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The 50 top films of 2017 in the US: No 3 Get Out

Charmaine Blake



Jordan Peeles sleeper hit was a note-perfect dismantling of white American liberalism but it was also chilling, hilarious and relentlessly entertaining

It would be easy enough to make a case for Get Outs place among the years best movies simply by reeling off a list of stats and facts. To date, Jordan Peeles film has made over $175m at the US box office, a figure that puts it in the 15 highest-grossing films of 2017, ahead of the likes of Cars 3, War for the Planet of the Apes and the latest Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean films. Globally it has earned back around 56 times its production budget (as a point of comparison, Beauty and the Beast, the years runaway hit, has earned around 10 times its budget), and has become the highest-grossing film of all time made by a black director.

Get Out currently holds a 99% rating on critical aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes, making it the best reviewed film of the year. (Much has been made of Lady Birds 100% rating, but Get Outs greater number of reviews means that it is still ahead in the end-of-year rankings.) To cap it all, the film looks likely to join a very select list of horror movies to earn a best picture nomination at the Oscars, with some predicting it could nay, should take home the top prize.

Yet Get Outs real impact was far more profound than that which showed up on balance sheets and end-of-year polls. This was the rare mainstream movie that mattered, a mass-market horror that forced its many viewers to confront head-on the most pressing topic in American life today. That it did so while offering up a thrillingly effective horror movie seems doubly sensational.

Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the black boyfriend taking the plunge of a first visit to the home of his white girlfriend Roses (Allison Williams) parents. They are on the face of it, well-meaning, if slightly embarrassing, in their desire to be seen as good progressives, boasting about voting for Obama, engaging in fist-bumps. Yet theres the occasional ringing of alarm bells: the comments by Roses brother about Chriss genetic makeup, the desire of Roses mother to hypnotise Chris, and the presence of black employees at the house, all of whose faces are frozen in a rictus grin of strained enthusiasm. Things inevitably go south from there, and soon were into territory situated somewhere between The Stepford Wives, Guess Whos Coming to Dinner and the malice of modern horror films such as It Follows.

A thrillingly effective horror Get Out. Photograph: Allstar/Blumhouse Productions

It bears repeating that Peele could have taken the safe option and located his monster in the far fringes of modern-day racism, especially given that beasts reawakening this year. Instead he swung for the fences, and presented a far less palatable truth: that bigotry is just as present, albeit better hidden, among white liberals; the folks who rail against Trumps travel ban while committing the sort of small-scale acts of othering that prove so damaging to people of colour, death by a thousand microaggressions. It struck at the entire shaky edifice of post-racial America.

But lets not make Get Out sound like a PowerPoint presentation as much as anything else, it is terrific entertainment. As a horror film it is as adept at psychological chills as it is jump-scares. And, while it might not quite not fit the comedy or musical categorisation handed to it by the Golden Globes, the film is relentlessly funny, filled with the same droll humour Peele mastered in his sketch comedy days.

Most of all, it is a film made up of inerasable images: the hypnotic stirring of a silver spoon; the recurring motif of sight, be it through eyes or camera phones; and of course the loaded symbolism of the sunken place, a term that looks destined to escape its fictional trappings and recur in the wider cultural conversation. This is a film that lingered. It deserves to stay lodged in collective consciousness right through to the end of awards season.

(Buy here)

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‘Fortnite’ composer Pinar Toprak will score ‘Captain Marvel’



Image: Brian To/FilmMagic

“Turkish-American composer Pinar Toprak has been hired to compose the score for Captain Marvel, which will premiere in March of next year.

Even if you’re not a film score buff, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with Toprak’s work. In addition to writing additional music for Justice League in 2017, she is responsible for some of the incredibly catchy music from Fortnite. Yes, the stuff that is stuck in your head all the time…….”

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‘Incredibles 2’ breaks box office records with a whopping $180 million



Image: disney pixar

“For every unmitigated disaster like Solo, there are multiple other box office hits for Disney. Incredibles 2 is the latest.

