Another 7 days has come and gone and brought with us another slew of movie news, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets get this thing a rippin' with this week's Notables.
"Michelle Trachtenberg, Katie Cassidy, Mary Elizabeth and Oliver Hudson Join the Black Christmas Remake" - Monday, January 16
While remakes of lesser known flicks are normally more successful than remakes of bigger movies, I'm still not too sure about this one. There hasn't been a sorority house slasher flick since the 80s, or a decent one anyway, and I doubt this "genre" is in need of revival, or if it even deserved to be a "genre" in the first place. The cast here is rubbish and at the helm is the guy that's responsible for the Final Destination series. Pardon me if I don't break out in enthusiastic applause... Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Walden Media Picks Up Allende's Alexander Cold Trilogy" - Monday, January 16
Walden Media is applying the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" axiom, taking on another fantasy novel series to put under their flag after the big success of their The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. This series revolves around one Alexander Cold and his adventures throughout the Amazon River area. This sounds like a pretty cool series, and, with producer Barrie Osborne who was on board with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they have some experience in this genre. They'll also probably pick another unknown youngster who will become vastly famous and grow up before our very eyes, much like Daniel Radcliffe and his Hogwarts cronies, and the same will probably happen to the Narnia folk. This sounds like another solid franchise for Walden Media. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage, James McAvoy and Richard E. Grant Join Penelope" - Tuesday, January 17
While this story might be a bit lovey-dovey for me, they certainly do have a great cast in place here. Along with Christina Ricci and Reese Witherspoon, we get the wonderful Catherine O'Hara, Peter Dinklage who just blew me away in The Station Agent, James McAvoy who turned in a great performance in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and this Richard E. Grant guy who I'm not familiar with, but, with the rest of this cast in place, it doesn't matter. The story, about a woman (Ricci or Witherspoon?) who is cursed with the face of a pig and must find her true love to break the curse, sounds like a live-action Shrek flick, but, again, I don't really care. This cast is so good that I'm giving it a Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Jason Statham Set for Rogue" - Tuesday, January 17
While I do like this cast, this story is just way too bad for me to like. For one, Statham and Li have already been in nearly the same damn movie with The One and this "I'm gonna get the guy who killed my partner" scenario has been played out oh so many times. While I will probably see this flick, just because I like Statham and Li, I'm not too sure I'll enjoy it too much. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Universal Picks Up How Soon Is Now?" - Wednesday, January 18
Well, the title is dumb, the story sounds dumb, about a guy who goes back in time (original) to his high school days to fix the three worst days of his life in hopes to have a better future (original). I bet they'll sign up Rob Schnieder in a heartbeat... My head hurts. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Virginia Madsen Playing Jim Carrey's Wife in Number 23" - Wednesday, January 18
Elizabeth Shue was all set to play the funnyman's wife but bowed out when she learned of her pregnancy. New Line should probably thank Shue's husband, Davis Guggenheim, for this because they ended up getting a better actress out of the deal, and one who's moving up the Hollywood ladder. Madsen is a hot new talent, in more ways than one, coming off her smashing, Oscar-nominated performance in
Sideways and I think she'll complement Carrey rather nicely. This sounds like a wonderful story, and with Carrey and Madsen in place, this could be a very big hit. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"John Singleton to Helm Tom Clancy's Without Remorse" - Wednesday, January 18
It seems that the Jack Ryan era might be over, and they're moving forward with another Tom Clancy character in John Clark. We've seen this character on the silver screen before, portrayed by Willem Dafoe in Clear and Present Danger and by Liev Schrieber in The Sum of All Fears. I've always liked this character, because he's just this no-nonsense tough bastard, and I'm sure the immensely talented Singleton can develop this character properly. Casting is, as always, the next big step, and I hope they don't drop the ball here, but with Singleton aboard, I'm sure they won't. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a certainly a weekend for the creatures of the night, as they conquered some animated creatures and everyone else. Underworld: Evolution took the top spot this weekend, taking in $26.8 million in its opening weekend ($24.5 million prediction). The sequel took in about $5 million more than it's predecessor's opening weekend take and easily took the weekend where it was the sole wide-release new movie. It scored a smashing $8,374 per-screen average, showing in 3,207 theaters. The Kate Beckinsale flick's budget figures weren't released, but it should be in decent shape after this opening weekend. Last weekend's top flick, Hoodwinked jumped into 608 more theaters this weekend, and only dropped an impressive 16.1% to finish its second weekend in second place with $10.4 million ($8.6 million prediction) and $28.6 million for its 10-day run.
After a long and arduous run, two December flicks are finally profitable ones. Fun With Dick and Jane finished in 7th place this weekend with $5.7 million to bump its overall take to $101.3 million, just over its $100 million budget. King Kong finally turned a profit as well this weekend, after 7 long weeks. It came in 10th place this weekend, scoring $4.2 million and bringing its overall total to $209.8 million, a few million over its $207 million budget. The folks at Sony and Universal can sleep a bit better now, perhaps...
