Weekend @ the Box Office

Those Box Office lulls are officially over. Big Hero 6 and Interstellar fought viciously for the top spot this weekend. Only one could be the winner. The huggable design of Baymax didn’t stop him from edging out Mathew McConaughey in alright space. Big Hero 6 pulled in just $6 million more than Interstellar with the family/superhero movie making $56,200,000 and Christopher Nolan’s divisive space adventure bringing in a solid 50 million. Gone Girl continues to stay in the top 5 since its initial release with $6,100,000. Ouija tricked $6,017,000 people into thinking it was scary. And at #5 we have St. Vincent, a movie I heard about as I looked through Box Office Mojo, with $5,707,000. St. Vincent sounds like it’s about a dog but it’s probably not. False advertising at its finest.

Movie News

Star Wars Episode VII wrapped filming and with that, we got a title reveal on their website. I saw it on Twitter first so I’m just going to stick with that as the source. Anyway, the title is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s a terrible title but the beautiful thing about Star Wars is that I couldn’t care less. It’s a return to a galaxy far, far away… It’s got a pretty good director who knows a thing or two about directing action. Objectively speaking, J.J. Abrams also directed the best television pilot ever (Any other answer than LOST is a wrong answer). Love it or hate it, Episode 7 finally has a title. (Hate it with me).

Star Wars isn’t the only franchise making a comeback. Toy Story 4 was officially announced. (Variety) John Lasseter will return to direct the franchise after achieving all-timer status with Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Since then he’s done the Cars films. I get the feeling this is more about money than truly finding a good story here. Toy Story is one of the great trilogies with a finale so powerful, I still can’t watch it without choking up. Woody, the old cowboy found what was left of his family a new home. It resonated with audiences of all ages (except for Armond White). STOP. Just stop right there. I’m in support of sequels, but only when there is a good enough idea to merit exploration in another franchise entry. I have a hard time believing the man who directed Cars 2 is doing a fourth installment in a beloved franchise for anything more than a paycheck or notoriety. At least Rashida Jones is teaming up with her writing partner, Will McCormack, to write the script (Ann Perkins, you beautiful tropical fish (AV Club))

Quentin Tarantino has hatefully assembled his eight gunslingers for his second western film. Hateful Eight (or H8teful Eight if you’re feeling trendy) will bring together Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen and Bruce Dern. For those of us who avoided any leaked version of the script or didn’t attend the reading, Deadline revealed the synopsis for us:

A stagecoach hurtles through the wintry Wyoming landscape. The passengers, bounty hunter John Ruth (Russell) and his fugitive Daisy Domergue (Leigh), race towards the town of Red Rock where Ruth, known in these parts as “The Hangman,” will bring Domergue to justice. Along the road, they encounter two strangers: Major Marquis Warren (Jackson), a former Union soldier-turned-infamous bounty hunter, and Chris Mannix (Goggins), a Southern renegade who claims to be the town’s new sheriff.

Losing their lead on the blizzard, Ruth, Domergue, Warren and Mannix seek refuge at Minnie’s Haberdashery, a stagecoach stopover on a mountain pass. When they arrive at Minnie’s, they are greeted not by the proprietor but by four unfamiliar faces: Bob (Bichir), who’s taking care of Minnie’s while she’s visiting her mother, is holed up with Oswaldo Mobray (Roth), the hangman of Red Rock, cow-puncher Joe Gage (Madsen), and Confederate Gen. Sanford Smithers (Dern). As the storm overtakes the mountainside stopover, the eight travelers come to learn they may not make it to Red Rock after all.

Trailer of the Week

I guess it all depends on how you feel about The Hobbit prequel trilogy. It’s far too bloated to reach the heights of Lord of the Rings but I enjoy them quite a bit. The series lost sight of the title character during the second movie but I love being engulfed into the world of Middle-Earth. Everything is fucking CGI and I won’t defend that. As far as prequels go, this one ain’t half-bad. Peter Jackson definitely doesn’t reach the lows of George Lucas. I’d love to see an edited version trimmed down to 3 or 4 hours. I’ve said from the beginning that this would be a great 3 hour epic.

So how’s the trailer? Again, it depends on how you feel about the previous Hobbit films. I like these characters. I like the world. And even with entire sequences that can be cut out of these fucking things, I’m excited to see a final return to Middle-Earth. I’ll be prepping by watching all 5 previous Middle-Earth movies.

Tweets of the Week