JUMPSCARECUT: Ghostbusters: Answer The Call (2016)

Year: 2016
Directed by: Paul Feig
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth

Written by Chris Gelderd

When unexplained sightings of ghosts start to come to light in New York City, former authors and scientists Erin Gilbert (Wiig) and Abby Yates (McCarthy) come together after being distant for many years to investigate the sightings.

With help from nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) and subway worker Patty (Jones), the quartet form a business that aim to research and prove the existence of ghosts whilst keeping people safe. They hire dim-witted receptionist Kevin (Hemsworth) and form the ‘Ghostbusters’, kitted out with Holtzmann’s equipment, a new car provided by Patty’s uncle and Erin and Abby’s knowledge of the paranormal.

They discover that a seemingly normal man, Rowan North (Casey), is behind the spooky goings-on as he uses devices to amplify paranormal activity in a wider plan to destroy Manhattan to satisfy his own deranged hatred of humanity. Only the Ghostbusters can stop him before it is too late, and also before they are deemed frauds by the Mayor (Garcia)…

Never has a remake of an 80s classic gained so much fear, scrutiny, and doubt than ‘Ghostbusters’. We’ve had ‘The Karate Kid’, ‘RoboCop’, ‘Conan The Barbarian’ and even ‘Annie’ but this is off the chart. It’s not surprising given the cultural significance of the family-friendly 1984 original populated with now iconic genre moments, characters and showcasing the talent of actors at the top of their game. Films like the original come along once in a generation, such as ‘Back To The Future’ and even ‘The Terminator’. They are a product that just should not be touched.

And this effort by Paul Feig shows why.

Firstly, to not like this film doesn’t make me racist, sexist or any other ‘–ist’ you can think of. If anything, I’m a Paul-Feig-Comedy-ist. Populated with actors with little acting experience bar work on ‘Saturday Night Live’ and those who are Paul Feig’s usual suspects, this feels like a film where Feig and crew have a goal to reach but can be silly and stupid along the way as long as they reach the end credits. It’s that untouchable bond between cast and crew that doesn’t always work in delivering something worthy to stand by its predecessor.

Melissa McCarthy, surprisingly, is probably least irritating out of the 4 leading ladies and she comes across as most humane of them all. Kristen Wiig continues her style of comedy where she narrates and makes overly unnecessary comments and quips about people or situations which gets old very quick. Kate McKinnon, whom I thought would be the best, turns out to be the worst with an annoying amount of over-played “wacky scientist” characterisation that comes across as nothing but childish. And Leslie Jones, while thankfully not as loud and in your face as the trailers made out, has her moments to shine but still plays a very uninspiring character. In fact, all characters are what you get initially on introductions; they don’t change, develop or progress from start to end. You have to take two acceptable characters to follow at the same time as following two irritating ones, which never makes for total satisfaction in viewing.

It’s actually Chris Hemsworth who comes off ok here, granted he’s playing a man who is dense to the point it’s too OTT at times, but I was chuckling along the lines of how absurd his character Kevin was and what his role was even relevant for except more silly gags, a point of lust for Erin and to use in the finale.

And the actors are fuelled by one thing I don’t sit well with – the comedy. Modern comedy, or that comedy that Paul Feig injected into work like ‘Bridesmaids’ or ‘Spy’, is evident here. The film sucker punches you in the opening spooky 5 minutes where you have some wit in the script and you think you’re on safe ground; we even have the classic opening theme in short bursts, but then the “crude humour” that gained the film’s certification hits you.

Jokes and gags about wee and poo and sex and parts of the female anatomy. That’s when my expectations crashed and burned. If that sort of thing amuses you, along with characters who throw in racial quips, shout and do silly gurning and pratfalls in what I consider amateurish, lazy comedy, then you’ll be ok. If you prefer more discreet comedy and humour coming from character chemistry, serious delivery and an time when being crude wasn’t needed, then you’ll struggle to find this amusing.

Production-wise, it’s decent enough. It delivers a few moments that make you jump but if you’ve seen the trailers, you know when to expect them, and it’s always moments when the music goes quiet and then the sound is cranked up with loud piercing scream and exclamation. It’s not exactly discreet, but it’s there. And we have a wealth of locations across Manhatten to explore and plenty of energy from the leads to carry us through the 2hr story. The Ghostbusters certainly kick ghostly ass with a variety of gadgets and gizmos to add more action and excitement to the demand for bigger and better action scenes.

Nods to the 1984 original come thick and fast, and it shows that even though this is a reboot of the franchise, it can’t help remake the original bar a few character replacements. It shows to me there is no confidence in rebooting a series to be more original and just serves as a silly love-letter to the original from shoe-horning in short but amusing cameos from nearly all the main cast, showing us the firehouse, revamping ECTO-1, introducing Slimer and his girlfriend (ugh), keeping the proton packs and traps, and pretty much doing the same story but tweaked. From the opening pre-titles to the large, white monster in the finale, it’s a checklist of “spot the homage” in a film that doesn’t know what it wants to be.

