September 19, 2013 |
When Stephen King published his third novel, "The Shining," in 1977, he was a writer with a lot on his mind. Initially, he told The Times in 1998, he conceived of the book as "a Shakespearean tragedy, a kind of inside-out 'King Lear,' where Lear is this young guy who has a son instead of daughters. " He even went so far as to divide the first draft into acts and scenes. Make of this what you will, but it suggests that King has always had more at stake than merely to frighten us, that he wants to get at the big themes: love, loss, loyalty, what happens between parents and their kids.
September 16, 2013 |
That didn't take long. A day after "Insidious: Chapter 2" killed it at the box office, the horror film's makers said they are planning to make a third installment in the franchise. Made for just $5 million, "Insidious: Chapter 2" sold an estimated $41.1 million of tickets in its opening weekend, more than three times the $13.3 million the first “Insidious” grossed in 2011. On Monday, the film's financiers -- Entertainment One, FilmDistrict and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions -- said they were developing a third "Insidious" movie, written by Leigh Whannell, a screenwriter on the first two "Insidious" films.
September 15, 2013 |
So much for that Friday the 13th curse. Though its official opening coincided with the infamously unlucky day, "Insidious: Chapter 2" found plenty of good fortune at the box office this weekend. The low-budget horror sequel debuted at No. 1 with a stellar $41.1 million, according to an estimate from distributor FilmDistrict. The only other new film to hit theaters this weekend, the dark comedy "The Family," launched with a good-but-not-great $14.5 million. (Both movies had screenings late Thursday evening, and those ticket sales are included in their total weekend gross.)
September 12, 2013 |
If "The Conjuring" and "Insidious" director James Wan ever made a romantic comedy, one imagines he'd still set it in a creaky old two-story with dark corners and foreboding armoires. For his latest hauntfest "Insidious: Chapter 2," we're back with the possession-afflicted Lambert family - nervous mom Renai (Rose Byrne) and astral-projecting dad Josh (Patrick Wilson) - trying to regroup from the spirit realm trauma that almost took their son Dalton. But there's still the unresolved matter of what happened to supernatural whisperer Elise (Lin Shaye)
September 6, 2013 |
"Riddick" -- the third sci-fi film to star Vin Diesel as the interplanetary antihero of the same name -- arrives nine years after its predecessor, "The Chronicles of Riddick," and 13 years after the original, "Pitch Black. " Unfortunately for Diesel and series writer-director David Twohy, "Riddick" hasn't exactly returned to a hero's welcome. For every film critic who finds it a fun, gory slice of genre entertainment, there's another who finds it stale and one-dimensional. In the Los Angeles Times, for example, Michael Phillips calls "Riddick" "extremely violent, cleverly managed fun. " He explains, "This is not one of those Johnny-come-lately sequels preoccupied with getting a new audience up to speed on where the story was. It's about living in the moment, in the now, and killing in the now. " Diesel, Phillips says, "has discovered what it means to be a certain kind of movie star, working hard but not too, serving material that, here, does what it's supposed to do. " PHOTOS: Fall movie sneaks 2013 On the other hand, USA Today's Claudia Puig warns , "Move along, there's nothing to see and no one to root for in this murky franchise reboot.
September 5, 2013 |
From the dusty annals of a science-fiction franchise belonging to another age - that of "Pitch Black" (2000) and "The Chronicles of Riddick" (2004) and several video-game variations - comes a modestly scaled summer picture continuing a legend that time and many moviegoers forgot. And it's fun! "Riddick" is extremely violent, cleverly managed fun - full of eviscerating aliens, Vin Diesel making those little swimmie-goggles look sharp and Katee Sackhoff of "Battlestar Galactica" swaggering around as a sexually ambiguous bounty hunter stuck with a bunch of guys on a crummy planet.
August 21, 2013 |
Director Harald Zwart was in a forest outside of Toronto on Friday, looking for a possible home for fairies to live. After finding a proper wooded locale, he would have to quickly shower and change into a suit and tie for the Canadian premiere his new movie, "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. " It's not unusual for a director to be promoting one film while setting up the next. But in today's risk-averse Hollywood, it's rare for that next project to be a sequel before the first film has even proved itself at the box office.
August 15, 2013 |
The title character of the new superhero sequel "Kick-Ass 2" is a teenage vigilante (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) known for his ability to take a licking and keep on ticking. Time will tell if the movie itself displays the same resilience, because the first wave of film reviewers are clobbering it. The Times' Mark Olsen writes , "Just as the characters in the film are average people running around in homemade costumes calling themselves super, 'Kick-Ass 2' is a lesser version of what it appears to be, an uncertain jumble rather than a true exploration of outrage, violence and identity.
August 14, 2013 |
Hot on the (stiletto) heels of "Tiny Times," which broke box-office records in China, the romantic melodrama "Tiny Times 2" arrives here just weeks after the first installment, offering more fashion-shoot-ready Shanghai locations in a soapy package. The same quartet of pretty young up-and-comers hope and scheme, weep and strut, never forgetting to schedule time for wardrobe changes. Working from his bestselling series of novels, writer-director Guo Jinming continues to wield hammy visuals and pop-song overkill while trying to strike a less-carefree tone.
August 13, 2013 |
Matthew Vaughn was shocked to learn early last year that Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the domestic distributor of his 2010 superhero movie "Kick-Ass," wasn't interested in a sequel. The quirky, R-rated "Kick-Ass" had grossed $101 million worldwide and developed a cult following that led to a strong performance in the home entertainment market. Vaughn, who independently financed the $28-million project, expected that the Santa Monica studio, which had a first right of refusal on the domestic rights, would be on board for a chance to build a franchise.