Sunday, July 21, 2024

BoxOffice: “Ghostbusters” Has Big Friday, Woody Allen’s “Cafe” Crowded


Friday box office: “Ghostbusters” opened very well, winning Friday with $17.2 million. They’re aiming for a $46 million weekend, and may it do a little better than that. Predictions are that “Secret Life of Pets” will clean up Saturday and Sunday and win the weekend. But for a live action comedy for adults, “Ghostbusters” is a hit.

Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society” is crowd pleaser is limited NY-LA opening and should expand nicely with mostly good reviews. Some negative reviews really shocked me. Listen, kids, Woody Allen owes us nothing. He is a master of filmmaking. Quick, dismissive reviews are a waste of time and show a lack of knowledge.

“Cafe Society” is very funny and quite profound. It’s a little echo of “The Great Gatsby” mixed with “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Not since “Deconstructing Harry” has Woody has asked so many questions about what it is to be a Jew– and gotten so many laughs too.

Jeannie Berlin and Ken Stott steal the film as Jessie Eisenberg’s parents. Their discussion of the afterlife and consequences of religious integrity is part of Allen’s canon, but it remains an important one. And where else in filmmaking does anyone bring up philosophy of any kind? Woody’s world of ideas doesn’t exist anywhere else in cinema now.

Socrates is not a name you’ll hear in any other film this year. Yes, he did say “An unexamined life is not worth living.” It’s Woody who added “But an examined life is no bargain either.”

Don’t forget that. See “Cafe Society.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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