Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sick leave

I went to the Toronto Film Festival -- and came home miserably sick. Mind you, I can't blame it on the films -- as usual, saw some very good ones there. No, blame it on bronchitis. When my plane touched down in H-Town late Wednesday evening, my son was there to drive me to an urgent care facility, where I took me some meds and inhaled me some steroids while he snapped the above photo.

As of Saturday evening, I'm still feeling generally crummy, with coughing jags and shortness of breath conspiring to make my life miserable. Had to cancel interviews and blow off screenings in Toronto; have had to cancel classes and bust deadlines back home. I likely will be off the radar for a while. But I'll be back. I hope.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

The return of This is the End

This is the End -- which I freely admit is one of my favorite movies released so far in 2013 -- will return to theaters and drive-ins everywhere Friday, Sept. 7, to give audiences another opportunity to... to... well, to push the domestic box-office gross to $100 million.

Mind you, that's not the reason given for the re-release in the official Sony Pictures press release:
Commenting on the announcement, Rory Bruer, president of Worldwide Distribution for Sony Pictures, said, “This Is The End really struck a chord with comedy moviegoers this summer. For everyone who didn’t get a chance to see it – or saw it and loved it and wants to see it again on the big screen – we are thrilled to have it back in theaters.”
Sure. Fine. But elsewhere in the same release, there's this tasty nugget of info: This is the End "has taken in $96.8 million to date at the domestic box-office."

Ah, yes: So close, yet so far. All the movie needs is a measly $4 million gross this weekend to bring that final total up to a nice, round $100 million. And you -- yes, you -- can do your bit to push it over the top, even if you just buy a bargain-priced matinee ticket or two.

Keep that in mind, fellow movie fans, and give generously. Remember: It's for a worthy cause.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Late August, Early September: My recent views, reviews and interviews online

Just in case you missed it:

Instructions Not Included : Judging from remarks on the comment thread for this one, my take on Eugenio Derbez's mawkish dramedy was not a popular one. Hey, what can I say? I'm a critic, not a pollster. Must admit, though: I find it amusing that, whenever I say less than complimentary things about a film made by anyone who isn't a Caucasian male, some people automatically assume I must be a conservative. Or, worse, a Republican. Come to think of it, my less-than-favorable review of Lee Daniels' The Butler generated a similar response.

Furthermore: Didn't think much of either I Declare War or Savannah. On the other hand: I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Jasmine (featuring Cate Blanchett, pictured above) and In a World..., and had an absolute blast talking with the wild and crazy guys who made The World's End. And I highly recommend Herblock: The Black & the White -- a warmly celebratory documentary about the Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist -- as a film well worth tracking down and checking out.

Last but by not means least: Hail and farewell to Elmore Leonard.