But where the film most is the CGI. All the ghosts look like something from a computer game or an episode of Scooby-Doo. Colourful, crisp and cartoonish. A few work, most not and there is very little realism to them if anything. At least the original had effective model work and make-up on actors to give us something that resembled a human or monster, rather than just a colourful CGI creature. And it’s over-used in the finale where again, Feig abuses what he can do with CGI and delivers a tension free, action-heavy battle in front of green-screen that goes for excess rather than simplicity. No model/actor-in-costume/camera manipulation here like the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man – we have a CGI Godzilla style creature destroying the CGI city like all modern blockbuster films have their villain doing now. Yawn.

If I’d have known the humour would be this crass and lazy, I’d have not watched it but I did, as many will, out of curiosity on how a classic film is re-imagined for a modern generation. With another final moment after the credits that once more shows a lack of originality in setting up a sequel, I left feeling disappointed. That’s all. I wanted to enjoy it, but it just wasn’t for me. Had I known there would be so much nostalgia over originality, I’d have just watched the original at home and seen it done properly.

I will say one thing, I think it’s clear that a quarter of the budget went to the designing the closing credits; very visually appealing right to the end I have to say. Good job!

INTERVIEW: Paul Feig Talks A Simple Favour, Freaks and Geeks, Ghostbusters & The Box Office

Interviewed by Dave Curtis

Paul Feig is in the midst of a PR promo tour which will take him all over the world. At the start of his career, Paul wrote Freaks and Geeks which is now considered a cult classic but initially was considered a flop and quickly cancelled. Now the man who directed the hugely successful comedies Bridesmaids, Spy and the much talked about Ghostbusters remake is about to embark on a new challenge. A Simple Favour starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, which is based on the hugely popular novel by Darcey Bell, is his latest endeavour. Not one to shy away from a conversation, Paul chats to us about his new film and what its like working with Anna and Blake. He also talks about his experience working on Ghostbusters and what he enjoys about filmmaking.

The following has been transcribed from a telephone interview between Dave and Paul.


Hello Paul, How are you?

I’m good, how are you?

I’m good. Thank you very much for talking to us.

My pleasure. Thank you for taking the time.

It must be a long day. It was your premiere last night wasn’t it?

Yes it was (laughter). I’m still feeling the effects. It was quite a celebration, but very very fun.

I could only imagine, with your sense of style I imagine it being very good.

(Laughter)

So Paul, ”A Simple Favour’- its a slight change in direction for you in that it is a thriller. Are you a fan of the genre?

Oh yeah. They are probably my favourite thing to watch, I’ve always loved them. Technically I don’t watch a lot of comedy. Its the bit I work in so I really enjoy the heightened tension and just the kind of drama and everything about thrillers. I also really love the old Hitchcock thrillers which were really fun and I kind of think that kind of thing is missing from the thrillers today. I still love them, but I really like the fun old ones.

Yeah a good thriller is quite hard to come across nowadays.

Well you know Hitchcock wasn’t afraid to inject humour into the characters and add quirkiness into them in a way that would make them fun. It can still be a real thriller and still let people have a good time.

Is that what attracted you to the project, were you approached by the studio or were you actively searching for something different?

I really wanted to find a thriller. You look at all my movies, they are all comedies really. You know there is a wedding movie, a buddy cop comedy, a spy movie. So a thriller was something I always wanted to do, but it’s one of the those genres I didn’t really know how to write. I feel like I would have to write it from scratch. So it was one of those things when you say hopefully a project will come in, that does and the script got sent to us. My company, we have a deal with Fox and at the time Fox 2000 had bought the book and had Jessica Sharzer write a version of it. They sent it to us because basically we had a producing deal with them. They were like ‘We have this movie and we don’t know what it is because its a thriller but its also really crazy and its kind of funny but we don’t really know’. So they were like ‘Maybe you can figure it out’. I read it and I just loved it so much and I said this is the thriller I’ve been looking for. This is one I know I can make. I can make it funny and fun and its mainly because A) it has so many twists and turns which I loved and B) because of the character that Anna Kendrick plays because I thought I can just get comedy out of that character. First of all its exactly the kind of character that’s in all my movies. Which is the awkward person, undervalued and sort of underestimated who really hasn’t found their place in the world yet. By going through whatever situation the movie throws at them to become a better person because of it and so that was my in. Just a fact that there was this nerdy mum who none of the other parents like. Its very earnest, sweet and that’s what I loved about it. I always want to make my movies good natured, you know even if they are dark. I don’t like things that are ugly and have a very negative statement about the human race in general. If you look at my movies they aren’t mean spirited.

