TOP 5: STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Casting Rumors, Female Driven Superhero Movies, NEBRASKA Trailer, GRAND THEFT AUTO V Earns a Ton, Cinemath

     September 21, 2013

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Having missed Sofia Coppola‘s The Bling Ring during its theatrical run, I made sure to pick it up on Blu-ray when it hit shelves this past week. As much as I was looking forward to it, though, I have to say I was let down. Aside from a spot-on soundtrack and some solid performances from its young cast (Taissa Farmiga‘s turn stands out to me as particularly strong), the pic often feels as vapid and generally aimless as the events it depicts. The film is ripe for commentary on our societal fascination with all things celebrity. There are also occasional nods, especially during the film’s night club scenes, to the idea that social media is both a means and an end to human connection. That said, Coppola never truly explores either of these ideas and instead elects to present the story in a vérité style that feels content to simply observe. For me, the end result is a picture that has so much to talk about and yet ultimately says very little.

My “Blu-ray Disappointment of the Week” discussion aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the latest Star Wars: Episode VII rumors that put Saoirse Ronan up for a lead role, a look at some of our favorite options for female driven superhero movies, the first trailer for Alexander Payne‘s Nebraska, Grand Theft Auto V‘s unprecedented opening day, and a new Cinemath installment that takes a look at the Emmys by the numbers. As you might expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above resides after the jump.

1. Saoirse Ronan Rumored for Lead in STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

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At this point, Star Wars: Episode VII casting rumors are a dime a dozen. That’s not to imply that said rumors are without credence, just that they are plentiful and, as of yet, unconfirmed. A few weeks back we heard that Benedict Cumberbatch was set to star and this week we’re hearing that Saoirse Ronan isn’t just up for a lead role in the movie, but possibly the lead role in Episode VIII. Now if only the tie-in video game that will inevitably be released alongside the movie(s) doesn’t screw things up, I have a feeling that this new Star Wars trilogy thing could be big.

2. Our Picks for Female Driven Superhero Movies

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In addition to my belief in the fundamental idea that female moviegoers should be able to see themselves represented in a positive/heroic light as superheroes on the big screen in the same way that males do year after year, I also would selfishly like to see more standalone, female driven superhero movies being made just so I can try and wash the awful taste of 2004’s Catwoman and 2005’s Elektra out of my mouth. With that idea in mind, our Evan Valentine graced the site this past week with picks for Hollywood’s best options for comic book films led by female characters.

3. First Trailer for Alexander Payne’s NEBRASKA

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I was blown away by Alexander Payne’s The Descendants back in 2011 and that fact alone had me eagerly anticipating his follow-up, Nebraska. Now that the first trailer for Nebraska has finally landed online, I know that my anticipation was well deserved and November 15th can’t get here soon enough.

4. GRAND THEFT AUTO V Earns Over $800 Million in One Day

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With a development and marketing budget of somewhere in the neighborhood of $240-$260 million, it’s no secret that Rockstar was aiming for the moon with Grand Theft Auto V. And boy did it pay off. Within its first 24 hours of release, the game earned $800 million in sales, easily topping the previous day one record of $500 million set by 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. I don’t think comparing movie revenue and video game revenue is an apples-to-apples scenario, but it’s worth noting (given that we’re primarily a film blog) that Avatar‘s budget is thought to be somewhere in the $240 million range with the film earning approx. $26.75 million on its opening day. But back to GTA V…I’ve never been a huge fan of the series, but I broke down and bought a copy based on this trailer alone and I haven’t regretted it one bit. It truly is an incredible gaming experience assuming there isn’t anyone under legal age within earshot of your television.

5. Cinemath: Emmys by the Numbers

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For the third week in a row, Brendan delivers on his promise of rolling out a new Cinemath installment every week until he runs out of ideas and/or becomes infatuated with the number 23 and begins a slow descent into madness as a result. With the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards airing this Sunday night on CBS, this week’s feature looks at the Emmys by the numbers with a special emphasis on how long Emmy-winners stay on the air. If you have a little time on your hands and a thirst for television statistics, I think you’ll fine this a thin slice of heaven.

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