The Simpsons: “God spoke to us for a reason.”

Today I finally got around to checking out the Simpsons: Season 9 set that I bought last week, and lo and behold, I found that the animatic preview of The Simpsons Movie includes a bit of God-talk. To wit, Homer and Marge are standing in front of a giant silo bearing the label “PIG CRAP”, and Marge says to Homer:God spoke to us for a reason. I’m not quite sure what that reason is, but I’m asking you: Please, dispose… Read more

One last movie not screened for critics!

Joe Leydon says in his review for Variety that the remake of Black Christmas “opened Dec. 25 without press previews”, and at his blog, he comments on the experience of catching this movie’s first matinee on Christmas Day with “two dozen or so” actual paying customers. But while the movie might not have been screened for critics in the States, it was screened for critics in Canada. (FWIW, this is one of the half-dozen or more previews that I missed.) Read more

Del Toro, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Narnia redux

The Associated Press has a new interview with Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo del Toro that foregrounds the Narnia connection which, until now, had only been mentioned in passing — if at all — in the other interviews that I have read:Guillermo del Toro was asked to direct “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” but he turned it down because, as a lapsed Catholic, he couldn’t see himself bringing Aslan the lion back to life.Instead, he… Read more

For the record…

Sometimes CT Movies editor Mark Moring can’t help imposing his opinions on other people’s articles. Over at his blog, Jeffrey Overstreet notes one such occurence: When I turned in my review of Children of Men, one of the closing paragraphs went like this:This Christmas, you’re unlikely to find any film that gives you a better sense of the pressure Mary and Joseph must have experienced, the dangers they dodged, the responsibility they accepted, and the hope that their child brought… Read more

Casino Royale sets new record for Bond films

Casino Royale may have dropped out of the North American top ten this past weekend, but Variety reports that it’s still doing boffo business overseas, enough so that it even set a new record:”Casino Royale” has shot past the worldwide record for a James Bond movie, thanks mostly to strong international performance over the Christmas holiday weekend.Sony’s “Casino” cashed in overseas with $14.5 million at 6,300 during the weekend through Sunday, lifting the foreign total to $304.4 million — the… Read more

Two out-of-left-field Christmas movie messages

Tyler F. Williams posted some interesting thoughts on the season at his Codex blog on Christmas Eve, but instead of commenting on the usual accounts in Matthew and Luke, he cited passages from John and Revelation that put the birth and incarnation of Jesus into their broader cosmic — even apocalyptic — context:The passage continues to recount of a great war in heaven between Michael and his angels and the dragon… and how the dragon suffered an initial defeat and… Read more

Canadian box-office stats — December 24

Here are the figures for the past weekend, arranged from those that owe the highest percentage of their take to the Canadian box office to those that owe the lowest.Casino Royale — CDN $19,742,555 — N.AM $143,669,000 — 13.7%Blood Diamond — CDN $2,845,934 — N.AM $25,043,000 — 11.4%The Holiday — CDN $3,961,399 — N.AM $35,093,000 — 11.3%Rocky Balboa — CDN $1,698,412 — N.AM $22,233,000 — 7.6%Eragon — CDN $2,487,423 — N.AM $37,645,000 — 6.6%Happy Feet — CDN $10,293,910 — N.AM… Read more

Dreamgirls — the review’s up!

My review of Dreamgirls is now up at CT Movies — and since I was a last-minute pinch-hitter filling in for another critic who would almost certainly have known the film’s subject matter much, much better than I do, all I can say is that, when it comes to this particular movie, I bow before Armond White.DEC 30 UPDATE: And now I bow before Ken Eisner, who kicks his review off with an observation …It’s beyond ironic that the musical,… Read more

“Putting the Christ back in Christmas”?

Is it just me, or does this banner ad for The Nativity Story seem a little … off, somehow? I like the movie and all, but I wouldn’t exactly treat it like a religious obligation. I’ll be putting Christ in Christmas by going to church. Hope to see some of you there! Read more

The Nativity Story — a “very serious setback”?

Variety reported yesterday that The Nativity Story is doing so-so business in North America, but virtually nothing overseas:The $35 million New Line pic opened the weekend of Dec. 1 to an unimpressive $7.8 million at 3,083 playdates, finishing a distant fourth to the third frames of “Happy Feet” and “Casino Royale” and the soph sesh of “Deja Vu.” . . .Since then, however, “Nativity” has salvaged its performance with decent holdover numbers. The second frame saw a decline of 27%… Read more

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