Howdy folks. It's time see what all went down this past week in movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. Haste makes waste, or so I've heard, so lets get this shindig started with this week's Notables.
Gotta love nepotism in Hollywood. Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow still has some pull in TinselTown, since she got her brother Jake's script greenlit with baby bro set to direct as well. Of course, Gwyneth will star, alongside Simon Pegg, the dolt-turned-zombie-killer in Shaun of the Dead and Martin Freeman the dolt who never goes beyond doltness in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Wow. Breaking the bank wide open with those big names... But, of course, little bro Jake is an accomplished director, right? Well, if you count a few TV episodes, then sure. But the story sounds astounding, right? Well, it's about the pursuit for perfection... No if's, and's or but's about it, this is a Worst News of the Week Nominee.
Carnahan burst onto the movie scene two years ago when his phenomenal feture debut NARC drew rave reviews. Carnahan has been attatched to many a projects afterward, most notably Mission: Impossible 3, which he left before shooting. He has found a few solid follow-up projects (Smokin' Aces, filming now and Killing Pablo, about Columbian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar's rise and fall) to his gritty cop tale, and this latest project sounds pretty damn good as well. This one has a bit of a seedy setting as well, centering on a seemingly exceptional teenager who turns out to be the ringleader of a drug syndicate. You only have to watch Narc once to see Carnahan's 400-grit style is perfect for this project, and I can't wait for it. Best News of the Week Nominee.
Well, I can tell that all sorts of parent groups and 2nd grade teachers will be banning the piss out of this movie simply because of the title, but this actually doesn't sound too bad here, folks. It's about this cave-dude who starts dreaming of a more fulfilling life other than clubbing things and dragging women by the hair. Geez, there's another protest placard. Anyway, the rest of his group comdemn him as the village idiot and, I assume, he sets out to prove them wrong. Now, Adam Rifkin's filmography might look sketchy at best, and it does, but I was a really big fan of his Detroit Rock City, for reasons that even I can't really explain fully. While he just directed that flick, and didn't write it, I like the concept here and I think this should turn out rather decent. Best News of the Week Nominee.
Balls. You miss doing the characters, eh Mike? You know what I missed? The parts in Goldmember that were actually funny, because there weren't many at all. "Have a smoke and a pancake"? Yeah, my frickin sides are just killing me over here... I was so pumped when I heard you're taking on a drama and playing drummer Keith Moon, because you rocked in 54 and you should do more drama. I know that Goldmember made a crapload of bank, but it wasn't anywhere near as good as the first two, and I can't see a 4th being much different, especially how you ended the third flick. Scott as Dr. Evil and Dr. Evil as a nice dude? I wish I was at that interview to give you a "pre-emptive shush" about another Austin Powers. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
Remember what I was saying about that "pre-emptive shush".... God, my head hurts. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
Djimon Hounsou definitely deserves some top-line time, and this sounds like a great project for his leap out of semi-obscurity. Hounsou is a marvelous actor who has delivered for years under the likes of Russell Crowe in Gladiator, Morgan Freeman in Amistad along with many other top-notch supporting performances. Here he shares the top line with Leonardo DiCaprio, playing an African farmer who must tangle with DiCaprio's diamond-smuggling character. This sounds pretty slick, folks, and I'm looking forward to Hounsou getting a much deserved push from this. Best News of the Week Nominee.
So they finally made up their mind, eh? Craig has long been a front-runner for the dashing MI6 agent, and I think they found the right man. Craig has that Bond-ish look to him, and, since this will be a darker Bond as they've said, he fits even better. He did a smashing job in the Brit indie Layer Cake earlier this year, and I think he'll bring a nice style and a breath-of-fresh-air range to the new Bond noir. I'm not saying Pierce Brosnan did a bad job as 007. I thought he did a damn good job. But after Die Another Day it seemed like he was doing too good a job, and Bond just started to get blasé, which even Brosnan admitted. No one can be James Bond forever, and I think they got a great bloke for the new era. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
I think someone got September and October flip-flopped all the crap around this year, because this is just wacky. September is supposed to be the month of $12 million bucks being the box office king for a weekend, and we were seeing $20 million-plus opening weekends. October is where things are supposed to pick up a bit, with more $20 million opening weekends and so forth. Not this year, as this weekend's "big winner" proved. The Fog took the "top" spot at the box office this weekend with a dull $11.7 million in its opening weekend. The Sony remake of the 1980 horror flick scored a boring $3,954 per-screen average, showing in a decent 2,972 theaters. The good news here is that this fog doesn't need to cover for too long, as it's working from just an $18 million budget, so it should be able to make a profit within the week. The Fog had some surprisingly stiff competition from last weekend's winner Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which fell just short of The Fog with $11.5 million, a decline of only 28 percent.
Elizabethtown took the third spot, also close behind the pack with $10.6 million in its debut weekend. The Cameron Crowe drama did outperform the top 2 finishers in per-screen average with a decent $4,218 average screening in only 2,517 theaters. The bad news, though, is they have a bigger budget to earn back, $45 million, and with a lot of good stuff just a few weeks away, it'll be tough to make back. The weekend's other new flick, Domino couldn't topple any of the newcomers this week, finishing in 7th place with $4.6 million with only a $2,100 per-screen average showing in 2,223 theaters.
Box Office Predictions for 10/21-10-23
1) Doom: $18.5 million
2) North Country: $16.8 million
3) Elizabethtown: $6.4 million
4) The Fog: $5.8 million
5) Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit: $5.2 million
After a cheeky little intro, what we get here is a fairly basic, yet highly bright website, set to a backdrop of sunglasses-inducing yellow. The Story tab has a brief list of cast and crew and a decent synopsis, Photos has a brief photo gallery, Downloads has a wallpaper and a few AIM Icons to snag and there is also the trailer. Not too much here, folks. Curious George opens on February 10, 2006.
This is an interesting little site here. On the main site the trailer loads up on the bottom right, and along the top you can click on the "profile" for each of the main characters. The site is basically set up like a MySpace site for each actor, with little quips here and there. There is also a clip, an e-card, mini photo gallery and AIM Icons, screensavers and wallpapers for each actor in their profile. There's not a ton of content to the site, but I like what they did with the format and it turned out to be a decent site, even though you don't get a ton of info on the movie. Just Friends opens on November 23.
X-Men 3: (www.x3movie.com)
Wow. There is NOTHING here, folks. Don't hit the Skip Intro button, because you miss everything here. It loads up and all you see is footage from X2 of Alkali Lake that morphs into special effects that turn into the X3 logo. You can register for updates at the top of the site, so do that and wait until there is something on this site that any monkey with an X2 DVD and a computer couldn't do itself. X-Men 3 opens on May 26, 2006.
We've seen this flick before, and we know how it ends. A shy person who dreams big but does little finds out they have a month or so to live, so they stop dreaming and start living and blah blah blah. Guess what happens at the end? They figure out they'll live after all. Joe Versus the Volcano, anyone? What's funny is that flick was apparently a rehash of an Alec Guiness flick called... oh yeah, Last Holiday. Ahh how useful IMDB can be. Ahh how dull this flick will be, though. Last Holiday opens after the holidays on January 13.
Breakfast on Pluto:
This looks like a pretty slick indie here. The cast is right-on with Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea, Brendan Gleeson and Liam Neeson. We don't get much on plot here, other than Murphy's character is looking for his mother who he's never met, yet passionately determined to find her, encountering many odd things and people along the way. Murphy is having one hell of a year so far and he has some wonderful supporting help alongside him. Neil Jordan writing and directing certainly doesn't hurt things at all either. This looks to be a decent indie that shows another side of Murphy's already-solid range. Breakfast on Pluto opens on November 16 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with Joe Carnahan's new flick as my Best News of the Week. This project doesn't sound quite as hard-nosed as Carnahan's other projects, but I'm sure he'll prove that he can turn it down a notch if need be. Carnahan baffled many when he walked away from directing Mission: Impossible 3 for Tom Cruise, but that said to me that he's a guy who knows when he's over his head. To go from a $7.5 million flick like Narc to a $100-plus million flick like M:I3 is quite a daunting task, after all. Anyway, I think Carnahan is a total auteur in that he wants his movies to be totally his, writing, directing etc. This true story is fairly obscure, but sounds very interesting, and under Carnahan's wing, could be something great.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I didn't say much about another frickin Rocky movie so I could say it here. Why, Sly, why? Say it ain't so, schmo. Say it ain't so! Besides the fact that you are ruining people's Rocky Anthology sets that they own (or the pieced together set that I have with the Rocky puzzle/picture on the spines), this is a ridiculous idea. I've heard of this floating around for years now before even The Contender aired, and I hoped and prayed that rumor it would stay. I don't care how old the Rocky character is, you're gonna be 60 next year, Sly. 60! Foreman was 45 when he came back to win the title, and even he didn't fight for too long after that. I'm sure you're still in great shape, but logistically, this is terrible. Go train some more hopefuls for your show and enough with the delusions of grandeur that 1) this will work and 2) people will care.
That's all for this week. Surf on by next week for more box office goodies, new 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.