‘Goldfinch’ bums viewers, bombs at box office

Images courtesy Warner Bros.

4/10 With It: Chapter 2 lined up to spend at least two weeks at no. 1 months in advance, the Sept. 13 release slot looked like prime real estate for niche faire and a smaller-scale movie to get a head start on Oscar season.

After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival to two very different receptions, girls’ night out movie Hustlers has gotten a head start on that race because it’s genuinely that good, while The Goldfinch, which was expected to serve as the starting pistol, was met with one of the worst openings of all time.

In The Goldfinch, 13-year-old Theo Decker (Oakes Fegley and Ansel Elgort) stands as one of the only survivors of a random and quickly forgotten bombing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His mother dies in the blast. In the immediate aftermath, Decker steals a 1654 painting called “The Goldfinch,” which becomes his symbol of hope through a tumultuous life.

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‘Hustling’ to the front of the Oscar race

Images courtesy STX Entertainment.

8/10 It takes a lot for me, someone who literally likes the sound of my own voice, to think my take on a movie won’t be valuable. One of the fun things about being a white man is just about every piece of mass media is for me to some degree, to such an extent that they need to be explicitly aimed away to seem like they’re not for me, and that’s why I was planning to skip Hustlers. It positioned itself as a standard girls’ night out movie that might offer some excuses to say mean things about Jennifer Lopez, and I don’t want to do that.

Then it blew the doors off at its Toronto International Film Festival premiere, rocketing up to 88% on Rotten Tomatoes (now 87%) ahead of its already-scheduled release, a reception that pumped its opening weekend revenue to $33.2 million, a stunning take for this genre. That prompted me to do a little digging and find there’s much more to Hustlers than a shitty title, pleather feminism and Cardi B music.

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‘It: Chapter Two’ is boring, homosexist and three hours long

This firefly scene was one of viewers’ first introductions to It: Chapter Two through adverts, so they definitely knew it was a more appropriate opener, but decided to go with the horrible homosexist violence anyway for some reason. Images courtesy Warner Bros.

2/10 I can’t believe they got James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain to show up for this.

Derry, Maine, 2016- You saw It, and for some reason, loved it. Now it’s 27 years later, and Pennywise, the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgård) has crawled out of the sewer to feed once more. Mike Hanlon (Isaiah Mustafa and Chosen Jacobs), calls the rest of the Losers’ Club back home to fulfill their oaths and destroy the beast.

Having spent their lives outside Pennywise’s area of influence, most of Hanlon’s old friends have forgotten their childhoods, a common phenomenon among Derry natives. Hanlon, who never left Maine, has spoken to the nearby American Indians, whose tribe defeated Pennywise in ancient times, to learn how to seal him away, but the ritual of truth will require each of the losers to rediscover their pasts and reopen old wounds – all while being stalked by It.

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The bubble bursts- on Moviepass and the rise of monopoly-class movies

Images courtesy Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios. All of them.

When I started doing these Labor Day summer wrapups five years ago, what I identified — and what plenty of other people identified — was a crashing bubble at the domestic box office, and after a rebound year in 2018, it looks like that crash has finally happened. 

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Margot Robbie’s ‘Hide and Seek’ a hellish delight

It looks underlit in many stills, but the sinister aura of the Le Domas mansion is probably my favorite part of Ready or Not. Images courtesy — oh come on, seriously? Images courtesy Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios.

8/10 Sifting through an August overflowing with movies that wouldn’t compete with Disney for the prime summer months, we find another one of the last Fox movies, unceremoniously dumped on a mid-August Wednesday by its new owner, ironically, Disney. The film, Hide and Seek–

Actually it’s not called Hide and Seek, that title was very taken. No fewer than 14 movies are called Hide and Seek, the most famous of which was a 2005 one starring Robert De Niro. It was kind of like Fight Club, but also a slasher? It had nothing to do with hide and seek. No, our feature today instead chose to be the only film called Ready or Not–

Actually no, this is the second American movie in just 10 years called Ready or Not. Anyway, the film stars Margot Robbie as–

Actually no, that’s someone called Samara Weaving. Says here she’s Hugo Weaving’s niece? They’re both Australian, does that count?

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