Another seven days has come and gone and left us with another slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets get right into it with this week's Notables.
"Tara Reid To Star In and Produce, Honestly" - Monday, January 15:
There's just too much that sounds really really weird with this flick. First of all, we have the involvement of Tara Reid, who'll both star and produce this flick. Yeah. Then we have the odd-couple supporting cast of Vinnie "Bullet-Tooth Tony" Jones and former NFL running back Eddie George. Yeah. Then we have Tara's brother Tommy Reid directing this thing, but the worst of all is the story, written by Tom Vaughan. Reid will play a private investigator who sets herself up as a seductive siren to test the fidelity of unfaithful husbands. Of course, she falls for one of the guys and now it's starting to sound like a weird female version of Hitch. Nothing just seems right here, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Universal Picks Up Neil Burger's New Film" - Monday, January 15:
This sounds really damn cool, folks! I have yet to see Burger's latest offering, The Illusionist, but I've heard very good things. Even his first flick, Interview With The Assain sounds pretty damn cool, so I might have to check out both of those sometime soon. Burger's latest involves an impending terrorist attack on New York City, which results in the NYPD cracking down like mad, in essence, shutting crime down. The criminals are eager to get back to business, so they decide to work as a shady little team and capture the terrorists themselves, thus resulting said criminals to evaluate their own lives. This sounds like just an outstanding film, from what seems to be one of the next great talents in the biz. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Pierce Brosnan Mixed Up In The Big Biazarro" - Wednesday, January 17:
I'm not sure if that's a typo or not, and it's supposed to be "bizarro" but this might work anyway. While poker might not be as huge as it was a few years ago, there is still plenty of interest in the game, and this flick sounds fairly decent. It doesn't sound like a groundbreaking flick by any means, with Brosnan to play an aging card shark who teaches the poker ropes to a talented young prodigy, but it still should work. Vondie Curtis-Hall seems to be recovering nicely from the debacle of his career called Glitter that he directed, and I'd look for his career to keep moving up if he makes this flick work. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Michael Pena Boards Lions For Lambs" - Wednesday, January 17:
Well, it looks like Tom Cruise wants to get his new baby United Artists off to a quick start. Even though shooting hasn't begun yet, they've slated this for a December 14, 2007 release date, so shooting should start, oh, any hour or so now. I'm not saying they won't pull it off, though. They've got Robert Redford directing from a Matthew Michael Carnahan (yes, Joe's brother) script. We also have Meryl Streep starring here alongside Cruise, Redford and Pena. While they don't tell us much about this flick, it'll have something to do with the war in Afghanistan with Pena cast as a platoon leader over there, with multiple storylines stemming off of him and his men. If they haven't started shooting this yet, they better soon, because this actually sounds like a damn good flick, and they'll need to start it up pronto to get it done before December. I hope they do though. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Laurence Fishburne To Star In 21" - Friday, January 19:
This sounds like a great bit of casting news for a project I've wanted to get started for awhile now. I have yet to read Ben Mezrich's best-selling book about the six MIT boys who ran roughshod over the Las Vegas casinos with their card-counting ways. I didn't need to read it to know that it's tailor-made for the silver screen, even though I still want to get around to reading it anyway. Fishburne is a great choice here, and he just keeps picking his roles fabulously. He'll play a security chief who chases after the students. Get this damn thing started so I can see it already! Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was another good weekend for some stomping, as last weekend's winners held on for a second straight week... barely. Stomp the Yard took the top spot again this weekend, taking in $12.2 million, which just barely beat out its top competitor, Night at the Museum which took second place with $12.01 million. While it wasn't a bank-breaking weekend for sure, the top two holdovers held fast with just minimal increases; Stop the Yard dropping only 43.7% while Night at the Museum dropped just 30%. Stomp the Yard now stands at $40.5 million after 10 days while Night at the Museum continues to impress (for reasons not understood by me...) as it crossed the $200 million plateau this weekend, coming in at $204.8 million after five weeks in release. Another holdover keeps on rising up the charts as Dreamgirls, which expanded to over 2,000 theaters for the first time in its six-week release, took third place with just over $8 million. It stands with a total of $77.4 million overall, and if this flick keeps expanding the way it does, it should break the $100 million mark soon.
There was just one new flick released this weekend as well, and it was The Hitcher remake, which took 4th place with a weak $7.8 million. It received a decent rollout with a 2,831 theater count, but it only cashed in a dismal $2,761 per-screen average. Budget figures weren't released for this flick, which is probably a good thing.
