A prime-time sitcom that rolled its eyes at family values and reveled in the joys of middle-aged, unattached women behaving badly, Jennifer Saunders’ “Absolutely Fabulous” was a pretty rare bird when it tumbled into U.K. living rooms in 1992. Nearly a quarter of a century later, it still is: Younger female writers like Lena Dunham and Sharon Horgan may owe a degree of their edge to Saunders’ klutzy trailblazing, but there’s still nothing quite as anarchically feminine as “Ab Fab” on our TV screens. The same goes twice over in the male-dominated realm of big-screen comedy, which makes “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” a fresher prospect than such a long-belated spinoff deserves to be: No other summer release, after all, is going to give us a drag-revue singalong to “At Seventeen,” indelibly describe a jacuzzi as “a smoothie of old sperm,” or divulge the secret of Jon Hamm’s deflowering. This short, bright, lovably shambolic outing does all that with Bollinger-soaked one-liners to spare. It’s not great cinema, or even peak “Fabulous,” but for a post-Brexit Britain in dire need of some cheering up, it more than does the job.

In the U.S., Fox Searchlight will be counting on an adoring Anglophile crowd of female and gay fans to bolster a more limited release strategy. Though TV director Mandie Fletcher has credibly opened proceedings out from the show’s studio roots — complete with slick action set pieces along the French Riviera — this is not a film for the uninitiated. Converts know it takes time to cultivate affection for the least savory attitudes and antics of terminally shallow publicist Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Saunders) and her sponging boozehound BFF Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley). Everyone has at least one “difficult” friend whose semi-sociopathic misbehavior can’t be defended to the rest of the social circle; fans should embrace Eddy, Patsy and their cheerfully sketchy movie debut in a similar spirit of unwavering pardon.

Following on from the show’s increasingly elaborate, globe-trotting special episodes, “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” immediately separates itself from the sitcom’s domestic focus with an opening sequence set at London Fashion Week: As they bumblingly crash a Giles Deacon runway show, we see the gruesome twosome pratfall before one acidic punchline is uttered. Such slapstick won’t appease critics who took issue with the show’s later series for wringing a growing number of laughs from its stars’ contrasting gifts for physical shtick. (Saunders is funniest in a state of collapse; Lumley, when standing stock-still.) But a human core is visible amid the hijinks. Even at its most absurd or grotesque, “Absolutely Fabulous” has always been rather poignantly about one independent, little-loved career woman trying to muddle through life: Edina Monsoon may well be the least exemplary feminist icon in television history, and so she again proves here.

Now pushing 60, Eddy scarcely has her life in any more order than she did at 40. Overweight, over-inebriated and grossly neglectful of her PR clients, she gets a glimmer of self-awareness when her incoherently typed memoirs are flatly rejected by an editor at “Random Penguin” publishers: “Your life may be worth living, but it’s not worth reading,” he smirks. Lesser women might take this as a cue for global travel or spiritual enlightenment: For Eddy, it’s a mandate to surround herself with more varnished celebrity. When news leaks that supermodel Kate Moss is seeking new representation, our heroine rushes to enlist her at an elite riverfront party — only to accidentally send Her Skinniness tumbling into the Thames, never to surface.

To borrow a meme Eddy would only pretend to recognize, that escalates quickly. As a nation mourns the loss of Moss — an ongoing source of priceless jabs at Britain’s melodrama-loving media — Eddy is pursued by police, Twitter trolls and Stella McCartney alike, as her ultra-square daughter Saffron (an underused Julia Sawalha) and nascently hip granddaughter Lola (appealing newcomer Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness) look on in bewilderment. Naturellement, the obvious solution for fair-weather Francophiles Eddy and Patsy is to skip the country, seeking refuge among the Cannes jet set and encountering the alternating delights and indignities of budget airline travel, gender-fluid weddings, senior-citizen sex tourism, three-wheeled car chases, and so on and so forth. Structure is as much anathema to Saunders’ writing style as it is to her alter ego’s entire lifestyle; this is the comedic equivalent of paintball, and when her splatter-shots land, they do so to raucous effect.

It’s hard to think of any other recent film with a star-cameo contingent that runs quite as comprehensively from A- to Z-list. As everyone from Joan Collins to Jon Hamm to Perez Hilton checks in, this neon romp might seem at risk of overcrowding — particularly with much of the show’s regular ensemble, including June Whitfield as Eddy’s dotty twinset-and-pearls mom, Jane Horrocks as Eddy’s daffy PA and 1960s pop pixie Lulu as her oldest and most disgruntled client, also reporting for duty. Still, a personal appearance by the Queen herself would do little to distract from the joyous, film-driving chemistry between Saunders and Lumley, two effervescent pros who fit each other as comfortably as a sensible pair of flat-heeled shoes — the kind on which “Ab Fab’s” longstanding, awesomely taste-defying costume designer Rebecca Hale (having the time of her life here with an upgraded budget) must long ago have issued a blanket ban.

“Why does she stay with you?” young Lola asks Eddy about Patsy, whose loyalty holds as fast as her Botox-pumped face. “Because it’s bloody good fun,” comes the incredulous reply. Sometimes bloody good fun is enough. It’s as good a reason as any for making this sunny, silly rallying cry for irresponsibility, and a better one still for watching it.

Film Review: 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie'

Reviewed at Soho Hotel screening room, London, June 25, 2016. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 91 MIN.

Production

(U.K.-U.S.) A Fox Searchlight Pictures release and presentation of a DJ Films/Saunders & French production, in association with BBC Films. Produced by Damian Jones, Jon Plowman. Executive producers, Maureen Vincent, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Christine Langan, Nichola Martin, Steve Milne, Christian Eisenbeiss. Co-producer, Marc Hubbard.

Crew

Directed by Mandie Fletcher. Screenplay, Jennifer Saunders, based on her television series. Camera (color, widescreen), Chris Goodger; editors, Anthony Boys, Gavin Buckley, Billy Sneddon; music, Jake Monaco; music supervisor, Sarah Bridge; production designer, Harry Banks; art directors, Nikki Startup, Frederic Berge; set decorator, Laura Richardson; costume designer, Rebecca Hale; sound, Paul Munro; supervising sound editor, Jeremy Price; re-recording mixer, Nigel Squibbs; visual effects supervisor, Mark Wellband; visual effects, Molinare; stunt coordinator, Paul Kennington; line producers, Alexander O'Neal, John Bernard; assistant director, Nige Watson; casting, Alex Johnson.

