Another week has come and gone, with a slew of fresh movie news for your reading pleasure. Let’s check out the best and worst of the week with this week’s Notables.
"Ellen DeGeneres set for Oh, God! remake” – Monday, August 23
This is just simply unbelievable, and in the worst possible way. Ellen DeGeneres taking over the late great George Burns’ role? As God? George is probably choking on his cigar in the big cinema in the sky. I’m...flabbergasted, frankly. At a total loss for words...except for these words: Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Metroid: The Movie still in limbo” – Monday, August 23
Video game adaptations have a history of failure, and I can’t see this movie being any different. There have been a lot of newer video games that have been optioned, but that’s fine because these games are becoming increasingly complex, with most of them having an actual screenplay with character background and a solid storyline to them. But an old-school game like Metroid only has the character going for it, so they have to do the story from scratch. The game wasn’t even that good, in my opinion. Worst News of the Week Nominee
"The Wayans brothers to bring The Munsters to the big screen” – Tuesday, August 24
I never thought I’d find myself saying this, but, for this project, I only hope that the Wayans plan to only write and direct. Basically, I hope to God that they have NO plans of starring in this vehicle. Wow, this week hasn’t gotten off to a good start, has it? Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Samantha Morton and Chris Cooper to star in an untitled Truman Capote film” – Wednesday, August 25
These are three of my favorite actors in the past few years, and all of them together on the same film is definitely some great news. I’m not that familiar with Truman Capote, but from what we have here, the story sounds fairly solid. Finally, we get a Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Dakota Fanning set for Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass” – Thursday, August 26
If there was a Most Predictable News of the Week category, this would surely be the winner. Fanning is enormously talented, especially considering she’s only 10 years old. There is really no other choice for this role, as far as I’m concerned, and I’m sure Fanning will succeed here as well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Elisha Cuthbert to star in Dot” – Friday, August 27
This is good news for a few reasons. One, I simply loved Cuthbert in The Girl Next Door, which I think is still one of the best movies of the year so far. This sounds like a nice follow-up for her. The other thing I like about this project is the revolutionary production company, Burnt Orange, that is owned by the University of Texas and gives opportunities for students to work alongside the big boys of the industry. It will be very interesting to see how this project fares. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Brett Ratner set to direct Breaking Vegas” – Friday, August 27
Vegas and gambling are certainly more popular than ever, with the No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em craze sweeping the nation. The timing couldn’t be better for this project, even though it centers more on blackjack than poker. But this true story is definitely intriguing, centering on a few M.I.T. students-turned card counters that took Vegas for millions. Now, with Ratner at the helm, and Kevin Spacey producing and possibly acting, the potential for greatness here has definitely doubled down. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Kevin Smith confirms plans for a Clerks sequel” – Saturday, August 28
Smith never seemed like the type to do a sequel, but I have to say, this could be a winner. As much as I want Clerks to just rest on its laurels, at the same time, I must admit, I want more! This will be set in the present, 10 years after the events of the first flick, and I’m curious to see what kind of jobs these guys have, girlfriends, etc. And we’ve seen Jay and Silent Bob in all of Smith’s previous flicks, so you could bring in past stories from that into this, and compare them to Dante and Randall’s meager lives. While there is a lot that can go wrong here, there is a lot more that could work, and I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was definitely a Hero’s weekend at the box office. The Quentin Tarantino-endorsed martial arts flick Hero broke a bunch a few slightly-meaningless records, taking the top spot at the box office. The Jet Li flick took in an estimated $17.8 million for the #1 spot. The flick broke the last-weekend-in-August record, previously held by Bring It On’s $17.4 million and, with it shown in 2,031 theaters, it became the most widely released Asian film, breaking Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’s 2,027 theater count. While these records might not mean much, this flick definitely exceeded expectations with this decent opening weekend gross.
Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid won the longest title of the week, but could only must a 2nd place finish at the box office this weekend. The sequel took in an estimated $12.8 million in its debut weekend, even though it was shown in almost 900 more theaters than Hero. Budget figures weren’t released for this flick, but I’d be surprised if this flick turns a profit.
The other 2 new releases fared much worse, though. Suspect Zero took the 10th spot with an estimated gross of $3.4 million. This flick only had a $27 million budget, but there is virtually no way that this will make a profit. The other new release fell just short of the top 10, with Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2 taking the 11th spot with an estimated $3.2 million. I think people actually have to know about an original movie, in order for a sequel to have merit...
