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Archive: April, 2011

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 1:50 PM

Mark Wahlberg has signed Justin Bieber to co-star in a movie about "street basketball."

I can hardly think of a person less qualified to convincingly play a streetballer than Bieber. Peter Dinklage? Perhaps the idea is to make Wahlberg look like Manute Bol.

 Deadline reports that Bieber earned the job by winning the MVP in the celebrity game on NBA all-star weekend, that he "more than held his own" against former NBA players. Bieber missed the rim on several shot attempts.  The CGI budget on this thing is going to be huge.

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 12:54 PM

The Root has analyzed the Spike Lee/Tyler Perry feud, generally concluding that Perry has overreacted to criticism from Lee and other African Americans. 

Writer Clay Cane quotes Perry as saying that  Italians never protested 'The Sopranos," which is of course completely wrong.  Cane goes on to provide examples of other pilloried directors, and other director-on-director feuds.

For balance, he points out that Perry's latest movie made more opening weekend money ($25 million) than any of Lee's, except "Inside Job."

POSTED: Thursday, April 28, 2011, 10:13 AM

"Atlas Shrugged Part I" producer John Agliaro has vowed to proceed with plans to finish his planned trilogy, based on Ayn Rand's book, despite tepid box office. "Part One" has made less than $3 million, and cost Agliaro $20 to make and distribute.

Agliaro blames critics for dismal receipts. In The Hollywood Reporter, he says 16 major critics that have reviewed the film all say it's lousy, and sees that unanimity as evidence of groupthink and "nihilism." Only shared political bias could account for it, he reasons.

 I guess he hasn't seen the reviews for "The Last Airbender," or "Little Fockers."

POSTED: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 3:04 PM

Movieline critic and former NYT critic Elvis Mitchell apparently lost his job for criticizing a scene in "Source Code" that does not appear in the movie -- Jeffrey Wright smoking a pipe. Director Duncan Jones used his Twitter feed to note the discrepancy. 

The scene is in the script, prompting speculation that Mitchell read the screenplay more closely than he watched the movie, if he watched the movie at all. The incident is reported in Deadline, and the lengthy comments section underneath is interesting -- lots of back and forth among fans, critics, and Hollywood people about what it all means.

Most surprising to me -- how many people hated "Source Code," or hate Jake Gyllenhaal. One post says the only thing good about the multiple-flashback "Source Code" is that it gives you a chance to see Gyllenhaal die over and over again.  

POSTED: Monday, April 25, 2011, 11:54 AM

HBO’s “Game of Thrones” answers the looming question:

”What if Bob Guccione Had Produced ‘Lord of the Rings’?”

I had budgeted some Sunday night bonding time with my tween son, who likes anything with armor and sword fights, but the series turned out to contain more softcore pornography (some featuring Peter Dinklage) than seemed absolutely necessary.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:46 PM

A nine year old boy obsessed with "Black Hawk Down" -- to the point that he dresses as a medic and runs around pretending to save people -- actually performed movie CPR on his drowned sister and saved her life. This report overturns all conventional wisdom on the effects of exposing children to violent movies. Don't send you kids to medical school. Rent "Black Hawk Down." Or "Saw." 

Meanwhile, an air traffic controller got caught watching a Samuel L. Jackson movie when he should have been watching the radar. And what was the movie that so riveted this controller, distracting him from his life-saving job? Was it "Snakes on a Plane?" No, a straight-to-video thriller called "Cleaner," co-starring Ed Harris, Eva Mendes and Luis Guzman. It opened in Finland in 2007, and grossed $50,000 its opening weekend.  

At least he wasn't asleep. 

POSTED: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 3:40 PM

The Rave University City theaters in west Philadelphia will have a "Free Family Film Festival" this week, timed with spring break. 

The Rave will show Steve Carell's "Despicable Me" this week on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday (not Friday), at 10 a.m. only.

No other movies are involved and it's "subject to availability," meaning first come first served.

POSTED: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 12:58 PM

""Atlas Shrugged Part I" appears to have had a tough first day at the box office, though surely Ayn Rand fans were accumulating capital on Friday, not loafing at the movies. "Atlas" doesn't show up in this round-up of the top ten.

The movie isn't being helped by review -- it's pulling a lowly 5 percent at rottentomatoes.com, below last year's razzie winner 'The Last Airender."

Kyle Smith of the New York Post gives the movie the closest thing to a good review.

About this blog
Gary Thompson is the Daily News film critic. Reach Gary at thompsg@phillynews.com.

Gary Thompson Daily News Film Critic
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