With

Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness, Jane Horrocks, June Whitfield, Chris Colfer, Celia Imrie, Kathy Burke, Rebel Wilson, Kate Moss, Lulu, Emma Bunton, Robert Webb, Barry Humphries, Mo Gaffney, Christopher Ryan, Mark Gatiss, Jerry Hall, Jon Hamm, Gwendoline Christie, Jeremy Paxman, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Joan Collins.
Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/absolutely-fabulous-the-movie-review-1201805735/

On Wednesday night, being beyond fabulous was obligatory to gain entry into Leicester Square’s Odeon for the world premiere of “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” in London. Drag queens by the dozen littered the golden carpet, blinding fans with sequin reflections and glistening full body latex — a scene that made star and scribe, Jennifer Saunders, and partner in Lacroix-covered crime, Joanna Lumley, look shockingly under-dressed.

To date 2016 has proved a grim year for celebrity survival. So it was joyous news that Kate Moss’ reported demise, having drowned in the river Thames, never to pout again, was merely the plot for the film.

Quarter of a century on from its small screen conception, what made here and now ripe for the resurrection of faux fashionistas, Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone? Producer, Jon Plowman, was on hand to explain the team’s simple, killer push. “Part of the reason we did this was, ‘Hurray, they’re all still alive!’ I mean, quit while you’re ahead.”

 

Related

‘Absolutely Fabulous’ Movie Teaser Reunites Eddie and Patsy

 

The question of if the characters could still be relevant, 25 years on, was on everybody’s plumped lips. Just before running indoors to let the champagne good-times role, Saunders mused on theoretical casting for a younger-years prequel. Who would she want as a youthful Patsy and Edina? “I think Lena Dunham would play me and Amy Schumer would play Patsy,” she announced.

Jane Horrocks, Dawn French, June Whitfield and Julia Sawalha proved to be all still kicking, as they joined helmer Mandie Fletcher, to enjoy chats along the media gauntlet. Elsewhere, media juggernaut Rupert Murdoch appeared slightly less impressed with the fabulous fun, while he was led quickly along the golden path by the hand of wife, Jerry Hall.

Like cameo confetti, Kylie Minogue breezed about the carpet along with singular Spice Girl, Emma Bunton – both dressed in fitting glamorous get-up. One fan was overtly keen to join in with an alternative interpretation of the flashy theme – shamelessly stripping off her top aside the cameras and busy carpet – for all to see.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/vpage/ab-fab-the-movie-jennifer-saunders-amy-schumer-lena-dunham-prequel-1201806244/

Roald Dahl famously loathed all the movie adaptations of his books, including the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” starring Gene Wilder. So when the beloved author died in 1990, his widow Felicity (who goes by Liccy) was torn about what to do with his catalogue. It was a time, following the hit comedy “Home Alone,” where the major studios were vigorously chasing family-friendly tales, and many of Dahl’s stories fit the bill. But Liccy didn’t want celebrated bestsellers such as “Matilda” or “James and the Giant Peach” falling into the wrong hands.

Dahl’s publisher at Penguin Books set up a few meetings, and she eventually connected with literary agent Michael Siegel. They bonded right away. “I don’t want there to be bad movies,” Liccy told him. They came up with an unorthodox, boutique approach. “Rather than sell the stories directly to the studios, we would wait to meet up with a filmmaker with a passion for a story,” Siegel explains. And, in the most un-Hollywood move of all, the deals wouldn’t allow for sequels or spinoffs.

Since then, Siegel has been Hollywood’s liaison to the Dahl estate. He’s helped produce and shepherd such titles to the big screen as the 2005 Tim Burton remake of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” Wes Anderson’s “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” and Steven Spielberg’s “The BFG,” which opens this weekend. In a lengthy interview, Siegel shared stories about how each project got off the ground, and the casting decisions — like the time Robin Williams underwhelmed as the Big Friendly Giant — that were not meant to be.

1. “James and the Giant Peach” (1996)
Box office: $28.9 million

Following 1993’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” director Henry Selick wanted to do a stop-motion version of “James and the Giant Peach,” based on the 1961 novel about an orphan who boards an oversized fruit. He invited Liccy to his workshop in San Francisco to show her how the movie would be done. “She walked out into the parking lot with me and burst into tears and said, ‘I can’t not give this to them,’” Siegel says.

“James” sold to Disney in 1992, and the family was happy with the finished movie. But it was a tumultuous road, as Liccy witnessed the ups and downs of developing a script at a studio. “The range of what you can get is vast and frightening,” Siegel says. “She said, ‘Next time, can we control the process of developing the screenplay?’” Siegel thought about it, and told Liccy there might be a way.

2. “Matilda” (1996)
Box office: $33.5 million

Siegel brought in two of his screenwriting friends — Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord — and asked them if they’d take a crack at adapting one of Dahl’s most beloved novels about a young girl with telekinetic powers. They wouldn’t be paid up front, but would be compensated if the family approved of the script. Liccy flew in from London for a dinner in Santa Monica with the screenwriting team, and awaited a draft. When she received it more than a year later, she loved it so much. In fact, she had almost no notes for them.

Danny DeVito had expressed interest in directing the film, and the estate brought him on board. Then they held an auction for the movie in 1994, which practically every studio bid on. It ended up at TriStar Pictures for a then-record $4 million for rights to the book and script. “We were able to bring it to the studio with complete script approval,” Siegel says. “Nothing could be changed without the estate’s blessing.”

3. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (2005)
Box office: $206.5 million

Because of the previous movie, Warner Bros. had partial rights to “Charlie,” yet they had lapsed in 1992. The estate entered into talks in the late ‘90s for a remake at WB. But it would be another six years before a deal was complete. At first, Scott Frank (“Minority Report” and “Out of Sight”) was brought in to work on a script for director Gary Ross. “Scott got writer’s block,” Siegel recalls. “He said it was, for him, unadaptable because it was too episodic and he didn’t want to tamper with a classic too much.” He never finished a draft, and Ross exited the project. “Then we were shipwrecked.”