The 14-years-later sequel is on a pace to finish off its opening weekend with a $180 million box office haul in the United States. That’s the highest opening to date for any animated release, and for any PG-rated release as well. It’s also the eighth-largest domestic opening weekend ever, overall.

Incredibles 2 soars past another Pixar sequel, Finding Dory, the previous top animated opener. The Finding Nemo sequel launched in 2016 on the same June weekend as Incredibles 2, but it only (only!) managed to pull in $135.1 million in its first three days.

The new $180 million bar will be a tough one for future competitors to beat, though even that record is bound to eventually fall. Inflation and rising ticket prices all but ensure it.

Disney currently has three recent releases in the weekend box office top 10. Solo: A Star Wars Story comes in at #4 on this weekend’s chart, with an estimated $9.1 million. That brings its domestic total up to $192.8 million.

Solo will probably cross $200 million domestic in the next week or two, but it’s currently the lowest-earning live action Star Wars movie to date. There’s even some question at this point as to whether or not it will manage to beat The Empire Strikes Back. Not accounting for inflation, that second-ever Star Wars movie ended its box office run in 1980 with $209.4 million.

Disney’s lowest entrant on this weekend’s box office top 10 is Avengers: Infinity War, at #8. The April 2018 release is still kicking in its eight week after hitting theaters. It picked up an estimated $5.3 million this weekend…..”

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Apple and Oprah sign a multi-year partnership on original content



Apple announced today a multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey to produce programs for the tech company’s upcoming video-streaming service. Apple didn’t provide any specific details as to what sort of projects Winfrey would be involved in, but there will be more than one it seems.

Apple shared the news of its deal with Winfrey in a brief statement on its website, which read:

Apple today announced a unique, multi-year content partnership with Oprah Winfrey, the esteemed producer, actress, talk show host, philanthropist and CEO of OWN.

Together, Winfrey and Apple will create original programs that embrace her incomparable ability to connect with audiences around the world.

Winfrey’s projects will be released as part of a lineup of original content from Apple.

The deal is a significant high-profile win for Apple, which has been busy filing out its lineup with an array of talent in recent months.

The streaming service also will include a reboot of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Storiesa Reese Witherspoon- and Jennifer Aniston-starring series set in the world of morning TVan adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation books, a thriller starring Octavia Spencer, a Kristen Wiig-led comedy, a Kevin Durant-inspired scripted basketball show, a series from “La La Land’s” director and several other shows.

Winfrey, however, is not just another showrunner or producer. She’s a media giant who has worked across film, network and cable TV, print and more as an actress, talk show host, creator and producer.

She’s also a notable philanthropist, having contributed more than $100 million to provide education to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, and is continually discussed as a potential presidential candidate, though she said that’s not for her.

On television, Winfrey’s Harpo Productions developed daytime TV shows like “Dr. Phil,” “The Dr. Oz Show” and “Rachael Ray.” Harpo Films produced several Academy Award-winning movies, including “Selma,” which featured Winfrey in a starring role. She’s also acted in a variety of productions over the years, like “The Color Purple,” which scored her an Oscar nom, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle in Time.”

Winfrey also founded the cable network OWN in 2011 in partnership with Discovery Communications, and has exec produced series including “Queen Sugar,” “Oprah’s Master Class” and the Emmy-winning “Super Soul Sunday.”

The latter has a connection with Apple as it debuted as a podcast called “Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations” and became a No. 1 program on Apple Podcasts.

Winfrey recently extended her contract with OWN through 2025, so it’s unclear how much time she’ll devote specifically toward her Apple projects.

Apple also didn’t say if Winfrey will star or guest in any of the programs themselves, but that’s always an option on the table with a deal like this. CNN, however, is reporting that Winfrey “is expected to have an on-screen role as a host and interviewer.”

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