Howdy folks. Another week has gone by and brought us another slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. So let's get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Charlize Theron to Star in Battle In Seattle" - Monday, August 28:
I'm not sure about this one. It looks like Charlize Theron is doing a bit of a "stand by your man" think with this. The flick is written and directed by her longtime boyfriend Stuart Townsend. He hasn't really had many significant roles in the past few years, with his significant other taking up the majority of the spotlight for that celeb couple. So, like most wayward actors that lose their way in these troubled times, he is of the mindset that thinks since he was in movies, he can make them too. Sure. It's a good thing he has a bankable star for a girlfriend... This flick is about the 1999 World Trade Organization meeting in, naturally, Seattle, where a bunch of protesters try to run the WTO out of town. Yeah, sounds... gripping, sure, right. While I do think that Townsend is a decent actor, he just can't find the right roles. Still, that being said, I doubt a new career move will help matters much. Keep riding that girlfriend's coattails, Stuart. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Dermot Mulroney Joins The Cast Of Gracie" - Monday, August 28:
This just sounds plain old weird. Let's start with the story. It's about a girl who keeps trying out for the boy's soccer team. Umm OK. If that wasn't weird enough, this flick is based off the lives of Elizabeth Shue and her brother Andrew Shue. Umm OK. I guess Elizabeth played soccer with the boys team for a little while, and this flick will be based on her battle to join the team or some crap. Naturally, both the Siblings Shue will be starring here, Andrew as the soccer coach and Elizabeth as the girl Gracie's mom. I just don't get the appeal of a movie like this. Unless Elizabeth Shue was the first girl ever to play on a boys soccer team, I don't really get the point of this. McDermott is a good actor and all that jazz, but this flick just sounds too weird. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Fox Picks Up Ashton Kutcher's The Engineer" - Monday, August 28:
OK. I want you all to concentrate really hard and wipe your mind clean for a bit. Now I want you to picture Ashton Kutcher, the Punk'd pioneer, who just seems like a punk himself. OK, now I want you to picture Senor Kutcher as an engineer. Yes, I know how far-fetched it sounds, but just try. Now, I want you to picture Kutcher as an engineer... who gets mistaken for a terrorist in Tokyo. Given up yet? Have you spontaneously combusted yet? If so I apologize, but you should really blame Fox for buying into such an insidiously moronic idea in the first place. With his gangly frame and push-the-pull-door mentality, Ashton Kutcher is about as menacing as a flower girl. Just him being an engineer would be bad enough, but an engineer mistaken for a terrorist, that's just a new level of moronity right there. I doubt that's a word, but with new levels of stupidity should come new words, hence, moronity. Wow. My head hurts. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner Partners with First and Goal" - Tuesday, August 29:
I'm not quite sure what to make of this, truthfully. In one respect, this could be seen as a major step back for Cruise and Wagner, setting up shop with a little-known investment firm after being housed by a major studio. On the other hand, it doesn't look like they'll have too much creative involvment, to start anyway, which could allow Cruise to possibly make the pictures he's always wanted to, or something like that. Wait a minute. Given his recent loony-bin antics, this could really be a bad thing. We might see a remake of Battlefield Earth or something... And it's worth noting that one of the partners in First and Goal is Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins. He's tried to just throw money at the team, hoping a big pocketbook will solve its woes. Yeah, look how that turned out... Perhaps the same will go for his film venture, and that surely isn't a good sign. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Anna Faris To Star and Produce Her Comedy For Paramount" - Wednesday, August 30:
Hmm, so Paramount drops Tom Cruise, but picks up Anna Faris to star and produce. Yeah, we'll see how that little switcheroo treats you morons. Remember that little deal I asked you to do with Ashton Kutcher? Well, try this on for size. Picture Anna Faris, the cute-ish chick from all the Scary Movie flicks and a few others. Now picture Anna Faris... as a centerfold. Wow. When I think centerfold, I think of big assets and come-hither looks. Anna Faris just doesn't dredge up those sort of thoughts for me. I haven't caught Just Friends yet, but it appears that she plays a somewhat promiscuous girl there, but I just don't know. Here, she'll play an ex-centerfold who can't find any work except to be a house mom to a sorority full of dorks and, of course, she'll bring about their rise to stardom with her abundant wisdom. Blah. Isn't there anything good this week? Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Peter Jackson to Produce Dambusters" - Thursday, August 31:
