Having played in limited release since August, director James Ponsoldt‘s high school drama The Spectacular Now finally made its way to my Midwestern neck of the woods this weekend and I jumped at the chance to see it last night. Although it elicited fewer laughs than I expected, the film levied an emotional punch that I’m still shaking off today. As has been noted by many before me, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley‘s performances are fantastic and their chemistry is palpable from beginning to end (one scene in which Woodley’s Aimee describes her dreams of a perfect marriage stands out to me in particular). Moreover, Kyle Chandler‘s turn as Teller’s estranged father is as powerful as it is short-lived. If you have the slightest interest in the coming-of-age genre, and this film is playing nearby, take the time to see it. Few in the genre capture the nuance of high-school love and personal demons as honestly as The Spectacular Now.
With that ringing endorsement behind me, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of Insidious: Chapter 2 interviews, Adam keeping his finger on the pulse of awards season with his recurring Oscar Beat feature, news that Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling are teaming up for a new film series inspired by Harry Potter, a new installment of Cinemath that takes a look at the history of movie ticket prices, and a recap of our robust TIFF 2013 coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.
1. INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 2 Interviews with Director James Wan and More
As I waited in line to buy my ticket for The Spectacular Now last night, I noticed a longer wait at the box office than usual as droves of moviegoers handed over their money to see Insidious: Chapter 2. While I would encourage anyone to see The Spectacular Now in theaters, my love for the horror genre and respect for filmmaker James Wan made it hard not to smile in excitement for the film which looks to be on pace to challenge month of September box office records (Note: It’s only a matter of time before I’m lining up at the box office to see this one too). All this said, whether you’ve already seen the movie and want to invest more time in it, or you’re still in need of more data to help inform your decision, I recommend checking out our Haleigh Foutch’s interviews with James Wan, writer Leigh Whannell, Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, and producer Jason Blum.
2. Adam’s Oscar Beat Keeps Tabs on the Best 2013 Has to Offer
If you don’t pay attention, awards season contenders have a tendency to sneak up on you and, before you know it, you’re getting embarrassed in your annual Oscar pool again. In an effort to help you save a little face, Adam has been regularly running his Oscar Beat feature which details some of the best performances and films of the year as they debut. These are fun reads that I suspect will go a long way toward making your current movie knowledge either A) highly sought after by your peers or B) a source of contention amongst your peers who now consider watching a movie with you an insufferable experience.
3. Warner Bros. and Rowling Announce Film Series Inspired by HARRY POTTER
My friends, family, and colleagues who love the heck out of Harry Potter tell me this is big news and I have no reason to disagree with them. This past week, Warner Bros. and Potter author J.K. Rowling announced that they would be teaming-up to begin a new film franchise set within the author’s beloved world of “witches and wizards”. Inspired by Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the new franchise will also see Rowling make her screenwriting debut which should be even more exciting news for those who felt the Potter adaptations strayed too far from the source material.
4. Cinemath Looks at the Cost of Buying a Movie Ticket
It’s a common complaint and one that I’ve probably indulged in a time or two when visiting theaters outside of my moderately priced Southern Illinois cineplexes: movie tickets are getting more and more expensive. In response to this routine sentiment, Brendan’s latest Cinemath installment tracks the fluctuating cost of movie tickets from 1961 to the present. It’s an interesting read and, for me, really puts into perspective a fact that I sometimes lose sight of: roughly $8.16 per ticket is a fair trade when your idea of fun is going to the movies.
5. Our TIFF 2013 Coverage: Reviews and Interviews Aplenty
As TIFF 2013 winds down this weekend, I think it’s important to thank you the reader for helping make our annual coverage of the event possible in the first place and also our on-site team of Steve, Matt, Adam, and Phil for busting their respective butts to bring us a huge scope of interviews and reviews from the festival. With coverage like this, it’s easy for me to remember why I became a Collider reader to begin with. But enough patting everyone on the back, if you’ve got time on your hands and you want to peruse everything we’ve brought your way from TIFF 2013 thus far, click here and enjoy.