The 1968 revisionist Spaghetti Western, The Great Silence, directed and co-written by Sergio Corbucci is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a brand new Blu-ray release of sourced from a recent 2K restoration from U.S. label Film Movement.
So, 2012 is long over and as a whole it wasn’t the strongest year for movies in memory (though certainly better than 2011 was). With the 85th Oscars coming up this Sunday, we thought we’d share with you our favorite movies of the year. What follows is a list of 12 movies from last year that Scott Fraser, Chris Tansuche, and I came up with after much debate and slap fighting. These are the films we feel most deserve your viewing time. Now these aren’t the ones we expect to dominate the awards season, but rather the stuff we found to be most enjoyable. As well made as Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln were, repeat viewings in the near future aren’t likely. This is a list of the films that we deem are worth consideration of your hard-earned DVD/BluRay purchasing dollar…
It’s been awhile since I’ve ventured back into the prediction business and after today’s Oscar nominations, I’m pretty fired up now and ready to view some good movies and see the impact it’ll have on the marketplace. That’s right people, the Dartboard Box Office Predictions are back and I’m ready to be embarrassed yet again with some misguided picks.
There are three major releases this weekend, with one of them being a wide expansion. First, we have Gangster Squad, the Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, and Sean Penn led period flick, then we have A Haunted House from Marlon Wayans, trying to recapture the glory days of Scary Movie, and then Zero Dark Thirty goes wide finally to take advantage of the Oscar nominations announcement. In regards to Gangster Squad, I’ve been trying to think of a good comparison for the movie. It’s not quite a complete A-list filled movie, just actors that are either on the cusp of movie star or rising stars ready to break out. The closest thing might be Looper in my mind with rising stars compared to Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt and the backing of an older star like Bruce Willis. With Gangster Squad sporting Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, and Sean Penn playing the role as legitimate Hollywood veteran, that’s the best comparison I could think of. Looper came out in almost 3000 screens and grossed almost 21 million with an almost 7k per screen average. I see something similar for Gangster Squad, although the movie might lose a bit of its legs because it’s getting mixed reviews. Gangster Squad opens in 3100 screens and should drum up about 6.5k per screen, so that will give it 20 million to start the weekend off.
Tougher to predict is A Haunted House. With only one Wayans brother trying to duplicate the magic of the Scary Movie franchise, it’s hard to think that this will succeed. But that might also do with the fact that the franchise was complete garbage so my initial prejudice is to completely ask this movie to bomb. However, the people always come out in force for these types of movies. The last spoof movie to come out was Vampires Suck and that grossed 12 million in 3200 theaters, which is shocking because I had no recollection of that even being in theaters to begin with. I’d like to add that I hate 90% of all spoof movies so seeing commercials for this made me want to throw up. With that, it should do something similar to Vampires Suck, which had almost 4k per screen average. A Haunted House opens on 2100 theaters so I predict a 4k per screen average for a 8.5 million opening frame. I will say that this can blow up quickly and I’m wary about under-predicting on this one. With no real competition against it, I have a feeling this will be a movie to watch closely. Despite the fact I have zero desire in seeing it.
Lastly, we have Zero Dark Thirty going wide and this should challenge for the top spot this weekend. Obviously they were relying on challenging Lincoln for the most nominees but surprisingly, they ended up with only 5, not even including a Best Director nod for Kathryn Bigelow. This should still receive a boost in the box office though as it moves to 2900 theaters nationwide. Last year, when The Artist expanded, it drew in a 39.8% increase on box office output, although it only increased by 235 theaters. Last year The Descendants increased their theaters after the nominations came out to 2000 theaters, a 1400 screen increase. That resulted in a 170% increased box office dollar result. I think that might be more in line but still only resulted in a 3k per screen average. Last weekend, in 60 theaters, Zero Dark Thirty averaged almost 45k per screen. Obviously that is way too out of line to be expected this week. So let’s go with a 8k average per screen for a final result of 23 million for the weekend.
