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Monday
May 13 2013

Box Office Big Spenders: Tony Stark vs Jay Gatsby

Excess was in this weekend,the second of the summer movie season despite the slight technicality of Spring having just started.Billionaires Tony Stark and Jay Gatsby were flaunting their expensive suits and pining for Pepper & Daisy everywhere you looked.

Iron Gatsby via Nathaniel R

Cheer up boys,you can now afford yoursecondtwenty-second home.

BOX OFFICE TOP DOZEN
01IRON MAN THREE$72.4(cum.$284.8)Reviewed
02THE GREAT GATSBY$51.1 *NEW*Reviewed
03PAIN & GAIN$5(cum.$41.6)
04PEEPLES$4.8 *NEW*
0542$4.6(cum.$84.7)
06OBLIVION$3.8(cum.$81.6)Reviewed
07THE CROODS$3.6(cum.$173.2)
08THE BIG WEDDING$2.5(cum $18.8)
09MUD$2.3(cum $8.3)
10OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL$.8(cum.$229.9)Reviewed
11SCARY MOVIE 5$.7(cum $30.6)
10THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES$.6(cum.$19.9)Reviewed

Though I'm nearly always pleased when a non-franchise non-genre drama wins big gold coin,The Great Gatsby's huge gross fills me with dread for our collective future.I  think the movie is admirable in some ways and a failure in others but the movie isn't really the point.I was holding on to Drama as my last refuge from those fucking 3d glasses and you know Hollywood will assume that it was the EXCITING 3-D that drove audiences to purchase tickets to a lengthy romantic drama.Worse still,Baz Luhrmann -- a true original who works so infrequently he probably only has about 3 more movies in him before he dies --  apparently has his heart set on doingHamletnext...and with DiCaprio,too (meaning DiCaprio would have starred in 50% of his filmography).Annoying Fact:Hamlethas been filmed over 50 times for the screen and is revived somewhere on stage every year.

FOR GOD'S SAKE BAZ...AT LEASTPICK A LESS OVER-WORKED SHAKESPEARE IF YOU GOTTA HAVE THE BARD.THERE ARE DOZENS TO CHOOSE FROM!AND P.S.YOU'VE ALREADY DONE THE BARD WITH LEO AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO TOPROMEO + JULIET.FIND NEW TOYS TO PLAY WITH!

What did you see this weekend?And are you,like me,weeping over the apparent future of Bazmark Productions?

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Reader Comments (44)

I kept expecting Nicole Kidman to drop down on a swing and announce Ladies' Choice.I also couldn't figure out why Daisy wanted to leave sexy Joel Edgerton for wooden Leo.Redford vs Dern I got,but not this pairing.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Another Hamlet!No please.Kenneth Branagh really put the top on that play for me.Even with the period change I can't imagine a better or more complete version than provided by Kate Winslet,Julie Christie,Derek Jacobi et,al.and certainly not the nasally DiCaprio.I like Leo but Hamlet he's not.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I fear I will be stoned to death for asking this on this blog,but am I the only who thought Baz's direction of Gatsby was self-indulgent and ultimately doomed Gatsby (not to mention that apparently no one knew how to use an edit button)?

Otherwise,I agree with you Nathaniel ...skip Hamlet.I say go for a spin on The Merry Wives of Windsor.Baz could really elevate this otherwise blah Shakespeare comedy.What do you think,NP?

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

So,is Baz Luhrmann,Burtonizing himself and Dicaprio is his Depp?

I may go to see the Great Gatsby because I've never seen any of the previous versions,but Hamlet??No way.I mean,in Luhrmann's hand,Branagh''s version (which I like) will look as an independent,small movie in comparison.I'd watch a Hamlet by Tarantino,but Luhrmann already made Romeo and Juliet.and that was enough.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

I hate that an awful version was released just a few years ago,but I think Baz would kill an adaptation ofThe Picture of Dorian Gray.It seems like an project he would just "get"(its all about the love of artifice at sacrifice for your soul) and working within a genre (is it considered Gothic horror?) wouldn't make all of those accesses he seems incapable of letting go so jarring.Come on man,is the "Red Curtain"trilogy over or not?

