Celebrating The 30th Anniversary Of Caddyshack
- Written by Matthew Toomey
It’s taken four weeks but finally, Inception has been defeated at the U.S. box-office. The new Will Ferrell / Mark Whalberg comedy, The Other Guys, took the honours in the number one position with $35m. It may sound hard to believe but both Ferrell and Whalberg will be at Robina Town Centre on the Gold Coast next Wednesday for the Australian premiere. I’m tempted to seek media accreditation but I think every man and his dog will be after the same thing.
The good news is that I’ll be interviewing a few interesting film folk over the next three weeks. I’ll be sharing everything through my blog so keep your eyes peeled.
I’ve only just returned home from the Brisbane preview of Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World which I loved immensely. It did something that’s very hard to do – it got me to remove my critic’s hat. There were parts during the movie where I thought to myself “hmmmm, I really should be critical of some things” but I had so much fun that I couldn’t resist going along for the ride. I haven’t had a chance to write up my full review as yet but it’ll be on my website in the next few days.
Those who know me will realise that two things I am very passionate about are golf and movies. My love of movies is evident. As for golf, I have a scratch handicap and manage the Queensland Colts golf team. It’s a chance to satisfy my competitive urges – something that the film world doesn’t allow.
On 25 July 1980, Caddyshack was released in U.S. cinemas. It came out in Australia four weeks later. For me, it’s one of my all time favourite comedies as it combines my love for both golf and film.
Given it’s 30th anniversary, I thought I’d go through some of my favourite quotes from the movie. If you haven’t seen the film, these will probably mean very little. All I can say is to seek the film out at your local video store. If you have seen the film, then hopefully these quotes will bring back happy memories. Enjoy!
Al Czervik: [to his Asian companion] I hear this place is restricted, Wang, so don't tell 'em you're Jewish, okay?
Danny Noonan: I haven't even told my father about the scholarship I didn't get. I'm gonna end up working in a lumberyard the rest of my life.
Ty Webb: What's wrong with lumber? I own two lumberyards.
Danny Noonan: I notice you don't spend too much time there.
Ty Webb: I'm not quite sure where they are.
Al Czervik: Last time I saw a mouth like that, it had a hook in it.
Al Czervik: Oh, this your wife, huh? A lovely lady. Hey baby, you must've been something before electricity.
Al Czervik: Hey, doll. Could you scare up another round for our table over here? And tell the cook this is low grade dog food. I've had better food at the ballgame, you know? This steak still has marks from where the jockey was hitting it.
Carl Spackler: This is a hybrid. This is a cross, ah, of Bluegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent, and Northern California Sensemilia. The amazing stuff about this is, that you can play 36 holes on it in the afternoon, take it home and just get stoned to the bejeezus-belt that night on this stuff.
Ty Webb: You take drugs, Danny?
Danny Noonan: Every day.
Ty Webb: Good. Then what's your problem?
Danny Noonan: I don't know.
Ty Webb: You're rather attractive for a beautiful girl with a great body.
Judge Smails: I've sentenced boys younger than you to the gas chamber. Didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to them.
Al Czervik: [breaks wind at a dinner] Whoa, did somebody step on a duck?
Ty Webb: Remember Danny - Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left.
Dr. Beeper: I thought you'd be the man to beat this year.
Ty Webb: I guess you'll just have to keep beating yourself.
Where Have All The Movies Gone? A Quiet Year So Far
- Written by Matthew Toomey
Where Have All The Movies Gone?
When I wrote my review this week for The Special Relationship, I realised just how quiet this year has been at the movies. In the first 6 months of the year, just 96 films were released in Brisbane cinemas. Over the same period of time, I’d seen 109 films in 2009 and 117 in 2008. I had to go as far back as 2003 to find a quieter year – just 93 films in all.
I try to see every movie that’s showing. Maybe I’m an obsessive compulsive but I like to give every film a chance and sometimes I’m pleasantly surprised. An example from this week would be Step 3D – definitely better than I thought it’d be. What I’m trying to say is that maybe I should be taking 2010 as a blessing. With 21 less films than in 2008, that’s about 42 hours that I’ve been able to spend on other things. Don’t ask me what those things are. The time has slipped away too quickly.
But I’m left asking myself… why the shortfall in movies?
