a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jesse James

So I drug my bones out to a movie theater this weekend, and I saw The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Which I guarantee probably isn't getting spelled out on many marquees.

The title is accurate though. The movie is long. Long. Long.

In many respects, it's also a great movie. It's a beautiful-looking film, the acting (particularly Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck) is very sharp, and the tale manages the difficult task of weaving an involving tale out of the intersection of these two characters, even as we know where it is heading.

But boy, does it take a while to get there. The movie is about 2 hours and 40 minutes long, and in no hurry. I largely enjoyed it, but I still looked at my watch a half-dozen times.

Writer-director Andrew Dominik (Chopper) has clearly made the movie that he set out to make, and it's clear why it is getting some good reviews. It's really not for all audiences though. It's one of those movies where most people, though appreciating the filmmaking, simply aren't going to have the patience to wait out a tale that could have been told in an hour's less time. At least 10 people walked out of the showing I was in.

It's still an interesting effort though, and it's worth checking out. Though you've been warned.


The Heartbreak Kid only brought in an estimated $14 million over the weekend, about half of what industry expectations for it were. It didn't even win the weekend, coming in behind the Game Plan.

One problem is that the movie honestly didn't look like it was going to be much fun.

Still, it fared better than The Seeker, which only made about $3.7 million, the second-lowest total ever for a movie opening in over 3000 theaters. (The record-holder is a movie called Hoot, which did about $3.3 in May 2006).

Feel The Noise only did $3.4 million, though on a third of the screens that The Seeker had.

In limited release, Michael Clayton opened strong prior to going wide this weekend. The Darjeeling Limited is also doing well, bringing in over a half million dollars from only 19 theaters. Lust, Caution averaged over $21,000 each in 17 theaters.

Into the Wild is expanding well; it made almost $1.3 million, on only 135 screens. Jesse James did okay, not great.

Across the Universe is holding okay, though The Jane Austen Book Club's expansion went poorly, averaging only about $1250 a screen. In the Valley of Elah only averaged $1394.


At 6:31 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I saw Death at a Funeral this weekend and was very happy with it. I guess I write a review and post it.

At 6:32 PM, Blogger shecanfilmit said...

I can tell I'm tired when I start dropping helping verbs...

At 6:42 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Scott, thanks for the review of the Jesse James movie. It got great reviews from the Seattle Times, but it doesn't interest me too much.

Did see "The Heartbreak Kid" over the weekend. Was suprised how raunchy it was. It's funny in spots, but some of the kid-07's gags totally miss the mark. Like the main one where Ben Stiller's crazed new bride stradle his back and pees on him in a beach at Cabo in front of a bunch of spectators. It's meant to be funny, but it's realy, realy gross. And in another scene you see Ben and his new bride really going at it, not much is hidden and it's quite pornographic. Guess this is Paramount Studios attempt at showing they can compete against Judd Aptow's schtict. But trust me "The Heartbreak Kid" '07 is no "40 Year Old Virgin."

Anyway, hope your writing is going well. Look forward to reading more thought provoking posts later this week.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous S. A. Petrich said...

I've heard people comparing TAoJJbtCRF (Try saying that out loud...) to a Terence Malick picture.

What do you say about that, Scott?

At 6:55 AM, Blogger suzbays said...

I saw Rush Hour 3. Ugh. My kids loved it. I laughed at times, but mostly I just wanted to tie Brett Ratner up and shove him in a broom closet next to a bucket of dirty mop water...forever.

At 4:03 PM, Blogger Neal said...

thought the trailers for the heartbreak kid were not nearly as funny as the movie...

Talk about llloooonnnngggg, go see into the wild . . . .


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