Another 7 days has come and gone and left us in the wake of another slew of movie news, box office figures, new official sites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So let's get this party started with this week's Notables.
"McG Directing Matthew McConaughey in an untitled Marshall College football Project" - Monday, January30
We found out how passionate Matthew McConaughey is about college football early this year, as he was one of the most high-profile fans of his alma mater, the Texas Longhorns on their road to a national championship. He'll be taking his passion to another part of the country in West Virginia, taking on the role of a Marshall College football coach, trying to rebuild the football program after the school suffered a terrible tragedy, losing most of it's team and other people in a horrific plane crash. This has been called one of the biggest tragedies in sports history, and it's certainly worthy of the silver screen treatment. I'm not the hugest fan of McG (real name Joseph McGinty Nichol), but McConaughey sounds like a great choice for the coach. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Friday the 13th Prequel Coming This October" - Monday, January30
Umm ok. Is it just me, or aren't they cutting this a tad close? If they had a completed script, they could probably get away with this, but it says that New Line has "launched development of a script about Jason Voorhees' origins." That means they have nothing but a premise, maybe not even that much, and they want to go from Fade In to the premeire in a mere 8 months. If I were New Line, and I wish I was sometimes, planning to revitalize a franchise that has suffered for years, I think I might want to take more than 8 months for this sort of an undertaking. Yeah, I get that they want to release it on Friday the 13th this October, but buy a 5-year calendar or something and take your time. I'd actually look forward to this, since Jason Voorhes is one of the most notable characters in movie history, and a look into his creepy origin should be well worth a look...but not if they're going to spend 8 frickin months on it. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Kristen Bell, Jay Baruchel, Chris Marquette and Sam Huntington Are Fanboys" - Wednesday, February 1
This sounds like an interesting project and now they have a very solid cast, filled with some very talented young actors who everyone won't recognize by name, but should recognize from their work. Kristen Bell hasn't been in much, but was definitely solid as the kidnapped daughter in David Mamet's Spartan, Jay Baruchel delivered a phenomenal yet largely unnoticed performance in the last Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby, Chris Marquette was insanely funny and made a huge fan out of me in the wonderful The Girl Next Door and Sam Huntington was solid in another unnoticed flick Detroit Rock City. They're all coming together here for Fanboys, a story about a band of geeks determined to get their dying friend to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to see Star Wars in the ultimate setting. The story sounds great and original and this wonderful young cast just gets me even more excited for this. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Joel and Ethan Coen Directing No Country for Old Men" - Wednesday, February 1
Any Cohen Brothers movie is good news to me, and this sounds right up their alley, and getting back to their darker roots. Their last few flicks were both somewhat lighter comedies (See: Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers) that didn't fare so well with audiences, and this flick looks to get back to their film-noir origins. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Coen Brothers, but their mainstream flicks of late have lacked that Coen essence that made them a filmmaking force. This flick is about a hunter who instead of finding antelope, finds a load of heroin, dead men and the proverbial dead Presidents, $2 million of them. This sounds like a great dark tale that should bring the Brothers Coen back to their glory days and away from the mainstream. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Sean Penn Directing Emile Hirsch in Into the Wind" - Thursday, February 2
Actors directing is surely en vogue these days, but Senor Penn has been in the directors chair before, helming three feature films in the 90s. This one is a very bizarre tale of a recent college graduate, to be played by Hirsch, who abandons everything and moves to Alaska to get back to nature and all that jazz, in 1992. Sadly, he died 4 months later and this flick will chronicle his struggle with Mother Nature. Hirsch is coming into his own lately, with solid back-to-back performances in The Girl Next Door and last year's Lords of Dogtown, and this should be his most challenging role to date, in what looks to be a very interesting picture. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"David Logan Rewriting Dreamworks' Hammer Down" - Friday, February 3
A hip-hop comedy about an ex-NASCAR driver? Right. The IMDB page for this flick says Matthew McConaughey is starring here, but it was last updated in 2004, so he could've easily moved on since then. He fits in just fine as a NASCAR driver, with his Southern accent and all, but it looks like they're going in a different direction here, and it sounds retarded. For one, this doesn't sound funny at all. I don't see the humor in an ex-NASCAR driver turning to the life of crime as a getaway driver. Phil Joanou doesn't have the greatest resume under his belt, mainly directing music videos (yipee) and David Logan, now the 4th writer to undertake this seemingly troubled flick doesn't have the greatest filmography either. This just sounds stupid, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"David Arquette Directing Horror Ensembler The Tripper" - Friday, February 3
There is nothing about David Arquette that makes me think he can actually be a director. For one, he never was even a good actor, and has slipped into quirky, unnoticed indie roles since his last major studio flick, Eight Legged Freaks tanked 4 years ago. Of course he's ready to direct, right? Wrong. I'm actually surprised he got a fairly decent cast here with Thomas Jane, Jamie King, Lukas Haas, Jason Mewes along with Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens and Balthazar Getty. The story sounds fairly dumb too, with this cast heading to some sort of Woodstock revival, only to be stalked by a killer who apparently killed people off at the first one. Sure, because that sounds realistic, right? Wrong. Go fist yourself, David Arquette. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Many a stranger flocked to the box office to see another stranger calling. When A Stranger Calls took the #1 spot at the box office this weekend, taking in a solid $21.6 million in its opening weekend ($23.6 million prediction). The remake grabbed a slick $7,204 per-screen average, screening in 2,999 theaters. The Simon West flick was the only new movie this weekend in wide release, and ran away from the pack, besting last weekend's winner, Big Momma's House 2 which dropped 51% from last weekend, taking in $13.6 million in its second weekend ($15.5 million prediction). The Stranger is already sitting pretty with just over $6 million profit from a meager $15 million budget, and it needed a strong weekend here, since there is a lot of competition coming up this week with 4 major new releases. Also, Brokeback Mountain keeps climbing up the charts, moving up from 6th place last weekend to 4th this weekend, taking in just over $6 million, and moving past $60 million for its overall take.
