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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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 »
With the solid $26.2 million opening weekend of Bridesmaids (review) officially cementing the film as a genuine hit, let us take a moment to examine one of the more consistent bits of absurdity that has surrounded the film's release, that the film was some kind of female version o… 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 »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 18, 2011 10:47AM

Open Salon Review: Scream 4 (2011)

Scream 4
2011
110 minutes
rated R

by Scott Mendelson

It is rare that a film spends such a large chunk of its running time basically admonishing its own existence.  Yet Wes Craven's return to the world of Scream is not only a relatively unnecessary franchise revival,… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 4, 2011 6:24PM

Why the studios' Video On Demand scheme is doomed.

I know when I saw that fantastic Green Lantern footage on Saturday, my first thought was "Wow, I can't wait to watch that in my home just sixty days after theatrical opening day for just $30!".  Fox, Warner Bros, Sony, and Universal announced last week that they will begin offering… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 28, 2011 9:56AM

MPAA: Women enjoying sex = R. Women hating sex: PG-13.

There's a choice quote in this Emily Browning interview over at Nylon Magazine, which was reported by Cinemablend that merits a mention.  Its implications are kinda shocking,.  The crux is the discussion of changes that Zach Snyder had to make in order to ensure Sucker Punch (reviewRead full post »
Sucker Punch
2011
115 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Zach Snyder's Sucker Punch is an experiment and a question: Is is possible to make a female-driven action fantasy without falling prey to certain misogynistic messaging?  Just as its difficult to make an anti-war film becaus… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
MARCH 11, 2011 9:52AM

Open Salon Review: Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

Battle: Los Angeles
2011
116 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Rare is the movie that loses points for being too realistic.  But Jonathan Liebesman's alien invasion picture feels less like an epic and more like a genuinely plausible war picture.  This is not a bad thing,… Read full post »
Red Riding Hood
2011
100 minutes
rated PG-13

by Scott Mendelson

Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood is a picture that works in spite of itself.  Much of the acting is overly formal and stilted, the film looks claustrophobic and stage bound, and the narrative flirts with societ… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 18, 2011 10:34AM

Blu Ray review: All-Star Superman (2011)

All-Star Superman
2011
75 minutes
rated PG (violence, action, sensuality, language, and brief innuendo)
Available from WHV on February 22nd on DVD, Blu Ray, iTunes, and OnDemand

by Scott Mendelson

If you ask most casual comic book fans to name their favorite Superman story, they are likely… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 17, 2011 9:57AM

Justin Bieber's attempt at nuance in a soundbite era...

This is the first, and hopefully last article I'll be writing about Mr. Bieber that doesn't involve his present and future film projects. I have nothing against the kid, but I have no more business discussing Bieber's worth as a musician than I do discussing LeBron James's first year on… Read full post »
 
Today, Dennis Kucinich and the Tea Partiers were on the same side.  If Obama wants to be on the wrong side of this issue (as he seems to be on the wrong side in nearly every aspect of the 'War on Terror'), then so be it.  But the House
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 3, 2011 12:37AM

Wonder Woman comes to TV, where female superheroes thrive.

I have written a couple times about the David E. Kelly Wonder Woman reboot that is apparently scheduled for this fall on NBC.  The show will allegedly involve a somewhat 'realistic' take on the Amazon warrior, with Diana being a CEO by day and a vigilante at night.  The pilot… Read full post »
JANUARY 31, 2011 10:56AM

Open Salon Box Office Review (01/30/11)

While there were two major openers over the weekend and both of them opened within expectations, the real news was the performance of the various Oscar nominees that were in a position to capitalize on last week's nominations.  Generally speaking, the news was good all around.  Topp… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 25, 2011 10:38AM

Mostly Good News: Thoughts on the Oscar nominations.

Is Chris Nolan the new Steven Spielberg?  Inception received eight nominations, including Best Picture, but Nolan failed to receive a directing nod this morning.  That is arguably the biggest surprise in the otherwise predictable batch of Oscar nominations today.  Even as someo
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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 24, 2011 10:26AM

Open Salon Box Office Review (01/23/11)

As the lone new wide-release of the weekend, the Ivan Reitman romantic-comedy, No Strings Attached, debuted with $20.3 million.  The $25 million picture was a solid win for both Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.  Portman probably deserves credit, as this was the first mainstream p… Read full post »
Collider is reporting that Summit Entertainment has hired Jon and Erich Hoeber to pen a sequel to their hit comic book adaptation Red.  As you recall, the film opened to around $22 million in mid-October and stuck around seemingly forever, ending up with $90 million in domestic grosses
Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 12, 2011 2:58AM

Open Salon Review: The Green Hornet (2011)

The Green Hornet
2011
119 minutes
Rated PG-13
by Scott Mendelson

There is a refreshing quaintness to Michel Gondry's The Green Hornet.  In an age where every comic book adaptation and/or superhero adventure story sets out to be the biggest, most explosive, most fx-filled, most fantastic
Read full post »
The Wolfman, Salt, Knight and Day, The A-Team, and The Town.  What do these films have in common?  Not too much, except I saw all of them in theaters, all on my own dime and (more importantly) on my own time.  I enjoyed The A-Team and kinda-sorta liked Knight andRead full post »
It's not a little sad and a lot ironic.  Say what you will about Bob and Harvey Weinsten and Miramax, but they made their fortune and glory in the 1990s by making or distributing quirky and offbeat material, original stories with often original ideas.  They gave us The Crying
Read full post »
DECEMBER 14, 2010 3:03AM

Open Salon Review: Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron: Legacy: an IMAX 3D Experience
2010
125 minutes
rated PG
by Scott Mendelson

Tron: Legacy almost operates as a litmus test for how much we will tolerate in our tent-pole film making.  Just how much bad dialogue, poor acting, inexplicable plotting, and emotionally-vapid characteriz
Read full post »
DECEMBER 13, 2010 10:17AM

Open Salon Box Office Review (12/12/10)

It was a gruesome weekend for wide releases, as two sure-fire openers underperformed, which frankly ought to make Disney very nervous for next weekend.  Debuting at a somewhat soft number one was The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  The picture is the third in the… Read full post »