Did you know of the book beforehand or was it the script that caught your attention?

Yeah it was the script. I read that first and then I read the book after that, but it was really the script which I thought was really fun. What Jessica Sharzer did which was so amazing, was that she really took the best moments from the book and then kind of mixed them around in a way that made it much better for the screen.

She is a wonderful screenwriter. I watched ‘Nerve’ the other day and I thought that was a good film. A bit of a hidden gem.

Oh yeah, and what a great person. A great partner to have, somebody who is so wonderful and so open to trying anything.

The trailer states that this is from your darker side. Should we be worried from now on, is this going to be something that is going to carry on?

(laughter) Honestly every project is new for me and I just want to tell great stories and so all the films that get sent to me, that I respond to or what idea I have that I want to write. But my next movie is going to be more of a romcom, kind of very fun, emotional movie. But I would love to work in the thriller genre again. I want to work in every genre that I can. Howard Hawks is my favourite director and the fact he worked affectingly in so many different genres has always been a inspiration to me and I think that’s the way to go.

You come across as a fun guy and a fun director. Was it fun making ‘A Simple Favour’ because it must of been fun making ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Spy’, but was this as enjoyable?

Oh yeah really fun. Sometimes even more fun than doing straighter comedy because you are getting so much out of the script than you already have because its so tightly plotted that you don’t have a lot of room to really to play around in that way. What you get to do is relish all these extreme emotions and these quirky extreme characters and so there is something incredibly fun about that. It helps when you have actors that are game and Anna and Blake were just so game to play and have fun with it and then I’m able to do my favourite thing which is to surround them with great supporting characters who are funny and quirky and just be so additive to the proceedings.

Talking about Blake and Anna, just from the trailer they look like they share wonderful chemistry. Was it like that from day one or had they met before or had you had rehearsals?

No not really. They only really met at a few times at social events over the years, showbiz events. They didn’t really know each other at all and you know when you are hiring movie star you can’t really go ‘Hey come in and audition with [this] person and see if you have chemistry’. You hire them and hope it works. But they hit it off from day one. I mean the chemistry was there and the dynamic of those characters was just kind of played in to their natural dynamic and also how they got to know each other and all of that. The way Blake’s character drops into Stephanie’s life and you know it was like when you cast somebody in a movie and you are like ‘and here is your partner out of nowhere’.

Yeah I’ve watched a couple of interviews with them recently and they just seem to get on really well, so it’s really nice to watch a film when two leads are so good together and actually have a friendship.

Yeah its really, really nice. But I’ve found in my career that all the actors I’ve worked with tend to just get along because they are just really professional and they are team players. You know the best movie stars are team players and not out for themselves. They know they are only as good as the people they are working with. That’s what is so nice, they know and realise they need each other.

You seem to attract many fantastic actresses like Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Rose Byrne, Sandra Bullock, Leslie Jones and now Anna and Blake, what do you think attracts them to your projects in particular?

Well I think I have projects that have really good roles for women and the thing that I hate is people saying its strong female leads. No its not that, its just that they are good three dimensional roles and they can be strong and weak and vulnerable and they’re smart and they mess up. It allows whoever is going to play the role to just have a fully developed fun character and show off their comedic chops or just show off what a good actor they are. So you realise how bad things have been for actresses for so long. There weren’t enough roles that they could really sink their teeth into.

I totally agree with you. I think you have been spearheading the revival of good quality female comedies, starting with Bridesmaids, Girls Trip, Rough Night and most recently The Spy Who Dumped Me, which I felt was heavenly influenced by you. Kate McKinnon is just brilliant in that.

She is just so great. Thanks. The good thing now is that studios are letting people make movies about women and god forbid letting women behind the camera to direct them too. Its slowly course correcting and I mean its such a major course correction that they have to do. They’ve behind for a long time but at least its starting [to change].

Did you feel least pressure working on A Simple Favour compared to your other films?

You always feel pressure because of how much the movie costs. If it doesn’t do well there is still a mark against you because you may have made a bad decision or you are just creatively off. So I always definitely feel the pressure regardless, but it was nice not having to carry the pressure of an enormous budget because that help wins some fights and arguments you have with the studio. If you want something and they don’t want it you’re like ‘hey do you know much money I’m not making to do this, you know how much I’m sacrificing to do this!’ So yeah it really allows me to experiment a little more and do the things I wanted to do. That said the studio was so supportive of us because the movie ended up going to Lionsgate. It was going to be Fox 2000 and they at the last minute got nervous about it and decided not to do it. Lionsgate swept in and kept us on schedule and I will be eternally grateful. I’m really, really grateful to them for that.

Talking about the box office, is that something you look at. Do you worry about it or do you finish the film, finish post then go on holiday and try not to think about it. Because it seems some directors don’t seem to care, but do you worry about it?

