While almost every other person in America talks about WikiLeaks on a daily basis, /Film has mostly remained out of the conversation. However, it seems even the film industry isn’t immune from Julian Assange’s controversial website. David pointed out one such article about how American TV and movies shown in Saudi Arabia are apparently helping to prevent jihad and we saw that Batman isn’t a fan.
A few new pieces of film related news have now been revealed too. First is a document that makes it seem like Cuba banned Michael Moore‘s film Sicko and another reveals that Steven Spielberg and all of his films were the target of an Arab boycott. Hit the jump to read about each WikiLeak. Read More »
Twenty-three days into the month of January, Michael Moore is getting proactive about his New Year’s resolution: he wants one screen in every multiplex in America reserved for foreign films and documentaries. So, how’s your newly implemented exercise regime going so far, everybody? Here’s Moore…
“People want to see documentaries, but there’s a disconnect between that desire and the exhibitors out there,” Moore tells the Hollywood Reporter. “We’re not asking for charity. …This could be on the 15th screen of a multiplex that would otherwise have the sixth showing of the new Harry Potter movie. Some of these films make $200 or $300 per screen.”
If you’re saying to yourself, “Well Michael, I’d like to see that too, and I’d also like to see my college loans turn into Ferraris,” you should know that Moore says he’s spoken to board members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as unnamed documentary directors, industry publicists and marketers in hopes of setting his resolution in motion. His next step is to sit down with the heads of theater chains to get down to what a QT character might call brass tax. No word on whether he’ll sit down with a video camera on his shoulder, but I’d say one of his trusty hats is a lock for a cameo.
And hey, if the theater chains’ top suits won’t give him one screen per cineplex, he says Mondays, which draw reliably weak box office, are ideal common ground. Who else sees Mark Cuban getting involved in this shortly, because I’m getting visions like The Dead Zone? Moore’s ultimate goal is to see foreign films and documentaries unleashed from the “art house ghetto” and into the glorious pits of suburbia, where Diablo Cody once wrote the script to Juno inside a Starbucks nestled inside a Target (or so she says, I’ll go ahead and save you the comment, thanks).
Now, I think Moore’s mission is commendable. My mom needs something to do on Monday nights besides calling me up to fuss over election coverage and personally I don’t give a damn what Hollywood Elsewhere spews, Americans are more open to indie films and foreign films than ever. Unfortunately (but semi-fortunately), the torrent boom plays a huge part in this, but I’ll save that aspect for another post that is a longtime coming. But, yes, the distribution is out-of-whack, too. If Sicko, Moore’s doc about the health-care crisis in America, can gross $25 million, his ideas on documentary and indie distribbing deserve to be heard and pondered. Imagine Tony Kaye’s Lake of Fire playing five miles away from you next Monday.
There is nothing like walking out of a movie into the night and hitting an aloof stride on the parking lot with a wedgie in your ideologies. To adjust or not to adjust. That is the question we need more of.
I was able to screen Michael Moore’s Sicko at a special screening before the film premiered this Summer, and loved it. I’m sure it will be on my top 10 of the year. But time is hard to come by now-a-days. I’ve had a DVD copy of Michael Moore’s Sicko on my DVD shelf for a while now, but have been unable to find the time to crack it open.
Today I stumbled upon a deleted scene from the film over on LiveLeak, which features the most healthiest country in the world. Moore was was heavily criticized for his praise of the healthcare systems in Canada, France and Britain, and this clip was left out of the original movie because it was said to be so “unbelievable” that “people wouldn’t believe it” because it was too good to be true. And they are right, this is pretty unbelievable. Check out the clip after the jump. Enjoy!
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The Weinstein Co are re-releasing Michael Moore’s Sicko this weekend, giving American audiences one more chance to catch this important documentary on the big screen. I can’t recommend this film enough, it’s one of the best of the year.
And I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Moore will also be making a second appearance on Oprah today to follow up on his appearance from months ago. Following Moore’s first Sicko appearance, Oprah received thousands of letters from viewers who wanted to share their own health care horror stories. She invited a number of them to come on today’s show, which will feature not only Mike but the head of the health insurance lobby in D.C.
Sicko is the third highest grossing documentary of all time.
contributing sources: CinemaBlend, MichaelMoore.com, BoxOfficeMojo.com
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Congratulations to Michael Moore, whose movie Sicko has just become the third biggest documentary of all time, surpassing Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. Check out the press release after the jump.
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Rotten Tomatoes have published their Mid-Year Report, which features a list of the best and worst reviewed movies of the first six months of 2007. You can see the top ten of each below.
Best Reviewed Movies
2. “Away From Her”
4. “Knocked Up”
5. “Hot Fuzz”
7. “The Host”
10. “The Lookout”
Worst Reviewed Movies
1. “Because I Said So”
2. “The Number 23”
4. “The Reaping”
6. “Perfect Stranger”
7. “Happily N’Ever After”
8. “Are We Done Yet? ”
9. “Code Name: The Cleaner”
10. “Hannibal Rising”
Not many surprises to be found. Ratatouille has wrestled the best reviewed wide release of 2007 title away from Knocked Up, which is still holding strong at #4.One unusual observation is that the best movies list features a lot of comedy/romantic comedy films (Ratatouille, Once, Knocked Up, Hot Fuzz, Waitress). In the past usually dramatic indie flicks have dominated the list. I’m also glad to see Zodiac as I’ve fielded negative comments about the film from most people I have spoken with. David Fincher’s film is one of my favorites of the year thus far.
