Memorial Day weekend has traditionally been my favorite holiday of the year. The "Official" start of Summer and all the cookouts, golf, and evening baseball games that comes with that...the one day a year I'm really into racing, always wanting to catch both the Indianapolis 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 from nearby Charlotte (although I'll only be checking it out during commercials until the Cavs/Pistons game is over). And as a movie buff, knowing they'll always be a really huge popcorn movie to go sit through, just being content to being entertained.
Summer isn't for somber, contemplative films filled with Oscar winning performances and serious topics...it's time for pirates, superheroes, implausible action/adventures, and low-brow comedies.
I love it.
News & Rumors:
~ A "GI Joe" movie? Are you KIDDING me? And a script to be penned by the guy that wrote "Swordfish"? The only thing that could make this any worse would be to find out they're hiring the writers of "24" to assist him, and are hiring Vince McMahon to cast it using his WWE steroid freaks.
~ A follow up from last week: It turns out that Nicholas Cage will NOT be appearing as Al Capone in a prequel to "The Untouchables". That doesn't mean, unfortunately, that the Brian DePalma film won't be made, as it was announced this week that Gerard Butler ("300") was cast as the younger Jimmy Malone (the Oscar winning role for Sean Connery in the original). Smart move getting the younger Scotsman to play the role.
~ I normally don't spend much time here talking about romantic comedies (other than to make fun of them), but this sounds interesting. Sandra Bullock will play an obnoxious boss in "The Proposal". She cajoles her young male assistant into a sham marriage to save her from being deported to her native Canada.
~ SIMS is the best selling PC game in history...so that must mean that some studio will develop a movie from it. Enter Fox Studios, who have acquired the rights. I don't get how they'll adapt this to a movie...but at least it'll have to be better than "GI Joe".
~ Mike Myers has two upcoming projects that will be of interest to his fans. First is a remake of the 1974 classic "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", based on the James Thurber short story about a daydreaming comic book writer. The other is a fourth edition of the Austin Powers series.
This week's new releases:
Hope the Ogre enjoyed his one week in the number one position at the box office, because that's going bye-bye this week
Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End
Starring: Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Chow-Yun Fat, and a guest appearance by Keith Richards.
Plot: More fun and frolic as Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner work with Capt. Barbosa to save Jack and thwart the evil East India Trade Company.
The BeerBuzz: Typical Blockbuster...it's got critics completely torn, which is usually the sign of a good Summer flick, as most sour-puss critics are never going to say anything good about any film released between May and August. Get your butt ready to be slightly numb, as it clocks in at two hours and forty-five minutes, but it is so full of amazing things to watch, the time may pass by rather quickly. Maybe packed a little too full, as it's reported to have a lot of plot devices going on...but all in all, it should be a great end to the trilogy. You'll get my review in a couple of days.
Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick, Jr.
Plot: A paranoid, unhinged war veteran who sees insects everywhere holes up with an abused housewife in a spooky Oklahoma motel room.
The BeerBuzz: Director William Friedkin has a little bit of experience making a creep-out film that gets into the heads of the characters, as well as playing head-trips with the audience...he's the man behind one of the greatest horror flicks of all time: "The Exorcist". This might be the best horror thriller since "28 Days Later", and a must-see for fans of the genre.
Waitress (expanding to theaters nationwide)
Starring: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines
Plot: A pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep South meets a newcomer to her town and falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness.
The BeerBuzz: Unfortunately, this movie received most of its attention from the murder of its director, Adrienne Shelly, last November. But this movie will do her legacy proud, as it has been very well received as a charming, funny, touching film about life featuring exceptional performances by Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion.
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, May 29th
The only problem with a holiday weekend is that traditionally that means there will be no movies worth squat being released on the following Tuesday.