Hey look kids. Some good news for a change! Peter Jackson producing here isn't even the best of it either. This just sounds like a damn good story. While this will technically be a remake of a 1955 British flick, there were many details about this air raid, supposedly one of the most daring aerial missions in history, that were classified by the British government and have since been declassified. This flick sounds like a British flying version of The Dirty Dozen, with a bunch of random pilots from across the Allied countries, picked to partake in a mission they never really knew the full extent of until the last minute. Their mission was daunting: to fly along the treeline into Germany and destroy a few dams that were critical to the Nazi movement. They did this by flying insanely low and dropping these new bombs that skipped like stones across the river's surface. That just sounds frickin cool in itself! Plus, this will mark the directorial debut of Christian Rivers, a Jackson underling for almost 20 years, moving up the filmmaking ranks to his latest post as animation director on King Kong, which won him an Oscar. Everything about this just sounds damn cool, folks, and I can't wait for it. Best News of the Week Nominee... finally!.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
With the pre-season pigskin schedule now complete, and the nation gearing up for the real deal of the NFL regular season, it appears that type of hype crossed over to the box office. Invincible took the top spot for the second week in a row, with an impressive $11.9 million in the three-day weekend, and $15.2 million in the four-day holiday weekend. The flick dropped just 30% in the three-day take from its opening weekend, and, if you figure in the holiday take, it dropped an astonishingly small 10% from last weekend. Damn, people sure love they're football. The Mark Wahlberg flick now stands at $37.8 million through its 10-day stint, and if it continues with its minimal decreases, it should trudge its way to a decent box office take.
The rest of the top 5 is rather interesting, with a few newcomers and a few flicks that keep climbing up the charts. The silver medal went to Crank, with an estimated $13 million from the four-day weekend. The flick performed rather well for a Labor Day weekend, something that Jason Statham is becoming all too familiar with. He took in some decent Labor Day weekend business last year with his sequel The Transporter 2 which took in over $20 million. Crank took in a solid $5,168 per-screen average, showing in 2,515 theaters. It was given some healthy competition from another newcomer this weekend, The Wicker Man taking third place with $11.7 million
The fourth and fifth place finishers were probably the most interesting of all in this long weekend, though. Little Miss Sunshine did actually drop a place this weekend, from 3rd last weekend to 4th, but its gross just keeps on a climbing. It took in $9.75 million in its four-day weekend, topping last weekend's $7.3 million take for an increase of about 25%. Sure there was another day in there, but it's still pretty damn impressive nonetheless. It now stands at $35.8 million in its six-week run, and it might turn out to be one of the most impressive $35 million, six-week grosses in box office history. Still, this great run was topped even more by the 5th place finisher which showed massive improvement. The Illusionist made Little Miss Sunshine's 4-place leapfrog look like child's play as it hurdled 9 spots this weekend to take 5th place. The flick took in just over $8 million in its third weekend, which doubled its take from the last two weeks COMBINED! Wow. To top that off, the flick only showed in 971 theaters, good for a very impressive $8,260 per-screen average. The flick banked on some solid reviews from the Rotten Tomatoes critics, ganering a 75% "Fresh" rating. While the flick stands at just over $12 million overall, given this phenomenal showing this weekend, I would look for the theater count to leapfrog just like the movie did up the charts this weekend.
OK. If you have an entire day, and I do mean an ENTIRE day to kill, you should check out this teaser site. It's just this huge grid filled with thumbnails of different variations of the number 23 and you can click on the thumbs to see what else lies behind there. Most of the time, it's nothing, but the times there are something, it's pretty dumb. There seems to be at least 100 of these thumbs, and I don't intend to search through all of these to find something meaningful. Sorry folks, but I don't have that kind of spare time. Wow. Let's hope the regular site will be much MUCH better than this dopey site. The Number 23 opens on February 23, 2007.
