Howdy folks. Another seven days have come and gone and brought us another batch of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. So lets get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Warner Bros. Considering Kung Fu Adaptation?" - Monday, March 19:
This is a very interesting little snippet here from David Carradine. While I can understand Carradine's fear of the WB turning this into a summer popcorn flick, I disagree with him. I think this is some great fodder for a remake. While he's right that he's too identifiable with the character of Kwai Chang Caine, I still think that a modernization of this concept would be pretty damn cool. We can see Caine tackling the problems of the 21st Century, but with the same style that Caine had on the show. I think this is a winner folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"John August Confirms That Jake Gyllenhaal Will Not Play Captain Marvel" - Monday, March 19:
This isn't really good or bad news at all here, but it's just cool that August shoots us straight when it comes to projects he's working on. In another part of that blurb from his website, he blames the Internet for propagating such a rumor when it in fact was New York Daily News columnists George Rush and Joanna Rush Malloy who started the rumor. Still, August's official website is one I peruse regularly for a number of reasons, one being news items like this one that you won't get anywhere else, and that you won't get with his own brand of style. Keep up the great work John, but don't be so quick to blame the Internet next time. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Catherine Keener and Robin Wright Penn to Star in What Just Happened?" - Monday, March 19:
While we do get a pretty damn good cast here, I'm just not sure about this one. It sounds an awful lot like Simone, but without the whole computerized actress deal. Keener actually will play almost an identical role here that she played in Simone, a movie studio head. The rest of the cast is money with Robert DeNiro, Robin Wright Penn, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro and Kristen Stewart, but I'm really not sure about director Barry Levinson. He isn't the same Barry Levinson that made Rain Man or Bugsy or Sleepers. He's the Barry Levinson who's last two films were Man of the Year and, possibly the worst movie of all-time, Envy. I actually hope I'm wrong about this one, because if Levinson can finally return to form, with this cast, it could be a damn good flick. But with this story and Levinson's most recent work, I'm going to have to dub this as a Worst News of the Week.
"Fox Atomic Dancing with Duane Adler" - Tuesday, March 20:
Goody-frickin-gumdrops. Here's Adler's screenwriting career: Save The Last Dance, The Way She Moves and Step Up. So, you think he fancies a dance much? The last thing we need is yet another teen dance movie, because they're all the same: they make me not want to go see them. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Tom Cruise to Star in Bryan Singer's WWII Thriller" - Wednesday, March 21:
It looks like Tom Cruise is getting the hang of running a studio after all. This sounds like a marvelous project, folks, with Cruise to produce and star and the re-teaming of the writer and director for one of my favorite movies ever, The Usual Suspects. This co-writer Nathan Alexander came out of nowhere, but at least Christopher McQuarrie and Bryan Singer are back together after 12 years. McQuarrie hasn't done much since his Oscar-winning screenplay for Suspects, but this sounds like an amazing project, based on a true story of a group of German generals who plan to assassinate Hitler in the middle of World War II. It looks like they're fast-tracking this too, to fit this project in for Singer before he has to go back to work on Untitled Superman Returns Sequel. This should be wonderful, folks. I can't WAIT! Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a busy, crowded weekend at the box office, with six new releases hitting the theaters, but the weekend was conquered by a bunch of green mutated teenagers. Who knew. TMNT took the top spot this weekend with an estimated $23.4 million. The CGI turtles bowed in 3,110 theaters, tops for the newbies, and took in a healthy per-screen average of $8,183. More good news for the turtles is that it should only take another week to surpass their small-ish $34 million budget for a profit. 300, which dropped only 34%, took the second spot after its first two weeks at the top, with an impressive $20.5 million, bringing its overall total to $162.3 million after three weeks in release. But these two flicks weren't the only ones with decent weekends, as the top 7 flicks posted 8-figure grosses.
Shooter took the bronze medal this weekend with $14.5 million. The Mark Wahlberg topliner bowed in 2,806 theaters with a decent per-screen average of $5,167. It still has some work to do if they want to make a profit from its $61 million budget, though. The Last Mimzy came in 5th place with $10.2 million, though it posted a weak per-screen average of $3,380 from 3,017 theaters.
The last three newbies brought up the rear of the top 10, finishing with the 7th, 8th and 9th spots. The Hills Have Eyes 2 took the 7th spot with an estimated $10 million, Reign Over Me, the only one of the six new movies to receive a "Fresh" rating from the Rotten Tomatoes critics, finished 8th with an estimated $8 million and Pride took the 9th spot with an estimated $4 million. Whew. I know there are only 52 weekends in a year, but six new releases in one weekend is bordering on sillyness, to say the least.
