In the seat:
In the seat:
#1 The Dark Knight Rises from Warner Bros. held at #1 with a gross of $62.1 million (-61.4%) in 4,404 theaters. Total gross to date is $287.1 million. Budget was $250 million.
#2 Ice Age: Continental Drift from Fox held at #2 with a gross of $13.4 million (-34.6%) in 3,869 theaters (-17). Total gross to date is $114.9 million. Budget was unknown.
#3 The Watch from Fox opened at #3 with a gross of $12.8 million in 3,168 theaters. Budget was $68 million.
#4 Step Up Revolution from Summit Entertainment opened at #4 with a gross of $11.7 million in 2,567 theaters. Budget was $33 million.
#5 Ted from Universal fell from #4 to #5 with a gross of $7.4 million (-26.6%) in 3,129 theaters (-85). Total gross to date is $193.6 million. Budget was $50 million.
#6 The Amazing Spider-Man from Sony fell from #3 to #6 with a gross of $6.7 million (-38.4%) in 3,160 theaters (-593). Total gross to date is $242 million. Budget was $230 million.
#7 Brave from Buena Vista fell from #5 to #7 with a gross of $4.3 million (-28.5%) in 2,551 theaters (-348). Total gross to date is $217.3 million. Budget was $185 million.
#8 Magic Mike from Warner Bros. fell from #6 to #8 with a gross of $2.6 million (-39%) in 2,075 theaters (-531). Total gross to date is $107.6 million. Budget was $7 million.
#9 Savages (2012) from Universal fell from #7 to #9 with a gross of $1.8 million (-45.9%) in 1,414 theaters (-922). Total gross to date is $44 million. Budget was $45 million.
#10 Moonrise Kingdom from Focus Features fell from #9 to #10 with a weekend gross of $1.4 million (-21.7%) in 853 theaters (-42). Total gross to date is $38.6 million. Budget was $16 million.
#11 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection from Lionsgate fell from #8 to #11 with a gross of $1.3 million (-41.9%) in 1,111 theaters (-429). Total gross to date is $62.7 million. Budget was $20 million.
#12 To Rome with Love from Sony Classics fell from #10 to #12 with a gross of $1 million (-29.6%) in 492 theaters (-60). Total gross to date is $12.9 million. Budget was unknown.
The combined gross of the top 12 movies this weekend was $126.5 million.
Box Office Mojo
The summer movie series continues…
Release date: 6/3/1955
20th Century Fox
The hosts review:
The first point brought up is that, while The Seven Year Itch has the most iconic image of Marilyn Monroe (dress blowing up over the subway grate), the movie doesn’t show the full image. They also talk about how it was said that Monroe was “difficult” to work with during this movie, with her being late more often than not and flubbing a number of her lines. This was also due to her depression.
Both hosts found it a little disconcerting that the main character, Richard Sherman (Ewell) had an inner dialogue that he utilized by talking, out loud, to himself. They played on Richard’s overactive imagination in a nice way, with his dialogue and his “fantasy thoughts.” They also liked the scene in the vegetarian restaurant in the beginning of the movie… a very bohemian/hippie restaurant, very alternative for the mid-1950s. Tony was really amused by the waitress who tries to talk Richard into donating to the nudist society.
The Seven Year Itch was originally a stage production, and the movie is played out in very much the same way, with Richard breaking the “fourth wall” quite a few times in the film. It was also filmed in a stage style in that there were only four or five sets and there wasn’t a lot of movement outside of these scenes.
One of the differences between the stage version and the film version is that the film had to have the risqué stage dialogue toned down, which the hosts preferred because it gave Richard a more innocent look. It also played well in how he over-reacted to the scenes he imagined in his head, which would have been much more blatant on the stage.
Lena (from the chat room) brought up that Walter Matthau was the original actor that Billy Wilder wanted to play the role of Richard Sherman, but 20th Century Fox did not want to risk this movie on a newcomer, so they turned to the actor who played the role on stage, Tom Ewell. Lena thought that, while Matthau certainly could have done a good job, Ewell was the better choice. Tony disagreed and said that he would have liked to have seen Matthau take on the role of Richard.
One of the favorite lines from the film (Lena’s pick) was when Richard said, regarding his wife, “She’s not as young as she used to be. She’s 31 now.”
Tony and Darrell also discussed Marilyn Monroe and her contribution to this movie and her other movies. They also talked about what she had to go through; the paparazzi, the tabloids, and the pressure she was constantly under… and how even today celebrities have a hard time dealing with the pressures that almost originated with her.
