It was another week filled with movie news, box office numbers, new official movie websites and new trailers. So lets get started with the some of the best and worst movie news of the week, with Notables.
"Snyder to helm Rainbow Six for Paramount" - Monday, March 28
This Tom Clancy adaptation has been gestating on the shelf for 6 years or so, but I think this could work. This Tom Clark character that is the main focus of the book and popular video game series that sprung from the book, has been featured in two of the movies in the Jack Ryan series. Willem Dafoe played Clark in 1994's Clear and Present Danger and Liev Schrieber played him in 2002's The Sum of All Fears I think Schrieber was a good fit for the Clark character, and it will be interesting to see if Snyder will cast him here. Snyder made a fabulous directorial debut in the Dawn of the Dead remake, and I think he'll be a great fit here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Orlando Bloom to play early 007?" - Monday, March 28
I just don't know about this one. He just doesn't have that suave look that a Bond needs, even if this is a younger Bond. If I saw him walk into a bar, I'd expect him to order a Zima, not a shaken martini. He's too lanky for the role and based off his past work, he doesn't have any of the qualities that you'd expect out of a James Bond, with the exception of an English accent. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy Bloom's work, and I think he's a pretty good actor. But a role like Bond must be chosen very carefully, because of the legacy that is attatched to it. Sorry Orlando, but you just don't fit the bill. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Ray Producer to take swing at Untitled Jackie Robinson pic" - Tuesday, March 29
This kind of project has Oscar written all over it. The pic's director, Robert Redford, is no stranger to Oscar either, winning a Best Director Oscar for the 1980 Best Picture winner, Ordinary People. Casting will be crucial here (might I suggest the wonderful Derek Luke, perhaps?), but the story has massive familiarity going for it, and should attract a vast audience. I'll be keeping a close eye on casting for this one and this sounds like a winner already. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Russell Crowe and Ron Howard together for a third time?" - Tuesday, March 29
Lately, Crowe has only been picking flicks that will get him his second Oscar, but I just don't see this as being one of those movies. It sounds a lot like a loose, dramatic version of
Bruce Almighty. Howard is a fine director, though, and the price that this spec script fetched is rather impressive, but I just don't have a good feeling about this one. I think this one will also hinge on the success of their upcoming collaboration, Cinderella Man, especially with Howard's last flick, The Missing, tanking at the box office. I still don't have a good feeling about this one, though. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Shyamalan courting Giamatti for Lady in the Water" - Wednesday, March 30
This is some wonderful news, folks. Despite his unwarranted Oscar snubs in the past two years, Giamatti has established himself as perhaps the best character actor working today. He has a broad range, but he has a knack for playing these downtrodden characters. Here, Night wants him for a building super. How perfect a fit is that for Giamatti? I hope they get him, because I would love to see how Giamatti would do under Night's direction, and how he would work with Bryce Dallas Howard. Best News of the Week.
"Vince Vaughn signs onto to new Universal comedy" - Friday, April 1
When you think of the word "wiseass" and then think of the actor who can best portray one, Vince Vaughn comes to mind in less than an instant. He is the perfect on-screen wiseass, and it's no shock that he's cast in this new comedy, with him to play a talk radio host. The interesting part about this project is the writer-director, David O. Russell. He has flirted with the "mainstream" only once with 1999's Three Kings, but it looks like he's ready for another courtship with a mass audience, and he has just the actor to make it work. I can't wait to see how Vaughn plays with Russell's unique brand of comedy, and to see if this brand of comedy will be popular with a mass audience. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Moviegoers put their April Fools Day shenanigans aside and took a little trip to Sin City. The Robert Rodriguez/Frank Miller flick took the top spot at the box office this weekend, grossing an estimated $28.1 million in its opening weekend. The ensemble comic adaptation was shown in 3,230 theaters and scored a healthy $8,706 per-screen average. The flick ran away from the competition, or lack thereof, grossing almost $15 million over the second-place finisher, Beauty Shop. Budget figures weren't release for Sin City, but with a weak month of April ahead, I think a truckload of greenbacks will be on its way to Sin City.
The only other new release this weekend, Beauty Shop, took the second spot, grossing an estimated $13.5 million. While this number might indicate a trouncing at the box office, Shop still did perform decently. It was shown in almost 600 fewer theaters than Sin City and third place finisher Guess Who, but it posted the second highest per-screen average ($5,077) behind Sin City, and outgrossed Guess Who by about a half-million bucks. Budget numbers weren't released for this flick either, but if it continues to perform decently, it could turn a profit.
There were no other new releases this weekend, but another flick has slowly been crawling up the charts. The Upside of Anger has finally seen the upside of the top 10 this weekend for the first time in its four weeks in release. The Kevin Costner/Joan Allen comedy took the 8th spot this weekend, grossing an estimated $4.1 million. This jump was likely due to a whopping jump in theater count, going from 167 theaters last weekend to 1,111 this weekend. The flick earned 230% more than it's take last weekend. With this huge increase, it will be interesting to see how much its theater count jumps next weekend, and if it will continue to leapfrog up the box office charts.
