This Friday morning I reviewed the latest movie releases with radio star Luis Jimenez from X.96.3FM NYC, Univision Radio, about Clint Eastwood’s new movie JERSEY BOYS, based on the Broadway musical, the comedy THINK LIKE A MAN TOO and the THIRD PERSON starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis and more. Also, JACK POBRE made an appearance today as well! We have both audios below. Listen now! Read More
Liam Neeson is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and a terrific actor, so I was thrilled to get a chance to get to meet the legend. His next movie the action, crime, drama ‘Taken 2’ comes out on October 5th and surely his fan base as well as those that enjoyed ‘Taken’ are excited to see what the sequel has to offer. This second part directed by Olivier Megaton takes place in Istanbul, where retired CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) who raised hell in Paris to save his daughter, finds himself finishing off an assignment. His daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and ex wife Lenore (Famke Janssen) go to join him for a getaway, but little do they know that they will fall prey to the revenge that Murad (Rade Serbedzija) has planned for killing most of the Albanian mob his son belonged to.Read More
Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra’s new movie “Unknown,” an action thriller starring Liam Neeson conquered the box office this weekend. The film with Diane Kruger and January Jones, debuted in first place with $21.8 million.
In the film, Neeson plays a doctor on a trip to Berlin who wakes up from a taxi crash to discover that another man is living his life and his wife (January Jones) doesn’t recognize him. The police think he’s crazy and assassins are on his tail. His only ally in unraveling the mystery is a taxi driver (Diane Kruger).
In the movie, Neeson believes he is fighting for his identity, an issue that has become very real with the advent of computers. The actor said he fears the computer after having his information stolen in the past.
In a close third is the animated feature “Gnomeo & Juliet” with a $19.4 million haul for three days.
Meanwhile, the Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy “Just Go With It,” comes in fourth place. The film made $18.2 million in its second week in release, raising its domestic sum to $60.8 million.
‘Chloe,’ Atom Egoyan’s new directorial work, is the lesbian version of Fatal Attraction. You can expect a high level of nudity and explicit, erotic sexual lesbian scenes that almost make it feel like soft core porn. The look of the film is different though and resembles more Stanley Kubrick’s artistic ‘Eyes Wide Shut.’ The pacing, cinematography and camerawork, even its musical score, ignites thoughts of the film. The acting is strong and the story, for 85% of its duration, is utterly enthralling… until it collapses at the very end in an hyperbolic mess.
A gynecologist (Julianne Moore) hires an escort (Amanda Seyfried) to seduce her husband (Liam Neeson), whom she suspects of cheating. The results will back fire on her and reveal a side of herself she didn’t know existed.
For most of the film, this erotic thriller carries a slow enjoyable pace. It never reaches the depths of boredom. Each scene is crafted carefully to develop the characters and the meat of the story. The situations they are all in are plausible, but with an edge to them. Then out of nowhere, 20 minutes before its denouement, it becomes risible and loses all cogency and believability. I don’t even want to try and figure out why that happened, but this movie could have been great.
Despite that one deficiency, the whole of the film should not be dismissed. The engrossing, sometimes transfixing artistic sensuality of the sequences will keep you glued to your seat. The premise evokes real questions that ultimately many marriages suffer from, such as – can one ever really be only with one person for their whole life?
‘Chloe’ has an answer for that and it’s not necessarily the one you want to hear. The movie is a bit twisted, but it is very entertaining, you can’t wait to see what happens next and am sure most of you will feel the same too.
Natasha Richardson, a Tony Award-winning actress whose career melded glamorous celebrity with the bloodline of theater royalty, died Wednesday in a Manhattan hospital, where she had been flown suffering from head injuries after a skiing accident on Monday north of Montreal. She was 45 and lived in Manhattan and Millbrook, N.Y.
“Liam Neeson, his sons, and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” said a statement from the family. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”
Ms. Richardson’s condition had prompted an outpouring of public interest and concern and flurries of rumor and speculation in the news media since Monday, when reports of her accident began filtering out of the Mont Tremblant ski resort in the Laurentian Hills.
Ms. Richardson, who was not wearing a helmet, had fallen during a beginner’s skiing lesson, a resort spokeswoman, Lyne Lortie, said on Monday. “It was a normal fall; she didn’t hit anyone or anything,” Ms. Lortie said. “She didn’t show any signs of injury. She was talking and she seemed all right.”
Ms. Richardson was an intense and absorbing actress who was unafraid of taking on demanding and emotionally raw roles. Classically trained, she was admired on both sides of the Atlantic for upholding the traditions of one of the great acting families of the modern age.