My initial reaction is that we’ve been inundated with blockbusters and cinema owners are a little risk averse when it comes to trying smaller films. When you see the numbers thrown up by films like Inception, Twilight and Toy Story 3, it makes sense. These films have been huge. People flock to them on opening weekend and there are many sold out sessions. They are taking up a bigger slice of the screens at big multiplexes such as Event Cinemas.
With all the marketing and hype for the blockbusters, it’s almost impossible to market other films. Films that struggled to find an audience in the US and the UK aren’t finding their way to Australia (many are going straight to video instead).
What’s also interesting is that cinemas like the Palace and the Dendy (often synonymous with independent cinema) are showing more and more commercial product. At the Dendy this week, you can see Killers, Inception, Knight & Day and Step Up 3D. At the Palace Barracks, you can see the same four films. Yes, they do show a few smaller films (which is great) but are they showing as many as they once did? I can’t confirm that for sure but I’ve got a hunch (based on the numbers mentioned above). I can’t really blame them either – it’s great to create a niche market but it’s hard to turn away the large percentage of the public who are prepared to pay to see films like Killers and Step Up 3D.
I’m not really making a point. It’s more of an observation. I’m not sure if I want to see more movies in cinemas. It would be great to have more variety but perhaps that’s not possible – both in terms of quality and commerciality. I’m going to be following the trend over the next few months to see if it starts to turn back around. I might also pose the question to a few cinema owners if I get the chance.
To quickly race through other news, the Palace Centro and Palace Barracks in Brisbane now have their own Twitter feed. You can find out about special events by following them right here - https://twitter.com/palacebrisbane.
Inception is still powering on at the box-office. It’s been number 1 in the United States for three consecutive weeks and has now taken $193.3m. Here in Australia, it also held up well in its second week with just a 19% drop-off. It’s posted $16.3m over its first 11 days. Great to see. I'm also enjoying the hits on my Inception review through the Rotten Tomatoes website - over 3,700 and still counting! Some good publicity for The Film Pie.
Toomey Award Winners & Inception Dominates Box-Office
- Written by Matthew Toomey
Inception continues to be the film on everyone’s tongues. We haven’t had such a buzz in the film world since Avatar came out last December. Inception has been a trending Twitter topic for over a week and I’ve had plenty of people chime in with their own thoughts.
I know not everyone has been a fan but you have to impressed with how it has so generated discussion. Who’d have thought an action film would require so much thought. In my review, I said that “Inception may be the most intelligent action film you will ever see.” It was my first thought on leaving the cinema last Wednesday and I stand by that statement. Rotten Tomatoes has used it as my quote and it’s nice to see a few people chiming in with their comments on the link below. My review has had over 1,500 hits to date so I’m quietly chuffed.
I saw the film for a second time on Friday night and I stand by my review. I picked up much more on the second viewing (particularly with the opening). I mentioned it my review but even watching it a second time, the two best scenes are still (1) Joseph Gordon Levitt’s hallway fight sequences, and (2) the very last scene. I couldn’t wait to hear the audience gasp once again. Christopher Nolan, you are a genius.
I’ve perused numerous forums on the internet looking for interpretations and explanations. I’m fairly happy with the conclusion I’ve reached but I’m tempted to watch it one more time to see if I can pick up anything else. For the record, there are only two films which I’ve seen more than twice in the cinemas – Romeo & Juliet (the version with Leo and Claire) and Billy Elliot.
The box-office in the United States illustrates that word of mouth is strong. Inception took in $43m during its second week for a total of $143m in its first 10 days. That’s only a 31% drop from its opening weekend – a very impressive feat. Even more astonishing was that it held off the new Angelia Jolie thriller Salt (which has had good reviews).
I have a general rule that a film here in Australia will make about 1/10th of what it does in the U.S. Inception opened a little stronger than that with a healthy $7.4m opening weekend in Australia. I suspect it too will hold up next weekend as word spreads.
Inception does mark my first A+ of the year and my first since January 2009 (The Wrestler). No film is flawless but this one is close enough to warrant that grading. You can hear me passionately speak about with Spencer Howson on last week’s 612ABC show by clicking on the link below.
If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure you do!
