Howdy folks. Another seven days has passed and left us with a new batch of movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets get right into it with this week's Notables.
"Dobby the House Elf Not Appearing in Harry Potter 5" - Monday, October 9:
Well, I don't care how pivotal a part he plays in the book series, I'm glad we won't be seeing Dobby, at least in this next movie. Dobby was like the new Jar Jar Binks, entertaining all the kiddies but annoying the crap out of all the adults. Every time that dorky little elf was on the screen in the second movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, I was insanely bored/annoyed so I'm glad they gave him the axe. Hopefully they can finish out this marvelous series Dobby-free. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Mira Sorvino to Star Opposite Joaquin Phoenix and Mark Ruffalo in Reservation Road" - Monday, October 9:
Sorvino has had a fairly rough go of it the past 8 years or so since her last semi-big flick, The Replacement Killers. She hasn't been in many bigger flicks, and the ones she has been in have bombed (See: Gods and Generals), with the rest being B-grade indies or TV stuff. This seems like it could be a decent break for her, starring alongside some pretty big names in Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Connelly, with Hotel Rwanda director Terry George at the helm here. This very well could be her big comeback flick with this cast, crew and interesting story that revolves around two families torn apart by a fatal hit-and-run accident. This could be a very big step for Sorvino indeed. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Limited Edition Saw III Posters Made With Tobin Bell's Blood" - Tuesday, October 10:
Umm wow. As if the movies were wonderfully twisted enough, they're getting all crazy with the marketing as well. They took a vial of Tobin Bell a.k.a. Jigsaw's blood and mixed it in the red ink to create a very deep blood-red. These 1,000 posters will be sold off at $20 a pop and the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross. They also hold a blood drive in conjunction with the movie's release, and have done so with the first two flicks. Damn. They just love them some blood, don't they? Well, this is a pretty damn cool idea that, while it may border the lines of sanity, is pretty damn cool as well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Jeff Betancourt to Helm Boogeyman 2" - Tuesday, October 10:
Unreal. Big deal the movie made twice its budget back. It was only a $20 million movie and a gross of $46 million doesn't exactly set people's heads on fire. And now their new director is an editor who's making his directorial debut here. Wonderful. Smashing. The story actually sounds worse, with this woman checking herself into a mental clinic to overcome her fears of the boogeyman and then all this other crap happens. Hoo rah. Sounds like this will be just as dumb as the first one, and that's actually saying a lot, because the first one was really really REALLY dumb. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Scott Speedman Joins The Cast of Strangers" - Tuesday, October 10:
I thought Scott Speedman was such a rising star a few years ago, that it's surprising where he's at now. I thought was was just wonderful in Dark Blue and in the first Underworld flick, that I'm surprised he hasn't done much since then. Now he's doing this cookie-cutter flick Strangers that sounds like a bland mix of so many other bland movies. He'll play alongside Liv Tyler as a couple whose house becomes under attack by three masked strangers and they have to fight them off. It sounds like a moronic mix between When a Stranger Calls, Hostage and a few other dumb flicks. I guess Speedman will be taking the scenic route to stardom if he keeps picking his projects like this. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Paul Scheuring To Wright and Direct The Experiement" - Wednesday, October 11:
Well, I don't know why they feel the need to remake this outstanding German flick from Oliver Hirschbiegel, but it's so damn good that it's not totally surprising. The German flick was based off the true story of the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment. 20 college students were selected at random, 10 to be guards and 10 to be prisoners. Their behaviors changed in such radical ways that the experiment was cut short after six days, out of two weeks. It looks like they have a good candidate for this American remake in Paul Scheuring, who wrote the underrated A Man Apart and is also the head staff writer on the hit TV show "Prison Break." While this will probably be a pretty damn good flick, I'd definitely reccomend you find Hirschbiegel's German version, because it's just outstanding. If this remake even brings some of that back, then it should be a damn good movie. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It looks like not as many people held The Grudge as long for the second go-around. The Grudge 2 took the top spot this weekend, with a decent estimated take of $22 million. But the flick still floundered compared to its predecessor's opening weekend. The Grudge took in $39.1 million almost two years ago, even though they both had very similar rollouts; Grudge opened in 3,245 theaters while the sequel opened in 3,211 theaters. While the sequel's numbers already ensure a profit from a $20 million budget, it still is quite clear that the sequel will not perform nearly as well as the first flick, which took in a surprising $110.3 million two years ago. The critics didn't really help the cause with it receiving just a paltry 8% "Fresh" rating from Rotten Tomatoes. It's fairly safe to say that this second Grudge won't come nearly as close to that mark as it probably hoped for.