Alan Horn, who served as the chief of Warner Bros. at the time, took a meeting with Liccy to get the project back on track. The Dahl estate provided a list of seven dream directors for the project — including Ang Lee, Terry Gilliam, Anthony Minghella and Spike Jonze. “We had some artsy people,” says Siegel. For commercial reasons, on a blockbuster with an eventual budget of $150 million, Horn gravitated to just one of those names on the list: Tim Burton. “It was going to be a longshot,” Siegel recalls. But Burton quickly expressed interest.

Pamela Pettler wrote a faithful adaptation the Dahl family approved. The studio then greenlit “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” with Johnny Depp attached to star. But Burton asked for a rewrite and brought in his screenwriter collaborator John August (“Big Fish”). “He didn’t even read Pamela’s script and started fresh,” Siegel says. “We liked John’s script, but we were queasy that he went into Wilber Wonka.” The new script deviated from the book in a major way by adding flashbacks with Wonka’s dad, a dentist who never let his son eat chocolates growing up, as an explanation for why the iconic character went into the candy business. After deliberating about it, the family eventually decided to support Burton’s vision and approve the final screenplay. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” went on to become the most successful Dahl adaptation yet, with a worldwide gross of $475 million.

4. “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (2009)
Box office: $21 million

Siegel recalls meeting with Wes Anderson shortly after his first feature “Bottle Rocket” came out in 1996. The young director pitched himself on an adaption of the 1970 novella about a sly fox that outsmarts three farmers by swiping their chickens and food. But he wasn’t sure how he’d pull it off — with puppets or animation (he’d later settle on stop motion). “He wanted to write the script and think about it,” Siegel says. However, Anderson got sidetracked and made “The Royal Tenenbaums” next.

When he eventually returned to “Fox,” he visited Liccy at Dahl’s home outside London, and he was so taken by the environment that he temporarily moved himself onto the property to write the script. “He soaked up the particulars of that place in such detail, it was remarkable,” Siegel says. For example, the office where Mr. Fox (George Clooney) resides is an homage to Dahl’s own writing space. Anderson broadened the characters, so that the story became more of a family dramedy. In the movie, there’s an expanded role for the protagonist’s spouse Mrs. Fox (voiced by Meryl Streep) and obsessive-compulsive son (Jason Schwartzman).

“That was the first script that significantly departed from the book,” Siegel says. “But it was so winning and clearly in the spirit of Roald Dahl. It was a complete endorsement and love affair.”

5. “The BFG” (2016)

When Siegel first met with Liccy, he said that his one regret was that the author had already sold the rights to “The BFG” to a British company that had turned the story into a 1989 animated film. “I was going to make it my mission to get the rights back,” he says. “It took some time, but we pulled it off.” Paramount optioned the rights to Dahl’s Big Friendly Giant around 1994, and brought in the “Matilda” writing duo of Kazan and Swicord to try their hand at a script. After they had a draft, producer Kathleen Kennedy landed Williams to come in for a test.

“The reading was actually surprisingly disappointing,” Siegel says. The BFG speaks in his own dialect, which Williams had trouble establishing. “He was sort of improvising on the jumbled language. And it was clunky. It was strangely not working. It was harder than it looks even for Robin. It didn’t quite deliver. So that was a humbling experience for us.”

Williams was still interested in playing the character, but the studio had trouble securing a director for the project. “We wondered if we had to have a new screenplay,” Siegel says. “We were hearing that people were daunted by the production demands.” That was followed by new script attempts by Terry Jones (of Monty Python fame) and Ed Solomon, until Kennedy was able to get “ET” scribe Melissa Mathison to agree to come out of movie retirement. By then, the rights had lapsed from Paramount, and Mathison cranked out her version without any pay upfront. “There had been so many writers and money spent on development,” Siegel says. “Melissa believed in it and was ready to do it.”

With the more heartfelt screenplay, Kennedy set up the project at DreamWorks and Disney. But it still wasn’t clear that Spielberg was the director until he went home one weekend with a stack of screenplays and came back with “The BFG” at the top of his pile. He wanted his new pal, “Bridge of Spies” actor Mark Rylance, to portray the benevolent lead.

“The BFG” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May, but Siegel got an early look at a screening with Dahl’s daughter Lucy. “At the end of the screening, Lucy turned to me with tears running down her face, telling me she felt like she had just spent the last two hours with her father,” he says. “We were both so floored by what we had seen that we hugged the first person we next met, who was the projectionist. The family all loved this film.”

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/roald-dahl-movies-bfg-steven-spielberg-matilda-1201806205/

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested three men for allegedly running an “advance fee” scheme that swindled movie investors out of more than $12 million.

An indictment unsealed in Manhattan Federal Court charged James David Williams of Calabasas, Calif.; Steven Brown of Santa Monica, Calif.; and Gerald Seppala of Minnesota with wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy. Williams and Brown are also charged with laundering the proceeds of the fraud.

Brown was arrested Tuesday in New York City while Williams was arrested in Los Angeles and Seppala was arreseted in Wayzata, Minn. The indictment did not identify specific film projects.

Seppala is chief executive and co-founder of Ironbound Studios Minnesota, which was not named in the indictment.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement: “With lies about making feature-length films and documentaries, the defendants allegedly defrauded victims into investing over $12 million with them. Rather than making movies, the defendants perpetrated an advance fee scheme, allegedly using the investors’ money to pay themselves and pay other investors back.”

The indictment said that from 2012 through June, Brown and Williams portrayed themselves as experts in the marketing of feature-length films and documentaries and, along with Seppala, solicited investments in these films from investors by typically promising guaranteed returns and participation in profits, which never materialized. Investigators said the trio frequently sent the victims falsified financial records that reflected investments that had never actually been made.

Williams is accused of securing a $2 million investment in one of the movies from one individual by assuring the victim that Williams had also contributed $2 million of his own money to the project by showing a bank statement with a balance of just over $1.9 million in the account maintained for the movie. However, records for that account show that there was actually no money in the account.

Williams is also accused of attempting to get another individual to invest $500,000 in another movie by representing that he had invested $3 million of his own money while Brown claimed to have invested an additional $500,000 of his own money as well. But records from the relevant bank account revealed that there was only $500,200 in the account at the time that Williams sent the victim a statement showing a balance of more than $3.5 million.