All I worry about is the box office, its drives everything I do, every decision I make, every sleepless night. I’ve got different perspective of this than a lot of other people which is that I was in movie jail once. I started really good and fell apart really badly and then I was allowed to make movies again. That was a hard lesson like “unless you make me some money”, unless you get return of their investment you don’t get to do it again. So I’m sadly obsessed with it, but it does mean that I’m trying to make movies that I know are going to entertain the biggest amount of people. Well that’s what I’m shooting for. I’m not trying to shoot a little niche film I want, no matter how much my movies cost because I want everybody to see them, because I’m proud of them and want them to entertain.

Well I think you are doing a good job because all your projects make a good profit. For example Bridesmaids made a ridiculous amount of money from a moderate budget. So I don’t think you have to worry. (laughter)

Well thanks, the old saying is true, you’re only as good as your last picture. You never lose sight of that. You never rest on your laurels. Then they go and start giving you life time achievement awards and don’t let you work anymore.

(laughter) Well you don’t want one of those yet. Talking about your last picture Ghostbusters, which I really enjoyed, did the response from so called fanboys put you off for a while or did you brush it off?

Oh yeah it definitely bummed me out, it was a real assault which I wasn’t prepared for. Now I realise I made so many mistakes and how I dealt with all of that, because I just didn’t expect it. It really broad sided me because all my interactions on the internet before that were just absolutely lovely and just supportive. There was whole little group of people that liked what I did. So when I announced that project I just expected everyone was just going to be really happy (he laughs) and then there was daily stuff of awful awfulness. At the same time there were so many nice people. You just tend to focus and notice the bad stuff. It definitely threw me and definitely put me off but it didn’t stop my desire in doing stuff. It just made me think about ‘Ok what am I going to do next and what’s the next thing I want to say and what road do I want to go down to entertain people?’ Do I want to make another giant movie right away or do I want to make something? I don’t want to say smaller because that sounds less commercial, just something that’s not on the same scale, but hopefully something that is as entertaining or even more so.

You have a gift in casting male actors who are naturally funny but aren’t really known for their comedy chops like Jon Hamm, Jason Statham and Chris Hemsworth. Do you take credit for that? I truly believe if there was no Ghostbusters there would be no Thor: Ragnarok because Chris Hemsworth really shows his funny bones in it.

I mean I’ll own part of it, he is a funny guy. When I really got inspired, well it was a double thing that happened because we have the same agents so when it came to Ghostbusters my agent said ‘hey Chris Hemsworth said if you want him to do anything in your movie, he really wants to do a movie that his kids could enjoy’ so I was like ‘wow that would be awesome like to have Thor being their receptionist.’ Then I saw he hosted Saturday Night Live and I just thought he was really funny. What I look for, I don’t know if I look for people who are funny, I look to see if they have a sense of humour about themselves.

I’ve got to mention Freaks and Geeks, I think people would be disappointed if I didn’t. Your CV for TV is very impressive. You directed some episodes of The Office (US), Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, and Freaks and Geeks. Do you still get offered to do more TV?

I love TV. TV is in such an amazing place right now. I wish TV would have been in this place when we did Freaks and Geeks, we might still be on the air. We were such a fish out the water at the time, just an hour long dramedy. It just wasn’t what people were looking for at that moment. But I love TV and what’s great about TV now is the fact that it is embracing the realization of story telling and so these series are big long movies. So I love that, but I never love anything more than the challenge of trying to tell a complete story in two hours. It’s the hardest thing to do but the most satisfying thing to do.


We’d like to say a huge thank you to Paul for taking the time to chat with Dave!

A Simple Favour is out now in the US and releases in UK cinemas 20th September!

Brand New Red Band ‘The Happytime Murders’ Trailer Features Social Media Reactions

“No Sesame. All Street. THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist.  Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.”

Directed by: Brian Henson

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks

Release Date: August 17th, 2018

Life of the Party

Year: 2018
Director: Ben Falcone
Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Matt Walsh, Molly Gordon, Maya Rudolph, Gillian Jacobs

Written by Elena Morgan

After her husband suddenly asks for a divorce, Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) decides to join her teenage daughter Maddie (Molly Gordon) at college so she can finally complete her degree.

‘Life of the Party’ was a very pleasant surprise. It is funny, both smile inducing gags and proper laugh out loud moments, but it’s also really very sweet and heartfelt.

Typically, you’d think that the main conflict Deanna would have to face is the fact she’s at her daughter’s college, and her daughter would be embarrassed by her and not want to be around her. That’s not the case at all. Yes, Maddie is a bit shocked when her mother enrolls in her college and there’s some embarrassing stories about her courtesy of her mum, but she really gets behind her mum wanting to better herself almost straightaway. In fact, Deanna’s core group of friends at college is her daughter and her daughter’s friends and sorority sisters.

