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Monday, August 3, 2015


How many films have you seen this year?  Probably fewer than I've seen in two weeks.  Here they are (with box office revenues for the year, then for this week, plus Rotten Tomatoes reviewers/audience ratings):

  • Ant-Man (#13, #3, 79/91):  Michael Douglas develops a technique to shrink Paul Rudd into the next Marvel Avengers film teammate.  
  • Trainwreck (#23, #6, 85/78):  a Judd Apatow film written by Amy Schumer, who becomes the next Renee Zellweger (not that good looking but serves a certain role) opposite Saturday Night Live's Bill Hader as a sports surgeon.  Watch for Tilda Swinton (you won't recognize her) who again stuns, plus LeBron James.  Amy, incidentally, is a second cousin of Senator Chuck Schumer, and both have become active in combatting gun violence.
  • Southpaw (#44, #7, 58/83):  will gain Jake Gyllenhaal an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.  Brutal, bloody and realistic.  He lost 30 pounds to play Nightcrawler, and got snubbed by the Academy.  This time, he gained 15 pounds of muscles to become a light-heavyweight boxing champion.  Those who vote love actors who physically shape themselves for roles.  
  • Paper Towns (#50, #8,, 56/63):  maybe the film I most enjoyed watching, although both Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne fail as high school seniors.  They are 21 and 23 and look like college seniors.  This is one of those escape films, sort of like Jonathan Demme's Something Wild, a 1986 flick where Melanie Griffith takes Jeff Daniels on the ride of his life, or, maybe, Into the Night, from 1985, where Jeff Goldblum finds himself in the same kind of predicament with Michelle Pfeiffer, who had stolen emeralds from the Shah of Iran. 20 cameo appearances made this production uniquely special.  Someday soon these films would make a fine triple-bill.  If nothing else, you will learn what a paper town is.
  • Mr. Holmes (#68, #11, 87/78):  picture a 93-year old Sherlock Holmes struggling to remember the details of his final case, the reason why he prematurely retired 35 years ago.

You can click on each to see the trailer.  The latest Tom Cruise movie, Rogue Nation, the fifth Mission Impossible effort, wiped out the competition, and Vacation (2015), with the young Griswolds returning to Wally World, and seventh National Lampoon vacation film, came in a distant second.  The original with Chevy Chase in 1983 was also called Vacation, thus the need for 2015.  Opening this coming Friday is Ricki and the Flash with Meryl Streep, directed by Jonathan Demme.

There are now six ocean storms of any consequence:

Of interest to Hawaii, Guillermo  just lost hurricane status, and is now down to 70 MPH.  All signs now point to the eye tracing a path just north of the islands, bringing some wind, a lot of rain and high waves:

Super Typhoon Soudelar at 190 MPH is heading for North Taiwan, and will subsequently crash into China:

Soudelar seriously damaged Saipan, which is without power and phone, and could well affect Ishigaki and Miyakojima before Taiwan.


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