In Theaters This Week (6/1/2018): Adrift, Action Point, Upgrade

Johnny Knoxville in Action Point

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  This week has three minor wide releases and serves as a bit of an oasis between the chaos of May and the unrelenting release schedule of June and July.
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My Favorite Scene: Lawrence of Arabia (1962) “A Funny Sense of Fun”

 

1963 brought Oscar voters one of their biggest dilemmas of all-time as they had to choose between Lawrence of Arabia and To Kill a Mockingbird and Gregory Peck and Peter O’Toole.  Lawrence won the most Oscars with 7 and took Best Picture, but Gregory Peck won Best Actor, something Peter O’Toole never did.  Both pictures, however, continue to stand the test of time as two of the greatest films ever made with two of the greatest performances ever given.

David Lean’s biopic of TE Lawrence is epic in a scope that modern Hollywood can’t approach.  Even filmed in Panavision, the massive landscapes of the desert boggle the mind.  In a career filled with astounding performances, O’Toole’s Lawrence is the most iconic.  Lawrence is one of my personal favorites and O’Toole probably second only to Paul Newman on my list of favorite actors.  I picked one of the film’s first scenes for two reasons.  One, Lawrence receiving his assignment establishes just how odd a duck he is even in his “home”.  Two, the scene contains-in my opinion-the greatest cut in any film ever made.  This is why film editor’s matter (and Anne Coates won an Oscar for it).  O’Toole’s extinguishing a match into a desert sunrise is something I’ve watched a hundred times, and it never fails to astonish me with its simple brilliance.

Lawrence of Arabia Poster

City of Lies Trailer #1 (2018) “Who Shot Biggie?”

City of Lies, the crime drama that follows the investigation behind the unsolved murder of the Notorious B.I.G., aka Biggie Smalls, following the death of Tupac Shakur, has released its first trailer.

Based on the book LAbyrinth by Randall Sullivan, the film stars Johnny Depp as LAPD detective Russell Poole and Forest Whitaker as journalist Jack Johnson. The two team in an attempt to solve the mystery of the rapper’s death and the conspiracy to cover up the case.

“Why is this case so important to you?” Johnson asks in the beginning of the trailer. Poole responds, “A murder like that only goes unsolved if the police don’t want to solve it.”

After discussing some theories regarding Smalls’ death, Johnson asserts, “If we could prove the connection between cop and Biggie’s murder, it would not only break the LAPD…” Poole finishes the thought: “It would ruin the city.”

Brad Furman directed the movie, which was produced by Miriam Segal’s Good Films.
City of Lies is set to bow Sept. 7.

*Text from The Hollywood Reporter

City of Lies

Top 10: Han Solo Moments

 

WatchMojo’s got a timely list of everyone’s favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder’s 10 best moments from the Star Wars Saga.  WM does a really nice job putting together a highlight reel of Harrison Ford’s time with the character pulling its list from A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Force Awakens (nothing from Return of the Jedi?).

The list comes in the wake of Solo: A Star Wars Story’s pretty disastrous opening weekend.  Adjusted for inflation, it’s the worst opening in franchise history, and considering the film was shot twice, Lucasfilm had a lot of money wrapped up in its second spin-off.  Every franchise eventually has a bomb, but it’s usually a film that deserves to bomb.  In this case, Solo was doomed even before The Last Jedi’s controversy that alienated a large portion of the fan base that traditionally whips itself into a frenzy for opening weekends.  I wrote a column last summer, before The Last Jedi alienated me, begging Lucasfilm to keep Star Wars in December and to stop trying to put the franchise back in May, where it had traditionally opened under FOX.  Even though it’s uneven, Solo is ultimately a good film with a really nice cast that sets itself up for even bigger adventures that we likely now will never get to see.  I hope we do, but that would take some serious introspection on Disney’s part as to why exactly the film failed to connect.  Hopefully they’ll take the lessons they should learn, let future installments breathe, and realize their mistakes.  If not, they’re going to have a much more serious problem than a single Star Wars film that lost money.Harrison Ford as Han Solo

Paul Bettany’s 10 Best Movies

Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany broke out in 2001 when he stole A Knight’s Tale as a very unorthodox Geoffery Chaucer, co-starred with future MCU partner Robert Downey Jr. in Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang), and was part of the stellar ensemble for the year’s Best Picture: A Beautiful Mind.  Since then, he has established himself as one of the most dependable character actors in Hollywood in films like Master & Commander, Margin Call, and The Young Victoria.  Bettany is most popularly known for his work in the MCU since the franchise’s first film: Iron Man.  He voiced Tony Stark’s AI suit companion, JARVIS, in all three Iron Man solo films and the first Avengers film before JARVIS became Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron.  He would reprise Vision in Captain America: Civil War and Avengers: Infinity War.  Bettany’s recent career renaissance also includes a stellar performance as the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, in The Discovery Channel’s Manhunt: Unabomber, as well as putting his mark on the Star Wars Universe as the main villain in Solo: A Star Wars Story.  Bettany has been married to actress Jennifer Connelly since 2003.
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