As for the holdovers, we expect Lincoln to get a mini-boost, as well as the other Oscar-nominated pictures. Looking at Django Unchained first, that should only decline by 30% despite competition for the R-rated audiences so it’ll result in a 14 million dollar take. Les Miserables will also see a slight decline of 30% as people check out the Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway nominated movie so that will result in an 11 million dollar take. Lincoln should see a big increase probably from the previous week so look for a 9 million dollar weekend for them. Life of Pi will get a slight increase too but only to probably 4 million as the marketplace is flooded and the movie is already two months into its current run. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will continue it’s 50% decline, giving it 9 million for the weekend. Parental Guidance is also proving to be a solid hit and should decline about 40% to reach 6 million, as well as Jack Reacher which also will get about 6 million with new films in the marketplace to take from its demographic. This Is 40 will get about a 40% decline to result in a 5 million dollar frame as well. Texas Chainsaw 3D will probably get a MASSIVE decline of 70% and end with 8 million as horror movies never hold up over the long period of time. The horrific reviews don’t help either. Overall, let’s see how it all shapes out:
[box_dark]1.) Zero Dark Thirty: 23 million
2.) Gangster Squad: 20 million
3.) Django Unchained: 14 million
4.) Les Miserables: 11 million
5.) (tied) Lincoln: 9 million
5.) (tied) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: 9 million
7.) A Haunted House: 8.5 million
8.) Texas Chainsaw 3D: 8 million
9.) (tied) Parental Guidance: 6 million
9.) (tied) Jack Reacher: 6 million[/box_dark]
Those are the predictions, so we’ll see. Otherwise, it’s going to be a busy weekend for me. Time to catch up as I fill up some Oscar ballots and win me some Oscar pools!
First and foremost, let me jump in feet first by saying that Django Unchained is an incredible movie. I think it’s one of Tarantino’s best. Of course, the primary controversy surrounding the movie deals with the perceived liberal use of the most offensive word – typically referred to as the “N-word”. Was the word used liberally? Absolutely. Was it out of context? No. It’s two years before the Civil War in the deep South, where slavery was in full swing. Southern slave owners and proponents used the word almost exclusively to describe slaves – and freemen, for that matter. So, with that now in context, check out what happens when an interviewer is put on the spot by none other than Samuel L. Jackson himself when he attempts to ask Jackson about the controversy surrounding the use of the word in the movie. The interviewer’s discomfort is, in a word, epic. The magic begins at the 13:56 mark. PS: there’s a few f-bombs in there too.
Rumor has it that director Quentin Tarantino is planning a loosely related trilogy that includes Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and a yet unknown third title. Tarantino explained to Total Film that:
[quote]“I don’t know, Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained bespeak a trilogy…As different as they are, there is a companion piece quality. There might very well be a third one. I just don’t know what it is yet.”[/quote]
It would appear that thus far the link between the films is a version of alternate history that could carry over into a third film – with another alternate history. The Playlist suggests that third part could turn out to be the “1930s gangster picture he’s mentioned in the past? Or the Len Deighton spy adaptations he was also considering?”
Hard to say, at the moment, which might be the case as Tarantino himself admits he doesn’t know what it is yet. Still, it will be interesting to see if the director turns out a third film that ties in with the other two. Only time – and Tarantino – will tell.
What would you like to see as a third film tying in with Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained? Sound off below!
Are you ready for another Quentin Tarantino film to blow your mind and possibly make you question your sanity? We are. Definitely.
The second trailer for Django Unchained was released today, and now we’re wishing that time travel really was a thing so December would be here already.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
The film is set in the pre-Civil War era and tells the story of Django (Jamie Foxx), a slave living in the Deep South who is sold to Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz is actually a bounty hunter, and offers to help free Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from a ruthless plantation owner (Leonardo Dicaprio) as long as Django agrees to help him kill off a gang of killers known as the Brittle Brothers.
For me, seeing Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Jonah Hill, Christoph Waltz, and Leonardo DiCaprio side-by-side immediately made me think, “WTH?” But from what we can see in the trailer, it appears that they all have great chemistry, especially between Foxx, DiCaprio, and Waltz. Hill of course has one of his snippets of funny inserted into a rather bleak and upcoming KKK-type raid, and Jackson always seems to be a BAMF no matter what role he plays. DiCaprio’s performance will probably disgust me because he’s such a good actor (and he’s the bad guy, so there’s that).
The trailer reveals an odd-yet-expected-because-it’s-Tarantino mixture of spaghetti western mixed with slightly modern dialogue and lots of gun shooting and explosions. The costumes and sets appear to be period, though, so as not to make it too funky. And Django wants everyone to know his name is spelled D-J-A-N-G-O, where “the ‘D’ is silent.”
