No chance on me hitting the theaters this weekend, as I'll be partaking in my normal summer tradition of attending the first weekend of the Browns Training Camp.
My liver is already in tears.
News & Rumors:
~ In light of "300" being released to DVD this week (see below), we get the first glimpse of the next unusual period piece, Robert Zemeckis's stop motion telling of the epic poem "Beowulf". See the trailer here...it looks pretty damn awesome. There is also finally a trailer out for the Russell Crowe/Christian Bale western 3:10 To Yuma, that also looks good.
~ Comic book junkies; rejoice. One of the most iconic graphic novels ever created will be coming to the screen...Alan Moore's 1980 classic "Watchmen". The series followed a group of superheroes in an alternate history to the U.S., as they deal with the mysterious murder of one of their own while America and the USSR inch closer to nuclear war. Zack Snyder ("300") will direct the film, which currently boasts Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, and Matthew Goode. Actually, having no "big names" in the cast is good, as the movie is an ensemble piece that would benefit from not being a showcase for a big star.
~ "Band of Brothers" fans also get some great news, as Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are putting things together for a companion piece called "Pacific", a ten part HBO drama following the odysseys of three U.S. Marines across the Pacific, from the first clash with the Japanese until their return after V-J Day. Jon Seda, Ashton Holmes, Rami Malek, James Badge Dale, Val Lauren, and Joe Mazzello are part of the large cast, which will be like "Band of Brothers" in regards to having lesser known actors (and like the aforementioned "Watchmen"). Shooting starts in a few weeks. No airdate has been set, but my guess is late fall, 2008.
~ From the sublime to the ridiculous. Vivica A. Fox, Steve Guttenberg, and Cheri Oteri will join Jessica Simpson in the comedy "Major Movie Star", with the air-headed one playing a clueless movie star who finds that her boyfriend is gay and her accountant/cousin has stolen all her money...so she enlists in the military. In other words; "Private Benjamin: The Stupid Version"
~ I've been reporting for some time all the speculation of the casting of JJ Abrams forthcoming "Star Trek" film, which will focus on the academy days of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. Matt Damon was rumored to be tapped for Captain Kirk, but he's come out and said that he thinks Abrams will be going younger...someone in their 20s. Zachary Quinto, who plays the evil Sylar on NBC's "Heroes", is now reported to have been cast as Mr. Spock.
This week's new releases:
In one regard, you can tell that the Summer Blockbuster Season has ended. All summer, you've rarely seen more than two movies released on a weekend. One Blockbuster...and a niche film that normally tanked.
That's all ending, as there are four movies coming out this week, with only "The Simpsons Movie" considered to be a biggie. Of course, the other three new movies coming out may end up competing with "DOA: Dead or Alive" and "Slow Burn" as the biggest bombs of the year.
There are also two movies expanding into all markets (although only in a few theaters in each market). From the early buzz...I'll be making an effort to catch both of these once I recover from my Training Camp Hangover (which might not be until early September).
The Simpsons Movie
Starring: the voices of Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Harry Shearer, and a ton of others
Plot: Who needs a plot? Homer and Bart rule!
The BeerBuzz: Major positive buzz on this one. This looks to be a great movie for people like me that used to be hooked on the show, but have gotten away from it in the past several years, as it goes back to the fun, satire, and anarchy that used to be the staple of the show. Uhmmmm...beeeerrrrrr.
Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin
Plot: A high strung chef changes when she unexpectedly becomes the guardian of her young niece, and a new sous chef appears in her kitchen.
The BeerBuzz: A romantic DRAMA...with touches of comedy. This one looks to be as palatable as an overcooked $3.00 steak.
Who's Your Caddy
Starring: Big Boi, Jeffrey Jones, Terry Crews
Plot: A famous rapper and his entourage face off against the head of a posh country club who doesn't want to admit the star as a member.
The BeerBuzz: Jeffrey Jones? Are you f-n' kidding me? That's the best they could do to try to fill the houndstooth hat of the great Ted Knight from "Caddyshack"??? Do yourself a favor, and just go out and rent "Caddyshack" again, and stay far, far away from this lame rip-off. For me, I'd probably prefer sitting through another viewing of Smokin' Aces than having to suffer through this (for the record, I gave "Smokin' Aces" my first Spergeon Wynn review...zero footballs).
I Know Who Killed Me
Starring: The female Robert Downey, Jr (minus the talent), and some other totally forgettable D-listers
Plot: A young woman is left physically and mentally altered after a brutal attack.