Another damn teaser site here. At least they just give us the trailer, and tell us the full site is coming soon. Still, blah. Curse of the Golden Flower opens on December 22 in limited release.
Well, at least the teaser sites keep getting a little better, with each site teasing just a little bit more. Here, not only do we get the trailer, but also a synopsis. Wow. Is a decent site that much to ask for? The Return opens on November 10.
I've never heard of this flick before, but it looks pretty damn funny, folks. We get Dax Shepard, who I've always felt was somewhat underrated, as a semi-career crook who makes nice with a new inmate... who happens to be a rich, probably white-collar criminal, played by Will Arnett. The writing looks really slick here from the guys that brought you Reno 911!, Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garrant. This comes out on Thanksgiving weekend, so this should be some good old-fashioned fun for the whole grown-up family, and it looks like a damn good time at the theater. Let's Go to Prison opens on November 22.
The release of this flick has been up in the air for quite awhile. This is the third flick to come out of the Project Greenlight contest/TV show, and perhaps the entire contest/show's fate lies with this movie's success. While the show has been hailed in every season as being riveting television, the movies have all failed financially, but that might not be the case here. Feast is a mutant/monster flick that looks interesting, literally. I'm not sure if it's just the version of the trailer I watched, but the lighting seems rather sparse throughout the flick, probably to increase tension and crap. Still, it does look interesting as there is more behind these monsters attacking besides just that, with some government involvement as well. We'll see if this horror flick can make a dent at the box office on September 22, but if it doesn't, the DVD will be available on October 17 anyway. This does look like it's worth watching for horror fans, and to see if a popular contest/TV show can be saved by some monsters.
I've been waiting for this trailer for awhile as well. I read the marvelous book by Elmore Leonard, whose books all seemingly are tailor-made for silver screen adaptation. But, while most of his books and susequent flicks have more of a lighter tone to criminal activities, this movie looks like it strays from that a touch. While there isn't as much humor in this book as in previous ones I've read of Leonard's, his playful style is still there, and it looks like they've dimmed that down a bit. But I'm not saying that's a bad thing at all, especially with this wonderful cast. Diane Lane and Thomas Jane play an average couple who witness a murder by a notorious hitman played by the marvelous Mickey Rourke. Naturally, he has to erase that little problem, with his new buddy played by Thomas Gordon Levitt, in a much darker role than we've probably ever seen him in. Johnny Knoxville and Rosario Dawson stars as well, and I just can't wait for this one, folks! Sadly, I'm not sure how much longer I'll have to wait, since Killshot is still seeking a release date.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Well, only one choice here, but a damn good one with Peter Jackson's Dambusters. I'm a sucker for a good war story, and this one sounds like a superb one that fell through the cracks of history. We'll get more insight into this battle since it's been declassified since the original 1955 flick, and will give Jackson and his team another chance to shine with their digital effects. While I suppose the X-factor could be a rookie director in Christian Rivers, but since he's worked with Jackson for 17 years, working up through the various crew positions up to this, I somehow feel not so bad about it. While I don't always agree with his choice in flicks when he feels the need to testimonialize one (See: Cabin Fever) I won't slight his judgement when it comes to potential filmmakers by any means. If Peter Jackson trusts someone to direct a picture that could surely turn out to be an epic up to his standards, then I think we should too.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Way WAY too much to choose from here, but I'm going with Ashton Kutcher: Engineer/Terrorist for my Worst News of the Week. It almost seems like they're trying to un-typecast him on purpose, by going so much to the extreme of his normal, supposedly funny type. If I was an airport security guard, and I saw Ashton Kutcher come through, even before he was famous, with an AK-47, I'd still let him through, laughing my balls off in the process. Him being mistaken for a terrorist is like me being mistaken for Brad Pitt. My head hurts again. I think it's nap time...
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.