It was another wild and wacky week in Hollywood, so lets get right into the good, bad and ugly news of the week with Notables.
"George Clooney set to direct and star in Goodnight, and Good Luck" – Monday, November 8
I was a big fan of Clooney's directorial debut, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and on one of the special features of the DVD, Clooney said that this would be the only movie he would direct…oops. I think Clooney performed rather nicely at the helm of Confessions, mainly because of the passion he showed for the project. He said he directed the movie basically because he really wanted the story to get out there, and no one else was biting at it. If he has that kind of passion for this story, which should make a solid movie, it looks like Clooney will have another winner here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Tom Sizemore and Thomas Jane set to star in Thieves" – Monday, November 8
This project could have some potential. It would be great to see Sizemore and Jane rip off those incredibly obnoxious baseball card guys on those home shopping channels. "Our Barry Bonds rookie card was STOLEN!!!" That would rock…Anyway, Sizemore and Jane seem like great fits for these Thieves, even though the title might need some more pizazz. Still, this is a Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Another Bullshit Night in Suck City headed for the big screen" – Tuesday, November 9
What a great title! I got excited for this just from reading the title…only then to realize how crappy it is for the type of book that it apparently is. Good titles are hard to come by these days (See: Thieves, above) and when I read the description of this novel, it sounds like one of those heartwarming tales and blah blah blah. How can you give it a title like that with that kind of a story? Obviously, the title will be changed, because the title alone will be worth an R-rating, but I really can't believe that such a great title was wasted on this kind of material, and since the title will surely be gone anyway, this is definitely a Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"The storyline of the next Halloween revealed?" – Tuesday, November 9
These movies still keep turning out profits, so it's not that surprising that we're probably going to see another chapter in the Michael Myers saga. Too bad this chapter was already written, in the form of any of the Scream movies. This sounds utterly retarded and while surely Michael won't die on the screen, this time, he'll die with moviegoers. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Pierce Brosnan set for a Thomas Crown Affair sequel" – Wednesday, November 10
Let me see if I can get this straight. This is a sequel to The Thomas Crown Affair, which is a remake of a Steve McQueen flick, whose title is derived from a totally different movie that was discussed for a remake itself? Interesting, if not confusing, but this is still some pretty good news. The Thomas Crown Affair remake was a great heist movie and, while I wonder how they'll handle the story (and if they'll bring back Denis Leary's detective character) I hope it will turn out for the best. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Dreamworks to bring Baywatch to the big screen in 2006" – Wednesday, November 10
Baywatch on the big screen…wow. Sure, it would be nice to see, literally, but I can't see any sort of a feature-length story coming out of that show. It was a global hit on TV for 11 years because TV is free, and there were some great "actresses" with great swimsuits and great use of slow-motion. That is the main reason it was a hit for so long, and if they try to bring this to the theater, the better hope for some Janet Jackson-Tara Reid "wardrobe malfunctions" for any hope of a profit. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
The Good Shepard loses funding" – Friday, November 12
This sounds like a great project in every aspect, and it's really too bad this has to be stalled, possibly derailed like this. Eric Roth is a wonderful screenwriter and DiCaprio has been doing a stellar job in recent years and Robert DeNiro starring AND making his directorial debut? How could this project, about the inner workings of the CIA, lose funding? I hope the bucks start rolling in soon, because this has all the goods to be a great movie. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was another incredible weekend, for Pixar at least. The Incredibles was atop the box office once again this weekend, taking the top spot two weekends in a row. The animated superhero flick took in $50.2 million in its second weekend. It dominated the four newcomers this weekend, almost out-grossing all four combined! The Polar Express, After the Sunset, Seed of Chucky and Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason grossed $51.7 million and some change combined. Now that is definitely incredible, folks. The Incredibles surpassed its $92 million budget this week, and it should cruise to $200 million (at least) before the year ends and it could possibly 3-peat at the top of the box office next weekend as well.
The aforementioned newcomers this week took the 2nd through 5th spots this weekend. The Polar express was tops for the new flicks this week, taking the 2nd spot with $23.3 million for the weekend, and $30.6 million since its Wednesday opening. However, with a whopping $165 million budget, they're going to need a Christmas miracle or three and a few trainloads of money to see a profit. After the Sunset took the bronze medal this week, earning $11.1 million in its opening weekend. While their prospects for profit are slightly better than The Polar Express, they still have a $60 million budget to overcome. Seed of Chucky has the best chance for profit for the four new films this weekend. How shocking is that? The latest Chucky chapter grossed a meager $8.7 million in its first weekend, but their budget was only $12 million. Even if Chucky drops 60% next weekend, it will still earn a profit. Wow, that is really really sad. What's even more shocking than Chucky's profit probability is Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason in the 5th spot, just slightly below Chucky with $8.6 million. The shocking part about that is the movie was only shown in 530 theaters. The sequel had a very impressive $16,385 per-screen average and with this kind of performance, I wouldn't be surprised if the $70 million flick finds itself in more theaters this weekend.
