Culture

'Gravity' Comes Back to Earth; 'Ender's Game' Complicated

Sandra Bullock in ‘Gravity’/Image © Warner Bros

Editor's Note: We're looking at a 'Gravity' and 'Ender's Game' box office update, 'Lovelace' on blu-ray, a 'Spider-man' tell-all, and J.J. Abrams' 'Star Wars' -- all in our daily roundup.

"Ender's Game" may have (finally) dethroned "Gravity" at the box office as the number one movie, but the returns were much lower than expected. In fact, they were about on par with "After Earth," which was considered a dud. E! Online ponders whether the boycott against the movie contributed to the misfire. The movie's gotten generally positive reviews, and audiences seem to like it; they just didn't seem inspired to go see it in the first place. As quoted in the story, the film's director is the first to admit: "We've got a complicated film here."

If you were a grownup thirty years ago, you might have watched "Deep Throat" on a VHS tape in the privacy of your own home. Today you can do the same with a film about its notorious star, Linda Lovelace, and on Blu-ray. "Lovelace" was crowded out of the theaters by the barrage of summer blockbusters before most people got a crack at it, so I expect this film to have a revival on home video now that we've all calmed down from the thrill of watching giant robots kill things for months on end.

How did "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" become one of the most expensive, most dangerous, and most mocked Broadway shows of all time? Let Glen Berger explain it all for you. This week the musical's author has released an addictive tell-all about his experience working alongside Julie Taymor and Bono on the project, sparing no daggers for anyone -- including himself. Watching an epic disaster unfold in slow motion is among my greatest pleasures, and no matter what you think of Berger's script (he's none too fond of it himself), after reading this you'll have to admit he's a damn fine storyteller. Someone better snatch up those film rights -- Song of Spider-Man would make a much more gripping film than "Turn Off the Dark."

Speaking of embattled directors, J.J. Abrams is already out there managing expectations for his take on the "Star Wars" franchise. In a Q&A with the Times of London, he waxed nostalgic for a time when people didn't already know everything about the films' universe and characters: "The beauty of [the original film] was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went." In other words, he doesn't want to quibble with fans over the accuracy of his vision for the film. My question is: if he'd really wanted to inspire those feelings in viewers, shouldn't he just make his own totally original film?

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