Another seven days has come and gone, and it has brought us a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Before we get into all that, let's check out what I watched last week.
WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH LAST WEEK?
My Young Auntie
You remember Kung Fu Week last week... actually, two weeks ago? Well... this was the last one in the series that I just couldn't get to and I reviewed early this past week. Another Shaw Brothers Classic that shows you a different side to the brothers as well as director Liu Chia-Liang in this kung fu comedy with the female heroine. It's a rather entertaining little flick, much smaller in scope and lighter in tone than we've seen in Dragon Dynasty. CLICK HERE for my full review.
I finally saw this latest collaboration between writer-director Edgar Wright and writer-star Simon Pegg, who last brought us the cult-ish hit Shaun of the Dead. I wasn't a totally huge fan of Shaun, but it was a lot better than I thought it'd be, and their follow-up one is just one damn entertaining flick, folks. Pegg stars as Nicholas Angel, a die-hard London cop whose hardcore means of fighting crime basically make his colleagues look really bad. His superiors send him to the sleepy town of Sanford where he's paired up with a eager action-movie-loving cop named Danny Butterman (Shaun of the Dead's Nick Frost). Angel is almost coming undone with the boring town and his overeager partner when a series of insanely unaccidental accidents occur and, even though the townsfolk keep insisting they were accidents, Angel digs further and finds out the town isn't as sleepy as initially perceived.
While Nick Frost doesn't really sway from his Shaun character too much (besides actually having a job that is...), Simon Pegg almost pulls a 180 here, playing this stoic hardened cop to perfection. Look for some great smaller turns as well from Bill Nighy as Pegg's London boss, Jim Broadbent as Pegg's Sanford boss, Paddy Considine and Rafe Spall as Sanford's two "detectives" and ex-007 himself, Timothy Dalton as Simon Skinner, the local rich dude. Add in a marvelous script from Wright and Pegg, full of laughs unexpected little twists and some great direction from Wright that ties everything together neatly, and you have one hell of an entertaining movie, folks. 4.5 stars out of 5
This flick barely made a mention in my Gigantic Summer Movie Preview because there wasn't a trailer out for it yet. Sure enough, less than a week later a hilarious trailer came out and I was hyped up for this flick, and the hype turned out to be well warranted. We get a star-making toplining performance here from Jonah Hill, whose meteoric rise over the past three years is just sensational, along with Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, making an outstanding debut as Fogell, or the name he'll be known as for many moons: McLovin. Hill plays the incredibly crass Seth, Cera plays the incredibly docile Evan and Mintz-Plasse plays the incredibly... odd McLovin, and this trio, nearing the end of their high school days, takes us through one hell of a bizarre night in a movie that's way more realistic and way less corny than Can't Hardly Wait.
What really surprised me was that Seth Rogen co-wrote this movie, along with Evan Goldberg. I knew he did some writing on Undeclared and apparently on Da Ali G Show, but when most guys make it big in acting, they tend to stop writing (a pair of friends from Boston come to mind...) so it's cool that Rogen is still typing away, and even has some projects in development. This is just an outrageous script, folks, laced with vulgarities and quirky characters, but beyond all the laughs lies a great story of self-discovery in a time when everyone is worried about what everyone else thinks of them. Greg Mottola directs here, coming back to film after 11 years of TV work after his breakout movie The Daytrippers. He whisks us through this comedy, using Sorkin-like pacing with the dialogue in some places and slowing it down in others. He should have no trouble finding movie work after this flick, along with EVERYONE else in this highly entertaining romp that is just a smashing way to end out the summer. 4.5 stars out of 5.
"David Slade to Direct Neverwhere" - Monday, August 13:
Even though Gaiman's Stardust adaptation hasn't quite been setting the box office on fire, its critical praise must have been enough to bring another of his works to the silver screen. This was already a BBC mini-series and they'll take Gaiman's script for that and tweak it and they've tapped David Slade to direct. I finally have a copy of his breakout film Hard Candy, even though I haven't watched it yet it's supposed to be amazing and his upcoming 30 Days of Night sounds pretty damn good as well. It seems Slade can cross genres quite easily and this fantasy tale of a world called London Below sounds like another great Gaiman tale that will hopefully make some more noise at the box office than his latest offering. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Warner Independent Picks Up Fratboy" - Monday, August 13:
You've heard of boys being raised by wolves and all that stuff... but what about a boy being raised by a fraternity? Sure, it sounds illogical as hell, with generations of fraternity brothers all helping to raise this child. When he's finally reunited with his mother, his abnormal upbringing causes chaos in her personal and business life. I'd have to see a brilliant cast and more of the story to get really excited about this. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Ice Cube Is One of 10!" - Tuesday, August 14:
This one sounds a lot like an indie flick called Series 7: The Contenders, which is a wonderful satire of reality shows (this was written years before Survivor ever took off) where the contestants have to literally kill each other to win. In this graphic novel adaptation, Ice Cube will play a dude who thinks he's just getting a lot of junk mail. He reads one of the letters and finds out he's one of 10 people in a contest to, well, live. After that a mystery man shows up at his door with an axe, and the game is on. I might have to try and find the graphic novel to find more about this one, but I liked the concept the first time around and with Ice Cube on board, this could be pretty damn cool. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Len Wiseman to Remake Escape from New York" - Tuesday, August 14:
I wasn't a huge fan of Wiseman's directorial debut, Underworld and didn't see the subsequent sequel, Underworld: Evolution. I'm a pretty big fan of him now after his smashing work in Live Free or Die Hard and this sounds like a great next move for the young director/husband of Kate Beckinsale/lucky bastard. It doesn't help that nouveau-star Gerard Butler will be donning the eyepatch as Snake Pliskin, either... Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Savage Steve Holland to Direct Legally Blonde Sequels" - Sunday, August 19:
Wow. This guy comes out of the rock he was hiding under for a few decades just recently and announces his comeback and now he's doing two sequels to Legally Blonde. Wow. I didn't even think the second one did that well, and now that Reese has that Oscar on her shelf, who knows if she'd even come back to this series. I wouldn't be surprised if this was direct to DVD as well. I also wouldn't be surprised to see Savage Steve going back under that rock in a few years, with the projects he's picking... Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a great weekend to get bad. Superbad that is. The teen comedy stormed through a stagnant weekend with little competition and scored an impressive $33 million in its debut weekend. The Jonah Hill topliner didn't get a huge rollout with just 2,948 theaters, but it still posted a very nice per-screen average of $11,211. This is another cheapo hit for Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen. Apatow produced this movie and wrote and directed the early-summer hit Knocked Up. Rogen starred in Knocked Up and had a great smaller role here in Superbad, and he also co-wrote Superbad's script. Both of those movies were made on smaller budgets ($20 million for Superbad, $30 million for Knocked Up) and Knocked Up made well over $147 million so far and it looks like Superbad is in a similar position to repeat that success.
