I might actually break my NO TIFF rule this year so I can see The Hip film ASAP.

Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Drake to attend Toronto film fest

The stars are aligning for the Toronto International Film Festival, with Angelina Jolie, George Clooney, Drake, Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence and Idris Elba among the celebrities expected to hit the red carpet.

Other stars confirmed to attend include Matt Damon, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Chastain, Liam Neeson, Helen Mirren, Javier Bardem and Priyanka Chopra.

Organizers say the A-listers are among hundreds of guests booked for the 11-day movie marathon, set to open Sept. 7.

“What I like about our festival is that we have celebrities from all over the world,” TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey told CBC News on Tuesday.

“People who love movies love to see their favourite stars come to town … it’s an opportunity to connect with them as human beings,” he said, whether on a red carpet or at a Q&A after a movie screening.

“We see them larger than life on the big screen. We see them enact our greatest fantasies sometimes. But it’s important to remember these are artists who are trying to tell stories … I think that encounter can be really important.”

Jolie will be promoting First They Killed My Father, which she directed, produced and co-wrote, and The Breadwinner, which she produced. Drake is an executive producer on the basketball documentary The Carter Effect about former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter.

Clooney directed Damon in the comedy Suburbicon, while Stone stars in the historical tennis drama Battle of the Sexes, Lawrence is the lead actress in mother! and Elba stars in the survival tale The Mountain Between Us.

Chastain stars in Molly’s Game, Kidman is back at TIFF with The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and Neeson is an anonymous tipster in Mark Felt — The Man Who Brought Down the White House.

“Films are never a direct reflection of what’s going on in the direct political climate … but over time you do see some resonance,” Bailey said.

“We did notice that there are a lot of films we ended up choosing that are stories of survival,” he added.

“There is an intensity to some of the films this year, that is about people under great pressure. It’s not about winning necessarily, it’s about getting through it. It’s about surviving.”

Film and television actor and producer Chopra is slated to headline TIFF’s annual pre-festival fundraiser, with this year’s proceeds going to Share Her Journey, a new campaign supporting increasing participation and opportunities for women in film.

Meanwhile, the festival also announced on Tuesday that Mirren and Bardem will discuss their craft onstage as part of the “In Conversation With” lineup, which also includes Gael Garcia Bernal.

Mirren heads to the fest with The Leisure Seeker, Bardem can be seen in mother! and Loving Pablo, and Bernal stars in If You Saw His Heart.

Noticeably absent in the guest list is Tragically Hip frontman Gord Downie, who stars in the concert documentary Long Time Running. His bandmates Rob Baker, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair and Johnny Fay are slated to attend, as are directors Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. The doc follows the band in the wake of Downie’s public announcement that he has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

Despite the celebrity heft, the festival is considerably smaller this year.

Organizers say the slates includes 255 features, down from 296 last year, and 84 shorts, down from 101 last year.

The slim-down includes Canadian films, with just 28 homegrown features making the cut, including co-productions. Last year saw 38 features. The number of Canadian shorts is down to 29, from 38 last year.


I still hope to see it one day.

The movie Jerry Lewis didn’t want you to see

Few would deny the comedic genius of Jerry Lewis, who died Sunday at age 91. But there is one movie in his slapstick-riddled filmography that drew no laughs — partly because it is so distasteful, partly because, at the behest of Lewis himself, it is never officially screened.

It’s 1972’s “The Day the Clown Cried,” an attempt at a serious Holocaust film that Lewis directed and starred in. The movie centers around German circus clown Helmut Doork, played by Lewis, who insults Adolph Hitler, gets sent to a concentration camp and is then charged with entertaining children as they are marched off to the gas chamber. He eventually leads them in, giving up his own life so that they are not afraid of walking to their deaths.

Comedian Harry Shearer, famous for playing myriad characters on “The Simpsons,” ranks among the few who have seen it. According to Variety, “an associate of Lewis’s snuck [Shearer] a copy for the weekend” in 1979.

“The closest I can come to describing the effect is if you flew down to Tijuana and suddenly saw a painting on black velvet of Auschwitz,” Shearer said.

Lewis gave it the worst review of all: “Bad, bad, bad, embarrassingly bad.”

