Another seven days has come and gone and brought us a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Lets check out this week's Notables first.
"David Dobkin to Direct The Flash" - Monday, October 29:
Well this certainly sounds like some interesting news. Dobkin has been a hot comedic property ever since directing
Wedding Crashers. He has Fred Claus coming out this week and a bunch of pictures in development, although this Flash project will likely take precedence over everything else. It's a huge jump for someone who has only directed four pictures, all comedy, but I think Dobkin has the talent to make this one a hit. Now we just need some casting, but still this is a Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Kopelson Entertainment Gets Turned Upside/Down" - Monday, October 29:
I guess connections are everything in Hollywood. This sounds like a purely generic movie, centered on a thirtysomething woman whose life gets upended when she meets a younger man. Yeah. Never heard of that one before... IMDB tells me that the writer, Susan Brightbill, was a veejay on VH1 in the late 90s and she has a few acting credits after that, but nothing in the 21st Century. Unless there's something they're not telling us (i.e. the younger man is from Mars and wants to destroy the planet, etc.) this just sounds too maple for me. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Wynona Ryder Unveils The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" - Monday, October 29:
OK, so this is basically the opposite cliche of the last story, with an older husband falling for a younger woman with the wife quietly suffering in the background. Nope, never heard of this scenario before either... At least this one is based on a novel by Rebecca Miller, wife of Daniel Day-Lewis who's also written, directed and acted before, with Miller writing and helming here. We do get a pretty damn good cast too with Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore and Robin Wright Penn. Still, it really doesn't sound like anything new here, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Ving Rhames Serves a Phantom Punch" - Tuesday, October 30:
This could be simply wonderful, folks. Even though the sport of boxing has taken a backseat to mixed martial arts these days, the sweet science continues to be wonderful fodder for cinema, and this looks to be no exception. This is a biopic of pugilist Sonny Liston, the huge-fisted fighter who allegedly took a "phantom punch" against Muhammad Ali, in a fight that many thought was fixed and that basically ended Liston's career. Ving Rhames is just tailor-made for this role and, while director Robert Townsend and writer Ryan Combs might not have the best filmographies, it sounds like they have all the makings of another wonderful boxing biopic. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Julia Roberts to Star in Duplicity" - Thursday, November 1
I wonder if Julia Roberts' good pal George Clooney might have done some lobbying for this on behalf of Tony Gilroy, following their critically-acclaimed, and masterfully-done film Michael Clayton. On the other hand, Clayton was done so phenomenally well that Roberts probably just had to see it once to be persuaded. This sounds like another winner from Gilroy, with Roberts starring alongside Clive Owen as lovers, but also spies on opposite sides of the corporate world, before they team up for a big-time heist. Gilroy, Roberts, Owen and a story like this. I see no reason why this shouldn't be a Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Andrew Lau Is in Transit" - Sunday, November 4
It's no surprise that Hong Kong helmer Andrew Lau is being thrown more American film deals these days. After the success of Infernal Affairs which was heightened by the Americanized version, The Departed winning Best Picture last year, don't be surprised to be seeing Andrew Lau's name a lot more. This latest project of his sounds like a dandy, with a man forced to kill three different men in three different cities, or his son dies. With Lau's immense talent, I have no doubt they can attract a wonderful cast to this project and it should be a success. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Gangster had the critical advantage. Bee had the theater-count advantage. When it was all said and done Denzel's bullets took out Seinfeld's honeypot. American Gangster took the top spot of the weekend in a somewhat odd showdown with Dreamworks new animated flick, Bee Movie. Gangster came out on top with a very impressive $43.5 million for the weekend, while Bee Movie fell behind, taking in just over $38 million. While the Bee's tally was very solid, it wasn't nearly as impressive as Gangster's take. For one, Bee Movie was released in a hefty 3,928 theaters, while Gangster bowed in just 3,054. Gangster scored a wonderful $14,264 per-screen average while the Bee fell behind with $9,679. The icing on this competitive cake is that Gangster had a $100 million budget, while the Bee had a beefier $150 million budget.
There was only one other new release this weekend, Martian Child which performed mildly in 7th place, grossing just $3.3 million. It did get an average rollout (2,020) but performed horribly in those theaters with just a $1,671 per-screen average.
Lastly, I love being right, folks. Here's a quote from last week's column, "Don't be surprised with a 60%+ drop-off for Jigsaw this weekend." Saw IV dropped to the third spot this weekend with a take of $10.3 million, which was a 67.3% drop-off from last weekend's $31.7 million opening-weekend take. Ahh, feel the burn...
Yeah. Nothing here but a weird looking comic-panel thing and a link to register for updates. Blah. Although, this one is a ways off though, so I'm sure we'll see something else up here before the movie hits theaters on January 16, 2009.
National Lampoon Presents Electric Apricot: (ElectricApricot.com)
Fairly simple site here. We get the Trailer, a decent Synopsis, some links to interviews and reviews in Press, a thorough list of Theaters the movie is playing at, some character bios in Cast/Bios and related stuff in Links. Nothing too fancy at all here. National Lampoon Presents Electric Apricot on November 9.
Sadly, not much here. We get the gripping Trailer, a brief synopsis in Story and 12 Photos to peruse. Yeah, that's it, but the trailer is WELL worth watching, folks. Pride and Glory opens on March 14, 2008.
This is one phenomenal trailer, folks. We get a smashing cast with James McAvoy, Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman in this tale based off the popular graphic novel and helmed by Timur Bekmambetov, the masterful Russian director behind Night Watch and Day Watch. If you're a fan of those two movies like I am, this looks to be a hard-nosed American action film from an amazing director making his American film debut. This will DEFINITELY be one to watch for when it hits theaters on March 28, 2008.
This is one of the films selected for the After Dark HorrorFest 2007, and it sure does look like a creepy one. This one takes place in a sleepy town where, after a highway crash, a mysterious and violent creature rises from the ground and lays waste to all in its path. It certainly looks like a perfect fit for this popular new horror series and I'm sure it will cause a scream or two when it hits theaters with the rest of the HorrorFest films on November 9.
Paul Thomas Anderson is back, and he's got oil on the brain. The whole script, apparently, started with a writing exercise he did based off of Upton Sinclair's novel, "Oil" and it just evolved into a feature film. This certainly does look to have the zany spirit of an Anderson film, with Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano as the main cast here. The flick follows a prospector (Day-Lewis) and his meteoric rise after a huge oil strike, and his ways of dealing with competition. The trailer is an odd one, and you don't get a totally clear picture of what this flick is really about... but then again, this is Paul Thomas Anderson we're talking about here. There Will Be Blood opens on December 26, in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Damn. Some really really good picks here, but I'm just going to have to go with Tony Gilroy teaming up with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen for my Best News of the Week. For the longest time I thought that American Gangster would be hands down the best movie of the year... and then I saw Michael Clayton. So far, that's the best movie of the year and, while Gangster is indeed a close second, I'm so impressed with Tony Gilroy's work, in addition to this cast and story that I hope they start filming now to beat the rest of the "impending" strikes.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Some real stinkers here as well, but I'm going with an ex-veejay going upside down for my Worst News of the Week. This just sounds like such an ordinary project to me. Professional working woman has her life in a tailspin after meeting a younger man. Wow. You can just see the lines forming at the multiplexes for this one, can't you. They'll probably end up getting Sandra Bullock or something for this, because, well, isn't this sort of thing her bag... baby? I really can't see this thing going anywhere... except maybe the shelf.
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. Peace in. Gallagher out!