Another seven days, another slew of movie goodies to update you on. So lets not make haste and get things started with this week's Notables.
"Christina Cole and Mike Vogel Join The Deaths Of Ian" - Monday, July 17
No, that's not a typo in the title. It is supposed to be "deaths" in this flick that is just weird horror take onGroundhog Day. See, this Ian dude, doesn't wake up on the same day every day, but he wakes up in a different life... which will end at the end of that day, only to wake up and live a different life. Yeah, I thought it sounded retarded also. Anyway, I've never heard of anyone in the cast before, and don't let that part about Christina Cole being a "star" in the upcoming Casino Royale, because IMDB lists her as playing a "Club Receptionist." Sounds like a crappy story, with a basically unknown cast and crew. Sounds like a recipe for disaster. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Reservation Road is the Next Film for Hotel Rwanda Director Terry George" - Tuesday, July 18
This sounds pretty damn interesting, and Terry George sounds like a wonderful fit for this moody drama. This revolves around two families whose lives were disrupted when a man accidentally killed another man's 10-year old son in a hit-and-run accident. The accidental killer must decide how to live with the crime, whether to turn himself in or not, and the grieving man persists trying to find his son's killer, even though he has no idea who it could be. This just sounds really interesting, and I think George, who masterfully directed Hotel Rwanda will be more suited to direct this, rather than American Gangster, which he was once attatched to direct, but now will just get a writing credit. Sounds like some good stuff here, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Ryan Reynolds and Isla Fisher Wonder Definitely, Maybe" - Wednesday, July 19
The only thing I'm not too sure about here is the dopey title, but the rest looks pretty damn good. Ryan Reynolds will star here as a man about to be divorced and has to answer some tough questions to his young daughter about his shady, womanizing past. I'm not quite sure where Derek Luke will fit in here, probably as a wingman or something, but Luke, Reynolds and Isla Fisher, fresh off her great performance as the near-psychotic Gloria in Wedding Crashers, sounds like a damn good cast. This should work for me. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Warner Bros. Hires The Doom Patrol" - Wednesday, July 19
OK, I've never known a whole lot about comic books, besides the info I gather from the few comic fans I have for friends, but tell me if this doesn't sounds just a tad bit fishy to you. This is a quote from the news story above, describing the comic book as "a band of superheroes with freakish powers, guided by a wheelchair-bound mentor who fights evil." Doesn't that just sound a wee bit familiar, yes yes? This is done by DC Comics, which I know is Marvel Comics' main rival, and this book sounds a little like what Dreamworks did when it was first created. They had a few movies that were eeriely similar to some Disney movies, since Jeffery Katzenberg broke off from Disney to form Dreamworks with Speilberg and music mogul David Geffen. Remember when Antz and A Bug's Life were released close to each other, and the same with Deep Impact and Armageddon? This sounds like a comic version of that whole scenario, trying to syphen off the success of the X-Men series to do this Doom Patrol flick. Not gonna work with me, though. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Wes Bentley and Rachel Nichols Sign Onto P2" - Wednesday, July 19
Another dopey title here, but another flick that sounds rather interesting. I've become big fans of French filmmakers Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasserur since their smashing breakthrough debut flick High Tension last year, and their great follow-up (I thought so, anyway) The Hills Have Eyes a few months ago. These horrormeisters have proven their chops in the genre, using a distinct style with unique visuals and even sound techniques. In this new project, an ambitious corporate woman, played by Rachel Nichols (not the sexy ESPN correspondent, sadly, but some other actress), is working late on Christmas Eve and finds herself being stalked by a security guard, played by Wes Bentley. Bentley is a perfect fit for a creepy security guard because, well, he just has that creepy thing down pretty damn good. I'm not too sure about Nichols, but with Aja and Levasseur doing this flick, that surely means I'll want to see it, with the way they've been rolling. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Will the Spider-Man Franchise End After the Third Film?" - Thursday, July 20
God dammit! I thought we solved all this last year, people?? They said last year, right HERE that they were going to make 6 flicks in the Spidey franchise. I said before that I don't know a lot about comics, this is true. But I do know this. I know that comic books like Spider-Man have been around for years and years and years, and I'm sure there are plenty of "stories for this character that are interesting enough to be excited about doing more." The damn comic has been running forever, and obviously people are interested in them since they keep buying them. So, stop toying with us and decide already, one way or another. 6 movies, 19 movies, no more movies, either way, just make up your damn mind and tell us already. There's probably ample material to make those 19 more movies I said earlier, so don't give me this "enough interesting stories" crap. Either way, stop toying with us and decide! Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"John Malkovich and Jeremy Sisto to Star in Gardens Of The Night" - Thursday, July 20