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterVal

second twenty-second home,do you mean your twenty-second home?

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

What does NP stand for?

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I watched the 1974 version (available streaming on Netflix) the day after I saw Gatsby in the theater.Despite some better performances in the first one,a ridiculous amount of close ups of sweat and pores (especially from poor Sam Waterston),and a much more colorful party scene and luminous interiors in the Baz version,the story is the same,and rather boring.I'm all done with Fitzgerald for now.

Wouldn't mind a Luhrmann version of Midsummer's Night Dream.I remember not loving the 1999 Kline/Pfeiffer version,but probably should revisit.

Also saw A Royal Affair this weekend.Loved it!

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

was wondering the same thing,Mark lol

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

@CharlieG - go read Nat's review of Great Gatsby.Your question isn't out of place here at all.

Nat - I just saw The Accidental Tourist.While I really enjoyed it (Kathleen Turner!Man,she looked flawless),I'm somewhat surprised Davis won Supporting Actress that year.Not because of the performance,which was a lovely,well-modulated precursor to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl that always felt grounded.She was quirky and eccentric but didn't go too big or broad with it.I am surprised,however,she beat Pfeiffer (not knowing anything about the context of the awards at that time).Both in their early 30's,both relatively new to the movies,both first-time nominees,yet Pfeiffer had the bigger,showier part in a classy,Oscar-baity movie.I've heard you go on and on about Pfeiffer losing to Tandy,but I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this race.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

I feel sorry forPeeples.It wasn't a Tyler Perry movie.He didn't write it or direct it,he produced it and presented it—which maybe why people stayed away with his name all over the advertising.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I'm with you on the #d glasses nightmare,however I read somewhere that only 30% of gross came from 3D so maybe thats a signal that it doesn't work with drama.I least that is what I hope.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commentermurtada

I thought the 3D was a huge distraction in Great Gatsby.I feel like Baz didn't really know what to do with it and his movies are already visual enough without the 3D.I thought the movie was ok,but I feel like I would have enjoyed it more had it not been even attempted in 3D.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJen

Nat,Murtada,Jen - do you not have the option of going to 2D screenings at your local theaters?Mine always do both,so it's never a problem.

I haven't seen a movie in almost two weeks.Such a bummer.I'm planning to catch up big time this week,but we'll see.

In the meantime,I'm seriously shocked at the size of Gatsby's opening.I haven't seen the film,but I have a hard time seeing how it's anything other than a good thing!

That said,I suspect Baz was just blowing smoke about Hamlet.I hope so,anyway.Especially since Leo's too old for the part!

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

When I first heard Baz was considering doing HAMLET I was shocked he wasn't thinking about doing it with Ewan McGregor instead.I mean...REALLY NOW.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Saw Pain & Gain.It's okay but for a Michael Bay movie it verges on his best work but he cannot help himself but the performances of the ensemble saves it.

TCM had Ozu playing late last night so that is on my DVR.

The only Hamlet I want to see is the spoof pulpy action Hamlet in The Last Action Hero.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

Nathaniel,read your review on Towleroad,and will see the movie soon,but not encouraged by the negative feedback.Have to share your sentiments on Baz considering "Hamlet"(zzzzz).I'd much rather see him do something that wasn't adapted,but IF he did,I wouldn't mind him taking a stab at "A Chorus Line".I never cared for the eighties film.Or perhaps take on something for television?Oh,and he needs to do something with Shirley Bassey.:-) I remain a Baz-believer.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoel V

Star Trek Into Darkness (in 2D thank the gods) - enjoyable tosh,Benedict Cumberbatch steals the show,hardcore Star Trek fans may have significant issues with it.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterNico

I watched Moneyball finally.Hill got an Oscar nom for this?Dumb.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Yikes,my grammar on that post was awful.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

I don't know that "Hamlet"is the best route for Baz to take next,and even he said it was a fleeting dream.But if it does happen,I would still be incredibly excited to see what Baz brings to the table.I'm of the small party of folks who loved "The Great Gatsby",which I feel is an expert cinematic interpretation (rather than adaptation) of Fitzgerald's text.

