Another seven days has come and gone and brought 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 this past week.

WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH THIS WEEK?

Until Death:

It certainly seems like a long time since Van Damme's prime, especially after watching this dreadful excuse for a movie. Check out my full review here.

National Lampoon's Pucked:

It certainly seems like a long time since Jon Bon Jovi's prime... oh wait, he never had one, and this performance, one of the worst I've seen in a LONG time, is proof. Read my full review on the rest of this latest in the National Lampoon line of stupidity here.

Dragon Dynasty, Vol. 8: Born to Fight:

Another in the line of mediocre actioners dubbed Dragon Dynasty. None are really totally bad movies, but none are really outstanding either. This one is more along the bad side. The full review is here.

The Sandlot 3: Heading Home:

An update of the 1993 kiddie classic that keeps the spirit of the original intact and even updates us on a few of the characters from the original, while bringing a whole new crew to the familiar sandlot. Here's.

Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer:

The famous foursome is back... and shorter than ever. This sequel runs about 15 minutes less than its 2005 predecessor, and the whole movie just had a glossed-over and watered-down feel to it. They breeze us through the problems with Reed (Ioan Gruffudd) and Sue's (Jessica Alba... yummy) wedding, Johnny's (Chris Evans) fear of lonliness and maturity while dealing with their new foe, the Silver Surfer, voiced sparsley by Laurence Fishburne. Our evil buddy Dr. Doom (Julian McMahon) is back as well, thanks to our surfer buddy, and while the movie moves at a brisk pace, it's almost too brisk and you feel that you might be missing something, even though you're not. It's not a bad flick at all, with some decent acting, direction and even a good script... that would've been much better had it been slowed down a tad. 3.5 stars out of 5

Green Street Hooligans:

Oi oi! A buddy of mine turned me on to this flick last year, and it's rather addictive. I've watched it probably 5 or 6 times, although I finally own a copy now, hence this recent viewing. This flick about rival "firms" of soccer hooligans in London gives us an unabashed look at this violent lifestyle of pints, football and fighting. It's filmed with a breakneck pace, starting off with a fast but furious brawl in a downtown metro station. From there we get the tale of an American, Matt Buckner (Elijah Wood) who goes from being kicked out of Harvard to visiting his sister (Claire Forlani) in London to running with one of the best firms in London: the Green Street Elite, headed by Pete Dunham (Charlie Hunnam). It's a very kinetic piece, filled with violence and humor, with an intriguing storyline threaded through the fighting and beers. We get some smashing performances from Hunnam, who I've long been a fan of, Wood and an especially marvelous performance by British newcomer Leo Gregory, who plays Dunham's caustic right-hand man, Bovver. The ending isn't as solid as I'd hoped for, but it's a damn fine movie that shows us a unique look into this bizarre lifestyle. 4 stars out of 5.

NOTABLES

"Frank Langella, Elliott Gould and Laura Harring to Star in On the" - Monday, June 11:

I'm not sure if whistleblower flicks will ever be really popular. The Insider was nominated for 7 Oscars... but made $28 million. I don't think this On the Hook flick will turn things around. This one is about an energy company whistleblower. Yes, exciting AND original, eh? It's a bit of an odd cast too with Frank Langella, Elliot Gould and Laura Harring starring. Sure, they're all fine and good, but when was the last time you saw any of them toplining anything? My Magic 8 Ball doesn't see good things for this flick's future. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Jesse Bradford Hears The Echo" - Monday, June 11:

I wonder if this Eric Bernt writer is a fan of the great screenwriter Ehren Kruger. This Echo deal almost sounds like two Kruger flicks; Arlington Road and The Skeleton Key with a dash of Disturbia thrown in the mix as well. Bradford doesn't seem to be the ex-con type either and with Bernt's shaky resume as listed in the article, I can't be too confident about this flick. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Christina Applegate Stars in The Rocker" - Tuesday, June 12:

Oh you silly Fox Atomic. I guess you have that horror-sequel bug out of your system now, but your new projects aren't looking a ton better. This one is about a former rock star who gets a second chance at fame when he's asked to join his teenaged nephew's band. It doesn't say here, but on the IMDB page for this project, Rainn Wilson's character is supposed to be Pete Best, the former drummer for The Beatles who left the band right before they hit it big. Yeah. Right. Lame. Applegate will play the mom of one of Wilson's new bandmates/love interest and this just sounds retarded. Man, not off to a positive start this week, are we... Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Rachel Weisz to Star in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones" - Tuesday, June 12:

I'm not overly familiar with this Alice Sebold book, other than that it was immensely popular and has been slated for adaptation for some time now. I am familiar with Weisz and Jackson, though, and this sounds like a damn good combination to me. Weisz hasn't really had a headlining part since her Supporting Actress Oscar win for The Constant Gardener, and this should give her a big boost. As for Jackson, well, most have been just wanting him to do SOMETHING since the Rings trilogy has ended, and, with star in place, it looks like this will surely be his next movie. I'm very intrigued to see what both Jackson and Weisz can do with this popular novel's adaptation. Best News of the Week Nominee.

"Paris Hilton Dropped by Her Acting Agency" - Tuesday, June 12:

My comment below the article says it all. Best News of the Week Nominee, just because.

"Lionsgate Acquires Frakenhood" - Tuesday, June 12:

Wow. Unreal. I wonder how desperate the wonderful Charlie Murphy is becoming after Chappelle's Show suddennly fizzled. Here he'll play a morgue worker who, along with DeRay Davis, really want to win this streetball basketball competition. They just so happen to try and win this thing with the help of a monstrous corpse who had recently been brought back to life by a mad scientist, to win the competition. Come on Lionsgate. You used to be SO much better than dreck like this. Worst News of the Week Nominee.