Django opens on Christmas Day.
I love westerns. Love them. But unfortunately, I honestly don’t see any new westerns coming out that’ll totally upend and reinvent the genre, thus establishing a new character that could trump any of the following ten. That’s not to say that the western genre is stagnant, or recycling material, but it’s a genre that has clearly peaked, and is in its twilight years, where most modern movies are looking back at its respective genre, rather than looking forward. New great westerns are still being made, they’re just not nearly as popular as they once were, and as such, innovation is mostly being left by the wayside. I suppose you could count Django Unchained as innovation, but I’m still very skeptical on my opinion of that film, a skepticism I’m sure isn’t shared by my colleagues here at Grizzly Bomb.
Did you think it was possible to get so many great films in one year; The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Hobbit, Skyfall and several others – well Tarantino looks to be bringing this great year in cinema to an end with a December release of Django Unchained. This latest TV spot is going to make you wet yourself with excitement, like all good trailers should.
The international trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained has been released. It’s mostly the same as the US trailer, with a few extra shots of difference, most notably, the inclusion of Samuel L. Jackson as a billed star in the film.
While the movie does look like it’s definitely going to be well crafted, I still can’t help but hold reservations on it. The James Brown soundtrack doesn’t work for me, but I understand it’s attempting a melding of the Spaghetti Western/Blaxploitation genres. What does work for me, is seeing Quentin Tarantino actually having a TRUE homage, with the final shot of the trailer, showing Jamie Foxx sitting with Franco Nero, who some may recognize as the original star of Sergio Corbucci’s Django. Even though that shot is included in the US trailer, I imagine it’ll play quite well with international crowds, where Sergio Corbucci’s name is more well-known. It would seem QT is continuing the long tradition of having a western revolving around a character named Django, even if he isn’t THE Django, from the original film. There are over 30 unofficial sequels to the original Django, as Italy has a long history of its filmmakers “borrowing” character and movie names to help a knockoff films chances at the box office. Tarantino seems to be falling right in line with this idea, only he is celebrating that character and tradition, rather than looking to make a quick buck off a name brand.
I always hold fast to the rule that you should never truly judge how good or bad a movie is until you see it, (see: Battleship), so I’m trying to stay positive with my feelings about Django Unchained. Maybe I’m just being overly negative, but Death Proof was really bad, and Inglorious Basterds was such a self-aggrandizing mess, it’s taken away the immediate optimism I used to have for Quentin Tarantino’s films. Regardless, like all of his films, I’ll end up seeing them no matter what, because for better or worse, nobody really makes movies like Tarantino. He has an undeniably unique voice, and is accomplished at doing what he sets out to do. [Ed. Note – Death Proof and Inglorious Basterds are both awesome.]
Christmas 2012, we’ll probably all get Django’d.
It’s that time again! It’s time for a new Quentin Tarantino flick (cue the applause)! After the 2009 masterpiece that we know as Inglourious Basterds, QT brings us Django Unchained, the story of a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who is freed by notorious bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). With hopes of making Django his deputy, Schultz begins training the man, preparing him for the biggest fight of his life; to kill Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a ruthless plantation owner who is in possession of Django’s wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).
Well, leave your skepticism and cynicism at the door, people, because Django Unchained is really the only thing I want for Christmas (well, maybe The Great Gatsby, too). This immensely entertaining, hilarious, action-packed, and, most of all, fun trailer has me wanting more….a lot more. Quentin Tarantino seems to be in full force here after the critically acclaimed Inglourious Basterds, which was nominated for eight Oscars (winning one for Best Supporting Actor to Christoph Waltz). It seems as if the Academy has finally recognized Tarantino not only as a filmmaker, but as a genre.
I also love the anti-type casting that Tarantino has done here. It’s been a while since DiCaprio has played an out-and-out villain, while this film marks the first time that Christoph Waltz plays the good guy (a compromised protagonist at best, but I’ll take what I can get). Jamie Foxx plays the title role, and after a couple names were picked up and dropped, I feel like Tarantino has made the right choice putting Foxx in the role.
All the Tarantino-esque factors are definitely in place. The odd plot, the beautifully staged brutality, the generational gap bridging (putting a funky groove in a Civil War-era spaghetti western? I think yes), the witty dialogue, and everything in between. There’s just no way around it, Django Unchained is going to be the real deal.
Check out the official trailer right here: