Another seven days have come and gone, bringing us another slew of movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets not waste any time here and get right into it with this week's Notables.
"Tom McCarthy Penning Glory Days" - Tuesday, Februray 21
This flick doesn't sound like anything that will set the world on fire, but I'm looking forward to it, nonetheless. The reason for this is because this marks the follow-up flick for Thomas McCarthy, who wrote and directed the wonderful flick The Station Agent. This new flick doesn't sound like anything too exciting, about a woman who goes to her 10-year college reunion and rekindles rivalries and relationships. But, then again, The Station Agent's logline (A dwarf starts over in a new town after the death of his business partner) doesn't sound like much either, but it was a superb flick. McCarthy has an endearing quality to his writing and directing and I'm looking forward to see what he can bring us with this flick. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Chris Rock Set for I Think I Love My Wife" - Wednesday, February 22
I'm not too sure about this one. Rock has always been a talented dude, but he just doesn't seem to pick his starring roles too well (See: Bad Company, Head of State). This one just doesn't sound up Rock's alley at all. The French flick this will be remade from centers around a married office worker who daydreams about other women until an ex-mistress of his friend comes into his life and tries to seduce him. If they play it straight, and stick with this story, I don't think the comic can pull off a Jim Carrey and go all dramatic on us. If they twist it into a comedy, I can't see it working either, so I'm going with a Worst News of the Week here.
"Universal Picks Up James Siegel's Deceit" - Wednesday, February 22
This sounds like a very slick project, and, if done right, should do a lot better than Siegel's only other adapted work, last year's stinker Derailed. This flick surrounds a journalist who, ironically, is also a huge liar, who is given the facts of a dastardly deed, in hopes that no one will believe him, given his reputation. While recent non-fiction authors James Frey and J.T. Leroy have had their reputations tarnished, journalists have been tainted in the recent past as well with the scandals of Stephen Glass from the New Republic and Jayson Blair from the New York Times. I'll be very interested to see who they tap behind and in front of the camera for this flick, because it certainly sounds like a winner to me. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Universal Picks Up Romany Malco's The Recruiter" - Wednesday, February 22
This sounds like another great pick-up for Universal, with The 40 Year Old Virgin's Malco set to topline here. For one, Malco has the perfect look and physique for a Marine recruiter, and the talent to portray one as well. I'm assuming this recruiter, like most that I've encountered, will be a total joke, getting ripped on at high schools and wherever else jarheads look for prospective new jarheads. This just sounds damn funny, folks, and should give Malco an even bigger push. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Anne Hathaway is Knocked Up" - Thursday, February 23
First she was in the Princess Diaries movies, then in Brokeback Mountain, now she's getting Knocked Up, a flick that reunites The 40 Year Old Virgin players Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann and her hubby, writer-director Judd Apatow. Interesting series of flicks, isn't it? This sounds like an interesting flick, about a dude who gets a one-night stand pregnant, and it will be interesting to see how Hathaway fits into this adult comedy, but I think this should work out pretty well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Director David Dobkin Leaves I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" - Thursday, February 23
Hah. I knew this sounded like too weird of a project, and now they're minus a director. The industry-standard reason of "creative differences" were cited for Dobkin's departure, although the studio said he just passed on the deal. Maybe this is a sign. Apparently, they want to make this a typical Sandler flick, and Dobkin had a different take on the flick, about two straight firefighters who pretend to be gay and get married for insurance benefits. Why would they want to make a standard Sandler flick out of this, most of which lately haven't been making that much money, when they had Dobkin, who directed one of the biggest comedic successes in recent box office history, Wedding Crashers. If Dobkin's leaving would've meant the project would've been shelved, this would be great news. Unfortunately, they're searching for a new helmer, so I'm going to have to tag this as a Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Mark Wahlberg Headlining Antoine Fuqua's Shooter" - Thursday, February 23
This sounds like a pretty cool 80s action flick throwback almost in the vein of a Rambo or a Commando. Fuqua is a great choice here, since he can obviously handle gritty action flicks rather well, and Mark Wahlberg has the right look and temprement for this lead role as well. I loved Wahlberg in another throwback, last year's wonderful Four Brothers and I think he'll shine in this flick as well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Apparently people just can't get enough of Tyler Perry. After surprising box office pundits last year with an impressive showing with Diary of a Mad Black Woman, as well as on the DVD charts with that and some of his other offerings burning up the charts, Perry proved he's no fluke this weekend. His latest offering, Tyler Perry's Madea's Family Reunion scorched all comers, taking the top spot with full force, taking in just over $30 million in a very impressive showing. The flick was only shown in 2,194, 2nd fewest theater count of the top 10 flicks, and scored an awesome per-screen average of $13,687. I honestly don't know what makes these movies so appealing, because I haven't seen any of them yet. But after this amazing performance, I might have to start checking out this Tyler Perry's work. Eight Below turned in a solid second week, dropping an equally-impressive 21.4%, taking 2nd place this weekend with $15.8 million. The others newcomers this weekend fared horribly in comparison though.