Success seemingly wasn't in the cards for the other two newcomers, both of which weren't heavily released or pleasantly received. The Invasion took 5th place in its opening weekend, taking in a paltry $5.9 million. The Nicole Kidman/Daniel Craig remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers rolled into just 2,776 theaters, and only mustered a terrible per-screen average of $2,143. Those aren't good numbers for a movie with an $80 million budget... Still, it's a lot better than The Last Legion which came in 12th place this weekend, taking in a horrid $2.7 million in its first weekend. It screened in 2,002 theaters but could just eke out a per-screen average of $1,371. If you want to see this movie, I wouldn't wait since it will be out of theaters in a week or two, with terrible numbers like these...
Well, it's just one of those weeks where there's nothing to report here, folks. Hopefully next week we get a full slate of sites for your surfing pleasure.
This one was attached to most prints of Superbad this weekend, so you likely saw the trailer to this spoof if you saw that movie. The reason you saw the trailer then is because Judd Apatow wrote this movie, along with director Jake Kasdan, who is Lawrence Kasdan's son and director of Orange County. Yeah, it's a spoof, but it's not a Seltzer/Friedberg spoof and it looks like a pretty smart one at that. It didn't look laugh-out-loud funny in the trailer, but this should be worth a look-see when it hits theaters on December 21.
Here's another trailer you likely saw during Superbad. Although it's just a teaser, it all looks like the same sort of dopey fun that the first movie offered, only this time they're taking it across the pond to Amsterdam and getting trouble in the airport after being suspected as terrorists. Neil Patrick Harris is back as well, although we're not sure in how big of a capacity he'll be here. Come on. You know the first one was kinda funny. Just admit it. Harold and Kumar 2 is still looking for a release date.
This documentary looks very very interesting for a couple of reasons. The first one is just the crazy story itself, of Nicky Barnes who transformed himself from a ghetto kid into the biggest drug trafficker in the country. Another reason it's interesting is because the man flipped on his partners and went underground with a $1,000,000 contract on his head, and this documentary has live interviews with him, with his face shaded out. Yet another reason this is interesting is that the upcoming movie American Gangster is set in the same timeframe and Barnes is played by Cuba Gooding Jr. This could be quite a picture, folks, and even set us up historically for American Gangster, which looks to be one of the best pictures of the year. Mr. Untouchable opens on October 19, in limited release.
This looks pretty damn awesome, folks. Based off a graphic novel, this flick centers around an Alaskan town that is engulfed in darkness for an entire month each year. A gang of vampires discovers this town and preys upon its people. It's up to local sheriff Josh Hartnett and his wife Mellisa George to stop them and save the town and stuff. With Hartnett, George, Ben Foster and Danny Huston in front of the camera and David Slade behind it, this could be a very slick horror flick. 30 Days of Night opens on October 19.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
There were some great choices this week, but I'm going to have to run with Len Wiseman escaping from New York with Gerald Butler for my Best News of the Week. Wiseman only has three films under his belt, but, for one, they were during a span of four years and they all made money and he's really taken his game to a new level with his great direction in Live Free or Die Hard. With Wiseman on board, the soaring popularity of Butler and an intriguing new origin-story addition here, this could be one of the biggest remakes of all time, folks. Mark my words.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Hmm. Both of my worst news picks sound dreadful, so I'm just going to call it a draw and pick BOTH of them as my Worst News of the Week. This retarded, unrealistic Fratboy and Savage Steve Holland doing Legally Blonde sequels would both be equally deserving of this mention if they occurred in separate weeks. But, alas, they were announced on the same week, and their awfulness are both just so equal that I had to just call the whole thing a draw. Fratboy is just mindless because a fraternity raising a child is both amoral and, probably illegal. I'm in a fraternity and have lived in a fraternity house and I think I know there's nothing any of my brothers would want LESS than to have a child running around, AND to have to raise it without really being legally bound to do so. The Savage Steve crap isn't so much about him, than it is about Legally Blonde going for another round. Sure, Savage Steve might be on the "comeback trail" but he might be in for a serious detour if he wants to go this route. Just call up John Cusack and do something that, you know, people might actually want to see, Savage...
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming flicks (hopefully), new 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. Peace in. Gallagher out!