All in all, they both found it to be a fun, sweet movie. Monroe’s character (The Girl) was a very sweet girl, not at all malicious or seductive in nature.
Bonus… at approx. 27 minutes in, Tony and Darrell talk a little bit about The Dark Knight Rises… no spoilers are involved, just general movie chit-chat.
Trivial bits ‘n pieces:
As Tony brought up earlier in the podcast, the classic shot of Marilyn Monroe’s dress blowing up around her legs as she stands over a subway grate was originally shot on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street (Manhattan) 1:00 am, with 5,000 onlookers whistling and cheering through take after take as she repeatedly missed her lines. That original footage never made it to the screen; the noise of the crowd had made it unusable. Billy Wilder re-staged the scene on the 20th Century-Fox lot, on a set replicating Lexington Avenue, and got a more satisfactory result. However, it took another 40 takes for Marilyn to achieve the famous scene.
A 52-foot-high cutout of Marilyn Monroe (from the blowing-dress scene) was erected in front of Loews State Theater, in New York City’s Times Square as part of the campaign for the release of this film.
Tom Ewell won the 1953 Tony Award for Actor in a Drama for “The Seven Year Itch” in the role of Richard Sherman, which he reprised in this film.
Your Producers for this episode were:
This episode was recorded: 7/25/2012
Sean and Eddy are best friends who have formed a flash mob dance crew called The Mob. They live and work in Miami for a large hotel, but their main passion is their art. Their talented crew are trying to get themselves noticed and they do so with impressive effects. They’re trying to win a $100,000 prize through YouTube by getting over 10 million hits on their channel.
Emily Anderson is a talented young dancer who’s trying to go professional against her father’s wishes. Her father just happens to be the developer of the hotel that Sean and Eddy work for. One day, Sean and Emily cross paths and of course, they;re immediately attracted to each other. Sean invites Emily into his world which is a low rent area of Miami, but once she’s there, Emily sees the magic of the area that Sean’s been living in. Emily’s trying to be accepted into a prestigious dance academy and while she’s told she’s technically proficient, she’s also told that she needs something a little more. Sean invites Emily to see The Mob in action and once she does, she wants to join.
Then bad news hits; Emily’s father is making a bid to take over the are where Sean and his friends live and literally wipe it out for further development. Now, Emily wants to help Sean and The Mob save their homes by taking their art from purely exhibition to protest art.
That’s the premise to Step Up Revolution the latest film in the popular Step Up series. As I said back in my review for Step Up 3D, I used to make fun of these movies, but have since learned way better thanks to TV shows like So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew. Step Up 3D was the first of these films that I saw in theatres and I just thought it was as fun as could be. Sure, you’re not exactly going to see the most engrossing stories here and you’re not exactly going to see Oscar calibre performances. I think if you got either of those, it would be pure gravy. What you go to these movies for are to see some very impressive dance performances and hear the hard-driving music. And now since these movies have made the move to 3D, you’re also seeing some of the very best 3D that’s out there to see. This was definitely the case with Step Up 3D and for the most part, it’s the same with Step Up Revolution.
One of the things that I most enjoyed about Step Up 3D was it’s atmosphere- it sought to take it’s contemporary dance style and mix it with the atmosphere of old Technicolor musicals. It didn’t take itself too seriously and just had an overwhelming joy about it celebrating it’s artform. Now don’t get me wrong, that same joy is in Step Up Revolution, but there is a little bit of a darker tone to the film and it’s paced just a little slower. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, it’s still quite entertaining, just not to the same ways that I thought Step Up 3D was.
Where Step Up Revolution really excels is in it’s extremely high-charged and downright thrilling dance numbers- right from the opening, you’re going to see some pretty amazing stuff. The Step Up producers are thoroughly embracing 3D and it absolutely shows. Yeah, I expect these would look just fine in 2D, but here’s an example where 3D really does enhance what you’re seeing on-screen, making each number even more thrilling.
Ryan Guzman plays Sean and Kathryn McCormick plays Emily. If you watch So You Think You Can Dance you should recognize McCormick as one of the past contestants and as one of their All-Stars as well. Guzman is, for this type of movie, quite impressive and certainly has a high likability factor. McCormick lacks a little in line delivery and emotion, but more than makes up for it in sheer physical presence and her skill. When she’s in a scene, you’re just drawn to her, even when she’s not dancing. One can certainly hope that she’ll further develop her acting chops, because if she can, she could go quite far. Misha Gabriel plays Eddy, and he brings a little bit of a darker side to the film, though he and Guzman do have an obvious chemistry together.
