Another seven days has come and gone, and left us with a new slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. Before we get into all that though, let's check out what I watched last week.
WHAT DID GALLAGHER WATCH LAST WEEK?
I got a fresh DVD package last week and the first one I see when I pull them out of the box is this one. Not a great way to start things off, my friends. I saw this in the theaters and was surprised at how terrible it was with the great cast (Steve Carell, Morgan Freeman, Lauren Graham, John Goodman, John Michael Higgins, Jonah Hill) that was leaps and bounds better than the first movie. Still, the writing was craptastic, they used way too much CGI and it was largely unlaughable.
CLICK HERE for my full review.
Kings of South Beach:
This one doesn't drop until this Tuesday, but getting DVD's early is one of the fringe benefits of being a DVD reviewer for this fine website. It's great for getting good movies before everyone else... and for getting to see the bad ones before everyone so I can warn them to avoid flicks like Kings of South Beach on the shelves of your local DVD merchant. It really could've been a cool theatrical flick but instead this TV movie is lacking in almost every way, save some slick turns from Jason Gedrick and Donnie Wahlberg. CLICK HERE for my full review.
The ONLY thing that's cool about this whole DVD is that Nick Chinlund, who always plays bad guys, plays a priest here. A slightly demented priest, sure, but a priest all the same. He's only in the movie for maybe 5 or 6 minutes though. Everything else, and I mean EVERYTHING ELSE is terrible about this movie. No redeeming qualities whatsoever. Avoid at all costs. Danger! CLICK HERE for my full review.
"Warner Bros. New Policy May Kill Hopes for Wonder Woman?" - Monday, October 8:
This sounds a little bit on the insane side. Is it true that there have been virtually no successful movies out this year that featured a female lead? Yes, I believe that is true. Is this another classic case of Hollywood overreacting? Yes, absolutely. I personally could care less for a Wonder Woman movie, but that's really not the issue here. For one of the biggest studios in the world to allegedly make an actual policy like this is asinine. I say allegedly because WB production prez Jeff Robinov, who's been accused of making the policy, has said it is untrue here. Yeah, I'm a dude. Yeah, I hate chick flicks too. Still, it wasn't the strongest denial I've ever seen and if this does happen to be true... wow. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Antoine Fuqua to Direct Escobar" - Monday, October 8:
Get ready for another round of dueling biopics, folks. A week after Joe Carnahan's biopic of Pablo Escobar, dubbed Killing Pablo, was greenlit, Oliver Stone (he always seems to be in these duels, doesn't he?) is producing a biopic dubbed simply Escobar with Antoine Fuqua slated to helm. This isn't a new phenomena at all. The same thing happened with the Truman Capote biopics Infamous and also with Alexander, with a Baz Luhrman-directed flick that never went into production. So, this time we have dueling biopics centering around Pablo Escobar, both with some talented helmers on each side. One is based off Mark Bowden (who wrote the book Black Hawk Down) the other based off Escobar's brother's book. I'm curious to see, for one, if both are actually made and, two, which one is better. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Andy Griffith Is Going to Play the Game" - Wednesday, October 10:
Wow. This one has Andy Griffith (yes, THAT Andy Griffith) as a widowed grandpa who learns how to hit on women from his grandson, played by Paul Campbell from Battlestar Gallactica. Doris Roberts and Marla Sokoloff star as well and this sounds utterly retarded. Sure, it'll be cool to see Andy Griffith up on the silver screen again, hitting on chicks, mind you, but come on. There's no way this will make any money whatsoever. A tad ironic this is coming in the same week we heard about a studio not wanting any female-lead movies... Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci Get It on at the Love Ranch" - Sunday, October 14:
This sounds very interesting indeed. We finally get Taylor Hackford's follow-up to his amazing biopic Ray and he's working with his longtime wife Helen Mirren, fresh off her amazing Oscar-winning performance in The Queen and Joe Pesci, who, save his cameo-ish turn in The Good Shepherd, hasn't made a movie since Lethal Weapon 4 in 1998. It sounds like a pretty cool story too, about the couple that opened the first legal brothel in Nevada and the turmoil it caused their lives and their marriage. I think we have a winner here. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Tyler Perry's very tiny slump has ended. It took all of 8 months. After his first "flop" earlier this year with CLICK HERE, the do-it-all filmmaker rebounded nicely with Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married?, taking the top spot at the box office this weekend with an estimated $21.5 million. While the number itself isn't sufficiently impressive, the flick had a mild rollout with just 2,011 theaters and scored a great per-screen average of $10,691. What's even more impressive is that the critics didn't take too kindly to Perry's latest creation, as it garnered just a 47% "Fresh" rating from the critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Budget figures weren't released for Perry's flick, but it's certainly higher than projections and should figure to be another solid flick in the Perry canon. The other two newbies this weekend didn't fare quite so well, but a holdover from last weekend played leapfrog through the charts. The Game Plan only dropped of slighty again (30.7%) and finished in second place with $11.5 million.
