I think we might have our first official flop of the Fall Season (movie-wise...when it comes to television, the new shows are 90% dreck).
"The Kingdom" opened to a nationwide collective yawn. Maybe it had something to do with Jamie Foxx opening up his big mouth and defending Michael Vick...or the story of how when Foxx rides in an elevator, he has his bodyguards making sure no one else is allowed on it at the same time.
Or it could just be that the movie was a muddled mess.
News and Rumors
~ Adrien Brody and Sara Polley will star in the science fiction thriller "Splice", portraying two scientists from the world of genetic engineering experimenting with mixing the DNA of different animals to create different animals. Complications ensue when they cross boundaries and mix in some human DNA into the process In Pittsburgh, that's called "dating". "How was it for ewe?" "Not baa-aa-aa-aad"
~ Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire will be headlining the upcoming drama "Brothers". The story focuses on two brothers (Really?), one of whom is sent off to war while the "black sheep" brother (Gyllenaal) cares fro his brother's wife and son. No dates have been announced, but figure on this vying for awards season in 2008.
~ Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are in talks to reunite for "The Fast and the Furious 4". Pop Quiz: What two actors have been in nothing but bombs for two years, and need a quick paycheck?
~ A sequel of sorts will be made of "The Queen", this time focusing on Tony Blair, once again being played by Michael Sheen. The movie will look at Blair's dealings with both Bill Clinton and George Bush, looking at how Blair dealt with the transition from one administration to another, and not getting to the Iraq War.
This week's new movie releases:
As we at The Cleveland Fan are in the midst of the busiest sports time of the year, with the Indians in the playoffs, the Cavaliers about to start their season, and the Browns and Buckeyes in the early stages of good seasons...we frankly don't have as much time and space for movie reviews as we do during the rest of the year.
So I'm adding a new feature to the weekly previews of new movies...a rating based upon what I THINK the movie would rate. I'm basing this off my own personal taste...the buzz from the movie...and the overall consensus of critics that I tend to agree with on most movies.
These pre-ratings will only be for movies that I know I will not be going to see in the theater. For me...when I know I'm going to be reviewing a movie, I make sure to read NO reviews ahead of time that might influence my thinking.
I use only beer to influence my thinking.
The Heartbreak Kid
Starring: Ben Stiller, Michelle Monoghan, Malin Akerman
Plot: A man regrets marrying his wife and ends up meeting the girl of his dreams while on his honeymoon.
The BeerBuzz: I'll say if for about the 1,000th time in this column: Ben Stiller movies suck. Even "Night at the Museum", one of the most acceptable of his movies, sucked, but not that much. This one looks really, really stupid, having no redeeming values whatsoever. When you have your real father playing your father in the movie and carrying around a pair of panties belonging to your wife-to-be...you need help.
My Estimated Rating: Mike Phipps ( ½ football )
The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising
Starring: Ian McShane, Alexander Ludwig, Christopher Eccleston
Plot: The life of a teenaged boy is turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of a group of immortal warriors who have dedicated their lives to fighting the forces of the dark.
The BeerBuzz: Fantasy time...looks like a "Eregon" without the dragons. Ian McShane does add some respectability to it at least.
My Estimated Rating: Kelly Holcomb(2 footballs)
Feel the Noise
Starring: Omarion Grandberry ,Giancarlo Esposito, Melonie Diaz
Plot: A young man dreams of making it as a rapper, until a run-in with local thugs forces him to hide in Puerto Rico with the father he never knew.
The BeerBuzz: Rap meets Salsa. Pass the Tums.
My Estimated Rating: Jeff Garcia (1 football)
The Jane Austen Book Club (expanding)
Starring: Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman, Jimmy Smits, Emily Blunt
Plot: Six women start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships start to resemble 21st century versions of her novels.
The BeerBuzz: Help me!!!! I'm drowning in Estrogen!!!! Seriously...if any of you men get drug to this movie this weekend, with all the sports events going on...hang it up; you are completely whupped.
My Estimated Rating: Jan Stephenson (2 ½ golf balls)
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, October 9th
28 Weeks Later - Above average horror flick, a sequel to the surprise hit "28 Days". This time, people have be re-populated into London after it checks out as "OK" after the virus from the first movie. Guess again.
Evan Almighty - The Bomb of the Summer. Almost $200 million spent on this sort-of sequel to "Bruce Almighty", this time not focusing on Jim Carrey and his libido, but instead on Steve Carrel's Evan Baxter character, a minor player in the first. In this one, Evan is a Congressman to whom God commands to build another ark. Too pat for most adults, and too pretentious to be a kids' show, it ended up pleasing no one as a stifling bore, losing an ark-load of money, taking in barely $100 million at the box office.
Reign Over Me - Adam Sandler in a serious role? Evidently the world was not ready for this, as this above average movie about a dentist (Don Cheadle) trying to help out a former college roommate who has withdrawn into his own world after the death of his family at the World Trade Center.
Surf's Up - Another movie that was reportedly very good, but bombed at the box office...probably because people have finally had their fill of penguins. I'm not sure why...I hear they taste just like chicken.
Next week: Elizabeth:The Golden Age, Michael Clayton, We Own the Night, The Final Season, Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married, Across the Universe
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Rendition - October 19th - 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.
Hitman - November 21st - 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 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, let's hope it's better than "The Invasion"), along with Sam Elliot and Eva Green.
Leatherheads - December 7th - George Clooney in an old fashioned screwball comedy set in 1925. George is an aging football legend who now owns a pro team, and is competing for the affections of Renee Zellweger with his star player.
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.
P.S., I Love You - December 21st - Hillary Swank, Gerard Butler, and Harry Connick Jr. in an award contender about a widow who discovers love letters written by her recently deceased husband (Butler) that are meant to help her begin the next chapter of her life.
The Other Boleyn Girl - December 21st - Natalie Portman as Anne Boleyn, Scarlett Johansson as her sister Mary, and Eric Bana as King Henry VIII. I expect this to blow the tepid Showtime series "The Tudors" out of the English Channel.
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.
Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street - Limited release in December - Tim Burton's adaptation of the macabre Steven Sondheim musical about a deranged barber bent on revenge (Johnny Depp) and the meat pie baker that assists him (Helena Bonham Carter), who uses the bodies to make delicious snacks.
Untitled J.J. Abrams Project - January 18th - You've seen the buzz generating hand held camera trailer during "Transformers", and wondered what it's all about. We don't know yet, but we're thinking it should be fun.
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