We haven't seen many movies about child abductions, or that revolve around them at least, so this could be a fairly important flick. I'm assuming Malkovich and Sisto, who I haven't seen in anything since Suicide Kings, will play the abductors, so casting the children will be key here, but the story sounds rather poignant and powerful. The flick is about a boy and girl who are abducted at age 8, and set free at age 16. Convinced their parents don't want them anymore, they take to life on the street, and struggle to survive their past and present hell. Malkovich really hasn't been that visible either, lately, and this could give him a much-needed push as well. This sounds like something to keep an eye on, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
At this pace, there might not be any records left for those crazy pirates to break. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest conquered the crowded seas of the box office this weekend, ousting 4 new flicks and, of course, breaking another record. The pirates took home $35.2 million, dropping only 43% from last weekend, to take the top spot for the third weekend in a row. That impressive take didn't break the third weekend gross record (it came in third), but it did break the record of being the fastest flick to reach $300 million. It accomplished the feat in a mere 16 days, besting Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith by a day. The pirates overall box office booty now stands at $321.8 million, and the way this is going, it could surely break the record for fastest flick to $400 million, which Shrek 2 took 43 days to amass that amount. Simply put, the pirates are on one hell of a tear at the theaters, and I'm not sure if it will end anytime soon.
Of the four flicks that tried to make the pirates walk the box office plank this weekend, only two of them came somewhat close, while the other two didn't even make it on the boat. Monster House took second place at the box office this weekend, with a respectable $22.2 million. The animated kiddie flick utilized a hefty theater count (3,553) and some very good reviews (70% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes) to score a nice opener. It had a strong $6,253 per-screen average, but that's about where the good news ends for this spooky house. It cost $75 million to make, so unless this flick has some legs, and has some minimal drops in the coming weekends, it looks like it won't be running towards a profit. Taking the bronze medal this weekend was M. Night Shyamalan's new flick, Lady In the Water, taking in just over $18 million and scoring a decent $5,577 per-screen average. It's in a little bit better shape than Monster House though, since it has only a $55 million budget to recoup.
There's both good news and bad news for Kevin Smith's latest entry into the View Askewniverse, Clerks II. The good news is that it doubled its budget in just three days! The bad news... is that the budget was only $5 million, and the opening weekend gross of just over $10 million doesn't exactly set the world on fire. It did have a fairly low theater count of 2,150, good for a per-screen average of $4,679, not to mention opening in a cramped weekend with those scurvy pirates and three other new releases, so, while I'm sure they would've loved to open higher, an 8-figure opening weekend, under these circumstances isn't all too bad after all. Bringing up the rear for the new releases was My Super Ex-Girlfriend. The Luke Wilson-Uma Thurman flick took 7th place with just $8.6 million, even though it screened in about 550 more theaters than Clerks II, scoring a paltry $3,184 per-screen average. On a humorous note, the flick outgrossed that super man, and his return, by only $1.3 million, and that flick has been out for a month. Maybe Uma and that Brandon Routh kid should shack up sometime and discuss their unprofitable movies... and then beat the crap out of Luke Wilson. Now, I'd pay to see that, my friends...
On the front page for this site, you can watch the damn-slick trailer, either in regular format or in fullscreen, and you can register for updates. Sadly, inside the site, we don't get a whole lot more. There are Downloads, where you can grab some desktops and AIM Icons, the trailer, again, a Production Blog with a video entry and a Game. The game is pretty cool, actually, where you have to ward off evil zombies, or something, with your flaming chain thing. For a free web game, it's pretty damn slick. There's also a link at the bottom where you can snag some Collectibles, but that's all we get here. Some cool style to the site, but not enough substance, so hopefully we get more before this flick roars into theaters on February 16.
The Messengers: (SonyPictures.com)
After a dumb little intro, all we get on this site are some exclusive "webisodes" which is just a corny hybrid word for a video diary. There are some decent webidiaries on here, but it would've been nice to see more here. The Messengers opens on January 19, 2007.
