Another week has passed full of more movie news that you can shake a stick at. I’m starting off the column with a brand new feature this week. In an effort to “review” more things of the “week,” I’m starting up the Notables section. Each week I’ll pick out the best and worst stories of the week, each of which will receive a “nomination” for Best News of the Week and Worst News of the Week. Yeah, I watch a lot of SportsCenter…So here is the first installment of the Notables section.
“ Columbia picks up Soul Mates” – Monday, July 26
This will be written and directed by The Girl Next Door helmer Luke Greenfield. This sounds much worse, though, a formulaic-sounding flick about a man and woman in love who, for various reasons, can’t be with each other. This is definitely a Worst News of the Week Nominee
“ Fox 2000 sets out to redo The Girl Can’t Help It” – Monday, July 26
This one sounds worthy of a remake. The 1956 original picture revolved around a talent agent hired to help a mobster’s un-talented girlfriend into a star. It’ll be interesting to see the casting on this one. This is a Best News of the Week Nominee.
“ Michael Moore moves ahead with Sicko” – Tuesday, July 27
After the enormous success of Farenheit 9-11, I was wondering who Mr. Moore would have in his crosshairs next. HMO’s are as good a target as any, I suppose because they’re greedy…and stuff…I guess. I’m on the fence on this one, as far as Best or Worst News of the week.
“ No more ‘James Bond’ for Pierce Brosnan” – Tuesday, July 27
I thought Mr. Brosnan was a great fit as 007 and I thoroughly enjoyed his Bond movies. I have no idea who they’ll turn to next, but I think Pierce set the bar very high for this classic role. It’s more Unfortunate News than Worst News, but this is a Worst News of the Week Nominee
“ City of God sequel in the works” – Wednesday, July 28
City of God was an instant classic, and, bar none, one of the best films of 2003, if not the best. This was as perfect a film you could possibly see in your life. While there could realistically be a sequel to this amazing film, why? I don’t see any reason why they would bastardize this movie with a sequel. Worst News of the Week Nominee, for sure.
“ Betty Thomas to direct Pay the Girl” – Thursday, July 29
A Heidi Fleiss biopic? Why, Paramount, why?! This has Worst News of the Week Nominee written all over it…
BOX OFFICE CORNER
M. Night Shyamalan strikes again. The masterful filmmaker scored another great opening weekend, with his latest offering, The Village taking the number 1 spot at the box office. The Village scored a healthy $50.8 million in its opening weekend. The flick grabbed an average of $13,622 per screen in over 3,700 theaters. Shyamalan’s unique blend of suspense, drama and even some pretty good humor keeps filling the seats, and it seems that he will for years to come.
The Manchurian Candidate scored a decent opening weekend, considering it went up against The Village. The remake of the 1962 classic took the third spot, right behind The Bourne Supremacy’s $23.4 million, with an estimated gross of $20.2 million. The $80 million Jonathan Demme flick will probably struggle to earn a profit, though.
The other new flick of the weekend didn’t fare so well. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle finished in 7th place, with an estimated gross of $5.1 million in its opening weekend. The comedy only cost $9 million to make though, but this opening weekend gross isn’t spectacular at all. Wait a minute. A flick with two guys who don’t even get their real names mentioned in the trailer, directed by the guy who helmed Dude Where’s My Car, and centering on driving around looking for a White Castle cost $9 million to make? How much are they charging for those tiny burgers now anyway?
After the Sunset: (www.afterthesunset.com) This is just another token website with nothing on it besides a link to register for updates. This heist flick, with a decent cast of Woody Harrelson, Pierce Brosnan and Salma Hayek and Brett Ratner directing, might not be too bad, but this website just isn’t worth checking out right now. Check back before its November 12 release and hopefully there will be more here.
The Machinist: (www.machinistmovie.com) We don’t have a trailer on this site yet, but we get a nice intro that sort of looks like a trailer. After that there is plenty of stuff on this site. We get some great insight into the film’s origin on the links Who is Trevor Reznick (the main character played by Christian Bale) and About the Film’s Creation. There are also links Creating Trevor’s World, which goes into production details and Music That Enters the Psyche, which goes into the soundtrack’s creation. There is even a link about the real effects of insomnia, which Reznick suffers from, not sleeping for over a year. There is also a link at the bottom to the cast and crew and you can also check out some of the news and reviews from this movie. This is a wonderful site to what looks like a wonderful movie. The Machinist opens on October 15.
Team America: World Police: (www.teamamericamovie.com) This site is fairly worthless also, but at least they give us a slick Flash intro. Like most worthless sites, the only thing you can do here is register for updates, but this flick is from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, so hopefully there will be much more added to this site before its October 15 release.
Batman Begins: If you’re one of the many who saw The Village this weekend, you probably saw this teaser for the newest Batman installment. And if you’re like me, you frickin loved it! Sure, it was only a teaser with not a whole lot of footage, but it definitely got my psyched for this movie. New Batman Christian Bale seems to fit the role to a T, and I simply can’t wait for this one next summer. Bring on the Batman, baby!
Shaun of the Dead: This quirky comedy will be neither quirky nor a comedy…discuss. It is British, though, but it’s not Monty Python, so who cares. I got a couple of brief laughs from the trailer, but this looks pretty bad, folks. Shaun of the Dead opens on September 24.
Team America: World Police: This movie is going to simply rock! The creators of South Park put down the cardboard cutouts and picked up the marionettes for their newest flick, Team America: World Police. The movie’s “actors” are all puppets, mocking celebrities. As the guy from the Guinness commercial said, “Brilliant!” The trailer is just funny as hell, and if you’re a South Park fan, I’m sure you’ll love it. Team America: World Police opens on October 15.
Intern Academy: Last up this week is this comedy written and directed by comedy veteran Dave Thomas…the guy from Strange Brew, not the deceased founder of Wendy’s. Anyway, this “medical comedy” does look slightly entertaining with an interesting cast (Dave Thomas, Dave Foley, Dan Aykroyd and a bunch of younger actors). This might be worth checking out when it hits theaters September 10.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Not a whole lot of good news this week, but my pick for Best News of the Week is, well, the only one I nominated, and that is Fox 2000’s remake of The Girl Can’t Help It. The premise sounds just wonderful here, and I hope they get the casting right here. This sounds like it could be a great character-based flick, and if they follow the original, they could even delve into the newly popular genre, the musical. They could go in a lot of different directions here and it all sounds great.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
My pick for Worst News of the Week goes to the proposed City of God sequel. The only reason this is such bad news is because the first film was just so wonderful. With a film as great as this one, it will be very very hard to capture the same sort of essence that they captured in the first film. If you haven’t seen City of God, run out to the video store RIGHT NOW because you won’t regret it. As far as this whole sequel business is concerned, I hope they come to their senses...