blockbusters typically make two or three times as much overseas as they do in North America, films with black lead actors continue to struggle to make as much overseas as they do in North America (e.g. Black Panther made $700.1 million in North America and $646.9 million overseas, while Avengers: Infinity War -- which came out only two months later -- made $678.8 million in North America and $1.37 billion overseas; cf. also the Creed movies, which are the only movies in the Rocky series to make less money overseas than in North America, at least going back to 1985's Rocky IV, which is the earliest movie in that franchise that Box Office Mojo has figures for; and then there's the vast majority of Denzel Washington's films...). But Coming to America? $128.2 million in North America and $160.6 million overseas. In 1988. That's *incredible*. Those are Rocky IV-style numbers. (Rocky IV grossed $127.9 million in North America and $172.6 million overseas in 1985.) Incidentally, I was very amused to see that Samuel L. Jackson has a bit part in Coming to America as a guy who holds up a diner. This was six years before he starred in Pulp Fiction, a movie that begins with a monologue about how nobody ever robs diners. (Re: overseas grosses in the 1980s. The ten top-grossing films in North America in 1988 all made over $70 million in North America. Of those, Box Office Mojo does not have foreign figures *at all* for two films, i.e. The Naked Gun and Beetlejuice. The others, with the percentages of their grosses that came from overseas, are Rain Man (51.3%), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (52.6%), Coming to America (55.6%), Big (24.2%), Twins (48.3%), Crocodile Dundee II (54.4%), Die Hard (40.9%) and Cocktail (54.4%). So Coming to America made a bigger percentage of its worldwide gross overseas than *any* other film in the North American top ten.)
  4. And then the film got bumped (in North America, at least; it's been out overseas for a while now) to February 2019. My daughter and I saw this recently and loved it. Definitely better than the second film. The trilogy is kind of significant for us because the first film -- which came out nine years ago! -- marked the first time that I took any of my kids to a media screening. My daughter was four years old at the time. She was eight when I took her to the second film, and the death of Hiccup's father -- at the hands of their pet dragon! -- traumatized her. Now my daughter is thirteen (she and her twin brother turned thirteen just one week ago, I have teenagers now, what is going *on* here), and the new movie, appropriately, is about the passage of time and letting people grow up and become more independent. In a way, the theme of "letting go" is something that this film might have in common with Ralph Breaks the Internet. But where it seemed kind of random and didn't work at all over there, it works very well and very naturally over here, inasmuch as the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is part parent-child and part friend-friend, and Toothless's relationship with the female dragon -- the "Light Fury" -- challenges the bond between human and dragon in the same way that a person's romantic relationship can complicate that person's relationship with his or her parents or friends, who may not be entirely sure how to bring this new person into the family/friendship dynamic. Darn it, I actually shed a couple tears near the end, as the film worked out what it means to love someone by putting not just that person's needs ahead of your own, but the needs of *the person they love*. The film looked beautiful, and I wish it had been in 3D, as I believe the first movie's preview screening was. (I can't remember if the second movie's preview screening was.) It seems the studios have given up on pushing 3D at their preview screenings -- I had to go back to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse a second time just to see what those visuals were like in 3D -- and, as a 3D fan myself, I find that a bit disappointing. There are great images here of flight, clouds, storms, flocks of dragons, etc., and if they looked as good as they did "flat", I can only imagine how they'll look once depth is added to the equation. But, y'know, at least this is a film that I *like* and wouldn't mind going out of my way to see again, schedule permitting. More thoughts later, perhaps.
  5. Well. It turns out four of the five nominated films concern children who are imperiled, or die, or are violent in some way. What message is the Academy sending here...? BTW, it occurs to me that there is now a trailer for Skin, which was the only film I couldn't find footage from before (warning: at least one four-letter-word):
  6. Oh, awesome. I had already seen three of the Oscar-nominated shorts online -- two of them are embedded above, and one of them has been on Netflix for a while -- but I just found out that the *other* two nominees are either online now or will be very, very soon. Lifeboat is on YouTube via The New Yorker's channel there: And it was announced just two days ago that Period. End of Sentence. will launch on Netflix this coming Tuesday, February 12; here's a trailer:
  7. And the winner is... Łukasz Żal for Cold War!
  8. And the winner is... Leave No Trace! Deadline notes: "This year’s film honor . . . will break the Scripter’s eight-year winning streak of winners going on to victory at the Oscars: Leave No Trace can’t win an Academy Award because it wasn’t nominated in the category."
  9. And the winners are... Avengers: Infinity War -- visual effects, animated character, effects simulations, compositing Ready Player One -- created environment, virtual cinematography First Man -- supporting visual effects Mortal Engines -- model So, Avengers: Infinity War won four of the five categories it was nominated in, Ready Player One won two of the five categories it was nominated in, First Man won one out of two, and Mortal Engines won the only award it was up for. Three of those films (i.e. all but Mortal Engines) are up for the Oscar. Two Oscar nominees -- Christopher Robin and Solo: A Star Wars Story -- had multiple VES nominations but didn't win anything.
