Another seven days have come and gone, and left with us another slew of movie news, box office info, new official websites for upcoming flicks and new trailers. So lets get this party started with this week's Notables.
"Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz Reunite For A Little Game Without Consequence" - Tuesday, September 5:
This should be a really interesting flick for a few reasons. For one, we get to see Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz back on the silver screen together for the first time since their first time in 1994's The Mask. Besides that neat little dynamic, we get a pretty slick story here. Carrey and Diaz will play a happily-married couple of 5 years who decided to spice things up a bit, but not in bed. They decide to pull an elaborate prank on their friends, telling them all that they have spilt up. The tables get turned, though, when they soon discover their friends never thought they were meant for each other in the first place. This sounds like a pretty fresh marital comedy here, with some faces we haven't seen together in quite some time, and could be great yet again. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Seann William Scott To Star in Big Brother" - Wednesday, September 6:
Hmm Stifler in a suit? It just sounds crazy enough to work. Scott will star here as a businessman who gets into trouble of some sort and his forced into participating in the Big Brother's program. He is assigned to a troubled kid and naturally they despise each other. They start to find a common ground when Scott's character teaches him about all the amoral things he's done to get ahead in the business world. This could be a pretty nice departure in character for Scott, even though most of it does sound like the same old song-and-dance for him. Still, this should be a chance to broaden his audience a little bit and show us he can play a different sort of character. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"MGM to Release Five Movie Sequels" - Wednesday, September 6:
Umm OK. The first weird thing about this is that MGM's television division will be handling the development of this quintet of very odd sequels. The only obvious choice of these five sequels is a third Legally Blonde, but then it just gets weirder and weirder. We have The Cutting Edge 3 (I had no idea there was a 2nd, but it went straight to video apparently), Into the Blue 2 (the first one made a whopping $18 million...), WarGames 2 (I wonder if Matthew Broderick and Dabney Coleman will be back), and then, the coup-de-gras, Species 4. Wow, what an odd array of sequels we have here. WarGames 2 might be the only one worth salvaging here, even though it's been 23 years since the original flick, but it sounds a hell of a lot better than the rest of this stupid slate. Even if these flicks are all just for TV or video, I just don't know why they'd want to make more of these flicks which, mostly, people could care less about. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Jake Muxworthy and Carolina Garcia Join Asylum" - Thursday, September 7:
The biggest name in this whole movie is the director, David Ellis, and he only has a somewhat recognizable name because he directed that flick about those motha&**$in snakes on that plane. You wouldn't know Jake Muxworthy from anywhere, and Garcia's biggest role was in Coach Carter, so yeah. Besides that, this movie is basically a horror version of one aspect from Accepted. A bunch of kids move into this reopened dormitory and they discover that it used to be an asylum, and are haunted by a zombie doctor there. Blah. Sounds pretty frickin' stupid to me, folks. Worst News of the Week Nominee.
"Timothy Olyphant and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Star in Stop Loss" - Thursday, September 7:
This sounds pretty damn good too. I'm a very big fan of Timothy Olyphant, and I wish he would do more movies, but he's got that Deadwood TV gig, so I'd imagine that keeps him busy. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is starting to break out of his shell rather nicely also, and they add a lot to this cast that already includes Ryan Phillipe and Jay Hernandez. Of course, there's the timeliness factor of it, with that pesky war thing going on, and this could end up being a very powerful film, that centers around some soldiers who were sent home, only to be re-enlisted right away through the "stop loss" program. With this great cast and current storyline, this should be one to watch for. Best News of the Week Nominee.
"Warner Bros. Picks Up The Bucket List" - Thursday, September 7:
This sounds like a really really good flick, folks. Not only do we get living legends Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman starring and Rob Reiner directing, but this just sounds like a story that has Oscar written all over it. Nicholson and Freeman will star as a couple of aging dudes who have been terminally stricken with cancer and have to waste away the rest of their lives in a cancer ward. But they decide that they still have some fight left in them and they break out of the joint, determined to fulfill their last wishes by accomplishing everything they've ever wanted to do before they kick the bucket, hence The Bucket List. While we don't see Jack Nicholson act his age, literally, too often since his persona is just too huge and his talent is boundless, I just loved him in About Schmidt which he brilliantly showed the vulnerability of the aging process. I will be looking for more of the same brilliance here, along with the wonderful Morgan Freeman by his side. This is most definitely one to keep watch for, folks. Best News of the Week Nominee.
BOX OFFICE CORNER
Well fall is certainly here already folks, although it's been chillier than normal, at least at the box office where this weekend marked one of the worst weekends in a few years. The Covenant was technically the number 1 movie at the box office this weekend, but it sure as hell doesn't seem like it. The Covenant could only conjure up $8.8 million to take the top spot in its opening weekend. That's the first #1 flick in two years to not even break the $10 million mark. In a weekend that saw not even one movie bow in over 3,000 theaters, (Invincible was the closest with 2,937 theaters), the weekend as a whole was the worst since the same weekend 3 years ago, when Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star was #1 with a mere $6.7 million.
Hollywoodland took second place this weekend with $5.9 million. The Hollywood period piece only showed in 1,548 theaters, for a weekend-best $3,828 per-screen average, which is insanely sad. The only other new flick of the weekend, Tony Jaa's The Protector took 4th place with just over $5 million. This one was only in 1,541 theaters and took in a decent (for this weekend anyway) $3,266 per-screen average. Since these flicks were given rather chincy theater counts, it is possible, I suppose, that the theater counts would rise, but given the numbers this weekend, it looks unlikely.