Then again I did see "Gatsby"with me my mom,who had never seen a Baz film or read Fitzgerald's novel,and that made it a much fresher work to my eyes.Luhrmann doesn't create the themes already presented by Fitzgerald so much as he embellishes them.I was entranced.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDuncan Houst

No Hamlet Baz!I won't him to do another musical with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman ;).

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoanne

I thought Gatsby was very good on the whole,but the performances were STELLAR.Joel Edgerton should get a BSA nom,Leo just keeps getting better and better,and between Gatsby and Shame,Carey Mulligan is now,at least in my book,a bonafide character actress.

And THAT scene was absolutely incredible...the main cast scene in the hot,humid apartment...if they gave out an Oscar for a scene,this would be the one.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterSo Sue

I ended up not watching any films this weekend,although I plan to catch "The Reluctant Fundamentalist"(before it ends its one-week run at the Landmark here) and a repeat viewing of "Disconnect"(since I had bought 4 Groupon tix for it,and have only used 2).

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterGeorge P.

If Baz has to do another Shakespeare for some reason,I could see him doing The Tempest,or maybe Richard III,but Hamlet?Such a boring choice.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

I would love with if Baz followed David O.Russell's example and use some of the principle cast members from his previous movies.Leo,Nicole,Ewan and Claire would be awesome!

Plus,i'd LOVE to see him go the film-noir route.The love stories are amazing but i think he'd be right at home in a film-noir.That's where his style over substance and framing devices might actually be appreciated.

If he does,i can't wait to see it in 2030.

and i'm seeing Gatsby in an hour!yay!

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Christine: Richard III?For BAZ?Really?(Ultimately,Baz is more obvious in what he chooses to adapt.) I'd think of that as Branagh's next Shakespeare more than anything.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I saw GATSBY on Friday,FRANCES HA on Saturday,and AN OVERESTIMATION OF HER BEAUTY on Sunday.I liked all three to varying degrees of "not quite love because they have some issues I can't seem to nudge".

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

Hamlet is just so damn filmmable,though.Certainly moreso than most of Shakespeare's plays,I'd wager.

May 13,2013 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

arkaan -- hmmm.do you not believe in oversaturation points?I know i need more variety than most people in my cinema -- that's not a qualitatative remark just an observation -- but I just think it points to a real dearth of imagination on the part of the artists who are interested in adapting Shakespeare.To me it reads like a pissing contest with other filmmakers when directors feel the need to do Hamlet rather than any natural drive to explore Shakespeare.

May 13,2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I'd rather see Baz do a new musical Shakespeare.Like "The Boys From Syracuse"from The Comedy of Errors,or "Kiss Me Kate"adapted from The Taming of the Shrew.Maybe the time is ripe for another.But a comedy.But maybe it's not possible to do one without looking like a parody.

When I think of the Shakespearean dramas that might be good for Luhrman,I just keep thinking,hasn't Derek Jarman done that already?

May 13,2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Thoughts for Baz movies: Dorian Gray was a wonderful selection.How about Around the World in 80 Days?(The Best Picture winner is awful,but I really like the 80s TV remake.) And OMG,I would kill to see him take over the new Wicked movie.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I watched Star Trek Into Darkness,and it was very good.The summer movies started with a solid duo (this and Iron Man 3),bet the upcoming movies will be under pressure now.And I suspect it's quite hard to live up to these two.The more I look at the trailer of After Earth,Pacific Rim or World War Z,the more I felt they are going to bomb.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

Mark -- no.The second is scratched out,don't you see?

eurocheese -- ooh,yeah.Baz doing Wicked.That would be a worthy project.