Around the Bend: (wip.warnerbros.com/aroundthebend)
After an incredibly slow intro, you finally get to a decent amount of content on this site. You can watch the trailer, check out a synopsis, find out about the cast and crew, read about the production, look at a photo gallery, download a wallpaper and a few AIM icons and log on to their message boards. Their link to The Buzz is still under construction, however. This is a decent site, though, but if you have a slower computer, this site will take forever and a day to load.
Head in the Clouds: (www.headinthecloudsmovie.com)
This is a very interesting site, and it’s probably the first site I’ve seen that has a selection of songs to choose from, most likely from the soundtrack. I wonder if they stole that from MovieWeb...Anyway, there’s a lot to do here, with a nice synopsis, some history on the cast and filmmakers, a photo gallery, the trailer and even a few clips from the movie. I still think the little jukebox thing is pretty cool as well. This is a great site, with plenty to keep you busy until this flick opens on September 17 in limited release.
The Forgotten: (www.sonypictures.com/movies/theforgotten)
This site starts right off with the trailer, but when you get to the main site, there’s not a whole lot. If you click on About the Film, you get what appears to be an arrest report, then slowly...VERY slowly fades into a brief synopsis. Below that synopsis there are links to Production and Altered States, but they’re under construction. Click on Media and either my computer is too slow, or there’s nothing there, and there’s a photo gallery too. The other links are under construction as well, so it might be best to come back when construction is over. The Forgotten opens in theaters on September 24.
Enduring Love: (www.paramountclassics.com/enduringlove/)
This is a pretty basic site, with some nice content. There is a link to the story, cast, filmmakers, the trailer and wallpapers to download. It’s not very flashy, but at least there’s some stuff to do here. Enduring Love opens on September 17.
A Very Long Engagement: (www.averylongengagement.com)
There is virtually nothing here, with only a photo gallery and a synopsis. It’s just not worth checking out yet, but there might be more here when this flick opens on November 26 in limited release.
I’m not familiar with the original flick, but Jude Law looks pretty good in this flick. Although, after seeing this trailer, I have to agree with the tagline for this flick: “What’s it all about?” because, from that trailer, I have no idea. I really don’t know about this one. It could be great, but it also could go the other way very easily. Alfie opens on October 22.
This looks like a pretty solid thriller, even though there is a looming similarity to The Cable Guy...no, not the cable part. It kind of reminds me of Changing Lanes, which Enduring Love helmer Roger Michel helmed as well, and I thought not so highly of. But this could be a solid flick, with what looks like a great performance from Rhys Ifans. Enduring Love opens on September 17 in limited release.
There are some amazing testimonials here from various critics, but they seem to just take over the trailer. Sure, there is plenty of footage here, in this documentary about friendly/dueling rock bands, but there are just too many critic quotes here. The movie does look good, and, to the trailer-maker’s credit, they did show some insanely praising quotes, which did pique my interest, but I would’ve liked to see more footage here. This looks like a winner though, and you can see if it is for yourself on October 1 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I’m declaring a tie for Best News of the Week this week. The tie is between Brett Ratner giving new life to Breaking Vegas and the announcement of a Clerks sequel. Breaking Vegas still has to be cast, but this true story is something I think that moviegoers will definitely lock on, and I can’t wait to see. Ratner is one of the most talented young directors out there, and I’m actually more excited for this because this likely means that another Rush Hour sequel is out for Ratner. Sure, we all loved the first one, but the second one was too much, and a third wouldn’t fly either. And as for the Clerks sequel, that’s just great news. If you look at all of Smith’s movies, this is probably the only one that could merit a sequel. There is a lot that can be done with the story, possibly tying in other elements of his previous Jersey flicks into this one. Ever since reading this, I’ve been imaging Dante and especially Randall in an office setting or something, just creating havoc. I think it will rock, folks, and the same goes for Breaking Vegas.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
My pick for Worst News of the Week goes to Ellen DeGeneres literally playing God. Even before all of that “coming out” stuff a few years ago, I just didn’t think she was that funny. Sure, we’ve seen a woman play God before (See: Alanis Morrisette in Dogma), but Ellen frickin DeGeneres? In a role originally played by George Burns? I can’t believe that this actually got the approval the original filmmakers, because I can’t see this working at all. This is just simply the dumbest thing I’ve heard of all year. Congratulations on your stupidity, Warner Brothers. I never thought you’d do anything dumber than putting out the snapper case DVD’s, but thanks for proving me wrong...