The Playlist

Weekend Box Office: 'Rango' Wrangles The Year's Highest Debut So Far with $38 Million

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • March 6, 2011 6:49 AM
  • |
  • 7 Comments
CG-toons. You can’t go wrong. Even if you’re alienating viewers. While “Rango” is the first non-3D animated film of the last year or so, most were predicting a much bigger opening around $50 million or so. Still, a not-bad $38 million showing for the film this weekend, though Cinemascore audiences only rated the film a C+. Most of those negative notices are probably due to the unconventional visual style, though critics have been making comparisons to Jim Jarmusch and allusions to Hunter S. Thompson. Yeah, those references were missing from “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Still, this seems like a one-and-done affair for people not exactly associated with animated work, especially considering a very hefty price tag that won’t be recouped without a muscular second weekend hold.

In Theaters: 'Gnomeo and Juliet,' 'The Eagle,' 'Just Go With It,' 'Never Say Never'

  • By Katie Walsh
  • |
  • February 11, 2011 4:35 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
Fine movie-going friends, things are starting to look up. There are more new releases this week at the box office, but you'll have to choose wisely, lest you be trampled by a horde of tweens frothing at the mouth or accidentally stumble into the latest Adam Sandler dum-dum misogyny fest. Keep your head focused and your path true, and you may find satisfaction at the cinema. Opening in wide release this week: the sure to be thought-provoking and insightful documentary about obscure young musician Justin Bieber, "Never Say Never;" Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston show lots of respect for the sanctity of marriage in "Just Go With It;" Channing Tatum gets all period up on your asses in "The Eagle;" and long gestating animated feature "Gnomeo and Juliet" makes it to the screen. In limited release, things are much more appealing with the Ed Helms starring "Cedar Rapids," a host of great documentaries, and the Oscar nominated shorts may be playing in your town!

Review: 'Gnomeo And Juliet' And The Existential Plight Of The Lawn Gnome

  • By Gabe Toro
  • |
  • February 11, 2011 3:10 AM
  • |
  • 3 Comments
In the "Toy Story" movies, though credibility was strained, an effort was made to keep humanity in the dark about the existence of toys that move on their own. Because of the lack of actual damage done, and with a certain ambiguity towards their adventures, there was no need to question the actual existence of the toys as some sort of fluke in God's grand design.

'Gnomeo & Julet' Director Kelly Asbury Talks the Narrative Quality of Elton John Songs

  • By Drew Taylor
  • |
  • February 10, 2011 4:33 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
Plus: His Take on the Nearly Endless Development Process & Why Everyone Gets Uptight About the Movie's EnglishnessDisney and Rocket Films' "Gnomeo & Juliet," opening nationwide this Friday, has had a storied production history that could be its own compelling film. The story of star-crossed lawn ornaments was set up as a joint Disney/Rocket Films production in the first part of the aughts, under the supervision of "Beauty and the Beast" co-director Gary Trousdale, with Kate Winslet and Ewan McGregor attached (they're now replaced by Emily Blunt and James McAvoy). The project fell apart, only to regain steam and be cut down again when Pixar's John Lasseter was installed, as the head of Disney's animation division (this was around the time he axed Chris Sanders' "American Dog," before neutering it and turning it into the toneless "Bolt"). The project was finally rescued by executive Dick Cook, who set it up not at Disney Animation proper, but with Miramax instead. Of course, with Miramax since being sold, Walt Disney are now taking on distribution duties for the film. At the end of all the back and forth, this take on the Shakespearean classic, thankfully, did not end in tragedy.

The Escapist & Potentially Entertaining Films Of 2011 - Part 2

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • January 7, 2011 11:09 AM
  • |
  • 5 Comments
We won't lie. This is a mish-mash of leftover films. Not least anticipated, not fervently most anticipated. They are The Escapist (and umm, other films) that didn't quite fit in our other previous lists. They're a mix of indies that we're hoping to have quality performances in them and more traditional action-y, popcorn flicks that could be quality because of the directors or talent involved. You'll just have to read a little deeper to see how we feel about each. In case you missed it, here's part one.“The Cold Light of Day" - Summit - dir. Mabrouk El MechriSynopsis: A cocky young Wall Street trader is thrust into a government conspiracy when his family is kidnapped on vacation in Spain.What You Need To Know: With a script by Scott Wipter ("The Wire") and John Petro, the film will mark the American debut of French-Tunisian helmer Mabrouk El Mechri, who has the interesting and entertaining Jean Claude Van Damme crime-comedy “JCVD” on his resume (a film that both Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino both loved). This latest film has a solid leading trio of stars in Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver, but more interestingly, will see Weaver play a villainess (originally written for a male actor) who takes on the father-son duo of Cavill and Willis.Release Date: TBD

Soundtrack For 'Gnomeo & Juliet' Is Basically An Elton John Greatest Hits Collection

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
  • |
  • December 22, 2010 3:56 AM
  • |
  • 0 Comments
One of the real trials for parents forced to drag their tiny progeny to the multiplex to see a film is sitting through a kid's pic with irritating songs sung by irritating characters. And while we have yet to weigh in on Disney's animated garden gnome film "Gnomeo & Juliet," at least parents won't have to endure a bunch of aggravating cutesy songs.

Email Updates

Recent Comments