  10. And the winner is... Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse in all four animated categories! (Incredibles 2 lost to Mortal Engines in that one category that had both animated and photoreal films.)
  11. Huh. I caught it with my kids at one of the paid previews last week, and I found it... more complicated than I would have liked? One of the problems is that the big "reveal" in the first film is now part of the second film's basic premise, for everyone in the audience (at least those who are familiar with the first film, and if you aren't, what are you doing in the theatre for *this* one?) -- and that changes the basic structure of the movie, which now gives us repeated hints as to how the Lego world is connecting to the real world. And *then* the movie drops a new "reveal" on us that just made me think, "How is that even *possible* in the world of these films...?" It also got my children talking, once again, about the current abundance of "twist villains" in family entertainment. All that being said, I did laugh every now and then. I liked the line about a certain movie being something that "older kids" get to watch, and I found myself thinking that it might be time to introduce said movie to my own kids, two of whom are turning 13 tomorrow. (The movie in question is one that I saw when I was 14, so.)
  12. It occurs to me that one stat we haven't mentioned yet is that Roma ties the record set by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the most nominations for a non-English-language movie. The nominations they have in common: Best Foreign Language Film (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won this one) Best Picture Best Director Best Cinematography (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won this one) Best Art Direction / Production Design (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won this one) The nomination they sort-of have in common: Best Screenplay (Crouching Tiger's was Adapted, Roma's is Original) The nominations Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon had that Roma doesn't: Best Original Song Best Costume Design Best Film Editing Best Original Score (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won this one) The nominations Roma has that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon didn't: Best Actress Best Supporting Actress Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing Between the music and the film editing and the costume design, I'd say Crouching Tiger had the slightly better set of nominations overall, although Roma did get two acting nods whereas the other film got none. As you can see, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon won four awards in the end, which tied the record set by Fanny and Alexander for the most Oscars that went to a foreign language movie. Will Roma beat that...? or at least match that...? Incidentally, of the six awards that Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon *didn't* win, three went to Traffic (Director, Screenplay, Film Editing), two went to Gladiator (Picture, Costume Design) and one went to Wonder Boys (Original Song).
  13. And the winners are... Alfonso Cuaron for Roma and Bo Burnham for Eighth Grade! Notably, Bradley Cooper was nominated in both categories but did not win either award -- just as he was not even nominated for the Oscar.
  14. And the winners are... The Favourite, Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. The first two winners are both nominated for the Oscar, while none of the nominees in the third winner's category were nominated.
  15. And the winner is... Tim Wardle for Three Identical Strangers, which isn't even nominated for the Oscar.
  16. And the winner is... Mary Poppins Returns, which is *not* nominated for the visual-effects Oscar.
  17. And the winners are... Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse -- best animated feature, directing, writing, character design, character animation, production design, editing Incredibles 2 -- storyboarding, music Isle of Dogs -- voice acting (Bryan Cranston) Mirai -- best animated INDEPENDENT feature Ralph Breaks the Internet -- animated effects So basically, Spider-Man won in all seven of the categories it was nominated in, Incredibles 2 got two awards, and the other three Oscar nominees won one Annie each.
  18. And the winner is... Weekends, the only Annie nominee that is also an Oscar nominee.
  19. NBooth wrote: : Apparently the title is The Suicide Squad, because why the heck not. A la X-Men Origins: Wolverine --> The Wolverine or Predator --> The Predator, etc.? (I suppose that horror-movie sequel-reboot last year could have been called The Halloween...)
  20. Peter Jackson's best film in years (some would say his only good one in years) is this World War I documentary that consists entirely of restored war footage and archival interviews (and by "restored", I mean not just that Jackson & team have reversed a century of degradation, but that they have colourized the footage and corrected the frame-rate and converted it to 3D and added voices with the assistance of professional lip-readers, etc., all to help "bring it to life"). I saw it in December at one of the early Fathom Events screenings, which turned out to be so successful that they had some encore screenings, and *now* the film is in general release across North America and has a very good shot at cracking this week's box-office top ten. So, strikingly, this could very well be the *fifth* documentary released in 2018 to gross over $10 million in North America (certainly if we combine the Fathom Events grosses with the general-release grosses). No previous year had more than three such films -- and in *those* years, the three such films were all Disney nature films or behind-the-scenes concert movies or far-right/far-left political screeds, whereas none of this year's success stories fit into those categories. For what it's worth, I liked the film a lot, and it definitely doesn't shy away from some of the more brutal aspects of the war. The Fathom Events screenings followed the film with a half-hour look at the *making* of the film, which I also found fascinating; I assume they haven't included that with the general-release screenings, but I hope they include it on the DVD or something like that.
  21. And the winner is... Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse!
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