Proving that he stands by what he says, Lewis donated a copy — it only got to the rough-cut stage — to the Library of Congress’s National Film Registry. But it was conditional: The movie cannot be shown until 2025, the year Lewis would have turned 99.

This inglorious chapter of film history began in 1961 when a TV publicist partnered with a film critic from the Los Angeles Examiner to write the script. According to a story that ran in Spy magazine, Dick Van Dyke, Bobby Darin and Milton Berle had all considered starring in the movie but turned it down. Lewis, who says he thought the movie could convey the horrors of the Holocaust to a wide audience, signed on 1971 after being courted by producer Nat Wachsberger.

Enthused, Lewis toured concentration camps and went on a grapefruit diet that resulted in his losing 35 pounds in order to play the imprisoned clown convincingly.

Financing eventually dried up and Wachsberger reportedly bailed, but an obsessed and Percodan-addicted Lewis soldiered on. He dropped his own money into the doomed project, which was mostly shot on set in Sweden and entangled in legal issues, including whether or not Lewis and Wachsberger even had a right to use the script.

In 1972, Lewis said he almost had a heart attack from the stress of it all. But, as he told The New York Times that year, there was an upside: “I put all the pain on the screen … I think it’s given a new depth to my playing of the clown, Helmut, whose agony is the center of the picture.”

Shortly after, he decided to bury his seemingly botched effort.

The irony is that the shunned flick bears similarities to the 1997 movie “Life is Beautiful,” which won three Academy Awards, including Best Actor for star Roberto Benigni.

“Jerry might have been eating his heart out when those Oscars came in,” said Robert Edwards, producer of “The Last Laugh,” a documentary about humor related to the Holocaust. “Who knows, maybe the movie was deservedly buried or else it is ahead of its time.”

New Yorker critic Richard Brody recently saw a few snippets and described them as “profoundly moving.”

“If it does get released [in 2025],” added Edwards, “and is praised as a hidden gem, it’s a shame that Jerry won’t be here to know.”


He was legendary on so many levels. Rest in peace, Jerry!!

Comedian, director Jerry Lewis dead at 91

Jerry Lewis, the comedian and filmmaker who was adored by many, disdained by others, but unquestionably a defining figure of American entertainment in the 20th century, died Sunday morning at his home in Las Vegas. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by his publicist, Candi Cazau.

Lewis knew success in movies, on television, in nightclubs, on the Broadway stage and in the university lecture hall. His career had its ups and downs, but when it was at its zenith there were few stars any bigger. And he got there remarkably quickly.

Barely out of his teens, he shot to fame shortly after the Second World War with a nightclub act in which the rakish, imperturbable Dean Martin crooned and the skinny, hyperactive Lewis capered around the stage, a dangerously volatile id to Martin’s supremely relaxed ego.

After his break with Martin in 1956, Lewis went on to a successful solo career, eventually writing, producing and directing many of his own films.

As a spokesman for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Lewis raised vast sums for charity; as a filmmaker of great personal force and technical skill, he made many contributions to the industry, including the invention in 1960 of a device — the video assist, which allowed directors to review their work immediately on the set — still in common use.

A mercurial personality who could flip from naked neediness to towering rage, Lewis seemed to contain multitudes, and he explored all of them. His ultimate object of contemplation was his own contradictory self, and he turned his obsession with fragmentation, discontinuity and the limits of language into a spectacle that enchanted children, disturbed adults and fascinated postmodernist critics.

Jerry Lewis was born on March 16, 1926, in Newark, N.J. Most sources, including his 1982 autobiography, Jerry Lewis: In Person, give his birth name as Joseph Levitch. But Shawn Levy, author of the exhaustive 1996 biography King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis, unearthed a birth record that gave his first name as Jerome.

His parents, Danny and Rae Levitch, were entertainers — his father a song-and-dance man, his mother a pianist — who used the name Lewis when they appeared in small-time vaudeville and at Catskills resort hotels.

In 1944 — a 4F classification kept him out of the war — he was performing at the Downtown Theater in Detroit when he met Patti Palmer, a 23-year-old singer. Three months later they were married, and on July 31, 1945, while Patti was living with Jerry’s parents in Newark and he was performing at a Baltimore nightclub, she gave birth to the first of the couple’s six sons. The couple divorced in 1980.

