Another week has come and gone, and brought us with a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official sites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. Before we get into all that, though, since I actually had the time to watch some flicks this week, let's check out what I watched this week.

WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH LAST WEEK?

Superbad:

Movies like this I'm always curious as to how I'll react a second time around. Some comedies, I'll laugh and laugh in the exact same spots I laughed the first time, no matter how many times I watch them over and over again. Some movies, I don't know, but they don't have the same LOL quality the second go-round. This hilarious flick really didn't lose that much humor value, and I was laughing just as hard as I was in the theater. The sheer comic genius of producer Judd Apatow and writer/star Seth Rogen were deftly on display in this comedy that masterfully blends in the awkward reality of high school and other semi-dramatic elements alongside the humor. Jonah Hill brashly steps into the spotlight with a smashing lead performance, and he's supported wonderfully by Michael Cera and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, who makes an outstanding debut and will likely eternally carry the moniker of McLovin. It's just one damn good movie, folks. 4.5 stars out of 5

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End:

This is another one I had to see again for the first time since the first time in the theater. A lot of my friends thought this wasn't nearly as good as I thought it was. A lot of my friends thought it ws too long and blah blah blah. I am not of their persuasion. I frickin loved this movie. Yeah, sure, it was too long, but that seemed to be a big huge deal for them. I just thought it was fantastic. The effects were simply amazing and the maelstrom sequence is worth the price of the DVD alone, I think. Johnny, Keira, Orlando, Geoffery, Naomie and the rest are back with franchise newcomers Chow Yun-Fat and Keith Richards as Teague Sparrow. It's such a monstrous movie in terms of, well, everything; budget, scope, etc. and I just loved it. 4.5 stars out of 5

The Golden Compass:

This one was quite a dissapointment. The trailer made this look just friggin awesome. Fighting bears and a sinsister Nicole Kidman and 007 and crazy witches and all sorts of cool stuff. Little did I know that they'd slap these elements together so loosely, whisking us through the movie like Cliff's Notes. The flick is barely over 2 hours long, and I just got the feeling that there should be a lot more to this flick than they showed us. I know this is the first of three in the book series, but this is such a glossed-over flick that it really annoyed me. We get fine performances from Nicole Kidman and especially Sam Elliot, but Daniel Craig is barely in the damn flick and Dakota Blue Richards wasn't that impressive either as young Lyra. This movie cost $180 million to make, but it seems hardly any of it was spent on the actual story. 2 stars out of 5

NOTABLES

"Steve Carr Directs Mall Cop" - Monday, December 3:

Call me crazy, but this kind of does sound like a good fit. Yeah, Carr has directed some dopey flicks in the past like Daddy Day Care and Rebound, but this kind of flick should suit him well. It also helps that he has the wonderful Kevin James starring here as the title character who has to step up his game when a group of thieves target his mall. James is just wonderful, and it sounds like this project will suit him just fine. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Ben Kingsley Travels to Shutter Island" - Tuesday, December 4:

This keeps on getting better and better. We have Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as a pair of U.S. Marshals, with Kingsley set to perform as the mental hospital's head doctor. With every story about this movie, it just keeps getting better and better. Oh yeah, that one guy Martin Scorcese is directing this too. I hear he's good... Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Molly Sims Joins The Pink Panther 2" - Tuesday, December 4:

Well, the other part of this article is about her joining on the new Jim Carrey flick Yes Man, and, while that might not be too bad, this will probably be horrible. No, I didn't see the first one, but it looked retarded. Molly Sims isn't a terrible actress, but it's just that, you know, the Pink Panther shouldn't have had a first flick, let alone a second one. Ugh. I just don't want this whole movie to exist. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Johnny Depp and Michael Mann to Develop a Film About the Depression-Era Crime Wave" - Tuesday, December 4:

This sounds awesome, folks. Johnny Depp teaming up with Michael Mann is surely some some splendid news, and Depp playing legendary bank robber John Dillinger is even splendider (I know that's not a word, but that's how cool it is). Although it sounds like just a possibility right now, it's still wonderful news, and this true story sounds like perfect film fodder. This Depression-era flick about the largest crime spree in American history that, as a result, apparently was the catalyst for the FBI. The only thing that kind of sucks about this is that it sounds like the only reason this is going forward now is because some other flicks that also sounded cool (especially Depp's Rum Diary adaptation) have been postponed. Still, I hope they all go forward with this, becase this will be just huge. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"MovieWeb Gets a Cake from The Joker!!!" - Wednesday, December 5:

