Howdy folks. Another seven days has swept on by and left us with another wake 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.
This is apparently a long lost Tennessee Williams screenplay, that was apparently unearthed in some Hollywood excavation mission of some sort. I'm not sure how a work of Tennessee Williams can "forgotten," but there it is, and it does sound a bit intriguing. Lindsey "Serious Actress" Lohan will play Fisher Willow, who was the daughter of a rich plantation owner, and apparently quite the rambunctious rich girl. Naturally, she meets a dude from the wrong side of the dirt road, to be played by Chris Evans, and she falls in love with him. She plans a ruse to make him an upper-crusty guy for her family, but her plan starts to fall apart when she loses a diamond. This doesn't sound too bad, folks. We've got a solid cast with Lohan, Evans and David Straithairn, who'll play Evans' alcoholic father, Ellen Burstyn, who'll play Lohan's mother and Ann-Margaret who'll play Lohan's conniving aunt. Could be some good things coming from here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
Now, I'm into the whole heist flick genre, but this one is a tad on the ridiculous side. Here, a career thief gets recruited by a female DEA agent for a "job." Apparently, this chick cop isn't too happy with her job, because she wants this thief to help her steal a diamond... from a submarine. A few things come to mind right now. 1) Why on God's green Earth would a diamond be stowed on a submarine? 2) There's no way they could possibly enter the sub from the water, unless they've invented one of those things like in Executive Decision, only for submarines and 3) My head hurts. This sounds just mindless and moronic, and I hope the project ends up at the bottom of the ocean, instead of the submarine with a frickin diamond. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
This John Francis cat does indeed sound like he deserves a biopic. You don't hear about many people who boycott motor vehicles, walk across the entire country and who personally never spoke for 18 years. It's weird because it says his cross-country walk was to spread "environmental awareness" and I'm sure that must've been hard to do, since he wasn't speaking, literally, to a soul. It also says that he finally broke his silence to defend his PhD thesis on oil spills. Tom Shadyac sounds like a pretty good fit to direct here. He's directed some wonderful comic gems in the 90s like Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Nutty Professor and Liar Liar. His foray into "horror" wasn't as successful a few years ago with Dragonfly, but it looks like he's ready to do some drama here, and this looks like a wonderful story for him to develop. Best News of the Week Nominee.
While Morgan Freeman might be the headline-maker here, he's not what I'm most excited about for this flick. This will be the English-language debut film from the Russian visionary filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov, who brought us the simply phenomenal Night Watch, and will bring us the subsequent sequels in the trilogy, Day Watch and Dusk Watch. I simply CAN'T WAIT for those two flicks, but I'm pumped for his first English flick also. It does sound a little big like The Recruit, actually, with James McAvoy (Tumnus from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) starring as a man who learns, upon his father's murder, that dear old Dad was an assasin. So he gets brought in to this covert organization and trained to be like his pops by a dude named Sloan (Freeman). Yeah, doesn't sound incredibly original, but I'm psyched for anything Timur Bekmambetov signs onto. Bar none. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a very odd week at the box office, as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd flicks from last weekend kept their respective places on the movie medal stand. But while Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan continued its dominance, in a way, it didn't feel like it. The Sacha Baron Cohen flick remained atop the box office for a second straight weekend in a row, taking in $28.2 million in its second weekend in release. Theaters across the country were swept up in Borat-mania, as the flick, which bowed in just 837 theaters last weekend, added a whopping 1,729 theaters this weekend for a total of 2,566, a rather hefty addition. Still, for this huge increase in theaters, the flick only made 6.9% more than it did in its awesome debut last weekend. It still posted a very healthy $11,017 per-screen average this weekend, but that's about a third of its per-screen average from last weekend. It's a weird result. Technically, it both increased AND decreased from last weekend, in different areas. I doubt Cohen is complaining much, though. His $18 million movie now stands at $67.1 million for two weeks, although I highly doubt he'll keep his #1 ranking this coming weekend with Daniel Craig's new 007 movie hitting the screens, but Borat still should easily find a way to pass the $100 million mark.
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause and Flushed Away held their #2 and #3 spots, respectively, in a very close race for the silver. There was only $300,000 separating the #2 and #2 spots, with Santa Clause taking in $16.9 million and Flushed Away taking in $16.6 million.
The top newcomer this weekend was Will Ferrell's Stranger Than Fiction, which took 4th place with a decent $13.4 million. Surprisingly, the comedy was only modestly released, with a theater count actually well below Borat's expansion, showing in 2,264 theaters. It grabbed an above-average per-screen average of $5,923, and it should make a decent profit off its $30 million budget, although probably not too great of a profit. But, for the other three newcomers this weekend, profit will be a word not they won't likely hear.
