In this Hollywood news round-up, there are updates on the Venice Film Festival, Netflix, Suicide Squad, Justice League, Guardians, Don’t Breathe and Gotham. Plus, this:
THE COOLEST FUCKING THING I READ THIS WEEK
From CNN Money:
Would you pay $100 to see a movie?
Entertainment company Secret Cinema has convinced hundreds of thousands of people to do exactly that — sometimes without telling them the title in advance.
But this is not a super expensive trip to your local multiplex. You get a lot more than popcorn and a screening.
“Instead of watching a film, you essentially are in the film…you live the film,” said Fabien Riggall, founder of Secret Cinema, based in London.
Riggall says he offers an “immersive theatrical experience.” And it appears to be working — four shows over the past 18 months have attracted 180,000 people.
For some events, the movie is a mystery when tickets go on sale. The company’s slogan is “Tell No One.”
Each ticket holder is assigned a secret identity, and told what to wear and where to go, usually in a series of cryptic messages. For “Dr. Strangelove,” they took the form of army dispatches. For “28 Days Later,” the company sent out invitations to hospital appointments.
Once fans get to the venue — often abandoned spaces transformed into a film set — they become part of the movie. Actors in character encourage the audience to participate, giving them tasks and pulling them into the plot.
The company also organizes events based on cult classics where you know what you’re getting — at least in terms of the movie. Their most recent production of this kind — “Dirty Dancing” — brought in 30,000 people, each paying 68 pounds ($90) for a ticket.
Most arrived at a custom built holiday camp in east London dressed in full period costumes. Some even carried water melons, a nod to one of the movie’s most memorable lines.
They took dance classes, played lawn games, and snacked in the “staff quarters.” They watched the movie at the end of the evening, many quoting lines alongside the actors on the big screen
9 True Story Movies That Lied to You
Spoiler alert: Most “based on a true story” movies are full of shit (that includes Florence Foster Jenkins, The Infiltrator and most recent “based on a true story” films). YouTube video channel Looper runs down 9 famous examples, though they skipped over some of the recent Oscar contenders which were smeared for their wild inaccuracies (e.g., Revenant, Imitation Game, Selma). Also, why is it no one ever includes Young Guns 2 on lists like this? Am I the only who obsessively watched the Young Guns movie as a kid, read all about Billy the Kid and was crushed to learn Lou Diamond Phillips and Kiefer Sutherland’s characters actually had nothing to do with the events depicted in Young Guns 2, which is a movie where [actual spoiler alert] their characters both die in gut-wrenching fashion?
The Venice Film Festival is suddenly the most important of all the September film festivals. Suck it, Toronto and Telluride. This year, the Venice festival goes down from 9/2 to 9/12, which overlaps with both Telluride (9/2-9/5) and Toronto (9/8-9/18):
The past few years, while Toronto bickered with Telluride over which festival could screen which premiere when and where, Venice — after some decidedly lackluster editions — took the high road and worked on improving. The result? It’s back on top after a scorecard that saw successful Oscar wins for Venice premieres three years in a row: Gravity, Birdman and, last year, Spotlight. Hollywood has taken notice. The festival is filled with studio titles this year, which means the red carpet will be filled with A-list talent.
Suicide Squad box office update from the film’s own director:
Remember, Squad (or “Skwad” as Will Smith spells it on tattoos) can only be considered a financial success if it comes close to $750m-$800m worldwide.
Human happy pill and walking hockey jersey Kevin Smith thinks Justice League will be better than Batman v Superman. In related news, Kevin Smith enjoys maintaining a solid working relationship with DC and directing for the CW superhero shows.
Russia made an ensemble superhero movie and somehow didn’t include Vladimir Putin, their real life Lex Luthor, as one of the characters:
Horror films were Hollywood’s best investment at the summer box office, and continue to be with Don’t Breathe set to debut at #1 this weekend (remember, the summer movie movie season doesn’t technically end until next weekend).
Fire up your Netflix queu because you only have until the end of September to watch these films and shows before they magically disappear (or simply migrate to a competing service): Defending Your Life, Zoolander, Traffic, The Kids Are All Right, Lilo & Stitch, Primal Fear and Alias. They’re already losing Defending Your Life? Didn’t they just add that? Oh, Netflix, why must you abuse us so?
Gotham‘s showrunner doesn’t like superhero TV shows. That’s cool – I don’t really like Gotham, the clear Melrose Place of the current crop of comic book shows on TV. Wait. I used to love Melrose Place. Why am I being such a prig? Maybe I should give Gotham a third chance and give in to its utter insanity…but then I remember what they’re doing to poor Poison Ivy this season and get creeped out all over again.
My review for Hell or High Water will be up at some point later today. I absolutely loved everything about it, even Jeff Bridges’ weirdly charming racism and difficult-to-understand accent. Now I just have to figure out how to say all of that intelligently. Seriously, my review right now is simply, “OMG, OMG, OMG, so good.” Still need to flesh that out a little more.