Box Office Predictions
1) Underworld: Evolution: $17.4 million
2) Big Momma's House 2: $14.6 million
3) Annapolis: $12.4 million
4) Hoodwinked: $8.8 million
5) Brokeback Mountain: $6.3 million
CLICK HERE to see the rest of the box office results from last weekend
CLICK HERE for the rest of my predictions from last weekend
This is a fairly simple site, but they have some pretty good features here. The sites starts off with a catchy little intro and then the main site has the Confederate flag in the background and the menu items appear in the X. At the top left there is a thorough Synopsis and below that is a News link with several audio and print interviews and stories from various media outlets. Below that is Reviews, with links to several different reviews and below that, in the middle of the X, is the trailer. Going up the other side of the X is Feedback, where you can chime in, both good or bad, as encouraged by the movie's producer, about what you thought of the film, and then it gets really interesting. Above that is a Timeline, of both historical and fictional items that would likely follow what would happen if indeed the South had won the Civil War. This is a very interesting piece that often paralells modern events. Above that is The Real CSA, which is a fake layout of "CSA Today" a mock-up of USA Today, with fake headlines of how they would read if the South had won, but with real links devoted to those related issues, which is very interesting as well. I didn't realize it at first, but there are more options on the bottom sides of the X as well. On the bottom left stem of the X is Links, which has links to some sites for the NAACP, ACLU and other sites of that nature, and then sites for the movie's production companies and distributors. Next is the Sundance menu which is outdated from last year's festival and is useless and below that is the Director's Comment which offers some interesting insight into how writer-director Kevin Willmot crafted this movie. On the other bottom side of the X are some Video Clips and some nice bios in Filmmakers. This is a pretty interesting site to what surely looks to be a very interesting movie. CSA: The Confederate States of America opens on February 15 in limited release.
This flick starts off with a cool intro, but there's not too much inside. First there is a decent Synopsis, and About the Film goes a little bit more in depth than the synopsis, but not too much more. Cast and Crew gives us brief bios on each of the main players in the flick, along with a cool little slideshow of pictures to go with it and the Gallery is a mix of a few production photos and the bizarre artwork that the students make in the flick. There is also the Trailer, Links with sites for reviews of the movie, the comic company that did the book this is based off, and Mr. Mudd, the prodco for the movie. The Downloads section is coming soon. All in all, this isn't too bad of a site, with some decent style but it could use more content. Art School Confidential opens on April 26 in limited release.
This is yet another teaser site. All we get here is a photo gallery and a media kit, which is always nice to see. The 21-page media kit is chocked full of goodies, like a synopsis, full cast list, production notes and an interview with writer-director Nicole Holofcener. The site itself, however, isn't chocked full of goodies since the full site is "coming soon." That's all we get folks. Friends With Money opens on April 7 in limited release.
No, this isn't a movie about my homestate hockey team, the Minnesota Wild, but I'm sure even they have a better website than this one. This stupid teaser site just has the trailer here. Move along, nothing to see here. The Wild opens on April 14.
This site has a pretty slick design to it, but, of course, it falls short on content. On the first page of the site you can watch the trailer before proceeding to the main site, but once you're in, there are a few more things to do. Click on About to get a decent synopsis, Media just gives you the trailer that you could've seen on the first page and a Downloads section that gives you wallpapers, screensavers AIM Icons and even some material for the PSP and IPod Video. Unfortunately, that's all we get, but hopefully they add more stuff to this stylish site before its April 21 release date.
This looks, well, weird. This flick is about Michael Rappaport who plays a guy that volunteers for a drug study. But he develops a side effect to the drug that makes him think he has super powers, even though he's really the same dude. What follows, apparently, is a very weird little story where Rappaport quits his job to take on superheroing as a full-time gig, thus causing everyone around him to think he's lost his marbles. This has sort of a Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind feel to it, just for the psychosis and just the way the picture looks and feels. I'm not sure if it will be as good, but it might just be worth a look. Special is still looking for a release date for this year.
The Wendell Baker Story:
Well this certainly looks... umm, weird too. We don't get much plot info from the trailer, but apparently this Baker guy, played by Luke Wilson is a con man of sorts and he gets into all sorts of trouble and Owen Wilson's character wants him killed. The end of the trailer says this is "based on the living legend" and I have no flippin idea what that means, since I couldn't find anything on IMDB about said living legend. But, then again, who knows. The cast looks fairly solid, with the Wilsons and the luscious and talented Eva Mendes, Wes Anderson fav Seymour Cassel, Eddie Griffin, Kris Kristofferson and many others. Maybe this is worth checking out, but not necessarily from this trailer. The Wendell Baker Story is also still looking for a release date for this year.
This is a pretty damn good trailer folks. This video game adaptation has a mother traveling with her daughter when they come across the bizarre town of Silent Hill, that was supposedly ravaged and deserted after a virus struck the sleepy town. But it's far from sleepy now as the mother fights some mysterious powers to get her daughter back. This looks like a pretty cool flick here, with a nice, dark style to it, a decent cast with Rahda Mitchell, Sean Bean and Deborah Kara Unger. Oh, and they have a great writer in Roger Avary and Christophe Gans brings a great style to this moody flick. Should be a winner when it hits the theaters on April 21.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
We had a mixed bag this week, but I'm going with the lovely Virginia Madsen hitching up with Jim Carrey for my Best News of the Week. Ever since this movie started hitting our site, I've been looking forward to it even more. Carrey keeps leading a double-life as a funnyman/dramatic actor and, as I learned the hard way with his latest comedic offerings Bruce Almighty and Fun With Dick and Jane, he's just not that funny anymore. I've immensely enjoyed his dramatic offerings and I've always thought he should do more of those, and this The Number 23 flick sounds right up his alley. Madsen was obviously wonderful in Sideways and it looks like she's doing a fine job at picking her post-Oscar projects. This looks like just a super movie, folks.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
We had a mixed bag on the bottom side as well, but a decision must be made, and I'm going with one of the dumbest titles ever which will probably live up to its dumbness for my Worst News of the Week. How Soon is Now? What kind of flippin title is that? Did the monkey from careerbuilder.com write this flick? I wouldn't be surprised since it sounds about as original as a buddy cop movie, almost a moronic mix between Back to the Future and the 1990 James Belushi flick Mr. Destiny, and if this title and/or movie holds up and actually makes it to a theater near any carbon-based life form, I might be doing my column from a looney bin...
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for the latest box office goodies, official websites for upcoming flicks, 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.