Howdy folks. After a week of new columns and technical difficulties, I'm back in business with The Week in Review. So lets not make haste and start off with this week's Notables.
I've been a pretty big fan of LaBeouf since seeing his wonderful performance in the 2nd Project Greenlight flick, The Battle of Shaker Heights. I was hoping he'd get more starring roles after that, but it seems like he's been relegated to smallish roles in bigger movies (See: Constantine, I, Robot), but I guess he's ready to take the reins now, which I think is great. D.J. Caruso is also fairly underrated himself, and I think these two talents should be a good match. Best News of the Week Nominee.
This one I'm a tad surprised about. Linney is a wonderful actress and she normally chooses her projects rather well. I know this project is based off a "best-selling" book, but they can throw that tag on damn near anything if you market it right. This project, about Linney as the matriarch of a well-to-do family who takes Scarlett Johannson in as her nanny, and, being all mean and stuff to her because she's a snob. Right. Like we've never seen anything like this ever before at the cinema, have we... Give me a break. Sorry Laura. Love your work, but I doubt I will here. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
I guess Ridley Scott has found his new favorite writer. After directing Monahan's scripts for Kingdom of Heaven and the upcoming Tripoli, he's attatched himself to this Monahan script as well. This one is set in the Middle East as well, centering on a CIA operative who heads to Jordan to track down a terrorist. He is aided by the head of Jordan's intelliegence agency and the two get embroiled in their own cultural conflicts. The casting is obviously key here, but I think Scott and Monahan make a pretty damn good director-writer pair and I'm interested to see what they come up with here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
We saw Haggis take on Los Angeles in his Best Picture-winning Crash, and now he's taking on Washington D.C. and 9/11 with this new project. I'm a little surprised he's not writing this, since he just picked up an Oscar for Crash's screenplay, and James Vanderbilt doesn't exactly have the best resume (See: Basic, Darkness Falls), but apparently he must be getting better as he moves through Hollywood, since he wrote the upcoming David Fincher flick Zodiac, and anything Fincher gets attatched to has proven to be pretty damn good. Haggis and Vanderbilt should make an interesting pair here in this flick, based of Robert A. Clarke's book about the Bush administration's knowledge of al-Qaida before 9/11. This should ruffle some feathers for sure, and hopefully turns into a very interesting flick. Best News of the Week Nominee.
Apparently they haven't learned their lesson from The Honeymooners, which made a whopping $12.8 million. It's the same sort of thing, a old classic TV show, urbanized and modernized for a new audience and generation. I never really got the appeal of doing this. Even if the new generation does like this new version of the show, it's not like they'll be clammoring to snatch up the DVD's of the old show, and I really don't get what's to gain here. Now, I am a big fan of Ice Cube, and I think he should do a fine job here, but I just don't get why they have to keep revamping these old shows for the new generation. Grow some originality here, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
Well, Tyler Perry is certainly the beau of the Hollywood ball recently. His DVD's of his plays are selling like hotcakes, and his last two theatrical releases were sleeper successes as well. Now, we get to see what he can do under the studio system, although he is doing this next flick under Lionsgate, the rebel stepchild of the studio system. This flick sounds pretty interesting, a reverse modern Cinderella tale with a successful female attorney who falls for a poor janitor with three daughters. Now, I haven't seen any of Perry's flicks as of yet, but with his growing popularity, I think I'll have to put them on my to-do list, along with this flick as well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
Well, it looks like Stockwell is trading in blue (See: Into the Blue, Blue Crush) for some green in this new project based off a true story. Blue Crush I thought was terrible, and I haven't seen Into the Blue but it looks just as bad. Still, this sounds like a pretty cool project, and one that he's apparently rather passionate about, since he brought this to HBO himself, after optioning several articles about this kid. The kid in question is Nate Norman, a 19-year-old Idaho suburbanite who formed a massive drug ring from smuggled Canadian weed, to the tune of $38 million. Sure, we've seen these kinds of stories before, (See: Blow), but they always turn out pretty interesting, mainly because of the slings and arrows one must avoid in the drug biz make for good cinema. This sounds pretty good, and should keep Stockwell out of the surf for a little while. Best News of the Week Nominee.
This sounds like a perfect casting job here. Jackman can play off his Wolverine experience to bring the swagger and demeanor of a Hollywood stunt driver, who gets extra scratch by being a getaway driver for robberies and other nefarious acts. His double life is ground to a halt when he learns that a contract has been put out on his life. This sounds like a pretty interesting flick here, merging the Hollywood world and its underbelly together, and this should be pretty fun to watch. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
V is apparently for Vendetta and for Victorious, as it clobbered the competition this weekend. V For Vendetta took the top spot this weekend, taking in $25.6 million in its opening weekend. The flick was one of only three flicks to be shown in over 3,000 theaters (3,365). The Shaggy Dog (3,501) took 3rd place with $13.3 million, dropping only 18 percent from last weekend, and Failure to Launch took the 2nd spot, dropping a decently minimal 36 percent, taking in $15.6 million. It was clearly V's weekend, though, as it scored a hefty $7,620 per-screen average and it's in pretty decent shape from its $50 million budget. Unless it suffers a serious drop next weekend, it should be on track to secure a decent profit. The other two new flicks's hopes aren't looking too rosy though.
