Mel Gibson scores again. Another uber-violent movie filmed in an ancient dialect; another #1 box office flick. When you consider how much that man loves gore, you really wonder what he’s going to do next. “Braveheart”, “The Passion of the Christ”, “Apocalypto”, “Paparazzi”, “The Patriot”, “Payback”…and on and on with the violence, even including the Mad Max and Lethal Weapon movies. I think if Mel could get away with it, he’d do a snuff film.
News & Rumors:
~ One lawsuit dismissed for “Borat”, the one filed by the drunken frat boys asking for their scene to be immediately cut from the film…and another one filed, this time by a bathroom attendant whose scene ended up on the editing room floor. Oh, yeah, and a Golden Globe nomination for “Borat” as Best Comedy or Musical.
~ I guess there weren’t any huge shocks for the Golden Globe nominees for Best Picture, either on the drama or the comedy side. “The Departed”, “Babel”, “Bobby”, “The Queen”, and “Little Children” for Best Drama, and “Borat”, “The Devil Wears Prada”, “Dreamgirls”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, and “Thank You for Smoking.” My early favorites would be “The Departed” and “Dreamgirls” as expected winners, although I’d prefer “Borat” on the comedy side. I was a bit surprised that “Bobby” got a nomination, as the critics haven’t been kind to it, and I would have expected “Letters from Iwo Jima” or “World Trade Center” instead.
~ Sam Raimi (director of the Spider-Man movies) has acquired the rights to the old comic book and radio superhero “The Shadow”, and will be looking at making a big budget film. Anything to make us forget that awful 1994 movie with Alec Baldwin as the Shadow.
~ An original idea being made into a movie? What is the world coming to? Jason Lee is set to star in the film “Krater”. Set in the late 70s to early 80s, it follows the leader of a rock and roll band (Lee) as he deals with mega-success after hiring a new lead singer, who has secret Broadway ambitions. Sounds a bit like the soap opera that was the band Styx, as Tommy Shaw just about gagged himself dealing with Dennis DeYoung pretty much destroying a good rock band by Andrew Lloyd Webber-ing it.
~ Interesting blurb for those of you that are seriously addicted to the World Series of Poker (cough...cough...SWERB...cough). Hayden Christensen is set to star as the young version of poker-brat/jerk Phil Hellmuth in “The Madison Kid”, depicting Hellmuth’s rise to becoming the youngest player ever to win the WSOP in 1989.
~ Nicole Richie…Marvin Lewis is on Line 2. He want’s to know if you’re available to hold for placekicks, as he really wants to beat the All-Time Arrest record for a football team, but needs that extra push to put him past the University of Miami Hurricanes.
~ So long, Peter Boyle. You will be missed.
This week’s new releases:
One for the kiddies, one for the teens, and one for sentimental saps.
Title: The Pursuit of Happyness
Starring: Will Smith, Thandie Newton, Jaden Smith
Plot: Homeless single father tries to hold everything together for his young son as he tries to complete an internship at a major investment company.
The BeerBuzz: Not great buzz on this one. Reported to be pretty formulaic “feel good” story that never meets a cliché it doesn’t like. But if you like movies where you go, cry a bunch during the movie due to all the bad things, and then cry more at the end when everything works out fine, this is for you (and yes, I do see the hand up in the back of the room…it belongs to my wife).
Starring: Jeremy Irons, John Malkovic, Edward Speleers
Plot: Teenaged boy learns he can ride a dragon and save his people.
The BeerBuzz: This is a movie based upon a book written by someone who was 19 at the time. Don’t go in thinking it’s going to be on the levels of “Lord of the Rings”, “Harry Potter”, or “The Chronicles of Narnia”. Think more in the line of “Dragonheart”. A movie for the under 15 crowd, which is disappointing considering the presence of Malkovic and Irons. And the reports are that Speleers is so wooden that he makes Hayden Christensen’s performance in “The Attack of the Clones” look downright Olivier-esque in comparison.
Title: Charlotte’s Web
Starring: Dakota Fanning, and the voices of Julia Roberts and Dominic Scott Kay
Plot: Wilbur, the runt of the litter, befriends a spider named Charlotte, who works with the other animals to save the little pig’s life by showing he has value.
The BeerBuzz: If you have kids under 10 years old, take them to see this movie. The buzz is that this is hands down one of the best family films to have come out in the last 10 years, with phenomenal performances from the humans on screen and those providing the voices, plus extraordinary technical effects to make all the animals life-like (a la “Babe”), and of course a great story. In addition to Roberts, you also have Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Kathy Bates, Reba McEntire, Andre 3000, and Thomas Haden Church supplying the voices of the critters. I may have to talk my wife into grabbing her six year old grandniece to give us an excuse to see this.
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, December 19th
Lots of good releases last week…lots and lots of releases this week. Notice that in the second part, I left out the word “good”?
Lady in the Water – Total, unadulterated piece of crap from M. Night Shayamalan. Worst movie I’ve seen this year.
