Another seven days has come and gone and left us with a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official sites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Before we get into all that, lets check out what I watched last week.

WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH LAST WEEK?

Played:

This is one of those low-budget success story movies, with one big difference: they actually snagged star actors for very small parts and very small money. Val Kilmer, Gabriel Byrne, Anthony LaPaglia, Bruno Kirby, Vinnie Jones and many others star alongside writer/producer/actor Mick Rossi in this heist/revenge flick. The movie is pretty good, but the story about how it got made for practically nothing is even better. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Renaissance:

Wow, folks. This stunning movie is one you really don't want to miss AT ALL! This revolutionary visual blend of hand-drawn animation, motion-capture filming and CGI technology is so astounding that the look should be enough for you to pick this up alone. What's even better, though, is this wonderful futuristic story and the slick English-speaking voice cast (was originally a French film that was re-voiced) by Daniel Craig, Ian Holm, Jonathan Pryce and Catherine McCormack. This is an absolutely riveting movie, folks. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Dynamite Warrior:

After all those Hong Kong flicks I reviewed for Kung Fu week, watching a Thai movie seems like brutal torture. Their fighting sequences aren't nearly as cool, they use slo-mo WAY too much and utilize techniques that are way too showy and way less realistic. It's too bad for Dan Chupong because he does seem like a talented dude who is relegated to performing in these over-the-top flicks. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Resurrecting the Champ:

To be perfectly honest, I'm still shocked my local theater got this movie in town and they DIDN'T get War like I assumed they would. Obviously, I was pleasantly ecstatic that this was in town, and I was even more pleased after seeing this magnificent movie.

This movie, based on the true story, revolves around an ambitious young sports reporter, Erik (Josh Hartnett) trying to make his way up the journalistic ladder and an old former boxer known as Champ (Samuel L. Jackson) living in the streets, just trying to make his way through each day. Their paths cross one day when Erik stops a bunch of young punks from fighting with Champ and Erik discovers that Champ is a former boxing legend "Battlin" Bob Satterfield, long thought to be dead. The two form a bond as Erik writes his "title shot" story on Champ, only to find out later that Champ isn't quite who he says he is.

This is one of those movies that really has it all, from some superb acting from Hartnett and Jackson, along with fine supporting turns from Alan Alda, David Paymer, Kathryn Morris and the tasty Rachel Nichols, to some top-notch writing from Allison Burnett and Michael Bortman and a great return to the movie world for director Rod Lurie. Burnett and Bortman's script is perfectly paced, full of great bits of humor mixed in with this wonderful dramatic story that will tear at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone as well.

I was hoping that this would do better financially this weekend (See: Box Office Corner), but I'm really not surprised that it floudered. I was really hoping for a big-money success for both Hartnett, who has a recent string of marvelous movies under his belt that have tanked at the box office, and Lurie, who wrote and directed the masterful film The Contender and then went to TV land for a few years. Still, the financial shortcomings of this movie won't take anything away from this movie for me. It's a superb human drama that touches on fatherhood and the blurry line between truth and fiction. 4.5 stars out of 5

NOTABLES

"Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston to Star in Marley & Me" - Monday, August 20:

It isn't just Owen Wilson's recent hospitalization that has me leery for the future of this project. This sounds like a late-80s, early 90s sort of project, kind of like Problem Child except they adopt a wild dog instead of a wild boy. I guess it sounds a little like Beethoven as well. Yeah, these aren't good signs, are they folks... I'm sure Wilson and Aniston will have plenty of comedic chemistry together and all that jazz, but then again, Aniston and Vince Vaughn had some nice chemistry in The Break-Up and that wasn't that good either. The wonderful Scott Frank is writing the script here, but this is a little out of his normal realm here, so I'm leery of that as well. I don't like where this is going, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Warner Brothers Puts Logan's Run Back Into Production" - Monday, August 20:

The original movie is one I've been meaning to get to for quite awhile now, and it looks like I'm going to have to try harder to find it. The concept does sound very intriguing and also rife for modernization in both the story and the visuals. While it is too bad that Bryan Singer won't be aboard this project, and we get a first-timer at the helm instead, I'm glad this is moving forward. Casting will be key, naturally, but it seems like they have a good writer in place with Timothy J. Sexton (Children of Men) along with super-producer Joel Silver. I'm looking forward to this getting started. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Tim Allen to Write and Star in Brothers" - Tuesday, August 21:

Umm, WHAT? Tim Allen, you know, funnyman Tim Allen is writing AND starring in a crime flick? Oh, just you wait. It gets better. It's him and his adoptive brother of another race, who are both framed for a crime and they have to clear their names. Hmm. Mixed-race adoptive brothers trying to solve a crime. That sounds a tad familiar, don't it?? He's writing this for Disney so I'm sure it'll be a much more syrupy version of Four Brothers than it sounds like right now, but it still sounds insanely retarded. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Eva Mendes Joins The Spirit" - Tuesday, August 21:

This sounds like another sweet Frank Miller project, although his involvement is a little bit different. Miller is writing the actual screenplay for the flick, which is based off of Will Eisner's graphic novel, not Miller's. This sounds pretty tight, though, with the scrumptious Mendes joining a stellar cast of Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Gabriel Macht in a story about a rookie cop who fakes his own death to become a crime-fighting vigilante. Mendes. Miller. Jackson. Johansson. Damn. Sign me up! Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Greg Mottola to Direct Adventureland" - Wednesday, August 22:

