RICE, BEANS AND RAZOR BLADES!
A usted le preferimos atontado.
¿Es usted inteligente? ¿Tiene el más mínimo sentido común, capacidad crítica o discernimiento? Mal, amigo mío, muy mal. Es usted una rara avis, un apestado, alguien que estorba a los mecanismos del poder y la suave dialéctica del progreso. Le preferimos atontado, observando la pantalla con una de nuestras cenas precocinadas sobre las rodillas.
No nos gustan los listillos. Llevamos más de un siglo medrando despacio, en la sombra, readaptándonos con cada cambio social, extendiendo nuestros tentáculos para acabar con los que son como usted. Fabricamos la idea de la democracia moderna para ocultar el auténtico dominio que nosotros, las grandes empresas, tenemos sobre usted. Les hacemos pasar cada cuatro años por las urnas para alimentar esa fantasía. Creamos y deshacemos los ciclos económicos. En las épocas de prosperidad crecemos saludablemente, y en las de crisis nos inflamos como sanguijuelas a punto de estallar.
Sí, competimos a muerte entre nosotros pero somos ferozmente corporativistas cuando alguien amenaza los mecanismos de nuestro poder. Ministros y gobiernos no son más que asalariados temporeros, instrumentos con los que ejecutar nuestros intereses inmediatos. Les hacemos invadir países para quedarnos con sus recursos o crear leyes opresivas que aseguren nuestros privilegios. Aún se nos escapan algunos reductos de poder. Internet, por ejemplo, es un lugar donde las hormiguitas se juntan para roer nuestros cimientos, pero están muy lejos aún de causarnos auténtico daño. Mientras, nosotros seguimos la batalla por su atontamiento. Ayer apagamos un molesto canal de noticias y lo sustituimos por un confortable Gran Hermano 24 horas . A veces nos gusta subrayar la ironía con metáforas orwellianas, pero claro, al mismo tiempo esperamos que no tenga capacidad de comprenderlas. Y ahora relájese y vuelva a encender la tele, por favor.
LOS ANGELES – Jeff Bridges' sci-fi sequel "Tron: Legacy" has leaped to the top of the box-office grid with a $43.6 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates Sunday.
The Disney release reboots the story line started in Bridges' 1982 tale "Tron," in which his character is hurtled into a deadly virtual reality known as the Grid. The movie co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde.
Though quaint by today's standards, the computer-graphic effects in the original "Tron" were cutting-edge at the time. Yet the movie was a box-office underachiever whose following somehow swelled in the intervening decades in a way that perplexed even the studio's executives.
"I sure wish I knew, because there is a very, very committed core group of people who just love that movie, and they have fanned the opening-weekend grosses," said Chuck Viane, head of distribution for Disney.
Other newcomers premiered with modest to poor receipts, continuing a sluggish end to Hollywood's year.
The weekend proved no picnic for Dan Aykroyd's family flick "Yogi Bear," which fell flat at a weak No. 2 with $16.7 million. The Warner Bros. release features the voices of Aykroyd and Justin Timberlake in an adaptation of the TV cartoon about the picnic-basket-thieving bear.
With children out of school over the holidays, Warner Bros. executives hope "Yogi Bear" will hold up well through Christmas and New Year's.
"We wish it had been a bit higher, but we'll catch up as we get going," said Jeff Goldstein, the studio's general sales manager.
The previous weekend's top movie, 20th Century Fox's "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," fell to No. 3 with $12.4 million, raising its total to $42.7 million.
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale's acclaimed boxing drama "The Fighter" had a so-so expansion nationwide after a stellar debut in limited release the previous weekend for the tale based on the life of real-life fighter Micky Ward. Released by Paramount, "The Fighter" came in at No. 4 with $12.2 million.
Reese Witherspoon's love-triangle romance "How Do You Know" was a dud with just $7.6 million, the Sony release opening at No. 8. The movie co-stars Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd and Jack Nicholson.
Overall revenues slipped to $134 million, down 2.6 percent from the same weekend last year, when "Avatar" debuted with $77 million on its way to becoming the biggest modern blockbuster with a $2.8 billion worldwide haul.
Considering the huge gap between the "Avatar" revenues and those for "Tron: Legacy," Hollywood's general business held up fairly well because of this year's diverse undercard of new movies and holdovers.