Between his first date with Palmer and the birth of his first son, Lewis had met Dean Martin, a promising young crooner from Steubenville, Ohio. Appearing on the same bill at the Glass Hat nightclub in Manhattan, the skinny kid from New Jersey was dazzled by the sleepy-eyed singer, who seemed to be everything he was not: handsome, self-assured and deeply, unshakably cool.

When they found themselves on the same bill again at another Manhattan nightclub, the Havana-Madrid, in March 1946, they started fooling around in impromptu sessions after the evening’s last show. Their antics earned the notice of Billboard magazine, whose reviewer wrote, “Martin and Lewis do an afterpiece that has all the makings of a sock act,” using showbiz slang for a successful show.

By the summer of 1948, they had reached the pinnacle, headlining at the Copacabana on the upper East Side of Manhattan while playing one show a night at the 6,000-seat Roxy Theater in Times Square.

The phenomenal rise of Martin and Lewis was like nothing show business had seen before. Partly this was because of the rise of mass media after the war, when newspapers, radio and the emerging medium of television came together to create a new kind of instant celebrity. And partly it was because four years of war and its difficult aftermath were finally lifting, allowing America to indulge a long-suppressed taste for silliness. But primarily it was the unusual chemical reaction that occurred when Martin and Lewis were side by side.

Lewis’s shorthand definition for their relationship was “sex and slapstick.” But much more was going on: a dialectic between adult and infant, assurance and anxiety, bitter experience and wide-eyed innocence that generated a powerful image of postwar America, a gangly young country suddenly dominant on the world stage.

Among the audience members at the Copacabana was producer Hal Wallis, who had a distribution deal through Paramount Pictures. Wallis signed them to a five-year contract.

He started them off slowly, slipping them into a low-budget project already in the pipeline. Based on a popular radio show, My Friend Irma (1949) starred Marie Wilson as a ditsy blonde and Diana Lynn as her levelheaded roommate, with Martin and Lewis providing comic support. It was not until At War With the Army (1951), an independent production filmed outside Wallis’s control, that the team took centre stage.

At War With the Army codified the relationship that ran through all 13 subsequent Martin and Lewis films, positing the pair as unlikely pals whose friendship might be tested by trouble with money or women (usually generated by Martin’s character), but who were there for each other in the end.

The films were phenomenally successful, and their budgets quickly grew.

That’s My Boy (1951), The Stooge (1953) and The Caddy (1953) approached psychological drama with their forbidding father figures and suggestions of sibling rivalry; Lewis had a hand in the writing of each. Artists and Models (1955) and Hollywood or Bust (1956) were broadly satirical looks at American popular culture under the authorial hand of director Frank Tashlin, who brought a bold graphic style and a flair for wild sight gags to his work.

Tashlin also functioned as a mentor to Lewis, who was fascinated with the technical side of filmmaking.

As his artistic aspirations grew and his control over the films in which he appeared increased, Lewis’s relationship with Martin became strained. As wildly popular as the team remained, Martin had come to resent Lewis’s dominant role in shaping their work and spoke of reviving his solo career as a singer. Lewis felt betrayed by the man he still worshipped as a role model, and by the time filming began on Hollywood or Bust they were barely speaking.

After a farewell performance at the Copacabana on July 25, 1956, Martin and Lewis went their separate ways.

Lewis saved his creative energies for the films he produced himself. The first three of those films — Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958), The Geisha Boy (1958) and Cinderfella (1960) — were directed by Tashlin. After that, finally ready to assume complete control, Lewis persuaded Paramount to take a chance on The Bellboy (1960), a virtually plotless homage to silent-film comedy that he wrote, directed and starred in, playing a hapless employee of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach.

It was the beginning of Lewis’s most creative period. During the next five years, he directed five more films of remarkable stylistic assurance, including The Ladies Man (1961), with its huge multistory set of a women’s boardinghouse, and, most notably, The Nutty Professor (1963), a variation on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which Lewis appeared as a painfully shy chemistry professor and his dark alter ego, a swaggering nightclub singer.

With their themes of fragmented identity and their experimental approach to sound, colour and narrative structure, Lewis’s films began to attract the serious consideration of iconoclastic young critics in France. At a time when American film was still largely dismissed by American critics as purely commercial and devoid of artistic interest, Lewis’s work was held up as a prime example of a personal filmmaker functioning happily within the studio system.

