Its that time of the week again. It's that time where we go through the news bits, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. So let's get this party started with this week's Notables.
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, MAD World For Ed Bass and Karen Sharpe Kramer" - Tuesday, January 9:
Umm, sure. A sequel to this supposed comedy classic, some 40 years after the original flick was released, just sounds like a waste of time. Besides, there's already a sort-of loose remake of the flick recently called Rat Race. Yeah, it was a pretty bad movie with one of the worst endings ever, but still, it's out there. But it's not like this sequel is sounding much better either. This one with the extra "MAD" will follow the children of the characters in the original flick who set off on a race/chase of their own when it was learned that the money their parents were looking for in the first flick turned out to be counterfeit money. Yeah. It's a dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, DUMB idea, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Charles Matthau Gets Freaky Deaky" - Tuesday, January 9:
It's never shocking news, or even news really, when another Elmore Leonoard book gets set to be adapted to the silver screen. I wouldn't be surprised if, at one point, Hollywood finally gets all caught up and one day will have every book he's written made into a movie of some sort. Freaky Deaky is one of his many books I haven't gotten around to yet, but I'm sure I will now that it's going to be a movie. I've read 6 of his books so far and I'm currently reading one also. His books are just wonderful reads, slick and fast-paced with some marvelously fun characters and some very entertaining and wonderfully-written stories. Freaky Deaky will be done my the late great Walter Matthau's son, Charles, and, while I haven't seen any of his previous work now that he's doing an Elmore Leonard adaptation, it should do wonders for his career. I just want as much Leonard as I can get at the movies, and this sounds like another great one. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"M. Night Shyamalan Taking On Avatar: The Last Airbender" - Tuesday, January 9:
This could save Night's career, folks. His flicks seem to be falling off, eroding in quality with each one he does and this interesting material could bring him back to the top. For starters, while he is writing the flick, it isn't an original creation of his, rather it's a Nickelodeon TV series. It sounds like it could be great material for a movie too, with this unique tale of four different worlds: Air, Water, Fire and Earth, with people in those worlds who can manipulate nature. The avatar is the one who can manipulate all four elements. The premise alone just sounds cool as hell and this might even be Night's first action-ish flick, since it seems that there are some battles and such throughout. This sounds like a damn cool idea and hopefully it will bring Night back up to the top where he belongs. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Rob Cohen Taking on Mummy 3" - Tuesday, January 9:
I've got some good news, and some bad news. The good news is that CGI-freak Stephen Sommers will not be writing or directing this flick, like he did the first two horrid flicks. The bad news is that Rob Cohen is taking over and that one of the dumbest movie series of all time is somehow adding another installment. Cohen was the bad-boy director that was hot for a little while there with his Vin Diesel successes, The Fast and the Furious and xXx. But he's been stinking it up lately with his latest bomb Stealth and now he's going to bring his explosion-happy style to this series. And to make matters worse, we have Alfred Gough and Miles Millar writing the script, the dolts who have brought us such moronic flicks as Showtime and Herbie: Fully Loaded. Wonderful. Smashing. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, Samantha Morton and Tilda Swinton Travel To Synecdoche, New York" - Wednesday, January 10:
Well it's about damn time! Charlie Kaufman is finally going to direct one of his scripts! I'm a HUGE Charlie Kaufman fan, folks. The only flick of his that I haven't seen is Human Nature, and that's just because it's a damn hard flick to find. Kaufman is an extraordinarily talented screenwriter, easily one of the best in the biz, and I'm surprised it took this long for him to actually get to direct one of his zany scripts. He is getting just a marvelous cast here as well and while they might not all be the biggest of names, there is some of the finest underrated talent in Hollywood here. Charlie Kaufman writing and directing and this cast is more than enough to garner a Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It took some hip-hop dancers to put an end to the 1-2 3-peat this weekend. Stomp the Yard took the top spot this weekend with an estimated $22 million, putting an end to the three-week reign of Night at the Museum and The Pursuit of Happyness in the top two spots. Stomp the Yard was heavily outmatched in terms of theater count, bowing in just 2,051 theaters, which is about 1,100 theaters less that Pursuit and 1,600 theaters less than Museum. Despite the weak rollout, Stomp the Yard put up some impressive numbers, taking in a hefty $10,726 per-screen average. Night at the Museum and Pursuit of Happyness still fared rather well, moving down a spot each to the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively. Night at the Museum dropped only 28% from last weekend, taking in an estimated $17.1 million while Pursuit of Happyness only dropped 29.4%, grossing an estimated $9.1 million. The other newbies this week didn't fare quite as well, though.
Alpha Dog and Primeval took the 7th and 8th spots at the box office this weekend, but their estimated grosses are so close to each other that those spots might be flipped around when the actual numbers are released. Alpha Dog took in an esimated $6.1 million, fairly impressive since it bowed in just 1,288 theaters, and Primeval earned an estimated $5.9 million from 2,444 theaters. While Alpha Dog might have had a more impressive weekend than Primeval, the numbers still aren't that astounding and if Justin Timerblake and Co. want to see this flick do good, it'll have to have a significantly higher rollout from here on out. Somehow, I doubt that will happen, though...