"We weren't down that badly," said Paul Dergarabedian, box-office analyst for Hollywood.com. "Last year, it was pretty much that one film. `Avatar' so heavily dominated that marketplace, which was great for `Avatar,' but for the other movies there wasn't much there."
"The King's Speech," a Weinstein Co. release that led Golden Globe contenders Tuesday with seven nominations, remained a strong earner as it continued its gradual expansion in limited release.
The film starring Colin Firth as Queen Elizabeth II's father, a reluctant king coping with a debilitating stammer, took in $1.1 million in 43 theaters, averaging a healthy $25,000 a cinema.
That compared to a $12,634 average in 3,451 theaters for "Tron: Legacy"; $4,752 in 3,515 cinemas for "Yogi Bear"; $4,874 in 2,503 locations for "The Fighter"; and $3,061 in 2,483 places for "How Do You Know."
Fox Searchlight's ballet drama "Black Swan," another top Globe nominee starring Natalie Portman, climbed the chart as it expanded into nationwide release with $8.3 million in 959 theaters, averaging $8,655 and coming in at No. 7.
In limited release, Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart's somber drama "Rabbit Hole" opened solidly with $55,000 in five theaters, averaging $11,000. The film, which earned Kidman a Globe nomination, centers on a couple struggling in their marriage after losing their young son in a traffic accident.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "Tron: Legacy," $43.6 million.
2. "Yogi Bear," $16.7 million.
3. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," $12.4 million.
4. "The Fighter," $12.2 million.
5. "The Tourist," $8.7 million.
6. "Tangled," $8.68 million.
7. "Black Swan," $8.3 million.
8. "How Do You Know," $7.6 million.
9. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," $4.8 million.
10. "Unstoppable," $1.8 million.
LOS ANGELES – Blake Edwards, the director and writer known for clever dialogue, poignance and occasional belly-laugh sight gags in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "10" and the "Pink Panther" farces, is dead at age 88.
Edwards died from complications of pneumonia at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, said publicist Gene Schwam. Blake's wife, Julie Andrews, and other family members were at his side. He had been hospitalized for about two weeks.
Edwards had knee problems, had undergone unsuccessful procedures and was "pretty much confined to a wheelchair for the last year-and-a-half or two," Schwam said. That may have contributed to his condition, he added.
At the time of his death, Edwards was working on two Broadway musicals, one based on the "Pink Panther" movies. The other, "Big Rosemary," was to be an original comedy set during Prohibition, Schwam said.
"His heart was as big as his talent. He was an Academy Award winner in all respects," said Schwam, who knew him for 40 years.
A third-generation filmmaker, Edwards was praised for evoking classic performances from Jack Lemmon, Audrey Hepburn, Peter Sellers, Dudley Moore, Lee Remick and Andrews, his wife of nearly half a century.
He directed and often wrote a wide variety of movies including "Days of Wine and Roses," a harrowing story of alcoholism; "The Great Race," a comedy-adventure that starred Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood; and "Victor/Victoria," his gender-bender musical comedy with Andrews.
He was also known for an independent spirit that brought clashes with studio bosses. He vented his disdain for the Hollywood system in his 1981 black comedy, "S.O.B."
"I was certainly getting back at some of the producers of my life," he once remarked, "although I was a good deal less scathing than I could have been. The only way I got to make it was because of the huge success of `10,' and even then they tried to sabotage it."
Because many of his films were studded with farcical situations, reviewers often criticized his work. "In Mr. Edward's comic world, noses are to be stung, heads to have hangovers, and beautiful women to be pursued at any cost," wrote The New York Times' Vincent Canby in a review of "10." Gary Arnold of the Washington Post added: "Edwards seems to take two dumb steps for every smart one. ... He can't seem to resist the most miserable sight gags that occur to him."
However, Richard Schickel wrote in Time magazine: "When director Edwards is at his best, there is something bracing, and in these days, unique about his comedy. ... He really wants to save the world by showing how stupid some of its creatures can be."
Although many of Edwards' films were solid hits, he was nominated for Academy Awards only twice, in 1982 for writing the adapted screenplay of "Victor/Victoria" and in 1983 for co-writing "The Man Who Loved Women." Lemmon and Remick won Oscar nominations in 1962 for "Days of Wine and Roses," and Hepburn was nominated for "Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961.