The Nutty Professor is probably the most honoured and analyzed of Lewis’s films. (It was also his personal favourite.) For some critics, the opposition between the helpless, infantile Professor Julius Kelp and the coldly manipulative lounge singer Buddy Love represented a spiteful revision of the old Martin-and-Lewis dynamic. But Buddy seems more pertinently a projection of Lewis’s darkest fears about himself: a version of the distant, unloving father whom Lewis had never managed to please as a child, and whom he both despised and desperately wanted to be.

His blend of physical comedy and pathos was quickly going out of style in a Hollywood defined by the countercultural irony of The Graduate and M*A*S*H. After “The Day the Clown Cried,” his audacious attempt to direct a comedy-drama set in a Nazi concentration amp, collapsed in litigation in 1972, Lewis was absent from films for eight years. In that dark period, he struggled with an addiction to the pain killer Percodan.

He enjoyed a revival as an actor, thanks largely to his powerful performance in a dramatic role in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy (1982) as a talk-show host kidnapped by an aspiring comedian (Robert De Niro) desperate to become a celebrity. He appeared in the television series Wiseguy in 1988 and 1989 as a garment manufacturer threatened by the Mob, and was memorable in character roles in Emir Kusturica’s Arizona Dream (1993) and Peter Chelsom’s Funny Bones (1995). Lewis played Mr. Applegate (aka the Devil) in a Broadway revival of the musical Damn Yankees in 1995 and later took the show on an international tour.

In 1983, Lewis married SanDee Pitnick, and in 1992 their daughter, Danielle Sara, was born. Besides his wife and daughter, survivors include his sons Christopher, Scott, Gary and Anthony, and several grandchildren.

Although he retained a preternaturally youthful appearance for many years, Lewis had a series of serious illnesses in his later life, including prostate cancer, pulmonary fibrosis and two heart attacks.

Through it all, Lewis continued his charity work, serving as national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and, beginning in 1966, hosting the association’s annual Labor Day weekend telethon. The telethon raised about $2 billion during the more than 40 years he was host.

During the 1976 telethon, Frank Sinatra staged an on-air reunion between Lewis and Martin, to the visible discomfort of both men. A more lasting reconciliation came in 1987, when Lewis attended the funeral of Martin’s oldest son, Dean Paul Martin Jr., a pilot in the California Air National Guard who had been killed in a crash. They continued to speak occasionally until Martin died in 1995.


Once again Daniel is Bond…James Bond! Woo hoo!!

Daniel Craig Confirms Return to James Bond Role

The actor told ‘Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert that he will be returning for his fifth film as the famous spy in ‘Bond 25.’

James Bond fans were shaken and stirred Tuesday night.

Daniel Craig officially confirmed he will return to the role of Agent 007 in the upcoming Bond 25 on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday. Craig had previously been attached to the project by reports from the New York Times and others, but never confirmed personally — until his appearance on Colbert’s show.

“Yes,” Craig told Colbert point-blank, when asked if he will return as the secret agent. “I always wanted to, I wanted a break,” he said of returning to the character.

He also confirmed that it would be the last time he would tackle the iconic role, saying, “I just want to go out on a high note, and I can’t wait.”

Craig earlier Tuesday morning told a Boston radio program, “I’d hate to burst the bubble, but no decision has been made at the moment. There’s a lot of noise out there and nothing official has been confirmed and I’m not, like, holding out for more money or doing anything like that. It’s just all very personal decisions to be made at the moment,” Craig said on Morning Magic 106.7. “I know they’re desperate to get going and I would in theory love to do it, but there is no decision just yet.”

Craig has been playing Agent 007 since 2006’s Casino Royale, and has since starred in three other Bond films: 2008’s Quantum of Solace, 2012’s Skyfall and 2015’s Spectre. Craig made headlines following the release of the latter for making negative comments about the possibility of continuing the role. “I’d rather break this glass and slash my wrists,” the star told Time Out London in 2015 of a possible return to the role.

Recently, Craig has seemed to have softened his outlook toward reprising the role, however. The franchise has flourished with Craig in the lead, with Spectre earning $880 million worldwide and 2012’s Skyfall earning more than $1.1 billion.

