Hey there folks. Another seven days have come and gone, bringing us a fresh batch of movie news, box office information, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Let's not make haste and kick things off with Notables.
"Rob Lowe Will Star in This Side of the Truth" - Monday, February 4:
This just sounds like an awesome project from the talented Ricky Gervais. Lowe signing on is good news too, and he joins a stellar cast in place with Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill and comedian Louis C.K. The story revolves around a world where no one has ever lied before, until one storyteller does so to save his job. This is just going to be wonderful, folks, especially with Gervais starring, co-writing and co-directing with Matthew Robinson. I have no idea who Matthew Robinson is, as this is his only credit to date, but if he's working with Gervais, he can't be that bad at all. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Ken Watanabe Is Ready for Shanghai" - Monday, February 4:
This could very well be pretty damn awesome as well. We already have John Cusack and the lovely Gong Li in place, and Watanabe just adds more talent. The story sounds pretty damn good too, from Hossein Amini (who wrote Killshot that I can't wait for) about an American who goes to Japanese-occupied Shanghai, four months before Pearl Harbor, and learns his friend has been killed... along with a government secret. This will be awesome. I just know it. Oh, and Mikael Hafstrom, who did a wonderful job with 1408, directs here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Sylvester Stallone Signs Two Picture Deal for Another Rocky? Another Rambo?" - Monday, February 4:
OK, seriously Sly? We all know that Harvey Weinstein wants another Rambo but I'm not sure how many more people would want to see another Rambo and/or Rocky. I do admit that I did indeed enjoy both Rocky Balboa and Rambo, but they both had that one-last-shot kind of feel to both of them, which I had no problem with at all. They both ended on up-notes for both of these iconic characters and we're not left with the sour taste in our mouth from Rocky V and Rambo III. Just leave these two characters alone, Sly. You've done more than enough for them by bringing them back for one last hurrah, but it's time to let them go for good. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Joan Collins Saddles Up for Cowboys for Christ" - Tuesday, February 5:
As the kids say, WTF mate??? A SEQUEL to The Wicker Man? No, not the dreadful Nicolas Cage remake, but the original 1973 flick starring Christopher Lee, who will be reprising his role as Lord Summerisle here. In case they didn't notice from the paltry $23 million domestic gross the remake managed to gather, nobody really cares about this stuff. The fact that Joan Collins is still working (and alive for that matter...) is surprising enough, let alone that she's doing this project, which is quite obviously a move out of desperation from writer-director Robin Hardy who really hasn't done jack squat since the first movie. Ugh. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Update! Writers Guild Reaches Tentative Deal with Studios" - Sunday, February 10:
IT'S OVER! BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK NOMINEE!!
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Two newcomers took the box office by storm, while the record-breaking holdover floundered in its second week. The box office crown went to Fool's Gold this weekend, taking in a decent $21.5 million. The latest Matthew McConaughey/Kate Hudson movie (I know, this is only their second one, but doesn't it SEEM like they've been in a lot more together?) was the only movie that received a 3,000+ theater count (3,125, to be exact) and it capitalized on the solid rollout, with a strong $6,908 per-screen average. It even overcame a very chilly reception from the critics, with just a 10% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Budget figures weren't released for this flick, but I have to imagine that they're pleased with this opening.
Martin Lawrence and his Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins comedy took the second spot with a decent performance as well, grossing $16.2 million in its debut weekend. Roscoe received a much weaker rollout, with 2,387 theaters, but it still managed a $6,790 per-screen average. It ended the weekend by making back just over half its $35 million budget and, despite a poor showing with the critics (29% "Fresh" on RT), it should still make its money back, plus a bit.
Last weekend's record-breaking winner, Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour fell off quick-like, dropping off 66.9% from last weekend, taking in $10.2 million in its second weekend. For some reason, the flick didn't really expand, only gaining four theaters after its opening weekend, and it still did manage a slick $14,986 per-screen average... although that's peanuts compared to last weekend's $45,560 per-screen average. It seems the novelty wore off pretty damn quick...
In limited-release news, there were some highs and lows this weekend. Two of them finished back to back in 24th and 25th place, but the 25th placeholder was clearly the winner. Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Show was the 24th spot with $464,000 and some change. The bad news is it was in 962 theaters, which gave it an abysmal $482 per-screen average. No, I didn't forget any digits there. Four-hundred-eighty-two frickin bucks per-screen. Wow. In Bruges was in 25th place with $457,000 and some change, but it was only screened in 26 theaters, thus finishing with an impressive $16,329 per-screen average. Lastly, and most certainly least, Paris Hilton's The Hottie & the Nottie finished in 59th place, $27,000 and change from 111 theaters, which comes out to a $249 per-screen average. Don't look for this one to expand anytime soon...