This is a fairly simple website here, but we get a few little factoids added in as well. On each menu screen, you'll see some little circles to click on and these give you the little factoids about different aspects of the Viking army and other related aspects of the story. The Story menu gives us a nice little synopsis, Video gives us the theatrical trailer, Photos gives us a nice gallery of production shots, Downloads gives us six wallpapers and six AIM Icons to download, Cast and Crew has some background info on the key players in front of and behind the camera. Behind the Scenes gives us some conceptual art and pictures of the set, Two Worlds gives us descriptions of the Norse warriors and the People of the Dawn who opposed them. We get a much more in-depth description of the People of the Dawn, though. Then we get Ghost Warrior which is probably the most impressive free video game I've ever seen for a movie site. You can play a little demo to learn how to play, and then sign up for free to play the full game. It's a pretty cool game, folks, and well worth some time-killing. Lastly here we get a Graphic Novel menu which gives us some panels from the graphic novel this flick is based on. This is a simple but very effective site with one of the best games I've ever seen on an official movie website. Pathfinder opens on April 13.
We get even less here, folks. Under The Film menu we get a brief Synopsis and in both the Filmmakers and Cast menus, they only offer us a simple list, without any links or descriptions or anything besides names. Blah. The Downloads menu has five wallpapers for your downloading pleasure and the Gallery menu has a decent amount of photos to peruse. Still, there really isn't a whole lot here and they should look into adding some more swag here before the movie hits theaters on August 10.
I've got some good news and some bad news. The good news is that the trailer they show on this site is pretty damn good. The bad news is, that's all we get on the whole damn site, besides a link to register for updates. Balls. Wind Chill opens on April 27 in limited release.
This site starts out in Tia Dalma's little hut thing and she tells you to go seek out Captain Jack Sparrow. What follows is a nice little interactive adventure with all of our pirate buddies from the first two flicks. If you want to just get on with the normal website stuff, there is a Menu near the bottom. Here you can see the marvelous Trailer, a decent Gallery that has production shots now and Behind the Scenes and Conceptual Art coming soon. There is also some goodies in Downloads with some Screensavers, AIM Icons, a Poster and some Wallpapers to snag. There is also a Synopsis and a boring Cast and Crew brief list. After this is done you can go through the interactive part of the site and go on a little adventure. It's pretty damn cool, folks. A really slick site. Pirates of the Carribbean: At World's End opens on May 25.
This looks like a quirky little flick that could easily have come from Noah Baumbach, Wes Anderson or even Jared Hess. But it comes from Taika Waititi and this flick was up for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance this year. The flick revolves around a dorky guy and a dorky girl who find each other in love, and stuff. The trailer got a few laughs out of me, and I'll probably check this out whenever I can, but it does look like it might be a bit too inconsistent. We'll see, I guess. Eagle vs. Shark opens on June 1 in limited release.
Um, wow. I have heard of the world of competitive air guitaring, but I guess I had no idea it was as big as it was. This thing might be just downright silly to watch, seeing a bunch of grown men and women pretending to play the guitar and be judged on their "performance." While it may be fascinating to see how far these people get into their "sport" I just think it might be too damn weird to watch and enjoy. Air Guitar Nation is playing in New York City currently and will open in Los Angeles this weekend.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here with a wonderful star-writer-director trifecta of Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie and Bryan Singer working on this great WWII project. I've been waiting for McQuarrie to come out with something meaningful in quite awhile, and now he has a trio of high-profile projects with the remake of Logan's Run, The Stanford Prison Experiment, which is kind of a remake of Oliver Hirschbiegel's astounding film Das Experiment and this project. I guess he has been busy for the last seven years since The Way of the Gun. Anyway, this whole trio should be just marvelous together and I can't wait to see this project come together, hopefully as quickly as possible.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with that dancing dunce Duane Adler's new project for my Worst News of the Week. Seriously, how many damn dancing flicks do we need? I'm surprised he got so many off in so few years as it is. We've even had more that Adler hadn't done like Shall We Dance? and Take the Lead. Enough with the dancing flicks! This one is a "music-driven tale of forbidden teen romance." So, a musical Romeo and Juliet eh? Smashing. Go to Julliard and leave the movies alone.
That's all for this week. Surf on back 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!