The as-of-yet untitled Bond 25 was officially announced by EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer last month with a slated Nov. 8, 2019 release date.


I’ll probably prefer the original to any remake, but remake it if you will Hollywood!

Two Coreys Classic License To Drive Is Getting Rebooted

It was only a matter of time — in our reboot, remake and recycle culture — when Hollywood reached the Corey Haim and Corey Feldman comedies as fodder for reimagined movies aimed at a new generation. And because we only need simple tweaks made to original films for them to warrant a new version, audiences are going to get a License to Drive remake, only with two female leads in place of the two Coreys.

Deadline has the news, reporting that producer John Davis is setting up this project at 20th Century Fox. In the report, this new License of Drive being described as “the female version of Superbad,” and right away, I have to say, “Nope.” Did John Davis even SEE the original License to Drive? It’s not raunchy like Superbad, nor is it edgy. It’s borderline sweet, with an obvious (and harmless) PG-13 sheen to it. This new one sounds like it wants to strip away the innocence of the Corey Feldman and Corey Haim movie, which lightly capitalized on the chemistry between the oft-paired cinematic duo. We’ll see what is to become of the remake.

What the hell is License to Drive, you ask? I’ll fill you in. During the 1980s, teen-pop sensations Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (good friends on the screen and off) teamed up for a series of movies, with varying degrees of popularity. It started with The Lost Boys in 1987, shifted to License to Drive in 1988, and took a darker right turn with the mystical Dream a Little Dream in 1989. They’d collaborate on projects off and on over the years, but that span was peak Corey/Corey action, and License was their goofy teen comedy, where Haim plays a SoCal kid who fails his driving test, but ignores the law so he can keep a date with a beautiful classmate (played by a young Heather Graham). Her name was Mercedes Lane. Subtlety didn’t exist in 1988.

The biggest hook of a License to Drive remake will be the casting. Audiences back in 1988 loved the chemistry between Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (this is a real thing that happened). Producers on the remake will have to find two girls that we will enjoy playing off of each other, and it’s not like either Corey had a type to play. They just meshed well together, and made a flat, silly, clichéd concept like License bounce along. We’ll continue to track how this movie comes together. Do you have any suggestions as to who they should recruit for this one to work?


Come on, Bond! Make up your mind!!!

Wait, Daniel Craig Still Hasn’t Made A Decision About James Bond?

Every time we think we know the current status of the James Bond franchise, a new story upends that notion. That goes double for 007 himself. Daniel Craig’s willingness to return to the series has consistently fluctuated since 2015, ranging from total disdain for the character to a full-blown desire to return. While many of us had previously assumed that he would return for two more movies, the actor addressed this while promoting the upcoming release of Logan Lucky and admitted that he’s not as attached to the next two Bond films as we previously thought, explaining:

“No decision has been made at the moment, there’s a lot of noise out there and nothing official has been confirmed. And I’m not, like, holding out for more money or doing anything like that. It’s just all very personal decisions to be made at the moment. I know they’re desperate to get going and I would in theory love to do it, but it’s just there is no decision just yet.”

Daniel Craig seems to have softened his tone towards the overall Bond franchise in recent months, as he had previously said that he would rather slash his wrists than come back for another film. That said, despite his apparent interest in returning, he also recognizes the daunting task ahead of him if he decides to do so. His decision could go either way from here, but it’s a decision that he has yet to make.

If he doesn’t return, it’s hard to deny that there are definite advantages to walking away from the Bond franchise. Daniel Craig has more than proven himself in the role, and he has easily carved out a legacy as one of the best and most innovative incarnations of the character. Beyond that, moving on will afford him the opportunity to play an entirely different assortment of roles, such as his upcoming turn as Joe Bang in Logan Lucky, which showcases a far weirder and more jovial side of his acting persona.

On the other hand, many fans of Daniel Craig’s hard-drinking super spy would likely worry about his recent remarks on the Morning Magic radio show, as they feel he deserves to go out on a high note. Although Spectre certainly has its share of fans, the fourth Craig-fronted Bond film has become widely regarded as a weaker entry in the greater Bond canon, and those fans could argue that he needs at least one more solid outing. With talented filmmakers like Blade Runner 2049’s Denis Villeneuve, Hell or High Water’s David Mackenzie and ’71’s Yann Demange all reportedly standing as the frontrunners to helm the next entry in series, it’s entirely possible that Craig could get that high note if he sticks around.

