So I was going through my past columns, and I realized that this week's column will mark my year anniversary for the column. So I got to thinking about what else I could do to improve the column, and who better to help me out than the readers. If anyone out there has a suggestion on how to make the column better, hit me up with an email at [email protected] I'll also be activating a thread on the Forums for you to give your suggestions at as well. Thanks for reading this little column, and let me know how I can make it better! Anyway, on with the column, so lets start off with this week's Notables.
"Stan Lee and Robert Evans to do Foreverman" - Tuesday, March 1
So, this is a comic book movie, without the comic book? Sounds weird to me. We get no info on this "superhero's" skills, so who knows. I think they should get the comic hammered out before they start working on a movie, and they tapped the writer of the dull Hellboy to script this project, so right now, this just doesn't sound too good. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Peter Jackson files suit against New Line" - Tuesday, March 1
Well, Mario Puzo said in his book The Last Don, that no one knows how much the studios make off of video and DVD sales. I guess he was right. Hopefully, New Line didn't intentionally try to short Jackson, but this still is just bad news. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Walt Becker directs In the Navy" - Wednesday, March 2
This just isn't a good week, I guess. Sure, Becker's Van Wilder was great, but that was due more to Ryan Reynolds than Becker, and this new Becker project just sounds terrible. I'm not a fan of scribe Jason Filardi either, who's writing this and who brought us the dreadful Bringing Down the House, so this sounds like one to avoid. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Eastwood does Death and Dishonor" - Wednesday, March 2
Finally some good news! I thought Haggis' script for Million Dollar Baby was one of the best of all-time and this sounds pretty damn good too. We'll get to see how Haggis can direct in the upcoming Crash, and hopefully he's as good at directing than he is at writing. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"John Moore set to direct All the Men in the Sea" - Thursday, March 3
This might sound a little like The Perfect Storm, but they have some good filmmakers on board. John Moore (Behind Enemy Lines, Flight of the Phoenix) is a top-notch action helmer, and screenwriter Tony Gayton (The Salton Sea, Murder by Numbers) is a great writer, so this sounds great right off the bat. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Adam Shankman in talks to direct Nutjobs" - Thursday, March 3
Ugh. Shankman went from choreograhpy to becoming a hack director, and this new project of his sounds like a mangled pseudo-remake of See No Evil, Hear No Evil. This just sounds utterly retarded and I hope this just gets shelved indefinitely. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"David Koepp heads for Ghost Town" - Friday, March 4
I don't know if they keep records for pitch prices, but this has to be at least close to a record, with $2 million being paid to David Koepp just for a pitch! That must have been one hell of a pitch to get $2 million out of it...Still, Koepp is one of the best screenwriters in the biz, and he's pretty good at the helm as well, so this is definitely a project to keep an eye on. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
The mad black woman and her diary have officially been pacified. The Pacifier took the top spot from the surprising Diary of a Mad Black Woman, which dropped to 4th place in its second weekend. The Pacifier held off another newcomer, Be Cool to take the top spot in its first weekend, earning an estimated $30.2 million. The Vin Diesel flick earned a hefty $9,652 per screen, and it's well on its way to earning a profit from its $56 million budget.
Be Cool took the silver medal in its debut weekend, earning an estimated $23.5 million. The sequel earned a decent $7,307 per-screen average, but it just couldn't surpass The Pacifier. The flick was budgeted at $53 million, so if it performs well in the coming weeks, it could see a profit.
The weekend's only other new flick didn't fare quite as well. The Jacket suffered from a weak theater count (1,331) and some so-so reviews (43% "Fresh" on Rotten Tomatoes), and could only muster a 10th place finish on its opening weekend. The Adiren Brody thriller took in $2.7 million, earning a paltry $2,028 per-screen average. The flick's budget numbers weren't released, but I'm sure a poor showing like this won't help it gain a profit...
Well, it looks like someone at Sony Pictures has been reading my column, because after constantly complaining about Sony's poor websites, they actually have a good one here for D.E.B.S. When you enter the main site, there is some funky background music playing, and there's a menu of options at the top. Click on About D.E.B.S. to get a brief synopsis and in Alumni/Staff you get a nice bio on each of the characters. In the A/V Department, you get the trailer and a few clips and in Snapshots there is a photo gallery. In School Spirit you can download screensavers, wallpapers, AIM icons and posters and you can see if you have what it takes to be a D.E.B. with their entrance exam in D.E.B.S. Test. Under Kit, you can register for updates. This is a slick little site with plenty to do before the movie hits theaters on March 25.
Mysterious Skin: (www.tartanfilmsusa.com)
You can tell that Tartan Films is fairly new, or fairly poor since their website doesn't have much there. We only get the one-sheet, rundown of the cast and a synopsis. Nothing to see here...
