Kevin Costner, Diane Lane Thriller Flick ‘Let Him Go’ Tops Another Slow Box Office Weekend

We haven’t been reporting much on the box office weekend results because there hasn’t been a lot to report. Some weekends, there is nothing at all to report because no new films were released.

But this past weekend, a bigger movie was released. And when we say “bigger” we just mean it had two recognizable leads.

The thriller ‘Let Him Go‘ starring Kevin Costner and Diane Lane was released this past weekend via Focus Features. It made a little over $4 million during its first three days.

That was obviously good enough for first place in the current market we’re living in. Focus also had the second place film, Come Play, which made $1.6 million, bringing its domestic total to $5.6 million.

The speciality division of Universal Pictures has been active during coronavirus in part because of a deal that its studio parent company inked with AMC Theatres. The pact enables Universal and Focus to release their movies in on-demand platforms within 17 days of their theatrical debuts. In return, AMC receives a cut of digital revenues.

We told you last week that the reviews for ‘Let Him Go’ were somewhat positive. Most critics saying it was just entertaining enough.

Check out the trailer below…

The First Reviews For Thriller ‘Let Him Go’ Starring Kevin Costner And Diane Lane Are In

Everyone is focused on the election right now, and for good reason, but believe it or not, there are movies being released later this week.

One of those is the family cult thriller, Let Him Go. Kevin Costner stars in the film as a retired sheriff and Diane Lane plays his wife.

Following the loss of their son, the couple leave their Montana ranch to rescue their grandson, who has fallen into the clutches of a dangerous off-the-grid family headed by a matriarch named Blanche Weboy.

The first reviews for this film are coming in, and they’re mostly positive, but just barely so.

One of the more positive reviews comes from The Globe and Mail’s Barry Hertz, who had this to say about the movie…

A skillfully executed thriller that is narrowly aimed at one demographic – audiences over 50 who like a little violence with their late-life dramas – but succeeds at entertaining just about anyone who comes across its dusty, blood-soaked path.

Mick LaSalle from the San Francisco Chronicle had similar thoughts…

In the end, ‘Let Him Go’ is like a Southern Gothic, only set in the Northwest. It’s just a genre movie that delivers the goods, but the restraint and emotional insight of the direction and the quality of the performances bring it up an essential extra notch.

So as you can see, even the positive reviews aren’t exactly glowing. It’s more like, “Yeah, this film is entertaining, but that’s about it.”

And in a time where people are desperate for something new to watch at the theater, that might be just enough.

Check out the trailer below. It’s set to hit theaters November 5, 2020.

Check Out Kevin Costner As A Dog In The Trailer For ‘The Art of Racing in the Rain’

Ever wonder what Kevin Costner sounds like as a dog? Well, wonder no more!

The Art of Racing in the Rain‘ stars Kevin Costner’s voice as a dog named Enzo, who narrates the film.

The movie follows Enzo and his best human friend, Denny Swift, played by ‘This Is Us‘ star Milo Ventimiglia.

As an aspiring Formula One race car driver, Denny and as he and his best friend navigate the journey of life and the loves of his life. This includes his wife, Eve, played by Amanda Seyfried.

This movie has been in development for a long time. Universal purchased the film rights from the book back in 2009. At one point, Patrick Dempsey was set to star, but now he’ll be handling things behind-the-scenes as a producer.

The Art of Racing in the Rain is set to theaters on August 9, 2019 and it’ll probably make you cry. All movies with dogs make you cry in the end.

Kevin Costner And Woody Harrelson Flip The Script On Bonnie and Clyde Narrative In Trailer For Netflix Film ‘The Highwaymen’

You probably know Kevin Costner from your favorite baseball film, and you probably know Woody Harrelson as just a general badass in Hollywood.

The two stars are working together in the upcoming Netflix film, The Highwaymen. The period crime drama tells the story of two Texas Rangers trying to track the infamous bank-robbing couple, Bonnie and Clyde.

Check out the official synopsis from Netflix below…

“‘The Highwaymen’ follows the untold true story of the legendary detectives who brought down Bonnie and Clyde. When the full force of the FBI and the latest forensic technology aren’t enough to capture the nation’s most notorious criminals, two former Texas Rangers (Costner and Harrelson) must rely on their gut instincts and old school skills to get the job done.”

