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Jim's Movie Cheat Sheet
Jim's Movie Cheat Sheet - 29 January, 2013
Too busy to keep up with what's going on in the movie world? Relax. In this new online feature, 3AW's resident film tragic Jim Schembri sums up the week's film news - big and small, important and otherwise.
It's Official: Aussies Love Movies - Even Australian Ones!
* Local filmgoers clocked up a staggering $1.125 billion in ticket sales in 2012, 4.3% - or $47.9 million - of which went to local films. It's a clear sign that the Australian film industry is in full turnaround. According to Screen Australia, The Sapphires was the year's biggest hit with a hefty haul of $14.6 million. Other hits include: Happy Feet 2 with $10.7 million (counting 2011); Kath & Kimderella, $6.1 million; A Few Best Men, $5.3 million; and Mental on $4.1 million. Notably, they're all comedies.
Vale Michael Winner
* Controversial veteran British director Michael Winner dies, age 77, of liver disease. His best: The Wicked Lady (1983); Parting Shots (1998); Death Wish (1974); The Mechanic (1972); Chato's Land (1972); Hannibal Brooks (1969). Winner put more style into the films of Charles Bronson than they get credit for. Hopefully, that will now change.
Movie Gun Culture in Crosshairs
* Opening the Sundance Film Festival, founder Robert Redford taps into the issue everyone is talking about - whether film violence is linked to the recent mass-shootings. "I think it's appropriate and overdue to have this dialogue," he opined. '"I have a question, though. I was driving in L.A. recently and I saw two billboards that featured guns prominently. It made me wonder: 'Does my business think guns will help sell tickets?' It's worth asking that question.''
Counting the Body Count
* Keen to draw a link, conservative group The Culture and Media Institute, sent people to check out the top five movies at the multiplex: Zero Dark Thirty; Gangster Squad; Django Unchained; Les Miserables; and A Haunted House. Their findings - 185 killings, with Gangster Squad accounting for more than 60. What does this prove? Nothing. What does it suggest? That it's way easier to blame movies than to look at the real causes of mass killings in America.
Hey, He Said He'd Be Back...:
* Though his memoir Total Recall was a flop, former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, now 65, is returning to the big screen in a big way. On his slate: The Last Stand (which has already received strong reviews); Captive; The Tomb; Ten; Unknown Soldier; another Terminator; another Conan; and a sequel to his 1988 comedy with Danny DeVito Twins called - gulp - Triplets. With Eddie Murphy.
She Dreamed a Dream Alright
* Les Miserables, the movie of the musical of the book by Victor Hugo, has taken more than $280 million worldwide so far and has been nominated for a swag of Oscars - and uber-producer Cameron Macintosh is happy to credit it all to Susan Boyle's world-stopping rendition of I Dreamed a Dream on American Idol.
''[Susan Boyle] absolutely was the trigger to a series of things that happened that made this the right moment to do Les Miserables in the cinema," he told EW.com. "I certainly think Susan Boyle made that song far more famous than anybody else had managed to do. I've always said we owe her a great debt. It was one of those great miracles that nobody could ever plan.''
How big a cut she'll be getting of the Les Miz royalties has yet to be revealed.
An Unkind Cut
* After stepping in at the last minute to play mega-feminist Gloria Steinem in Lovelace (aka The Deep Throat Movie), Sarah Jessica Parker has found her part cut from the film.
Says Entertainment Weekly, the film was originally designed to end in 1984, covering the story's coda wherein Linda Lovelace (played in the film by Amanda Seyfried, replacing trouble-magnet Lindsay Lohan) reclaimed her real name Linda Boreman and became an anti-porn advocate alongside new-wave feminists such as Steinem. But directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman decided to end their version of the Lovelace saga in 1980.
So, be sure to check out the deleted scenes menu when the DVD comes out.
Twitter Hates Jokes
* When Jennifer Lawrence won the Golden Globe for best actress (comedy or musical) for Silver Linings Playbook, beating Meryl Streep for Hope Springs, she quipped: "I beat Meryl!". Predictably, Twitter outrage erupted, prompting Lawrence to explain to the world via talk-show king David Letterman that it was a jokey reference to a quote from the ancient 1996 comedy The First Wives Club (in which Bette Midler gags about how her Oscar proved that she was better than Streep).
And the leading online complainant to Lawrence's quip? None other than the talented-but-beleagured Lindsay Lohan, who declared: "No1 should ever mess with a legend such as Meryl Streep."
Lawrence put the cherry on top of the fleeting "controversy" with a self-spoofing appearance on Saturday Night Live, where she said of fellow Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain: "Look who it is. Jessica Chastain. More like, Jessica Chas-ain't winning no Oscar on my watch!" Outrage from Twitter did not materialise.
The Sequel We've All Been Waiting for...
* It's official - Jurassic Park 4 is locked in to a June 2014 release. To warm people up, the 1993 original will be re-released mid-2013 with a freshly minted 3D retro-fit. Wow. Jeff Goldblum comin' at ya. Can't wait.
...And One We Haven't
* It's still in the "Come on, let's do it!" phase, but The Hollywood Reporter relates how the post-bankruptcy MGM is hot for a Hot Tub Time Machine sequel. Rumours have it that the story will involve the guys going back in time, locating the film executive responsible for green-lighting dubious sequels, and encouraging them to become a haberdasher instead.
JJ Closes in on Star Wars Deal
* After some initial reluctance, director JJ Abrams (Star Trek; Super 8) is warming to Disney's advances to preside over Star Wars: Episode VII, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though there are hints that original cast members such as Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill could appear, no word yet on cameos by Angry Birds or Lego figurines.
Stay tuned for updates.