August 3, 2013 |
The action movie "2 Guns" showed some firepower Friday night, earning an estimated $10 million on the path to what's expected to be a weekend topping the box office rankings. The respectable opening night tally comes despite mostly mixed reviews, including that of The Times' Kenneth Turan , who described the film starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg as "briefly diverting" but concluded "the film inevitably leaves an empty taste behind it once it's done. " The weekend's other major opening, the animated sequel "Smurfs 2," is performing as expected with an estimated $5.5 million earned on Friday, which takes its total thus far to roughly $15 million since its opening on Wednesday.
August 2, 2013 |
True to its name, the new action movie "2 Guns" boasts considerable firepower, with charismatic actors Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the lead roles. According to many film critics, however, Washington and Wahlberg's chemistry is overshadowed by a plot that is both too familiar and too convoluted, and the film ultimately misses the mark. The Times' Kenneth Turan writes , "This self-consciously nihilistic action movie is one slick piece of business as well as something of a double-edged sword.
July 31, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington were at a corner table celebrating the start of production on their western action-comedy "2 Guns" last year when they spotted an odd sight. On the dance floor, sweatily busting moves while surrounded by a gaggle of women, was their director: the rugged, bearded Icelander Baltasar Kormakur. "Denzel looked at me and said, 'What's up with your boy?'" Wahlberg recalled as he sipped bottled water at a midtown restaurant last week, trotting out a not-bad Washington impersonation.
May 31, 2013 |
It's every parent's worst nightmare: the disappearance of a child. It's also the subject of the new movie "Prisoners," starring Hugh Jackman, Viola Davis and Jake Gyllenhaal. If there's any comfort to be gleaned from the trailer, it's that Jackman is on the warpath to find his girl after the efforts of cop Gyllenhaal are not proving very effective. Paul Dano plays the stringy-haired suspect that Jackman goes after on his own. This project has had a lot of fits and starts on its way to the big screen.
April 29, 2013 |
If you follow directors' careers, you've often heard how hard it is for a so-called small filmmaker to go big. A few, like Christopher Nolan, have done it, evolving from intimate indies to studio tent poles. But it's a trick infrequently attempted and even less frequently pulled off. On the other hand, there's less talk about moving the other way: big helmers going small. In theory, good direction is about a set of immutable, fundamental skills: managing actors, framing a vision, negotiating with whoever's signing the checks.
April 28, 2013 |
Star power didn't do much to attract moviegoers to the multiplex this weekend, as two celebrity-heavy films were unable to jump-start the box office. "Pain & Gain," featuring typically reliable box-office draws Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg, debuted with a $20 million, according to an estimate from distributor Paramount Pictures. Fortunately, the studio only spent $26 million to produce the Michael Bay-directed action comedy - otherwise, its opening would be considered more troublesome.
April 26, 2013 |
Leave it to Michael Bay to spend $26 million making a low-budget comedy. If that sounds like a robust price tag for "Pain & Gain," his new true-crime-inspired tale about three Miami gym rats who kidnap and extort a wealthy sandwich shop owner, consider that Bay is the director of such pricey special-effects-laden blockbusters as "Armageddon" and the "Transformers" films. But while "Pain & Gain" should earn a healthy return on the investment - it's expected to debut at No. 1 at the box office this weekend, to the tune of $23 million - the film is faring poorly with movie critics, most of whom find it shiny on the surface but hollow underneath.
April 25, 2013 |
When Michael Bay goes small, "Pain & Gain" happens. Humans handle the bone-crunching. The gore becomes gorier. The dialogue increases substantially too. Metal things may not transform, but they still make a world of hurt delivered by "Pain & Gain's" iron-pumping bodybuilders. The suddenly budget-conscious Bay shot the movie in and around his Miami mansion, so maybe that reference to "Mickey D's fries" wasn't a joke. And yet he still can't wrap up the action in less than two hours.
April 25, 2013 |
There will likely be less pain than gain for Paramount Pictures at the box office this weekend. Michael Bay's new action comedy, "Pain & Gain," is expected to debut with a respectable $23 million, according to those who have seen pre-release audience surveys. That should be enough to beat "Oblivion," the Tom Cruise sci-fi flick entering its second weekend in theaters. The only other new film hitting theaters nationwide, the romantic comedy "The Big Wedding," isn't expected to fare that well.
April 19, 2013 |
Paramount Pictures may stand to gain a great deal from its forthcoming "Pain & Gain," but for Marc Schiller, it's only generating pain. Schiller, an accountant who resides in Boca Raton, Fla., was a victim of the Sun Gym gang, whose exploits are documented in the upcoming movie. The film, starring Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson, centers on bodybuilders who went on a crime rampage involving kidnapping, extortion and murder in South Florida in the 1990s. In 1994, Schiller was abducted and tortured by the gang.