Another seven days has passed us, and brought with us another slew of movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets not make haste and get right into it with this week's Notables.
"Forrest Whitaker Looks at Vantage Point" - Monday, May 29
This sounds like a very interesting flick, almost in the vein of the upcoming Bobby, which deals with the assassination of Robert Kennedy. This one looks at the assassination of a U.S. President, played by Dennis Quaid, and gives us 5 different vantage points of the assassination in 15-minute segments. Whitaker will play a Zapruder-like tourist who gets some video footage of the assassin. While I hope they extend these segments a little bit, since a 75-minute flick is a little too short most of the time, this sounds like a pretty slick take on an interesting subject. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Uma Thurman Finds The Accidental Husband" - Monday, May 29
And I thought it was the guys that were supposed to be forgetting everything. This flick has Thurman as a psychologist who is about to wed when she discovers that she's already a wife with some mystery guest, and when she tracks down said mystery guest, she is conflicted on whether she should be with her new guy or old guy. Wow. That's weird. I thought this flick was already released and titled Sweet Home Alabama, but what do I know, eh? This just sounds dreadfully unoriginal and I hope nothing becomes of this flick. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Warner Bros. Picks Up Broken Lizard's Take My Wife" - Monday, May 29
This is a little odd. Since the Broken Lizard comedy troupe broke through in 2002 with their wonderful comedy Super Troopers, they have at least all written their movies as a team. I'm not sure if this is a sign of dissention in the troupe, or not, but I believe this is the first flick that all of the Lizard guys aren't involved in the writing. Just Paul Soter is writing the script, with Jay Chandrasekhar directing once again. Maybe it's also a sign that they DO indeed need everyone in the troupe, because this sounds fairly retarded. This flick is about an ordinary dude who, somehow, agrees half-heartedly to pull the wife switcheroo with a Hollywood celebrity. Of course, things take a turn for the worse and blah blah blah. Unless this "average Joe" is a neighbor of a celebrity, somehow, this is insanely unrealistic and I hope this lives a long life on the shelf at the WB. Horrible, just horrible. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Lionsgate Gets Good Luck Chuck" - Tuesday, May 30
This sounds like another great project for Dane Cook, whose popularity will only continue to grow, probably to household-name status with his new flicks, including this one. This one has Cook as a dentist who realizes that in his string of exes, they have all found true love immediately after dating him. While it enables him to happily keep living the single life, he meets his dream woman and probably tries to find a way to reverse the curse, or whatever. Cook's edgy brand of humor and his persona sounds just perfect for this role, and should give him ample opportunity to broaden his range. I'm looking forward to seeing this a lot, to see how Cook will adapt to this new role. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Breaking up may be hard to do, but it makes for some easy money at the box office, according to this past weekend. The Break-Up soared past expectations, and some plumetting mutants, on its way to taking the top spot at the box office this weekend. The Vince Vaughn/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy took in an impressive $39.1 million in its opening weekend, surging past most expectations. The flick was only in a modest, in summer terms anyway, 3,070 theaters, or about 700 fewer than X-Men: The Last Stand whose plight I'll go into later. Even with this somewhat low theater count, The Break-Up managed a smashing $12,759 per-screen average. While it was the first romantic comedy in the theaters in a few months, the star qualities of Vaugh and Aniston are most likely why this was so successful, with another possible reason being that people wanted to see the inception of their real-life personal relationship that started while they were filming this. Either way, I'm sure everyone involved on this flick isn't complaining. With only a $51 million budget to make back, they should be in the black sometime this week, and they should easily surpass $100 million after its run is through.
The Break-Up was the only flick in wide release last weekend, and although X-Men: The Last Stand took 2nd place with just over $34 million, it was clearly the big loser of the weekend. It seems the lackluster reviews and purist's criticism didn't go unnoticed as the mutants dropped off hugely from it's monstrous opening weekend. It dropped a whopping 66.9% from its opening weekend, and while that isn't a record by any means, it's still rather huge for a flick that opened in such a grand fashion. While they only need about another $35 million to start earning a profit from its enormous $210 million budget, if it keep declining at this rate, the profits should be fairly slim. It should also offer more proof that bigger isn't always better, because even if they do make a profit, it will have been far slimmer than if the budget was slimmer. There were two flicks last month, Poseidon and Mission: Impossible III that were surefire blockbusters and now are unlikely to take home a profit. Posiedon, which could end up being the biggest flop of the year, now stands at $51.7 million from a $160 million budget, while M:I 3 is in a little better shape at $122.6 million from a $150 million budget. If the mutants keep dropping at this rate, they could very well be the third flick in this anti-profit category, and if I was a studio head, I might consider trying to trim some budgets in the near future, because it's turning into a crap-shoot that they're not winning too much at anymore...
