Howdy folks. It's currently 168 degrees outside, and about 164 degrees inside here. Smashing. But, there are news, websites and trailers to review, so brave the heat I must. So, kick back, relax, hopefully in a cooler, literally, place than I'm in, and lets get this started with this week's Notables.

NOTABLES

"Wal-Mart and Target are Looking into DVD-Burning Kiosks" - Monday, July 10

This is certainly a slippery slope they're talking about climbing here. First of all, to all you DVD piraters, they're not talking about a booth where you can just bring in a stack of blank DVD's and snag any movie you want. You'd search for the title you want at the kiosk, buy it, download it from the internet, and burn it onto a blank DVD. Now the original article says that it will come with complete packaging, but I doubt that people are willing to wait that long. Even with the speediest of internet connections and DVD-ROM drives, you'd still have to print out the artwork and put it in a blank keep-case package. Even if this kiosk does this for you, that's just more of a wait. This doesn't even take into account burning the artwork onto the front of the disc itself. In today's world, we want everything yesterday. Things can't go fast enough for us. DVD's are huge these days, so unless they have a kiosk in every corner of these stores, I'd imagine that the lines would be crazy as well. How 'bout we try this, instead of messing with DVD-burning kiosks. How 'bout we try a little quality over quantity in DVD's, and we won't have to worry about shelf space and people lining up to make their own DVD's like some build-your-own burger joint. I can't see this working, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Paul Haggis Calls On Vince Vaughn Against All Enemies" - Monday, July 10

This sounds like some damn good news here. We all know how insanely funny Vince Vaughn can be, and I've been a huge fan of him since I first saw him in Swingers. But I've wanted to see him in something other than his normal wise-cracking part for awhile now. Sure, there's the Psycho remake and his great turn in the otherwise-terrible a href="/movies/film/09/209/summary.php" class="film">Domestic Disturbance, but still I've wanted something more out of Vaughn. It looks like the wonderful Paul Haggis will finally give us that something more in this flick that delves into Washington and G.W. Bush before and after 9-11 and how it was handled. Sean Penn is also reportedly cast here, and I really hope Vaughn takes this role, to see a different side of this great actor. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Justin Long to Live in Patriotville" - Monday, July 10:

This sounds fairly interesting, and another opportunity for a comedic actor to give us a different look at him. Justin Long has been fairly hot in recent years, with flicks like Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, Waiting and those quirky little Mac commercials. But this flick, about a man who fights a seemingly-hopeless battle against an Indian casino pilfering his town, sounds like a decent little role for him. They haven't said who will play his "sexy but quirky" sidekick Lucy Shanks, so that will be key, but this sounds like a pretty decent project for Long. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Raven-Symone Set For Adventures In Babysitting" - Tuesday, July 11:

OK, I was absolutely incensed last year when news of this remake of the Elizabeth Shue 80s flick. Now, the smoke eminating from my person right now is not just from the Marlboro Red dangling from my mouth. This is ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! Raven-frickin-Symone?? Adventures in Babysitting?? That's like remaking The A-Team with Jaleel White a.k.a. Urkel, as Mr. T's B.A. Baracus. I'm so... frickin... mad... I... can't... even... make... out... normal... sentences!!! Dammit! I better stop before I have a stroke. Worst News of the Week Nominee... dammit!

"Ignite's Bleeding Music Video Goes Online" - Wednesday, July 12:

You all might not know the signifigance of this, but this is something every MovieWeb fan should check out. What the news blip doesn't say is that this video is now on rotation on MTV2 (finally, a reason to watch MTV!!) and that one of the band members is none other than MovieWeb's managing editor Brian Balchack, on guitar. This is a frickin AWESOME music video, folks, and I'm honestly not just saying that because he sends me free DVD's to review. If you're into balls-out, hardcore music, you need to see this video, kids. Congrats on the video, guys, and getting it on roation on MTV2! I'll be picking up the CD soon, and can't wait to hear the rest of it! Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen Team Up for Super Bad" - Friday, July 14:

Sure, this doesn't really sound like anything fresh and exciting. It's a couple of high school kids trying to score some booze for a party, which, in turn, should get them some female companionship, but things go awry, which things often do that involve alcohol. Still, I don't care. It's Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen, people! While Apatow isn't directing here, his involvement will probably be very visible, and Rogen, who was absolutely phenomenal in the Apatow-directed The 40 Year Old Virgin, is starring and co-writing the script. These are some funny funny dudes, and I don't care how unoriginal it sounds, with these guys involved, I'm sure they'll turn it into a winner. Best News of the Week Nominee.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

Another week, another couple of records broken by those scurvy Pirates. Ho hum. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was atop the box office world yet again, claiming $62.3 million worth of booty in its second weekend. It did drop 54%, but what do you expect when it makes $132 million the first weekend? Anyway, Johnny Depp and Co. plundered a few more records this weekend. They took command of the 8-day, 9-day and 10-day gross records, and it also tied for the fastest flick to $200 million at 8 days with Spider-Man 2 and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. It took an above-average $15,084 per screen average, and the blockbuster now stands at $258.3 million in its 10-day run, which is good enough to make it the highest grossing movie of the year, to date. Even with three fairly high-profile releases this coming week, I think it's a safe bet that the Pirates will reign supreme for a third straight weekend.

Even though the two newcomers didn't really stand a chance against Depp's pirates, they're damn-near identical, and impressive performances should indicate the box office is starting to pick up some steam. In a second-place race that was separated by about $88,000, Little Man took the silver medal, just barely over You, Me and Dupree. Little Man took in $21.613 million while You, Me and Dupree took in $21.525 million. Little Man was in about 600 fewer theaters than Dupree, so the Wayans Brothers flick performed better, with a decent $8,532 per-screen average. But Dupree fared quite well also, taking in a nice $6,874 per-screen average. The top 5 flicks again took in more than $10 million, which is ultimately impressive with the high-powered competition out there. While it might have been the insane heat that drove people to the theaters this weekend, it's the box office that's been heating up lately, and, by the time Labor Day rolls around, this could be one huge summer at the box office.