Hey look kids. Another Sony Pictures site!! But, don't fret, this is actually a pretty decent little site here. Once you enter the site, there is a pentagram at the bottom, and each point has a menu options. The Individuals point has some nice character bios, and on each side of the bios are some interesting little tidbits about the history of these characters. The Story point has a nice little synopsis, with more tidbits on each side also. The Timeline point has an incredibly thorough timeline of this story, going all the way back to the 1600s, with, of course, more little tidbits on the sides, the Media point has a nice photo gallery, trailer and downloadable AIM Icons and wallpapers. They have a Game point here too, but it's coming soon. This is a pretty slick little site, with some nice background on the story and such, but it would've been nice to know a little about the people who made the flick as well. The Covenant opens on September 8.
God damn you Bill Conti! I never had a good word to say about this flick from the get-go. Sly is just getting too old, and the logistics of someone his age, in reality and movieworld, taking on another fight just seems ludicrous. All that ill will was shattered once I saw the trailer, and heard Bill Conti's legendary Rocky theme, that I think is bar-none the best in movie history, on this trailer. There's just something in my DNA that gets all worked up when I hear that amazing music. It's the music that will probably make me say that I actually want to see this, now. I don't really care about real-life pugilist Antonio Tarver Jr. playing Mason "The Line" Dixon, one of the worst character names I've ever heard, but I must admit that Sly does look like he's in good shape and looks to deliver a fairly strong performance here. But, then again, the music might be making me say that as well... Rocky Balboa opens on December 22.
If you saw Lady in the Water this weekend, you likely saw this trailer to the much-awaited Darren Aronofsky flick. This flick has been in so many stages of development over the years, (it was starring Brad Pitt at one time) that a documentary could be made about its struggle to the screen. But it's finally here, with Hugh Jackman, Rachel Weisz and Ellen Burstyn, and it looks pretty damn good, folks. This sweeping flick that takes place in three different centuries, involves three different groups of people looking for the Tree of Life, that is said to grant immortality. I've been waiting for a new Aronofsky flick for so long that I almost forgot what flicks he actually made before that (Pi and Requiem for a Dream, in case you forgot as well). This looks like a marvelous, original flick that should bring Aronofsky back into the spotlight. The Fountain opens on November 22.
Another Gay Movie:
Hmm, that's weird. I didn't know there were so many gay movies out there to warrant a spoof on them. What's both funny and retarded is their spoofing heterosexual sex comedies here, and badly, might I add. We've gotten all the same stuff in numerous other rip-offs, but they're justifying it by putting the gay spin on it. The funniest thing about this is Richard Hatch, the first Survivor winner/moron is the most noticeable name here. Now, that's comedy, people. Too bad we'll get none of that here. Another Gay Movie opens on July 28 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
A nice mixed bag of good and bad this week, but I'm picking the underused Wes Bentley and the other Rachel Nichols teaming up with the team behind High Tension for my Best News of the Week. Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasseur work just smashingly together, and I'm a little surprised that they're not directing this, with co-writer Franck Khalfoun making his directorial debut. If you saw High Tension, and if you haven't, you should, you would've seen Khalfoun in a small role as the store clerk Jimmy. But, at the same time, if Aja and Levasseur have faith in him, then so do I. This story sounds right up their creepy alley, and I'm looking forward to seeing Wes Bentley doing something noteworthy again... even though I'd love to see ESPN's Rachel Nichols instead of the other one on the silver screen. I don't know what it is about her, but me likey...
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here. I'm taking The Adventures of the Indecisive Spider-Man for my Worst News of the Week. All right, you bastards. Stop toying with us. Now, maybe it's just certain people expressing their opinion, and not a fact, but if that's the case, issue something the next damn day and say it's not true. So, since they didn't do that, I have to assume this is at least partially true, and if that's true, then I'm extrememly pissed off. They originally said it would stop at three flicks, then Sam Raimi said last year that Sony had plans for six flicks, and he'd direct them if he felt as strongly about them as he felt for this upcoming installment. Now, Tobey Maguire and producer Laura Ziskin come out at Comic-Con and say they're not sure now. What the crap is going on here??? All right, how about this? Since they likely will make Spidey 3 an open-ended flick, plan for the 4th to be the end, and make a balls-out finale for the ages. At least then we KNOW for sure, instead of wondering from week to week when will be the end of the Webbed Wonder. Stop messing around with us fans and just frickin decide!
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.