- 'Identity Thief' tops North American box office
- Ben Affleck's 'Argo' named best film at British BAFTAs
- Fangs for the memories
Posted: 10 Feb 2013 03:36 PM PST
LOS ANGELES: The comedy "Identity Thief" defied mediocre reviews by critics and topped the box office in the United States and Canada in its opening weekend, industry figures showed Sunday.
The comedy, starring Jason Bateman from the TV series "Arrested Development" and "Bridesmaids" breakaway star Melissa McCarthy, pulled in $36.6 million Friday to Sunday, according to preliminary figures released by tracking firm Exhibitor Relations.
Salon.com said that the movie "reaches impressive heights of laziness and idiocy;" the Toronto Star slammed it as a "sloppily made exercise of rip-offs and redemption;" and National Public Radio dismissed it as an "uninspired trudge of a road movie."
It was followed by the romantic zombie comedy "Warm Bodies," based on Isaac Marion's book of the same name and inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," which took $11.5 million in sales.
Director Steven Soderbergh's new suspense film, "Side Effects," starring Jude Law and Rooney Mara, opened third.
The movie, which follows a woman who goes on antidepressant drugs after her husband is released from prison, pulled in $10 million.
Fourth was the Oscar-nominated romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, with $6.9 million, followed by "Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunt," a horror movie twist on the classic fairy tale starring Jeremy Renner, with $5.8 million.
Horror flick "Mama," in which a shadowy being trails two young children rescued after being lost in the woods when their parents died, fell from fourth to sixth place with $4.3 million, followed by the Oscar-tipped Osama bin Laden manhunt movie "Zero Dark Thirty" with $4 million.
Director Ben Affleck's "Argo," the story of a bold CIA operation to rescue six US diplomats trapped by the 1979 hostage crisis in Iran, made the eighth spot, pulling in $2.5 million, followed by another Oscar nominee, Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked spaghetti Western tribute "Django Unchained," with $2.3 million.
Rounding off the list was Sylvester Stallone's latest action movie, "Bullet to the Head," with $2 million.
Exhibitor Relations releases the final weekend box office returns on Monday. - AFP
Posted: 10 Feb 2013 03:27 PM PST
LONDON: Iran hostage crisis drama "Argo" won the best film prize at Britain's BAFTA awards on Sunday in a further boost for US actor-director Ben Affleck's movie at the Oscars later this month.
At a rainy but celebrity-packed ceremony at the Royal Opera House in London, Affleck also won the best director award, highlighting the fact that he has been snubbed in the same category at the Academy Awards.
Daniel Day-Lewis was named best actor for his presidential turn in Steven Spielberg's political drama "Lincoln", while 85-year-old French screen legend Emmanuelle Riva won best actress for "Amour".
Anne Hathaway won best supporting actress for her performance in British musical "Les Miserables" while Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked western "Django Unchained".
Dozens of stars defied the sleet and wind of a typical British winter evening to sashay down the red carpet for the awards, which are widely viewed as a bellwether for the Oscars on February 24.
The BAFTAs have picked the same best film as the Oscars for the last four years in a row, and for five of the last 10 years in total.
Veteran British actress Helen Mirren stole the show with freshly dyed pink hair, while US star Jennifer Lawrence blew a kiss to television audiences during the ceremony, just as Brad Pitt did last year.
"Les Miserables" won the most awards with four including Hathaway's gong, plus prizes for production design, sound and hair and make-up, followed by "Argo" with three, also including editing.
Riva's best actress award for her role as a dying woman in "Amour" - which won the Palme d'Or in Cannes last year - came after the movie by Austrian director Michael Haneke also won the best foreign language film award at the BAFTAs.
French star Riva is the oldest ever nominee for the best actress award at the Oscars.
Meanwhile, glossing over his own Oscar snub, Affleck said the best director award was a second chance for him after a career that took off when he starred in the 1997 picture "Good Will Hunting" with Matt Damon.
"I want to say this is a second act for me and you've given me that, this industry has given me that and I want to thank you and I'm so grateful and proud," he said as he accepted the award from British actor Ian McKellen.
"Argo" also won the top Golden Globe awards against all the odds, beating "Lincoln."
Affleck also won the best director award from the Directors Guild of America a week ago. "Argo" itself has received seven Oscar nominations, including best picture.
Cult director Tarantino won the award for best original screenplay for "Django Unchained" and David O. Russell picked up the best adapted screenplay award for romantic comedy "Silver Linings Playbook".
In a rare accolade for the James Bond series despite its enduring appeal over the past 50 years, "Skyfall" was named best British film and the score won the best original music prize. "Skyfall" is Britain's highest grossing film ever.
The BAFTAs ceremony ended with the awarding of a special fellowship to filmmaker Alan Parker, the director of movies including "Midnight Express", "Birdy", "Angel Heart" and "Bugsy Malone".
Long a highlight of the British film industry calendar, the BAFTAs have been growing in stature over the years and are now seen as one of the key indicators of Oscar success. - AFP
Posted: 10 Feb 2013 02:11 AM PST
Snakes have been featured in films from as far back as we can remember. Here, we evaluate the poisonous legacy of some memorable movie serpents.
Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade
Fiction: Indiana Jones may hate snakes – a fear he developed after falling into a snake pit (of sorts) on board a train when he was a teenager – but we love it whenever he encounters these cold-blooded creatures. Harrison Ford's comic timing in these scenes is priceless.
Fact: Fear of snakes is a common phobia; an abnormal fear of snakes is called ophidiophobia.
Quote: Indiana Jones (Ford): "Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes?"
Conan The Barbarian
Fiction: Speaking of taking on human form, the creepiest one has to be of James Earl Jones (both as a leader of a snake cult and a giant snake that he can turn into). He also happens to be the guy Conan wants to kill in order to get vengeance for the death of his family.
Fact: Arnold Schwarzenegger is really awful. What? It's a fact.
Quote: Thulsa Doom (Jones): "You broke into my house, stole my property, murdered by servants and my pets, and THAT is what grieves me the most! You killed my snake..."
Snakes On A Plane
Fiction: Do we need to go further than the title? Yes, we kind of do because Samuel L. Jackson just kills here as an FBI agent who gets on this particular plane to transport a witness from Honolulu to Los Angeles, only to have a crate of poisonous snakes (think 450 kinds of snakes, including a 7m Burmese python) to be released midflight.
Fact: More than 450 actual snakes were used in the filming of the movie. However, more than two-thirds of the snames you see in the movie were either animatronic or computer generated. As part of his contract, no snake was allowed near Samuel L Jackson _ they had to stay at least 8m away!
Quote: Neville Flynn (Jackson): "Enough is enough! I have had it with these mother****ing snakes on this mother****ing plane!"
Fiction: Best known as the film featuring Jennifer Lopez before she famously became Jenny from the Block. What's even more memorable than a young Lopez is Jon Voight's accent and that Danny "Machete" Trejo was one of the first to be swallowed whole by the titular snake.
Fact: Anacondas are gigantic snakes (their average size is 6.1m and average weight is 148.5kg) that live in the Amazon jungles of South America. In this movie, a massive 40-foot long animatronic snake which included 60w dual-axis hydraulically powered joints was created to replicate the snake.
Quote: Danny (Ice Cube): "There's snakes out there this big?"
Kung Fu Panda
Fiction: Master Viper (voiced by Lucy Liu) is one reptilian character who has defied the stereotype. This green tree viper is one of the good guys and part of the Furious Five, a band of kung fu masters (the others are Tigress, Monkey, Mantis and Crane). Together with newbie Po the Panda, they fight any threats that put their village in danger.
Fact: Erm, snakes don't talk. And they definitely don't do martial arts.
Quote: During a training, Viper attacks, and Po is flung. Viper: "I'm sorry, Brother! I thought you said you were ready."
Fiction: A 1979 Tamil film starring Kamal Hassan, which is a remake of the 1976 Hindi movie Nagin. He plays a researcher whose speciality is snakes, especially one particular snake, chadhari, which is said to have the ability to take on the form of a person. During an expedition, his friends kill a serpent. It turns out the serpent's partner is chadhari. Soon, the guys' lives are in danger especially when the female serpent takes on the form of a beautiful woman (SriPriya) to get her vengeance.
Fact: The serpent is one of the oldest and most commonly occurring creature in legends. Its mythological significance differs depending on geographical location. One thing that stands out is that serpents are connected with revenge and vindictiveness.
The Sorcerer And The White Snake
Fiction: A sorcerer fights for the soul of a young physician who has fallen in love with a woman who is really Madame White Snake, a thousand-year-old snake demon. Oops. There was an earlier movie too, starring Brigitte Lin, which is a classic.
Fact: Whitesnake is also a British rock band founded in 1978.
Quote: White Snake: "Before I saw you I meditated for a thousand years, but those thousand years are worth less than a moment with you."
The Jungle Book
Fiction: As far as Mowgli knows, the jungle has always been his home. And Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Panther are his family. However, other creatures are not so friendly towards Mowgli – there's Shere Khan the tiger and Kaa, a sly snake, both of whom intend to devour Mowgli.
Fact: The movie was based on Rudyard Kipling's collection of stories of the same title. Sterling Holloway was the voice of Kaa. He was also the original voice of Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh.
Quote: Kaa: "You have just s-s-sealed your doom."
Fiction: Robin Hood is a fox. No, really. With a bushy tail and shiny nose and everything. In the 1973 Disney cartoon, Robin goes up against the cowardly lion Prince John and his scaly minion, Sir Hiss. Like the two-faced henchman he is, Hiss often hypnotises his boss to do his bidding, and often lectures the prince when things go wrong.
Fact: Although the cobra does sway in a hypnotic manner, snakes cannot hypnotise because they can't count backwards.
Quote: (After being stuffed into a barrel full of ale.) Hiss: "Please! Please! I don't drink!"
|You are subscribed to email updates from The Star Online: Entertainment: Movies |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|