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'Hotel Transylvania 3' & 'Skyscraper' Aim to Top Weekend Box Office
SATURDAY AM UPDATE: Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation took in an estimated $16.65 million on Friday and is expected to finish the weekend with $43 million (including $1.3 million in Amazon Prime showings and $2.6 million in Thursday night previews. Universal and Legendary's Skyscraper is struggling in its opening weekend, taking in an estimated $9.26 million on Friday and looking at a three-day weekend around $25 million. This comes up well short of Mojo's ...

'Hotel Transylvania 3' Tops Weekend Box Office While 'Skyscraper' Struggles
Sony Animation's Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation continued the franchise tradition of debuting atop the weekend box office and doing so with over $40 million over the three-day. The weekend also featured a strong expansion from Annapurna's Sorry to Bother You, which landed in seventh position on the weekend chart, but unfortunately for Universal's Skyscraper, the weekend's other new wide release, it struggled over its opening weekend, failing to meet the studio's expectations, delive...

A review of Limbo
by Robert A. Fulkerson

Set in the picturesque landscape of Alaska, Limbo is a slice-of-life movie with a twist. During the first half of the movie, we meet Joe Gastineau (David Straithairn, L.A. Confidential), a fisherman who hasn't been on a boat in 25 years because of an accident that has forever changed his life. He is currently working as a handyman for two lesbians who recently moved to the area from Seattle. Into his life stumbles Donna De Angelo (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robin Hood : Prince of Thieves), a club singer who is on a "one year tour of the north". Her daughter, Noelle (Vanessa Martinez, Lone Star), who is not pleased with her mother's choice of boyfriends, works with Joe catering parties.

Director: John Sayles

Stars: Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, David Strathairn, Vanessa Martinez, Kris Kristofferson

Rating: R

Release: 06-04-1999

Time: 126 minutes

Buy Movie at Donna and Joe meet as she's finishing a gig at a wedding, where she breaks up with her current boyfriend onstage. "I need to get out of here before I lose it," she explains to Joe, who proceeds to drive her into town so she can pick up her belongings and move them out of her boyfriend's place.

We meet quite a few of the townsfolk over the course of the first part of the movie. The local cannery has just been shut down, putting a number of the locals out of work, where they now occupy permanent spots on barstools. An entrepreneur wants to turn the Alaska wilderness into a theme park a la Walt Disney. The two lesbians want to start making money with a boat they acquired in a trade.

Joe is a very quiet man, unsure of what the world will deal to him next. In high school, he had a promising career as a star basketball player until he damaged his knee. He then had a love of the fishing life until his boat sank and two of his crew perished. He's wary and at the same time excited by the prospect of a romance with Donna.

The familiarity of the characters in his movie leads us to believe that we know exactly where writer-director John Sayles (Lone Star) will be taking them. But, just as things are starting to look up for the three of them, fate throws them a curve. Joe's half-brother Bobby breezes into town and enlists his brother's help in captaining a boat ride for a business deal of his that's going down. Thinking that it might help smooth things over with Noelle, Joe invites her and her mother along for a pleasant cruise along the Alaskan shore.

Apparently, however, the trip isn't as innocent as it seemed back on dry land. After weathering a rough storm at sea, Bobby informs his brother that he's gotten mixed up with some bad people. Shortly thereafter, Joe, Donna and Noelle find themselves frantically swimming to shore for their lives and then hiding in the wilderness on an island that no one ever visits.

This last segment of the film allows the three individuals to really explore who they are and what kinds of relationships they're willing to form with each other despite the emotional baggage most of them are carrying with them. Mother and daughter are able to reconcile some of their differences with the help of a diary that was found in an abandoned cabin that the trio ends up staying in. Joe and Donna, despite the fact that he is constantly wary of what's just around the corner and she is always trying to look for a positive spin on everything, learn to accept fate and the imperfections of each other and themselves.

Yet Sayles, with his unconventional ending and masterful eye for detail, then asks the audience to question how we accept fate. Can we deal with the unknown? Can we accept that, even though the possibility of salvation is high, it's entirely possible that it could never come? When the lights came up in the theater, there were many who were vocally shocked and frustrated with the final shot of the movie. Which is understandable, given the way most American movie-goers need to have every resolution spoon-fed to them. But if Sayles had ended it any other way, it would have been contrived and disappointing. As the title of the movie suggests, we are left in a state of limbo as we leave the theater, wanting more, but not knowing exactly what it is that we want.