Michael Clayton soared through the charts this weekend, hopping from 22nd place last weekend to third this weekend with an estimated take of $11.01 million. The flick, which impressed with an astounding take from just 15 theaters last weekend, got a huge bump up to 2,511 theaters this weekend. Although its per-screen average didn't fare quite so well ($4,384), it has some high critical praise (90% "Fresh" from the RT critics) and it could be one of those flicks that keeps doing solid business for the rest of the year.
We Own the Night finished right behind Michael Clayton in fourth place with an estimated $11 million, although the two flicks could end up swapping spots since their grosses were so close together. Still, it didn't do nearly as good as I thought it would, although a middling theater count of 2,362 theaters and some mixed reviews (54% "Fresh" on RT) probably had a lot to do with the lackluster opening weekend. Still, the flick only had a $21 million budget, so it should turn a profit by the weekend or early next week. The only other newbie in wide release was the sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age which came in sixth place this weekend with $6.1 million. The Cate Blanchett flick was released in 2,001 theaters and could only muster a paltry $3,089 per-screen average. Budget figures weren't released for the period drama, but I'm sure this wasn't the opening they were hoping for.
Just barely above a teaser site, folks. We get the teaser trailer, which is semi-funny, a decent Synopsis and a few Downloads with two Desktops and two MP3's of this "Love Me Sexy" mixes. That's all folks. Semi-Pro hits theaters on February 29.
Lions for Lambs: (LionsforLambs.UnitedArtists.com)
Fairly basic site here. The site starts out by asking what you stand for and you can type your answer in and see how many other people stand for the same thing. On the main page of the site, these little topics are floating around and you can click on any of them to see more of their responses, which is kind of cool. Anyway, the site doesn't have a ton here. The Cast has some nice in-depth bios of the main players, The Story has a very concise synopsis, The Filmmakers has bios on some of the crew but, interestingly enough, there is no bio on screenwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan. The Video has the trailers and The Images has eight pics to look at and that's it. Not too bad, but more would've been nice, especially since this looks like one of the best movies of the year. Lions for Lambs opens on November 9.
Umm yeah. This link must be broken because it keeps coming up to the Why Did I Get Married site on the Lions Gate site. Who knows.
Umm yeah. We don't get much of anything here. All this basically does is let people who didn't know there's another Saw movie coming out that there is in fact another one. We get no new footage, really, and it's all just a waste of time. If you already knew there was another Saw movie coming out, you won't find anything useful here. Well, I suppose if you didn't know before reading this, you know now so, everyone, just avoid it because it's just a waste of time.
This looks like another slick action flick from director Doug Liman with a very cool premise and a slick cast. This is based off a novel by Steven Gould and adapted by a trio of fabulous screenwriters in Simon Kinberg (Mr. and Mrs. Smith), Jim Uhls (Fight Club) and David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, the Blade trilogy). The flick revolves around a young man from a broken home (Hayden Christensen) who discovers he has the ability to teleport to anywhere and anytime in the world. His ability starts to get him noticed, though as he meets another young man with the same ability as well as a mysterious man (Samuel L. Jackson) who's trying to stop him. This looks really slick, folks, and I'm kinda surprised they have this slated for a February release, because this could easily be a summer blockbuster. Jumper opens on February 15.
I've been pumped for this one for quite awhile and it certainly could end up being an Oscar favorite for many reasons. For one, it has a perfect Christmas Day release. Two, the fabulous cast of Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt and Ned Beatty. Three, amazing screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, FINALLY coming back to movies after many years in TV and four, director Mike Nichols. This looks like a marvelous movie, full of Sorkin's humor and based on an incredibly true story of the start of American's involvement in Afghanistan in the 80s. This should be one powerhouse of a movie, folks. Charlie Wilson's War opens on December 25.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with Helen Mirren, Joe Pesci and Taylor Hackford heading to the Love Ranch for my Best News of the Week. Yeah, I know that the title is terrible and probably should be changed, but that's the only thing that looks bad about this flick. We have a unique true story about the couple that opened the first legal brothel in Nevada, a smashing cast with the toplining return of Joe Pesci along with newly-minted Oscar winner Helen Mirren and director Taylor Hackford's follow-up to Ray. This sounds pretty damn good to me, folks.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Well, I'm going with Andy Griffith playing a randy grandpa for my Worst News of the Week, mainly because I'm not sure if the WB/non-female lead movies story has any merit to it or not. This will certainly suffice, though, with this wretched story about a young dude who teaches his widowed grandfather to hit on chicks. It's been years since we've seen Griffith in a lead-ish role and he picks THIS one for his comeback? What the crap is going on, Matlock? Do a Mayberry reunion show or something. Hell, get back in the courtroom. ANYTHING but this mindless dreck.
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!