The motion picture academy selected Edwards to receive a lifetime achievement award in 2004 for "his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen."
When he collected the award, he jokingly referred to his wife: "My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, and the beautiful English broad with the incomparable soprano and promiscuous vocabulary thanks you."
Edwards had entered television in 1958, creating "Peter Gunn," which established a new style of hard-edged detective series. The tone was set by Henry Mancini's pulsating theme music. Starring Craig Stevens, the series ran until 1961 and resulted in a 1967 feature movie "Gunn."
"Peter Gunn" marked the beginning of a fruitful collaboration between Edwards and Mancini, who composed melodic scores and songs for most of Edwards' films. Mancini won Academy Awards for the score of "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and the song "Moon River," the title song of "Days of Wine and Roses" and the score of "Victor/Victoria."
The Edwards family history extended virtually the entire length of American motion pictures. J. Gordon Edwards was a pioneering director of silent films, including more than 20 with the exotic vamp Theda Bara. His son, Jack McEdwards (the family name), became a top assistant director and production manager in Hollywood.
William Blake McEdwards was born July 26, 1922, in Tulsa, Okla. The family moved to Hollywood three years later, and the boy grew up on his father's movie sets.
Edwards began in films as an actor, playing small roles in such movies as "A Guy Named Joe" and "Ten Gentlemen From West Point." After 18 months in the Coast Guard in World War II, he returned to acting but soon realized he lacked the talent. With John Champion, he wrote a Western, "Panhandle," which he produced and acted in for the quickie studio, Monogram. He followed with "Stampede."
In 1947, Edwards turned to radio and created the hard-boiled "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" for Dick Powell; it was converted to television in 1957, starring Powell with Mary Tyler Moore as his secretary, whose face is never seen on-screen.
Tiring of the TV grind, Edwards returned to films and directed his first feature, "Bring Your Smile Along." After a few more B movies which he usually co-wrote, he made the big time in 1958 with "The Perfect Furlough," starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, and "Operation Petticoat" with Cary Grant and Curtis.
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" in 1961 established Edwards as a stylish director who could combine comedy with bittersweet romance. His next two films proved his versatility: the suspenseful "Experiment in Terror" (1962) and "Days of Wine and Roses" (1963), the story of a couple's alcoholism, with Lemmon in his first dramatic role.
"The Great Race," about an auto race in the early 1900s, marked Edwards' first attempt at a big-budget spectacle. He spent Warner Bros.' money lavishly, raising the ire of studio boss Jack Warner. The 1965 release proved a modest success.
Edwards' disdain for the studios reached a peak in the 1970 "Darling Lili," a World War I romance starring his new wife, Andrews, and Rock Hudson. The long, expensive Paris location infuriated the Paramount bosses. The movie flopped, continuing Andrews' decline from her position as Hollywood's No. 1 star.
For a decade, Edwards' only hits were "Pink Panther" sequels. Then came "10," which he also produced and wrote. The sex comedy became a box-office winner, creating a new star in Bo Derek and restoring the director's reputation. He scored again in 1982 with "Victor/Victoria," with Andrews playing a woman who poses as a (male) female impersonator. His later films became more personal, particularly the 1986 "That's Life," which he wrote with his psychiatrist.
After Sellers' death in 1980, Edwards attempted to keep the "Pink Panther" franchise alive. He wrote and directed "Curse of the Pink Panther" in 1983 and "Son of the Pink Panther" in 1993 but both were failed efforts.
A 2006 remake of the original with Steve Martin as Clouseau was modestly successful; its 2009 follow up was less so. Both had new directors, with Edwards credited as a writer.
He continued to supervise Andrews' career, which included a short-lived television series and her 1996 return to Broadway in a $8.5 million version of "Victor/Victoria." Edwards directed the show, which drew mixed reviews. When Andrews was the only one connected with the musical to be nominated for a Tony, she announced to a matinee audience that she was declining the nomination because her co-workers had been snubbed.
Andrews and Edwards married in 1968. She had a daughter, Emma, from her marriage to Broadway designer Tony Walton. Edwards had a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Geoffrey, from his marriage to Patricia Edwards. He and Andrews adopted two Vietnamese children, Amy and Jo.
A longtime painter, Edwards began sculpting in mid-life, and his bronze works in the style of Henry Moore drew critical praise in shows in Los Angeles and Bucks County, Pa.