If you’re a regular watcher of So You Think You Can Dance then you’re bound to recognize some of the other players out there as well, and that’s always a treat. Stephen “tWitch” Boss returns from Step Up 3D playing the same character, but now transplanted to Miami and firmly part of The Mob. Philip Chbeeb has been seen in SYTYCD as well as in America’s Best Dance Crew as part of the winning crew of the sixth season of that show, and he’s just as much fun to watch here. Even choreographer and SYTYCD judge Mia Michaels is here, playing the head of the academy that Emily is trying to get into. Rounding the cast out, you’ve also got Adam Sevani returning as Moose, near the end of the film for a very impressive number, and veteran actor Peter Gallagher playing Emily’s father. Oh sure, you’ve certainly seen Gallagher do better work elsewhere, but his presence certainly does add a little gravity to the cast.
Step Up Revolution really is a lot of fun, and just goes right into overdrive whenever it shifts into any of it’s impressive dance numbers. It’s story and characters are formulaic, but for this sort of film, I just don’t think it’s a bad thing at all; it makes it feel comfortable and just let’s you really bask in the film’s set pieces. If you do choose to see this, and of course I am recommending it, then I’d certainly hope you will go see it in 3D. The 3D here is absolutely amazing and I’ll even go so far as to say it’s probably the best 3D I’ll see in a movie all year. I’m sure it’s just fine in 2D, but in 3D, it’s just thrilling and compelling. Can’t wait to see what they’ll do for the fifth film now…
Jonathan, Tony, Scott
There are no other movies in wide release this weekend.
The Endless Summer
Release date: 6/15/1966
Directed, Produced, Written by
Cast (as themselves)
Step into Liquid
Release date: 4/20/2004
Cast (as themselves)
For any of you who might still be jonesing for more surfing documentaries, there are two follow-ups by the same producers: The Endless Summer II (1994) by Bruce Brown and The Endless Summer Revisited (2000), by Dana Brown, which contains unused footage from the The Endless Summer and The Endless Summer II.
The hosts review of The Endless Summer:
Darrell thought The Endless Summer was fun to watch. It’s a travelogue type movie and easy to watch. He liked that it showed a more innocent time; two surfers travelling the world, chasing the sun and the surf, literally having an “endless summer.”
He also liked the scene at their first stop in Africa where the surfers complained about the cost of their hotel as $30 per night, per person! Tony added that in that scene, they also complained that the cost of gas was close to $1.00 a gallon (which, truly, was A LOT for 1966).
Tony’s first impression was that it reminded him of a lot of the school documentaries he saw as a child: single camera, lock focus, no dialogue, a single narrator.
Darrell noted that Bruce Brown read a book on how to make movies on the flight to meet his fellow surfers. Also, to raise money for this film, he gathered his previously shot 16mm footage on surfers (called Waterlogged) and showed it around.
What kept Tony going throughout the documentary was the sense of humor from Brown. He was occasionally snarky and dry and witty, but if you weren’t watching the film at the same time, the jokes were easily lost. One such comment was when the surfers were in South Africa, and Brown stated that when not surfing, the guys hung out with the natives. On the film, though, one of the men is laying on the beach between two bikini-clad South African women.
Both hosts agreed that it’s probably best to watch The Endless Summer in small doses, as opposed to sitting through the full 95 minutes all at once.
Lena’s (from the chat room) favorite line came during the filming in Africa. Some of the locals were gathered at the beach watching the surfers and Brown said, “Being good Africans, they threw rocks.” Tony’s favorite was when they were talking about the female surfers in Australia, Brown said (of the girls’ bikinis, when they wipe out), “They just roll up in a ball and go into a clam hole.”
Darrell thought that this was a great time capsule to look at the world in the mid-sixties. There was no hidden message to this movie… just two guys travelling around the world trying to surf and live an endless summer.
The hosts review of Step into Liquid:
Darrell compared the two as “stepping from the stone age to the space age,” in terms of the technical sport of surfing. This was the difference between surfing six foot waves and then sixty foot waves. Both Darrell and Tony also really liked the advances in how they surf (using the wakes from super tankers was pretty cool to see).
Also, the cinematography was amazing (not just in comparison to The Endless Summer, but just within the movie itself.)
This wasn’t noted earlier, but Dana Brown (Step into Liquid) is the son of Bruce Brown (The Endless Summer) and dad Bruce is featured in son Dana’s film.
There was also a much broader group of surfers in Step into Liquid, covering the sport of surfing itself, instead of a singular focus on the two surfers travelling the world in The Endless Summer.