Because I Said So and The Number 23 are the film’s I’ve least enjoyed this year so far. So I feel a little vindicated seeing them rank at the top of the worst reviewed films list. I am actually surprised to see Hannibal Rising make the worst list at #10. I didn’t enjoy the film, but at the same time, I didn’t hate it either. I wonder if there is a huge backlash on the film purely based on it’s comparison against Silence of the Lambs?
I’m not sure if you caught this yesterday, but it has become one of the hot topics of conversation today. Michael Moore appeared on CNN to promote Sicko, and was sideswiped with a piece which attempted to disprove some of the facts in the film. Moore was live on the show and hucked everything and the kitchen sink at host Wolf Blitzer. Moore called the report “biased” and “crap.” Moore promised to dissect all of CNN’s false claims in a report on his website which can be read at this link. The controversial documentary filmmaker then attacked Blitzer and CNN for spinning the BIG lie:
“Tell the truth to the American people…just once…you guys have such a poor track record, and for me to come on here and listen to that kind of crap….you fudged the facts about this issue and the war in Iraq…why did it take you so long, Wolf, to take on Vice President Cheney? I’m just wondering when you’re going to apologize to the American people and the troops….I just wonder when the American people are going to turn off their TV sets and stop listening to this stuff.”
This is a must watch video clip. Check it out after the jump.
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As predicted, Transformers kicked more ass at the box office this weekend, with a Sunday morning estimate of $67.6 million. This brings the giant robot film to a grand total of $152.5 million in just 6.1 days of release (the film opening on Monday night at 8:00pm). WOW. Our friend Steve Mason at Fantasy Moguls has a good round-up of what Michael Bay’s Transformers has accomplished thus far:
- All-time biggest Tuesday ($27.85M)
- All-time best opening 6 days of release for a non-sequel [Monday thru Sunday] ($152.5M)
- 2nd-best opening 4 days of release for a non-sequel [Tuesday thru Friday] ($98.6M)
- 2nd-best opening 5 days of release for a non-sequel [Tuesday thru Saturday] ($124.5M)
- 2nd-best opening 6 days of release for a non-sequel [Tuesday thru Sunday] ($143.7M)
- 3rd-best Wednesday ($29.07M)
- 4th-best opening 3 days of release for a non-sequel [Tuesday thru Thursday] ($76.1M)
- 5th-best Thursday ($19.17M)
- 6th-best opening 6 days of release [Tuesday thru Sunday] ($143.7M)
- 6th-best opening 7 days of release [Monday thru Sunday] ($152.5M)
- 9th-best opening 5 days of release [Tuesday thru Saturday] ($124.5M)
- 12th-best opening 4 days of release [Tuesday thru Friday] ($98.6M)
- 16th-best opening 3 days of release [Tuesday thru Thursday] ($76.1M)
Michael Bay should be proud. Also, Ratatouille earned over $29 million this weekend, brining the computer animated feature’s grand total to $109.5 million. Not bad, but also not great for a Pixar movie. I’m thinking that most of the people over at Disney must be relieved, because they expected less. Live Free or Die Hard brought in $17.4 million for a $84 million cume. Also of note: Michael Moore’s Sicko made $3.6 million, brining the film’s total to $11.5 million. It will be interesting to see how far this film can go as it continues to expand.
In my review for Michael Moore’s latest film Sicko, I referenced a segment from Moore’s short lived television show The Awful Truth. The segment featured a father who was being denied an operation by his HMO which could/would save his life. Moore confronted the HMO company Humana with the case, and when they didn’t respond, they held a public funeral for Chris in front of the HMO’s offices. I won’t ruin the end result, but I will say it’s a must watch, one of the best things Moore has ever done. This segment was the origin of the Sicko documentary. One of the /Film readers sent me a link to this segment on YouTube. Check it out after the jump.
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Â In a summer full of big blockbuster movies, adaptations, sequels and threequels, you would think that Hollywood would have made some record scratch. Not so! According to the AP, attendance is running behind last summer’s and has even fallen below that of the summer of 2005. According to Media By Numbers, 279 million tickets had been sold thus far compared with 315 million at this same point in 2002.Â But this is not what was supposed to happen. Industry analysts predicted the first $4 billion summer in history,Â but we’re at the midway point and it’s not looking probable. As of this past weekend, Hollywood has made $1.9 billion since the first weekend in May. And $945 million of that number comes from just three movies (Pirates 3, Spider-Man 3, and Shrek the Third).
And there are a few biggies waiting in the bull pen: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Bourne Ultimatum, Rush Hour 3, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, The Simpsons Movie and Hairspray. But as you might notice, most of them are medium sized majors, not on the same level with a Spider-Man 3. Potter is likely to make $300 million domestically, but the rest probably won’t come close.
May-be the problem is that none of the huge releases really connected with the audiences. Most of the films resulted with bad reviews and bad word of mouth. And the good flicks (Ratatouille, Once, Sicko) got buried in the mix.