2010 Toomey Awards
I announced the nominees four weeks ago and the time has come to reveal the winners of my 2010 Toomey Awards. It’s the 11th time that I’ve produced this list and it’s the 11th time that I’ve agreed with all the winners (since I am the only voting member).
It was very tough trying to pick some of the categories (best film was tricky indeed) but the films and performances that I’d like to honour from the past 12 months can be viewed by clicking below.
You can go back over the last ten years and look at all the previous winners with this link.
That’ll do it from me for another week.
Here Comes Inception & Welcome To Rotten Tomatoes
- Written by Matthew Toomey
Here Comes Inception!
There’s no full length review attached to this week’s Film Pie e-newsletter. I’m holding off until I see the media preview on Wednesday night. The Australian critics have already seen it in Sydney and Melbourne but we’re waiting a little longer up here in Brisbane.
I don’t think I’ve been as excited about a film since Avatar. There’s been a lot of hype (given the reputation of Christopher Nolan) but since most of the early reviews have been sensational, it looks like it’s going to be incredible.
Here’s a sampling of some of the comments on Twitter from a few Sydney / Melbourne critics who have already seen the film –
“INCEPTION is the most awesomely complex & clever film I've watched in a long time. You'll be unpicking it forever...” – Marc Fennell
“I very rarely give a film 5 stars (that's a classic for the ages rating) but after writing my INCEPTION review I'm leaning towards doing so.” – Thomas Caldwell
“Inception: if there's a better blockbuster this year I'll eat my hat in somebody else's dream within a dream within a dream.” – Luke Buckmaster
“INCEPTION was quite incredible. Fear not, I shan't spoil. So glad someone's doing intelligent, original work at a blockbuster level.” – Lee Zachariah
Even the tough to please Jeffrey Wells from the U.S. gave it an endorsement – “It definitely comes together with a second viewing while the things you enjoyed the first time are agreeably underlined and intensified. My ambiguous feelings about Chris Nolan's epic have now been significantly lessened. I am pretty much in the boat now. Faraci was more right than Scott. Inception is dense and challenging, but a masterpiece of its kind.”
And of course, the grand master of film criticism, Roger Ebert summed it up as follows – “The movie is a perplexing labyrinth without a simple through-line, and is sure to inspire truly endless analysis on the web.”
I must close with my friend Sam Dagan in London who posted this on my Facebook wall – “I saw Inception. I guess a B+. I left the cinema thinking it was thought provoking, but I didn't want to think anymore after 2.5+ hours. Perhaps they were trying to plant a seed and then after... F***! I'm still thinking about it.”
The film officially opens on Thursday and you’ll be able to see it (multiple times) from then on.
Welcome To The World Of Rotten Tomatoes
One of my favourite film websites is Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re not familiar, it collates all the reviews of the world’s leading film critics. It posts a single quote from their review and links through to the full text if you want to see it.
Most importantly, it summarises each critic’s opinion as either “fresh” or “rotten”. It then expresses this as a percentage. This tells you what percentage of critics approved of the film.
This can be very useful when looking at the general consensus of a film. You might read a really bad review and then think twice about seeing a certain movie. But what if that critic is in the minority? Maybe it’s not his genre or he was having a bad day when he saw it. Rotten Tomatoes should give you a better answer.
Toy Story 3 stands at a phenomenal 99% approval (from 225 reviews). Inception is at 84% (from 209 reviews) – so I guess there are some who didn’t like it. Conversely, Sex & The City 2 scored just 16% and The Bounty Hunter managed just 8% (these are my 2 worst films of the year so far). Nice to see most other critics agree.
Anyway, it’s taken a while but I’m finally managed to knock down the wall and get accreditation for Rotten Tomatoes. From now on, my reviews can be found through that site. My official page is at http://au.rottentomatoes.com/author/author-13810/.
I don’t have a photo up yet but will hopefully work on that over the next few weeks.
It’s great news for my site as well given the increased traffic through the Rotten Tomatoes link. If I can keep coming up with some snazzy quotes, it might help get a few more people interested in what the Film Pie has to offer.
The main page at Rotten Tomatoes tells you about what’s currently showing in Australia – go to http://au.rottentomatoes.com/ to find all your review info. But I better not plug it too hard since I still want people to visit my own site. J
Well that’s it from me. See you next week for the winners of the 2010 Toomey Awards!