Jake Gyllenhaal seeks out darker roles as he carefully constructs his career path
From WSJ reporters around the world. Search Corporate Intelligence1 September 17, 2013, 1:18 PM 74 Million Movies that Werent Streamed in July Biography Redbox For those who spend their time glued to glowing screens on smartphones and laptops, its important to get an occasional reminder of how popular some offline businesses still are. And that is certainly the case when it comes to movie rentals. Plenty of people have long abandoned their Blockbuster membership and shifted from renting discs to streaming shows Netflix now has almost 30 million paying members but plenty havent. In households where the TV is still king (and not connected to a computer or the internet), DVD rental is still going strong. Take Redbox, which rents DVDs from its more than 43,000 vending machines located in grocery stores across the country. Stock in its parent company, Outerwall Inc., is down 12.5% today after it issued updated guidance last night, lowering estimates for revenues and earnings. A big reason for the downward revision was rentals at Redbox were not as high as expected. But even then, they were pretty high : Rentals for July and August grew year over year 13.4% and 15.7% respectively, with July representing Redboxs best rental month in its history, with approximately 74 million rentals. Redbox continues to expect both rentals and revenue per kiosk to increase compared to comparable periods in 2012. In addition, unique credit and debit cards used in July and August increased 11% year over year, while rental frequency improved in July and August compared to the same periods in 2012. 74 million rentals in July. Aside from working on an old-school TV setup, Redbox rentals can be a pretty cheap option compared to whats available online: $1.20 a night for one of their discs, compared to $2.99 upward for a streaming movie from places like Amazon or Apples iTunes store. Netflix subscriptions cost $8 per month, although that gets an all-you-can-eat streaming buffet. Redbox doesnt see its customers jumping ship anytime soon, regardless. Outerwall said it continues to see revenue growth in its Redbox business of 4-7% annually through 2015. See also:
Jay Stone’s Top 10 movies of 2011
I feel it its my duty to make sure you dont miss out on any future cult classics so I bring to you my weekly installment of Horror Movies Uncut. The thoughts and opinions on these reviews are clearly my own and should be shared by many! BEST PICK OF THE WEEK ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE- This film hit my top list of must see horror films when it was released back in 2006. I was blown away by the throwback giallo style portrayed in the film and was hooked to the end. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane not only takes you back to the first american style slasher that caught your attention it also has flawless execution. Don’t be worried about the team of Amber Heard and Jonathan Levine if you disliked Warm Bodies Mandy Lane is the real deal. The story involves the best looking girl in high school hanging out with the popular kids but for some reason bodies start piling up. This film has intensity, gore and amazing death scenes. All The Boys Love Mandy Lane is available right now on VOD and it is worth the price. 5/5 *available on all VOD outlets THE REST OF THE FILMS SCENIC ROUTE – I had a feeling this movie would be good but not this good. Scenic Route is not a horror by any stretch of the imagination. It has some horror qualities but the performances by Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler are award worthy. Two long term friends are traveling through the desert when their truck breaks down. After finding out it was a ploy by Fogler to start a conversation with Duhamel the two erupt into a battle of life call outs and relationships with not only women but passions of the past.
Given gravitas by Christian imagery and a mood of millennial survivalist desperation, this pulp procedural joins a long line of films that sell themselves by way of the very depravity and malignant moral imagination they pretend to deplore. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Thanks for Sharing (R) Although Blumbergs script focuses on the fraught romance between Adam and Phoebe, it is, improbably, the relationship between Neil, whom most people would consider a creep, and Dede, a woman who might once have been called a nymphomaniac, that is the films sweetest pleasure. Their platonic friendship (yes, platonic!) is rendered with great humor, poignancy and dignity. Michael OSullivan (No rating) The Wizard of Oz 3D IMAX (PG) Seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen also offers an opportunity to consider the incredible special effects, considering the film was shot more than seven decades ago and long before computer-generated imagery. The black-and-white scenes of Dorothy battling against the wind as a twister approaches were especially transporting. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Wadjda (PG) Youre seeing a world on screen that, until now, has been largely hidden from the filmgoing world at large. Because in addition to being a terrific garden-variety coming-of-age film, Wadjda happens to be the first feature-length movie ever made in Saudi Arabia all the more notable in that its been made by a woman, about a young girl chafing against the religious and social strictures of a kingdom literally shrouded in sexual anxiety, misogyny and severe repression. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Salinger (PG-13) While much of the movie consists of variations on this same theme that Salinger was a brilliant, flawed man the film also delves into more salacious matters, including the role of Catcher in the shootings of Ronald Reagan, John Lennon and Rebecca Schaeffer (gunmen John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman and Robert John Bardo were all fans of the novel). Stephanie Merry The Henchmans War (Unrated) Greene, a native Washingtonian with a handful of local directorial and co-producing credits on his resume, has an eye for urban grit and an ear for tough-guy dialogue. He makes excellent use of his shadowy locations, lending War the coveted visual grime that enhances such pulp-noir material. Sean OConnell 1/2 Battle of the Year (PG-13) Lee is attempting to keep a spotlight shining on b-boy culture, an aggressive style of street dancing that consists of body-contorting twists, flips, leaps, spins and poses set to hip-hop music. Lee showcased this next level of competitive breakdancing in his award-winning 2008 documentary Planet B-Boy , and a feature film building on that awareness makes complete sensejust not five years later, when the fad appears to have faded. Sean OConnell My Lucky Star (Unrated) Bringing Sophies comics to life, the movie interjects drawings and animated sequences. The camera spins excitedly, and the editing is brisk. Split-screen compositions evoke the 1960s, as do Sophies pop-art ensembles, which include a lilac wig with matching lipstick. This girlie romp is less about martial arts and espionage than stuffed animals and dress-up. Mark Jenkins 1/2 Good OlFreda (PG) Ryan White weaves in archival footage of girls fainting and images of old headlines. The soundtrack consists primarily of Beatles covers. While the tales of the bands spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial. Kelly can be cagey, and when a voice offscreen asks if she ever dated any of the guys, she demurs, saying, Thats personal. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Ip Man: The Final Fight (PG-13) The showiest action sequence involves lion dancers who battle atop high wooden posts. The grittiest and final one sends Ip to save one of his former pupils, whos risked fighting for money inside the gangster-controlled Kowloon Walled City. To add to the drama, the showdown occurs during a typhoon. Mark Jenkins Generation Iron (PG-13) Generation Iron succeeds where other rote sports docs often struggle.
‘Prisoners,’ ‘Wadjda’ and other new movies, reviewed
French director Michel Hazanavicius borrows from several Hollywood legends and prototypes (including A Star Is Born, Singing in the Rain and Sunset Boulevard) for this ingenious fable about a silent star whose career fades with the advent of talkies and a young starlet who sees her celebrity explode at the same time. It’s a tribute to artful silent cinema, but it’s also a sweet love story that is wonderfully told in the faces (including that of a terrific Jack Russell terrier named Uggy) of its charming cast. 2. Hugo: Martin Scorsese redefines 3-D in this astonishing family film about a young orphan who lives in the clock tower of a Paris train station in 1930. There’s a Dickensian drama in his life, but the movie’s plot – all gears and gimcracks – is mostly in service of a tribute to the history of movies, especially the genius of French pioneer, Georges Melies. Scenes from some of Melies’ 500 films pay loving and joyful homage to the magical early years of cinema. 3. The Descendants: Alexander Payne’s masterful control of tone is what makes this comic tragedy surprising: We may know where the plot is heading, but moments of sudden grief and surreal humour alternately surprise us and provide constant delight. George Clooney, showing the cracks in his smooth surface, has never been as good as he is in this tale of a Hawaiian lawyer who learns that his comatose wife had been cheating on him. 4. The Tree of Life: Reclusive director Terrence Malick emerges from hiding with this magisterial epic about a childhood in Texas under the control of an angry and disappointed father (a fine performance by Brad Pitt), and also – steady now – the very foundations of the universe itself. The poetic, visual storytelling relies on small moments (billowing curtains, a sudden butterfly) to build a slow but moving masterwork. 5. Margin Call: An A-list cast – including Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci and Jeremy Irons – anchor this smart examination of the American financial crisis.
Loki is one of the more complicated police presences on the big screen recently. Moving beyond the conventions of the typical screen gumshoe, hes a man brimming with confidence but boiling with rage, as firmly convinced of the need for justice as he is frustrated by his inability to bring it about. The film is the result of another mental journey to a dark place for the actor, who has been submerging his consciousness in roles like this recently and in the process reenergizing his career. Eight years after he landed a supporting Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain, Gyllenhaal, at 32, looks to be making good on the promise he showed in that film and creating work to match his level of popularity. Gyllenhaal has an unusually high degree of association with cultural phenomena (Brokeback, Donnie Darko) as well as critical darlings (Zodiac, The Good Girl). But big studio movies havent always been kind to him. Two years after his turn as the naive love interest in 2002s The Good Girl, there was the Roland Emmerich kitchen-sink effects tale The Day After Tomorrow. And his well-regarded role as the author Robert Graysmith in 2007s Zodiac led to the maligned desert action-adventure Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time several years later. Some actors grow into themselves when they move to a bigger stage (think: Denzel Washington). But for Gyllenhaal, these movies didnt play to his strengths, and he seemed dwarfed by his surroundings. This has left him with a kind of restless questioning, a desire to do things grittier, more his own way, not simply to jump on the next sleek passing vessel. He demonstrated the point recently when he opted out of a Disney adaptation of the big-budget fairy tale musical Into the Woods to sign on to something more moody an indie thriller called Nightcrawler in which hell play a Los Angeles crime journalist. Its not an accident that hes taken on the wounded masculinity of movies such as End of Watch and Prisoners just as hes taken up boxing and mixed-martial arts, the ultimate sports for actors craving both swagger and pain.