Another seven days has come and gone, and has brought us another slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Before we get into all that, let's check out what I watched these past seven days.
WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH THIS WEEK?
Hex: The Complete First Season:
Like most new-ish TV shows out there, I never did catch this BBC show, but it's a rather entertaining little show, folks. It's kind of like if Harry Potter went to a normal boarding school and he was the only one who could do magic stuff but had to hide it. That is, of course, if Harry was a hot blonde chick who's kind of a nerd. CLICK HERE for my full review.
Tom Goes to the Mayor: The Complete Series:
One of the worst things I've ever had to watch. Pure painful idiocracy, and a lot of it. Ugh. I have a headache coming on just talking about it... CLICK HERE for my full review.
The Best of Bravestarr:
A weird little set here. They have the feature-length movie that supposedly spawned the 65-episode TV series and the second disc contains five episodes that the fans voted as the best of the series. Not too shabby, though. Nothing great either, though... CLICK HERE for my full review.
Two words: Hells yeah! I was honestly shocked when I saw the amazing reviews up on Rotten Tomatoes for this movie before I saw it. It was something like 93%, which, for an action movie like this, is rather astounding. I was just as astounded when I saw this amazing feat of an action movie.
Matt Damon simply shines again as the amnesic Jason Bourne, the spy without a past, and he gets some solid supporting help from holdovers Joan Allen and Julia Styles and some smashing performances from series newcomers David Strathairn and Albert Finney. Paddy Considine and Edgar Ramirez are OK as a British journalist and a hitman after Bourne. I wasn't really worried about any of them, though. I was more worried about the story.
I'm not sure how much he was involved with this script, but just the mention of screenwriter George Nolfi on the last leg of this trilogy scared the shite out of me. He's written three movies besides this one and all three of them looked to be good... and turned out quite the opposite (See: Timeline, Ocean's Twelve, The Sentinel). He has a history of ruining movies and I'm glad that history was halted (or at least interrupted) for this great flick. The writer of the first two Bourne's, Tony Gilroy, was also credited here along with another newcomer Scott Z. Burns, so I'm guessing they helped balance things out. While there were a few minor issues I had with the script, like the fact that they alluded to certain things and didn't follow through with them, it was a fine screenplay and a great end to the series.
Director Paul Greengrass, who directed the previous Bourne flick along with last year's highly-lauded United 93 (which he received an Oscar nomination for directing), returns here and does a smashing job at the helm, with some simply-amazing fight scenes and just a great kinetic feel to the movie. While it is sad to see the last of Bourne (unless they pick up that new non-Ludlum Bourne book that was recently released), they sure did send him off in grand fashion in this amazing trilogy-capper. 4.5 stars out of 5
"Johnny Depp to Star and Produce The Rum Diary" - Monday, July 30:
Finally! I've been hearing about this for years and years and now it seems this Hunter S. Thopmson novel (his only fictional novel although it was loosely based on his time as a reporter in San Juan) finally found a proper home at WIP. There have been a bunch of people attached to this at one time, including Josh Hartnett, Nick Nolte and Benecio Del Toro, who starred alongside Depp in the insanely-underrated Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, an adaptation of Thompson's most famous book. It is a marvelous novel and with Depp back in Thompson's twisted shoes, playing Thompson's fictional version of himself; Paul Kemp, this should be one hell of a ride, folks. I can't wait to see who else signs up for this! Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Francis Lawrence to Direct Snow and the Seven" - Tuesday, July 31:
This is some awesome news, folks. Lawrence made a very impressive theatrical debut with Constantine and his follow-up, I Am Legend looks to be even more impressive. He'll have a great trifecta going with this flick that just sounds like a superb idea, crossing the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs story with martial arts, having Snow White train with seven Shaolin monks. This kind of movie could be a great opportunity for a all-star martial arts ensemble, giving some notice to Hong Kong stars like Donnie Yen, Steven Chow and many others. This just sounds plain wonderful to me, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Jack Black to Star and Produce The Lost Adventures of Stone Perlmutter Jr." - Thursday, August 2:
This sounds like a rather humorous cross between an Indiana Jones movie and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. This mockumentary about an adventurer in the late 70s, based on "recently discovered" footage just sounds like a blast, especially with Jack Black as Perlmutter Jr. We don't get any info on the filmmakers here, but this just sounds like loads of fun, and a chance for Black to really break open into the mainstream. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Channing Tatum and Dito Montiel Are Teaming Up Once Again" - Thursday, August 2:
I've heard their Saints movie is pretty good, but this just sounds like a total stinker, folks. It sounds like The Karate Kid, only more urbanized and modernized... and stupidized. I just can't see how this will be much good at all, no matter how good their first movie together might've been. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Roger Avary Will Return to Castle Wolfenstein" - Thursday, August 2:
While I'm getting worried that Roger Avary is starting to tread into Uwe Boll territory here, with his string of vidgame adaptations, I'm not THAT worried because of one simple reason: Avary is picking GOOD video games to adapt. No, I didn't like Silent Hill much either, but it seems he's picking better games with this one and the adaptation for the awesome Driver vidgame that he's attached to. This one about a Army Ranger who is sent in to Transylvania to hunt down Nazi vampires. If that doesn't, at the very least, intrigue you, then you're unintriguiable. This should be a very interesting project, especially with Avary on board. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Even though it was a busy weekend, with four new flicks in wide-ish release, there was only one that was bourne to be atop the box office heap. The Bourne Ultimatum was the easy winner this weekend, taking in a mammoth $69.2 million in its opening weekend. The series based on the Robert Ludlum spy novels is noticeably increased in popularity, even with the critics with an amazing 94% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The first film, The Bourne Identity was a surprise hit in 2002, opening at $27.1 million on its way to $121 million and the middle movie, The Bourne Supremacy, opened at $52.2 million en route to a $176 million domestic haul. Ultimatum opened in a solid 3,660 theaters and earned a very impressive $18,929 per-screen average. It looks like Matt Damon's Bourne should have a very good run and close out the summer in the $200 million range. Bourne's success, however, lead to The Simpsons downfall, as they plummeted 66.1% from its opening weekend to take second place with $25.1 million. The movie is still in decent shape, though, with a nifty $128 million take (from a $75 million budget) after just 10 days in release.