After a little intro, we get into the main site, but there isn't a whole lot there. We get a decent synopsis in Storyline, some nice bios in Cast Members, a few production photos and wallpapers to download in Photo Gallery, a nice background on powerboat racing in The Sport and some more bios in The Filmmakers. There is also the trailer for this flick. Not a ton of info, but this is a decent little site. Madison opens April 22 in limited release.
Fever Pitch: (www.feverpitchmovie.com)
The full site is coming soon, so that means there isn't much here. All we get is the trailer, a very brief synopsis and a link to register for updates. The flick opens on April 8, so they better get a move on...
Well, this looks...interesting. What sucks is we know how it's going to end, because the Farrelly brothers did a re-write after the Boston Red Sox finally won the World Series. Fallon and Barrymore might make a decent team, but I'm not sure if the movie as a whole will work out. Fever Pitch opens April 8.
Now I like Will Ferrell, but I don't throw around the words "comic genius" like other people, but I think he's finally found the perfect role for his over-the-top style: a semi-psychotic kids coach. I'm not a fan of soccer, really, but I like that they use it here, becauase it hasn't been used that much in the pictures...well, besides Ladybugs. Anyway, this looks like a great summer comedy that Ferrell should be able to run with. Kicking and Screaming opens on May 13.
One Night With the King:
I have NEVER seen a trailer this horrible in all my life! First of all, they have the ENTIRE opening credit sequence here, and the footage is just this weird montage of shots, giving us nothing more than the time period this is set in. If that wasn't annonying enough, they use the same muci clip throughout the whole freakin' thing! It honestly looks like it was made by some 17-year old film junkie who is trying something "fresh" with the trailer. Don't even waste your time, folks, on the trailer or the movie, which opens March 25 in limited release.
This flick has a very odd history. It first debuted at the Sundance Film Festival...the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. I don't know what took it so long to find a distributor, but I bet that James Caviezel's turn as Christ didn't hurt matters much, since I actually remember seeing a different trailer attatched to The Passion of the Christ. Anyway, this seems like a decent little flick and the powerboat races should be fairly entertaining. Madison opens on April 22 in limited release.
If you saw Be Cool this weekend, you probably saw this trailer, but if you saw the documentary Dogtown & Z Boys, this should be even more familiar. This is a fictionalized account of the same story documented in Dogtown & Z Boys. I can't remember a documentary ever being made into a fictional movie before, and I just don't know why they'd do this. Sure, documentaries aren't blockbusters, except Fahrenheit 9/11, and this is another way to get this story to a wider audience. But, to movie freaks like me that saw and loved the documentary, it seems like this is almost spitting in our faces, by taking this to the mainstream. It's almost like saying that the people who saw the documentary weren't enough, so they go ahead and make a summer picture out of it. Sure, this doesn't look too bad, I guess, but I don't know why they couldn't just rest on the laurels of the documentary. Lords of Dogtown opens on August 12.
This looks awesome! I was a huge fan of the original flick, starring the late Walter Mathau as the renegade coach, and I can't see a better actor to fill his shoes than Billy Bob Thornton. It looks like director Richard Linklater re-created the style and mood of the first flick just perfectly, and they did a great job in casting the kids, because, from what I remember, some of them are just carbon copies of the original kids. I just love everything about this movie, and I can't wait to see it when it opens on June 10.
This is another remake of a series of flicks in the 70s, but I'm not quite sure about this one. Sure, we have better technology now, but they use it to make the car smile and wink and all sorts of stuff. Herbie even has a sex drive, apparently, in a creepy little scene where he eyes up a younger VW Bug. But, on the bright side, Lindsey Lohan stars here...(insert "headlights" joke here). Herbie: Fully Loaded opens on June 24.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the great David Koepp taking on a Ghost Town for my Best News of the Week. Koepp is one of the highest-paid screenwriters in the biz, and now he has to be one of the highest-paid pitchmen as well. $ 2 million for a pitch? That's absurd, but if anyone could pull it off, it's Koepp. He has brought us some wonderful flicks, from Mission: Impossible to Spider-Man, and his next flick, War of the Worlds should be another blockbuster atop his filmography. Anything this guy does, you should keep an eye on, and Ghost Town is no different.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Well, there was a lot to choose from this week, but I'm going with Stan Lee and Robert Evans getting ahead of themselves for my Worst News of the Week. Some time ago, former NBC exec Brandon Tartikoff started up a book publishing company, with the sole intention of using those books to be turned into TV movies. It failed, obviously, and it kind of sounds like Lee and Evans are treading into the same territory. Instead of starting up a comic book, they're working on the movie first, then the comic afterward. And what kind of powers will this "foreverman" have? Eternal life? Wow, haven't seen that one before, eh? Stan, just keep working on your comics, and eventually they will all become movies, with how popular comic book flicks are these days. You guys are jumping the gun here, and it sounds like it will backfire.
That's all for this week, folks. If you have any suggestions for the column, feel free to email me at [email protected] or check out this thread on the MovieWeb Forums and give your suggestions there. Thanks for reading the column, 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.