Another week has passed and left us with enough movie news, box office figures, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers to shake a big stick at. So, let's get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Danny Huston Joins the Cast of 30 Days of Night" - Monday, September 11:
I haven't been a fan of Danny Huston for awhile now... and I'm getting annoyed that it's starting to change. There isn't really anything I can pin down about why I don't like the guy. He's just one of those guys that has something about him that bugs me. He's not an especially gifted actor, but he does have a famous dad in director John Huston, so yeah. But he's been getting better in his latest works (See: The Constant Gardener and the recent TV mini-series Covert One: The Hades Factor), and this new project seems like another positive step in the right direction. He's playing the lead here, something new for him, and he'll star as the leader of this vampire group who trek up to Alaska to bask in the month-long stretch of winter darkness. He hasn't played a character like this before, and it'll be interesting to see how he reacts to this material. The other pieces are nicely in place here, with Josh Hartnett and Mellisa George already cast, with Stuart Beattie (Collateral and both Pirates of the Carribbean flicks) writing and David Slade (Hard Candy) directing. This sounds like a cool new vampire flick that just might make me a fan of Danny Huston just yet. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Warner Bros. Picks Up Who Is Killing The Great Chefs?" - Tuesday, September 12:
Now for this one, I am a fan of Oliver Platt but I don't know if I will be after this dopey flick hits the silver screen. This is a remake of a 1978 flick about an editor of a food magazine who wants to lose weight. So, instead of modern-day solutions like the Atkins Diet, Weight Watchers or cocaine, he decides that the only way he'll ever lose weight is if he kills all the chefs that have prepared his favorite meals over the years. Wow. Thankfully, Platt isn't playing the editor here and he's just in a supporting role, but this still sounds just absolutely ridiculous. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Fernando Meirelles to Direct Blindness" - Wednesday, September 13:
After his spectacular breakout film City Of God and marvelous follow-up The Constant Gardener, I think anytime I hear of a Fernando Meirelles project, I'll probably be down with it. This one sounds pretty interesting too, about an epidemic/plague of blindness that turns a city upside down. Plausible? Not really, but with Fernando Meirelles at the helm, I'll be checking this out for sure. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Kyra Sedwick Joins The Game Plan" - Wednesday, September 13:
Well, I see they've changed the title here, which is good, and it's even better with Kyra Sedgwick coming aboard. This was to be called "Daddy's Little Girl" which is just too corny. It's about The Rock, a pro footballer who learns that he has a young daughter, and struggles to be a dad dude. Sedgwick fits in here as The Rock's agent, and she has the perfect qualities to be a sports agent here. With this new title, and new wonderful supporting actress, this flick is looking a lot better than it was before. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Brian Koppelman and David Levien Writing The Winter of Frankie Machine" - Friday, September 15:
This sounds like a pretty slick project here. I think Koppelman and Levien are very talented writers, and it sounds like they have some great source material to write from in Don Winslow's novel. The book centers on an ex-hitman for the Mafia who retired from the killing game to a simple life owning a bait shop. But, with a history like his, he's recruited by a mobster's kid to settle a score with another Mafia clan... only to discover that he's been the target all along. Robert De Niro is already attatched to star, so that naturally rocks. They don't have a director yet, but this sounds really damn good. The book comes out in a few weeks, and I think I might have to pick that one up, because it just sounds really damn cool. I hope the movie turns out the same way, but with all this talent on board, I think that probably should happen. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
The pigskin ruled once again at the box office, but not quite in as dominating fashion as last month. Riding the shoulder pads of last month's successful Invincible, the football tale with a juvenile delinquent twist, Gridiron Gang took the number one spot at the box office this weekend. This based-on-a-true-story flick starring The Rock took in $14.4 million in its opening weekend. It did have some considerable help in the theater count department. Gridiron Gang was the only flick in the theaters this weekend that had a theater count higher than 3,000. It was much higher, actually, with a count of 3,504, and it managed an average $4,113 per-screen average from it. Even though this isn't a monsterous opening weekend, The Rock and Co. are still in good shape to profit from this football tale, with just a $30 million budget to make back. It won't be so easy for the other newcomers this weekend, though.