Tony talked about the scene with Jesse Billauer, where they talk about the different ways to surf. You can be standing on the board, sitting, kneeling, even flat on your belly; it’s all surfing. You then find out that Jessie was paralyzed in an earlier surfing accident and continues to surf with his buddies (they carry him to his board and he surfs on his belly). The camaraderie between the surfers was really nice to see.
The section in the second movie that focused on the female surfers was worlds away from the brief mention in the first movie, as well. A quote (or as close as I can remember) about the women: “Remember that tomboy girl that beat you in sports when you were a little kid? Well, she’s grown up now and gorgeous and she STILL beats you in sports.”
One surfer that was shown in the movie, Dale “The Daily Wavester” Webster, was on his was to setting a record of consecutive days of surfing, at 10,407. He did break that record on February 29, 2004. I also found another mention of his consecutive days of surfing and found that he got at least as far as 13,000 days on April 6, 2011.
Trivial bits ‘n pieces:
In 2002, The Endless Summer was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The previously unknown break off of Cape St. Francis in South Africa, featured in The Endless Summer, went on to become one of the world’s most famous surfing sites.
The 66-foot wave ridden by Mike Parsons in Step into Liquid at the Cortez Bank was believed to have been the largest wave ever surfed at the time the movie was released. It has since been surpassed by a 70-foot wave ridden by Pete Cabrinha in 2004 at Peahi in Hawaii.
Your Producers for this episode were:
This episode was recorded: 7/17/2012
Thanks to Tad for the voice mail
Congrats to… well… damned near everyone.
No one who participated scored less than 23 this week!
#1 The Dark Knight Rises from Warner Bros. opened at #1 with a gross of $160.9 million in 4,404 theaters. Budget was unknown.
#2 Ice Age: Continental Drift from Fox fell to #2 with a gross of $20.4 million (-56.2%) in 3,886 theaters (+5). Total gross to date is $88.8 million. Budget was unknown.
#3 The Amazing Spider-Man from Sony fell from #2 to #3 with a gross of $10.9 million (-68.6%) in 3,753 theaters (-565). Total gross to date is $228.6 million. Budget was $230 million.
#4 Ted from Universal fell from #3 to #4 with a gross of $10 million (-55.3%) in 3,214 theaters (-89). Total gross to date is $180.4 million. Budget was $50 million.
#5 Brave from Buena Vista fell from #4 to #5 with a gross of $6 million (-46%) in 2,899 theaters (-493). Total gross to date is $208.8 million. Budget was $185 million.
#6 Magic Mike from Warner Bros. held at #6 with a gross of $4.3 million (-52.4%) in 2,606 theaters (-484). Total gross to date is $102 million. Budget was $7 million.
#7 Savages (2012) from Universal fell from #5 to #7 with a gross of $3.4 million (-63.8%) in 2,336 theaters (-299). Total gross to date is $40.1 million. Budget was $45 million.
#8 Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection from Lionsgate fell from #7 to #8 with a gross of $2.3 million (-59.7%) in 1,540 theaters (-464). Total gross to date is $60.3 million. Budget was $20 million.
#9 Moonrise Kingdom from Focus Features held at #9 with a weekend gross of $1.8 million (-50.6%) in 895 theaters (-29). Total gross to date is $36.1 million. Budget was $16 million.
#10 To Rome with Love from Sony Classics rose from #11 to #10 with a gross of $1.4 million (-42.5%) in 552 theaters (-192). Total gross to date is $11.1 million. Budget was unknown.
#11 Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted from Paramount fell from #10 to #11 with a gross of $1.35 million (-63.2%) in 1,261 theaters (-1,024). Total gross to date is $207.6 million. Budget was $145 million.
#12 Katy Perry: Part of Me from Paramount fell from #8 to #12 with a weekend gross of $1.1 million (-69.8%) in 1,123 theaters (-1,609). Total gross to date is $22.6 million. Budget was $12 million.
The combined gross of the top 12 movies this weekend was $223.9 million.
Box Office Mojo
It’s been eight years since The Joker’s crime spree in Gotham City. Thanks to The Joker’s machinations, former District Attorney Harvey Dent was killed, with Batman taking the fall for the death in order to preserve the law and order that Dent originally stood for. Gotham City has been mostly crime-free (with the exception of some notable crimes by a mysterious female cat burglar) with the extreme criminals now imprisoned. Batman has disappeared and Bruce Wayne has become a recluse. This leaves Gotham City open to an amazing assault from the criminal terrorist known as Bane.
That’s a very simple outline to The Dark Knight Rises, the concluding chapter of director Christopher Nolan’s take on the Batman mythos aided and abetted from writers Jonathan Nolan and David Goyer and lead Christian Bale as Batman/Bruce Wayne and it’s one hell of a conclusion.
