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Review: ‘Everest’ A Plea For Sanity Despite Dangerous Temptations

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Everest-Movie Poster Movie Spoon

 Rating: 4 Stars

Everest, released to the general U.S. audience on Sept. 25, has impeccable acting, a stunning story line, excellent cinematography and deft directing. That doesn’t always translate to box office success, and the film, directed by Baltasar Kormakur, did modestly well in U.S. theaters, taking in $7,222,035 over the 9/25 weekend with a release in only 545 theaters – a scant number compared with current blockbuster Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials, which opened in 3,791 theaters, pulling in $30,316,510 domestically.

Everest, which opened first in a very limited number of IMax theaters, did much better in theaters world wide. The receipts topped $96 million over the weekend. That was more than any other film besides the teen-oriented Maze Runner film and Lost in Hong Kong, which grossed over $100 million.

Everest has immediate appeal from an Oscar awards point of view, especially if impact matters at all. This is a film with a message that follows in the footsteps of Outside magazine writer Jon Krakauer, who reportedly hates the film. Nevertheless, his book Into Thin Air, which chronicled the 1996 climbing season on Everest comes to the same conclusion: Everest is too dangerous to be a tourist attraction.

Everest, the film, is a mountaineer’s version of Jurassic World. Humans are simply no match for the forces of nature, when it comes in the form of carnivores the size of school buses or mountains that reach into the stratosphere.

Is it difficult for that message to land a punch for an audience sitting in comfort at a cinemaplex? Humans haven’t cloned dinosaurs, but we have gone to the moon, to the arctic poles, to the bottom of the ocean and to the top of Everest. But when these places become tourist attractions, you find unprepared humans attempting to buy their way on board.

Meanwhile, Kormakur takes a lesson from director Ron Howard and others, who simply allow a great story to tell itself, as Howard choose to do with Apollo 13 (1995).

This attitude encompasses the film. Perhaps Kormakur found the mountain overwhelming enough. There is little need for dramatic camera angles or a manipulative movie score. This story looks frightening enough without much help. It is evident that Kormakur sensed that.

That said, Dano Marianelli composed music for the film, and if it stayed sensibly in the background, that isn’t a negative concept. The actors: Josh Broslin, Jason Clarke (as Rob Hall), Jake Gyllenhaal (as Scott Fischer), John Hawkes (as Doug Hansen), Sam Worthington (as Guy Cotter), Robin Wright (as Peach Weathers), Keira Knightley (as Jan Arnold) and Emily Watson (as Helen Wilton) work as well together as any director (or audience) could hope to see.

How many stars? A lot. Four solid stars. This is a tough, beautiful, frightening film. And if Krakauer wants every detail to be spot on correct – well, that’s not going to happen. This is Hollywood and sometimes they aim a little higher than that.

Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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