The BeerBuzz: How would you like to be the publicity agency in charge of promoting THIS film, THIS week, after the latest chapter in the train wreck that is Lindsay Lohan? Last time she had a film open...she was in trouble again, and "Georgia Rules" tanked. Look for more of the same. Perhaps the Robert Downey, Jr. comparisons are unfair...we may be looking at this generation's River Phoenix.
Rescue Dawn (Limited)
Starring: Christian Bale, Steve Zahn, and Jeremy Davies
Plot: A US fighter pilot struggles for survival after being shot down on a mission over Laos during the Vietnam War. Based on a true story.
The BeerBuzz: This movie is being extremely well received. Gripping and emotional, it gives the extremely talented Christian Bale ample opportunity to make his case for an Oscar nomination as Best Actor. Not for those looking for a little light diversion on a weekend, however.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Rose Byrne, Michelle Yeoh, and Chris Evans
Plot: A team of scientists are sent to re-ignite the dying sun in the year 2060.
The BeerBuzz: From Danny Boyle, the genius behind "Trainspotting" and "28 Days Later", this film is probably going to be near the top of the 2007 list for "love it or hate it" films. Very stylish...very "artsy"...but not all talk. Sort of a cross between "2001", the original "Solaris", and action/adventure sci-fi films such as the Star Trek series.
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, July 31st
We have one movie that will be purchased immediately by me...one that jumps right to the top of my Netflix queue, one kiddie show, and a movie that I rate as the second worst film I've seen this year.
300 - Zach Snyder and Frank Miller's astonishing rendition of the graphic novel about the famous Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartans held off the entire sporkin' Persian Empire. "Braveheart on Steroids" is how I described it, and to date, this is the best movie I've seen in 2007.
Hot Fuzz - Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the two deranged Brits behind the wickedly funny "Shaun of the Dead" once again collaborate in this comedy, that skewers cop movies, buddy films, and Merchant-Ivory snoozefests centered on quaint English villages. Pegg plays a London supercop who is so resented by the rest of the force that they get him transferred to a sleepy village where nothing ever happens. And, of course, chaos ensues.
Firehouse Dog - Rexx, Hollywood's top canine star, gets lost and is adopted into a shabby firehouse that is destined for closure. Only for the under 10 set.
Pathfinder - Here is one movie that I saw at the theater that I chose NOT to write a review about: I couldn't find enough synonyms for "horrible". The circumstances were that I didn't get to the theater in time to see "Grindhouse", so I thought this little 90 minute action/adventure flick might be a pleasant surprise. It wasn't. Nearly unwatchable, it follows a Viking boy left behind with the Native Americans, who is raised to be their savior when then Icelanders return. Awful. Stupid. Boring. It gets a ½ football (Mike Phipps) from me.
Next week: The Bourne Ultimatum, Underdog, BRATZ, El Cantante, Hot Rod
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Rush Hour 3 - August 10th - More of the same...this time in Paris.
The Invasion - August 17th - Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig in an adaptation of the sci-fi classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
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. Check out the trailer, as it is one of the best I have seen.
The Brave One - September 14th - Jodie Foster going all Charles Bronson-DeathWish on some thugs.
Eastern Promises - September 14th (limited) - 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.
3:10 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.
Michael Clayton - October 5th - George Clooney as a top law firm's "fixer" (the type of person played by Jodie Foster in "Inside Man"...IOW, a shady power broker/dirty tricks expert).
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).
Elizabeth: The Golden Age - October 12th - Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen in a follow up of the award winning "Elizabeth"...this one looks to be better than the first, with much more action as it focuses on England's defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Rendition - October 12th - Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Meryl Streep and Alan Arkin in a political thriller with Gyllenhaal as a CIA agent troubled by witnessing questionable interrogations.
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.
Fred Claus - November 9th - Vince Vaughn as Santa's embittered little brother. With Paul Giamatti. Another slightly naughty Christmas fairy tale that will make a bundle of cash.
Beowulf - November 16th - Robert Zemeckis gets all medieval on us with a motion capture (like "Polar Express") adaptation of the epic poem. Crispen Glover as the monster Grendel and Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother? I'm there.
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 Daniel Craig star (their second collaboration this year), along with Sam Elliot and Eva Green.
I Am Legend - December 14th - Will Smith in what is basically a remake of the Chuck Heston apocalyptic film "The Omega Man".
National Treasure: Book of Secrets - December 21st - Follow-up to the hugely popular guilty pleasure "National Treasure" with Nick Cage back at his wacky best.
Charlie Wilson's War - 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 Afghans against the Soviet Union in the early 80s.
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