The good news for Hollywood is that the first quarter of 2012 looks much stronger than the same period this year, when studios had little to generate audience excitement.
Warner has two sequels — “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” and “Wrath of the Titans,” while Sony has a prominent remake in “21 Jump Street.” Disney will re-release “Beauty and the Beast” in 3-D, followed by Fox’s 3-D re-release of “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace.” And Lionsgate will weigh in with its highly anticipated “The Hunger Games.”
So two re-releases, a sequel to a flop (“Journey 2”), and another remake of an ’80s television show rank as reasons for Hollywood to be optimistic?
The link in the title looks at the box office slate for the first three months of 2012. Take a look. Anything excite you?
What most struck me about those thirty or so titles was an almost complete lack of movie stars.
LAST NIGHT’S SCREENING
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) — Like a lot of people, the first time I saw this was when it played late at night on some independent station. This was years before the now-perennial was rediscovered and when I was in my early teens and just starting to discover the world of classic films. Like most of you, I make a point to watch it every year, usually on Christmas day, and like most of you I am gripped through every frame and moved inexpressibly by the closing scene.
And then it stays with me for days.
It’s the close-up when George Bailey realizes that what Clarence is telling him might be the truth; that he was never born. Capra fills the screen with the horror and helplessness on Stewart’s face after he sees what his mother’s become (I screencapped it above), and after that I start to fall apart.
Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?
What a wonderful thing that Frank Capra, Jimmy Stewart, and Donna Reed lived to see their box office disappointment receive the credit it so richly deserves.
SCOTTDS’ EPIC LINKTACULAR
CLASSIC PICK FOR TUESDAY, DECEMBER 27
12:15 PM Casablanca (1942) — An American saloon owner in North Africa is drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up. Dir: Michael Curtiz Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid. BW-103 mins, TV-PG, CC.
When men were men, women were women, Hollywood believed in liberty, and the main protagonist’s character arc involved the shrugging off of narcissism to fight for something bigger than one’s self — for freedom and/or country.
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