Weekend Preview: Harry Potter Will Dominate; Indies Tabloid, The Tree, Life, Above All & Snow Flower

by Sophia Savage
July 14, 2011 5:29 AM
5 Comments
  • |

Thompson on Hollywood

Harry Potter #8 will make ridiculous amounts of money this weekend while indies and foreign offerings try to make a dent in the increasingly crowded summer box office. Here is our Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II box office analysis and media coverage round-up. Check out the reviews for "clumsy" Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (co-produced by Rupert Murdoch's wife, Wendi Murdoch), our interview with Errol Morris for his doc Tabloid, which tops indieWIRE's weekly critic consensus. There's also well-reviewed The Tree from France and Life, Above All from South Africa/Germany, plus Colin Hanks' dark comedy Lucky, which has been only slightly luckier with the critics than his father's Larry Crowne, and Sundance entry Salvation Boulevard, which is being critically slaughtered despite a stellar cast.

Reviews, pictures, trailers and details below:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Warner Bros., UK/USA | Dir: David Yates; Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes | 96% Tomatometer | 88% Metacritic | "Satisfying and Glorious Finale."

Thompson on Hollywood

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Fox Searchlight, CHINA/USA | Dir: Wayne Wang; Cast: Bingbing Li, Gianna Jun, Vivian Wu, Hugh Jackman, Archie Kao | indieWIRE | ThePlaylist's Exclusive First Look | 30% Tomatometer | 43% Metacritic.

Salvation Boulevard, IFC/Sony Pictures Classics, USA | Dir: George Ratliff; Cast: Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Connelly, Pierce Brosnan, Marisa Tomei, Ed Harris | criticWIRE C | 8% Tomatometer | 36% Metacritic

The Tree, Zeitgeist Films, FRANCE/AUS/GER/IT | Dir: Julie Bertuccelli; Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Morgana Davies, Marton Csokas, Christian Byers | 74% Tomatometer | Variety: "the elemental conflict -- between a little girl's willfulness, born out of love that won't let go of the dead, and her family's urge to get on with the living -- is expressively filmed."

Tabloid, Sundance Selects, USA | Dir: Errol Morris | criticWIRE B+ | Eric Kohn reviews: "phenomenally surreal weird-but-true tale" | criticWIRE B+ | 84% Tomatometer | 74% Metacritic | NY Magazine: "candy for voyeurs."

Life, Above All, Sony Pictures Classics, SOUTH AFRICA/GERMANY | Dir: Oliver Schmitz; Cast: Khomotso Manyaka, Keaobaka Makanyane, Harriet Lenabe, Lerato Mvelase, Tinah Mnumzana | criticWIRE B | Sony taks Life | 91% Tomatometer | 56% Metacritic

Daylight, Cinema Purgatorio, USA | Dir: David Barker, Cast: Brian Bickerstaff, Ivan Martin, Michael Godere, Alexandra Meierhans, Aylam Orian | indieWIRE | Tomatometer | Slant: "suffers from a debilitating identity crisis."

Lucky, Phase 4 Films, USA | Dir: Gil Cates Jr; Cast: Colin Hanks, Jeffrey Tambor, Mimi Rogers, Ari Graynor, Ann-Margret | indieWIRE | 43% Tomatometer | Slant: "Lucky, unfortunately, is terrible: overbearing, obnoxious, and boring."

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5 Comments

  • mary | July 14, 2011 12:40 PMReply

    sorry for double posting

  • mary | July 14, 2011 12:14 PMReply

    I don't think any country should boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

    Still, I agree that people shouldn't make films in Mainland China, because Mainland China is definitely not a good place to make films. Still, many people are willing to give up part of their freedom to make movie in Mainland China, and no one are brave enough to say any bad words on Mainland China’s censors and Chinese Government.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chinas-revival-lives-as-transformers-208965

    Here is the funny thing. Wayne Wang blamed MPAA for forcing him to delete some sensitive scenes from “Snow Flower and the Secret”:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-word-20110714,0,6127056.story

    I think it may not believable, because:
    1) The same version of this film are released in both China and US; so it is probably Mainland China’s censors which forced Wayne Wang to delete those sensitive scenes. (Again, no one are brave enough to say any bad words on Mainland China’s censors and Chinese Government.)
    2) Thanks to Mainland China’s censors, many sensitive materials were already deleted from the script before this film was in production.
    3) I don't know why specialty films like “Snow Flower and the Secret” need PG-13 rating, since most teens would have no interest in watching “Snow Flower and the Secret” anyway.

  • mary | July 14, 2011 12:11 PMReply

    I don't think any conyury should boycott the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

    Still, I agree that people shouldn't make films n Mainland China, because Mainland China is definitely not a good place to make films. Still, many people are willing to give up part of their freedom to make movie in Mainland China, and no one are brave enough to say any bad words on Mainland China’s censors and Chinese Government.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chinas-revival-lives-as-transformers-208965

    Here is the funny thing. Wayne Wang blamed MPAA for forcing him to delete some sensitive scenes from “Snow Flower and the Secret”:
    http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-et-word-20110714,0,6127056.story

    I think it may not believable, because:
    1) The same version of this film are released in both China and US; so it is probably Mainland China’s censors which forced Wayne Wang to delete those sensitive scenes. (Again, no one are brave enough to say any bad words on Mainland China’s censors and Chinese Government.)
    2) Thanks to Mainland China’s censors, many sensitive materials were already deleted from the script before this film was in production.
    3) I don't know why specialty films like “Snow Flower and the Secret” need PG-13 rating, since most teens would have no interest in watching “Snow Flower and the Secret” anyway.

  • Brian | July 14, 2011 7:35 AMReply

    Simple solution--don't make films with Mainland China. Back in the 1930s we didn't make co-productions with Nazi Germany, did we? Red China's treatment of the people of Tibet and Xinjiang, their persecution of artists, writers and dissenters, their suppression of religion, their threats to Taiwan and attempts to take control of islands disputed by Vietnam, Japan, the Philippines, etc. are no different from the behavior of the Nazis (and the Japanese) before the war. We should have boycotted the 1936 Olympics in Berlin but participated thanks to the tireless campaigning of a Nazi sympathizer on the U.S. Olympic Committee. We should have boycotted the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. History keeps repeating itself...

  • mary | July 14, 2011 6:02 AMReply

    "Snow Flower and the Secret" was doomed to failure at the beginning. Becsue the film was made as a China-US co-production, Wayne Wang was forced to tone down and/or delete many sensitive materials from the script (and novel) because of Mainland China's censors. If the filmmakers try to adapt a 'sensitive' story to pass Mainland China censorship, then the film is doomed to failure at the beginning.

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