The indictment disclose that some of the money they received was used by Williams to buy a home in California, a new car and pay for his children’s tuition.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/fbi-arrests-defrauding-movie-investors-1201806236/

Zach Braff will direct the black comedy “Bump” for Working Title, based on the Black List script by Ori Guendelman and Rob McClelland.

“Bump” received the 10th-highest number of votes last December of the 100 unproduced screenplays on Black List. It focuses on the aftermath of an accidental hit-and-run as a young lawyer’s entire life unravels over the span of one night as he attempts to dispose of a corpse that turns out to be much more than an innocent victim.

Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner are producing and the company’s Liza Chasin is executive producing. Johanna Byer will oversee the project.

 

Related

Josh Hutcherson, Zach Braff Join James Franco’s ‘In Dubious Battle’

 

Braff is in post-production on the remake of Warner Bros.’ “Going In Style,” starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin. The studio will release the film April 7.

Braff’s directing credits include several episodes of his series “Scrubs,” 2004’s “Garden State” and 2014’s “Wish I Was Here,” which was funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised $3.1 million in 30 days.

Braff is repped by CAA, Management 360, and attorney Ken Richman of Hansen, Jacobson. Guendelman and McClelland are repped by Paradigm, 3 Arts and attorney Tara Kole of Gang, Tyre. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/zach-braff-directing-comedy-bump-working-title-1201806302/

Warner Bros. has unveiled the first official trailer for Clint Eastwood’s “Sully,” which lands in theaters on Sept. 9.

Starring Tom Hanks, the real-life drama centers on Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger who, in 2009, became a national hero in after he successfully executed an emergency water landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers and crew members survived. Sully, however, soon became the subject of an investigation that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney, Holt McCallany, and Jerry Ferrara co-star in “Sully,” Eastwood’s first feature film since last year’s smash hit “American Sniper.”

Written by Todd Komarnicki, the upcoming drama is based on the autobiography “Highest Duty” by Sullenberger with Jeffrey Zaslow.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/sully-trailer-tom-hanks-video-pilot-1201806340/

Troubled independent distributor Alchemy is likely to file for bankruptcy protection as early as this week, according to an informed source.

The company recently launched a series of cuts in its work force, leaving Alchemy with about 25 employees. It was the second series of staff reductions this year.

Additionally, Alchemy co-president Kelly Summers left the Los Angeles-based company recently.

The company, formerly known as Millennium Entertainment, relaunched itself as Alchemy in January 2015 and was an aggressive buyer at film festivals. It announced in July that it had acquired ANconnect and Anderson Digital and formed a strategic alliance with ARC Entertainment to act as aggregator for Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Sam’s Club with 50 new content partners, including Bagdasarian Productions and DreamWorks Animation’s nontheatrical and classics divisions.

In December, CEO Bill Lee stepped down and the company promoted Summers and Scott Guthrie to the posts of co-presidents.

Alchemy’s best domestic box performer has been “Meet the Patels” with $1.7 million. Kristen Wiig’s “Welcome to Me” took in only $609,000 in the U.S., and Gaspar Noe’s sex-infused “Love” grossed just $249,000. “Madame Bovary,” starring Mia Wasikowska, managed only $44,000 in the U.S.

Millenium had been an aggressive buyer at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, acquiring U.S. rights to Yorgos Lanthimos’ dark comedy “The Lobster.” When Alchemy was hit by financial problems earlier this year, A24 bought the rights and has seen nearly $7 million in domestic grosses for “The Lobster” since its May 13 release.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/distributor-alchemy-bankruptcy-protection-1201806337/

Walt Disney Studios’ “Zootopia,” the animated “buddy cop” film about a rabbit cop and a red fox con that earned $340.5 million in U.S. theaters, remained on top of the national home video sales charts for the third consecutive week.

Universal Pictures’ “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2,” a belated sequel to the 2002 comedy about a young Greek woman who falls in love with a non-Greek, debuted at No. 2 on both the NPD VideoScan overall disc sales chart and the Blu-ray Disc-only sales chart.

The film, which earned nearly $60 million in U.S. theaters, is centered on a second Greek wedding, this time between the parents of the Greek bride, who 50 years after the fact discover their original wedding wasn’t valid.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” sold 72.6% as many units in its first week in stores as “Zootopia” did in its third week of availability, NPD research shows.

Another Universal Pictures sequel, “London Has Fallen,” slipped to No. 3 on both charts its second week in stores, while 20th Century Fox’s “Deadpool” and Paramount’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” each dropped a notch as well, to No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, again on both sales charts.
A second new theatrical release, “Midnight Special,” debuted at No. 10 on the overall disc sales chart and No. 11 on the Blu-ray Disc chart. The film, about a father and a son, with special powers, who are on the run from both the government and a cult that worships the boy, earned less than $4 million in U.S. theaters.

“My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” generated 43% of its total unit sales from Blu-ray Disc, which celebrates its 10th birthday this month.“Zootopia” during the week generated 48% of its sales from Blu-ry Disc, down from 60% in its initial week of release.

On Home Media Magazine’s rental chart, Warner’s “How to be Single” rose to No. 1 now that its 28-day holdback from Redbox is over, while “Zootopia” held onto the No. 2 spot and Paramount’s “10 Cloverfield Lane,” the previous week’s top rental, slipped to No. 3.

Twentieth Century Fox’s “Deadpool” finished the week at No. 4, down from No. 3 the prior week, while Paramount’s “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” dropped a notch as well, to No. 5.

Thomas K. Arnold is editorial director of Home Media Magazine.

Top 20 NPD VideoScan First Alert, powered by Nielsen, chart for the week ended 6/26/16:

1. Zootopia
2. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (new)
3. London Has Fallen
4. Deadpool
5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
6. 10 Cloverfield Lane
7. Gods of Egypt
8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
9. The Revenant
10. Midnight Special (new)
11. Independence Day
12. The Brothers Grimsby
13. Now You See Me
14. The Wave (new)
15. Finding Nemo
16. Straight Outta Compton
17. The Martian
18. Jurassic World
19. Ride Along 2
20. The 5th Wave

Top 10 Home Media Magazine rental chart for the week ended 6/26/16:

1. How to be Single
2. Zootopia
3. 10 Cloverfield Lane
4. Deadpool
5. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
6. Ride Along 2
7. Dirty Grandpa
8. The Revenant
9. The Brothers Grimsby (new)
10. The Revenant

For complete sales and rental charts, visit HomeMediaMagazine.com.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/news/zootopia-tops-dvd-blu-ray-disc-sales-charts-for-third-straight-week-1201806320/

Filmmakers and human rights groups are seeking answers from the Chinese authorities after award-winning Tibetan director Pema Tseden (“Silent Holy Stones”) was arrested and brutalized.