Well, the movie looks fairly stupid, so why not have a stupid website to keep the trend intact? All we get here is the trailer and a photo gallery, and a few minutes of wasted time. However, if you click the Alternate Ending link right below the trailer that automatically loads, you get the one funny part in the whole trailer. I don't know why they didn't add this in with the regular trailer, because it's pretty funny. I would guess because it's probably the funniest part of the whole movie and they don't want to spoil it in the trailer. Monster-in-Law opens May 6.
There is even less to this site than Monster-in-Law because there is nothing here but a picture of Kevin Bacon, a list of the stars and a link to register for updates. At least they could've put the trailer up here, because it's great, although the site isn't. The Woodsman opens December 24.
This site starts out in a very odd way. The main site has you choose which language you prefer, with even 2 different styles of English. I guess they're really shooting big for the international markets with this one…Anyway, after you get through the linguistics, there is a really slick intro that leads to the main site with an incredibly hot picture of Jennifer Garner in her Elektra-wear. Damn you Ben Affleck! When you get into the site, however, a lot of the content is still yet to come.
Under About the Movie, the only thing you can see is a synopsis. Under Image Gallery, the photo gallery is up, but the clips and soundtrack links are coming soon. In Trailer and Video, the trailer is up, and there is a 4-part segment of Inside the Editing Room with director Rob Bowman, but only the first two parts are up. In Elektra-fy Your Desktop you can download wallpapers and AIM Icons, but the screensaver is still coming soon. There is also a Ninja Assasin game, which is available. All together, this is a very nice site with plenty of content and much more to come. Elektra comes to theaters on January 14.
OK, now this site is just ridiculous. On the main site is just a title card with July 2005 below it. My first thought is that this is a stupid teaser site. But then I saw I can click on the title, so I'm thinking there's a real site here. I click on it, and a picture of Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and you click on that, and it brings you back to the same damn title card! What a tease…Charlie and the Chocolate Factory opens July 15 of next year.
I'm really surprised that they're releasing this in January, because from the trailer, this has summer blockbuster written all over it. With the proven success of her character from the Daredevil movie, Jennifer Garner's Elektra looks to break into her own with a potential franchise here, and it looks more serious than I expected. This looks like a very good movie that should dominate the winter doldrums. Elektra opens on January 14.
This is the movie theater geeks around the world have been waiting for, and it doesn't look to disappoint. The cast isn't filled with big stars, but they're all solid actors, including Alan Cumming who has vast experience on Broadway as well as in Hollywood. This should be a pretty good movie, and I'm guessing they're going to vie for the Oscars with its Christmas release date. We'll have to wait until December 25 though to find out how good it really is.
Conspiracy of Silence
This looks…odd, frankly. It looks like one of those flicks that is twist upon twist upon twist and before long it's so twisted that we forget where we started. It looks dark and suspenseful and all that jazz, but I'm just not sure on this one. Conspiracy of Silence opens on December 3 in limited release.
This could be a breakthrough for Andy Garcia. The movie doesn't look like a breakthrough as a whole, but Garcia's performance just might be. He gets a lot of second-billing roles and this could be his chance to show that he can handle the top line all by himself. I'm going to be watching out for this one more for Garcia than the movie itself. Modigliani arrives in theaters December 1 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
There wasn't a whole lot to get excited about this week, but my pick for Best News of the Week is going to Thomas Jane and Tom Sizemore becoming Thieves. I can just envision these two poring over stacks of baseball cards trying to figure out their value. Jane has some great range and Sizemore has played a thief/criminal/not-nice person so many damn times it seems unnatural seeing him play anything else. I think these two would have great chemistry together, and the material sounds pretty funny.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
This was a tough choice, because I think Another Bullshit Night in Suck City is such a great title, yet such an unbelievably stupid one for this kind of material. However, I choose the yanked funding of The Good Shepard as my Worst News of the Week Nominee. We don't know why the funding was pulled, but I'd be willing to guess it's because of some budget issues. Still, this project should be moving forward, not stalling. Robert DeNiro directing an Eric Roth script, starring DeNiro and Leo Dicaprio? That sounds so huge money should be just pouring in, not going down the drain. I really hope that someone steps up to the plate with a ton of money, because this has all the makings of a splendid movie.