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: (pirates.movies.com)
This is a pretty slick site here. You can start off a few different ways here. The main part of the site is this sort of interactive game, that you can find more about by clicking on the Plunder menu on the top. Basically, you have to navigate through the site and click on certain items that will, if you obtain all of them, will grant you access to the Dead Man's Chest, where goodies await. The game is a little odd and takes awhile to load properly, but it's kinda fun, with some hidden goodies besides the "plunder" you seek along the way. If you're not up for fun and games, though, you can get right to the info in Menu at the top. First here Trailers and next is About the Film, which only has a brief Synopsis with Production Notes and Cast and Crew coming soon. Next is Downloads with some Desktop Images and the Poster available, and ECards and Digital Trading Cards also coming soon. Games has 7 little net-games... that are all coming soon and Gallery doesn't seem to be there either. You can also click on World Map to the right of the Menu, which is basically a sitemap. Either my computer really sucks, or this site has a lot of bugs in it, because nothing was loading right for me and it was a tad annoying. The lack of substance was also annoying as well, but if you're up for a little voyage with Captain Jack Sparrow, this is the site for you. Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest opens on July 7.
Strangers With Candy: (www.strangerswithcandymovie.com)
Even though I hated the show, and probably will hate the movie, this isn't a bad little site. It's designed like a normal hallway at Flatpoint High (just another nugget of useless info I can't seem to let go of). You can click on almost everything here, but most are just audio clips. The menu options have a banner that comes up when you roll your mouse or whatever over it. At the top center of the site is you can click on the release date thing for Tickets and Showtimes. Click on "Audio + Visuals = Porn" banner to Watch Trailers/Video. All we have here is the teaser trailer and the full-length trailer. Click on the first locker on the left for a Photo Gallery, which is actually like a real locker, where you click on the pictures and Jerri's hand grabs it and displays it. There is also a turtle that keep popping his head out of his shell, but if you click on it, he retreats. No idea why this is here... Anyway, the last one is Story Synopsis/Cast and Crew Bios, and this is like a locker also, with a synopsis that looks like a graded paper. If you click on the yearbook, that opens up and you can select on many different cast and crew members to get their info. While I still contend this flick will be moronic, this isn't too bad of a site. Strangers With Candy opens on June 28 in limited release.
This looks like another stupid flick, but with a simple little site. After a dumb intro, you can click on each character to hear a few audio clips from them or create a customized poster of them. On the top of the site are the main menus. First is Games and they offer two of them here. The first game is Dancin Little Man, which is just stupid. You can upload a photo of yourself and just hit some buttons and make your face with the little man's body dance. Ugh. The next game redeems it though... sort of. Dirty Diaper Diamond Dash is basically a rip-off of Super Mario Brothers, adpated for this flick. I won't explain the game, because I'm sure you've played Super Mario Brothers before. Next is Features, but it's the same thing as clicking on one of the characters below. Video has the trailer, The Film is coming soon and Downloads has wallpapers, a screensaver, AIM Icons and the poster. Not a bad site, actually. Could use more content, but still not bad. Little Man opens on July 5.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with Lionsgate going comedy with none other than Dane Cook for my Best News of the Week. We don't see a whole lot of comedy flicks from the edgy studio, but with this story and the rising star of Dane Cook, they should have a surefire winner here. Cook is still mainly known as just a stand-up comedian, with the exception of his minor role in Waiting. But he is by far the hottest stand-up out there. His last comedy CD had the highest ranking on the Billboard charts ever for a comedy CD, and with his new slate of movies, including his upcoming Employee of the Month, his star will just keep on a rising. This new flick should show us a different side to Cook, and I just can't wait to see it.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
This was a tough choice, but I'm going with Uma Thurman's forgetful nuptials for my Worst News of the Week. How do you forget you're married, people? I'm sure it's something that many would wish upon, but the fact that this woman just had her marriage slip her damn mind is so absolutely dumb. I'm sure this was the only way to make it not seem like Sweet Home Alabama, but come on. It pains me to think of scenarios that would make it possible for someone, a woman mind you, to forget ones marriage, like getting struck by lightning, amnesia or waking up next to me, but I'm sure it's much worse than than I could possibly imagine. I don't think women are that independent these days that they could just lose and forget about a husband, but maybe I'm just not in touch with my feminie side or some crap like that. Or maybe I'm just a realist. One of the two...
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.