There has been no rhyme or reason at the box office lately. This week, Harrison Ford takes it, followed by the Smurfs, leaving Harry Potter in the dust.
“Cowboys and Aliens,” starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig, is the big winner at the box office this week with a first weekend take of $36.4 million. I frankly was expecting a little more from the film, but it is enjoyable if you are watching it for summer/popcorn satisfaction and Ford.
If you really like vintage Ford, then the Plaza Classic Film Festival is the place to be Thursday night. Two showings of the pristine, never-before-seen restoration of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” will be screened at 6:30, then again at 9:15. Expect some surprise guest introductions. Stay tuned.
Back to Hollywood, the all new “3-D Smurf Movie” opened in second place, coming in close to “Cowboys and Aliens,” earning a little more than $35 million, which shows the power of children in summer box office. The animated feature leaves much to be desired, and I think kids will fare better watching the original cartoons. “Captain America” flew into third place, falling a bit from its top spot last week, and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II” fell to fourth place, earning $22 million in week three. No need to really pity Potter, as the franchise has broken every worldwide record at this point. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” opens this week, and it should be interesting to see what happens in this box office mix. Opening in a disappointing fifth place this week was the very entertaining “Crazy Stupid, Love,” starring Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling. The film, produced by Carell, is a very real look at how love, loss and divorce affect everyone, including co-workers and other relationships. Carell is stunned by his wife’s pronouncement of divorce and another man in her life. What follows is a very funny, poignant look at human nature. Carell bar hopping with Gosling is truly memorable. Marisa Tomei is also featured and is always wonderful to watch. I highly recommend this film and not just as a “chick flick.” The storyline has a strong message.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival has opened to much spectacle. Along with special events at the Plaza through Aug. 14, there are opportunities to enjoy art-house films, foreign films and musical events.Even screenwriter Rob Edwards has spent all weekend in El Paso teaching style and philosophy to area filmmakers. Today, Spanish surrealist director Luis Buñuel’s “Viridiana” will be presented at 4:30 p.m. in the Philanthropy Theatre. It will be my pleasure to introduce the film and discuss Buñuel’s monumental contributions to Spanish cinema and as an inspiration to film directors and actors from around the world.
Next week, enjoy screenings of “The Godfather II" and “Rebel Without a Cause” and wonderful talks by the likes of Leonard Maltin, Jeanine Basinger and Peter Snell. For the complete list of films and events, visit plazaclassic.com.
Read the Felipa’s Flicks movie blog and others at elpasotimes.com/blogs.