Ugh. Damn teaser sites. All we have here is what appears to be a "missing persons" poster for Osama bin Laden. It has all of his vital stats and a pic of him and there's also a phone number to call if you have any idea where bin Laden might be. The number works too, and you hear a message from Morgan Spurlock first and then you can actually leave a message if you have any clue to Osama bin Laden's actual whereabouts. Crazy. Yeah, that's it. Damn teaser sites... Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? opens on May 31 in limited release.
Fairly basic site here. About gives us a synopsis, the Gallery has a whopping TWO pictures, Downloads has four basic Wallpapers to get, Videos has the Super Bowl commercial and the two teasers and the Games, Build-a-Bot and Mash-Up menus are all coming soon. Lam-e. WALL-E hits the theaters on June 27.
Good Lord. Another stinking teaser site! This one just gives us a look at the probable one-sheet and the trailer. While I will admit that the trailer is worth a look-see, these teaser sites are starting to become the death of me. Ugh. Chaos Theory is still searching for a release date.
It seems like last week is repeating itself: a bunch of crappy teaser sites followed by the last site being pretty damn good, which is the case with this last site of the week. The main site is filled with these little videos for each of the main characters. Some are just with clips of that character from the movie, with a little "Who is ___?" thing you can click on the top of the vid which gives you a rundown of the character. Some of the videos are actually the actors themselves in character, talking about various aspects of their hustle. It's pretty slick, actually. The regular menus are at the top of the site, and these are just your garden-variety options here. About the Movie gives you a synopsis, with the Cast and Filmmakers menus coming soon, Gallery has 12 images to peruse and Downloads has AIM Icons and Desktops to download, with Screensavers coming soon. Video has the Trailer and a nice little behind-the-scenes video, Game is a very very cool game where you have to play multiple tables at a time, cashing out before the "eye in the sky" catches you and the Mobile and Promotions menus are coming soon. This is a very very cool site that gives you plenty of info on the movie in a very fun way, and gives you a chance to test your skills as well. This is an awesome site. Count on 21 hitting theaters on March 28.
Now, they had the damn website up at pretty much the same time, so I don't know why they didn't put this trailer up on the site, because it's pretty damn funny. This new Morgan Spurlock documentary looks like another home run for the Super Size Me director, and maybe he can start getting some Michael Moore-like grosses from this doc, because it looks like quite a good time. Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? is still searching for a release date.
One word: retarded. The story is about some big explosion that releases something and turns people into zombies. Bill Moseley plays an L.A. talk-radio host who tries to warn people of the crisis whilst fending off said zombies from his station. Lametastic. This one is still searching for a release date, but let's hope Morgan Spurlock actually finds Osama bin Laden before this wretched flick finds a release date.
This looks like a damn fine movie, folks. It does look a little Coen-esque in tone and style, but that certainly isn't a terrible thing. We get a smashing, diverse cast with Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Rachel McAdams. Writer-director Ira Sachs should get quite the push from this flick, and I'm truly looking forward to seeing it. Married Life ties the knot in theaters on March 7 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here with the Writers Guild of America strike finally ending after 3 months whether you understood why they were doing it or not, it's finally back to business as usual in Hollywood, and, if not for anything else, you have to be happy about that. No more of these 10-episode TV seasons or movies being shelved because of additional script work. The pencils are down no more, my friends, and I'm truly glad that the writers set some precedents in getting a lot of what they wanted. I have yet to read all the fine print on what exactly they got and what they didn't quite yet. I've just been happy that it's over and we can all move on. Now, if the actors act quick and settle their pending contract negotiations, we won't have to hear the word strike until opening day at Dodger Stadium.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Very tough choice this week, but I'm going with Joan Collins making a "comeback" with Cowboys for Christ as my Worst News of the Week. The sad thing is that Joan Collins signing up for this isn't even the worst/funniest thing about this whole mess. I checked out her IMDB page and apparently she's been working regularly in stuff most people have never seen (which I suppose makes her a perfect candidate for this...), but just the whole idea of a sequel to The Wicker Man so many many years later is asinine. Writer-director Robin Hardy hasn't had a credit since 1989, and the only credit he's had that I've actually heard of was his first, The Wicker Man. His royalties must be running pretty low or something, because I have no idea why he would think anyone would want to see a sequel, especially after the remake floundered like it did. This has the stink of a desperate man who hasn't worked in almost two decades reeking all over it.
Well, 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. Peace in. Gallagher out!