Doogal and Running Scared finished 8th and 9th this weekend, grossing $3.6 million and $3.3 million respectively, in their debut weekends. Neither flick impressed the critics much either, with Doogal scoring just a 7% "Fresh" rating and Running Scared earning a 38% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Each flick didn't get a high theater count either with Doogal at 2,318 and Running Scared at just 1,611, so this shouldn't be too surprising.
After a creepy little intro, we get into the main site, and there's plenty to do here. Click on Missing Love to get some more info on the flick. There is a decent Synopsis here, as well as About the Production, which is an interview with director Rian Johnson, and Cast and Crew gives us some bios of the players behind and in front of the camera. Shake Up has a Photo Gallery along with the Trailer and some Film Clips as well. Under The Brick, there are some Links to related material, a Glossary of terms from the flick, some that you'll know, others you probably won't and some Interviews are coming soon. Next is On the In, which is basically a blog for random postings from the director, some of which are pretty cool. Coming Clean is the downloads section, with AIM Buddy Icons and Wallpapers for your downloading pleasure and lastly, Coffee and Pie is just a list of songs on the soundtrack. All in all, this is a pretty decent site, with plenty of info and a slick little bit of style to it as well. Brick opens on March 31 in limited release.
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector: (http://www.healthinspectorthemovie.com/)
Another stupid teaser site. All we get here is the trailer, which is weird since this flick opens in less than a month. They better git r done a bit quicker if they want something meaningful on this site before its March 24 release date.
Doing Time for Patsy Cline: (http://www.doingtimeforpatsycline.com/)
This is a pretty basic site, folks, with all the menus at the top of the site. Under The Film, instead of getting a synopsis or any type of description, we just get a few snippets of critics reviews. Awards is just a list of awards this flick has gotten from the festival circuit, mostly the Austrailian festival circuit and Reviews is basically the same as The Film, only with more snippets from different critics and links to their full reviews. Blah. Next is the Trailer and then there's Cast and Crew, which is badly done as well. All they have here is a picture of each main cast and crew member, and a brief list of their most notable flicks, along with 2 random snapshots, one from Cannes and one from the set. Blah. The Soundtrack menu has a list of the songs on the soundtrack, and a sound clip from each track. There is also Screenings and Distribution, which has the few theaters this can be seen at, and an email link for distributors, and an Online Forum. On the main page of the site, you can also go to the directors prodco website, but if it's put together as poorly as this one, I wouldn't bother. Doing Time For Patsy Cline opens on March 3 in NYC.
Wow. If you didn't think that this Blue Collar Comedy tour stuff wasn't taking off way too much, you certainly will now. Sure, show me their stand-up DVD's all day long, but putting Larry the Cable Guy in a "movie" like this is just a horrible idea. He's basically playing himself, except, as oxymoronic as it sounds, he's a health inspector. I didn't laugh once at all during this trailer, and I expect the same when it comes to the full movie. This just will not work, folks. Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector opens on March 24.
Well, sadly, when I was watching the trailer for Lonesome Jim, which I couldn't finish but looks interesting, something happened to my sound, so I'm going to have to cut Trailer Park short this week. But you can CLICK HERE to check out the rest of the trailers for this week.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough choice this week, but I'm going with Antoine Fuqua's new throwback flick for my Best News of the Week. Fuqua has proven through the last few years that he is certainly a talented director, and he his 400-grit style should work rather well for this project. This should be an interesting project for Wahlberg too, a more subtle role as an exiled sniper, and I think he should mesh very well with Fuqua's style. This should be a very stylish but hardnosed flick that will surely be one to look out for.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the gay marriage flick that doesn't seem to die for my Worst News of the Week. Why they won't let David Dobkin just run with this, I don't know. I'm still at a loss for words that the great writing team of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor would write a script like this, especially if it's reportedly true that they want a typical Sandler comedy. Now, there is a big different between a comedy starring Sandler, and a Sandler comedy. It sounds like this will be the latter, and I just can't see Payne and Taylor writing something like this. Then, you get one of the hottest comedy directors on board, and they DON'T want to go his way, reportedly, and he leaves. What? Sandler comedies have been suffering lately (remember, there is a difference between a comedy starring Sandler and a Sandler comedy), and I don't know why they wouldn't want to go in Dobkin's direction, because, from what it sounds like here, they definitely need some help. What's funny is this could've been a Best News of the Week, had they simply shelved the flick, but they're trudging along, trying to find a new director. I think we'd all be more thankful if they'd just pack it up, and relegate this dumb comedy to the shelf.
That's all 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.