Monthly Archives: February 2014
It’s time for another retro flashback as I dig into old issues of Movieline Magazine. For this installment, I went back 20 years to March 1994. Nicole Kidman was the cover story in which she discussed being overshadowed by her more-famous then-husband, Tom Cruise. Stephen Dorff was labeled “The Next Big Thing” (Isn’t hindsight funny?) Reese Witherspoon, Ben Stiller and Brendan Fraser were up-and-coming actors interviewed for the issue.
The article I’m focusing on was titled All The Right Moves. In this article, Movieline played armchair agent and placed 10 young (at the time) actors in roles they thought would be perfect for them. Were they right? How did things play out? With the benefit of 20 years of 20/20 hindsight, I will be answering those questions.
Daffy and I have been working for the last couple of weeks on putting together a podcast that hopefully takes what readers like about Le Blog and brings it to another format. This is our first attempt at putting on a show which was quite an experiment. I went in knowing very little about podcasting and absolutely nothing about the technical aspects of doing so. But we muddled through.
Over the weekend, Disney World raised its ticket prices. This has become an annual tradition at the Walt Disney World Resort regardless of the state of the economy or whether or not the parks have added any new attractions. The cost of a single day admission has gone up by $4. That means that a single day admission to the Magic Kingdom will now run you $99. Every other park is a comparative bargain at $94.
I understand supply and demand. I get that Disney is a business. But take a look at the chart below. ParentsOf4, a poster at WDWMagic compared the cost of a 1-Day Disney World ticket with inflation. The price of WDW admission has far outpaced inflation for the last several years.
During this time, Disney has been cutting costs any way they can. Park hours have been reduced. Entertainment cut. They have even gotten stingy with the A/C – in Florida! Restaurants that used to be open year round are now only open during peak seasons in spite of the facts that the parks are busier than they have ever been.
Which is of course the problem. In spite of the lack of recent additions while prices have steadily increased, attendance continues to increase as well. Disney is looking for the breaking point where guests will stop coming. They haven’t found it yet. Until they do, you can expect more of the same.
Rumor has it that this latest round of price increases is directly related to Disney World’s new My Magic Plus program. The initiative was sold to stockholders as a way to increase guest spending. It cost a reported $2 billion dollars. To date, it hasn’t moved the needle on guest spending. In order to meet their forecasts, ticket prices had to be raised. In theory, this same rationale may lead to a second price hike later this year.
Your first response when you heard someone thought it was a good idea to make a movie about Lego bricks was probably to roll your eyes. A feature-length commercial for a child’s toy. One you have to pay to experience no less. It’s commercialism as its worst. How can you possible construct a narrative around building blocks? The Lego Movie could have been a cheap cash-grab. An attempt to capitalize on all of the kids out there who demand Lego toys under the Christmas tree. Against all odds, it is much more than that.
In all the rush to see each of the Oscar-nominated films before the awards ceremony is televised on March 2nd, I put off seeing a film I thought I might enjoy. Thankfully I caught up with Inside Llewyn Davis tonight while it was still on the big screen. Joel and Ethan Coen consistently produce films which are visually dynamic, intellectually engaging, and full of entertaining characters. Their newest offering provides all of these qualities and produced one of the most engaging evenings I spent at the cinema over the past year.
Directed by: Alexandre Moors
Starring: Isiah Washington, Tim Blake Nelson
Blue Caprice is a chilling, atmospheric film that functions as a meditation of insanity and what factors may drive a man to become insane and kill. It is based on the true story of the DC Snipers that rocked headlines about a decade ago. It follows a man (Washington) and his “son” and his dark influence on the boy, as he drifts further and further into his own fractured reality. Those looking for explanations or anything that fits into formula need not apply, this slow-cooker takes its time and offers glimpses and questions that it lets hang in the air.
Josh Hartnett rocketed onto the A-list with Michael Bay’s buster of blocks Pearl Harbor and seemed to be the virile leading man Hollywood was looking for. He worked with Robert Rodriguez and Ridley Scott and seemed to be a sure-fire movie star. And then, he just sort of disappeared.
What the hell happened?
A couple of nights ago, the new trailer for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie was premiered on Jimmy Kimmel’s late night program (thus the little badge in the top corner here). Comic book fanboys waited with baited breath and appear to have gotten some of what they were looking for.
**possible spoilers below**
Read the rest of this entry
Actors careers are shaped by choices. Their performances are made up of small choices; how a character should move, what they should sound like, how they should react. Then there are the big choices like what roles to take and who to work with. When an actor commits to a movie, they are dedicating a chunk of their lives to preparing for the role, filming the movie and then doing the promotion circuit. For a lead actor, each movie can be a year-long commitment. For an actor who is in demand, this can lead to some tough choices which will ultimately shape the course of their career.
As the old saying goes, “hindsight is 20/20.” Sometimes, an actor’s choices look foolish in retrospect. Other times, it seems like they dodged a bullet. Either way, movie fans love looking back and wondering what might have been.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Meg Ryan was America’s Sweetheart and the reigning queen of the romantic comedy. For a time, Ryan had her pick of projects which means she had the opportunity to pass on a lot of movies that went on to become hits. The means lots of opportunities to wonder about what might have been.
Some of them were anticipated to become big hits and weren’t. Some were under-the-radar films that never caught a break at the box office.
Yet years later, many of them are regarded as classics, while the films that were blockbusters at the time have been more or less forgotten.
Below are some of the prime examples.
Hollywood has a head-scratching habit of turning out two movies within a few months of each other, that are basically the exact same film. So not only do we get sequels, prequels, sidequels, reboots, remakes, and adaptations we get White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen practically back to back, because obviously if we liked something once, we want the leftovers next month. And unfortunately that’s how it usually goes, one film becomes the dish, and the other is scrapped by audiences. Studios seem to go head to head, in a pissing contest to prove that their bland actioner is vastly superior to the same thing being developed at the same time. So let’s run through some notable ones and see how it shakes out.