At this point, only time will tell if Daniel Craig will ever don the James Bond tuxedo again for another adventure as everyone’s favorite secret agent. Until then, make sure to catch him as the similarly-initialed Joe Bang in Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, which opens in theaters this weekend on August 18.


Can you imagine owing that much money when a team has left your city?!? Wow!!

Demolished Arena Debt Nearly Clear

Pittsburgh institutions and taxpayers have almost made good on the tens of millions they have owed on the now five-years demolished Civic Arena.

The arena, the longtime home of the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, had bonds issued for various renovations in 1991 ($6.24 million), 1994 ($13.6 million), and 1997 ($10.5 million), according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Those three bonds were then refinanced in 1999 and 2005, with expenses falling in various arrangements to the Allegheny Regional Asset District, the City of Pittsburgh, and Allegheny County taxpayers.

RAD, which funds regional assets from one-half of the proceeds of the county’s Sales and Use Tax, has taken the lion’s share of the burden, having put in $43 million since 1997, according the Post-Gazette. Its next payment will be worth $685,000 in July 2018. The city and county will pony up $244,000 this year and owes $254,000 on Dec. 15, 2018.

Rich Hudic told the Post-Gazette once the debt is finally clear, the organization might be able to look into “opportunities for enhancement to new projects or current projects.”

The Penguins moved into what is now PPG Paints Arena in the 2010-11 season and won back-to-back championships in the NHL’s last two seasons. Civic Arena, which was also called The Igloo and The House That Lemieux Built, was originally constructed in 1961 and was completely demolished by March 2012.

While Pittsburgh is ready to finish paying for a building that no longer exists, other cities like St. Louis and Oakland are still stuck funding stadiums for the NFL’s Rams and Raiders, who are leaving town before the bill is paid.

The Rams already jumped ship to Los Angeles in 2016 with St. Louis still having $85 million to pay for The Dome at America’s Center, constructed in 1995.

The Raiders are set to move to Las Vegas in 2020 and Oakland owes approximately $90 million for improvements to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, which began in 1995.


I’m pretty happy too! The Zack Snyder films were mostly horrible!!

‘Really lucky that he stepped in’: Ben Affleck on new Justice League director Joss Whedon

Ben Affleck is grateful Joss Whedon stepped in to replace Justice League director Zack Snyder after he dropped out of the film earlier this year.

The Man of Steel moviemaker stepped away from the upcoming DC Comics movie and handed the reins over to the Avengers director in May, following his daughter Autumn’s suicide in March, and Affleck, who plays Batman in the blockbuster, reveals that while the filming process was different, it turned out to be seamless.

“It’s a little bit unorthodox,” he tells Entertainment Weekly. “Zack had a family tragedy, and stepped off, which was horrible. For the movie, the best person we could’ve possibly found was Joss. We got really lucky that he stepped in.”

“(The film is) an interesting product of two directors, both with kind of unique visions, both with really strong takes,” he adds. “I’ve never had that experience before making a movie. I have to say, I really love working with Zack, and I really love the stuff we’ve done with Joss.”

The actor first played the Caped Crusader in Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, and after Joss signed on for the new film’s reshoots, insiders suggested there were issues with the project.

“I’ve never worked on a movie that didn’t do reshoots,” Ben explains. “Argo, we did reshoots for a week and a half! Four days on Gone Baby Gone!”

And he insists the films are just getting better as they go along.

“This is a really nice time to work in DC,” he continues. “They’re hitting their stride. They’re getting it right. It’s starting to feel like it’s really working.”


No movies for me this weekend, as I was outside enjoying the Summer.

Box office report: Annabelle: Creation scares off the competition

As the summer box office continues to look a fright, the horror movie Annabelle: Creation is on track to debut with an estimated $35 million gross in the U.S. and Canada this weekend, topping fellow newcomers The Nut Job 2 and The Glass Castle as well as holdovers including Dunkirk and The Dark Tower.

The fourth installment of Warner Bros. and New Line’s Conjuring franchise, Annabelle: Creation is poised for the lowest opening of the series, behind Annabelle’s $37.1 million, The Conjuring’s $41.9 million, and The Conjuring 2’s $40.4 million. Nevertheless, $35 million represents a strong start for a chiller that cost a modest $15 million to make.