The film is expected to have its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 10. It will then be released on Netflix across the globe on March 29, 2019.

Watch the trailer below…

Kevin Costner Tells The Amazing Story Of How ‘Dances with Wolves’ Was Written (VIDEO)

It can be hard, especially in today’s climate, to practice kindness. Our initial reaction to everything seems to be anger now, and understandably so. The world isn’t exactly a friendly place right now.

But that doesn’t mean we should lose our kindness and patience. Back in 2016, Kevin Costner went on The Graham Norton Show and told a beautiful story about forgiveness, kindness and patience. He tells the story better than I can write it, but the short version is that decades ago, he was helping a writer friend in Hollywood. This writer friend was bitter, and he started to talk trash about everyone in Hollywood, including some of Costner’s friends.

Costner let the friend stay on his couch for a few months, but eventually Costner’s wife was like, “Okay. He’s been here long enough,” so they told him to leave. The friend went to Arizona and started washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant, but before he started working there, he had left Costner the script he had been working on.

Eventually, Costner read it, and it became Dances with Wolves….

Never give up on your dreams. And treat your friends with respect, even when it’s difficult.

Move Review: McFarland, USA – A Well-Intentioned Movie With Heart

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It’s been what, at least 15 minutes since Disney put out an inspirational sports story? Guess it’s time for another one. McFarland, USA is a drama loosely (and I use the term loosely very loosely) based on real life events in a town of the same name.

This is your standard white teacher versus angry ethnic students trope. In this case, we meet Jim White (Kevin Costner) a former football coach who earns back his mojo when he sees some of his students running to and from work and school, mainly out of necessity. So he decides the best way to help these disadvantaged students is to set up a cross country team. Of course, this immediately creates some parental and student hostility. But White perseveres and soon goes on to coach the school’s first championship long distance running team.

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How close is the film to real life? Unfortunately, it looses credibility because of the back-story of White. In the movie, White is a former big city coach who gets fired and is forced to move to a small farming community. In real life, Jim White lived there for the majority of his professional life. There was no angst filled back story and I thought the addition of one was unnecessary.

But I will say, despite the Hollywood treatment of White’s back-story, it’s an emotionally honest film. The movie is heavily focused on the Hispanic farm working community, and it’s clear to see how bleak and depressed many of those community member’s futures are. The kids are kids who expect to go on to do what their fathers, and their grandfathers did before them. The cross country team might become their last chance of escape and you can feel that through the work of the director.

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This is a movie that could have gone horribly wrong. A pasty white hero saving a group of young hoodlums. But it doesn’t, because of careful storytelling. We seen Jim help his students, but we also see his students help him become part of a community he just doesn’t understand. While the film might be a bit simplistic, it’s the simplicity that sells it. White has his own misconceptions and prejudices, and he’s not depicted as some a savior, which keeps this film from turning into a pile of mush.

It did go on a bit longer than it needed to. This was a story that could have been told in 90 minutes, but the director felt the need to pad out the script with a ton of reaction shots. The end does feature some of the real life participants of the event, along with what happened to them, which makes for a satisfying conclusion.

It’s also not often that you see a movie that focuses on cross-country. For the most part, sports movies focus on football, basketball and baseball respectively. Telling the story of a cross country team helps bring some recognition to the sport and helps people see it in a different light.

It’s worth the watch. Despite the forced culture clashes and predictable storyline, this is a well-intentioned movie with heart and one that makes viewers focus on a sport they wouldn’t normally.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

 

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Movie Review: Black or White (2015) – A realistic portrayal of a custody battle

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Usually, I’m not a big one for parental custody movies. I might be the one person on the face of the earth that didn’t like War of the Roses or Losing Isaiah. But I think in this case, I’m willing to make an exception, simply due to my deep, abiding love for Kevin Costner.

