Happy Easter folks, and welcome to another The Week in Review column. It was another interesting week in Hollywood. We got an official {/news/0/.phpid=3357|release date on the last chapter of the Star Wars saga}. It looks like The Simpsons movie is more far off than we thought... And it looks like the Tomb Raider series has found its own tomb. But there was a whole lot more than went down in Hollywood this week. So let’s take a look, but first, lets check out the box office numbers for this holiday weekend.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

It looks like moviegoers have a sense of irony after all. The Passion of the Christ, which basically takes place on the first Easter weekend, reclaimed the top spot at the box office. The Mel Gibson film took in an estimated $17.08 million in its 7th weekend in release, jumping an estimated 61.1 percent from its gross last weekend. It was the 2nd highest 7th weekend gross in movie history, right behind Titanic, which took in $25.9 million in its 7th weekend. I can’t say that The Passion taking over the top spot isn’t a total surprise, being Easter and all. But lets just say that seeing a depiction of Christ suffering isn’t exactly my kind of an Easter holiday. Just get me some Cadbury eggs or something…

The new films of the week didn’t fare very well at all, though. The Alamo tied for 3rd place with another new film Johnson’s Family Vacation. Both flicks estimated $9.2 million in their debut weekends. The other 3 new films took up the bottom 3 spots in the top 10. The Whole Ten Yards took 8th place with an estimated gross of $6.7 million. Ella Enchanted came in 9th place with a $6.1 million estimated gross. And The Girl Next Door, which had the best reviews out of the 5 new films (61% “Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes), could only muster a 10th place finish, grossing an estimated $6 million. I guess people would rather see a 2-hour torture flick instead of a gorgeous girl who used to be a porn star. Who knew?

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GOING LIVE

There isn’t a whole lot new in this area this week. Only one official movie site had some updates. And that is the site for the Kill Bill sequel. The site has a pretty cool Flash intro, and once you’re inside, you can watch the trailer, view a photo gallery, download wallpapers, sign up to get on the mailing list for the soundtrack and get a link to the Miramax site where you can buy some Kill Bill merchandise. There are also sections for Cast and Crew and Press Notes but there is nothing there yet. Also, if you click on the little thing that says White Lotus Mountain on the main page, you get a little background info on one of the samurai masters. Overall, this is a pretty cool site, but it’ll probably be cooler once they add more.

TRAILER PARK

There were a few new trailers that popped up on MovieWeb this week.

The Manchurian Candidate: First up is the trailer for the remake of The Manchurian Candidate, starring Denzel Washington. This looks like a pretty slick thriller with a great cast (Denzel, Liev Schreiber, Jon Voight, Meryl Streep). You can check out the movie on July 30.

Kill Bill Vol. 2: Next up is the new trailer for Kill Bill: Volume 2. OK, so the TV spots for this movie are a tad on the dumb side, but this new trailer is just awesome. I just loved the first movie, and the second looks like it won’t disappoint as well. You can check out all the action next Friday, April 16.

Spider-Man 2: Next up is the new trailer for Spider-Man 2. This is a wonderful trailer, and the movie looks darker and more dramatic than the first popcorn flick. But the action looks just as great as the first movie, with a cooler villain in Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. Check out all the web-slinging action on June 30.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring: There was a very odd trailer added for a movie with a very odd title, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring. The trailer starts out with some praising testimonials, but we don’t get much in the trailer, besides the fact that they have 4 seasons in Asia like everybody else. I don’t really know what to make of this, but check it out for yourself.

De-Lovely: And lastly we have the trailer for De-Lovely, the biopic of the music composer Cole Porter. This looks pretty schmaltzy and it looks like MGM’s stab at Chicago’s success. I guess we’ll have to wait until June 25 to find out for sure.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

This week there is a tie for the Best News of the Week, because I’m just super-pumped about both of these news items. The first is the news that Michael Chiklis, best known as the hard-nosed Vic Mackey on the hit TV drama The Shield, is in talks to play The Thing in The Fantastic Four. The other one is the news that Pierce Brosnan is talking with maverick director Quentin Tarantino to direct his last Bond flick.

First up, The Shield is my favorite show on television, and Chiklis portrays Mackey just wonderfully. I don’t think the fabulous writing on the show gets enough props, but that’s a different story. But from what I remember about The Fantastic Four, I think that Chiklis would be just a perfect choice for this role. He has the size and he definitely has the talent to shine in this role.

Quentin Tarantino directing a Bond movie? Hell yeah, man! QT makes some good points about the Bond franchise in the interview, and it would be just wonderful to see him direct a throwback to the old-school Bond movies. QT is just great in handling action scenes while not dumbing the movie down to the lowest common denominator, which is a direction that the Bond franchise has seemed to going in. He said there’s “a thin chance” that he would take this on, but if he did it would be fabulous.

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

This one is easy this week: the possibility of yet another Police Academy movie. Why Lord why???!!! The first few movies were pretty funny, but the franchise dropped off quicker than Johnny Knoxville falling out of a shopping cart. In the interview, Bubba Smith said that the cast all wants to do this. Well, of course they do! When was the last time you’ve seen any of those people in a movie? Lets just hope this project just fades away…

MOST UNFORTUNATE NEWS OF THE WEEK

This isn’t really “bad” news, per se, but it’s just too bad that it happened. And that is the possibility that Robert Rodriguez won’t be able to direct The Princess of Mars. This is really too bad, because Rodriguez is a great director, and if he has to bow out of this picture, just because he resigned from the Directors Guild of America, it would really be a shame. Lets hope that they come up with a solution to this dilemma…

Well that’s all for this week, folks. Come on by next week for more of the highs and lows of Hollywood. From the far side of the bizarre ride, this is your Movie Freak, signing off.