After a week of technical glitches, The Week in Review is back from the dead. Did you miss me? Yeah, I doubt it too, but let’s skip the pleasantries and get right into the best and worst of the week with Notables.
"Gina Gershon, Amber Valetta and Kal Penn join Man About Town” – Tuesday, October 5
The additions of Gershon, Valetta and Penn aren’t necessarily bad news, but this whole project just sounds troubled. Mike Binder’s script sounds like it copped the Hollywood angle from Affleck’s Jersey Girl, with Affleck being a talent agent here instead of a publicist. I also don’t get how he’s the one who could be exposed by the theft of his journal, even though his wife is the scandalous one. I don’t know. Gershon, Valetta and Penn should be nice additions here, but the story doesn’t seem too great here. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Biopic based on Dr. Jack Kevorkian coming soon” – Tuesday, October 5
I wonder how much this flick will be protested? There are so many jokes I could do on this one, but they’re all way too obvious, almost as obvious as my Worst News of the Week Nomination.
"David Benioff scripting Wolverine spin-off” – Tuesday, October 5
I was incredibly pissed off at helmer Bryan Singer when he decided to take on the highly troubled Superman project, instead of sticking to his immensely popular X-Men franchise. Apparently, an X3 is still in the works, but I’m not sure I want to see it without Singer at the helm, but, a Wolverine spin-off sounds wonderful to me. Hugh Jackman’s character obviously has the best story of all the mutants, and there is still much to his story that we assume would be covered in subsequent X-Men sequels, but his own movie works for me. I wasn’t a big fan of Benioff’s 25th Hour, but Troy was money, and I think he’ll do a great job with this flick. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Christopher Walken, Lucy Liu, Mickey Rourke, Macy Gray, Jacqueline Bisset, Edgar Ramirez, Mo’Nique, and Shondrella Avery join Domino” – Wednesday, October 6
This sounded like a wonderful project when I first heard about it, and these are some great additions to the cast, although I’m not sure if the title role of Domino Harvey, daughter of the original The Manchurian Candidate’s Laurence Harvey who became a bounty hunter, is cast yet. This story sounds phenomenal, and although it’s unclear what roles all of these recent additions will play, they can only make this flick better. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Team America: World Police earns ‘R’ rating” – Wednesday, October 6
I wonder if someone at the MPAA was a childhood nemesis of South Park guru’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone. 5 years ago, when their South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was released, the "esteemed” MPAA originally gave the animated flick an NC-17 rating, although Trey and Matt wound up earning an R rating…for an animated flick with just a shit load of swear words. They weren’t considering Casino or Pulp Fiction for an NC-17, were they? There was a lot more swearing in those flicks…Ugh, anyway, it happened again when Trey and Matt had to tweak their marionette flick just to earn an R rating. Apparently, they had some marionette sex scene or something, and even though I can see that scarring children and stuff, it’s certainly not worth NC-17. The bad news here isn’t that this flick got an R rating, it’s that they had to tweak a flick WITH WODDEN F*$&IN PUPPETS just to get an R rating. What’s wrong with the MPAA, seriously? Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Universal cancels American Gangster” – Thursday, October 7
Fans of Training Day will have to wait a little longer for Denzel Washington to re-team with director Antoine Fuqua after this flick has been axed. This is really some bad news, because there were so many elements here that could’ve made this a wonderful movie. The story, penned by A-list scribe Steven Zallian (Schindler’s List, many many others) sounds wonderful, Washington and another favorite of mine, Benecio Del Toro would’ve shined and Fuqua is almost always superb behind the camera. Short of begging Fuqua to come back to work, it looks like all hope is lost for this flick, and that’s really too bad. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a shark’s world at the theaters for the second straight weekend. Dreamworks’ Shark Tale took the number one spot yet again with a gross of $31.3 million in its 2nd weekend. The vocally star-studded comedy dropped only 34.2% from last weekend’s premiere. Shark Tale scored the 2nd best October opening with $47.6 million, right behind Scary Movie 3’s $48.1 million. At this pace, it will more than likely break $100 million next weekend, maybe even during the week which will likely provide for Dreamworks to prep a sequel. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad news…
Friday Night Lights scored a solid debut in the 2 spot, with an estimated gross of $20.2 million. The flick was in considerably less theaters than Shark Tale (4,070 theaters for Shark Tale, 2,667 for Lights) but it still averaged about the same amount per screen than Shark Tale ($7,697 for Shark, $7,599 for Lights). Unless all the reels of this flick are mistaken for Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and burned by rebel projectionists, this flick should turn a profit from its modest $30 million budget sometime next week.
The week’s other new flicks didn’t fare so well. Taxi took the 4th spot with a gross just over $12 million. The flick was in 33 more theaters than Friday Night Lights, and uber-hottie Gisele Bundchen starred here too. But Jimmy Fallon also starred too, and Tina Fey and/or Rachel Dratch wasn’t there to help him out, so yeah… The flick was filmed only on a $25 million budget, but they’ll need only a very modest decline next weekend to hope for a profit here.
And teen queen Hillary Duff’s new flick Raise Your Voice couldn’t raise any higher than the 6th spot this week. The flick grossed a tad over $4 million in its opening week, and it averaged a paltry $1,595 per screen. Duff had a modest success with this summer’s A Cinderella Story, but this latest dud has virtually no shot at turning a profit, even though its budget was only $15 million. Hillary, I’ll give you a sure-fire moneymaker right here, and for free even: Mud Wrestling: Lindsey Lohan vs. Hillary Duff Live on Pay Per View. That’s money in the bank right there, baby.
Bride and Prejudice: (www.miramax.com/bride)
This first site is fairly lame, with only a trailer, cast and crew list, synopsis and showtimes on the site. I don’t know, this just isn’t worth checking out at all.
Pretty much the same as the first site, only no trailer. This isn’t starting out so well for Going Live this week…
Balls! Just when I thought these sites couldn’t get any worse, I was proven wrong. Do yourself a favor. Take out a white sheet of printer paper, write out the words "The Upside of Anger” and "Coming Soon” below it, and that’s the frickin site right there. Oh, you can also write "R – Restricted” and draw the New Line logo, but that’s it. As Officer Barbrady says on South Park, "Move along. Nothing to see here.”
The week of the worthless sites continues on…”Move along. Nothing to see here.”
Ahh redemption! This site for Alexander saved the week, folks. On the main site, there is a lot to do and download. Under Downloads, there are a few desktops, the one-sheet, some AIM Icons and an "Xtreme Desktop.” I don’t know what that really is, but I assume it’s some sort of interactive thing. You can also read the synopsis, watch the trailer, look at a photo gallery and listen to a clip from the soundtrack. There is also a game and a "Wireless” section, but these are both under construction. When you get to the Flash site, there are links on "About the Film,” "The Making of Alexander” "Media,” "Downloads” and "The Life of Alexander”. This is a wonderful site with a lot to read and watch and a lot to download as well. And I thought this week was going to be a total loss…good thing I was wrong.
This looks just awful. Robin Williams in a role that requires him to not shut up, doesn’t sound like quality entertainment to me. The rest of the cast isn’t too bad on its own, but they just don’t really seem to fit here. Of course, this flick has that sort of stupid kiddy humor that doesn’t quite cross-over with adults, unlike Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc, etc. But the kids love this kind of crap, so it’ll probably make a trillion and a half dollars, and that is just a shame. Robots opens on March 11 of next year.
This story got widespread national media coverage back in 1999 when Carter benched his entire high school basketball team because of poor grades. This kind of story is just taylor-made for the silver screen, and it looks like they got all the right players to pull it off. Samuel L. Jackson looks great in the title role and the young actors on the basketball team look pretty good as well. MTV Films don’t usually delve into your more serious stories, but it looks like they have a winner here with Coach Carter. You can check it out in theaters on January 14.
This looks a lot more interesting than I thought it would. They took the Fat Albert from the 70s and somehow managed to transport him to our time. That sounds a little fishy, but Fat Albert trying to fit into the 21st century sounds intriguing. What I thought was interesting is they used another Cosby connection here. Bill Cosby created the series, and he co-writes the script here, but they also used Raven-Symone, who played Cosby’s youngest daughter on The Cosby Show. This movie comes out on Christmas Day, and usually only two types of movies come out here: Oscar favorites, or family flicks. I highly doubt any little gold men will be handed out for this, but Fat Albert might be a nice flick for everyone.
Five Children and It:
The It is a thing voiced nicely by Eddie Izzard, but the "It” still won’t be enough to get me to see this. Sure, the kids will love this fantasy flick, but it just doesn’t look like my cup of tea. This flick is still awaiting a release date.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
This week my pick for Best News of the Week goes to the Wolverine spin-off. I just hope they don’t get the storylines tangled with an X3 sequel, and I think it might be a good idea to just focus on Wolverine’s character with this spin-off vehicle and leave him out of X3 all together. Maybe start both projects at the same time and release them on the same weekend? See, someone’s thinking around here…Anyway, Hugh Jackman can definitely carry a movie on his own, and his character alone could probably spawn a number of sequels on its own. I think the sky is the limit for this potential franchise.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a tough decision this week, but I’m going to have to go with the cancellation of American Gangster. There is so much potential for this picture, I’m really surprised they’re pulling the plug and not searching for another director. True, Antoine Fuqua is probably a perfect choice in the directors chair, but I find it hard to believe they can’t, or as it appears, don’t want to find someone else to direct this. What about screenwriter David Ayer, the writer of Training Day who has street experience growing up in South Central L.A.? Sure, he’s never directed a movie before, but you know he wouldn’t cost too much, being a first time helmer. I don’t know, I’m just thinking here, but I think with all these amazing elements in the story and actors, I’m really surprised they’re just giving up on this movie.