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

Harry Potter 7 gets a title!

As countless websites have noted by now, the seventh and final book in the Harry Potter series now has a title. You can play a game of hangman at author J.K. Rowling’s website to find out what the title is, or you can simply keep reading this post.If you want to play that game at Rowling’s website, here is how you can find it, according to Variety:If you go to her home page, click on the eraser and you will… Read more

Were cartoons always framed this tightly?

Is it just me, or do the cartoons on the Walt Disney Treasures and Looney Tunes Golden Collection sets seem a little too tightly framed at times to any other collectors out there?I mean, for starters, here are a few of the title cards from the brand new Disney set, More Silly Symphonies: 1929 – 1938 — and note how the MPAA logo is sometimes cropped at the bottom, and how there is sometimes almost no space between the words… Read more

Rocky Balboa — the review’s up!

My review of Rocky Balboa is now up at CT Movies.And since this is one of those rare cases of a PG-rated film that is not primarily aimed at families or children, now is as good a time as any to update the list of PG-rated releases begun here and continued here. Plus, since we know what the wide releases will be this week and next, this post will wrap up this topic for the year.Quite a few PG-rated films… Read more

Review: Rocky Balboa (dir. Sylvester Stallone, 2006)

It’s no secret that the Rocky movies have, in some sense, mirrored the career of the man who wrote and starred in them all. In the 1970s, Sylvester Stallone was a struggling actor who got his shot at the big time by writing, on spec, a screenplay about a struggling boxer who gets his shot at the big time — starting with the original Rocky, which won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1976. In the 1980s, as Stallone was… Read more

Is Bob Larson now a Jesuit (on CBS, that is)?

The Hollywood Reporter says CBS is going ahead with a pilot for Demons, a dramatic series, produced by Joan of Arcadia’s Barbara Hall and Revolution Studios chief Joe Roth, that “centers on an ex-Jesuit priest/psychologist who performs exorcisms.”So, um, what happened to the plan, reported here four months ago, to base this show on “the real-life experiences of Bob Larson”?Is this another case of fictitious and real-life evangelicals getting displaced onscreen by re-written or newly invented Catholic characters? Or did… Read more

Walt Disney Treasures — another update

I picked up two of the new ‘Walt Disney Treasures’ sets today — specifically, I got More Silly Symphonies and The Complete Pluto Vol. 2 — so, now that I know what these sets contain, I figured I would update my inventory of animated Disney shorts on DVD.It ends with a list of cartoons that I don’t have, and most of those are gleaned from a list of Disney cartoons that I found online years ago, when I first started… Read more