The Black Dahlia took second place this weekend with a middling gross of just over $10 million. The Brian De Palma flick was tops this weekend for per-screen average though, taking in $4,495 per screen from just 2,226 theaters. With this opening weekend gross and fairly low theater count, they're not in profitable shape here, working from a $50 million budget, and the hopes of this movie making a profit seem very very slim right now. The Black Dahlia's profit hopes are still much better than the other two new flicks this weekend. Everyone's Hero took the bronze in third this weekend with just over $6 million and The Last Kiss took 5th with $4.6 million. Despite it's 5th place finish, Last Kiss had a better showing than Everyone's Hero. The Last Kiss was in only 1,357 theaters, good for a semi-decent $3,410 per-screen average, compared to the much meatier 2,896 count of Everyone's Hero and its paltry $2,093 per-screen average. Either way though, they're not looking good as far as a profit is concerned. The budget wasn't released for Everyone's Hero and, unless it gets a significant rollout in the coming weeks, I doubt that Zach Braff and the rest of The Last Kiss folks can scrounge up a profit even from its measley $20 million budget. Well, that's what you get for releasing a movie in September...
This website might just have the greatest site intro of all time. Now, Jack Black and Kyle Gass claim that the website itself is the greatest of all time, but that might be stretching it a smidge. Still, the intro is just awesome. We can hear Black and Gass basically designing the site right in front of us, almost like an old Looney Tunes skit. We hear them ask for stuff for the site and all these changes are made immediately, and it's just really damn funny. Best website intro EVER... but wait, there's more. The menu buttons are on the bottom and we get the Trailer, The Legend which gives us a little insight on the "history" of this epic saga, and some of the info on the characters and other people in the flick. In Download the D we get plenty of goodies to snag. There are AIM Icons, a wallpaper, a screensaver, a poster and a photo gallery all to download as you please. The next one is not too good though. Satan's VCR is a collection of 5 videos, some of which are meant to take place actually in hell, and they just aren't that funny. There isn't much to the rest of the site either. As*trology is a weird little "game" where they give you a diagram of a butt and you mark where any freckles or marks are. You submit it and get your "As*trological Sign" or whatever. It's kind of funny, I guess, but kind of stupid too. The last thing here is the Global Mosh, which is a neat little idea. It's basically a creative little way to get a message out about "the D." You sign up and give your name and location and what you want to say, along with creating a computer person. The "mosh" is just this running line of people, with Black and Gass's images bouncing around on top of them. If you run your mouse over one of the people, you'll see a message. They had over 1600 people signed up for this when I saw it, so there will probably me many many more. Speaking of more, the site says there's more to come from this site. I'll definitely say it's creative, there's no doubt about that. Some of the stuff is pretty damn cool, but some stuff just seemed like they were trying to hard. Still, I loved the style, but wished they had some better content. Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny opens on November 17.
Not much here, folks. All we get is the great trailer, a brief synopsis and a small photo album. Blah. I'm sure there will be more here before this flick opens on December 8.
This is such a cool idea that I'm almost surprised no one has thought of it before. This is almost like the anti-The Sixth Sense. It is a little like The Sixth Sense in the fact that they're dead. But instead of the big twisteroo at the end where we find out he's dead, they give us that right away, only the deceased doesn't know how or why he died, and if he can solve this little puzzle within a certain timeframe, he can live once more. There have been countless flicks that have used this sort of formula before, but they're mixing it up a bit here, using what would be the big twist as the set-up and giving us a new reason to watch it. There have been so many flicks that end up seeming like Sixth Sense or Fight Club rip-offs that it's nice to see one that rips it off just a little, and goes a totally new way with it. I'm looking forward to this flick. The Invisible opens on January 26.
I don't know how they do it. For three straight years now, Halloween has had a new movie staple to it in the masterful character Jigsaw, and I hope this will be the case for years to come. This third trailer doesn't give us much, but teases us enough to tell us that if we liked the first two helpings of this awesome franchise, we'll scoop up a third helping also. Ocrober 27, baby. Can't f$*%in wait!
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a very tough choice this week, but I'm going with De Niro playing a Machine for my Best News of the Week. I looked up this book on Amazon and right away the review likened him to Elmore Leonard, an amazing author whose books have made some wonderful movies like Get Shorty, Out of Sight and Jackie Brown. Yeah, I'm liking it already. The story sounds damn slick, and with Robert De Niro starring as the aging hitman, how can you NOT love that, folks? With the mob angle here, this might be a cross between a Mario Puzo and Elmore Leonard, which would be a match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned. This should be friggin awesome, people!
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Only one thing to choose from here, and that's a bunch of murdered chefs for my Worst News of the Week. You know, I wonder if Angela Lansbury is still alive and solving murder mysteries? She'd be perfect for this case. She's all high-cultured and stuff, and I'm sure she'd be on a chef killer like white on rice, pun intended. Yes sir, lets get Angela Lansbury to make this into a made-for-anywhere-but-American-TV-movie so we'll never have to hear about this ever again.
That's all I've got 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.