Black Snake Moan: (Moanmovie.com)
This is a pretty simple site here, folks. Don't click on the Experience button in the upper left corner, because it's "coming soon." From the menu on the right side of the site, we get our options. Moan Movie has a spiffy synopsis, some very thorough Production Notes and even more thorough biographies in the About the Cast and About the Filmmaker menus. In the Video menu we get just the nifty Trailer with some Video Clips coming soon, Pics gives us a small array of photos, Get Some has three Desktops and six AIM Icons to download and Mess Around gives you a few little things to kill time with. They have a really cool little thing where you can make your own blues song. Play the Blues starts you out with a little riff and you can add your own notes along the way to make your very own blues song. It's kind of like that Guitar Hero thing, I guess, but you get to make your own song instead of play someone else's. There's also an Are You a Nymph quiz and a Facelift thing where you can post your own picture onto a Black Snake Moan poster. This isn't a bad little site at all, with some decent style and content. Black Snake Moan opens on February 23.
Dammit. I've been waiting for something on this movie for awhile now. So, of course, when I finally get an official website up for this flick, it's a lame teaser site with nary a link on the whole damn thing. Balls! I'm sure they'll be adding more to this site before the flick bows on March 23.
Dammit, another teaser site! All we get here is the trailer, but there better be more added to this site before this flick, which looks hilarious, opens on March 30.
Well, even though the website sucked I was able to find the trailer, and man does this look slick. I've been a big fan of the screenwriting stylings of Scott Frank for many a moon, and he's finally getting a chance to write and direct here with The Lookout, and it looks like he didn't let that chance go to waste. It looks like a very dark and moody thriller with another slick performance from Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a man still suffering from a car accident who gets caught up in a bank robbery scheme. We even get what looks like a decent performance from Jeff Daniels here. I'll just say that if Frank is as half as good at directing than he is at writing, this should be a damn fine movie, folks. The Lookout opens on March 23.
This just looks damn funny, folks. We've got a comedic clash of the titans here with new-school Jon Heder joining forces with sort-of-old-school-ish Will Ferrell here in a comedy about figure skating. Ferrell and Heder play bitter rivals in this cutthroat world of figure skating, but their careers end suddenly after a fight at the Olympics causes them to be banned for life from figure skating. But, of course there's a loophole and that is they can compete again... but in pairs figure skating, becoming the first man-man skating team ever. While I used to blast Will Ferrell and his over-the-top antics of the past, it seems like he's toned it down a few notches and is actually doing some fine work these days. This looks to be another great Ferrell comedy, and with Heder by his side, the laughs will surely come free and easy. Blades of Glory opens on March 30.
This looks like a damn good flick from some underrated favorites of mine. I've raved about Shia LaBeouf since his masterful performance in The Battle of Shaker Heights. He's a fine actor that doesn't seem to be used enough, even though he has some credits in a few big-budget flicks. He gets his chance to topline here in this freaky little flick that almost looks like a 21st Century remake of Hitchcock's Rear Window. Director DJ Caruso is another underrated fav of mine since I saw his incredible flick The Salton Sea. Hopefully this flick can bring him some mainstream cred as well, and I can't wait to see both these favorites of mine on April 13.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick for me this week. I'm going with Charlie Kaufman finally becoming a hyphenate for my Best News of the Week. Kaufman's flicks might not be mainstream popular, by any means. To be blunt, they're pretty damn weird flicks. But they're probably some of the best written and original flicks in eons of cinema. He raises the bar with each flick he does, and now, FINALLY, one of the very best, if not the best, screenwriter in Hollywood will finally direct a movie of his own. While this flick doesn't sound quite as edgy as his previous flicks - centering on an eccentric theater manager who tries to make a life-sized replica of New York City for a play - it certainly sounds unique. This is one of the best ensemble casts I've heard of in awhile too, with the insanely talented Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Tilda Swinton, Samantha Morton, Catherine Keener and Michelle Williams all starring here. Well, I'm not really a huge fan of Williams, but nothing can be perfect, right? I hope they fast-track the HELL out of this one, because I just can't wait, folks.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with this Rob Cohen/Mummy 3 double-whammy of a headache for my Worst News of the Week. I've never really thought much of Cohen as a director. The only flick of his that I liked enough to own is The Skulls, but his Bruce Lee biopic wasn't that bad either. Still, his big flicks with Vin Diesel I thought weren't really that good, even though they both made pretty solid bank. Now he's coming off a huge dud with Stealth and he thinks that the third Mummy installment will save his career? Sure pal. Whatever you say. I'm sure you'll find a way of dumbing-down an already-idiotic movie series with your involvement here, which is by far the last thing anyone needs.
That's all for this week. Surf on by nexet 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. Gallagher out.