Hannibal Rising - That's it...this is the only movie coming out on Tuesday that was actually released to theaters (there is a "straight-to-video" DVD with Tatum O'Neal and Vanessa Williams coming out, but no one cares). Plain and simple, this movie sucks. Maybe some people were interested in seeing what made Hannibal Lecture such a monster; for me, I rather liked the mystery of not knowing for certain. But since they decided to tell us, they could have at least found a way to do so that wasn't boring, unoriginal, and featuring really poor actors.
Next week - Knocked Up, Mr. Brooks, Gracie.
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Ocean's Thirteen - June 8th - Ellen Barkin replaces Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta-Jones in this edition. Talk about a "Brian Giles for Ricardo Rincon" level trade. Al Pacino in a role sure to induce his characteristic overacting won't help either. Will someone please stick a fork in this franchise?
Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer - June 15th - This time the quartet go up against the Silver Surfer and the return of Dr. Doom. Please be better than the first one! (the trailers do look great).
Evan Almighty - June 22nd - Steve Carell's Evan Baxter from "Bruce Almighty" is now a Congressman chosen by God (Morgan Freeman) to be the next Noah. A reported budget of over $200 million on this will either make it this year's "DaVinci Code" (big budget, big box office) or this year's "Poseidon".
Live Free or Die Hard - June 29th - John McClane strikes again. If the movie lives up to the expectations set by the trailers, this should be a lot of fun to watch.
Transformers - July 6th - Michael Bay (hack, spit) tries to spin a former children's cartoon into an "Independence Day" type Armageddon movie. As much as I hate to admit it...the teaser trailer looks good.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - July 13th - These movies keep getting darker and better as they go. Voldemort (aka "relative of Art Modell") is back and targeting Harry and his friends for some nasty payback.
1408 - July 13th - John Cusack as a famed debunker of paranormal activities encountering real terror in this adaptation of a Steven King tale. Saw the trailer the other day, and it nearly scared the crap out of me.
Hairspray - July 20th - John Travolta in drag. There are some things I really don't need to see.
I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry - July 20th - Kevin James and Adam Sandler as two straight Philadelphia firefighters who pretend to be a gay couple in order to receive domestic partner benefits. Oookaaayy.
The Simpsons Movie - July 27th - ummmm...beeeerrrrrr
The Bourne Ultimatum - August 3rd - Superspy Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is back and looking for his roots.
Underdog - August 3rd - Combination of animation and live action. Let's hope it's more "George of the Jungle" than "Scooby-Doo".
The Invasion - August 17th - Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in a sci-fi flick about an alien epidemic.
Shoot ‘em Up - September 7th - Clive Owen and Monica Bellucci protecting a baby from sinister Paul Giamatti. I was so there anyway, and then I found out that in one scene Owen and Bullucci are having sex while in a shoot out. Totally Awesome!
Eastern Promises - September 14th - Naomi Watts as a London midwife drawn into the Russian Mob, headed by Viggo Mortensen.
The Kingdom - September 28th - Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, and Jennifer Garner in a story about an American team sent into the Middle East to investigate a terrorist attack on Americans in Riyadh.
3:12 to Yuma - October 5th - Russell Crowe and Christian Bale in a remake of a classic Western with Bale as a farmer volunteering to escort a criminal (Crowe) to Yuma by train, with a battle of wits ensuing.
The Golden Age - October 5th - Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen in a follow up of the award winning "Elizabeth".
American Gangster - November 2nd - Denzel Washington as a heroin kingpin from the Vietnam War era (he smuggled it back in the body bags of dead soldiers) and Russell Crowe as the investigator on his trail.
Lions for Lambs - November 9th - Robert Redford directs himself, Tom Cruise (yeck) and Meryl Streep in this political thriller.
Beowulf - November 16th - Robert Zemeckis gets all medieval on us with a motion capture (like "Polar Express") adaptation of the epic poem.
His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass - December 7th - Major, major push from the studios for this big budget fantasy...designed to be the first of a franchise. Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany star.
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