This is a parental custody movie with a twist. Successful attorney Elliot Anderson (Kevin Costner) is a new widower who has just lost his wife in a car crash. Complicating matters is the fact that he has been raising his bi-racial granddaughter Eloise ever since her mother, his daughter, died in child birth. Conflict abounds when Rowena (Octavia Spencer) insists that custody be granted to Eloise’s father, her drug addicted son Reggie (Andre Holland). Elliot isn’t interested, especially seeing he blames Reggie for the death of his daughter. This starts a family feud that leads to a knock down drag out custody battle.

One thing I really, really like about this movie is no one is an outright villain. Elliot is stubborn and unable to forgive. Rowena wants to be part of her granddaughter’s life, but refuses to see what a mess her son is and how dangerous that could be for Eloise. Reggie is a crack addict that Elliot just can’t forgive, even though he faces his own addiction problems himself. This is a realistic portrayal of a custody battle. Both sides have their strong points and no one person is an evil villain. Despite the title, this argument is not one that is black or white.

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Another thing I liked was that the movie didn’t strictly focus on the racial difference. They weren’t ignored, but they weren’t the central part of the story. Instead, the story was based on each family thinking they could provide a better home for little Eloise. Race was mentioned, but unlike in Losing Isaiah, they didn’t make it the central focus of the argument. Instead, it showed both the good and the bad of each side of the family. Elliot might have been a privileged man, but his home was huge and empty and he used booze to mask his problems. Rowena offered a huge family and community, but she also lived in a rough neighborhood where the pampered Eloise wouldn’t necessarily feel comfortable, and she turned a blind eye to her son’s very serious problems, likely enabling him even more.

Eloise was actually portrayed like a little kid. She didn’t spew ‘wise beyond her years’ wisdom and life lessons at every turn. Instead, she was a happy little girl who was genuinely enjoying the attention she got from all sides of her family. It was easy to see why the families each wanted custody of her.

All in all, I think it was very well done. It was hardly perfect, and some of the additions seemed unnecessary. Like the math tutor who’s some kind of super genius…and also lost his entire family when his village was attacked in his home land. I get that they wanted to put in a positive portrayal of a person who lived in poverty, but the tutor was a bit too on the nose. They might as well have given him wings and a halo.

Costner’s depiction of an alcoholic wasn’t particularly good either. That could have used some work. But in general, this was a good movie and might possibly be the first custody battle movie that I actually liked.

WE GAVE IT: 4 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

4 stars

 

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Kevin Costner And Octavia Spencer Battle For Custody In First ‘Black or White’ Trailer

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This might make some of you feel old, but Kevin Costner is now old enough to play a grandfather. The 59-year-old actor plays a grandfather fighting to keep his granddaughter Eloise, played by Jillian Estell. The brilliant Octavia Spencer co-stars in the film. She will be playing Eloise’s paternal grandmother.

Black or White was written and directed by Mike Binder. As we mentioned above, the film centers around a racially-charged custody battle between Costner and Spencer. The trailer shows the strong bond between Costner’s character and his granddaughter; however, it also shows his struggles as he is suddenly left to care for her by himself after his wife dies.

And that’s when the girl’s paternal grandmother (Spencer) steps in to seek custody, resulting in a nasty legal battle. It certainly looks like an interesting film. Some of the early reviews are claiming the movie is “phenomenal.”

You can check it out in theater near you January 30, 2015.

Movie Review: Draft Day (2014)

drafft day movie posterTense, Intelligent and Fun

Star Ratings

I’m not really a football fan, so I tend to avoid football related movies. If you’re like me, then I should tell you that Draft Day isn’t really about football. Instead, it’s more a behind the scenes look at the wheeling and dealing that makes football, and it is absolutely worth the watch.

In Draft Day, we meet Sonny Weaver (Kevin Costner), a general manager who has the opportunity to shape the Cleveland Browns into his dream team. His father, who was also the previous coach, has died and he now has the opportunity to trade up to the number 1 spot with Seattle. Of course, then he has to deal with the repercussions and that includes dealing with team owner Harvey Molina (Frank Langella) coach Vince Penn (Denis Leary) and even his own mother (Ellen Burstyn). There is literally no one who doesn’t have a strong opinion about his pick.

Let me say this again, I don’t like or even understand football, but I could still follow this movie. That’s because Costner plays such a great, self depreciating been-there-done-that character that he makes the movie worth watching.