She's the Man could only muster a 4th place finish, taking in $10.7 million. It was in far fewer theaters though (2,623), but took in a decent per-screen average of $4,090. Even though it didn't get off to a smashing start, it still is in decent shape for a profit, since it only had a $20 million budget. The other new flick this week, is in far worse shape. Find Me Guilty took a weak 18th place this weekend, with a take of over $608,000. To be fair, it was only in 439 theaters, but when these kind of flicks have limited or sort-of limited releases, you'd expect the per-screen average to be pretty high, but it wasn't. They only scored a $1,386 per-screen average here, and that can't muster too much confidence. They have a $13 million budget to make back, and they're going to have to do vastly better than a $1,386 per-screen average from here on out if they plan to make the 13 mil back.
Hard Candy: (http://hardcandymovie.com/)
We have a pretty simple site here, with a few nice touches of style. The site opens up with a little slide show of high-praising critics quotes, and on the left, we see a little instant messanger box with some messages being typed in that gives a little insight into the characters. On the top of the site there is a box that says Open Navigation and there are all the menus in here. The first menu is The Film and there are a few options here. The first is Synopsis, which is normally done, then there's Production, which gives some insight on the creation of the story all the way through production and Cast is just a simple list of the cast and crew, both of which are very small themselves. Next up is Image Gallery, and we get a decent slideshow here. The Trailers and Clips section just has the wonderful trailer, the Downloads section has a wallpaper and a few AIM Icons to download and there is also a MySpace site for this flick and a Messageboard, with Reviews coming soon. The last thing here is the Experiences, which is a really cool little interactive thing that gives you a little more insight into this flick. It is a tad time-consuming, but it's well worth it, just like the rest of this site. Hard Candy opens on April 14 in limited release.
The Notorious Bettie Page: (http://www.thenotoriousbettiepage.com/)
This simple little site has a throwback flair to it, back to Bettie Page's day. You can tell by the menu names, on the left side of the site. There is Bettie Exposed, which has info on the real Bettie Page, and then there is The Film which has many other sub-menus. There is a Synopsis, The Story, which is the story of how writer/director Mary Harron brought the flick to the screen over the years, and a bunch of other little blurbs that could've probably be put into one menu. The Truth About Bettie and The Making of an Icon could probably have been put under the first two, and the next menus could've been combined as well. There is Gretchen Mol, which talks about the process of casting her for Page, An Ensemble Cast, Recreating the 50s and Production, which goes over specific details of the production. The next two items are fairly similar too, with the Cast menu and Filmmakers menu having similar bios on the main cast and crew members. The next main menu is Delectable Downloads, which has two wallpapers and 6 AIM Icons for your downloading pleasure. There are also the Titilating Trailer, Erotic ECards and Salacious Soundtrack, all of which are rather self-explanatory. This is a pretty slick site, style-wise, but the content isn't set up that well, and there could've been more. The Notorious Bettie Page opens on April 14.
This looks like the most interesting Fast and the Furious flick to date. I suppose it's fitting they go to Japan to do some drift racing in this one, since probably all of the cars they used in the first two flicks were from Japanese companies. Still, the racing action looks like it gets a lot better here, with this drift racing, a style that uses even lighter cars and slicker tires where you drift around corners at top speeds. It still has these cheesy "that's my girl" element here, but the racing alone looks like it'd be more that worth the price of admission. The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift opens on June 16.
This looks like a weird little flick, for a few reasons. First, I haven't seen Joshua Jackson in anything for quite awhile, and thought he might have been dead. Second, we don't get a real good grasp of this flick from the trailer, only that Jackson is an American, traveling through Pamplona Spain during the Running of the Bulls, and he falls for some chick, and is maybe taken under the wing of Dennis Hopper or something. Looks interesting, but I'm not really sure... Americano opens on March 24 in L.A.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough choice this week, but I'm going with Ridley Scott and William Monahan together again for my Best News of the Week. While it's true that their last picture, Kingdom of Heaven didn't quite live up to box office expectations, and it could've been a tad shorter, it still was a pretty damn good flick. They picked a pretty interesting story here to collaborate on again, an espionage story set in Jordan, dealing with terrorism and American and Middle East culture clashes between an American and Jordanian anti-terrorism leaders. I only hope they don't get so longwinded with this flick, but, if they secure some solid casting, this could end up being a pretty damn good flick.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Easy pick here in Ice Cube remaking Welcome Back, Kotter. OK. We don't need an update of EVERYTHING, people! I've always thought Cube was pretty talented, even though he doesn't pick his projects that well. And he seems rather enthusiastic about this, which may be a good thing, but I just don't understand why they can't just let these shows be. Now, I am too young to have seen the show, but I know how popular a show this was. Still, it's sad that the need to remake old TV shows is so great, and the death of originality is emminent, if not already here.
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new official websites 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.