With the Oscar nominations just around the corner, a bunch of flicks bumped into sub-run mode, with a one even creeping into the top 10. The Queen jumped from 24th place last weekend to 9th this weekend, taking in $3.4 million. It was shown in 1,242 more theaters this weekend, for a total of 1,586, although its per-screen average of $2,143 wasn't too impressive. Babel, on the heels of its Golden Globe win for Best Picture (Drama), jumped from 29th last weekend to 13th this weekend, taking in just over $2 million, an increase of 444% and The Last King of Scotland, jumped from 4 theaters and 55th place last weekend to 495 theaters and 17th place this weekend, with $1.6 million.
It wasn't all rosy at the box office though, as Primeval suffered the biggest 2nd-weekend drop this year. The flick fell from 8th place last weekend to 15th place this weekend, taking in just $1.8 million. It dropped a mammoth 68.9% from last weekend's take. That's usually not good for business...
Nothing fancy about this site. About the Movie offers us a brief Synopsis, with Production Notes, Cast Bios and Crew Bios coming soon. Downloads has some Wallpapers, AIM Icons and a Poster to download, with the MySpace site coming soon. Games has, well, a bunch of lame games. There's the Rib Toss where you have to catch all these flying ribs in a rib box, Ask Rasputia, which is a lame fake IM thing where you can ask her questions and get fake responses, Mr. Wong's Rights where you just open a bunch of fortune cookies and a Norbit Valentine's Day E-Card. The Sound Board is coming soon. There's also a Gallery with some production shots and even a few behind-the-scenes pics and Videos has the trailer, with clips and featurettes, yeah, coming soon. Lame. Very very lame. Norbit will sadly be released in actual theaters on February 9.
An even simpler site here. We get a brief Synopsis, a bio on the Director, Paul Veerhoven, some character background with Cast, a small Gallery of pics, the Trailer and some external Links/Reviews. Not much here, folks. Black Book opens on March 9 in limited release.
Spider-Man 3: (Spiderman3.SonyPictures.com)
This site looks pretty cool, folks, but not quite when you get into it. They start you off with a menu that gives you stuff for all different mediums. You get Video with the trailer and the teaser, stuff for your Desktop with wallpapers, screensavers and AIM Icons, and even stuff for your PSP, IPod and your Mobile phone as well. In the middle of the site you have all the menus. Under The Movie menu, you get a synopsis under Story, a decent Gallery, but just a lame list of cast and crew in the Cast and Filmmakers menu, with no links. Blog brings up a separate page with the official Spidey 3 blog, with some interesting items on there as well. Other than that, everything else has been covered on that main page, with all the Video stuff and Downloads, with the Games menu coming soon. Maybe this site will be better once we near the May 4th release date more, but it could've been better now.
We don't get much here, but we get enough to make me damn pumped for this flick! We get a brief synopsis under Story, the wonderful Trailer, a wallapers and AIM Icons in Downloads and the restricted red-band trailer. This trailer isn't really all that much worse than the regular trailer, but it's still pretty damn cool, folks. I can't wait to see this one, folks. Dead Silence opens on March 23.
An Unreasonable Man
This looks like quite an interesting documentary that could be the doc hit of the year. The flick revolves around Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate who, in seemingly one fell swoop, had his legacy in shambles after the 2000 Presidential Election. This flick basically tries to remind us all the good that Nader has done for the country, and it doesn't seem to want Nader's career and popularity to be tarnished by, in one way or another, giving the election to George W. Bush in 2000. Or that's how some people see it as, anyway. I think it looks like a very provocative flick and I hope it makes its way to this blue state after it hits the theaters on January 31 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Lots of good stuff this week, but I'm going with Neil Burger's wonderful new flick for my Best News of the Week. I'm really going to have to check this guy's stuff out, because this flick just sounds like a superbly crafted idea. If they cast this right and, more importantly, market it right, this could put Burger up near the directing A-list in a very short amount of time. Yes, it DOES sound that good, folks. I hope they fast-track the hell out of this flick, so I can see it as soon as humanly possible.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Only one thing to go on here, and that's Tara Reid's new flick for my Worst News of the Week. OK, it's not only so bad that's she starring in this, but she's producing too. Tara Reid? Producing?? Yes, under that Hi Happy Films shingle. Yes, that's the actual name of Tara Reid's production company. I wonder if they just asked her what her two favorite words were, and then just decided on that for the prodco name... Unreal. The story sounds retarded, her brother is directing, a no-namer is writing, she's PRODUCING and a former NFLer is making his feature film debut. Why not throw Yahoo Serious in for good measure? My head hurts...
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 look like a good time, sounds like a good time and feels like a good time... it probably isn't free.