Blu-Ray Spotlight: Steven Soderbergh Recaptures Cinematic Passion With ‘Logan Lucky’


Director Steven Soderbergh’s self-imposed retirement from making movies lasted all of four years, and thankfully his return to cinema was a successful one with Logan Lucky. Although it’s been rightfully compared as a kissing cousin to his Ocean’s Eleven movies, Logan Lucky has an entire energy of its own.

The narrative centers on Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a recently out of work construction worker who hatches a plan to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Helping him on his quest is his one-armed brother Clyde (Adam Driver), an Iraq War veteran who believes their family is cursed, and their hairdresser sister Mellie (Riley Keough), a lady who loves driving fast cars.

Keeping this criminal plan in the family isn’t enough, as they enlist explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) to help their cause. Joe, however, is in prison, and Jimmy must engineer a way to infiltrate the jail and pull off the operation. Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson co-star as Joe’s dimwitted brothers, with Hilary Swank thrown in for good measure as a determined FBI agent ready to take them down.

On a superficial level, the picture can be seen and enjoyed as an engaging heist caper that’s filled with a likable, all-star ensemble. Soderbergh also infuses a surprising level of sentiment in the film, as Jimmy’s love for West Virginia and his loving daughter (Farrah Mackenzie) is felt throughout the narrative. With Soderbergh’s own frustration with the politics of show business, it’s easy to see why a story about a group of outsiders taken down a corporate entity would be appealing (the heist is set to take place during the Coca-Cola 600).

The Blu-ray is definitely a worthy purchase if you’re a fan of Soderbergh’s previous work, and it’s an always engaging watch. Though no audio commentary or making of featurette is not featured in the disc, it does come with two deleted scenes. One sequences features a monologue from Joe Bang, and seeing Daniel Craig chew the scenery (in a good way) is an absolute pleasure.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘It’ Floats To $117 Million With Stellar Box Office Debut


Considered one of the best adaptations of a Stephen King work, It was the #1 film at the box office with $117 million. Reese Witherspoon’s latest comedy Home Again had a weak opening at #2 with just $9 million in business. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. It – $117 million

2. Home AgainReese Witherspoon film is one of the weekend’s top grossers but the bad news it was a slow weekend for every movie other than It.

3. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – To date this action comedy has made $64 million domestically. This weekend it takes in $4.9 million.

4. Annabelle: Creation – $4 million

5. Wind River – This $11 million budgeted drama has made over $25 million domestically. It makes $3.2 million this weekend.

6. Leap! – Animated flick collects $2.5 million.

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming – $2 million

8. Dunkirk – $1.95 million

9. Logan Lucky – Heist movie has made just $25 million domestically and cost $29 million to make. It makes $1.8 this weekend.

10. The Emoji Movie – $1 million

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Is #1 In Weak Box Office Weekend


It was an extremely weak box office weekend, as The Hitman’s Bodyguard was the only movie to break the $10 million mark to take the top spot. Newcomer Leap!, though it finished in third place, managed just $5 million. Here’s this weekend’s top 10:

1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard It makes $10.1 million this weekend and to date it’s collected $39 million domestically.

2. Annabelle: Creation – $7.3 million

3. Leap! – Elle Fanning animated flick has a $5 million debut.

4. Wind River – $4.4 million

5. Logan Lucky – Steven Soderbergh’s latest takes in $4.36 million

6. Dunkirk – $3.9 million

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming – This latest iteration of the oft-rebooted series has been a box office success. This weekend it makes $2.7 million.

8. Birth of the Dragon – Newcomer does dismal business with just $2.5 million.

9. The Emoji Movie – Critically drubbed flick takes in $2.3 million and to date it’s collected over $130 million worldwide.

10. Girls Trip – The summer’s biggest surprise (it’s made over $108 million domestically) collects $2.3 million.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘Logan Lucky’ a Fresh Take on Soderbergh Heist Films

You could argue that director Steven Soderbergh enjoyed his finest moments on the big screen with heist flicks — Ocean’s 11 and its sequels as well as Out of Sight — so it makes sense that the director ended his self-imposed retirement from films with the new heist flick, Logan Lucky.

However, this film offers a fresh take on the genre with the key players neither slick (Ocean’s 11) or slyly charming (Out of Sight). Instead, Logan Lucky centers on a down-on-their-luck family viewing their somewhat simple ruse as their only course of action. Leading this heist is Jimmy Logan (Channing Tatum), a former local football star and struggling divorced father whose past war injury has led to his recent unemployment. Jimmy had been working fixing the sinkholes beneath the race track at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he discovered how the venue’s money was distributed. With his ex-wife (Katie Holmes) set to move his daughter out of state, Jimmy’s in need of some fast cash to remedy a strained family situation.

For the heist, he enlists a ragtag crew made up of fellow family members and childhood friends. Adam Driver is Clyde Logan, Jimmy’s somewhat dim and family curse-obsessed younger brother who lost his arm in the same war accident as Jimmy. The appendage also serves as a comedic device at times bringing levity to the film. Jimmy sister Mellie (Riley Keough) is a streetwise hillbilly hottie playing a key role in the heist, while the rest of his crew features another family led by the incarcerated explosives expert Joe Bang (Daniel Craig) and his hard-partying brothers Fish and Sam (Jack Quaid and Brian Gleeson).

Included in the plan is a prison break for Bang, with the criminal returning to his confines before anyone realizes he’s left and the expected twists implemented by Jimmy, leading to a somewhat surprising outcome even by some of those involved. Though building the characters onscreen as players who are punching above their weight class who somehow win against all odds, the heist that Jimmy has planned out is actually more involved than initially seen onscreen, but part of the fun is seeing Soderbergh revisit the key details of what actually went down.

If there is a flaw in the film and the plan, it’s the arrival of a hard-nosed investigator played by Hilary Swank late in the film. While the final act reveals all that had to happen for the plan to succeed and centers on whether they will actually get away with it, it feels as though the film didn’t know where to end and the introduction of Swank’s character leading to the final payoff was a bit rushed. Still, Logan Lucky does feature a stellar cast (with smaller roles for Seth McFarlane, Dwight Yoakam, Katherine Waterston and Sebastian Stan among others), some light humor and enough twists and turns to keep things interesting.

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Posted by: Ari Coine

‘The Hitman’s Bodyguard’ Bests ‘Annabelle: Creation’ With Box Office Debut


The Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds action flick The Hitman’s Bodyguard was the box office champ over the weekend as it took in $21.6 million. Coming in second was the hit horror flick Annabelle: Creation, followed by director Steven Soderbergh’s latest cinematic effort Logan Lucky. Below is this weekend’s top 10:

1. The Hitman’s Bodyguard – It makes $21.6 million and considering its budget is $29 million million, this movie should make a decent profit.

2.Annabelle: Creation – $15.5 million

3. Logan Lucky – The latest Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum (Magic Mike) collaboration makes $8 million.

4. Dunkirk – WWII flick makes $6.7 million and to date has amassed over $165 million in domestic ticket sales.

5. The Nutjob 2: Nutty By Nature – $5.1 million

6. The Emoji Movie – $4.3 million

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming – One of this year’s most successful films collects $4.2 million.

8. Girls Trip – $3.8 million

9. The Dark Tower – $3.7 million

10. Wind River – Action thriller starring Jeremy Renner and Elisabeth Olsen makes $3 million.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi