Another seven days gone by, and another slew of movie news, box office info, new websites and trailers to delve through... in 195 degree heat. Seriously, is a frickin day-long rainstorm that much out of the question at this point?? Anyway, kick back in your air-conditioned environment and lets get this party started with this week's Notables.
"DreamWorks Grabs The Intern" - Monday, July 24:
This project might serve as proof that not every TV writer is suited for writing screenplays. This duo of Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky are regular writers on the hit TV show "The Office," but this just doesn't sound like it'll work. The flick centers on a stay-at-home dad who decides to join the daily grind of the workplace again. But, as if being a stay-at-home dad wasn't demoralizing enough, he has to make his start back in the 9-to-5 world as a lowly intern. Yeah. By the way, if you want even more proof that these guys shouldn't be writing movies, they're currently working on a movie that centers around the popular humor website CollegeHumor.com. Right. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Bill Lawrence Directing Zach Braff in Fletch Won":
Many moons ago, the great Kevin Smith was all set to do this project, but, alas, it never came to be. I've honestly not heard jack squat on this project in at least a few years, but it sounds like it's in fairly capable hands here with the wonderful Zach Braff and his Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence writing and directing. Honestly, I've never seen a single episode of Scrubs, but I've heard good things, and stuff. But I like Braff's style, and I think he'll bring a very interesting dynamic to the Irwin Fletcher character, who's on his very first reporting assignment who discovers his first interview subject is dead, and decides to track down his killer. This should be a very interesting flick to keep an eye on, especially to see what kind of supporting cast sprouts up for this flick. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Chris Cornell to Perform the Main Title Song For Casino Royale" - Wednesday, July 26:
This says a lot about the direction the new Bond will be going. Casting astray lighter fare like Madonna and Sheryl Crow who performed past Bond theme songs, their choice of Chris Cornell for the theme song basically tells me that this isn't your girlfriend's Bond anymore. I've always loved Cornell's work, whether it be with one of the best bands of all-time Soundgarden, or with his new great group Audioslave, Cornell's music will bring a hard edge to this new bond, and hopefully will start us on a path to a new, man's man 007. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"DreamWorks Makes Trade With Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald" - Wednesday, July 26:
This just sounds bizarre and cool enough to make a pretty damn cool feature. The producing team of Walter Parkes and Laurie McDonald have a history of finding these odd little true stories and turning them into features (See: Catch Me if You Can and The Terminal) and this one sounds just as weird and cool as the rest, with the crazy story of Kyle MacDonald (probably no relation to Laurie). This story all started when Kyle made his red paper clip available for trade on CraigsList.com. Over the course of a year, and 14 other trades that all escalated in value, Kyle MacDonald ended up trading his way up to a house in Canada. The barter system is alive and well, my friends. I wonder what I could get for my Walking Tall DVD? This should be a very interesting tale to see on the silver screen. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Simon Pegg Says Run, Fat Boy, Run!" - Thursday, July 27:
I often complain about terrible titles for what will probably be terrible movies, but this one is a little different. I actually like this title. It's just too bad the movie behind it sounds just terrible. The movie stars Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead), who will apparently be wearing a fat suit or something, as a fat dude who leaves his fiancee on their wedding day, and discovers years later that he indeed does love her. For some weird reason, to win her back he must complete a marathon and convince her that her new beau is the wrong guy for her. If this story isn't disasterous enough, it will mark the directorial debut of Friends alum David Schwimmer. Well, since he's not in any demand besides for doing animated voice work, I suppose directing, he "thought" would be a logical next step in his career, since no mass audience really cares to see him on the big screen anyway... Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It took a little bit of vice to end a pirates four-peat at the box office, in a weekend that showed signs of a summer slow-down. Miami Vice ended Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest three-week run at the theaters, taking in $25.7 million in its opening weekend. It bowed at a merely-average 3,021 theaters, but scored a solid $8,515 per-screen average. But that's about all the good news for the South Beach flick. It cost $135 million to make, and the critics weren't so hot on the Michael Mann flick, with it getting just a 47% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm going out on a limb and saying that Vice will drop at least 65% next weekend. Bold indeed, but we'll see who's laughing in seven days, kids. Even though it had to settle for a 2nd place finish this weekend, those scurvy Pirates o the Carribbean and their Chest o the Dead Man only dropped 41% this weekend and took in $20.6 million, bringing it's massive 4-week total to $358.4 million.
Newcomer John Tucker Must Die took the bronze medal this weekend, with a solid $14.2 million take in its opening weekend. The flick had been released in a fairly tiny 2,560 theaters, but scored a decent $5,576 per-screen average. The better news is that they're pretty damn close to Profitville, working from just an $18 million budget. Sure, the critics liked this flick even less than the Vice, getting drubbed with a 22% "Fresh" rating on RT, but even those crummy numbers won't stop this flick from profiting, unless we see like an 80% drop this weekend, or something like that. And, although the budget figures weren't released, the last new flick this weekend surely won't be going anywhere near Profitville at all. The Ant Bully could only crawl to a 5th place finish with $8.4 million. The flick was released in 3,050 theaters and only managed a dismal $2,764 per-screen average. This flick itself might be more well-suited to end up under a microscope on a hot summer day like this one. It might not make it more money, but more people might want to watch it...