May 14,2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I think Baz would do a fantastic job with The Winter's Tale.There's spectacle and tragedy and humor and a huge conceit that involves visual wizardry.There haven't been many filmed adaptations and at least two of them are just the Shakespeare play on film.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

PJ: After Earth (Shamaylan) and World War Z (Marc Forster action film (remember the last two?) and a butchering of the book's actual perspective) are DEFINITELY going to bomb.Pacific Rim?No way.It's Guillermo Del Toro,a very good cast (Charlie Day,Rinko Kikuchi,Idris Elba and Ellen freaking Maclain as a GlaDOS equivalent) and giant piloted robots fighting eldritch monsters.In fact,if there's a "blockbuster"in the Best Picture,I'd bet it's the most lilkely contender,all things considered.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

If Baz MUST do a Shakespeare tragedy,it should be Julius Caesar or Macbeth,not Hamlet.I would love to see The Tempest rehabilitated after Julie Taymor's cinematographic butchering of it (SORRY,Julie!Your stage version of it is BRILLIANT!),but I fear that Baz would overdo it,just as he would Midsummer.If he really wants to go the Shakespeare route,I would recommend The Winter's Tale or As You Like It.

That being said (and not having seen Gatsby yet),I think Baz tends to do his best work when he's riffing on genre,so I'd much rather see him go the Todd Haynes route and do an old-fashioned melodrama,or do something like a film noir.Or do a fairy tale - oooh,what about Cymbeline,one of Shakespeare's most under-appreciated work?However,he makes films so infrequently (just about the only thing he and Malick have in common) that I'll take whatever he gives me,love it or hate it.I mean,I enjoyed Australia,so...

May 14,2013 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Volvagia,can Charlie Day act?I hope he's not the lead for this movie...if so,I smell the fuel coming off the wings...

May 14,2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

"Oblivion"in IMAX- Mr Cruise can still carry a picture- but he need better material than this sci-fi adventure- the director was aiming for Kubrick but the stunning BIG SCREEN visuals fail to match the generic script ( which by the way makes no sense)

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

brookesboy: Charlie Hunnam (Sons of Anarchy) and Rinko Kikuchi are the leads.Charlie Day is,most likely,comic relief flavour and not much else,but he's good enough for that.As for the genuinely meaty supporting roles,I'm guessing those are Elba and,possibly,Ellen MacLain,the latter depending on how much dialogue the Jaegar A.I.gets.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I can't believe I put an A in the person who plays GlaDOS's name twice.Sorry.Ellen McClain.

May 14,2013 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

i dont know what GlaDOS is or why it's spelled that way.

denny - agree on Baz riffing on genre.pssst,i like Australia too.

May 15,2013 | Unregistered Commenternathanielr

So what was so bad about the Great Gatsby?I thought it was a wonderful addition to the Gatsby pantheon,the book being the cream of the crop.And Leo was extraordinary as Gatsby or at least his impersonation of Gatsby's impersonation.And,Nat,you really didn't enjoy Leo?You have no sense of humor my boy.Too busy disdaining him I suppose.He was wonderful and really humanized the character for me.The book character Gatsby just never seemed quite real,always at a remove as I recall.But Leo created a character who was always on the verge of falling apart -- a true obsessive.Also rather touching in the most hopeless way.The scene in the hotel room was vivid and Baz along with his actors created quite a little hothouse moment there.Gatsby was destroyed in his pink suit by Tom the Cruel.And for the person somewhere here who called him wooden...well,that's the point,isn't it?The "Great"Gatsby was a fraud who had created a facade to hide behind so he could pursue the woman of his dreams,who,alas,wasn't actually Daisy,could never be Daisy.One of the best and most adult performances he's ever delivered.

June 8,2013 | Unregistered Commentersheila kind

tobey maguire e cris evans

December 1,2013 | Unregistered Commenterleonardo martins adao

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