Hurray for "District 9!" The cast of unknowns with a relative newcomer director topped the box-office with $37 million debut!
The only A-list name attached with the movie is producer Peter Jackson. Based on director Neil Blomkamp's short film, it's fun to see a "message movie" (strong anti-apartheid allegory told in pseudo-documentary style) win the crowded box-office race. (See review right here)
Previous weekend's No. 1 flick, Paramount's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," infamously known for not being shown to critics, fell to No. 2 with $22.5 million. So far, its 10-day total is $98.8 million.
"The Time Traveler's Wife" starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams debuted at No. 3 with $19.2 million. This sci-fi romance was just okay, relatively bland, but Bana and McAdams have solid chemistry.
It was a crowded box-office weekend. The other debuts, the funny used-car comedy starring Jeremy Piven "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard" opened at No. 6 with $5.4 million, Disney's animated adventure "Ponyo" from Hayao Miyazaki came in at No. 9 with $3.5 million, while the teen rock comedy "Bandslam" failed to crack the Top 10. Starring "High School Musical's" Vanessa Hudgens, "Bandslam" only made $2.3 million coming in at No. 13.
(Check out my interviews with the cast of "The Goods, Live Hard, Sell Hard right here; for my interviews with the "Bandslam" cast, click here)
Here's the estimated Top 10 list for box-office weekend of Aug. 14th:
1. "District 9," $37 million.
2. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," $22.5 million.
3. "The Time Traveler's Wife," $19.2 million.
4. "Julie & Julia," $12.4 million.
5. "G-Force," $6.9 million.
6. "The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard," $5.4 million.
7. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $5.2 million.
8. "The Ugly Truth," $4.5 million.
9. "Ponyo," $3.5 million.
10. "500 Days of Summer," $3 million.
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Taking a somber flight from Palm Springs to New York, I chose to kill time by watching some independent films that were sent to me by various filmmakers.
One of them was a film called "Junction" from Women on Top Productions. I refused to learn anything about this movie prior to watching it (I do that with other films, even major Hollywood movies if I can, so I'm not tainted), and all I knew was that the film's main actress, producer, and original screenwriter, April Wade, was such a sweetheart, and was lovingly patient with me for she sent this film eons ago and I just never had time to watch it.
Now I had time, and boy, was I pleasantly surprised!
"Junction" is equal parts intriguing, mesmerizing, and an edge-of-your-seat crowd pleaser!
An allegory to isolation and alienation, "Junction" starts with an explosive and bloody fight, and ends with rumination and redemption.
Wade stars as Michaela McHenry, a photojournalist wannabe, who is sent into a personal detective work when she visits her estranged father in prison. To her surprise, she finds out she has other siblings. This startling news sets off the gripping narrative.
One of her siblings is Victoria (co-producer Lira Kellerman) who is hiding a secret of her own. Both Michaela and Victoria are dealing with mother issues and the brimming tension will come to a halt when they cross the "Junction."
Fittingly shot in Arizona's Apache Junction, also known as "dysfunction junction," the film gives a new twist to dysfunctional family.
Adapted by James Ryan and directed by Neal Fradsham, "Junction" is a delight of a film -- a small, true-independent movie that is dark, witty, and will make you want to see the gripping conclusion.
Both actresses did a fine job with their solid performances. Wade is the crux of the film for she invites us to take the dysfunctional journey with her. If she's not believable, the movie would have crumbled.
Giving her equal weight is Kellerman, she's as mysterious and mesmerizing as Wade. Out of 4 kisses? I give this film
So I urge you lovely readers, please take a look at their site, and rent or buy "Junction." Now I know why this film is a multi-award winner within the indie circuit. (Visit the official site by clicking here, there's a link to buy or rent the film)
I can't wait to see what Women on Top Productions will do next!
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Isn't this far out? You too can have your own picture become a hot, psychedelic poster! How? First, my talking points:
1) Keep an eye out for my interviews with the cast of "Taking Woodstock" including Emile Hirsch, Liev Schreiber, Demetri Martin, and Jonathan Groff. Hirsch gave me a compliment for the interview I did with him for "Milk" and that was sweet
2) You have to see "Taking Woodstock" when it opens Aug. 28th! It's about the town that didn't know it's going to be a setting for one of the biggest, pop culture events of the century! It's transformative, thought-provoking, and fun!
3) And of course, I'll post my review right here on www.mannythemovieguy.com
And now, head on out to the official site of "Taking Woodstock" and get posterized -- psychedelic style!
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The mythology of the "Twilight" series is getting intriguing. I heard that the fantastic Catalina Sandino Moreno just got hired to play Maria in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
Maria is the one who turned the character Jasper into a vampire to help her claim territory during the Civil War. Yes, the Civil War! So the movie adaptation mirrors the novel's narrative arc for Jasper.
I like that! Jasper was pretty much a non-character in the first "Twilight" movie for me, so I like that the filmmakers are adding layers to the supporting characters. That's what I thought was missing from the first film.
If you don't know who Moreno is, watch "Maria Full of Grace." It's her gripping Oscar-nominated role where she played a drug mule.
In "Eclipse," Moreno joins Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard (who replaced Rachelle Lefevre), and new co-stars Jack Huston and Xavier Samuel.
Production is set to begin next week in Vancouver with "30 Days of Night" director David Slade set to helm.
The second film of the series, "Twilight Saga: New Moon," directed by Chris Weitz is slated to open on November 20.
"Eclipse" is set for release on June 30, 2010.
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Brett Ratner ("X-Men: The Last Stand") is working on his big-screen adaptation of the superhero comic book series "Youngblood" and he wants Robert Pattinson to star.
Ratner tells MTV News, "Definitely [Robert Pattinson] from 'Twilight. He just feels like he belongs in that world. I don't only see him as a vampire, he's a really good actor."
"Youngblood," conceived by Rob Liefeld, is about a team of superheroes funded by the government who battles super-villains externally, and tortured drama internally. The leader of the team is a former FBI agent called "Shaft" who is an expert marksman and may likely be the role that Rattner is thinking for Pattinson.
Ratner says, "[Pattinson] could do anything. He just has that look."
"I picture him on Youngblood, for sure."
As of now, the script is still being written, but Ratner is promising that the original comic books' darker themes will permeate into the adaptation.
"My vision for it is: We're going to make a very edgy, cool film," explained Ratner. "We're not soft-peddling it at all."
That's good to hear, though I still have yet to see an edgy, cool Ratner movie. But, I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt.
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