Deanna’s best friend Christine (Maya Rudolph) is so supportive, and hilarious, and I think that’s what makes ‘Life of the Party’ so great. It has all these women of different ages, being comfortable around one another and supporting each other. The relationship between Deanna and Maddie is one of the best and most loving mother-daughter relationships I’ve seen on screen for a while.

While the characters are all brilliant, the actual plot doesn’t really present much conflict for Deanna. So, while you like her, and want her to prove her ex-husband wrong and get her degree, there’s nothing really standing in the way of that. There is the typical mean girl played by Debbie Ryan, but as Deanna is so much older than her, nothing she says gets her down. Besides from that there’s nothing for Deanna to overcome until late in the third act and everything is sorted out pretty quickly and neatly anyway.

‘Life of the Party’ is a funny, sweet and kind of charming film. By and large it is predictable, but the cast makes the ride a fun time.

Elena’s Rating: 

3.5

Learn What Muppets Get Up To Off Screen In The First Trailer For ‘The Happytime Murders

“No Sesame. All Street. THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS is a filthy comedy set in the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles where puppets and humans coexist.  Two clashing detectives with a shared secret, one human (Melissa McCarthy) and one puppet, are forced to work together again to solve the brutal murders of the former cast of a beloved classic puppet television show.”

Directed by: Brian Henson

Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale, Elizabeth Banks

Release Date: August 17th, 2018

Weekend BO Predictions: ‘Life Of The Party’ & ‘Breaking In’ Welcome Strong Weekend For Newcomers as ‘Infinity War’ Makes It 3 In A Row

Written by Dapo Olowu

Two new wide releases, ‘Life of the Party’ and ‘Breaking In’, enter the frame this weekend, looking comfortable to snatch the podium spots below ‘Infinity War’. Meanwhile, the older releases continue to battle for a top ten finish. What will the newbies make, and how will the other films fare this weekend?

So, what’s opening?

Melissa McCarthy comedies can typically fall into two categories, based on their critical reception. First, you have the well-received, fan-loved ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Spy’, and ‘The Heat’, with the first two in particular viewed as some of the best comedies released in the past decade. You’re then faced with the second group, one that involves ‘Tammy’, ‘The Boss’, and ‘Identity Thief’ – all of which are under 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. These inconsistencies only stretch as far as reviews, however, as her movies are (almost) always guaranteed money-makers. ‘Tammy’, her lowest opening out of the 6 (and another directed by husband Ben Falcone), brought in a solid $21.6m in its first 3 days back in the summer of 2014, meaning that, apart from ‘St. Vincent’ and ‘This Is 40’, Melissa McCarthy movies consistently hit the $20m opening figure – an underrated Box Office achievement.

With ‘Life of the Party’, Melissa McCarthy goes back to college, and like another University-focused comedy in 2016 (‘Neighbors 2’), we’re seeing this opening with a little over $20m. ‘Neighbors 2’ similarly opened 2 weeks after another MCU behemoth, ‘Civil War’, and was able to offset its audience-limiting R-rating (and direct competition withThe Nice Guys’) by being the sequel to a film that made $150m in the U.S. a couple of years before. ‘Life of the Party’, however, isn’t a sequel, but it only has a PG-13 rating and is at the advantage of opening after competition like ‘Overboard’ and ‘I Feel Pretty’. Adding the fact that Melissa McCarthy is basically immune to bad reviews (apart fromGhostbusters’), I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an opening of $22m.

We also have ‘Breaking In’ entering cinemas across the States this weekend, and honestly these types of thrillers are both a joy and a curse to predict. It’s the lack of specific-ness surrounding the thriller genre that gets me – will it be another ‘Traffik’, or a ‘Get Out’? The film, starring Gabrielle Union and opening in around 2,600 cinemas, does exactly what it says on the tin, and features Union battling convicts as they try to force their way into her deceased father’s mansion. After looking at a few similar films with female leads (‘Acrimony’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Kidnap’, ‘Strangers: Prey at Night’), we saw that they all a) open in around 2,500 cinemas and b) have a per-cinema average opening of between $4,000 and $8,000. So, with this, ‘Breaking In’ should open to between $15m and $16m.

What else is on?

Of course, we can’t forget ‘Infinity War’, which will secure another 1st place finish this weekend with an estimated $58.5m gross. The predicted 49% drop comes from the fact that there’s now no U.S. Thursday preview number from the first weekend to contend with, giving us a smaller figure than the 55.5% we saw last weekend. The big news here, however, is that the film is finally opening in China, and has potential to absolutely demolish the records that stand over there. Its already earned $9.2m from midnight screenings on Thursday – the second biggest figure ever, behind the $9.8m made by ‘Fate of the Furious’ last year; it will even hope to break ‘F8’s record as the biggest Hollywood film in China ever, by pulling in over $392m.