The China Film Director’s Guild said Tseden was taken away by the police at Xining airport in China’s Qinghai province on June 25 and was held in police custody.

On the afternoon of June 27, the director was admitted to the hospital, according to the guild.

The guild reported that Tseden (aka Wanmacaidan) was held for “disrupting social order.” Other sources suggest that his offence was to have forgotten a piece of luggage in the departure hall.

“We are very concerned about the reasons why this incident took place and how it will develop. We call for the authorities to respond to the society’s demands swiftly and reveal all the details, including the reasons why the police had to [take away Tseden] forcibly and whether unnecessary violence was involved,” the guild said in a statement.

It is not immediately clear whether Tseden’s arrest is related to his work as a director. He has made films in Tibetan and tells stories about Tibetan culture.

Tseden’s arrest raises questions about whether, under China’s current crackdown on freedom of expression, stories highlighting Tibetan culture are now being interpreted as separatist.

“(President Xi Jinping’s increasing control over ideology) has been carried over into the artistic realm. To what extent will artists have freedom to produce works?” William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International, told Variety.

“This is certainly not an ordinary criminal case as he was taken away to another place. It is suspicious,” veteran China watcher Johnny Lau Yui-siu said. “But at this point we don’t know the actual cause for the arrest.”

Lau said the fact that Tseden is internationally famous could also have contributed to his troubles. “The more famous you are internationally, the greater the threat you are to China. Look at Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei,” he said.

Tseden’s 2015 comedy “Tharlo” premiered in Venice’s Orrizonte section and won multiple international awards, including the Grand Prize at Tokyo Filmex and best adapted screenplay at the Golden Horse Film Festival in Taiwan.

Tharlo is the name of a Tibetan shepherd character who is search for his identity. “In Tibetan areas, this kind of case is still very common,” Tseden told AFP in 2015.

China’s Sina reported that Tseden lives in Beijing and went to Xining to promote a new film. His arrest was not reported until the news was leaked on social media a few days later. Sina published photos of the director’s hand and wrist covered with bruises and injuries, allegedly caused by the police during the arrests.

Tseden suffers from chronic illness and his health conditions during the detention was worrying, the guild said.

Tseden’s friend, filmmaker and sound designer Dorjee Tsering, exposed the details of Tseden’s arrest and conditions on his Weibo account. “The airport police used fetters to detain him,” he wrote, adding that the director suffered from dizziness and felt ill during the detention. But his posting was swiftly removed. Director Jia Zhangke also expressed concern on his Weibo page.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/asia/explanation-needed-for-arrest-of-tibets-pema-tseden-1201806418/

Variety has been given exclusive access to the trailer for Russian filmmaker Ivan Tverdovsky’s “Zoology,” which has its international premiere in competition at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Tverdovsky’s debut “Corrections Class” won more than 35 prizes, including Karlovy Vary’s East of the West Award.

“Zoology,” Tverdovsky’s second feature, was showcased as a work-in-progress at the Paris Co-Production Village and Les Arcs last year, and premiered at the Kinotavr Open Russian Film Festival in Sochi, Russia, where it won best actress and the critics’ prize.

The pic centers on middle-aged zoo worker Natasha, who lives with her mother in a coastal town. As she struggles for independence, she has to endure the gossip spread by the women around her. It seems that life has no surprises for her — until, one day, she grows a tail.

The film was produced by New People Film Company, Arizona Productions and MovieBrats Pictures. It received financial support from Eurimages co-production fund and the Russian Ministry of Culture. Jan Naszewski’s New Europe Film Sales is handling international rights.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/trailer-karlovy-vary-competition-film-zoology-1201805323/

ROME — The three suicide attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, which killed at least 41 people and wounded more than 200 Tuesday night, sparked fresh fears in the Turkish film and TV community Wednesday over the increasing impact of terrorism on the country and the industry.

Security concerns have already caused the cancellation of next year’s Discop Istanbul TV content market. Basic Lead, the event’s organizer, cited “ongoing geopolitical tensions” in the region as the reason for its decision earlier this month. Last year’s international section of Turkey’s prominent Adana Film Festival was also canceled because of safety concerns.

Over the past 12 months, terror attacks have resulted in more than 200 deaths in Istanbul and Ankara, the Turkish capital. The assault on Istanbul’s airport Tuesday is being blamed on extremists inspired or directed by the radical group Islamic State.

“These attacks affect first of all the psychology of the people,” said Basak Emre, co-director of Festival on Wheels, which promotes Turkish films. She noted the drop in number of both international guests and local attendees at the Istanbul Film Festival in April. “The reason is fear and anxiety.”

Those same worries have also caused a dip in local box-office grosses, as Turkish moviegoers become more reluctant to go into movie theaters, especially multiplexes. But “the film industry is still strong,” Emre added, “as the country’s screens and film releases continue to increase.”

“We are receiving solidarity messages from all over the world, from the artists and cultural operators that we collaborate with,” said Gulun Ustun, who heads the Istanbul fest’s Meetings on the Bridge industry side. “As always, we hope music, culture and the arts provide us with healing power.”

On Tuesday night, as the massacre at the Istanbul airport was unfolding, producer Muge Ozen was on the Istanbul set of a Turkish comedy, the as-yet-untitled sequel to  “Give Me a Break!” (“Yok Artik”), a local box-office smash.

“The current events affect the potential co-productions and shootings in Turkey in a very negative way,” Ozen said. “It becomes harder and harder to convince international crews to come and shoot in Turkey, where the economic and political stability, as well as the security conditions are questionable.”

Russell Crowe’s “The Water Diviner” was shot in 2014 in Turkey. So were “Argo,” Skyfall” and “Ghost Rider 2.”

