Scott Mendelson's Blog

Open Salon's resident movie nerd and box office geek.

Scott Mendelson

Scott Mendelson
Location
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Birthday
April 02
Bio
A ten-year Salon reader, Mendelson also has a film and politics blog/column at Mendelon's Memos: located at: http://scottalanmendelson.blogspot.com/. He is also a free lance voice over artist and occasionally contributes film reviews for www.ValleySceneMagazine.com.

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Opening with a flurry of positive buzz and already-cemented megahit status overseas, James Bond finally returned to US theaters this weekend with San Mendes's Skyfall (review 01/review 02).  The film easily crushed the opening weekend record of the 007 series, earning a massive $90
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NOVEMBER 5, 2012 9:05AM

Open Salon review: Skyfall (2012)

Skyfall
2012
143 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Taken on its own, Skyfall is an exciting and relentlessly entertaining action thriller.  It is strongly acted by a game cast, has sharp dialogue, a stunning visual palette, and several engaging action sequences.  But take… Read full post »
Seven Psychopaths
2012
109 minutes
rated R

by Scott Mendelson

Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths is something of a miracle.  It works both as a straight-ahead crime dramedy while also serving as a piercing satire of said genre.  It is a delightfully funny and clever romp… Read full post »
This is actually a pretty simple summer movie season to analyze and/or dissect.  In short, the expected mega-blockbusters were indeed mostly mega-blockbusters, the expected middle-of-the-road hits were just that, while the films pegged most likely to flop or at least financial
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Red Hook Summer
2012
120 minutes
rated R

by Scott Mendelson

Red Hook Summer, Spike Lee's first theatrical feature since The Miracle at St. Anna in late 2008, arguably intends to be a return trip to the world of Do the Right Thing,… Read full post »
When a heavily-anticipated film debuts alongside a mass murder that takes place during a midnight showing of said film, it's difficult to know how to analyze the opening weekend figures.  Under normal circumstances, the fact that The Dark Knight Rises (trailer/review/spoiler threa
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The Dark Knight Rises
2012
165 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson


First and foremost, I cannot decide at the moment if The Dark Knight Rises (trailer) is a 'better film' than Spider-Man 3Batman Forever, and/or X-Men: The Last Stand.  The fact thRead full post »
There are a number of ways to judge the six-day $137 million debut of The Amazing Spider-Man (review).  First of all, in all but the most unlikely of circumstances, a film grossing $140 million in its first six days ($62 million over the traditional Fri-Sun weekend) is a… Read full post »
I've written a bit about this over the last couple years, but this weekend is surely as shining an example as anything about how the mainstream film landscape has somewhat self-corrected.  Last weekend saw the release of four wide releases.  We had two R-rated films, one a vulgar (
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The Amazing Spider-Man
2012
136 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

It's no secret that I have had major issues with the very idea of quickly rebooting the Spider-Man franchise.  If the film was a smash, I have argued, then studios would basically spend… Read full post »
This weekend represented a shining example of the two best trends in mainstream moviegoing this year.  As I wrote (here and here), we've seen a real upswing in both mid-to-low-budget mainstream fare that aren't especially 'tentpole-ish' as well as a huge upswing in the number of
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JUNE 27, 2012 9:33AM

Open Salon review: Ted (2012)

Ted
2012
105 minutes
rated R

by Scott Mendelson

Seth MacFarlane's Ted joins the ranks of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and Observe and Report among razor-sharp cultural satires cleverly disguised as dumb comedies.  While it doesn't quite reach the brilliance of… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 21, 2012 2:14PM

Open Salon review: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)

Beasts of the Southern Wild
2012
90 minutes
rated PG-13
Opening June 27th in select theaters.

By Scott Mendelson

Beasts of the Southern Wild is among the most transporting films you're likely to see. Director and co-writer Benh Zeitlin, using Lucy Alibar's play… Read full post »
Superman vs. The Elite
2012
74 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

The original story, "What's So Funny About Truth, Justice, and the American Way?" (Action Comics 775) was a better discussion piece than actual story.  Written by Joe Kelly,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 7, 2012 12:32PM

Open Salon review: Prometheus (2012)

Prometheus
2012
124 minutes
rated R

by Scott Mendelson

Come what may, Prometheus is a mid-level version of what it is.  By that, I mean it is, in the end, a somewhat generic Alien/The Thing-type horror film.  It is mostly… Read full post »
Ten years ago, Spider-Man shocked the industry by grossing more than $100 million in a single weekend.  Five years ago, Spider-Man 3 broke the $150 million weekend barrier.  This weekend, The Avengers has blown through the $200 million barrier, delivering a record opening weekend… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 7, 2012 1:59PM

Rush Limbaugh's ad desertion feels good, but should it?

About a week after Rush Limbaugh's (insert negative adjective HERE) comments about Sandra Fluke, a law student who testified before Congress regarding the ongoing 'debate' about contraception, the longtime right-wing talk-radio host has lost 30 sponsors from his show as a result
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OCTOBER 26, 2011 12:39PM

Review: Puss In Boots (2011)

Puss In Boots
2011
90 minutes
rated PG

by Scott Mendelson

Puss In Boots could have just been a 'one-off' picture from the prolific Dreamworks Animation department.  As a spin-off for a popular supporting character from the Shrek series, it has arguably more… Read full post »
OCTOBER 2, 2011 1:41PM

Weekend Box Office review (10/02/11)

 Four new releases fought for a piece of the box office pie and, with the exception of a lower-profile Christian drama playing in 1,100 screens, none of them had much bite.  The top three movies from last weekend were the top three movies this weekend as well, just… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 20, 2011 10:17AM

Open Salon review: Captain America (2011)

Captain America: The First Avenger
2011
124 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Joe Johnston's Captain America is a gloriously old-fashioned bit of shoe-leather adventure.  While there are plenty of elaborate special effects, the emphasis remains on character and narrative. &nbs… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JUNE 28, 2011 1:50PM

Open Salon review: Transformers: Dark of the Moon (3D)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon
2011
154 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

On a relative scale, the third time is the charm for the Michael Bay robot-smashing series.  This second sequel  basically gives us the apocalyptic Transformers epic we've been waiting for since… Read full post »
For better or worse, X-Men: First Class performed like an X-Men picture in its debut weekend, at least in terms of staying power.  Like X-Men parts 1, 2, and 4, it had just over a 2.5x weekend multiplier (X-Men: The Last Stand had a mere 2.2x weekend multiplier).  Actually,… Read full post »
X-Men: First Class
2011
132 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

I have no idea how 20th Century Fox plans to fit X-Men: First Class into the mythology of the previous X-Men pictures.  It theoretically works as a prequel to the first three films, even as… Read full post »
Kung Fu Panda 2
2011
90 minutes
rated PG

by Scott Mendelson

Kung Fu Panda 2 is a textbook example of how to do a sequel right.  It remembers that it is a second chapter and allows the characters to grow and change accordingly.  It… Read full post »
APRIL 28, 2011 1:53AM

Open Salon review: Fast Five (2011)

Fast Five
2011
130 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Fast Five is frankly something of a miracle.  Here is the fifth entry of a ten-year old franchise that has rarely surpassed mediocrity, but which now offers up a chapter that borders on genuine greatness.  Here… Read full post »