The only other new flick was in far fewer theaters, had far less marketing and posted some less than impressive numbers. Something New could only take a 7th place finish this weekend, taking in a paltry $4.8 million in its opening weekend ($4.2 million prediction). It was only shown in 1,266 theaters, scoring a weak $3,854 per-screen average. Budget figures weren't released for this romcom, but I'm sure they're in pretty horrid shape to take home a profit from this, which definitely isn't something new, as of late...
Box Office Predictions
1) Firewall: $24.6 million
2) Final Destination 3: $19.4 million
3) Curious George: $16.8 million
4) The Pink Panther: $12.4 million
5) When A Stranger Calls: $9.5 million
CLICK HERE to see the rest of my predictions from last weekend
Scary Movie 4: (www.scarymovie.com)
OK, they're at it again with the teaser sites. I'm lighting a cigarette right now and trying to calm down, hoping and praying that this week isn't at all like last week. Anyway, all you get here is what will probably be the one-sheet, the trailer and a link to sign up for updates. Breathe, Gallagher, breathe... Scary Movie 4 opens on April 14.
There's good news and bad news. The good news is this is the only other site to review this week. The bad news is, these webmasters hate me, and this is yet another teaser site. They do have more than the last site, though, with a decent photo gallery and a press kit. The press kit has some good stuff there, but they're basically taking the lazy road here. The press kit has most of the stuff that any normal official site has, but instead of implementing these goodies onto a site, they just threw the press kit up from Cannes and that's all she wrote. Of course, the official site is "coming soon" but who really cares. Joyeux Noel opens on March 3 in New York and Los Angeles.
Tyrese has been coming on strong in Hollywood in the past few years, and this should only make his stock rise even more. He stars here as an ex-con, fresh off a 6-year stint and his back to the wall with two strikes against him, when he gets carjacked by a gang with his 6-year old son still in the car. They want $100,000 to get his son back, so he must revert back to a life of crime to get back his boy. There are a lot of interesting elements in this flick with what looks like some solid performances from Tyrese, Larenz Tate and newcomers Megan Good and rapper The Game. This should be a solid, gritty flick to bring the spring movie season to a great close. Waist Deep opens on April 28th.
I remember last year at the Oscars when they played that reel of masterful director Sidney Lumet's work, wrapping up with footage on this flick, prompting jokes about how silly Vin Diesel looks with hair. But seriously, this looks like a damn good flick, folks. We have a great cast with Diesel along with the wonderful Peter Dinklage and Annabella Sciorra, a highly entertaining true story about a mobster who defended himself in the longest mafia trial in American history, and Sidney Lumet co-writing and directing. What more can you honestly ask for? I'm really looking forward to this flick, that just might put some legitimacy on Vin Diesel's slate. Find Me Guilty opens on March 17 in New York and Los Angeles.
Hi-frickin-larious, folks! That's the summary right there. I laughed when I simply read about this flick being made, and I laughed even harder when I saw Jack Black embodying the tights and the mask as Nacho Libre. If you're of the rare persuasion that didn't think Napoleon Dynamite or School of Rock were funny, then this might not be the flick for you, because Napoleon's director, Jared Hess, helmed this flick, and Rock's writer, the wonderful Mike White, wrote this flick as well. Bring on the Nacho!! Nacho Libre opens on June 2.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough choice this week, but I'm going with the return of the Brothers Coen for my Best News of the Week. I did like their last two flicks, Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers, but they still pale in comparison to their past, darker flicks like Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink or Fargo. This flick seems like their getting back into their mode, and ready to flourish once again. Hopefully, the audiences are ready for it as well, because I'm definitely ready for it.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here in David Arquette working for my Worst News of the Week. This guy has always been a tool, both on screen and off it, and I thought we were done with him for good and he'd live a quiet life making crappy B movies you can only see at Blockbuster, while his wife brings home the real bacon. Sadly, though, he thinks he can direct now. This guy barely had a handle on himself, so I have no idea why he thinks he can handle a full cast and crew. The one glimmer of hope here is that I didn't see anything in this news bit that Arquette would star here. Well, at least it has that going for it...
That's all 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.