But that was before the recent spate of major terrorist attacks cast the country in a less attractive light.

Turkish artist-auteur Kutlug Ataman, best-known on the international fest circuit for sardonic rural drama “The Lamb,” (“Kuzu”), struck a stoic note.

“The best answer to acts of terror is not to become alarmist and go on with the business of daily life and obviously reflecting on life,” he said. “This is exactly what I am doing.”

“People make films, and sometimes even better films, under more difficult conditions. We will certainly overcome these inconveniences and continue telling our stories.”

Arzu Ozturkmen, a performing arts professor with close ties to the Turkish industry, said that “Turkey has a long history of coping with street terror and terror in general.” She noted that turmoil has not slowed down production of widely exported TV series such as Kanal D’s female empowerment-themed “Fatmagul,” which are fueling Turkey ‘s current boom in the global TV market.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/turkish-film-and-tv-community-reacts-to-airport-terror-attack-1201805698/

The Karlovy Vary fest will honor veteran French action thesp Jean Reno with its President’s Award in the Czech Republic on July 4, the org has announced.

Luc Besson’s “Leon” will be screened in tribute to the actor, whose credits also include “Ronin,” “Mission Impossible” and “The Da Vinci Code.”

Fest will also host the European preem of Michael Shannon starrer “Complete Unknown,” directed by Joshua Marston (“Maria Full of Grace”) and produced by Jay Van Hoy. The trio will all be in attendance at the fest while Van Hoy will serve on the Karlovy Vary main jury.

Pic also toplines Rachel Weisz, Kathy Baker and Danny Glover and was scripted by Marston with Julian Sheppard. Story sees Tom (Shannon) startled to recognize a woman from his past (Weisz) appear at a dinner party he is hosting with his wife. She initially denies knowing him but soon proves to be a major complication in the couple’s life.

Amazon Studios snapped up U.S. rights to the pic at Sundance in January. Amazon topper Ted Hope is also set to attend Karlovy Vary, which unspools on July 1.

Fest also announced its closing film, Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society,” which will wrap the nine-day event, held in West Bohemia, on July 9.

Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/jean-reno-set-to-receive-top-honor-at-karlovy-vary-1201805719/
     Sierra/Affinity has sold out international territories for Molly's Game, less than a month after the project came together with Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain in Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut.Chastain is playing the lead role, based on the memoir by Molly Bloom, who wound up running the most exclusive high-stakes poker game in the world for eight years. Sorkin is also penning the script.Mark Gordon will produce with Amy Pascal. Entertainment One and The Mark Gordon Company are financing. Sales, which launched at the Cannes Film Festival, included eOne for Canada, UK, Australia/New Zealand, Benelux and Spain; Kino Films for Japan; Main Title for South Korea; Rai Cinemas for Italy, Scanbox for Scandinavia; SND Groupe M6 for France and Square One for Germany.STX Entertainment acquired US rights to Molly's Game for $9 million during Cannes.Sierra/Affinity said the sales success reinforces its growth strategy of partnering with eOne to give it continued access to high-profile films as well as expanded production and financing capabilities.Entertainment One acquired a 51% stake in The Mark Gordon Company earlier this year in a deal valued at more than $130 million, then invested in Sierra Pictures two days later.Other movies that it sold out at Cannes included Tully, the reteaming of Charlize Theron with director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody; Anon from writer/director Andrew Niccol and studio K5 Media Group; Above Suspicion from director Phillip Noyce; writer/director Ron Shelton’s Villa Spari from eOne and Endurance Media which will be distributed in the U.S. by Broad Green; and Stan  Ollie, starring Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly, financed by eOne and BBC Films.“As today’s film marketplace continues to evolve, we remain focused on delivering content from the industry’s most talented filmmakers that features acclaimed actors with global appeal,” said Sierra/Affinity CEO Nick Meyer. “Our new partnership with eOne, including its dynamic studio venture with The Mark Gordon Company, allows us to present more high quality films alongside the continually strong slate from our network of independent producers and financiers.”"        Links: http://variety.com/2016/film/festivals/jessica-chastain-idris-elba-drama-mollys-game-international-1201788052/

A talky and mostly turgid attempt by British director David Yates to build on the epic vision he brought to the final four Harry Potter movies via another beloved literary hero, “The Legend of Tarzan” is sequel, origin story and racially sensitive revisionist history lesson all in one. What it isn’t is much fun for anyone who’s seen Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “ape man” in any of his previous incarnations. While name recognition alone should snare a fair number of those who prefer their pulp heroes endowed with superpowers, between this and last year’s “Pan,” evidence suggests Warner Brothers ought to leave the live-action reboots to Disney.

As it turns out, Disney scored a double victory earlier this year with “The Jungle Book,” not only getting out in front of Warners’ Andy Serkis-directed version of the same, but also stealing the thunder from the rival studio’s other jungle child tentpole. Relatively light on action and downright disappointing in the visual effects department, “The Legend of Tarzan” is conspicuously bookended by two registered trademark symbols. The first appears after the title itself, lest anyone dare to use Tarzan® without the Burroughs estate’s permission, while the other is buried deep in the end credits, following the standard American Humane Society sign-off: “No animals were harmed®.” And how could animals be harmed in a film where they all appear to be digital anyway?

For a film of this scale, the visual effects are astonishingly subpar, obliging the creative team to distract us with such impressive topographical sights as the African savannah and Alexander Skarsgård’s abs. The latter selling point doesn’t appear until nearly midway through the movie, until which point Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer’s script is concerned primarily with getting Tarzan back to Africa — a prospect his beloved Jane (a semi-empowered Margot Robbie) far prefers to days spent “hybridizing coconuts and playing ping pong.” While choppy, action-oriented flashbacks retrace the feral child’s formative years in the wild, it seems the one-time vine-swinger has grown up and re-gentrified in rainy old England, where he has traded his loincloth for a dapper pair of pants and assumed his identity as John Clayton III, fifth earl of Greystoke and member of the House of Lords.

