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Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Writer's Life 4/6 - Mr. Warmth & Others

RIP Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles, 90, a Queens boy who made it big in Hollywood through sheer force of will. IMDb lists 83 credits under his name, most of them voice-overs in animation. Of course, his most memorable work came in his appearances on talk shows and Dean Martin's Celebrity Roast. He served in the Navy during WWII. He began his insult shtick when he realized his barbs at hecklers got bigger laughs than his prepared material. He enjoyed a rare, successful Hollywood union that lasted from when he was 38 until his death. Here's a telling quote attributed to him: "Some people say funny things, but I say things funny." Thank you, sir.

In today's NY Post there is a profile of Joe Binder, 107, who lives in a Bronx nursing home and still plays the ukulele. An accompanying piece notes that there are 370 male, 1700 female centenarians, I assume worldwide. The article didn't specify.

Here's a list of movies that earned less than $400 at the box office, gleaned from, edited by yours truly. There were eleven. I dropped two I thought shouldn't have been included. One, a Serbian production, was very popular in its homeland, highly respected by critics, rated 8.7 on a scale of ten by users at IMDb:

Zyzzyx Road (2006) Gross: $30. its tagline was “Dead Ahead,” which seems prophetic in retrospect. It stars Tom Sizemore and Katherine Heigl. It played in only one theater, in Dallas, for a week. Six people ponied up. ZR is the lowest grossing movie of all time. 867 users at IMDb rate it 4.2.
Storage 24 (2013) Gross: $72. This British horror tale also played for only a week in one theater. Rated 4.4 by 5723.
Dog Eat Dog (2009) Gross: $80. It was a box office failure despite a slew of awards and nominations at film festivals and other key industry events around the world, including a World Cinema Grand Jury Prize nomination at Sundance. Folks at IMDb agree the Colombian production has been overlooked, rating it 6.7.
The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2012) Gross: $117. The 1950s-inspired sci-fi musical nabbed five awards on the American film festival circuit, but earned only $2436 in re-release. Rated 5.7 by 360.
Playback (2012) Gross: $264. Even Christian Slater's presence failed to drum up interest in what is deemed a rip-off of The Ring (2002). Rated 4.3 by 4247.
Intervention (2007) Gross: $279. It played in one theater for three days. The tale of addiction won the Best Feature Film Award at the 2007 San Diego Film Festival, and a Best Actress honor for Jennifer Tilly. The cast includes Andie MacDowell, Colm Feore, Rupert Graves, and former Baywatch babe Donna D’Errico. Rated five by 160.
Trojan War (1997) Gross: $309. Two years after she became a series regular on Party of Five, Jennifer Love-Hewitt starred in this rom-com about a kid who gets beat up, mugged, and arrested on his quest to find a condom. It was pulled from its one theater less than a week after its arrival. Rated 5.7 by 4962.
The Marsh (2007) Gross: $336. Less than a month after receiving an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006), Forest Whitaker, and Gabrielle Anwar, starred in this supernatural thriller. It ran in one theater for three days and recouped less than .005% of its $7 million budget. Rated 4.9 by 2741.
Apartment 143 (2012) Gross: $383. This Mexican horror flick earned a Golden Trailer Award nomination for Best Horror Poster, and little else. Rated 5.1 by 9907.

The floating book shop was rained out today.
Vic's Sixth novel: 
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