Box-office update: Edge of Tomorrow “wins” or “loses” the week depending on how you look at it, and more

Depending on how you look at it, Edge of Tomorrow either “won” or “lost” at the box office this past weekend.

That’s right, you can actually argue that Edge of Tomorrow “won”. Most reports have focused on the fact that the $28.8 million that the film opened to in North America last weekend fell well behind the $48 million that the low-budget romance The Fault in Our Stars opened to, and it even fell a bit behind the $34.3 million that Maleficent earned in its second week. But Edge of Tomorrow actually won the weekend overseas and thus worldwide.

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Sympathy for the snake-haired monster Medusa

The Greco-Roman revival lives on — and so, perhaps, does the recent interest in feminist revisionist origin stories.

Sony Pictures Animation announced last week that they are now developing a film about Medusa, the creature from Greek mythology who had snakes for hair and could turn anyone into stone if they looked directly at her.

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Review: Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman, 2014)

Edge of Tomorrow stars Tom Cruise as a soldier who gets caught in a time loop and finds himself living the same day over and over again. This gives much of the film a feeling of déjà vu, which is only fitting, since many elements in this film are reminiscent of other movies, from the battle scenes of Saving Private Ryan and Starship Troopers to the mechanical suits of Iron Man and Aliens and the endless time loops in Groundhog Day and Source Code. You might spend much of this new film thinking that you’ve seen it all before.

Indeed, Tom Cruise has been in the movie-star business for so long that his latest film feels at times like a callback to earlier Tom Cruise movies. Even the fact that it’s a bit of a pastiche seems like a replay of earlier pastiches, not least because Edge of Tomorrow is the second consecutive film of his — following last year’s Oblivion, which borrowed from many other films itself — in which the Earth is attacked by aliens and Cruise becomes the only man who can do anything about it.

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Darren Aronofsky adapts another Flood story… sort of!

Now that he’s just about finished promoting his environmentally conscious movie about a Flood that wiped out most of the world’s population in the distant past, Darren Aronofsky has signed on to produce an environmentally conscious HBO series about a “Waterless Flood” — actually a pandemic brought about by genetic engineering — that wipes out most of the world’s population in the near future.

The series, MaddAddam, will be based on Margaret Atwood’s trilogy of that name, which includes the books Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood.

Interestingly, this series not only has the environmental themes that Aronofsky has been plugging into lately, but it may have the sort of religious themes that have popped up throughout his filmography as well. I have not read these books, but I gather that they revolve, in part, around a group of people known as “God’s Gardeners”. Here is how Atwood described them in an article for Sojourners on the real-life Christian environmental group A Rocha:
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Al Pacino taking his Salome movies to the UK in September

A film that I’ve been waiting almost a decade to see… is going to be screened in England later this year.

The first time I wrote about Al Pacino’s plan to make a movie about Oscar Wilde’s Salome — mixing behind-the-scenes footage with dramatized sections of the play — was in April 2006, only a year or so after I started this blog. At the time, the film was going to be called Salomaybe?, and it was set to star Pacino as King Herod, Kevin Anderson as John the Baptist and Jessica Chastain as Salome. (This was five years before The Tree of Life and The Help put her on the map.)

Then, in March 2007, the film was in post-production.

Then, in February 2009… the film was still in post-production.

Shortly after that, I went on a bit of a blogging hiatus that lasted about three years, until I joined Patheos in 2012. But apparently the film was eventually finished and it premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2011, under a new title: Wilde Salomé.

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Damon Lindelof on the “mythology” of The Leftovers

The New York Times has a new profile of Damon Lindelof, the former Lost producer who has since worked on the Star Trek franchise and done rewrites for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Marc Forster’s World War Z, etc.

Most of the article looks at Lindelof’s background, how he dealt with the negative fallout from the final episode of Lost, and how he hopes to avoid that sort of thing with his new show, The Leftovers — but along the way there are some interesting tidbits about the new show itself.

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