ANOTHER WHOLLY HANNAH WEEKEND?
It's still playing in only 683 3-D-equipped theaters, but Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour could still give the latest newcomers a run for the money in its second week. Few box-office forecasters are hazarding a prediction on how well the movie will do. "There's really no precedent for the pic," commented Daily Variety, presumably meaning that no other 3-D concert film with a huge tween fan base -- many of whom have already seen the film several times since it opened last week -- has ever hit theaters before. It also has no direct challenge. Without Hannah in the picture, the most likely winner would have been the romantic adventure flick Fool's Gold, starring Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson, which is opening in 3,125 theaters a week ahead of Valentine's Day (but is receiving an arrow through the heart from critics). It's expected to earn $19-23 million. Another strong challenge is expected to come from Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, starring Martin Lawrence. Also opening in limited release is the Sundance Film Festival favorite In Bruges.
MOVIE REVIEWS: FOOL'S GOLD
The biggest attraction of Fool's Gold, A.O. Scott of the New York Times suggests, may be "the tawny limbs and perfect bellybuttons of the stars, Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson." Other than that, Scott indicates, the film exhibits a "frantic creative desperation that tries to pass itself off as giddy comic exuberance." Actually, Scott's is one of the better reviews of the movie. Most of the critics lambaste not only the film's plot but its stars as well. Bob Strauss in the Los Angeles Daily News refers to them as "blond tanning prodigies." Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News suggests that McConaughey's "heart clearly isn't in acting right now, so when it was time to make Fool's Gold, he asked his abs to do the job for him." Similarly, Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe comments that when his mind wandered during the film, "I thought about admiring the hard work McConaughey did for this picture and how all that work appears to have gone into his abs." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post begins his review by remarking, "The title of the excruciatingly lame and laughless romantic comedy/adventure Fool's Gold surely deserves some kind of an award for truth in advertising." And Carrie Rickey of the Philadelphia Inquirer ends her review by commenting, "I can't think of why anyone would want to endure this soggy mess."
MOVIE REVIEWS: WELCOME HOME, ROSCOE JENKINS
Like most of Martin Lawrence's films, Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins is receiving mixed notices from critics. But Kyle Smith of the New York Post, who has never given a Lawrence film a positive review, comments, "Bouncing off the subterranean floor of my expectations, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins turns out to be formulaic and broad but also skillfully paced and big-hearted." On the other hand, Kevin Crust in the Los Angeles Times writes somewhat grudgingly, "Drawn in extremely broad strokes with an enthusiastic cast vying for most-over-the-top honors, this rude family comedy throws so many jokes and gags at the screen, a few are bound to stick." The film is expected to perform strongly in African-American communities, but Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe, one of the country's few black movie critics, remarks: "This is one of those your-roots-are-showing family circuses where just about everybody seems like a clown." Desson Thomson in the Washington Post finds much to like about the movie but overall also regards it as formulaic. "A wickedly talented comedian, Lawrence has leaned all too easily on the tried and trite," he writes.
DAY-LEWIS DEFENDS BLOOD'S CONTROVERSIAL ENDING
Although some critics have complained that Daniel Day-Lewis's performance at the conclusion of There Will Be Blood reels completely out of character, Day-Lewis himself said today (Friday) that he supported writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's decision to end the Oscar-nominated film the way that he did. "I was cheering Paul before I even met him to take the story to that conclusion," he told a news conference at the Berlin Film Festival, where he said that "the deal was done" for him to appear in the movie from the moment he read the script. Nevertheless, he said, he worried that the controversy surrounding the ending might dim the film's prospects for award nominations. Fortunately, he said, the Coen Brothers produced a rival film with a "more controversial ending than ours. Our controversy has been eclipsed by theirs!" he remarked. Anderson disclosed that the scene was filmed in a private bowling alley located in the Greystone Mansion, the largest estate ever built in Beverly Hills, CA and the onetime residence of oilman E.L. Doheny. He said that the film company refurbished the bowling alley, bringing it back to its original condition. (Although the grounds of the mansion are a favorite tourist attraction, the interior is closed to the public.)