Overboard’s competition from ‘Life of the Party’ almost mirrors ‘How to Be a Latin Lover’s 58% fall in its 2nd weekend last year, after it had to contend with ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’ – so a similar drop is in play. Next is ‘A Quiet Place’, which is sitting just behind ‘Infinity War’ and ‘Black Panther’ in the U.S. domestic charts this year, and should thus drop around 30% again this weekend for a total domestic gross nearing $170m. This weekend will also be an impressive one for ‘Rampage’, closing in on the $90m domestic mark with a $2.8m gross. This estimated 40% fall will be similar to its drop last weekend. Luckily, it’s made its money before ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Solo’ open in the upcoming weeks.

I Feel Pretty’ has been defying the odds every weekend with impressive drops, but surely, surely, this is the weekend where direct competitor ‘Life of the Party’ gives Amy Schumer’s comedy a run for its money, and leads to a 55% fall from last weekend. With a break-even point between $70m and $90m, there’s fear that ‘I Feel Pretty’ is coming to an ugly Box Office end. The same can’t be said for ‘Black Panther’ which, in the week where it became available for digital download, looks to become the only (alongside 1989s ‘Batman’) superhero film to ever have 13 consecutive weeks in the top 10; it should see a 3-day gross of just over $2m, putting it firmly in 8th place. Finally, we have ‘Tully’ and ‘Truth or Dare’ rounding off the top 10 with $1.9m and $1.2m respectively.

What are your estimates? Where will ‘Life of the Party’ land? How impressed have you been with ‘A Quiet Place’s numbers? Let us know on Twitter – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

Rank Last Week’s Rank Film US Gross so far Budget Jumpcut’s prediction Weekend drop Week no. BoxOfficeMojo’s prediction Deadline’s Prediction Variety’s Prediction
1 1 Avengers: Infinity War $479.1m $300m+ $58.5m -49% 3 $62m $60m-$63m $50m-$60m
2 Life of the Party $30m $22m 1 $21m $18m-$21m $18m-$21m
3 Breaking In $15.6m 1 $18m $14m-$17m $14m-$17m
4 2 Overboard $18.4m $12m $6.5m -56% 2 $9m
5 3 A Quiet Place $162.4m $17m $5.4m -30% 6 $4.8m
6 5 Rampage $86m $120m $2.8m -40% 5 $2.5m
7 4 I Feel Pretty $39.7m $32m $2.3m -55% 4 $2.9m
8 7 Black Panther $694m $200m $2.1m -35% 13 $2.1m
9 6 Tully $4.4m $1.9m -42% 2 $1.8m
10 7 Truth or Dare $38.7m $2.5m $1.2m -37% 5

Reel Women: May UK Releases

Written by Elena Morgan

At the start of each month we will be highlighting the films that will be released in UK cinemas that month, that are written and/or directed by women- a little feature we like to call ‘Reel Women’. As someone who’s taken part in the #52FilmsbyWomen for the past few years, I’ve started paying at least a little attention to who is writing and directing what I watch. It’s an enlightening experience and it’s a good way to watch films that I might not have normally have thought about and discover different filmmakers.

Now it’s time to look at May’s releases that are made by women. This month there are a whole host of genres including comedy, thriller, and documentary.

JC-ARTICLE-IMAGE

4 May

I Feel Pretty
Directed by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein | Written by: Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein

Renee (Amy Schumer) struggles with insecurities about her body and her abilities, that is until she bangs her head and wakes up believing she’s the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

This is both Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein’s feature-length directorial debut but together they’ve written some rom-com classics like ‘Never Been Kissed’ and the romantic drama ‘The Vow’.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower
Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi Written by Riko Sakaguchi and Hiromasa Yonebayashi

The first film from new Japanese animation company, Studio Ponoc, ‘Mary and the Witch’s Flower’ is about a young girl who discovers a world of magic and danger after she picks a flower that only blooms once every seven years.

Riko Sakaguchi has written multiple television series and the Oscar nominated Studio Ghibli film, ‘The Tale of the Princess Kaguya’.

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11 May

How to Talk to Girls at Parties
Directed by John Cameron Mitchell | Written by Philippa Goslett and John Cameron Mitchell

It’s 1977 in London and when Enn (Alex Sharp) and his friends stubble across a weird party they meet alien Zan (Elle Fanning) who becomes fascinated with them, Earth and everything punk. Philippa Goslett has written four feature films including ‘Holy Money’ and ‘Mary Magdalene’.

Life of the Party
Directed by Ben Falcone | Written by Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy

After her husband suddenly asks for a divorce, Deanna (Melissa McCarthy) decides to join her teenage daughter (Molly Gordon) at college so she can complete her degree. Melissa McCarthy is a hilarious comedian who’s starred in so many great films like ‘The Heat’, ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Spy’. ‘Life of the Party’ is the third film she’s co-written with husband Ben Falcone after ‘The Boss’ and ‘Tammy’.