Dammit! Another stupid teaser site. And I was really looking forward to this site, especially after seeing the intriguing trailer attatched to Sin City. All that we have here is a photo that could be one-sheet material, and the trailer. Of course, it says "Coming Soon" at the bottom, but who knows how soon it will be. But, for now, there is just nothing here.
Argh! Two in a row! There is even less here with a picture of supposedly the two main characters...and that's it! What a waste of bandwith...
Dammit! We have a hat-trick here. There is at least a message board here, and the heartwarming assurance that the site is "coming soon," but this sure is getting annoying.
Yes! No pun intended...well, ok, it was intended, but we actually have a real website here people! First off, they have this cool little thing where a string of "yes" words follow your mouse around. That alone makes it better than the other sites this week, but yes, there is more. On the main site, they start you off with a brief synopsis, and you can also watch the trailer there too. Below the trailer, there are a few weird links, with pictures of the characters, and when you click on them, it gets even weirder. For each character there is a little poem, but if you run your mouse over a line, you see some text come in between the lines, hence a creative way of expressing "reading between the lines." After that, there are some menus at the top. Click on Cast for a nice bio of each of the main actors, Filmmakers is the same sort of bio's, but for the crew, About Yes is a note from the director Sally Potter about the creation of the film, and some Q&A sessions from film festivals. Reviews features some quotes from some of the nation's top critics, Screenings gives you some info on where you can see the flick and Yes Diary are some writings from Sally Potter as she travels the festival circuit with her film. You can also write a message to Potter here as well. Overall, this isn't really a very flashy site, but there is a little bit of style, and some decent content. Yes opens on June 24 in limited release.
Hey, two good ones in a row! We're on a roll, people. This is a great site, but it's more for style then content. There is really no info on the movie here. The site is basically a site for the fictitious factory that Willy Wonka runs. They have some cute little features on the main page, like on the upper right corner there is a picture of Depp as Wonka that says Employee of the Month. Click on the arrows below it and you can see who else was employee of the month before him....Click on Factory Promotions, and all you see is the letter from Wonka to kids explaining the Golden Ticket. Click on Factory Tour and you are informed that you can't go on one, because you don't have a Golden Ticket. In Factory Store, there are three wallpapers you can download. There are other wallpapers, and AIM Icons and a screensaver, but they are all coming soon. The only other thing here is at the bottom, you click on Careers for some fake, yet quite entertaining job listings at Wonka Inc. There isn't any info on the movie here, but this is a fun little site that will probably be updated regularly before this hits theaters on July 15.
I don't know what the deal is this week. Only two good websites out of five, and for Trailer Park, there is only one frickin trailer! To top it off, it's a trailer for a sequel to a movie that I never saw. It's a rough job, but someone's gotta do it...
This looks like an interesting gangsta flick, with a rapper-ladened cast. You won't find Snoop Dog or Dre among this cast, though, because it looks like it's mostly east coast rappers. I haven't seen the first flick, but I might have to rent it, because the sequel looks fairly interesting. It's directed by Damon Dash, the CEO of Jay-Z's Rock-a-Fella Records, but he has directed movies before, and it looks like he has an interesting style. We haven't seen much of these urban ganster dramas in the past few years, so this looks like it might be worth a look. State Property 2 opens on April 13 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough choice this week, but I'm going with Vince Vaughn's new role for New Line as my Best News of the Week. Vaughn has been simply golden on the silver screen since his breakthrough role in Swingers. He's primarily known as a funnyman, but he does have some nice range that we see every now and then, like his creepy turn in the otherwise dull Domestic Disturbance. But even for how funny he is, he doesn't do a lot of physical comedy, and it sounds like he'll be delving into that arena some with this project. His delivery is just funny as is, but when you add this aspect to it, it could be some of his funniest work.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
This week I'm taking Orlando Bloom possibly donning the big-kid tuxedo as 007. Some people just aren't right for certain roles, and it has nothing to do with their talent. Is Bloom a good enough actor to play James Bond? Sure. But Bond is probably the only role out there where the "look" of the actor is even more important than how talented the actor is. Paul Giamatti is one of the best actors around. Can you see him as James Bond? Of course not. I guess this is more of a prequel to the whole Bond series, and I doubt it would be considered a part of the vast Bond series. I just can't see him playing suave and smooth at all. His eyes are too frickin big, for one, and that classic Bond squint that Pierce Brosnan did so well, would look like Bloom had a huge dump coming on. Just cast some super-cool young Brit that no one knows about, and stop talking about Legolas working for MI6.
Well, that's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official movie websites, trailers and, of course, the best and worst news of the week. Take care, folks, and always remember: if it looks like a good time, sounds like a good time and feels like a good time...it probably isn't free.