Her grandfather was Sir Michael Redgrave, one of England’s finest tragedians. He passed his gifts, if not always his affection, to his daughters, Vanessa and Lynn Redgrave, and to his son, Corin Redgrave. The night Vanessa was born, her father was playing Laertes to Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet.
Ms. Richardson was the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and the film director Tony Richardson, known for “Tom Jones” and “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner.” Married in the early 1960s, they were divorced in 1967. He died of AIDS in 1991 at the age of 63.
Ms. Richardson came to critical prominence in England in 1985 as Nina, Chekhov’s naïve and vulnerable ingénue in “The Seagull,” a role her mother had played to great acclaim in 1964. It was a road production, and when it reached London, Vanessa Redgrave joined the cast as the narcissistic actress Arkadina. The production became legendary, but working with her mother intimidated her.
“She rehearsed like a tornado,” Ms. Richardson recalled in a 1993 interview with The New York Times Magazine. “It was completely crazy. She rolled on the floor in some scenes. I was terrified of being on stage with her.”
But almost no one doubts that Ms. Redgrave inspired her daughter as well. Like her mother, Ms. Richardson was known for disappearing into a role, for not capitalizing on her looks and for being drawn to characters under duress.
In the performance that made her a star in the United States, she played the title role on Broadway in a 1993 revival of “Anna Christie,” Eugene O’Neill’s grueling portrait of a waterfront slattern in confrontation with the abusive men in her life. Embracing the emotional wreckage that showed in her character’s face, she modeled her makeup each night on Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream.”
Her performance, nominated for a Tony Award, was vibrantly sensual, and her scenes with her co-star, Mr. Neeson, were acclaimed as sizzling and electric. The chemistry between them extended offstage as well; shortly after the run, Ms. Richardson separated from her husband, the producer Robert Fox. She and Mr. Neeson married in 1994.
Besides her husband, Ms. Richardson is survived by their two sons, Micheal Richard Antonio, 13, and Daniel Jack, 12, as well as her mother, her sister and a half-sister, Katherine Grimond.
Ms. Richardson’s Tony Award came in 1998, for best actress in a musical, for her performance as Sally Bowles, the gifted but desperately needy singer in decadent Weimar Berlin who is at the center of “Cabaret.”
It was a remarkable award: Ms. Richardson’s strengths did not include singing. But her reinvention of the role that was famously created by Liza Minnelli proved that a performer could act a song as well as sing it and make it equally affecting.
“Ms. Richardson, you see, isn’t selling the song; she’s selling the character,” Ben Brantley, writing in The Times, said of her delivery of the title song. “And as she forges ahead with the number, in a defiant, metallic voice, you can hear the promise of the lyrics tarnishing in Sally’s mouth. She’s willing herself to believe in them, and all too clearly losing the battle.”
Natasha Jane Richardson was born in London on May 11, 1963. She made her first film appearance at the age of 4, playing a bridesmaid at the wedding of her mother’s character in “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” directed by her father. She attended the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and got her first job in an outdoor production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
She eventually moved to the United States, where “no one cares about the Redgrave baggage,” as she once said. She gave her greatest performances there.
In the movies she played the title character in Paul Schrader’s film “Patty Hearst” (1988), about the heiress and kidnap victim. She worked with Mr. Schrader again on “The Comfort of Strangers” (1990), a creepy psychological drama with a screenplay by Harold Pinter from a novel by Ian McEwan.
The same year, she also starred in “The Handmaid’s Tale,” an adaptation of the dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood about subjugated women in a pseudo-Christian theocracy. In a 1993 television adaptation of Tennessee Williams’s one-act play “Suddenly, Last Summer,” she was Catherine Holly, a young woman (played by Elizabeth Taylor in the original movie) driven to the brink of insanity by the gruesome death of her young cousin. And she played the title role in the 1993 television movie “Zelda,” based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald,F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ferociously competitive and emotionally delicate wife.
Ms. Richardson’s more recent work has included more conventional Hollywood fare, including a remake of “The Parent Trap” (1998), the comedy “Maid in Manhattan” (2002) and the teen melodrama “Wild Child” (2008).
On stage, she appeared on Broadway in “Closer,” Patrick Marber’s play about infidelity and the Internet, and as Blanche DuBois in a revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” Though the production did not draw much praise, Ms. Richardson’s performance did, as perhaps her grandfather had envisioned.
In 1985, a week before he died, Sir Michael, enfeebled by Parkinson’s disease, went to see Ms. Richardson as Ophelia in a production of “Hamlet.” Turning to his daughter Vanessa, Ms. Richardson’s mother, he uttered a brief review. “She’s a true actress,” he said.
