erik lundegaard

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Monday September 08, 2008

Boys are Back in Town

It was nice seeing the boys of “Entourage” again last night, but the episode turned out to be unintentionally ironic.

Basically it revolved around the short shelf-life of a Hollywood career, how you’re only as good as your last flick, and for Vinnie Chase, who is the star of the biggest box-office hit of all time (presumably Aquaman), his career is shaky after the Cannes disaster of his Pablo Escobar biopic Medellin. Indeed, the episode begins with an “At the Movies” drubbing of the film by Richard Roeper and Michael Phillips, and the main drama involves luring Vinnie from his Mexican hideaway for a lunch with a producer...who, it turns out, just wants the meeting so the star he really wants for his picture, Emile Hirsch, will lower his price.

What’s ironic about this? The critics who did the drubbing, Roeper and Phillips, have been replaced on “At the Movies,” while Emile Hirsch’s career is not as hot as it once was after the critical and box-office disaster of Speed Racer.

It almost makes you think they did this intentionally.
Posted at 07:15 AM on Sep 08, 2008 in category Movies
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Sunday September 07, 2008

"I Believe in Al Pacino"

I get the feeling that this thing is going to be mostly politics for the next two months, and for that I apologize, but you do what you gotta do. Friday I donated to the Obama campaign again. Yesterday my friend Andy and I registered voters (mostly voters whose addresses had changed) in south Seattle. You do what you gotta do.

But before the next round of political talk, here’s a snippet from an interview with Javier Bardem in today’s New York Times. Good stuff:
You grew up in Madrid, loving American as well as Spanish films.
That’s true: I don’t believe in God but I believe in Al Pacino. The other day I was watching Dog Day Afternoon again, and I see a man who is so true, so interesting, and I understand more about the world from his performance. And you go, “C’mon, it’s only acting.” Well, wouldn’t you say that a good book or a good painting allows you to see the world in a different way? When I see a great performance, I feel more alive.
Posted at 08:49 AM on Sep 07, 2008 in category Movies
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Monday August 25, 2008

“The Lundegaards”

Speaking of Fargo, I came across Kirk Demarais' site, and paintings, via Jeffrey Wells' Hollywood Elsewhere column. Kirk has a few other cinematic family portraits — the Torrances, the Freelings — but for obvious reasons this one hit home:

Thoughts on other cinematic family portraits Demarais should do? I like the happy family portrait before the tragedy, which is why the Griswolds doesn't work for me. The family should also be middle-class, because such paintings are (or were) middle-class staples, which lets out, say, the Corleones.

The Jarretts from Ordinary People maybe? The Burnhams from American Beauty? The Hoovers of Little Miss Sunshine?

Posted at 09:50 AM on Aug 25, 2008 in category Movies
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Thursday August 21, 2008

Dillinger lives

So I saw this article about the filming of Michael Mann’s new movie, Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, while reading the article that led to yesterday’s post, which I originally saw while researching a Wisconsin lawyer. I guess that’s why they call it the Web.

Anyone who knows how I feel about Mann, and Depp, and Christian Bale, knows  I’m kind of stoked over this. July ’09 release date.

Posted at 07:51 AM on Aug 21, 2008 in category Movies
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Tuesday August 19, 2008

Entertainment Weekly's Summer Box Office Predictions: Reporting the Forecast

Entertainment Weekly’s Fall Movie Preview issue hit the stands (or my mailbox) recently and there’s a lot of guffawing since their cover boy, Harry Potter, won’t be seen until summer now. Happens. Part of the difficulty of forecasting the news rather than reporting it.

These types of issues are generally fun in foresight and depressing in hindsight. Fun because you can imagine just how good these movies will be. Depressing because they’re often not. I still have EW’s Summer Movie Preview issue, which includes extensive write-ups of films like Speed Racer (for May), The Happening and The Love Guru (for June), and X-Files and Meet Dave (for July). X-Files is their big July write-up; it gets four pages. Hancock is second with two pages. In third place is that Batman sequel with one page. Happens.

Don’t know if EW attempts a box office prediction for autumn or if box office is irrelevant in autumn, but they did for the summer. Here it is, with actual rankings and actual box office (thus far) included:

EW Pred. Movie Pred. BO Actual Actual BO 
 1Indiana Jones and the Kingdom...
 $355.9M 3$315M 
 2Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
 $310.8M 9$141M 
 3Hancock  $280.4M 4$225M 
 4Wall-E
 $280.3M 5$214M 
 5Iron Man
 $262.7M 2$317M 
 6The Dark Knight
 $255.0M 1$471M 
 7Kung Fu Panda
 $224.6M 6$211M 
 8The Mummy: Tomb of...
 $176.5M 18$86M 
 9The Incredible Hulk
 $147.2M 10$134M 
 10Tropic Thunder
 $142.6M 47$36M

It's still early, of course, and films like Tropic Thunder and The Mummy will move up. But enough? I know, it's a game, and EW didn't play too badly. Their big error, besides the DK one, was thinking Chronicles of Narnia would do so well. Their rationale? "The first movie made $292 million, and that was without a hottie prince in the lead role." More interesting is what they left off the summer's top 10: Sex and the City, which is no. 7 with $152M, and Wanted at no. 10 with $133M. I.e., the two films with female leads. Oop.

Again: I know. It's not like my own box office predictions — when I’m asked to make them — stand up, either. I just think in general the media is too fascinated with this kind of thing. It’s hard enough to figure out what has happened or is happening without figuring out what’s gonna happen.

Posted at 08:12 AM on Aug 19, 2008 in category Movies
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