If you've seen this flick's trailer, you know how absolutely flippin weird this movie looks, and the website is no different. For one, when you get on the main site, your mouse arrow is turned into this really big blue arrow and there are a bunch of clouds and random stuff floating around. Click on the Menu button on the top right to get to the goodies. About the Film has a very nice, thorough Synopsis and a great Director's Interview with Michel Gondry. The Cast and Crew menu has some nice bios on the main players behind and in front of the camera. The Gallery is an interesting take on a photo gallery. They have these pictures all hanging from a string that goes running through the screen, and you click on one to see a bigger version of it. The weird little style continues on to the Downloads menu, where AIM Icons, wallpapers and a screensaver come floating up through little clouds for you to click on. Multimedia has the kooky trailer and "Xtras" which is just a really weird/cool film clip, and What Do You Dream is a little questionaire that tells you a little about your dreams and who you are, which is kind of cool. Also, on the left of the site, is this weird little box that offers three different film clips for your viewing pleasure. This is a really cool site, folks. There is some great content and a wonderful style with a lot of weird little quirks (there are a lot of little "Pull" triggers that are kind of weird") and it's a lot of fun as well. The Science of Sleep opens on September 15 in limited release.
Not too much here, besides a lot of flushing sounds, with the menu items on the bottom of the site. The Movie gives you a brief synopsis, Downloads gives you some AIM Icons, a wallpaper and some Signatures, whatever those are, to download, Galleries has some photos to view and Video has the trailer, teaser trailer and a making-of vid to watch. There are also a Fun & Games and Video Game menu that are both coming soon. Not a whole lot here. Flushed Away opens on November 3.
This is such a poorly slapped together site I'm surprised they even bothered making a site to begin with. They just threw EVERYTHING on the main page like some weird collage. They bunch the trailer, one-sheet and six photos all right next to each other, and there are a few links at the bottom also. There are some links to two press releases, some reviews and other related articles and a printable PDF coloring page for the kiddies, as well as Lassie's "official" website. This is even worse than a teaser site because they had some actual content, granted there's not much here, but instead of crafting a decent site, they just threw everything on one page and were done with it. Probably the worst site I've ever seen. Stupid Lassie. Lassie opens on September 1.
The Last Kiss: (LastKissMovie.com)
Speaking of teaser sites... Yeah, all we get here is the trailer, a soundtrack link and a link to register for updates, along with a look at the one-sheet. Blah. The Last Kiss opens on September 15.
God dammit! After a really cool teaser intro all we're left with is a teaser site. Absolutely nothing here, folks, just a link to register for updates and a link, if you're a webmaster of a site like this one, to sign up and get goodies from them when they finally get around to making said goodies available, since they're nowhere to be found here. Balls. Beowulf opens on November 16.
This looks to be a great break from all the Oscar contenders come Christmas time. Ben Stiller stars here as a dopey security guard at this big museum who somehow releases a curse that brings all these statues and such to life. Of course, Stiller plays the night guard, so this all happens under the cover of darkness and such, but this looks like a damn fun movie for the whole family, and perhaps could even be the Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure for the 21st Century. We get a great cast with Stiller, Robin Williams, Paul Rudd along with old-timers Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney. This should be able to appeal to everyone, and make some huge bank. Night at the Museum opens on December 22.
This trailer was attatched to Miami Vice this weekend and should mark the glorious return of one of filmdom's greats, Brian De Palma. This dark thriller has a great cast with Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Eckhart, Mia Kirshner and Hilary Swank, and they all look to deliver some great performances here. While the point could be made that this looks a little too similar to the true-crime flick Hollywoodland, which opens a week earlier in limited release, it was based on a James Ellroy novel, who wrote the novel that the also-similar L.A. Confidential was based on. I'm a little puzzled why this flick would get such a crappy release date of September 15, since it looks like a damn good flick, but perhaps Brian De Palma and his string of bombs over the last 8 years had something to do with that. Still, this looks to be a surefire winner, folks.
Holy cast, Batman! This is by far the one-punch knockout cast of the year, folks. Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Anthony Anderson, Ray Winstone and, the icing on the cake, Jack Nicholson. I can't remember a cast this huge in many a moon, and if that didn't get your attention, it's being directed by this one guy named Martin Scorcese. This remake of the Japanese flick Internal Affairs should make some HUGE bank and even be in the Oscar hunt as well. Honestly, when was the last time a Scorcese flick WASN'T in the Oscar hunt? I know they say it every time Marty has a flick out, but I think this could finally be Marty's year, where he finally gets that little gold Oscar for directing. It seems Scorcese is going back to his roots here, making the gritty flicks that made him a household name, and moving away from the dramatic biopics. This looks to be a powerhouse of a flick, and one that I surely can't wait for. The Departed opens on October 6.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the Parkes-MacDonald team finding another awesome true story to latch on to for my Best News of the Week. Kyle MacDonald made national news when it was discovered that he, essentially, traded a red paper clip for a house through a series of bizarre trades online. It's just a really weird feel-good story that puts faith back into the barter system. Sure, there doesn't seem to be much on the story end here, and I hope they don't make it too Hollywood with forced conflicts and such, but this story just sounds so damn cool that it's perfect for the silver screen. Parkes and MacDonald have made it work with unconventional true stories before, and I have faith that they can surely do it again here.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here with Simon Pegg gettin all fat on us, badly as well for my Worst News of the Week. See, I told you that Shaun of the Dead was a bad idea. Sure, the movie was a lot better than I thought, but the fact that it was successful started a chain reaction of Pegg being successful which now leads us to this terrible movie. He'll play a charming fat guy who, for some reason, decides to abandon his financee on their wedding day, only to discover years later that he loves her and wants her back. Blah. So, in order to accomplish this, he feels he must complete a marathon and also convince her that the new dude she's seeing is totally wrong for her. Blah. Besides the fat dude and marathon thing, this sounds like, well EVERY damn other romcom out there. Grow some originality you knobs! It's even more surprising that Pegg took this, since he co-wrote Shaun of the Dead himself. You'd think someone who's written a cult classic-ish movie like Shaun of the Dead would be able to recognize terrible writing when he sees it. Apparently he wasn't wearing his reading glasses that day...
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.