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Weekend Box Office: Audiences Get Their Strings Attached To 'No Strings Attached'

  • By Gabe Toro
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  • January 23, 2011 6:41 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Not much news to report during this quiet January weekend. One wide release opened to numbers that a studio would expect given two publicity-heavy stars in January ($20.3 million). “No Strings Attached” matched industry expectations, bringing good news to all involved, though if you're the only wide release in a single weekend, you're really banking on at least $20 mil. Budget numbers on this film go from $25 to $35 million, but there were extensive reshoots and it couldn’t have been too cheap to get these two multi-tasking stars in the fold.

Review: 'The Housemaid' Is A Remake That, Surprise, Pales In Comparison To Original

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • January 19, 2011 3:09 AM
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  • 0 Comments
A Korean city square is bustling. Folks window shop, eat out, and party in lavish apartments. Restaurant workers bust their ass to meet the demand, taking shots in-between flipping whatever's on the grill. A young woman stands on a balcony, gazing at the crowds before ending her life with a fall. Some stop to look, some debate whether they should go closer, few seek help. Eun-yi (Do-yeon Jeon from the terrific "Secret Sunshine") rides by the scene after a hard night of work, finding empty streets and a vague chalk outline on the pavement. Director Sang-soo Im firmly stamps his view of a cold, uncaring society right from the start, displaying humankind as a selfish entity devoid of any semblance of decency. He'll make a full circle with this sequence eventually, but until then he uses this current to tackle modern Korea's huge gap in living conditions (the "super rich" and poor, as he puts it), revel in soapy melodrama, orchestrate highly arousing sex scenes, and shoot probably the most elegant and beautiful visuals this side of "I Am Love." The fact of it being a remake hangs overhead, but at the end of the day, whatever you say about 2010's "The Housemaid," it is an all-together different beast from the 1960s post-Korean War oddity, though simply nowhere near as strong or lingering.

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