Too much time and effort in Cinemaland is wasted turning film into a game of winners and losers; Movie X made Y dollars so it matters more than Movie Z. But a film is way more than its box-office total. Some of the best movies released in 2016 failed to meet their financial expectations.
2016 is almost over and with everything else going on in the world, you probably don’t have too much time to devote to picking through all the movies that are available and deciding which one to watch. That’s where our new series, On Demand With ScreenCrush, comes in. Every two weeks, ScreenCrush Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer joins you to recommend three handpicked new titles you can watch at home right now from Movies on Demand. These are big new releases you won’t find streaming on Netflix, and the choices run the gamut from indie favorites, to major blockbusters, to insightful documentaries, and everything in between — all available with your remote.
And thus the 2016 summer movie season ended in a manner that reflected these past few months as a whole : with a whimper. Despite three new releases, the rapidly tumbling Suicide Squad clung to the top spot, with last week’s runner-up, the raunchy animated film Sausage Party, once again coming in second place. It was a tough weekend for War Dogs, Kubo and the Two Strings, and Ben-Hur, each of which limped into the top 10 with unspectacular numbers.
Among the review quotes on the Amazon page for Guy Lawson’s Arms and the Dudes about a pair of stoners from Miami who became international arms dealers, is one from the magazine Mother Jones. “It sounds like a comedy flick.” It does, and now it is; War Dogs from director Todd Phillips. As the man who made Old School and The Hangover series, Phillips is a specialist in stories about men of limited intelligence and limitless ability to get into trouble. Finding the story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, two ambitious bros who smooth-talked their way into a massive deal with the Pentagon supplying millions of rounds of ammunition to the Afghan military, must have felt like a gift from God. If Phillips and his screenwriters had simply invented these guys and their improbable rise to the top of the American military supply chain, no one would have believed it. But a look at the Rolling Stone article Lawson later expanded into his book confirms that a shocking amount of the events in this movie really happened.
War Dogs doesn’t sound like the title of a movie by Todd Phillips, the guy behind The Hangover trilogy. But the story from Rolling Stone it’s based on definitely does: “Arms and the Dudes.”
Formerly known as Arms and the Dudes, the first trailer for War Dogs starring Miles Teller and Jonah Hill has arrived, teasing a slight change of pace for The Hangover director Todd Phillips — well, not so slight. It’s still a fairly rowdy and absurd comedy with a crude streak, but this one is based on an unbelievable true story.