While The Departed hung on to grab $18.6 for 2nd place, Man of the Year took the third spot this weekend with $12.5 million. This Robin Williams/Barry Levinson polcom was only shown in 2,515 theaters but scrounged up a decent $4,990 per-screen average. The critics weren't too kind to this one either, grabbing only an 18% "Fresh" rating from RT. Budget figures weren't released for this one, but I'm sure this $12 million take fell quite short of their projections.
The last newbie this weekend was the WWE flick The Marine, which could only manage a 6th place finish with an estimated $7 million. The flick starring John Cena dropped in 2,545 theaters, but could only manage a paltry $2,750 per-screen average. Budget figures weren't released for this flick either, but I'm sure Cena or Vince McMahon can't be happy with these numbers. But still, $7 million can pay for a lot of steriods, so there you go...
We don't get a ton of stuff on this page. All we get is a brief Synopsis, the solid Trailer and a little slideshow of images that take up almost all of the page. Sorry folks. Not much to see here. We Are Marshall opens on December 22.
Yeah. Absolutely NOTHING here, folks. We get a look at the one-sheet, and you can register for updates via WB's Reel News newsletter. Blah! The Good German opens on December 28 in limited release.
Dammit! Same EXACT thing here as on the last website. A link to register for stupid updates and that's IT! Maybe I should start making websites for movies... Stardust opens on March 16, 2007.
This is a pretty slick site here, for once this week. The main menu items are at the bottom of the site. The first one, About the Film, gives us a nice Synopsis, and some various production notes with The Story, The Production, The Characters and The Industry, which all give us some very nice insight into this flick. Cast and Crew give us some great bios on this incredibly diverse ensemble cast, and we also get the Trailer, some nice stills in Gallery, a screensaver and two wallpapers in Downloads and a link to the movie's MySpace page. Not too bad of a site here, folks. For Your Consideration opens on November 17, in limited release.
This looks like a pretty damn good movie, folks. We've got a damn good cast with Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Shannon, and one of the greatest directors of all time in William Friedken. The story sounds pretty creepy with Judd shacked up in a motel room to get away from her abusive husband, played by Shannon, with Connick trying to help her. The room they're holed up in becomes infested with bugs, and creepiness ensues. I liked this trailer a lot because they really didn't reveal much of anything, which is something today's trailers tend to do a lot of. They give us some praising critique's as well, and this looks like a pretty slick indie flick. Bug opens on December 1 in limited release.
OK, lets see if this one just sounds a wee tad tiny bit familiar. A white female teacher in a racially diverse/deadly neighborhood makes a difference in a bunch of hoods and thugs' lives. Ringing any bells here, perhaps? You could even take out the "white female" part and end up with a slew of similar movies as well. Here the white female teacher is played by Hillary Swank who tries to use all her white-girl tricks and powers to make peace with a bunch of troubled, warring students. Sure, it'll probably be somewhat decent and maybe even a little powerful and stuff. But it probably would be a lot more powerful if there weren't 20 flicks out there that are already just like this one. Freedom Writers opens on January 12, 2007.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I had a tough time with this one this week, but I'm going to have to take Paul Scheuring to bring The Experiment to America for my Best News of the Week. Well, technically it all started in America in 1971 with the Stanford Prison Experiment, but visionary director Oliver Hirshbiegel took it over to Germany for his marvelous first feature film. If anything, this remake will hopefully draw some attention to this original German flick and give it the attention it so vastly deserves. Ironically, Hirschbiegel's next project is The Invasion, a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers with Nicole Kidman. Maybe they'll both get similar release dates and we can do a remake duel or something. Still, an Americanized version of this masterful German flick sounds like a damn good idea to me too.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going to have to go with the dreadful news of another damn Boogeyman flick for my Worst News of the Week. The first flick was so utterly terrible that I was surprised it was ever allowed to be seen by human eyes in the first place. It was a terribly uninspired flick about the childhood legend and I'm surprised they're even breathing new life into it with a damn sequel. If they do happen to do this, maybe they'll go without the wooden stylings Barry Watson who stunk up the joint in the first movie. But if they're dumb enough to make a sequel, they'll probably be dumb enough to re-cast Watson again...
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 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.