Sarah Michelle Gellar's The Return came in 9th place this weekend, scaring up just $4.4 million from only 1,986 theaters. Things were worse, though, for the Aussie Russell Crowe, though. His latest, A Good Year came in 10th this weekend, taking in just $3.7 million. It bowed in 2,066 theaters, and took in a dismal $1,801 per-screen average. This could mean one of two things. Either, 1) people are sick of Russell Crowe's antics or, 2) people are sick of Russell Crowe's antics AND they don't want to see him in mushy movies like this one. Perhaps if he would've showed up in this last newcomer flick, Harsh Times, it would've been a different story. This gritty David Ayer flick premiered well out of the top 10 this weekend, finishing 13th with $1.9 million. The Christian Bale topliner bowed in just 956 theaters this weekend, and with its petty $2,059 per-screen average, it'll be lucky to expand more than that in the near future.
This is a pretty simple site, but with some decent content to it. First up we get the solid Trailer and then we learn a lot about the flick in About the Production. Here we get a series of different production notes, which chronicle different stages of the movie. It takes us through the decade-long process of getting this movie to the silver screen and it's rather interesting to see this how this path turned out. Gallery gives us some nice production photos, which are enlarged much more than most sites will give you, which is different and nice. Then we get a decent Synopsis, a screensaver and some wallpapers in Downloads, the trailer and some TV spots in Video and some very nice bios in Cast and Crew. It's a fairly simple site in design, but they offer us some nice content on the movie. Definitely an above-average site. The Painted Veil opens on December 20 in limited release.
Sadly, all we get here from this next opus of Tyler Perry is the nice little trailer. Hopefully we get more before this flick opens on Valentine's Day 2007.
This looks like a very unique take on the Robert Hannsen story, the FBI agent who spent two decades selling our secrets to the Russians in the biggest national security breach in our nation's history. We get a real slick cast to go along with the intriguing story. The marvelously versatie Chris Cooper plays Hannsen, Ryan Phillipe plays a young agent assigned to catch him in the act and we also get Laura Linney, Dennis Haysbert and the underrated Gary Cole as well. On top of all that we get the also-underrated Billy Ray writing and directing here. He's written some very fine flicks in the past few years, most of which getting little recognition or box office support. With a story like this that will hopefully captivate some national interest, maybe Mr. Ray's stock might go up a bit here, or I can only hope it will. Breach opens on February 16, 2007.
I thought this sounded uber-cool when I first heard of it, and now the trailer isn't proving me wrong, it seems. This takes place in that far-off glory year of 1988. On Halloween, a group of fiendishly-dedicated Star Wars fans are growing listless upon waiting for their precious Episode I to hit the silver screen. So they do what any normal-ish superfan would do: drive cross-country to George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch to swipe a print of the film for their own personal usage. Naturally, on any road trip flick, they encounter various obstacles along their way, including "enemy territory" of a Star Trek convention. This looks damn funny and damn original, folks. Then there's the fan-frickin-tastic cast of Chris Marquette, Sam Huntington, Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, Kristen Bell, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Ray Park and William Shatner. Damn! I can't frickin WAIT for this one, folks. Fanboys is looking for a release date sometime in 2007.
Well, it's pretty damn funny, folks... but it still is just a longer teaser trailer. The first teaser was only 30 seconds, and they think by increasing the length to a 90 seconds and changing up their teasing structure a bit, it's still not a teaser trailer? Well, folks, it is, sadly. But it's still pretty damn funny. The Simpsons Movie comes out on July 27, 2007.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with Timur Bekmambetov going all English on us for my Best News of the Week. If you haven't seen Bekmambetov's immensely marvelous Night Watch, then get up right now and go rent/buy it. I know you're still there, but you should do it anyway. Seriously, it's really THAT F*&%ING GOOD, folks. It's the start to what I hope is the next great film trilogy, and I just am tremendously pumped for the next two installments. Anyway, it was only a matter of time before Bekmambetov did an English-language flick, but I'm actually surprised it took so damn long. Of course, I'm sure he was thrown offers right away, and perhaps he took his time to consider said offers and finally chose this one. If that's the case, then I'm insanely excited for this one as well, especially with James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman on board. Bekmambetov is that next filmmaker that, after seeing his brilliant Night Watch, I'll give ANYTHING he does a shot.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Only had one to choose from this week, and that is thestupidity of The Akula Job for my Worst News of the Week. For one, I don't know why they'd have a federal agent recruit a career thief and, for two, I don't know why a federal agent and a career thief, both professionals on opposite sides of the law, both can be absolutely STUPID enough to think they can steal a diamond from an Akula submarine. For three, why on God's green Earth... or Poseidon's blue sea, I guess, would a submarine have diamonds on it? Why? All these questions will likely lead to to ultimately moronic answers, migraine headaches and over-consumption of whiskey to dull my mind of the idiocracy that seems to sell in Hollywood.
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.