LOS ANGELES – The latest chapter in "The Chronicles of Narnia" saga has sailed to the top of the weekend box office, though the franchise sank to a weak debut compared to the first two movies.
"The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," the third in the franchise based on C.S. Lewis' fantasy novels, took in $24.5 million domestically, according to studio estimates Sunday.
Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie's romantic thriller "The Tourist" opened in second-place with $17 million.
"Dawn Treader" revenues showed a huge drop from 2005's "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which took in $65.6 million over opening weekend, and 2008's "Prince Caspian," which did $55 million.
But with the movie topping $80 million in 85 countries overseas, for a worldwide total of $105.5 million, executives at distributor 20th Century Fox said they are making good headway toward recouping the movie's budget of just under $150 million.
"We had a huge task ahead of us to resurrect this franchise and get movie-goers back to that feeling of affection they had for the first movie. I think all the evidence says we've accomplished that," said Chris Aronson, head of distribution for Fox, which took over the "Narnia" series when Disney dropped it after the second movie finished at $141.6 million domestically, less than half the $291.7 million haul of the first. "I think they all had such a bad taste in their mouth from the last one. That's why we really had our work cut out for us."
"Dawn Treader" follows the adventures of some of the Pevensie siblings from the first two films as they take a magical sea voyage with their royal pal Caspian. Liam Neeson again provides the voice of talking lion Aslan.
Sony's "The Tourist" also had a quiet start. The film stars Jolie as an Englishwoman who picks up a mild-mannered American (Depp) on a train in Europe as a diversion while she's on the run from cops and gangsters.
"You have two of the biggest stars in the world, so expectations could be skewed a bit," said Rory Bruer, Sony's head of distribution. "But it certainly is a respectable opening."
The previous weekend's No. 1 movie, Disney's animated musical "Tangled," slipped to third-place with $14.6 million, raising its domestic total to $115.6 million.
Hollywood remains in a lull as it heads into the Christmas frenzy. Among the movies that will compete for holiday audiences are Jeff Bridges' sci-fi tale "Tron: Legacy," Robert De Niro and Ben Stiller's sequel "Little Fockers," Jack Black's comic adventure "Gulliver's Travel's" and Reese Witherspoon's romance "How Do You Know."
Overall revenues totaled $94 million, down 3 percent from the same weekend last year, when "The Princess and the Frog" was No. 1, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.
"The marketplace is pretty much in a malaise, unless you're a specialty or indie film playing in a limited number of theaters," said Hollywood.com analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Those are really the bright spots in an otherwise lackluster post-Thanksgiving period."
In limited release, Natalie Portman's ballet drama "Black Swan" expanded to more theaters and leaped into the top-10, coming in at No. 6 with $3.3 million in just 90 cinemas. That gave it a strong average of $37,024 a theater, compared to $6,892 in 3,555 cinemas for "Dawn Treader" and $6,168 in 2,756 locations for "The Tourist."
Distributor Fox Searchlight expands "Black Swan" into nationwide release Friday, three days after the Golden Globe nominations, where the film is considered a likely contender in acting and other categories. Portman, also a strong Academy Awards prospect, plays a ballerina coming unglued amid the stress of fending off a rival for the lead in "Swan Lake."
Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale's boxing drama "The Fighter" was the latest awards contender to put up huge numbers in a limited-release opening. The Paramount film took in $320,000 in four theaters, averaging a whopping $80,000.
"The Fighter" stars Wahlberg as real-life boxer Micky Ward, who overcame harsh family conflicts to earn a title shot in his mid-30s with help from half-brother Dicky Eklund (Bale), an ex-fighter whose life unraveled amid crime and crack addiction. The film expands to wide release Friday.
Disney's Shakespeare adaptation "The Tempest," with Helen Mirren playing the traditionally male lead of the play, opened modestly with $45,000 in five theaters, for a $9,000 average.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to Hollywood.com. Final figures will be released Monday.
1. "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader," $24.5 million.
2. "The Tourist," $17 million.
3. "Tangled," $14.6 million.
4. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," $8.5 million.
5. "Unstoppable," $3.8 million.
6. "Black Swan," $3.3 million.
7. "Burlesque," $3.2 million.
8. "Love & Other Drugs," $3 million.
9. "Due Date," $2.55 million.
10. "Megamind," $2.5 million.