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  • Film Review: PARIS (NY Times)

    September 18, 2009 A Sick Man Embracing a City’s Life, Just as His Own Is Threatened By STEPHEN HOLDEN In “Paris,” Cédric Klapisch’s sumptuous Gallic comedy, the camera, whether surveying the landmarks from on high or peering out of an apartment window at the passing parade, becomes a surrogate for a first-time visitor to the City of Light. Both a Parisian answer to Woody Allen’s “Manhattan” and a multicharacter mosaic in the mode of Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts,” the movie sprawls invitingly across the screen like a glowing Impressionist painting. Instead of George Gershwin, Erik Satie supplies the signature music. But “Paris” is much lighter fare than either “Manhattan” or “Short Cuts.” The film glosses the psyches of its likable characters. Even when tragedy strikes,

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  • Weekend Report: Tyler Perry ‘Can Do’ Good at the Box Office

    Weekend estimate Tyler Perry’s Madea swung her weight at the box office again, handily topping a modest weekend at the box office with her latest appearance in Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself. The weekend also saw a passable start for the animated 9 and the failures of two thrillers, Sorority Row and Whiteout. Overall business was off seven percent from the same weekend last year, when Burn After Reading and Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys opened. I Can Do Bad All By Myself yanked an estimated $24 million out of approximately 3,200 screens at 2,255 sites. It was the third highest-grossing debut for a Tyler Perry movie, though slightly above average in terms of attendance, and a new high for

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  • Weekend Report: ‘Final Destination’ Clings to Labor Day Lead

    Weekend estimate With the usual smattering of modest Labor Day releases, Summer 2009 came to a quiet close. While overall business was up 40 percent from the corresponding (non-holiday) weekend last year, it was the least-attended Labor Day weekend in over a decade. Falling 55 percent but still leading the weekend, The Final Destination pulled in an estimated $12.4 million, lifting its total to $47.6 million in ten days. The horror sequel had a steeper drop than its predecessors as well as My Bloody Valentine 3-D from earlier this year. Nonetheless, it surpassed the final gross of Final Destination 2 and will soon top the other Final Destination movies, though it has a ways to go in terms of attendance. More HERE

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  • Weekend Report: ‘Final Destination’ Rips Into Top Spot

    LINK In a rare instance of two movies of the same genre going head-to-head, the latest entries in the popular Final Destination and Halloween horror franchises collided and neither was particularly scathed by the clash, if their opening grosses were any indication. Overall, the weekend was the highest-grossing ever seen for the end of August and was up a whopping 32 percent from the same weekend last year, due mainly to the more potent new releases and recent holdovers. The Final Destination impaled an estimated $28.3 million on approximately 4,300 screens at 3,121 sites, scoring the biggest start of the franchise. The previous best was the last movie, Final Destination 3, at $19.2 million three and a half years ago. Included in the fourth movie’s

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  • Weekend Report: ‘G.I. Joe’ Doesn’t Roll Snake Eyes

    LINK The summer’s last would-be event picture, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, wielded its kung fu grip on the box office over the weekend, though it wasn’t quite a real blockbuster hero. With a big movie opening, the weekend as a whole was up 22 percent over the same timeframe last year, when The Dark Knight led for the fourth weekend in a row and Pineapple Express debuted in second. Compared to previous years, though, weekend attendance was middling. G.I. Joe enlisted an estimated $56.2 million on approximately 5,900 screens at 4,007 sites, ranking as the fourth highest-grossing August opening ever, but a far cry from its Hasbro toyline stable mate, Transformers. Joe’s estimated attendance was nearly identical to XXX, another action spectacle that

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  • Is it love? Three Times by Hsiao-hsien Hou…

    Hsiao-hsien Hou’s unevenly paced film Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang) traces three stories through time. The first one called A Time for Love is set in 1966 and revolves around Chen (Chang Chen), a young man who is about to join the army. He frequents a pool hall, meets a young hostess there, and sends her a letter of declaration. By then the girl has moved on and been replaced by May. played by an ethereal Shu Qi. May finds the letter, is intrigued by it, then meets the young man when he is on furlough. Then he writes her similar letters and even gets responses. When he comes back, May is gone and the we follow along as Chen hunts for her,

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  • Blade Runner named greatest sci-fi film of all time

    LINK The 1982 sci-fi film, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Harrison Ford flopped when released but has since become a cult classic. But a poll conducted by Totalscifionline.com found it was the most preferred by movie lovers despite the film’s initial box office failure.

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  • ‘Funny People’ Sputters, but Takes Weekend

    LOS ANGELES — “Funny People” sputtered at the weekend box office, weakening Judd Apatow’s batting average as a director and continuing a slump at Universal Pictures. The movie, a two-and-a-half-hour look at stand-up comedians, one of whom is dying (Adam Sandler), sold an estimated $23.4 million in tickets at North American theaters over the weekend, according to box office tracking services. The total, though enough for No. 1, would be soft even if less were riding on it. The studio, part of NBC Universal, has stumbled badly this summer, with its expensive “Land of the Lost” virtually ignored by audiences and “Brüno” and “Drag Me to Hell” not meeting expectations. Universal was counting on “Funny People” to reverse its box office fortunes, or at least

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