September 2, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Found Footage Films

Director Gonzalo López-Gallego’s Apollo 18 comes out in theaters today and bases its plot on the discovery of some harrowing footage captured by two astronauts on a 1974 secret mission to the moon. Does this storyline sound familiar? Well, that would be because “found footage” flicks, first made famous with Cannibal Holocaust in 1980 and three decades later by the notorious The Blair Witch Project, are now an established genre of filmmaking. A substantial part of those films is presented as an edit of recovered footage, left behind by missing or dead protagonists The success of the “found footage” genre depends on the audience feeling that what they are seeing is real--cue the shaky camerawork and banal locations and characters for added realism. So, try to engage in a willing suspension of disbelief long enough to read the following list of films!

August 31, 2011

Trailer Watch: The Hunger Games, The Artist, The Skin I Live In, The Rum Diary

As Fall draws near, we are starting to see more and more trailers for movies that will surely be on a lot of critics' minds during awards season. French director Michel Hazanavicius takes us back to the silent age of cinema. Pedro Almodóvar delivers a creepy thriller. Johnny Depp takes another turn with a Hunter S. Thompson adaptation. But we start off with a teaser for the anticipated adaptation of The Hunger Games.

August 29, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: "The Help" unfazed by Hurricane Irene

Zoe Saldana is ruthless in "Colombiana," but no match for
"The Help" and Hurricane Irene.

Hurricane Irene created havoc in the box-office this weekend with combined domestic grosses totaling a measly $91.0 million, as most theaters on the East Coast closed down. The only movie not to suffer was The Help, which grossed $14.3 million, down just 28.4% from last weekend, now tallying a 19-day gross of $96.6 million, no doubt “helped” by terrific word of mouth.

August 22, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Box-office bloodbath for Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night

The ladies of The Help are looking pretty darned pleased with themselves...
Rightly so!

The Help climbed to the top spot over the weekend, due to a combination of strong word of mouth, weak new releases, and being played in an additional 156 theaters, while Rise of the Planet of the Apes dropped to the second spot, dipping 41.4% but grossing a hefty $133.8 million overall in 17 days. Although The Help eased 21 percent from the previous week, the movie earned a respectable $20.4 million this week, lifting its total to $71.8 million in 12 days. Expect the female-driven book adaptation flick to have a strong hold in the top ten in the weeks to come…

August 18, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Best and Worst Movie Gimmicks

This weekend Spy Kids: All the Time in the World 4D hits theaters, with the all-new Aroma-Scope!  Don't "Ooh" and "Aah" all at once!  Director Robert Rodriguez's newest installment offers viewers scratch-and-sniff cards during the feature; when you rub the corresponding circle, you will experience whatever the characters smell onscreen!  Neat, right?  Alright, alright, it may not be for you.  But it's certainly an interesting way to spend the afternoon if you're six years old.  And if you are 26, 46 or 66, you may remember a gimmick or two from your childhood that helped pave the way for today's cinema novelties.  The Movie Gimmick is that extra step a movie marketer will go to make his film stand out from the rest, for better or worse...mostly worse.  Here's what we have:
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