Raazi
Directed by Meghna Gulzar | Written by Meghna Gulzar and Bhavani Iyer

A thriller about Sehmat (Aalia Bhatt), a Kashmiri spy who is married to Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal), a Pakistani man during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, as she attempts to balance being a wife, mother and spy.

‘Raazi’ is Meghna Gulzar’s fourth feature film. Her previous film ‘Talvar’, is on Netflix and is well worth a watch. Bhavani Iyer has multiple writing credits to her name including the TV series ‘24: India’, the Indian remake of ‘24′.

Revenge
Directed by Coralie Fargeat | Written by Coralie Fargeat

Jen (Matilda Anna Ingrid Lutz) is enjoying a romantic getaway with her wealthy boyfriend, until his sleazy friends arrive for a hunting trip. When the situation abruptly turns to violence and Jen is left for dead, she prepares to take bloody revenge on them all.

Revenge is Coralie Fargeat’s debut feature film and she also was one of its editors.

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18 May

A Love That Never Dies
Directed by Jimmy Edmonds and Jane Harris

A documentary following Jimmy and Jane, who lost their son seven years previously, as they take a road trip across the USA to meet other grieving parents and to see how and why different people grieve.

This is Jane Harris’ first film.

Montparnasse Bienvenue
Directed by Léonor Serraille | Written by Clémence Carré, Bastien Daret and Léonor Serraille

Paula Simonian (Laetitia Dosch) is in her early-thirties, is broke and single. She’s spirited yet directionless as she struggles to get by in the lively Parisian metropolis; but if she can make it there, she’ll make it anywhere.

This is Léonor Serraille’s first feature film and it won her the Golden Camera award, which is the award for best first feature film, at Cannes Film Festival last year. ‘Montparnasse Bienvenue’ has won 10 awards and been nominated for 14 more. Clémence Carré has previously worked with Serraille as she edited Serraille’s short film ‘Body’.

Submergence
Directed by Wim Wenders | Written by Erin Dignam

While captured by jihadist fighters, Scotsman James Moore (James McAvoy) remembers meeting scientist Danielle Flinders (Alicia Vikander) who is preparing to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. Both in their own confinements, they remember their brief yet intense romance as they struggle with what lies ahead.

Erin Digman’s previous writing credit was ‘The Last Face’ starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem. Digman’s directorial and screenplay debut was ‘Denial’ which was nominated for the Grad Jury Prize at Sundance Film Festival in 1990.

Cargo
Directed by Yolanda Ramke and Ben Howling | Written by Yolanda Ramke

Stranded in rural Australia after a violent pandemic, Andy (Martin Freeman) is a desperate father trying to find somewhere safe for his infant daughter. ‘Cargo’ is Yolanda Ramke’s first feature film and it is an adaptation of the short film of the same name she and Ben Howling made in 2013.

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25 May

Edie
Directed by Simon Hunter | Written by Elizabeth O’Halloran

After the death of her controlling husband, Edith Moore (Sheila Hancock) decides to attempt a lifelong ambition and climb a mountain in Scotland.

This is Elizabeth O’Halloran’s first screenplay.

The Breadwinner
Directed by Nora Twomey | Written by Anita Doron

After her father is thrown in jail, a young girl (Saara Chaudry) disguises herself as a boy in order to provide for her family.

‘The Breadwinner’ was nominated for Best Animated Feature at this years Oscars. Nora Twomey co-directed Cartoon Saloon’s first feature film ‘The Secret of Kells’. Anita Doran is a writer and director who has directed five feature films.

The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear
Directed by Amalie Næsby Fick, Jørgen Lerdam and Philip Einstein Lipski | Written by Bo Hr. Hansen

When friends Mitcho (Liva Elvira Magnussen) and Sebastian (Alfred Bjerre Larsen) find a message in a bottle, they go on an adventure inside a giant pear to find the missing mayor of their quaint town.

‘The Incredible Story of the Giant Pear’ is Amalie Næsby Fick’s first feature film.

Zama
Directed by Lucrecia Martel | Written by Lucrecia Martel

Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a Spanish officer of the seventeenth century waits in Paraguay for news of his transfer to Buenos Aires. When he hears a man called Vicuña Porto (Matheus Nachtergaele) is raping women and attacking villages, Zama decides to help those in need.

Lucrecia Martel has won numerous awards including Best Film and Best Director for ‘The Headless Woman’ at the Argentinean Academy Awards, and the Alfred Bauer Award at the Berlin International Film Festival for ‘La Ciénaga. Zama’ is Martel’s fifth feature film.

Ibiza
Directed by Alex Richanback | Written by Lauryn Kahn

Harper (Gillian Jacobs) and her two best friends fly to Spain to find a hot DJ.

