Tag Archives: Mel Gibson

Pete’s Dragon and Sausage Party – Weekend Outlook

This weekend I will be seeing Life, Animated in a limited engagement at the Hippodrome Theater. It is only playing for 1 week so if you are here in the Gainesville area, you need to act fast. Unfortunately, I have to work on Saturday, but I may be able to check out another movie on Sunday afternoon. Let’s look at the new films hitting theaters and see if they stand a chance of passing Suicide Squad in its second week.

I kind of see this weekend as the unofficial end of the summer movie season. Very quickly studios are shifting to their fall releases which are typically more dramatic and geared towards adults and particularly Academy members. But the three new wide releases compete for second place this week because Suicide Squad, though it is still receiving less than stellar reviews, is almost certainly going to top the box office during its second weekend. I find it funny that all six of the new movies coming this weekend beat Suicide Squad on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m just saying, you can probably skip Suicide Squad this weekend and see a better movie.

Pete’s Dragon

First up is Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, the name might sound vaguely familiar because it is a remake of the 1977 film of the same name. Disney is looking to push even further out in front in the box office this year with another big family hit to add to Finding Dory, Jungle Book, and Zootopia. Last month they released The BFG, which I enjoyed and which received good reviews overall but which failed to attract the public at the box office grossing on $52 million.

It is hard to find a film to compare to Pete’s Dragon because the source property isn’t nearly as popular as Jungle Book or Cinderella. It is coming out in late August just as school is back in session across the country so it isn’t fair to compare it with others that came in the summer. The reviews are saying that it is great, and it currently holds an 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. I’m going to say that it will open somewhere in the neighborhood of Enchanted or The Good Dinosaur which opened at $34 and $39 million respectively.

Sausage Party

If Sausage Party taps into the same audience that Neighbors and Ted  had then we could be looking at a tight race for the top 3. Those two opened to $49 and $54 million respectively. Amazingly, despite the extremely foul content and crude 3D animation Sausage Party is currently looking at an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, so it could have a very strong showing. On the other hand, it could go the way of This is the End and Pineapple Express. Those were both also Sony pictures and opened to $20 and $23 million.

Seth Rogen and his troupe hope are hoping that Sausage Party’s unprecedented combination of 3D animation and crude humor will connect with fans worldwide. Part of me hopes it doesn’t because I have three kids and they already want to see it and it’s hard to explain to children why they can’t see a cartoon because it was made for adults only.

Florence Foster Jenkins

Meryl Streep is bankable talent for older audiences. It’s been a while since we had a film appealing to older audiences. It could possibly do very well as counter-programming, but a couple of other films have tried this summer and haven’t taken off. Florence is getting very good reviews though. It is currently sitting at 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. I think that this should do better than Ricki and the Flash which she released last August to $6 million, but not as well as Hope Springs which opened in a much less crowded August in 2012 and brought in $14 million.

Box Office Projection
  1. Suicide Squad – $46 million
  2. Pete’s Dragon – $36 million
  3. Sausage Party – $32 million
  4. Jason Bourne – $10 million
  5. Florence Foster Jenkins – $8 million

Independent/Limited Release

There are also a handful of Independent films that are worth watching that are premiering this weekend. I hope that if you see them here it might peak your interest and you can keep your eyes open for when they come to your theaters. Also, get to know your local theater managers and try to encourage them to bring more independent films to market or seek out smaller venues that might be more willing to show eclectic films or documentaries that others pass over with a yawn.

Hell or High Water

Blood Father



The Internet Has Already Named The Passion of the Christ Sequel

Yesterday it was reported that Randall Wallace, the writer who worked with Mel Gibson on 2004’s The Passion of the Christ, is currently at work on a script for the sequel. The writer, who recently wrote and directed the 2014 faith-based film Heaven Is For Real, told The Hollywood Reporter that he and Gibson are working on a sequel and that the project has become too difficult to keep under wraps.

 Despite the fact that Sony just put out Risen, a film that tells the story of the resurrection, Wallace says that there’s an underserved community of moviegoers that is clamoring for more undead Jesus of Nazareth. “The evangelical community considers The Passion the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood,” he explained. “And they kept telling us that they think a sequel will be even bigger.”

While the project is yet to find funding — as Wallace explains, “It’s too early to talk money. This is such a huge and sacred subject.” — We know that coming up with the perfect name for your movie can be difficult. So, the Internet has already taken up the mantle of naming the new film. Here are a few titles being thrown around the internet:

  • Christ Harder
  • Passion of the Christ 2: Electric Bugaloo
  • Muhammad v. Jesus: Dawn of Justice
  • 22 Jesus Street
  • Passion 2: Double Cross

Whatever title they pick, it is going to be the best Zombie movie to ever grace the screen. Do you think that it could help to provide some legitimacy to Mel Gibson and help to bring him back into the Hollywood community?


Day 08 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

A Movie You’ve Seen Countless Times

This one was a fairly easy choice. I don’t tend to re-watch many movies, only those that I really enjoy. But I remember seeing Braveheart in theaters three times when I was only 12. That means that begged my parents or friends parents to take me because I was too young to go by myself. This was the first DVD I ever bought. I watched it so many times in High School that I now have the movie memorized. I’m not sure of my heritage, I’ve never done the ancestral digging to find out where my origins truly lie, but because of this movie, I tell people I’m Scottish. And I am proud to be a Scotsman.

I completely understand that this movie is not an accurate depiction of the real story of Scotland’s fight for independence. Wallace was a towering figure, charismatic and powerful. But this is a movie, not a history book. I would wager that if this movie wasn’t made, with all its embellishments, then most of the Western world would have never known the name, William Wallace. I’m not exactly sure what made it my go to film as a young man (my favorite until just a few years ago). It probably had something to do with the gory violence, and the comedic writing probably helped as well. But what really got me, I think, was the fact that I was able to lose myself in the film and become William, joining him on his journey.

We first meet him as a boy, no older than 10. And we see the heart-crushing loss that he suffers and delight in the beauty of a love so pure as a child comforting another child. We see that love grow and mature as William returns to rebuild his home and family years later. Then there is the wedding that I dreamed of having when I was a teenager; hidden in the woods, completely private, joined as one, and consummated in the moonlight. It is absolutely beautiful and so it is completely gut-wrenching when we see her abused and murdered. From this point on we are on the side of the liquid blue eyed vigilante, even though he is a savage and a brutal killing machine, he is our protagonist. I bet if the queen of England watched this film, she would cheer for William. Why? Because he fights for freedom and for justice. These are two desires for which all people’s hearts beat.

Looking back, it has been a while since I sat down and critically watched this film. It does suffer a bit from it’s length as it tends to drag a bit in the 2nd and 4th acts. That would be the background story of Robert the Bruce (little known fact: the title Braveheart was historically attributed to him, not Wallace.), and the love affair with the princess, which is total historical rubbish (she would have been in France at the time and only about 13 years old) and completely unnecessary, and contrary, to the heart of the film. That being said, this is still a film which I plan on showing to my sons and daughter when they are on the brink of the teenage wasteland. I hope that it can teach them what it taught me. That a life that is lived without purpose is not lived at all.

What about you? What movie have you watched until the disc wore out? What special connection does that film hold for you? Please leave your choices in the comments below, or let me know on Twitter or Facebook. Also, if you pluck up the courage to blog through your 30 Day Movie Challenge, leave me a link. I’d love to follow along with you.