The Möbius Strip: ‘Kingsman’ takes a quiet weekend in photo finish

Image courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle barely took its second box office crown in a tight race with It and newcomer American Made. The three films were separated top to bottom by less than $200,000, and none made more than $20 million on the eve of next week’s hotly anticipated Blade Runner 2049- Box Office Mojo

American Made has already pulled in $81.7 million internationally after an additional week in release. Examining Tom Cruise’ spectacular track record abroad- Film School Rejects

It has driven the best September box office ever and owns several records, but after adjusting for inflation the movie is still pretty far off of several of those same records- Indiewire

As the Academy actively shifts toward a younger, more diverse membership, new inductees debate whether or not Netflix releases should be allowed to compete for the prestigious awards- Deadline

With Blade Runner almost upon us, the hype machine for the next big things has started spooling up. This week, Justice League stars pull together to clarify that this is still Zack Snyder’s movie, and that the much more respected Joss Whedon stuck faithfully to his vision unnecessary slow motion and ugly shades of brown- Screen Rant

J.J. Abrams is developing an American remake of the highest grossing anime ever, Your Name, because there is a God and he hates you- Variety

Media Res and Bron Studios have acquired the rights to David Cronenberg’s 1981 classic Scanners and are adapting it into a television series- Deadline

The Terminator franchise will be rebooted with the intentions of starting a new trilogy for, ironically, the third time in 2018. Franchise director James Cameron, who hasn’t actually directed a Terminator movie since 1991, and director Tim Miller talk about making a Terminator for the 21st Century- The Hollywood Reporter

Evan Peters discusses crafting a character based on several of history’s most famous cult leaders for the new season of American Horror Story- The Hollywood Reporter

And finally, Wisecracked delves deep into the philosophy that may have driven the failure of The Matrix Revolutions- Wisecracked

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ an unexpected delight

It’s so incredibly strange in 2017 to watch a movie about people going into a conversation on opposite sides of women’s rights and coming out of it as friends. Images courtesy Fox Searchlight Pictures.

8/10 Battle of the Sexes is one of those wonderful biopics that concerns much more than the events it depicts.

On the surface, the film chronicles the lives of Billie Jean King (Emma Stone), a tennis star in her prime, and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), who had been a two-time world champion in the mid-40s, in the leadup to their 1973 tennis match billed as the Battle of the Sexes. King had been fighting an uphill battle for equal pay for female tennis players, officially splitting off from the Association of Tennis Professionals to form the Women’s Tennis Association over the issue. Upon hearing this, Riggs, famously a businessman and a bit of a ham, challenged King to a tennis match, claiming that even at age 55, he could beat even the top woman player in the world. Drawing a global viewing audience of 90 million, their duel remains one of the most watched tennis matches in history.

Riggs’ chauvinism was widely dismissed as an act to draw attention to the match, and he and King remained friends until his death in 1995. Considered one of the best tennis players of all time, King came out as gay in 1981 and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 for her contributions to tennis, women’s rights and the LGBT community.

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The Möbius Strip: ‘Kingsman,’ ‘The Princess Bride’ turns 30, Austin film scene implodes

As expected, Kingsman: The Golden Circle easily took the top spot last weekend with $39 million. Other new releases The LEGO Ninjago Movie and Friend Request disappointed, one much more severely than the other- Box Office Mojo

Sliding to no. 2, It overtook The Exorcist to become the highest-grossing R rated horror film of all time last week- Variety

Riding the spike It is creating in Stephen King’s popularity, Netflix will release two critically acclaimed King adaptations Gerald’s Game and 1922 later this year- Indiewire

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‘Kingsman’ is a cacophony

While most movies show off their plot details and hide spoilers, the advertisement campaign for Kingsman: The Golden Circle shared almost no plot details, instead actively focusing on which characters die and which come back to life. Images courtesy 20th Century Fox.

4/10 Man, and I thought mother! was excessive.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle feels like it was based on the make-believe session of a 5-year-old who watched too many Brosnan-era James Bond movies. It starts with the international spy organization, the Kingsman, being wiped out by international drug kingpin Poppy Adams (Julianne Moore) with the help of a detachable remote-controlled bionic arm. Surviving Kingsmen Eggsy Unwin (Taron Edgerton) and Merlin (Mark Strong) discover a sister organization in the U.S., the Statesman, full of agents code-named after alcoholic beverages. The previous film’s agent Galahad, Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is still alive and pursuing his passion of lepidoptery, there’s a vagina-based tracking device and before you know it, Sir Elton John (himself) is fighting robot dogs.

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The strange, inconclusive summer of 2017

Despicable Me 3. Image courtesy Universal Pictures.

Yeah, I know Labor Day was two weeks ago, fuck off

It’s been a summer of transition at the movies. Transition to what? Who knows. There are several narratives to spin based on the number of movies that were released this year that you wouldn’t expect in a summer lineup, but the numbers don’t really bear any of them out.

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