GOING LIVE

Material Girls: (MGM.com/materialgirls)

Not too much on this site here. The site is a woman's vanity mirror thing, and you can click on a few of the items there to see more. Click on the lipstick to "Check Us Out," which is just a 12-picture photo gallery, and click on the blush to check out "The Word," for a brief synposis. You can also check out Hillary Duff's blog on a link at the bottom, but you have to have an AOL account or an AIM screenname, but, then again, who doesn't these days... Anyway, the blog is only slightly interesting, and that's all we get on this site. Perhaps more will be available as Material Girls nears its August 18 release date.

Employee of the Month: (EmployeeoftheMonthFilm.com)

This is a REALLY simple site here. All we get is a look at the main stars, Dane Cook, Jessican Simpson and Dax Shepard in this little rotating title page thing. Then all we get is the trailer, which is pretty damn funny, a message board with all of two threads on it, and a link to register for updates. Not much here, folks, but hopefully more will be added before the flick comes out on September 15.

a href="/movies/film/38/3238/summary.php" class="film">Factotum: (FactotumMovie.com:

Another week, another column, another teaser website with nothing on it but the one-sheet and credits. And I thought this would be a different week... But, the full website is "coming soon" for this flick (that was shot near my hometown in St. Paul, MN, by the way), so it should be up sometime before its August 18 release date.

TRAILER PARK

Crank:

Well, my suspicions are confirmed. I reviewed this flick's website a few weeks ago, and I was really intrigued by the premise of the flick, plus I'm a BIG Jason Statham fan. The trailer just proves what I suspected: this looks like a DAMN COOL movie, folks! Statham stars as a seedy hitman who gets double-crossed, I think, and gets poisoned with some sophisticated Chinese poison. The poison is cutting off his adrenaline, so he literally has to keep moving, to keep his adrenaline up long enough to even the score before he dies. Amy Smart takes on a much different, darker role than we're used to seeing her in. In fact, I didn't even recognize her in the trailer and had to IMDB the flick to see who the girl was. This could definitely make some noise when it comes out on September 1, mainly because it looks awesome and there probably will be nothing else good out. Can't wait, folks. Simply can't wait for this one.

Employee of the Month:

Funnyman extraordinaire Dane Cook and beauty extraordinaire Jessica Simpson certainly do seem like an odd couple to be dating. But, apparently Cook took his role to the next level while shooting this movie and they're now an "item"... or at least they were. I don't follow gossip too much. Anyway, the result of this bizarre union should be a damn funny flick, with Cook starring as a screw-off convienience store employee, trying to win the coveted employee of the month title to win Simpson's heart. But standing in his way is Dax Shepard, who continuously wins the award, and, obviously, also has the hots for Simpson. So they wage an all-out war for the award and her, and it just looks really damn funny, kids. With the emergence of Cook's rising star, and the immense visibility of Simpson, I'm a little surprised they didn't squeeze this into the summer season. But you can still check this out on September 29.

Hoax:

This could very well make a splash during Oscar season. It's based on an amazing true story, filled with an A-list cast and even set with a prime mid-November release date. Hoax tells the true story of Clifford Irving, a man who convinced the publishing company of McGraw-Hill that his biography of Howard Hughes was legit... and they bought both the book, and his story, to the tune of $1 million. Unfortunately, the whole book was a fraud, filled with fake interviews and fake transcripted letters. We get just a smashing cast here with Richard Gere playing Irving, and the rest of the cast rounded out by Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Delpy and Hope Davis. Director Lasse Hallestrom hasn't done too well, both critically and at the box office, but this upbeat little flick, that should be the Catch Me if You Can of 2006, should break that slump and be a damn good movie. Hoax opens on November 3 in limited release.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

I'm going with the hopefully awesome combo of Vince Vaughn and amazing writer-director Paul Haggis for my Best News of the Week. I was hoping something like this would come Vaughn's way. While I will probably never tire from watching his comedies and him subtly reinventing himself for every role, I've wanted to see him in a more dramatic role for quite some time now. This is about as dramatic as they come, in a flick that will surely be controversial, based on a D.C. insider's book on how the Bush administration handled the 9/11 attacks, both before and after them. I really can't wait to see how Vaughn and Sean Penn interact here, but I really just am totally pumped for this movie, every aspect of it.

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Easy pick here. Raven-Symone doing Adventures in Babysitting. Unflippinbelievable, folks. I know she has that show on one of the kiddie networks that is probably successful, but who really cares. Anyone who has kids who like that show were probably old enough to watch Adventures in Babysitting when it came out in 1987. Here's the deal. If this dreadful movie actually makes its way to a theatrical release date, don't let your kids see it. Tell them you'll ground the crap out of them if they ever think of seeing that movie. Then make them watch the original about 128 times in a row, so the thought of the remake will never enter their minds. I'm not worried about people who liked the original liking this movie, because I doubt that will ever happen. But we must worry about the childrens. They must learn the value of originality and how remaking movies like this is sheer evil. Then maybe, just maybe, if they grow up to be a studio executive, and a remake of The Matrix comes across their desk, they'll think about that time their mom made them watch the original Adventures in Babysitting 128 times, and they'll kabosh that, and every other remake that comes across their desk. Boy, wouldn't that just be an awesome future...

That's all I've got 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.

Gallagher out!