While I don’t think the movie quite hits the same highs that The Dark Knight did, that’s not saying that it’s not satisfying at all, quite the contrary. The Dark Knight Rises is an extremely satisfying film- reaching back to points started in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight while also adding a few new twists and wrinkles building to quite a satisfying conclusion. Like I said, it doesn’t quite hit the same crescendo that The Dark Knight did, but… it does have a lot of very cool moments and a twist with one character that I have to admit I didn’t even see coming. For some, that twist might almost seem to come out of the blue, but for fans of the comics, it’s entirely fitting into the legend of Batman.
Nolan’s story, though I described it simply above, is actually quite layered and complex in it’s own way. It’s not hard to follow by ay means, but it’s hinged by assuming that the audience has seen the prior two movies- so for those that haven’t seen those first two movies (I’m sure there might be one or two of you out there) you might want to invest some time in seeing those before you see The Dark Knight Rises. For comic fans, this is a treasure trove, with many of it’s story points owing to previous stories from the comics, but handled in Nolan’s “keep it real” style. The film weighs in at nearly three hours long, but Nolan keeps a steady pace throughout that builds and builds to the film’s epic end.
Technically, as has been the case for all of Christopher Nolan’s movies, the film is first rate in it’s look and sound elements working totally in tandem with the performances and story points. This is just one nicely put-together production and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see it be nominated for loads of technical awards come Oscar time.
Christian Bale returns as Batman. Also returning are Michael Caine as Alfred, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox and Gary Oldman as Police Commisioner James Gordon. It’s terrific work from all four men and I particularly enjoy seeing Bale’s interplay with all three. Bale shines throughout, but really excels in scenes right before the film’s third act as he’s trying to escape from the prison that Bane has placed him in. All four are certainly by now comfortable in their parts, but they’re not resting on any laurels- this is first-rate work, they know they’re part of something special and certainly treat it that way through their performances.
The same thing can be said with our new cast additions. Tom Hardy plays Bane, our central villain, Anne Hathaway plays Selina Kyle/Catwoman (though she’s never called that in the film), Marion Cotilliard as Miranda Tate, a rival of Wayne’s in the business world, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as John Blake, a Gotham City cop who believes Batman wasn’t responsible for Harvey Dent’s death. There’s strong work here from all four. Hardy has the hardest job as his face is masked throughout the entire film, but he’s quite an imposing physical presence and his body language speaks volumes. I’m very curious to just how his voice was created for the film, as there’s parts in his delivery that almost sound Sean Connery-like to me. Hardy’s one of the best young actors out there right now and I can hardly wait to see what he does in George Miller’s next Mad Max film.
Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle/Catwoman is just an extremely fun character- she’s as sexy as it gets, yet just as committal to the physical action as any of the male characters. Her version of Selina Kyle picks up some aspects of the character as written by Frank Miller in the comic story Batman: Year One and yet there’s also just a slight hint of camp to her character as well- it’s not detrimental by any means and just adds another flavor to this already flavor-rich series. Marion Cotilliard, as Miranda Tate first seems to be simply “the girl” of the film, but man… there really is so much more here, and I’ll just leave it at that. She’s sexy and smart and a welcome addition to the series.
Like Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the best young actors out there today. He’s been impressing me since The Lookout and his work on this film just takes that further. Gordon-Levitt’s John Blake is the heart of the film- he’s important to getting Bruce Wayne/Batman back in action, acting as Gordon’s right-hand man and his drive to save Gotham is just as strong as Batman’s. Gordon-Levitt, Hardy and Cotilliard all previously worked with Nolan on his last film, Inception and I’d certainly hope to see them all work with the director again on other productions.
The Dark Knight Rises is absolutely terrific and a thoroughly satisfying conclusion to one of the very best series of comic book-based movies that’s ever been made. While it doesn’t quite carry the same impact for me as The Dark Knight, it doesn’t mean that it’s a weaker film, just one who’s focus is a little more broader and just a little more diluted, but not to a negative at all. This may be the end of Christopher Nolan’s run on the Batman franchise, but I don’t doubt for a moment that Batman will be back on the big screen in some new interpretation down the road. Batman is one of the few comic book characters who I think actually excels from different interpretations (and that can certainly be seen not just in the comics but also in the different animated series and movies that have been made). But in the meantime, The Dark Knight Rises (as well as Batman Begins and The Dark Knight) is a movie to be savored and enjoyed again and again… I can’t wait to see this one again…