I did feel that the movie was a bit too PG considering the subject. Let’s be honest, this is the NFL with its image scrubbed squeaky clean. The NFL was heavily involved in the making of this movie, so I doubt they would have approved anything that would have seriously undercut their image. The NFL actually went over the dailies of the movie and made cuts, which explains why they come out looking like utter Boyscouts.

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But this isn’t really a movie about football scandals. Again, it’s a movie about one man dealing with a high pressure job and handling everyone’s opinions on how he does that job. The NFL can be forgiven for trying to keep their image clean.
Costner has great chemistry with Jennifer Garner. Garner plays a fantastic, business savvy, football loving independent woman with a secret relationship with Weaver. The best part is they didn’t make her come across as a ball breaking cliché. Her character is likable and efficient, and she didn’t fall into the stupid ‘woman trying to prove herself in a man’s world’ trap. She is clearly knowledgeable and proves that effortlessly.

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There are some great football moments as well and fans of the game won’t be disappointed. The best part is, for those of us who don’t watch football, we become so emotionally invested in the characters that we actually care about the outcome of the game.
Draft Day isn’t a sports driven movie. It’s a character driven movie, and the characters make the movie. Costner shines like he hasn’t in a long time, and has more than made up for his last train wreck of a movie “3 Days to Kill.”
Draft Day is tense, intelligent and fun. This character driven drama can make even the most die hard non-fan of football care about the game. It was fast paced and filled with great, tense moments. This is a must watch for any football fan, and a fun watch for those who aren’t.
Heck, I might even watch a football game now.  Here is the Draft Day official Trailer:

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Movie Review: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

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3.5 stars

I think we can dare to say that Jack Ryan movies are quickly becoming the new James Bond movies (especially seeing how much the last few Bond installments sucked). The newest version of Jack Ryan takes us from 9/11 to present day, giving us Jack Ryan’s background and an action packed look into the world of terrorists’ finances.

In this installment, Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) decides to get involved with national security after watching the twin towers burn on TV. He is shipped off to Afghanistan, and after being injured, is taken under the wing of Commander Thomas Harper (Kevin Costner) to join the CIA as an analyst. Luckily, we don’t have to watch too much analysis, because it isn’t long before Ryan is back in the field, as an undercover agent on Wall Street. There, he stumbles on a conspiracy based in Russia, designed to crash the US economy.

Director Kenneth Branagh manages a smooth controlled pace, despite the action. This is necessary when mixing action with conspiracy theories, as too many twists and cut aways could leave the viewer a little bit lost. The mix between action and information is good; however, the movie lacked some serious character development. [more…]

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Adam Cozad and David Koepp had their work cut out for them, as there was no novel to adapt this movie from. The screenwriters had to cobble together their own back-story the best they could. It results in an intriguing plot and a unique change of pace that makes Ryan seem a bit more intelligent than in other movies.

Chris Pine, famous for his role as Captain Kirk in the updated Star Trek franchise, was a reasonably good choice for Jack Ryan. Pine is a bit of a one trick pony and generally plays the same suave action stars with just a little bit of boy-next-door naïveté. The role of Jack Ryan fit him like a glove.

The main problems with the movie came from Kierra Knightly’s character. She plays Cathy Muller, a love interest so generic, she could have been played by a tree stump. Cathy is the med student, smiley supportive girlfriend….who suddenly goes wakadoodle stalkeresque when she believes Ryan is cheating on her and follows him on a super secret spy mission to Russia so she can eventually play the Damsel in Distress. Her character’s plot line is so cobbled together that it is not even remotely convincing. Frankly, when she was in trouble, I didn’t really care and I didn’t care if the bad guy killed her off. The character felt entirely unnecessary.

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The villain, Viktor Cherevin, is the juiciest character, which is probably why director Branagh saved the role for himself. Rather than being a stereotypical Soviet bent on world domination, he is an oddly sensitive man who believes that he is doing the world a favor by taking out America. It was a sympathetic way to look at a villain and kept him from becoming a Bond villain cliché.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit is a competent movie and a good effort. The right casting makes it come together and I think it is an effort that Tom Clancy would be proud of.

Watch the Trailer below, if you saw the movie, Leave a Review and Earn Some points!