Another seven days has come and gone, leaving us a new 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 last week.

WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH LAST WEEK?

Ratatouille

There are two reasons I saw this movie. One, it was the only movie in my theater that I hadn't yet seen. Two, well, it's friggin Pixar and last time I checked, they just plain don't make bad movies. This one isn't quite as good as their others, but the dazzling animation and quaint story about a rat (Patton Oswalt) who wants to be a chef makes this more than worth your while. We get some nice voice work from Oswalt, Peter O'Toole, Ian Holm, Brad Garrett along with many more and with this ensemble voice cast and the magic of Pixar, this is well worth your time. 4 stars out of 5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I'm really glad I haven't read any of these books yet. I have friends that are hardcore into the books and the last few movies have fallen way below their standards because there is so much left out of the movies. I've only watched the movies and I've enjoyed all of them, including this latest installment, Order of the Phoenix. All of our old favorites (Daniel Radcliffe, Ruppert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, etc.) are back as well as a smashing new addition in Imelda Staunton, who plays the delightfully devious Dolores Umbridge, an official at the Ministry of Magic who starts to take over Hogwarts. Things start to get darker for Harry and his Hogwarts homies and it's a fine transitional movie into the last few movies. 3.5 stars out of 5

Longford

I always have been a sucker for true-story movies, and this one sure is a doozy, folks. This is based off the true story of the killers behind the "Moors Murders" that shocked all of England in the 60s. Definitely worth checking out, folks. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Close to Home

We get two great acting debuts here from Israeli actresses Neama Shendar and Smadar Sayar... and that's absolutely IT here. It's an atrociously dull movie and the only thing that will keep you from snoring is those two lead performances. It's really too bad that this wastes new talent like that. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Three Bad Men

I'm pretty sure this is one of the worst movies of all time. I really don't even have the strength to talk more about it. It's spelled out rather clearly in my review. If anyone is brave enough to want to watch this movie, email me at [email protected] and I'll gladly mail this disc to you, free of charge. Who's up for the challenge? Oh yeah, CLICK HERE for my full review.

Afro Samurai

This was a slick little mini-series that aired on Spike TV in January of this year. Not only do we get the ultra-cool Samuel L. Jackson voicing the title character and his chatty counterpart, Ninja Ninja, but we get some masterful animation sequences and a slick story combining modern-day technology, a phenomenal score by Wu Tang Clan's The RZA and the ancient art of the samurai in one entertaining package. CLICK HERE for my full review.

Mahogany

Ugh. Boring. A rags-to-riches take with Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams and the wonderful Anthony Perkins, who's the only bright spot of the movie at all. May cause drowsiness... CLICK HERE for my full review.

Shooter

I finally picked this up on DVD and it was just as cool as I remember it being in the theaters. This is almost like a more complex, modern-day version of a Rambo movie, with an ex-military man on the run from the authoritative powers that be. It's a lot more complex than that, though, as we weave our way around some different sub-plots all surrounding Mark Wahlberg's Bob Lee Swagger character. With the exception of the hollow Kate Mara, the acting is nicely done with nice turns from Wahlberg, Michael Pena, Danny Glover, Ned Beatty and the luscious Rhona Mitra. This was based off a novel by Stephen Hunter, and there is a series of books devoted to Swagger so I hope that this really takes off on DVD and we can look forward to more of Wahlberg as Swagger. 4 stars out of 5

NOTABLES

"Robert Carradine Lands Lead Role in Nano Dogs the Movie!" - Monday, July 9:

Why are dog flicks starting to sprout up again? We've already had Firehouse Dog and the talking-dog flick Underdog is coming up and now this. What the crap is going on here? This one has a family who inadvertently feeds their dogs some nano-formula and they can all talk now and mad scientists want the pooches for their own. They even have telepathic powers. Ack. Someone put the axe to this one, right quick and in a hurry. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Peter Berg Is Directing Gone Like the Wind" - Monday, July 9:

Why are horse flicks starting to sprout up again? We've already had Flicka and Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story the last few years and now we will see a movie about Barbaro, the Triple-Crown-favored horse whose rise and fall made sporting headlines for a year or so. This is the second collaboration of journalist/author Buzz Bissinger and director Peter Berg, with Bissinger writing the book that Friday Night Lights was based on and Berg, Bissinger's cousin, directed. While their first effort was a success, I'm not sure about this one. Those last horsey movies barely made a dent at the box office and I'm not sure if this one will either, even with Barbaro's high profile. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Three Join Middle of Nowhere" - Tuesday, July 10:

I never thought I'd be talking praise about a John Stockwell (Blue Crush, Into the Blue), but I am. This sounds rather interesting, with a damn solid cast of Susan Sarandon, Anton Yelchin, Justin Chatwin, Willa Holland and Eva Amurri, who is Sarandon's daughter. The movie surrounds about a young girl (Amurri) who discovers her mother (Sarandon) has spent all of her college money on financing her sister's (Holland) attempt at winning the Miss America pageant. Slick story, great cast... this could actually be a winner for Mr. Stockwell. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce to Star in Traitor" - Wednesday, July 11:

I'm very very big fans of both Cheadle and Pearce and I was starting to wonder where the crap Pearce has been lately. The story doesn't sound terribly original - a CIA espionage thriller - and writer/director Jeffery Nachamoff doesn't have the best filmography (he's making his directorial debut here as well) but if both Cheadle and Pearce are attached, I'm breathing a little easier about it. Cheadle and Pearce are rather choosy about their projects and for two picky actors to come in together, that has to be worth something at least. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Steven Spielberg to Direct the Trial of the Chicago 7?" - Thursday, July 12:

Wow. This could be just HUGE folks. Spielberg directing from an Aaron Sorkin script could be a godsend. I've long been a fan of Sorkin's writing in both movies (See: A Few Good Men) and television (Sports Night, The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip) and it looks like he's starting to lean more towards the cinema for now. This picture is to be the first of a three-picture deal and he also wrote the upcoming, potential award-fodder flick Charlie Wilson's War. If this movie, surrounding the trial of protesters in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, goes forward with Spielberg at the helm, it'll be one of the hottest tickets around. I can't wait, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

It was a weekend of wonderment whilst witches and wizards wrecked the whole competition. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix stomped the field with relative ease this weekend, taking in a healthy $77.1 million this weekend. Ironically enough, the movie garnered a 77% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I was born in 1977, but I don't think that has anything to do with it... Anyway, along with the warm critical reception, the Potter release was aided by the second-largest rollout of all time, bowing in 4,285 theaters, just behind the 4,362-theater release of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Harry and Co. took in an impressive $17,994 per-screen average and it stands at $139.7 million after five days of release, which includes a record-breaking $12 million from JUST the midnight showings alone. They're just a day or two away from breaking even from its $150 million budget and this should end up grossing around $300 million, as per usual with this franchise. Transformers took an equally-impressive second place, suffering only an average decline of 47.5% and taking in just over $37 million in its second weekend and it has taken in just over $224 million during its 13 days in release.

The only other newbie in a semi-wide release was the controversial horror flick Captivity, which failed to even break the top 10. The Elisha Cuthbert movie came in 12th place in its debut weekend, taking in a measly $1.4 million. It received a paltry 1,061-theater rollout and snagged a dismal $1,346 per-screen average as well. I guess controversy isn't always for the best after all...

GOING LIVE

The Spiderwick Chronicles: (SpiderwickChronicles.com)

Another lame teaser site with only a trailer and nothing else. Balls. The Spiderwick Chronicles opens on February 15, 2008.

The Dark is Rising: (SeekTheSigns.com)

After it looked like we might get a decent, full site here, it's just a step above a teaser. All we get is a synopsis in Story, the Trailer (which is pretty damn cool, by the way) and a link to Register for updates. There is also a video you can watch with this MTV contest where a bunch of interns are competing for a job on that movie. The movie does look pretty cool, but this site surely isn't and hopefully they add more to this site before it is released on October 5.

Death Sentence: (DeathSentenceMovie.com)

The sites are just getting a little bit better each time this week. This one has a brief Synopsis, the sweet Trailer, a small Gallery and a Cast link that just takes you to the movie's IMDB page. Also on the left side of the site there are several external links about the movie, including director James Wan's MySpace page and many other links with interviews about this movie. The trailer is worth checking out though, even though some more stuff would be nice. Death Sentence opens on August 31.

TRAILER PARK

10,000 B.C.

Umm, yeah. This is a teaser for the latest flick from Roland Emmerich the man behind the sweet Independence Day and the boring The Day After Tomorrow. It's a big fat epic that's set a long long long time ago and we don't get much info besides that from this teaser. Oh well. I'm sure we'll get another dumb trailer before this is released on March 7, 2008.

Who's Your Caddy?

Wow. It's almost humorous that this flick is opening against The Simpsons Movie in a few weeks. It will get a terrible rollout and make less that $10 million on opening week. That's an INSANELY generous prediction, mind you, but who knows in this movie climate. The only "stars" we get here are Big Boi from Outkast and Faison Love, starring in a "comedy" about a rap mogul who tries to connive his way into an exclusive golf country club. Blah. The whole trailer is incredibly unfunny and I'm sure the rest of the movie is too. Who's Your Caddy? opens on July 27.

No Country For Old Men

It's been awhile since we heard from the Coen Brothers, Joel and Ethan, but it looks like their back in a big big way with their new flick No Country For Old Men. Based on the Cormac McCarthy novel and in competition for the Palm D'Or at Cannes this year, No Country looks like it brings the Coen's back to their roots, in a similar vein to their smashing debut Blood Simple. If you're as big a fan of the Coen's as I am (and I'm a pretty damn BIG fan...) you should find this trailer as enjoyable as I did. No Country For Old Men opens on November 9, in limited release.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Easy pick here with the outstanding combo of Aaron Sorkin and Steven Speilberg for my Best News of the Week. Sorkin's upcoming flick, Charlie Wilson's War, sounds like a true major-award contender and if that takes off like I think it will, this project will get even more buzz than it should be getting now, with Spielberg possibly attached to direct. I really think this will be an awesome movie. Of course, with Sorkin and Spielberg potentially collaborating, the cast could be simply enormous. The quicker this gets off the ground, the better, as far as I'm concerned.

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

I'm going with Robert Carradine and his stupid talking dogs for my Worst News of the Week. The former Skolnick is lending his nerdy voice to this stupid dog movie and I have to imagine his career is going down like a rockslide. Since he's decided to be in this flick, I almost hope that scenario unfold. So, talking dogs and the dude who played the main nerd in Revenge of the Nerds? Wow. I think I'll pass and go get my ears removed with rusty nails. Bam!

Well that's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official sites for upcoming flicks, new sites 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.

Cinemark Movie Club