Perfect weekend for going to the movies...especially for all of you of the doom-and-gloom set that have transposed your unbounding optimism over the Cavaliers to Eeyore levels of pessimism in less than 24 hours.
Get over yourself...take a breath...and get out of the house and enjoy yourself until Sunday night.
News & Rumors:
~ Let's hear it for the Power of the People! CBS has ordered up at least seven more episodes of the exceptional television series "Jericho" after viewers flooded the network with calls, faxes, emails, and even 25,000 pounds of peanuts after the show was cancelled. The peanuts were a reference to the last show, when Skeet Ulrich responded to the demands of the evil sheriff from the next town's demand for surrender with the WWII era response of "Nuts!". Jericho will return as a mid-season replacement for some other lame show that will die an early and deserved death.
~ Bummer...Sean Connery has officially ruled himself out of the fourth Indiana Jones movie. I guess I shouldn't be that surprised, after all, isn't Harrison Ford almost as old now as Sean was when they made the third picture?
~ I realize that I often use this portion of my column to write about upcoming big budget action adventure films or comedies...but I'm glad to be able to report today about what I think will be a small, high quality film. Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson will star in "Last Chance Harvey", with Hoffman playing a down-on-his-luck man who finds unlikely love in London while on a trip to attend his daughter's wedding. Shooting starts in September, so look for it to be a contender for Oscars in the 2009.
~ Seth Rogen's star will definitely be rising this year after his turn in "Knocked Up". Look for another hit from him next summer in the comedy "Pineapple Express", about two guys running from gangsters after witnessing a murder (how fun!). James Franco ("Spider-Man") and Gary Cole also are in it.
~ I think we can now officially consider Jim Carrey irrelevant. His next movie will be the dark comedy "I Love You Phillip Morris". No, it's not about a man addicted to cigarettes, it's about a man in prison who falls in love with his cellmate, and then tries to break out of prison four times after the cellmate is released. My Thesaurus does not come equipped with enough variations of the word "stupid" for me to adequately express my opinion about this.
~ In the words of the esteemed John McEnroe, "You CANNOT be serious!". A live action movie is being planned for...brace yourselves..."Thundercats". Sigh. I blame Michael Bay, due to the expected success of "Transformers". I also blame Michael Bay for Global Warming, curvature of the spine, and the decline of Cliff Lee's pitching ability.
This week's new releases:
After a week's lull which allowed "Pirates 3" to remain at the top of the box office for a second straight weekend, we are now back to having a BIG movie opening every single Friday that will jump right to the top. Next week, it will be the Fantastic Four sequel, then "Evan Almighty", "Live Free or Die Hard", "Transformers", and finally the latest Harry Potter movie.
Starring: George Clooney and every friend he has in Hollywood.
Plot: No plot really needed, just an excuse for George to act like Sinatra did making the first one...string some lines together so all his buddies can get some face time in. For what it's worth; Danny Ocean and the boys are seeking revenge on Al Pacino on the night of the opening of his super-dooper casino.
The BeerBuzz: Here is the deal. If you liked the first two, you'll definitely like this one. If you liked the first one, but hated the second one, you'll still probably like this one. If you hated the first two, why would you possibly want to go to the third, as it's pretty much the same thing as the first? I'll let you know next week.
Starring: The voices of Shia LaBeouf, Zooey Deschanel, and Jeff Bridges
Plot: A "documentary" crew follows a surfing prodigy as he travels from his home in Australia to a big tournament.
The BeerBuzz: One for the kiddies...and it HAS to be better than Shrek the Third. Personally, after "March of the Penguins" and "Happy Feet", I've about had it with those fat little birds...but I heard they taste like chicken. Jeff Bridges channeling his Big Lebowski character into a surfing god sounds pretty cool, though.
Hostel: Part 2
Starring: Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips
Plot: More fun and frivolity at an Eastern European hostel!
The BeerBuzz: Same as last year, only it's girls getting chopped up this time and not guys. Vile, gory, disgusting...those are some of the words critics are using to describe it. But the most damning one that seems to pop up in most of the advance reviews is, "Boring".
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, June 12th
One really good movie, and one decent "guilty pleasure" coming out this week.
Breach - Excellent thriller based on the real life story of a traitor in the CIA. Ryan Phillippe continues to show how much he's grown as an actor, but he's upstaged by the always exceptional Chris Cooper, blowing everyone away with his performance as the enigmatic Robert Hassen. Dennis Haysbert and Laura Linney also shine. Top of my Netflix queue for next week.
Ghost Rider - Best way to describe this one is to go ahead and quote from my review... I went into "Ghost Rider" expecting to see bad CGI, stilted, lame dialog, bad acting, a bad script, and a plot with more holes than Swiss cheese. And that's exactly what I got. On the other hand, I also got to see some decent camp entertainment, and didn't leave the theater with the desire to immediately pound nails into my head or gargle Drano.
Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls - A mechanic enlists the help of a lonely, but gorgeous attorney to win custody of his three girls from an evil woman and her criminal boyfriend. Quite frankly, after watching all those damn commercials on TNT for Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" during the Cavs-Pistons series, I never, ever, ever want to see that man again.
Primeval - Orlando Jones and one of those guys from "Prison Break" fight a giant crocodile. Where is Crocodile Dundee when you need him?
Blood and Chocolate - A girl that is a werewolf is supposed to end up marrying the prince of the werewolves, but falls for a mortal instead. And I think I might have just lost 3 IQ points even contemplating that plot.
Next week - Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer, Nancy Drew, DOA: Dead or Alive, Fido
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
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 11th - 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'm predicting right now that this will be the biggest bomb of the summer.
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. Having seen the previews on the big screen last week, I can now say this may even be worse than "Hairspray"...except that it will still make a ton of money.
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.
Hitman - October 12th - Deadwood's Timothy Oliphant follows up his portrayal as the chief villain in "Live Free or Die Hard" in this action/adventure film where he play...what else...a hitman. Look for it to be in the same vein as "The Transporter", and a hit (heh...I kill me).
The Golden Age - October 12th - 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.
Bee Movie - November 2nd - Animated flick with Jerry Seinfeld as a bee who files a lawsuit against mankind for eating honey.
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.
I Am Legend - December 14th - Will Smith in what is basically a remake of the Chuck Heston apocalyptic film "The Omega Man".
Charlie Wilson's Ware - December 25th - Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts, and Philip Seymour Hoffman in an Oscar contender about the charismatic and eccentric Texas Congressman who orchestrated the funding of the Afghan's against the Soviet Union in the early 80s.
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