Lauryn Kahn has written over a dozen short films and Ibiza is her first feature film. It’s also one of Netflix’s original movies.


Those are the fifteen films that are written and/or directed by women and are being released in the UK this month. Some of these are likely to have smaller releases than others, especially foreign language films like ‘Montparnasse Bienvenue’ and ‘Zama’, but there is a couple of Netflix Originals here too, so you can watch them in the comfort of your own home. By writing this post I have discovered many UK releases I was previously unaware of, and I hope some of these films might have piqued your interest too.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these films you if catch them this month! Be sure to leave us a message in the comments below, or tweet us at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE

What Makes A Good Remake?

Written by Gillian Finklea

Like many movie purists, I used to despise the dreaded remake. As a believer in originality, I held out hope that we could do more than simply repeat the past. More than anything, it just seems like a waste to pay money to watch the exact same things that have already entertained me years before.

But now, I have learned to accept, and even enjoy movie remakes. Occasionally you get a delightful spin on a property you were never truly familiar with – such as ’21 Jump Street’ – or a modern twist on an old story like ‘You’ve Got Mail’. I’ve learned that remakes can be a welcome event or an unmitigated disaster, and now I’m able to look for signs as to how successful a remake is going to be.

21 JUMP STREET

Let’s use ’21 Jump Street’ as an example. The trailer for this movie was funny, light, and utilised two well-known actors. Compared to the trailer for the TV show, which takes itself very serious despite the outrageous plot, it seems like the two properties are barley related. The revitalised franchise doesn’t rely on similar plot lines or character relationships as foundations for the movie, instead it takes the general idea of undercover cops in high school and spins it out into a whole new world. We have one great cameo from the original television show, and then we don’t really think of it ever again. It is a remake that created its own universe and it’s certainly one worth exploring.

Psycho

Now let’s look at the opposite end of the remake spectrum — Gus Van Sant’s almost shot-for-shot remake of the classic Hitchcock masterpiece ‘Psycho’. For the first 20 seconds, the trailer makes it seem like you are going to get a movie from Norman Bates’ perspective which, while that may not be everyone’s cup of tea, would at least be an interesting take. But then the trailer starts showing very familiar and famous scenes – Marion in the shower and Arbogast running on the stairs. But what else are we to expect? This is a very specific movie with a very specific twist. We get excited to see those famous shots in the trailer because we briefly think that maybe this would be a chance to see more of the the psychological turmoil and expand the horror universe. However, when the movie came out it was literally the exact same as the film which came 40 years prior. The best parts were shown in the trailer and those parts were obviously better in the original.

junglebook

In order for a remake to work, it needs to be updated with its own sense of self and if possible, be better than the original. The trailer for the new ‘The Jungle Book’ movie appears to have its own ideas and themes, at least in the fact that it’s not animated and seems to take itself more serious than the Disney classic. It doesn’t completely rely on familiar songs and has an interesting enough cast that I think it may be a worthwhile remake.

ghostbusters2016

The new ‘Ghostbusters’ trailer however, has left me a little suspicious. Now, I have been a champion of the ‘Ghostbuster’ remake because I don’t think the original is some kind of Holy Grail never to be altered, and I trust Paul Feig with most things relating to comedy. However, that trailer was way too close to 1998 ‘Psycho’ territory. In the trailer there’s a ghost in the library, a funky car and even Slimer; all of which we’ve seen before. And while the actresses seem to have developed fun and interesting characters, the overall feeling is too similar to the original movie and that’s a problem. Remakes that don’t forge their own path are doomed to make viewers wonder why there needs to be a remake at all.

So when you see a trailer for a remake and get an instant rush of nostalgia, take a pause. If the trailer just conjures up reminders of the previous movie or lifts from scenes beat-by-beat, you are probably destined for a disappointing trip down memory lane.

First Trailer For Female Ghostbusters Movie

The iconic Ghostbusters return this summer, which surely has everyone happy, right? Not quite. For some reason, this reboot has really got some people angry, but not us. Four funny ladies taking over the mantle of spiritual exterminators shouldn’t make anyone angry; it’s not like they’re replacing the originals. 

We think this trailer is really fun, and with plenty of references to the ‘Ghostbusters’ heritage, it looks like director Paul Feig and his band of merry women are respecting the past whilst bringing the franchise into a modern world. Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy are proven Hollywood hits, and Saturday Night Live favourites Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are pretty great too, so we have faith that this will be a good movie.

If you’re not a fan of this trailer, or indeed the whole reboot idea, please tell us why? And if you are a fan, and you are looking forward to seeing the female ‘Ghostbusters’ in action, show your support on Twitter and we’ll be sure to share the love.

Ghostbusters is set to hit UK cinemas 15th July 2016