Underdog took the bronze medal this weekend, taking in $11.5 million in its opening weekend. This live-action thing didn't quite have the critics blessing, though, with just a 13% "Fresh" rating over at RT. It opened with a decent rollout of 3,013 theaters, but could just manage a $3,845 per-screen average. While none of that sounds good, it's a lot better than the last new semi-wide-released newbies could drum up.
Hot Rod came in 9th place, taking just $5.3 million for its opening weekend. The Andy Samberg comedy opened decently in 2,607 theaters, but could only muster a $2,037 per-screen average from that rollout. Bratz followed in the 10-spot, taking in just $4.2 million. It was, however, in far fewer theaters, bowing in just 1,509 theaters, although its $2,799 per-screen average isn't anything to shout about either.
A pretty simple site here. We get the Trailer, a whopping five Photos, a boring, simple list of the Cast and a very brief Synopsis. Blah. Right At Your Door opens on August 24 in limited release.
Damn near the same thing. We get the Trailer, a brief synopsis in Story, all of TWO Photos and a link to register for updates. Double blah! Horton Hears a Who opens on March 14.
The Orphanage: (SimonIsMissing.com)
Triple blah!!! We get absolutely NOTHING here, folks. There is a Missing poster for the Simon boy and a shot of a creepy house. There is a clickable link on the bottom left corner, but that brings up the official site to Pan's Labyrinth, which is very very weird even though that movie's director, Guillermo del Toro is "presenting" this movie, a la Tarantino. Ugh. The Orphanage opens on December 28, in limited release.
And I thought this might be Fox Atomic's only shot so far at a decent movie. After watching this trailer, I realize I've been mistaken. For one, it's a friggin SPOOF movie, taking bits and pieces from any and every football movie released, even Necessary Roughness. David Koechner is starring here, and even though it does rock that he's finally top-lining something, and he does look to deliver a decent performance... the movie just looks like garbage. Koechner plays a the head coach named Lambeau Fields. That isn't a typo. He has the worst record in college football history but swears to turn things around with this sketchy band of recruits and blah blah blah. If that doesn't sound painful enough, they have Tom Brady directing... no, not the Patriots quarterback, but worse... the guy who directed The Hot Chick. The Comebacks open on October 26.
This looks like a great sequel to a surprisingly-good original movie. We get all the originals back here: Nicolas Cage, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Justin Bartha and Harvey Keitel along with newcomers Ed Harris, Bruce Greenwood and Helen Mirren. Action. Adventure. Excitement. Humor. Treasure hunts. Historic stuff. Hot Diane Kruger. What more could you ask for? This should be a great popcorn flick and should make some huge bank, folks. National Treasure: Book of Secrets opens on December 21.
Well, that didn't take long. They released a "trailer" for this maybe a month ago, but it was barely a minute long and just gave us a tiny taste of this political thriller. We get a much bigger taste here, and it definitely looks like something worth sinking your teeth into. This new movie from Robert Redford (written by Joe Carnahan's brother, Matthew Michael Carnahan), deals with the war on terror from a few different perspectives; one with a powerful congressman (Tom Cruise), a journalist (Meryl Streep) and a university professor (Robert Redford) in a story where these lives intersect around two missing GI's (Derek Luke and Michael Pena). This cast is just loaded with talent, folks, and with Redford behind the camera this could be a powerful, award-caliber movie. Lions for Lambs opens on November 9.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Very hard choice for me this week, but I just have to go with Johnny Depp playing a Hunter S. Thompson creation once more for my Best News of the Week. As some might know, I am a HUGE Hunter S. Thompson fan and I'm just as big a fan of Johnny Depp as I am Thompson. While The Rum Diary is his only fictional novel, it is a fantastic read and, if you've read his other works you can clearly see similarities between the truth and fiction. While Depp was certainly the obvious choice here, because of his history, I'm glad they didn't decide to go with a younger actor, since Thompson was in his early 20s when he started writing this. Now someone give Benecio a call and we're REALLY in business, baby!
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Only one thing to pick from this week, and that's Channing Tatum and Ditto Montiel re-teaming... for a really crappy-sounding movie for my Worst News of the Week. They're probably going to try to make it like Fight Club and then have him work his way up to proper fighting, maybe throw some UFC guys in there as trainers or some crap. Look, I know how popular the UFC and similar mixed-martial arts shows are these days. I watch them too, but rehashing old movies and throwing them around this theme is not something anyone will pay to see. I know, you're thinking that they pay $50 to watch them fight on TV, why not pay a lot less for a movie? Because the fights are real and won't suck nearly as much as this movie will...
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. Peace in. Gallagher out!