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Zhuyeqing Posted: Thu Nov 15 02:00:06 2018 Post | Quote in Reply  
  Promotional material for Hidden Figures Photo: IC
Hidden Figures , a story about three black women mathematicians who helped NASA put the first men in space, soared into its second week atop the box office, industry estimates for North America showed on Sunday.

The Fox film, a biographical comedy-drama based on a book of the same name, stars Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae, whose characters must deal with segregation in the 1950s and 1960s workplace.

It brought in $20.5 million in the US and Canada this weekend, according to box-office monitor Exhibitor Relations , and $59.68 million since it premiered four weeks ago.

La La Land, a nostalgic tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals that just took home eight Golden Globes, rocketed to the No.2 spot. It took in $14.5 million ($77.08 million overall).

Universal's animated musical Sing was in third, with a $13.8 million take over the weekend and an accumulated total of $238.5 million.

The first stand-alone episode in the eight-film Star Wars series, Rogue One follows the mission of rebel alliance fighters trying to steal plans to the Empire's feared Death Star.

The movie pulled in $13.76 million over the weekend, according to box-office monitor Exhibitor Relations, bringing its four-week total to $502.29 million.

In its first weekend out, The Bye Bye Man notched fifth place , taking in $13.38 million. The horror flick is based on a chapter from Robert Damon Schneck's book The President's Vampire.

Rounding out the top 10 are :

Patriot's Day ($12 million)

Monster Trucks ($10.5 million)

Sleepless ($8.47 million)

Underworld: Blood Wars ($5.8 millio)

Passengers ($5.5 million)

Hit & Run has a clear, entertaining vision and is made with a strong, unique voice, something missing from too many films these days. It is not quite a great film, but it is a very good one, and I absolutely recommend it as one of the most satisfying cinematic experiences of the summer.

I went into Hit & Run with relatively low expectations, and left not only pleasantly surprised, but excited to share my enthusiasm for the film with others. This delightful little comedy is the work of Dax Shepard , a comic I have never been particularly impressed with in the past. But if Hit & Run is a success ?and it certainly appealing enough to please a very wide audience ?it will put Shepard on the map in a big way, for he not only stars in the film, but co-directs, writes, produces, and edits. He fulfills each task so well and with such impressive artistic authority that he absolutely deserves whatever notoriety the film will earn him, and I very much look forward to seeing where he goes from here.

Shepard and real-life fianc Kristen Bell star as Charlie and Anna, a couple living together in a small Midwestern town. Anna there because despite having an impressive Doctorate degree , there are few colleges that cater to her field of study. Charlie, meanwhile, was relocated to the town after testifying against a gang of bank robbers and entering Witness Protection. Charlie is able to leave if he wants, but the one place he cannot go is Los Angeles, where the gang leader, who served only minimal prison time, lives. Things become complicated, therefore , when Anna is offered a lucrative dream job in LA, the very city Charlie must avoid. Throwing caution to the wind, Charlie decides to go with her anyway, but ?

?See, this is where things get weird. I love how and why things get weird, but it awfully hard to describe in text the central conflict of the film. It involves Anna insanely jealous ex-boyfriend, Charlie overly protective, completely incompetent witness protection handler , a couple of well meaning cops, and Alex Dimitri, the man Charlie testified against. All of them, at one point or another, wind up on Charlie and Anna tail. Charlie, in an impressive racing car he built with his Dad long ago, must eventually engage in elaborate chases with all of them.

Hit and Run Download
Hit and Run Download

If I described to you exactly how all these seemingly divergent elements fit together, you would tell me there is no possible way it could all work coherently in one comedy. And in the film early going , that exactly what I thought as well. Shepard puts a ton of balls up in the air ?those I have described plus a dark backstory for his character, the ongoing romance with Anna, lots of characters and related subplots, etc. ?and the most impressive thing about Hit & Run is that he handles close to all of them well. The film is a veritable cornucopia of tones, styles, and characters, but it all comes together rather seamlessly, and the beautifully controlled chaos is simply a joy to watch , especially with a receptive crowd.

First and foremost, Shepard script does a tremendous job with the characters. There are a ton of big personalities on display here, but each is very well defined, perfectly calculated to play a specific part in the zany proceedings. My crowd was particularly smitten with Tom Arnold Randy, the lovable, ineffectual Marshall assigned to protect Charlie. He a hoot, and the script walks a fine, precise line between mocking his ineptitude and mining organic laughs from his good , pure heart. Bradley Cooper too is a standout, playing wildly against type as the robber out to exact revenge on Charlie. The film gets markedly better in its second half when all these pieces are in play, and each of the characters start bouncing off one another with strong comedic effectiveness.


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