Covering his protagonist in scars (a superficial gesture toward realism), Yates has attempted to give us a more psychologically complex Tarzan — which is to say, he serves up a version of the character that shamelessly emulates the “why so serious” tone of Christopher Nolan’s brooding Batman movies. Skarsgård plays Clayton as a pampered rich kid haunted by his parents’ deaths who feels compelled to protect others. The main difference is the fact that everybody knows his secret identity, which makes it rather easy for the film’s villain, Capt. Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz in yet another of his suave sociopath roles, just a few degrees removed from the well-mannered Nazi officer he played in “Inglourious Basterds”), to invent a pretext that will lure Tarzan to the Congo, where Rom plans to deliver him to vengeful tribal chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou) in exchange for the sought-after diamonds of Opar (insert another registered trademark symbol here).

Inadvertently helping to pull off Rom’s plan is another Tarantino regular, Samuel L. Jackson, who may as well be riffing on his score-settling “The Hateful Eight” character here. Jackson plays George Washington Williams, a veteran of the American Civil War (and a real historical figure) who suspects that Belgian king Leopold II may be enslaving — or at least condoning the enslavement of — the natives of his colony in the Congo. Having fought to help end slavery in the United States, Williams has now set out to staunch the practice at its source, enlisting Tarzan (who frankly seems more interested in the fate of the gorilla family who raised him) to restore some sense of balance to the region.

Williams makes an intriguing addition to the formula, as does the decision to peg this particular Tarzan adventure to the Congo, which isn’t necessarily the backdrop Burroughs had in mind, although situating it there does allow the film to make a more impactful commentary on Europe’s controversial relationship with the Dark Continent. To the extent that white men have exploited Africa for more than two centuries, Tarzan comes to represent the extension — a hero who identifies with the natives and stands up to the corrupt white men who refuse to respect their lives, liberty of potential claim to their own natural resources.

The film establishes Rom’s villainy early on via a scene of disturbingly cold-blooded genocide, as the Belgian officer gives the go-ahead for his Force Publique soldiers to machine-gun locals armed only with spears (although like Tarzan, Yates seems more interested in the fate of the gorilla family later in the film). Rom, who is also based on an actual historical figure, was notoriously cruel to African natives — to the extent that his habits may have inspired the character of Col. Kurtz in “Heart of Darkness.” Dressed in white linen and armed with only a deadly rosary made from Madagascar spider silk, Rom gets the fate Hollywood feels he deserves, which includes a homophobic barb from Jane that flies right over the character’s head (“Sounds like you and your priest were really close”).

The role of Tarzan is unique among Western heroes in that he requires virtually no acting ability (as bodybuilder Miles O’Keeffe and Calvin Klein model Travis Fimmel both demonstrated). And yet, with each subsequent screen appearance, the bar is raised on how perfect audiences expect the character’s wildly unnatural physique to be. In that respect, “True Blood” hunk Skarsgård makes a fine choice for the role, looking more than ever like someone’s fantasy PhotoShop rendering of father Stellan’s head grafted onto an impossibly shredded torso — which isn’t so far removed from the process the visual effects team used to meld his face onto an all-CG body during scenes when Tarzan swings through the trees at top speed.

To the extent that modern audiences accept the character as a sort of proto-superhero, Tarzan’s “powers” rank way down there with those of Aquaman: He’s super-strong, agile and can speak to animals, having mastered the mating calls of nearly every African species. Whenever Tarzan shares the screen with animals, however, the critters look appallingly digital — with human actors not even bothering to look in the right direction much of the time (consider the scene when Mbonga’s men are surrounded by gorillas, reacting as if to invisible ghosts). It’s a glaring problem, given all the attention Yates poured into crafting a believable context for what amounts to a glorified B movie. As a brand, Burroughs’ hero has always been schlocky, and no amount of psychological depth or physical perfection can render him otherwise if the filmmakers can’t swing a convincing interaction between Tarzan and his animal allies. That dynamic — along with his full-throated yodel — has always been Tarzan’s trademark, but in this relatively lifeless incarnation, it simply doesn’t register.

Film Review: 'The Legend of Tarzan'

Reviewed at Warner Bros. studio, Burbank, Calif., June 23, 2016. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 110 MIN.

Production

A Warner Bros. Pictures release and presentation, in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, RatPac-Dune Entertainment, of a Jerry Weintraub, Riche/Ludwig, Beaglepug production. Produced by Weintraub, David Barron, Alan Riche, Tony Ludwig. Executive producers, Susan Ekins, Nikolas Korda, Keith Goldberg, Steven Mnuchin, David Yates, Mike Richardson, Bruce Berman. Co-producer, Scott B. Cherrin.

Crew

Directed by David Yates. Screenplay, Adam Cozad, Craig Brewer; story, Brewer, Cozad, based on the "Tarzan" stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Camera (color, widescreen), Henry Braham; editor, Mark Day; editor, Mark Day; music, Rupert Gregson-Williams; production desinger, Stuart Craig; art directors, David Allday, Christian Huband, Huw Arthur, Guy Bradley, Toby Britton, Gavin Finch, Kate Grimble; costume designer, Ruth Myers; sound (), Simon Hayes; sound designers, Glenn Freemantle, Ben Baker, Niv Adiri, Eilam Hoffman, Tom Sayers; supervising sound editor, Freemantle; re-recording mixers, Adiri, Ian Tapp; special effects supervisor, David Watkins; visual effects supervisors, Tim Burke, Frank Petzold;visual effects, Framestore, MPC, Rising Sun Picutres, Rodeo FX, Method Studios, Lola Visual Effects; stunt coordinator, Buster Reeves; second unit director, Stephen Woolfenden; second unit camera, assistant director, Nikolas Korda; casting, Lucy Bevan.

With

Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie, Djimon Hounsou, Rory J. Saper, Christian Stevens.
Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/the-legend-of-tarzan-review-1201805692/

“The Purge: Election Year” is a scurrilously effective pop rabble-rouser — a movie that’s been built to get you riled, and does. It’s a squalid B-movie political horror film that plays to our most reptile-brained basic instincts, and also to our cartoon-noble ideals, and by the end you can’t separate the two; that’s the way canny shameless pop works. In the opening scene, the members of a family are sitting on a couch, bound and gagged and blood-spattered, while a masked killer entertains them with tunes from his “Purge playlist” (he makes an obscenely jaunty segue from “20th Century Boy” by T. Rex to George Clinton’s “We Want the Funk”). A guy like this, in another film, would have been a violent head case, but in the “Purge” movies, where even the most horrifyingly twisted murder is legal for one night a year, he’s just a dude getting his demented ya-ya’s out. He’s the sicko killer inside us all. A bit later, the movie takes us to another Purge Night eighteen years after the first one, when a crew of innocents are holed up in a bodega. The natural born killers they’re facing are tarty teenage girls brandishing jewel-studded automatic weapons (and power saws!) who look as if they’d just stepped out of the slasher movie of Quentin Tarantino’s dreams. Watching “The Purge: Election Year,” it’s easy to see why the rah-rah blahness of “Independence Day: Resurgence” didn’t connect with audiences. In 2016, this is what tasty patriotic popcorn looks like.