Fox’s Liam Neeson starrer “Taken” took in an impressive $24.6 million in estimated opening grosses to top domestic rankings over a weekend weakened less than expected by preoccupation with the Super Bowl.
Paramount’s PG-13 thriller “The Uninvited” scared up $10.5 million for a third-place bow, while Lionsgate’s romantic comedy “New in Town,” starring Renee Zellweger and Harry Connick Jr., debuted in eighth with $6.8 million.
The frame’s $129 million in industry coin represented a 1% improvement over last year’s record Super Bowl frame, according to Nielsen.
Essentially, distributors enjoyed big enough boxoffice receipts on Friday and Saturday to compensate for a football-slackened Sunday.
Year-to-date, 2009 is off 10% from a year ago at $824.6 million. But that’s mostly because of seasonal calendar fluctuations.
Meanwhile, two of Oscar’s best-picture nominees staged respectable first-time expansions into wide release during the weekend, despite competition from the pigskin-championship telecast.
The Weinstein Co.’s Nazi-themed drama “The Reader” registered $2.4 million from 1,002 engagements to push its cumulative boxoffice to $12.6 million. Additionally, Focus Features’ Harvey Milk biopic “Milk” grossed $1.4 million from 882 playdates, as the Sean Penn starrer raised its cume to $23.4 million.
Also, Miramax’s drama “Doubt” — whose five Oscar noms include four cast mentions — added 198 locations for a barely wide 602 runs and grossed $801,000. That gave the Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman starrer a $27.9 million tally to date.
A fifth-place weekend haul of $8.6 million by Clint Eastwood’s “Gran Torino” gave the actor-director and his Oscar-snubbed urban drama a career-record cume of $110.5 million. Distributed by Warner Bros., “Torino” cruised past Eastwood’s previous personal best of $102.2 million for 1993’s “In the Line of Fire.”
“He’s an extraordinary director and star whose films hold up over time,” Warners exec vp distribution Jeff Goldstein said.
Fox Searchlight’s Indian drama “Slumdog Millionaire” rang up $7.7 million in sixth place, elevating its cume to $67.2 million over a weekend in which helmer Danny Boyle captured the DGA’s feature-film award.
Sony Screen Gems’ three-quel “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans” topped second-session holdovers with $7.2 million in seventh place. The modestly budgeted action fantasy marked a big weekend-over-weekend drop of 65% but still posted a 10-day cume of $32.8 million.
Sony’s irrepressible Kevin James starrer “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” overperformed yet again, grabbing second place on the frame with its $14 million session. The “Blart” cume climbed to $83.4 million over three weeks, with a domestic run of well over $100 million now certain for the Steve Carr-helmed comedy.
“If Paul Blart was in the Super Bowl, he would get called for holding,” Sony spokesman Steve Elzer quipped.
In a limited bow during the weekend, IFC Films unspooled the romantic drama “Medicine for Melancholy” in a single New York location and grossed $14,721.
Sony Pictures Classics brought its French drama “The Class” to six theaters — the first playdates for the Oscar foreign-language nominee since Academy-qualifying runs in December — and grossed $86,514, or an auspicious $14,419 per theater, with a cume of $121,410.
SPC’s other foreign-language candidate — the Israeli animated documentary “Waltz With Bashir” from Israel — added 19 engagements for a total of 44 and grossed $185,687, or a solid $4,220 per site, as the cume reached $1 million.
Searchlight’s Mickey Rourke starrer “The Wrestler” added 151 theaters for a total of 722 and grossed $2.4 million, pushing its cume to $13.9 million.
Helmed by Pierre Morel (“District B13”), “Taken” audiences skewed 52% male, with 60% of patrons 25 or older.
“It was an all-audience film,” Fox senior vp distribution Bert Livingston said. “It’s beyond our expectations.”
“Uninvited” audiences were evenly divided between males and females, with two-thirds of patrons under 25.
“The opening was right where we were expecting,” Par exec vp distribution Don Harris said.
The critically panned “Town” drew audiences that were 65% female, with 56% of patrons 30 or older.
“It opened right in line with our expectations,” Lionsgate distribution president Steve Rothenberg said.
Looking ahead, there will be four wide openers on Friday, all boasting notable casts.
Focus unspools the stop-motion feature “Coraline,” featuring the voice of Dakota Fanning, and Steve Martin reprises his title role in Sony’s comedy “The Pink Panther 2.” Summit also has Fanning toplining its actioner “Push” with Chris Evans, while Warners’ romantic comedy “He’s Just Not That Into You” features an ensemble cast including Jennifer Aniston and Scarlett Johansson.