Howdy folks. I must apologize for last weekend as our Internet in the area was less than stellar, thanks to the retardation of a certain cable company. Anyway, I'm back for this week with another slew of movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So let's get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Five Join National Lampoon's Cattle Call" - Tuesday, August 23
Well, it looked for a little while that National Lampoon was making a decent comeback with 2003's Van Wilder. But they're not quite on that same roll anymore after a bunch of straight-to-video flicks and the $17 that Gold DIggers probably raked in. They're on the same downward spiral with this new flick, Cattle Call. The cast is rather idiotic, with the biggest stars being Thomas Ian Nicolas, the dink from the American Pie series that kept trying to bed Tara Reid (I could insert many a joke here, but I'll refrain) and Nicole Eggert from Baywatch, who I could've sworn was dead. Oh and then there's the story: a bunch of knobs start a casting company so they can meet women. Right. Go away National Lampoon. Find a different nation to lampoon until you come up with some better ideas. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Todd Holland directing Firehouse Dog" - Tuesday, August 23
Wow. This dog-out-of-water story involves the top doggy star of Hollywood who somehow gets lost and finds his way to a wayward fire station, where, somehow, him and some kid turn the rag-tag firehouse into the best in the city. I know I know, this sounds about as moronic as Alone in the Dark, but don't you fret, fellow moviegoer, because Todd Holland is directing here! What? You don't know who Todd Holland is? He directed Krippendorf's Tribe and a bunch of TV shows... aren't you excited? I'm not. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Antoine Fuqua to direct By Any Means Necessary" - Tuesday, August 23
OK, so this does sound like another hybrid in the vein of The Rock/xXx and we have seen way too many of these types of flicks. However, I'm pretty confident that screenwriter Daniel Pyne and Antoine Fuqua can come up with a suitable product. They both have pretty decent track records and if they cast this right, and if they cast this right and make this stand out from the other similar projects, this could very well be a winner. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Peter Krause set for Civic Duty" - Wednesday, August 24
Keeping along the unoriginality trend for the week, this flick sounds a hell of a lot like the wonderful 1999 thrillerArlington Road. This sounds pretty good though, because it is updated for modern times, with Krause playing a paranoid man obsessed with terrorist plots who becomes even more on edge after an Islamic student moves in next door. The plot sounds very fitting to today's climate, and Krause, who starred in one of my favorite TV shows of all time, Sports Night, is a fine actor with some terrific range and he should do a great job here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Julie Durk Set for How to Tell He's Not the One in 10 Days" - Wednesday, August 24
Mother of God! This is monstorously stupid, folks. So, they fall in love and now they're going through rocky times, or some crap? Wow. Sure, this stuff happens in real life all the time, but who really gives a shit? I do my laundry and pay taxes in real life, but you're not going to see "Gallagher Does His Laundry and Pays His Taxes" in the theaters ever. Grow some originality you idiots. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Keanu Reeves and Catherine Zeta-Jones Eyeing Stompanato" - Wednesday, August 24
This sounds fairly interesting. You get a brief glimpse of Stompanato's character in L.A. Confidential but this should give us a better look at him. I'm assuming Reeves will play Stompanato and Zeta-Jones will play Turner and they sound like decent fits for the parts. Adrian Lyne has some pretty decent projects under his belt as director so this could be a pretty good project. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Thomas Jane joins Killshot" - Friday, August 26
I just finished this Elmore Leonard novel a month or so ago, and it's a wonderful book and Jane is a great fit for this part. He plays an ironworker who, along with his wife, played by the lucsious Diane Lane, stumble upon an extortion scheme run by a couple of killers, one of which played by the comeback kid himself, Mickey Rourke. The story here is great, filled with some great Leonard dialogue, wonderful characters and a super plot. The cast in place here fits the bill perfectly and with John Madden at the helm, this should surely be another wonderful Leonard adaptation. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It looks like the virgin scored yet again this weekend. The 40 Year Old Virgin took the top spot at the box office for the second time in as many weeks, scoring $16.2 million. It had an impressive weekend, dropping only 24.2% from its opening weekend, similar to another successful R-rated comedy, Wedding Crashers, which fell out of the top 5 for the first time in its 7-week run, taking 6th place with just over $6 million. It averaged a healthy $5,674 per screen and the Virgin stands at $48.5 million for 2 weeks, already far surpassing its $26 million budget. It's clear where the audiences are steering towards, with smaller budget, R-rated flicks dominating the summer.