“The Purge,” in 2013, was a glorified stalker-in-the-house movie. A year later, “The Purge: Anarchy” improved on it by keeping most of the action to the streets, and by introducing the lean-and-mean actor Frank Grillo as Leo, a haunted good guy who can be as ruthless as a purger. You’d think the concept would now be wearing thin, but “Election Year,” which feels like the final chapter in a trilogy (though after the box office grosses are in, that could change), is the best “Purge” film yet. The action is excitingly sustained in a way that it wasn’t in the previous two, and the political dimension, while crude as hell, exerts a brute-force entertainment value.

The movie revolves around an idealistic savior of a presidential candidate, Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), who has pledged to bring an end to Purge Night. (She was the girl who survived that opening scene.) A majority of citizens appear to be leaning her way, so the U.S. government, born again as the NFFA (the New Founding Fathers of America), decides that there’s only one way to stop her: by abducting and killing her on Purge Night. James DeMonaco, who has written and directed all three films, still walks a slightly awkward line between exploitation and intelligence, and he should really stop shooting every scene in wavery hand-held close-up, but in “Election Year,” he embraces the pulp guts of his material.

The “Purge” films may be the rare example of high-concept movies in which the concept is actually more provocative than the execution. Not that the concept is all that original; it’s been banged together from bits and pieces of the movie past. A future in which gangs of youthful hooligans run wild is, of course, straight out of “A Clockwork Orange.” The notion of ritualized slaughter as a legal and celebrated spectacle, all presided over by a theocracy of decadent elites, is right out of “The Hunger Games.” The stray glimpses of baroque terror we see on Purge Night — in “Election Year,” they include death by guillotine and victims strapped onto car hoods like deer — evoke the random marauder madness of “The Road Warrior.” And the plot of each film, with a crew of survivors doing all they can to get out of the way of people who’ve become killing machines, makes the “Purge” movies a lot like zombie films. If you squint a bit, you can make out the ghost of “Lord of the Flies,” that 1954 schoolroom classic that introduced so many us to the concept of The Beast Within.

What’s unique in the “Purge” films is how much the anarchy and murderous evil are sanctioned. They’re what an overly controlled society should hate, yet in the “Purge” films homicidal craziness has become a cornerstone of civic duty. How messed up — and relevant — is that? Keeping the masses down by encouraging them to vent everything that they are. It’s like a violent version of Internet culture. To all that, the “Purge” films add a drop-dead layer of political satire, and in “Election Year” that layer is pushed front and center. The NFFA sells Purge Night as an escape valve that gives rise to an otherwise peaceful, tranquilized society. Really, though, it’s a conspiracy and a fraud: a way of killing off poor people so that the rich won’t have to support them. Not, perhaps, since “Soylent Green” has a future-shock parable been so memorably obvious in its metaphor. Kyle Secor, as the NFFA ringleader who presides over the annual Purge Mass (a church service in which the members of the power elite pray to the gods of murder to keep them rich), seethes and exhorts like a Richard Nixon mask come to life. The skewed intensity of his performance — so many people to keep down! so much money to protect! — cues you to see that, yes, this really is a movie about what’s happening today.

Elizabeth Mitchell isn’t a bad actress, and she bears a fetching resemblance to Judy Collins, but she’s miscast. Even in the pop future, she doesn’t seem remotely presidential, which may be why she’s asked to wear a pair of horn-rims that make her look like a porn star impersonating a college professor. But she forms a convincing bond with Grillo’s Leo, who is now her police bodyguard, and their deadpan flirtation helps to carry the movie. Mykelti Williamson, as the deli owner who has just lost his purge insurance and is full of wrath about it, is the film’s perpetual scene-stealer, and the anchor of its comic-book racial politics. When our heroes are huddled in a triage van, he brings down the house with a retro-badass line like, “There’s a whole bunch of Negroes comin’ right this way, and we’re sittin’ here like a bucket of mother—-in’ chicken!” In “The Purge: Election Year,” it’s kill or be eaten.

The violence in “The Purge: Election Year” usually promises to be worse than it is, which is one reason why this is a mainstream movie. “A Clockwork Orange” shocked people because of how it got us to identify with Alex, but there’s never a moment in “Election Year” when a character we know and like turns into a purger, killing for the nasty pleasurable kick of it. The movie never takes that risk, and so it never reaps the reward of dramatic complexity. The one thing in “Election Year” that carries a tinge of honest shock value is the portrayal of a political ruling class that elevates its self-interest into a religion of destruction that pretends to benefit everyone else. You may watch these scenes with a shock of recognition, and with a feeling that it’s time that side of American political life was purged.

Film Review: 'The Purge: Election Year'

Reviewed at AMC Lincoln Square, New York, June 28, 2016. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 103 MIN.

Production

A Universal Pictures release of a Platinum Dunes, Blumhouse Production production. Produced by Jason Blum, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, Brad Fuller, Sabastien Lemercier. Executive producer, Luc Etienne. Co-producers, Jeanette Brill, Phillip Dawe.

Crew

Directed, written by James DeMonaco; camera, Jacques Jouffret (color, widescreen); editor, Todd E. Miller; production designer, Sharon Lomofsky; costume designer, Elisabeth Vastola; music, Nathan Whitehead; casting, Terri Taylor.

With

Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, Mykelti Williamson, David Aaron Baker, Kyle Secor, Ethan Phillips, Raymond J. Barry, Kimberly Howe.
Source: http://variety.com/2016/film/reviews/the-purge-election-year-review-frank-grillo-1201805317/
1 2 3 ... 23 24 25  Sledeći»