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Review: ‘Jason Bourne’ Makes a Clumsy and Tiresome Return to Form

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Jason Bourne MovieSpoon.com

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’m sure there’s a sense of wholeness with Matt Damon returning to the role of Jason Bourne and Paul Greengrass returning to direct in Jason Bourne. After leaving the Bourne saga for nearly a decade, one might think they would return to the franchise with fresh ideas for the character and his world.

Jason Bourne MovieSpoon.com

A familiar face in a perhaps too familiar role.

What has he been doing this whole time? What is the CIA doing about their rogue member of the secret program? How has the current state of privacy and terrorism affected their operations? Sadly, not much has changed; its just business as usual for the cat-and-mouse chase with the same old tricks.

The movie starts strong with a solid level of intrigue. Jason Bourne (Damon) finds himself living off the grid in Europe while his former contact Nicky (Julia Stiles) uncovers secret files from the CIA. While digging for information on the new secret program Ironhand, Nicky discovers the old files for the Treadstone program, which reveals a hideous secret of Bourne’s past.

To prevent these secrets from being leaked, the CIA mobilizes a tactical assault against Bourne with special agent Asset (Vincent Cassel), a man who has a personal vendetta with Bourne. Why does Asset so badly want to see Bourne dead? What was Bourne not told about when joining the Treadstone program? What is project Ironhand?

Jason Bourne MovieSpoon.com

Action is put at the forefront in ‘Jason Bourne.’

These are all questions that are entertaining to ponder amid all the action antics of Bourne avoiding CIA capture/assassination, but they’re given very standard answers. The mystery is almost entirely divulged by the second act as if to clear the third for all the action. Jason’s past turns out to be nothing all that special as a predictable puzzle to solve. So simple is this spy pathos that Bourne could have figured out most of this if he just thought hard enough about every spy backstory ever written.

Which brings up my biggest qualm with the Bourne series: the repetitiveness of it all. The old cliché of a rogue agent questioning a pawn in this deadly game is trotted out without cleverness. Bourne knows this pawn will die during the questioning. The CIA knows the pawn will die during the questioning. The pawn knows he will die during the questioning. We know the pawn will die during the questioning. If everybody in and out of the movie expects this, where is the tension?

The CIA keeps talking about Bourne as a dangerous force they’re familiar with and yet they have learned nothing in their many dealings with this super spy over the years. For instance, wouldn’t they pick up on the old disguise of throwing on a ball cap and looking down to blend into a crowd?

Read more to watch the trailer for Jason Bourne:

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Have you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. 😉

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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