This makes all the sense in the world. What better way for director Greg Mottola to follow up his wonderful Superbad, a movie about transitioning from high school to college, than a movie about transitioning from college to the "real world." It sounds like Mottola has a great new project here and if he casts this as brilliantly as he did with Superbad, some big things will be coming Mottola's way. Best News of the Week Nominee.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

If you couldn't tell that summer was over by all the back-to-school sales and your local college campus being flooded with youngsters, you can certainly tell at the box office, as three holdovers held off the new movies, in rather uninspiring fashion. Superbad held on to its box office title for the second week in a row, taking in just over $18 million and dropping about 45%. It held fast at 2,948 theaters and still managed a steady per-screen average of $6,120. It now stands at $68.6 million after 10 days in release, off of a paltry $20 million budget. The Bourne Ultimatum and The Bourne Ultimatum took 2nd and 3rd respectively, swapping spots from last weekend, taking in $12.4 and $11.7 million respectively. Bourne stands at $185 million from a $110 million budget while the Rush Hour boys still need some work to do, taking in $108.4 million from a $140 million budget. Seriously, how did that cost so much...

Oh yeah, the new movies this weekend. I almost forgot about them because it seems that most of the moviegoing public forgot about them as well. This is one of the saddest things I've had to type recently, but... Mr. Bean's Holiday was the top newcomer this weekend in 4th place, taking in $9.88 million. Yes, it's true. Yes, it's sad. However, it just BARELY won that distinction as War was RIGHT behind it at $9.82 million. The Nanny Diaries came in 6th with $7.4 million, which is extra sad since it had the highest rollout of the newbies (2,629 theaters) and had a horrible per-screen average to show for it ($2,845). Not surprisingly, budget figures weren't released for that trifecta. Still, as bad as things were for those movies, another newbie had it even worse.

Resurrecting the Champ came in 15th place in its opening weekend, taking in a sub-paltry $1.6 million. It didn't open terribly wide, but not terribly limited either, at 1,605 theaters, which gave it a rancid per-screen average of $1,034. This was a magnificent movie, folks, and I really wished more people would've seen it and/or got a chance to see it with a wider rollout. This will likely fall off the map next weekend, so if you plan on seeing this, don't make haste since you probably won't be able to find it in many places after this weekend. Sad but true...

GOING LIVE

Dan in Real Life: (DanInRealLife-TheMovie.com)

A rather annoying site here, folks. The About menu gives us probably the smallest synopsis I've ever seen, and ALL of the other menus (Videos, Downloads, Gallery, Cast and Crew) are "coming soon." Argh!! Oh, there's the trailer here too, which is a good one, but still. One friggin menu out of five, and that one menu has the laziest synopsis of all time? Unreal, you lazy dunces. Dan in Real Life opens on October 26.

Aliens vs. Predator - Requiem: (AVP-R.com)

OK, this isn't a lot better at all, folks. First, you have to verify your age so youngin's can't be here because the ONLY thing they give us here is the "red-band" trailer which you have to be 18 to watch... in theory. There's nothing else here, though, folks, save a link to register for updates. Oh, they do have a cool thing that turns your mouse cursor into that little dotted triangle thing that the Predator uses for a laser sight. It's sad that little cursor is probably the highlight of the whole site... AVP-Requiem opens on Christmas Day.

TRAILER PARK

The Strangers:

This is a rather brief trailer at about a minute and a half, but it certainly is intriguing. The thriller stars Scott Speedman and Liv Tyler as a young couple in suburbia who suddenly become the victims of three terrorizing strangers. Sure, it's not terribly original, but we haven't seen one quite like this in awhile and if the utilize the same nifty style they have in the trailer, this could be some fun to watch. The Strangers is still looking for a release date, possibly October of 2007, according to IMDB.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford:

Oh snap! I've been waiting on this one for quite some time now, and I must say, it looks just as cool as I thought it'd look. It doesn't look like a Western, per se, but it just has that setting and it's more of a character piece dealing with these polar opposite lives of Jesse James and Robert Ford and how their paths crossed. I have no idea why this awesome-looking movie, along with many many others, are bowing in September, which has long been the movie doldrums month, but I just want to see this as quickly as I can. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford opens on September 21, in limited release.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

It was a tough choice, but I'm going with the simply scrumptious Eva Mendes joining an already-awesome cast of The Spirit for my Best News of the Week. I'm even more excited for this now because IMDB says that Frank Miller is not only writing the script but directing as well! It sounds like he's picked a sweet graphic novel to write and direct, with this story surrounding a rookie cop who fakes his own death to enable his own style of vigilante justice. We already have Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Gabriel Macht and the gorgeous Eva Mendes thrown in the mix is just serendipity to me. I'm tremendously pumped for this movie, folks!

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

I'm going with Tim Allen writing his own cinematic tombstone, perhaps for my Worst News of the Week. OK, sure. We all thought Wild Hogs was the kind of hit you and the rest of your Harley buddies needed to get your career back on track... BUT aren't you pushing it just a little bit there, Timmy? For one, you've never written a movie before, two, this is a total rip-off of Four Brothers and three, DISNEY is doing it! You're writing a movie about racially-mixed adoptive brothers trying to clear their name from a crime... FOR DISNEY! Unreal, Timmy. Simply unreal. Have fun trying to come back from this one...

That's all I've got for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming flicks, 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!