Hey everyone. It's been pretty hectic for me these past few weeks as I sadly couldn't get a column up last week. I'm back this week, though, for another helping of the week's news bits, box office goodies, new official websites for upcoming movies and new trailers. I didn't even get to watch anything new last week, since I'm out of DVD's to review and due to aforementioned hecticity. So we'll just get right into Notables.
Oh goody. The guy who directed Sleepover and Sydney White has another chick flick in the works. Smashing. This one has a guy and a girl who are B.F.F.'s and make it through high school together only to have it blossom into love. It's sad how detached from reality these movies really are. If you're a best friend forever, there usually isn't an upgrade to love involved, if you're from this planet anyway. I hope this gets shelved for, like, forever! Worst News of the Week Nominee.
It looks like Clint is going international on us in a very different sort of movie we're used to from him. It sounds like part historical flick, part sports flick and part Nelson Mandella biopic, which is quite an intriguing blend. Scribe Anthony Peckham does have a spotty filmography, but his South African heritage should make him ideal to script this project. Oh, Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandella and Matt Damon as the captain of the South African rugby team that won the 1995 Rugby World Cup, won't hurt things one bit either. Look for big things from this flick. Best News of the Week Nominee.
I remember hearing about this awhile ago when James was signing up for a trillion projects at the same time. I had no idea he was going to write and produce it as well, but that's damn good news to me. He has written a handful of episodes on his wonderful King of Queens show, as well as his hilarious stand-up special Sweat the Small Things, but this will be his feature film writing debut. He's also writing alongside Nick Bakay, who served in many capacities on King of Queens and also does those funny little bits on SportsCenter about football betting. The flick has James starring as the title character who has to spring into action when his mall is overrun by thieves. Should be some good stuff here folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
This should stir up the same sort of controversy that The Passion of the Christ stirred up a few years ago. This movie will be based on two books, both almost 100 years old, that supposedly fill in the Biblical blanks of Jesus Christ from age 13 to 30. This project doesn't have the big-name filmmakers, though, with Drew Hariot making his non-documentary feature debut and some other producers and writers I've never heard of. It says here they're going global with casting, so we might not hear of any of the cast either. The premise is a tad intriguing, but I really don't see the need for this type of project, and I can't see it becoming anything but controversial. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
And you thought this cast couldn't get any bigger... I'm not a huge fan of Mrs. Sean Penn, but McAdams and Mirren are superb additions to an already-huge cast of Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and the resurgent Jason Bateman. It's rather interesting that Mirren is taking over a role originated by Bill Nighy (Davy Jones in the last two Pirates of the Carribbean flicks), playing a newspaper editor while McAdams plays one of Mirren's reporters, working on a huge story. I just can't wait for this one, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
While Redford's latest, Lions for Lambs, won't drop in theaters for another month or so, it seems he's continuing on a political streak with his next flick, Against All Enemies. He has another solid young scribe in James Vanderbilt (The Rundown, Zodiac) writing this project, based off Richard A. Clarke's memoir, and, while we don't have any casting news, it sounds like Redford could score a winner with this one as well. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
It was a two-horse race for this last weekend in the September doldrums, and it turned out to be a good race after all, although one with a clear winner. The Game Plan took the top spot this weekend with a solid $22.9 million in its debut weekend, while the war flick The Kingdom took a decent second place, scoring $17.1 million in its opening weekend. Both flicks snagged some surprising per-screen averages, with Game Plan taking in $7,396 out of 3,103 theaters while Kingdom took in a $6,135 per-screen average from a 2,793-theater rollout. Neither flick was helped out much by the critics, though, with Game Plan scoring just a 29% "Fresh" rating from the Rotten Tomatoes critics and The Kingdom taking in a decent-but-non-"Fresh" rating of 52%. That's about all the good news to come from the box office this weekend, though.
Last weekend's 1-2 flicks each dropped two spots, with Resident Evil: Extinction taking the third spot after dropping a whopping 66.1% in its second weekend, taking just over $8 million, while Good Luck Chuck took the fourth spot, dropping 54.3% and taking in $6.2 million in its second weekend. Yeah, I don't call it the September doldrums for nothing, folks...
I could only find one site that went live this week, and there's not a whole lot to it. The About the Film menu has a nice Synopsis, although the Cast & Crew and Production Notes menus are both coming soon. The Meet Jerry Seinfeld menu is rather worthless though, as it's just a picture of Seinfeld (like we don't know what he looks like...) and roughly the SAME synopsis from the last menu. Ugh. The Gallery has 11 photos, the Videos has some Trailers and TV Spots with Clips, Featurettes, Interviews and DOLBEE coming soon. Lastly, we get some goodies in Downloads with wallpapers, AIM Icons, Signatures and even some Recipes with the Screensaver coming soon and some Games as well... with 2 of the 5 coming soon. I'm sure it'll be a decent site once all the coming soon stuff is actually there, but for now, there isn't a whole lot. I'm sure this site will be all ready before the flick comes out on November 2.
I haven't heard much about this, but it looks like another solid true-story sports flick about a small town school about to be consolidated into a bigger school, having one last shot at glory with their baseball team. Interesting cast here with Sean Astin, Powers Boothe and Rachel Leigh Cook. It's also directed by the guy who helmed The Sandlot, so there's that. Could be an interesting movie, but I'm not sure if it'll branch out into a wide release or not. The Final Season opens on October 12, in a limited release.
We haven't seen much of Ron Livingston lately, but it looks like he makes up for lost time nicely with this dramatic winner. Based off a true story, this flick takes us from the trenches of the Vietnam war to the trenches of America in the fight for equality for disabled persons. Livingston stars as a veteran who becomes deaf in the war and takes up another fight for his cause. It looks like quite a powerful movie and one that will showcase Livingston's talents on the big screen once again. Music Within opens on October 26 in limited release.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Some very very good choices this week, but I'm going with Clint Eastwood's new project for my Best News of the Week. Eastwood's direction normally means simply wonderful things for a movie, and, even though this movie didn't necessarily need the extra buzz, I'm sure no one will mind at all. Three of Clint's last four pictures have been up for Best Picture and, if they keep the ball rolling with some wonderful casting, I can't see why that trend will change at all. Clint is really at the top of his game as of late, and I'll keep looking forward to more great projects from him.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with this retarded B.F.F. movie for my Worst News of the Week. Joe Nussbaum is certainly not at the top of his game, as he continues to make chick flicks that barely anyone sees. I don't know why they keep making movies like this one, the one where the friends turn into more than friends because it just plain doesn't happen in real life, or at least not as often as the garden-variety occurance the movies make it out to be. I know, I know, it's a fictional movie and everything, but it still annoys me. That and the fact that B.F.F. is an actual saying and that people can't seem to use full words anymore...
That's all for this week folks. Surf on back 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!