The Brothers Grimm took the 2nd spot this weekend, taking just over $15 million in its debut weekend. It had a somewhat decent weekend, averaging $4,888 per screen. However, they're in some troubling shape for the long haul, with a long way to go to make back it's $88 million budget. While there won't be too much competition in the coming weeks, there is still just a grimm chance for a profit here for those brothers.
The other new flick of the weekend, didn't fare quite so well. The Cave could only muster a 5th place finish and $6.1 million for its opening weekend. It only averaged $2,800 per screen in 2,195 theaters and even thought budget figures weren't released, I'm sure this isn't the opening weekend the cave dwellers were hoping for.
Box Office Predictions
Well, I was gone last weekend so I'm not sure how I did last weekend, but lets give Labor Day Weekend a shot, shall we?
Predictions for 9/2-9/4
1) The Transporter 2: $11.4
3) The Brothers Grimm: $8.7 million
4) Red Eye: $6.4 million
5) Four Brothers: $4.3 million
This looks like a fairly decent site. On the first site you get the trailers, a brief synopsis, some detailed bios on the cast and crew, a download section with AIM Icons, desktops and a downloadable poster and a photo gallery. Inside the main site there are a bunch of different things for your surfing pleasure. Click on The Pal and you can watch the trailer and if you click on the little dartboard on the right side it brings up a little dart game for you to play. If you score high enough, you can unlock 3 "secret" video clips to watch. In The Village Square, put the pool ball in the little skeleton dog's mouth and you're taken to another page, where you click on the scroll in skeleton dog's mouth and you get character descriptions. In The Elder's Square there are some desktops to download and in Victor's Room there is a synopsis and if you click on the little thing on the desk there is another page, and if you click on the butterfly on that page it takes you to another page and if you click on the butterfly on that page you get some production notes. The site does have plenty to do, but it takes awhile to get to most of the stuff. Overall, it's a pretty good site, but they could've compacted it a bit.
On the main site you get the synopsis, bios on all the cast members, the trailer, a decent photo gallery and downloadable AIM Icons and wallpapers. When you get into the Flash site, there isn't much different, although there are some production notes, but the same content is on this slide thinger where you go over the picture of Chicago and the slider changes the environment. They have these different "time waves" that show the changes the city goes through. It's kind of cool, but it's really just a waste of time. The site isn't too bad, but they could use some more content. A Sound of Thunder opens on September 2.
This looks pretty cool, actually. They're embracing the format of the game here, using a lot of first-person shots just like the game, where you just see the gun ahead of you and you're moving towards your enemy. They picked a decent cast, for the material anyway, with The Rock, Karl Urban, Rosamund
Pike and others. This should be some decent fall fun, and it could end up make some decent bank. Doom opens on October 21.
This looks like some surefire Oscar bait, and the guys who brought it to us
have definitely been there before. Director Rob Marshall is following up his phenomenal Chicago with this drama, written by Oscar fav's Ron Bass and Akiva Goldsman. The cast is solid here too with Ken Wantanabe, Zhang Ziyi and Michelle Yeoh. This should surely be up for a few little gold men and it looks to be a very good film. Memoirs of a Geisha opens on December 9.
This looks like some more Oscar bait, with what looks like a riveting performance from Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Look for a big push for the wonderful Clifton Collins Jr. who has shined before in smaller roles in flicks like The Rules of Attraction and Tigerland. The cast here is wonderful, with Hoffman, Collins and Catherine Keener and Chris Cooper. I'm not familiar with director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman, but this looks like a riveting flick. Capote opens on September 30 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was pretty close this week, but I'm going with Thomas Jane taking the Killshot for my Best News of the Week. The book was awesome and the have a perfect cast onboard with Thomas Jane, Diane Lane and Mickey Rourke. There are still a few more key roles to cast here, with a cocky dumb con/wannabe killer and an ex-prison worker who's infatuated with criminals. But since they're 3 for 3 right now, I'm confident they'll come through with these key roles.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the utter downfall of National Lampoon for my Worst News of the Week. I can't believe they're buying such incredibly stupid scripts for their new flicks these days. A bunch of guys start a fake casting company to meet chicks? Are there a bunch of monkeys writing their scripts nowadays? Emus, perhaps? Most of their flicks go straight to video anyway, and the ones that hit the theaters only hit a few and they never make any money. Yeah, we get it that you like making flicks about guys picking up chicks and such. The problem is that you also have to have a decent story behind the debauchery to get anyone to go see it. Try digging one of those out of the monkeys you hired before you commit something else to celluloid.
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new websites 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.