But, after all the financial carnage left at the ticket counter this weekend, there was a few little nuggets of good news. The Illusionist dropped only 27 percent this weekend to take 6th place with $4.5 million and, big shocker here, those scurvy pirates took yet another place in the history books. This weekend, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest became only the third movie of all time to cross the $1 billion mark for domestic and international grosses. Only Titanic with $1.8 billion and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King with $1.1 billion have crossed that sacred barrier before the pirates did, and now Johnny Depp and Co. truly join the elite ranks with their movie's astounding box office performance.
This is a very interesting site here. We start out with Characters, which gives us, instead of the drab filmographies, some video entries from each star, and others involved in the production (although they don't name them so you likely won't know who they are), about that actor and/or character. We get much more insight into each character this way than we ever would via traditional "official website" means, and it adds a nice touch to the site. The Synopsis menu gives us said synopsis along with some very thorough Production Notes, 45 pages of them to be exact, in the PDF format. I was rather surprised that they'd give us such detailed production notes, that gives us even more insight to this quirky little flick. The Media menu gives us the great trailer and some other videos from the site. The Photo Gallery is probably the worst menu here, as they give us only 5 photos to peruse, but they finish off nicely with Downloads, offering wallpapers, AIM Icons and a Poster to snag. Another little oddity of the site is we get a bit of our own narration from Emma Thompson's character herself. She actually gives the cursor narration, blurting out lines if the cursor is idle enough or other little phrases when needed. This is just a damn good site, folks. They thought it all out rather nicely, gave us some great content and some slick styling to boot. This is one of the best sites of the year. Stranger Than Fiction opens on November 10.
Saw III: (SawIII.com)
This site does look cool, but either some of the links are broken, or it's not all active yet. The first menu at the bottom is The Legend of Jigsaw. You have to fill out a form to make sure you're over 17 years old, but after that we get an error message. On the next menu, they talk about an actual Blood Drive that the movie goes on, something I'd never heard about, but think is pretty cool. But, again, when you click on the link, it comes up blank. The Downloads menu gives you a few AIM Icons and desktops to download, but that's all we get here folks. Maybe they'll give us more before the flick hits theaters on October 27.
Flags of Our Fathers: (FlagsOfOurFathers.com)
Argh. All we get here is a link to register for updates. Damn. Well, this looks like a damn good movie so there better be more added here before the flick hits the theaters on October 20.
The Genius Club
I'm intrigued by this movie's premise: a group of geniuses herded up to solve all the world's problems in one night. It's just too bad they do a terrible job with the trailer here, because no one else will be intrigued by watching this shoddy excuse for a trailer. For one, it's incredibly dark and you can't see jack squat half the time. Two, we get just vague babblings about the conflict in the movie here, and nothing concrete enough to draw us in. Three, one of the geniuses is a pizza delivery man that happens to have an above-200 IQ, and who's played by Steven Baldwin. Yeah. We'll have to see about this one... The Genius Club opens on October 27 in limited release.
This looks like a very powerful flick, based on one of the biggest tragedies in sports history: the plane crash that killed the entire 1970 Marshall University football team, coaches and some boosters as well. Matthew McConaughey will star as the man who tries to pick up the pieces after this tragedy, Jack Lengyel. He comes on to coach the football team and try to move on in this shattered community, and it all just looks like a damn good flick, boys and girls. I'm not quite sure it will be good enough for some Oscar buzz, even though it's being released on an Oscar-friendly date, December 22, but this should be well worth watching for the whole family, and this moving story of sport and spirit should be perfect for the holiday season.
BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
It was a very tough choice this week, but I'm going with two screen legends taking on the Bucket List for my Best News of the Week. How can you NOT love Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman up on the silver screen together? I just can't wait to see these two monstrous talents in the same picture, hitting the road as cancer patients determined to live out their last wishes before they kick that proverbial bucket. The story sounds just marvelous, with Oscar written all over it, Rob Reiner is directing and good ol' Jack and Morgan toplining. That's some box office gold there, my friends, and I can't wait to see it.
WORST NEWS OF THE WEEK
I'm going with the sequel-happy clowns at MGM for my Worst News of the Week. I really want to know where they came up for these five flicks as their sequel front-runners. I'd have to imagine that some form of darts or lottery was involved, because these are just so asinine and random that I can't believe they were chosen by actual human beings that work in a movie studio. Now, the WarGames one I would totally run with. With all the new technology these days, they certainly could make this work out fairly well. But the other four, no frickin way. Sure the Legally Blonde flicks have made some decent change, but I doubt there's any way that would happen again. Into the Blue made all of $18 million, so I can't possibly fathom the logic that that particular flick is sequel-worthy. The Species series probably has a built-in fanbase, with nothing much more than that and then there's The Cutting Edge. The original flick in 1992 made all of $25 million and then apparently they did a straight-to-video sequel this year. And who's to blame them with how hot figure skating is right now... (insert sarcastic line here). The only sequels MGM should be worried about is the Bond sequels, because those are flicks that people actually watch from that studio, and probably the only ones these days. Do everyone a favor, you crazy lion tamers: keep the WarGames flick and ditch the rest if you ever want a future in making anything other than Bond movies for the rest of your existence.
That's all I have 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.