June 29, 2011

Trailer Watch: Brave, Immortals, War Horse, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol

This week we have a tease at Pixar's upcoming epic Brave, a deeper look at Tarsem Singh's swords-and-sandals flick Immortals, a peak into Steven Spielberg's War Horse, and the first official look at Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol.

June 27, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: "Cars 2" races past "Bad Teacher" to the finish line

Despite dismal reviews, Pixar's Cars 2 finishes
in first at the box office.
Cars 2 still managed to ride on to the top spot despite lukewarm reviews, and grossed $68 million for the weekend, beating the first Cars installment’s $60.1 million opening weekend from June 2006. Cars 2 also delivered the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend yet for a Pixar movie.

Riding on the success of outrageous female-driven flick Bridesmaids, Bad Teacher edged to the second spot with a solid $31 million, largely thanks to the presence of highly bankable stars Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake. According to Sony Pictures, the comedy’s audience was 63% female and 57% aged 25 years and older

June 23, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Good and Bad Teachers on the Big Screen

This Friday, Bad Teacher hits screens nationwide. You may have seen the poster: Cameron Diaz's legs kicked back over a desk, shades hiding her sleeping state. She plays Elizabeth Halsey, an awful teacher recently dumped by her well-to-do hubby. When not disregarding her students or sleeping on the job, she tries to seduce her new co-worker, played by Justin Timberlake. The movie also stars Jason Segal as the school's gym teacher. Trailers for this film keep it fairly simple: expect some yelling, a little swearing and of course some questionable teaching! But teachers make up quite an interesting faculty of characters on film. This week, we look at the most memorable ones, both good and bad.

June 22, 2011

Pixar's Top 15 Movie Posters

Pixar comes out with Cars 2 this weekend. They've made consistently beautiful movies and their posters reflect that. Here's what we think are Pixar's 15 best movie posters.

Movies Revisited: Them! (1954)

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This week, we go back to 1954 for the seminal sci-fi thriller Them! (MRQE Metric: 80), starring James Arness, Edmund Gwenn and James Whitmore.

Them! begins with a loud orchestra, and a title card that blasts over the screen in a bright red font (the only color in this black & white film). A local police officer (Whitmore) and his partner drive through the New Mexico desert in response to a distress call. They discover a little girl, walking alone in a state of shock. She has seen something, but we don't know what. The officers discover the girl's abandoned family trailer nearby; it has been torn apart, with a hole ripped out the side. The local general store is found destroyed as well. No evidence except a trail of spilled sugar and a large, peculiar footprint.

June 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: Ryan Reynolds lights the way to the top with "Green Lantern"

Ryan Reynolds blasts his way to #1 in Green Lantern.
Despite dismal reviews and a poorly received marketing campaign, Green Lantern still managed to gross $52.6 million on 7,200 screens at 3,816 locations. The comic book adaptation attracted a mostly masculine audience with a 64% share, and early positive Twitter feedback as early Friday afternoon helped the Ryan Reynolds vehicle on its way to number one.

June 16, 2011

MRQE Rewind: DC Comics' Best Movies

Intergalactic superhero Green Lantern lands onto our screen this Friday, starring Ryan Reynolds as a test pilot charged with protecting planet Earth from super villain Parallax by the mysterious Guardians of the Universe. With the recent release of Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class, the spotlight has been on film adaptations of popular superheroes comic book franchises but how do DC Comics fare against popular Marvel Comics characters such as Spider-Man and Iron Man? From big hitters Superman and Batman to the lesser known half-faerie Tristan Thorne from Sci-fi/Fantasy flick Stardust, we take an in-depth look at how protagonists from the DC universe were brought to life on the big screen with often fascinating results. Below we highlight the Top 10, but check out the full list on MRQE.

June 13, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up: "Super 8" derails "X-Men" with an extra-terrestrial opening

#1 movie,  J.J. Abram's Super 8, derails the competition.
J.J. Abrams’ nostalgic ode to early Steven Spielberg movies defied expectations in its opening weekend: Super 8 grossed $37 million largely thanks to a last minute Twitter campaign from Paramount. This modest but solid start is comparable to 2009's District 9’s $37.4 million but it remains to be seen if the positive word-of-mouth will also contribute to the sci-fi flick’s staying power.

X-Men: First Class lost more than half of its revenue compared to the previous week but managed to hang on to the second spot with a $25 million gross. However, the mutant superhero team will face a tough competition next weekend with the highly anticipated release of Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds in the eponymous role.

June 9, 2011

MRQE Rewind: Super 8 Movie Makers

Super 8 opens this Friday. The movie stars newcomer Joel Courtney as Joe Lamb, a young filmmaker in 1979 Ohio. A mysterious train crash occurs while Joe and his friends are shooting a film on Super 8. Soon Joe and the rest of the towns' inhabitants begin experiencing strange events and unexplained phenomena. Much has been kept secret concerning the film's plot, but the young auteur protagonist recalls a number of real-life filmmakers who got their start making home movies. This week MRQE looks at eight filmmakers who saw their cinematic aspirations take hold in their youth.

June 3, 2011

Movies Revisited: Midnight Express (1978)

"The concept of a society is based on the quality of mercy," pleads Brad Davis' character Billy Hayes in the film we're revisiting this week. Midnight Express, (MRQE Metric: 70) released in 1978, is a definitive prison drama/escape thriller. Before OZ, Prison Break or The Shawshank Redemption, it was this Oscar-winning screenplay written by Oliver Stone that shocked audiences with its graphic portrayal of an American's experience abroad in a Turkish prison.

The film starts with Billy Hayes, a brash young traveler making his way through a Turkish airport with his girlfriend, and some local hashish he has strapped to his chest with the intention of selling to friends back home. During a search, moments before boarding, authorities arrest Billy for smuggling. While in custody, Billy tries to negotiate his release by revealing the identity of his dealer. But he tries to escape during the planned operation. After re-capture, he is sentenced to four years and two months in a Turkish prison for drug possession.

June 2, 2011

MRQE Rewind: 1960's Flashback - Modern Movies Set in the '60s

X-Men: First Class opens this weekend, giving us as a look back at how it all began. We meet a young Professor X and a young Magneto, as the film explores their friendship, their eventual split, and the creation (or shall we say, founding) of X's Institute for Higher Learning, and Magento's Brotherhood of Mutants. The film is set in the 1960's, and from the trailers, we see Cold War era fears, a nod to the Civil Rights movement, and how the two play a part in how the mutants are received, and their role in protecting the globe. We also see period clothes, shots of JFK orating on a period TV set, and of course, many allusions to 60's era James Bond. As the new X-Men movie delivers a '60s flashback, tune in, drop out, and take a trip with us as we recall films from the past decade set in the decade that changed it all.
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