All the King’s Men – Bomb of the Year nominee. Boring remake of the fictionalized tale of legendary Louisiana politico Huey Long. Sean Penn took all the credibility he banked from his Oscar winning performance in “Mystic River” and blew it all on this mess.
American Pie Presents: The Naked Mile – I normally don’t include “Straight to Video” movies on my lists, but this one just fits in so perfectly when looking at the level of suckitude the rest of them are at. Rent this only if you’re channeling Beavis or Butthead.
Invincible – Hey, they don’t all suck this week! Excellent football flick about the true life Philadelphia bartender that played for three years on special teams for his beloved Eagles after an open tryout. Makes you want to go out there and volunteer to help out the Browns and their woeful offensive and defensive lines.
Jet Li’s Fearless – Martial Arts-by-the-numbers yawnfest. It was touted as “Jet Li’s last martial arts picture”. Given the quality…we can only hope so.
My Super Ex-Girlfriend – Luke Wilson possesses all of his brother Owen’s talent in picking crappy movies…with none of the charm.
A Scanner Darkly – At least this one doesn’t completely suck. Interesting, if flat, take on a Phillip Dick novel about the evils of drug use in a future that is not a utopia. One of those strange ones where the animation is drawn over the actual actors…although it’s sometimes hard to tell when it comes to Keanu Reeves.
The Wicker Man – Remakes in general suck. So do most Nicolas Cage movies of late (except World Trade Center). Put those two facts together and then just take a guess as to where this stand on the Stink Scale.
Step Up – Hoodlum who just happens to be a great dancer ends up with the pretty rich girl. For the White Trash version, just go to the E! Network and watch all the updates of K-Fed and Brittney.
Little Miss Sunshine – OK, we get 2 out of 10 that are good with this charming tale of a truly dysfunctional family. Just mentioned above as a Golden Globe nominee for Best Comedy. Hell; 2 out of 10 would be a high enough batting average to secure a $6 million per year salary from some major league team (and a $2 million a year offer from the Indians).
Next week: (I’m including the Dec. 22nd releases and the Christmas day releases); Rocky Balboa, The Good Shepherd, We Are Marshall, Letters From Iwo Jima, Night at the Museum, Dreamgirls, The Good German, Black Christmas
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Children of Men – December 25th - New limited release date for the futuristic Clive Owen and Julianna Moore film about a world where women can no longer get pregnant, dooming mankind.
Notes on a Scandal – Oscar hopeful with Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench as a teacher involved in an affair with a young student, and the colleague who betrayed her. Limited release in December, no dates yet given for nation-wide release.
Home of the Brave – Januray 5th - Samuel L. Jackson, 50 Cent, and Jessical Biel in a tale about the aftermath of a failed mission in Iraq for the four soldiers who survived.
Miss Potter – January 12th – Renee Zellwegger as the children’s author Beatrix Potter. Looks like a female version of 2004’s “Finding Neverland”.
Smokin’ Aces – January 29th – Interesting concept…Jeremy Piven as a motor-mouthed Vegas stand up comedian who decides to rat on the mob, setting up competing hitmen vying for the bounty.
Hannibal Rising – February 9th - Tale of how the young Hannibal Lecture became the cretin we all know and love.
Ghost Rider – February 16th - Nicholas Cage turns into a motorcycle riding superhero with a flaming skeleton head. (February)
The Number 23 – February 23rd – Mystery/ Supernatural Thriller with Jim Carrey and Virginia Madsen.
Zodiac – March 2nd - Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey, Jr star in the tale of the Bay Area serial killer.
300 – March 9th - Frank Miller adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel about 300 Spartans defending Greece from the entire frickin’ Persian Empire. Filmed in the same style as “Sin City”.
Shooter – March 16th - Political thriller with Mark Wahlberg as a sniper trying to stop an assassination.
The Reaping – March 30th – Hilary Swank as a professor known for debunking miracles who goes to a small town suffering from what seems to be the 10 Biblical Plagues.
Reign Over Me – First major fictional piece dealing with the effects of 9/11 on the families, starring Adam Sandler (against type) and Don Cheadle (March)
Grind House – April 6th - Two one-hour short horror stories, one from Robert Rodriguez, the other from Quentin Tarantino. (April)
Spider-Man 3 – The webslinger versus Venom, Sandman, and Harry Osborne picking up his father’s GoblinGear. (May)
Shrek the Third – Justin Timberlake as young King Arthur. Gulp (May)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At the World’s End – Captain Jack goes for the hat trick (May)
Ocean’s Thirteen – Will someone please stick a fork in this franchise? (June)
Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer – No way does this film get completed by this date (June)
Live Free or Die Hard – John McClane strikes again (probably with his walker) (June)
The Simpsons Movie – ummmm…beeeerrrrrr (July)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – My wife and daughter will be there the first day (July)
The Bourne Ultimatum – Superspy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is back and looking for his roots (August)
Beowulf – Robert Zemeckis gets all medieval on us with a motion capture (like “Polar Express”) adaptation of the epic poem (November)
Get DirectSatTV to follow your favorite Cavs action.