Friday Morning Coffee with TMJ 3/30/18

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Many have asked if I have ever given out Five Gavels to a movie.  The answer is yes, but only once so far.  Guardians of the Galaxy received that honor in my review of May 5, 2017.  Thus far, I have awarded 4.5 Gavels to ten movies.  They are as follows (with the date of review):

Hidden Figures 1/5/17
The Founder 1/20/17
The Big Sick 7/7/17
Detroit 8/3/17
Thor: Ragnarok 11/2/17
Coco 11/26/17
The Greatest Showman 12/20/17
Darkest Hour 12/22/17
Molly’s Game 1/4/18
Ready Player One 3/28/18  — Just published in case you missed it!

 I have given out lots of Four Gavels, too many to repeat here.  Detroit is sort of an outlier here, a very good movie, powerful, but not for the weak of stomach.  If you haven’t seen the others, you should check them out.  On the other end of the spectrum, I have given out one 0 Gavels, to The Disaster Artist.  I strongly recommend you skip that one.

For those of you interested in the money race,  Hollywood notes that Pacific Rim Uprising finally knocked Black Panther out of the number one spot.  Not surprising to me is that I Can Only Imagine (another $14 million) is still strong at number 3, ahead of Sherlock Gnomes (opening at $10 million).

This has been pretty well publicized but worth another mention.  Chris Evans says the next Avengers movie will be his last as Captain America.  “You want to get off the train before they push you off,” he says.  I like the quote but the cynic in me wonders if it is a ploy to get more money for future episodes.  So, are we going to pass the torch or pass the hat?

How many of you have heard of The Earthquake Bird?  Published in 2001 and winning some awards, Netflix will make it into a movie starring Alicia Vikander and Riley Keough.  These two are in a love triangle with a Japanese photographer, and one is murdered.  Alternately described as a “female-fronted noir thriller” and “one of the best accounts of female sexuality,” I was unable to ascertain the meaning of the title which is what caught my eye in the first place.  There is a book called How The Earthquake Bird Got its Name And Other Tales Of An Unbalanced Nature, but that was a step too far for me.

Haven’t we seen this before?  Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are to star in the Spy Who Dumped Me.  Set to open on August 3, Kunis is dumped by her boyfriend (Justin Theroux) who is a spy.  Kate is her best friend and together they become involved in international espionage.  I was skeptical of this spoof, but the trailer looks like it may be fun.

Broadway shows made $1.4 billion last year.  That does not include off-Broadway, regional, and international productions, just Broadway.  The Lion King has made $8 billion so far and Wicked has made $4.5 billion.  And that is why investors line up, even though it takes seven years to develop a musical, and seven out of ten never make money.  Conclusion:  While traditional Hollywood is fighting Netflix and the streamers, Broadway seems quite happy in its current state.

Let’s see.  I pay MoviePass $6.95/month for one year in advance and I can go to one movie per day.  They say they now have 3 million subscribers.  Sounds like a deal too good to pass up.  Their CEO says they are about 1 million subscribers away from profitability.  Or could that be bankruptcy?  As for me, I am not yet sold, but watching it very carefully.

Lady And The Tramp

Originally made in 1955, Lady and the Tramp will be back on the big screen.  Disney says this version will be live-action, although the dogs must be CGI.  Who will be the restaurateur who serves them spaghetti and meatballs?  Problem:  Disney also says this one is headed for their new streaming service.  Another way for the movie folks to separate us from our dollars!

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