Fall movies feature strong Lehigh Valley connections
The first and strongest story revolves around Dahai (Wu Jiang). This hilariously pushy fellow is outraged over the corruption in his village, a stain that spreads from the powerful man who flies in on a jet down to a local accountant and village chief. Jiang was discovered by the great director Zhang Yimou for To Live (1994) and he commands the screen with ease. The entire cast is strong but his presence is so warm and boisterous and fresh I wish the entire movie had stayed with him. Dahai is mocked and humiliated at every turn and finally snaps in an orgy of violence that quickly becomes the movie’s signature. The people of China do not suffer silently in these films; they lash out at others and themselves again and again. The second story involves a mysterious young man; we don’t discover until the end of his tale exactly how he makes his living but it’s clearly a violent one on the edge of society. Still, while you wouldn’t mess with him, it’s notable that he doesn’t seem like a threat to others. It’s a petty squabble during a gambling session at his local village on New Year’s that turns brutal. He just watches impassively. A third story centers on the mistress of a businessman and is the film’s subtlest example of dehumanization.
Hey, it could be another “Bad Santa.” Christopher Lennertz: The Easton High School grad does some of the best work of his career as the composer for “Thanks For Sharing” (Sept. 20, limited release), a dramedy about three people (Tim Robbins, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Gad) undergoing a 12-step program for sex addiction. Lennertz’s music, which is heavy on percussion and classical music, is beguiling. Jim Mickle: When the Douglassville native’s latest horror film premiered at Sundance, it garnered rave reviews. The distribution company E1 snatched up the rights and will open the cannibal thriller “We Are What We Are” on Oct. 11 in Philadelphia. Bill Sage stars as Frank Parker, the patriarch of a flesh-eating clan who, after his wife’s accidental death, turns to his two daughters (Ambyr Childers of “The Master” and Julia Garner of “Martha Marcy May Marlene”) to continue the family tradition of killing and preparing the family meal. Co-starring is former Reading resident Kelly McGillis, who also appeared in Mickle’s previous feature, “Stakeland.” Kimberly Peirce: Who needs another “Carrie,” especially when the Brian DePalma-directed original is just about perfect? Well, we’re willing to give the remake (Oct. 18) the benefit of the doubt since it is directed by the “Boys Don’t Cry” director who happens to be a Harrisburg native. Chloe Grace Moretz plays the title role of the shy teenager who is pushed a little too far at her high-school prom. Amy Roth: The Lower Mount Bethel Township resident and niece of Oscar-winning designer Ann Roth served as assistant costume designer on the Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Dec.
Search Corporate Intelligence1 September 17, 2013, 1:18 PM 74 Million Movies that Werent Streamed in July Biography Redbox For those who spend their time glued to glowing screens on smartphones and laptops, its important to get an occasional reminder of how popular some offline businesses still are. And that is certainly the case when it comes to movie rentals. Plenty of people have long abandoned their Blockbuster membership and shifted from renting discs to streaming shows Netflix now has almost 30 million paying members but plenty havent. In households where the TV is still king (and not connected to a computer or the internet), DVD rental is still going strong. Take Redbox, which rents DVDs from its more than 43,000 vending machines located in grocery stores across the country. Stock in its parent company, Outerwall Inc., is down 12.5% today after it issued updated guidance last night, lowering estimates for revenues and earnings. A big reason for the downward revision was rentals at Redbox were not as high as expected. But even then, they were pretty high : Rentals for July and August grew year over year 13.4% and 15.7% respectively, with July representing Redboxs best rental month in its history, with approximately 74 million rentals. Redbox continues to expect both rentals and revenue per kiosk to increase compared to comparable periods in 2012. In addition, unique credit and debit cards used in July and August increased 11% year over year, while rental frequency improved in July and August compared to the same periods in 2012. 74 million rentals in July. Aside from working on an old-school TV setup, Redbox rentals can be a pretty cheap option compared to whats available online: $1.20 a night for one of their discs, compared to $2.99 upward for a streaming movie from places like Amazon or Apples iTunes store. Netflix subscriptions cost $8 per month, although that gets an all-you-can-eat streaming buffet. Redbox doesnt see its customers jumping ship anytime soon, regardless.