Reviews have been mixed to positive for the film, which currently has a 68 percent “fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and audiences gave it a CinemaScore of B. The story centers on a grieving dollmaker and his wife with a haunted past who welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home. David F. Sandberg directed, and the cast includes Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto, and Stephanie Sigman.

Holding steady in second place is Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic Dunkirk, which is set to take in an estimated $11.4 million over its fourth weekend in theaters. A rare bright spot during a sluggish summer, the Warner Bros. movie will thus cross the $150 million mark at the domestic box office, while tallying $210 million from foreign markets.

Rounding out the weekend’s top three is the Open Road animated sequel The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature, with an estimated $8.9 million. Despite being good enough for third place, that figure is less than half of what the first Nut Job movie opened to — $19.4 million — on 500 fewer screens in 2014.

Reviews have not been kind to the computer-animated comedy, which follows a group of animals trying to stop an egomaniacal mayor from bulldozing their home to make way for a shoddy amusement park. Audiences gave it a B-plus CinemaScore.

The weekend’s other newcomer, the Brie Larson drama The Glass Castle, will crack the top 10 with an estimated $4.9 million. Opening in 1,461 theaters, the Lionsgate film has a much smaller footprint than than many of its competitors; Annabelle: Creation, for example, is playing in 3,502 locations, and Nut Job 2 is playing in 4,003.

Based on gossip columnist Jeannette Walls’ 2005 memoir about her unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12), The Glass Castle divided critics but garnered an A-minus CinemaScore, suggesting positive word of mouth.

Meanwhile last weekend’s winner, the Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower, will tumble to the No. 4 slot with an estimated $7.9 million. Notching a 59 percent decline, the Sony film continues the recent trend of steep second-week drops.

On the specialty front, the Aubrey Plaza dramedy Ingrid Goes West is set to take in an estimated $141,216 at three locations, which works out to a robust $47,072 per-theater average (one of the best limited releases this year). The crime drama Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson, is on track for an estimated $137,625 at four locations, a per-theater average of $34,406.

After a promising opening last week, writer-director Taylor Sheridan’s Wind River is holding up with an estimated $642,067 from 45 locations ($14,268 per-theater average), bringing its domestic total to $870,285.

The forecast is less sunny for Al Gore’s climate documentary An Inconvenient Sequel, which will take in an estimated $800,000 from 556 locations in its third weekend, bringing its domestic total to $2.3 million. By comparison, the original Inconvenient Truth totaled about $4 million by the end of its third weekend, at 122 locations.

Per ComScore, overall box office is down 4.1 percent from the same frame from last year. Check out the Aug. 11-13 figures below.

1. Annabelle: Creation — $35 million
2. Dunkirk — $11.4 million
3. The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature — $8.9 million
4. The Dark Tower — $7.9 million
5. The Emoji Movie — $6.6 million
6. Girls Trip — $6.5 million
7. Spider-Man: Homecoming — $6.1 million
8. Kidnap — $ 5.2 million
9. The Glass Castle — $4.9 million
10. Atomic Blonde — $4.6 million


I hope Netflix doesn’t fail. That would be horrible!!

Netflix Prices Are Going Up in Canada

Every month, Netflix drops an overwhelming load of new original content alongside its various licensed properties. Of course, the company is not just making it for free. As such, Netflix has announced that it’s jacking up prices in Canada.

As the CBC reports, new Netflix users will pay the higher price immediately, with a charge of $10.99 for a standard plan and $13.99 for a premium plan.

The difference, if you’ve never checked, is that the standard plan allows for single-screen viewing at standard definition, while premium users can view up to four screens simultaneously in crystal clear high-definition 4K. It’s the best way to catch up on Ozark, Terrace House, Girlboss and Friends from College all at once.

If you’ve already got a Netflix account, the price hike is still coming. Keep an eye out for an email notification warning you about the extra dollars you’re about to spend in the coming weeks.

“From time to time, Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as we add more exclusive TV shows and movies, introduce new product features and improve the overall Netflix experience, to help members find something great to watch even faster,” the company said in a statement.

This is the first Canadian Netflix price hike in two years, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Recent reports suggest that the company is $20 billion USD in debt.