"Lakeview Terrace Signs Another Actor" - Thursday, June 14:

This is shaping up quite nicely, folks. This latest from Neil LaBute revolves around a mixed-race couple who moves into a home right next door to a racist LAPD cop. What's the deal with this movies and next-door neighbors all of the sudden? Anyway, I've only seen LaBute's bomb The Wicker Man, and none of his well-praised indies, but I've heard great things about him and I might have to check out some of said indies before this hits the theaters. With this cast of Samuel L. Jackson, the very busy Kerry Washington and newly-acquired Patrick Wilson, this looks to be in great shape here. Best News of the Week Nominee.

BOX OFFICE CORNER

America's favorite foursome is back and they drew the crowds back to the theater after a slightly lackluster last weekend. Fantastic Four: Rise of The Silver Surfer took the theaters by storm, taking in a solid summer take of just over $58 million, just a few mil over their predecessor's $56 million opening weekend take, despite opening in about 350 more theaters than the original.

The sequel opened in a surprisingly-wide 3,959 theaters, taking in a healthy $14,663 per-screen average. While this nearly-equal gross isn't a terrible sign, it probably isn't a great sign either, especially when paired with the reviews. The flick received a lousy 37% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and while the initial rush to the theater was the same as the last time, I would expect a rather large drop this coming weekend, at least 55%, at most 65%, if they're lucky. The good news for the foursome? The flick cost a rather modest $130 million, so, nearly halfway there, a profit isn't too far out of reach, but next weekend's decrease will be the tell-tale sign.

Ocean's Thirteen took the second spot this weekend, dropping a decent 45.4% in its second weekend to take in $19.7 million, bumping up to $70.4 million overall after 10 days. Then there's that silly Knocked Up that people can't seem to get enough of. It dropped only 36% in its second weekend and it's done even better in its third, dipping only 28.4% and taking in just over $14 million. The flick now stands at just over $90 million after three weeks, and Judd Apatow and Co. will likely have another $100 million successful comedy by week's end.

The only other newbie to stand up against that fantastic foursome was that teen detective Nancy Drew, but Nancy didn't do so great. She took 7th place this weekend, taking in just $6.8 million in her opening weekend. She did open with a decent theater count - against a potential blockbuster, at least - with a 2,612-theater rollout, although she could only post a dismal $2,615 per-screen average. Maybe if Nancy would've gone up against Underdog she'd have better luck...

GOING LIVE

Mr. Bean's Holiday: (DotComedy.com/bean/)

Yeah. Nothing too fancy here, folks. We get a fairly simple site here. Film gives us a decent synopsis, Photos has a decent gallery, the retarded Trailer, some Downloads (they even have coloring sheets...) and lastly four very simple and very stupid Games. I can't believe this guy still has a career. Mr. Bean's Holiday opens on August 24.

Sweeney Todd: (SweeneyToddMovie.com)

Blasted teaser sites! This just has a boring cast and crew list, a synopsis and a link to register for updates. Argh! Sweeney Todd opens on December 21 in limited release.

Vantage Point: (SonyPictures.com)

Damnit. Another teaser site. All we get is the Trailer here and that register-for-updates link, but the good news is that the trailer is just amazing, folks!! It really bites that there's nothing else here, but man, this trailer is just incredible and well worth a stop by this site to see it. Vantage Point opens on February 15, 2008 although I hope this great trailer gets some super-huge buzz and they push it to sometime this year.

TRAILER PARK

Underdog

Wow. Another case of a lot of wasted talent like Jason Lee, Peter Dinklage, Amy Adams and Patrick Warburton here with Underdog. OK, I did laugh at the very last line of the trailer, but that's it, seriously. I can't imagine this making a ton of money, because the character really isn't that popular and, as talented as that cast is, they really aren't super-popular as well. Underdog opens on August 3.

Vantage Point

What do you mean you haven't watched that trailer YET? GO ON already! I'm serious, folks. This looks friggin AWESOME! We get a smashing cast with Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Matthew Fox and Edgar Ramirez. Sure, the movie is written and directed by a couple of newbies with some TV work under their belts, but if a new writer and a new director can get this kind of cast, that's saying something. This just looks out-frickin-standing, folks. Watch the trailer and "digg" it or something, and maybe they'll bump this up out of the doldrums of February 15, 2008.

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Not a lot of positivity this week, but I'm going with the Lakeview Terrace cast getting stronger for my Best News of the Week. I guess the next-door neighbor thing is getting overplayed, but I think there's a dynamic element here, with an interracial couple and a racist L.A. cop living next door to each other. Since we have Samuel L. Jackson, Kerry Washington and now Patrick Wilson, I'm assuming that Jackson is the racist cop and Wilson and Washington are the interracial couple, and this just sounds like a very intriguing movie.

WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK

Plenty to choose from here, but I'm going with frickin Frankenhood!!! as my Worst News of the Week. I really hope Lionsgate doesn't have any theatrical delusions of grandeur about this wretched project. I love Charlie Murphy as much as the next Chappelle's Show fan, but no one is going to see him trying to play streetball with a corpse brought back from the dead. Maybe his brother, if he's not busy doing Shrek 14 or something, but that's about it. My head hurts just thinking about the trailers or TV spots for this movie, Don Francisco's voice-over... wow. Almost overwhelming. I better lie down...

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. Gallagher out!

Cinemark Movie Club