Greetings from sunny Minnesota…seriously, it’s sunny today, surprisingly. It’s time for another Week in Review column. It’s been another interesting week for movie news. It looks like Kevin Smith might have found his Green Hornet. A bunch of stars might be signing on to Robert Rodriguez’s new project. And John Woo and Hugh Jackman might be singing a different tune…literally. But a lot more than those stories happened in Hollywood this week. But first, let’s take a look at who sizzled and who fizzled at the box-office this weekend.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

It looks like it took a bunch of zombies to finally overtake Christ…at the theater, I mean. Who knew? Dawn of the Dead, the remake of the zombie classic, took first place for the weekend, ending The Passion of the Christ’s 3-week run at the top. Dawn of the Dead took in an estimated $27.3 million in its first weekend in release. And the movie was released in almost 500 fewer theaters then The Passion of the Christ, averaging almost $10,000 per screen. The Passion of the Christ came in second place, grossing an estimated $19.1 million in its fourth weekend in release. After seeing Christ tortured for 3 weeks, seeing zombies bite people seems like a natural progression...

The week’s other two new movies didn’t fare quite as well. Taking Lives, the new Angelina Jolie thriller took the bronze medal in third place, grossing an estimated $11.4 million in its debut weekend. And Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind might take home the prize for the longest/weirdest title, but it only took 6th place at the box-office, grossing an estimated $8.5 million in its first weekend. I guess longer isn’t always better…

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

While the reunion of Denzel Washington and director Antione Fuqua is great news, the best news of the week has to be Tom Cruise, Steven Speilberg and one of my favorite screenwriters David Koepp teaming up on War of the Worlds. This will be a very interesting project to keep an eye on. With Koepp adapting the legendary story to the big screen and with Speilberg directing Cruise, this could shape up to be a huge success, which, quite frankly, is something that Koepp and Cruise could probably use. I personally just loved Koepp’s Secret Window and Cruise’s The Last Samurai, but many others thought otherwise, as they both weren’t welcomed to warmly by other critics and audiences alike. This project could put them both back on top of the Hollywood heap, although I think they should be on top now anyway…

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Some of the bad news this week seems to center around George Clooney, for some reason. But Clooney in a Pet Semetary remake and in a Magnum P.I. movie doesn’t sound too good to me. But the worst news of the week is Chris Tucker fishing for work after a long reprieve in movies. Now I’m a pretty big Chris Tucker fan, actually. He’s a very funny actor who has had much success. But he hasn’t been in a movie since Rush Hour 2 in 2001 and he has basically dropped off the Hollywood radar. Now he just appears out of nowhere (apparently, he went to New Line personally to pitch the Money Talks sequel) and wants to do a sequel to a movie from 7 years ago? And wanting his old asking price of $20 million? Where has this guy been, seriously? Money Talks was pretty funny, but is it sequel material? Not really. And he wants to do Rush Hour 3 too. Jackie Chan’s martial arts isn’t nearly as cool in his American movies and there's only so much of Tucker’s abrasive comedy you can take without reaching for the earplugs. I think it’s time to look for a new co-star, Chris, or, God forbid, you could try to, you know, be a lead actor and carry a movie by yourself without looking for someone else to do your Scarface impression to…

WEIRDEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

When I saw this news bit, it wasn’t bad or good, and I just had to add this category this week to include it in my column. And that news bit is Robert Rodriguez leaving the Directors Guild of America so he could co-direct his new movie Sin City with comic book guru Frank Miller. This just kind of took me for a loop. I mean, Miller has never directed a feature film before, and I thought it was odd that Rodriguez would part ways with the DGA just because they wouldn’t let him co-direct with Miller. Sin City does look to be a pretty solid movie, with all the possible casting additions, but it will be interesting to see what Rodriguez and Miller can come up with. If I was a betting man, I’d be willing to put money down that Rodriguez’s buddy Quentin Tarantino might have had some influence in this decision to leave the DGA. Tarantino refuses to join the guild, which prevented him from directing an episode of The X-Files in 1996. Tarantino and Rodriguez go way back, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tarantino had something to do with this.

Well, that’s all for this week, folks. Surf on by next week for more of the good and bad news from Hollywood. Same Bat time, same Bat…umm, website. From the far side of the bizarre ride, this is your Movie Freak, signing off.