I said it once (in the Comment section), and I'll say it again: Best movie publicity stunt EVER! Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Rosario Dawson and Woody Harrelson to Star in Seven Pounds" - Tuesday, December 4:

I know Will Smith is absolutely huge right now, but I don't know about this one he's signed on for. It sounds like a weird mix of Leaving Las Vegas and 21 Grams. Yeah, they both were good movies, but this just sounds too damn weird. I've never heard of scribe Grant Nieporte before and this just sounds too damn weird and, hopefully, I'll never hear from Nieporte again. There are too many big names attached here for this project to go away completely (save a writers strike postponement), but I doubt I'll like this much. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

I knew this weekend would be a better weekend than last weekend. I was right... but not by that much at all. I also knew that The Golden Compass was going to be tops at the box office this weekend, since there were no other flicks in wide release. I was right... but not my that much

The Golden Compass took the box office crown with $25.7 million in its debut weekend. The flick fell well below expectations, and the critics didn't help out much either. The Golden Compass could only point to a 44% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and there's much worse news than that. The Golden Compass was budgeted at $180 million, and this lackluster turnout basicaly guarantees this will be a financial bomb. The flick did get a healthy rollout of 3,528 theaters, and it did post a solid $7,308 per-screen average. While those numbers are all fine and good, in a weekend where it basically had no competition, the weekend all to itself, and even coming off a crappy weekend last weekend... this is quite a terrible showing.

Although The Golden Compass was the only new movie in wide release, two other smaller films actually had much better weekends than the big release. Atonement came in 15th place this weekend with almost $797,000. It was screened in only 32 theaters, good for a wonderful $24,901 per-screen average. While that is an impressive showing, the best showing of the weekend easily goes to Juno. The indie flick was in 17th place with almost $414,000... but it was screening in only 7 THEATERS! To be exact, that's a per-screen average of $59,124, which is absolutely astronomical. This has been getting some incredible buzz lately, and these numbers certainly justify the hype. Look for a huge bump into wide release next weekend, for sure.

GOING LIVE

Inkheart: (InkheartMovie.com)

Lame. All we get is the trailer here. Yeah, the trailer does look kind of cool, but there should be something else here, anything. There isn't even a link to register for updates. Snore. Inkheart opens on March 19.

TRAILER PARK

The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian:

The nature of time in Narnia really seems fitting for me. According to the trailer, one year on Earth is 1,300 years in Narnia. That's fitting because it may have only been two years since we last saw Narnia in the theaters, but it just seems like 1,300 years or so since we've seen anything from this series. This teaser was a nice refresher back in to the world of Narnia, though, and it looks like a great way to get this series back on track. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian comes out on May 16, 2008.

Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay:

First of all, this is an age-restricted "red band" trailer, so no lookie if you're not 18. Or else... Yeah, I did dig the first one. Sue me. I don't own it, because it's nothing I'll probably have the need to throw in the player ever again. Still... you know you laughed at the first one, and you probably will get a few laughs out of this trailer as well. This won't be high on my priorities to watch, but I'm sure I'll get around to it, and I'm sure it really won't be that bad. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay opens on April 25, 2008.

Speed Racer:

This looks pretty damn awesome, almost overwhelming. The Wachowski's give us such a unique, insanely colorful look to this film, and it looks like the action and acting are top notch here. Emile Hirsch should get a big big push from playing Racer X, and we get a wonderful supporting cast with Christina Ricci, Matthew Fox, Susan Sarandon and John Goodman. This should add to what is already shaping up to be a HUGE opening summer month of May next year. Speed Racer opens on May 9, 2008.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Easy pick for me this week, as I'm going with Michael Mann teaming up with Johnny Depp for my Best News of the Week. Michael Mann and Johnny Depp have long been favorites of mine and this just sounds like an outstanding project. Johnny Depp playing John Dillinger, in a movie about the largest crime wave in the history of the country, and how the FBI was birthed out of that. This is just going to ROCK!

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

I'm going with Seven Pounds of weirdness for my Worst News of the Week. Maybe there's just something that they're not letting us in on here, with some major stars signing on in Woody Harrelson, Rosario Dawson and, the current biggest box office star, Will Smith. Maybe he just loved working with Gabrielle Muccino in The Pursuit of Happyness, that Smith was influenced that way. Who knows. I think this just sounds like a hybrid rip-off of a few other flicks, and until I hear any different, I doubt anything would change my mind.

That's all I have for this week, folks. 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!