Aside from having an OK time watching "The Incredible Hulk" last Friday afternoon, the rest of the week was one of those that really makes me rethink my secondary "profession" as a movie critic.
Sitting through "The Happening", as noted, was more torture than just the two hours in the theater, as the movie was so bad that you spend several more hours pissed off that something that crappy was actually made...and that you were dumb enough to sit through it. A reader of my review, Lou Kije, hated it so much that he's put together a blog calling for people to go see it, and then walk out and demand their money back as a way of sending a message.
You can check it out at http://thenothappening.blogspot.com/
To make matters worse, I decided to ignore my inner warning system and watched the DVD of "The Other Boleyn Girl" last night. Rump numbingly awful. How something with Natalie Portman, Scarlet Johansson and Eric Bana could be that bad is beyond me. Maybe I was spoiled by Showtime's very good series "The Tudors", that made this pale like Casper in comparison.
Nah...I would have hated this DVD no matter what. If it's on your Netflix queue...take it off immediately.
News and Rumors
~ Look for a CGI movie of the old Japanese anime "Astro Boy" coming next year. Providing voices will be Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, and Eugene Levy, with Freddie Highmore ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory") providing the voice of the goofy looking kid robot. Count me as one person not holding his breath to see this.
~ More Japanese Robots! Lawrence Kasdan, the writer behind "The Empire Strikes Back", "Raiders of the Lost Ark", "The Big Chill", and "Silverado" will write the script for "Robotech", a 1980 cartoon about giant warrior robots on Earth. Please...someone make it stop.
~ The news isn't all bad. Robert Downey Jr. may be joining the cast of "Cowboys & Aliens", a Dreamworks/Brian Grazer/Ron Howard project that is about an Old West battle between western settlers and an Apache tribe that gets interrupted by a spaceship crashing near them. The former enemies must band together to fight off the advanced technology of the aliens. Might not suck.
~ Sacha Baron Cohen will not be making a sequel to "Borat", but he will be showcasing another one of his characters next year, as "Bruno" will come to the big screen. Cohen will play it in the movie the same as he did on TV, with Bruno conducting interviews with people who aren't aware that the flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter is really an actor. Look for it next May.
~ Kevin Spacey will play the title role in an upcoming Indie flick called "Shrink". He'll be a depressed, pot-smoking Hollywood therapist with a range of clients played by Robin Williams, Gore Vidal, Saffron Burrows, and Robert Loggia.
This week's new movie releases:
Starring: Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, The Rock
Plot: Agent 86 and Agent 99 from CONTROL battles KAOS.
The BeerBuzz: This looks to be the big winner of the week. I hate TV remakes, but I don't see this one suffering the same fate as "Speed Racer"...mostly due to the fact the casting is perfect with Steve Carell taking over the role made famous by the late-great Don Adams. What I'm looking forward to most is seeing Anne Hathaway in something other than a chick-flick. I'll let you know what I think later on this weekend.
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The Love Guru
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake
Plot: An American raised outside the country by gurus returns to the States to break into the self-help business.
The BeerBuzz: Tom O'Neil, the highly respected entertainment writer for the Los Angeles Times, is calling this "a shoo-in for multiple wins at the Razzies next year". With a RottenTomatoMeter hovering around 10%, this really does look like another failure for Myers as the lead in a live-action movie, one that might even rival the horrible "The Cat in the Hat" for lameness.
My Estimated Rating: Mike Phipps (1/2 football)
New DVD Releases for Tuesday, June 24th
10,000 B.C. - The only movie this year that almost sucks as bad as "The Happening". Roland Emmerich hadn't made a really terrible movie since he had Matthew Broderick and Jean Reno chasing around a big dinosaur in "Godzilla". That is, until this incomprehensible mangling of logic came about. I Spergeoned this one for a reason. You've been warned.
Definitely, Maybe - Romantic comedy with Ryan Reynolds playing a divorced dad who is telling his 10 year old daughter (Abigail Breslin) stories about the three women he has loved in his life, making her guess which one was her mother. I watched this with my wife in our yearly Valentine's Day routine of seeing a romantic comedy that I'm not allowed to review...and I must say that as the genre goes, it wasn't too bad. Great chemistry between Reynolds and Isla Fisher.
Spiderwick Chronicles - A good one for the kids, a fantasy about twin brothers and their sister moving into an old estate and getting pulled into an alternate universe with faeries and other creatures.
Next week; Wall-E, Wanted
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
Hancock - July 2nd - Will Smith as a hard-living superhero needing the use of a public relations professional (Jason Bateman) to repair his image.
Hellboy II: The Golden Army - July 11th - The big red cigar chomping demon with a bad attitude is back for more butt kicking.
The Dark Knight - July 18th - Batman is back, and this time he's tracking the Joker, played by Heath Ledger. Most likely the box office champion of 2008.
Mamma Mia! - July 18th - Something for the ladies to attend while the guys are busy watching Batman kick the Joker's ass. A musical featuring the songs of ABBA. And my wife wants us to go see it. Sigh.
X-Files 2: I Want to Believe - July 25th - I want to believe this won't be as lame as the first X-Files movie. We'll see
Tropic Thunder - August 15th - A group of actors shooting a big budget war movie are forced to become the soldiers they are portraying in the film. Stars Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey Jr, playing a white actor donning black make-up to "fit the part".
Star Wars: the Clone Wars - August 15th - First ever animated Star Wars project from Lucasfilm Animation.
Righteous Kill - September 12th - Robert De Niro and Al Pacino together again as NY detectives working on a case that may be related to both a serial killer and a man they might have wrongly imprisoned years before.
Burn After Reading - September 12th - The latest Coen Brothers' movie, with Brad Pitt joining Frances McDormand, George Clooney, Tilda Swinton and John Malkovich in a dark comedy about missing memoirs of a CIA agent.
Eagle Eye - September 26th - Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monoghan as a slacker and a single mother who become unwitting members of a terrorist cell plotting a political assassination.
House of Lies - October 10th - Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in Ridley Scott's spy tale of intrigue in the Middle East.
RocknRolla - October 31st - Guy Ritchie hopefully back in form for another tale of London gangsters. Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkenson, and Jeremy Friggin' Piven star.
Quantum of Solace - November 13th - The next James Bond film, picking up shortly after the events ending "Casino Royale"
Australia - November 14th - Baz Luhrmann's epic tale set in WWII Australia. With Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Think "Gone with the Wind" with kangaroos.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - November 21st - The sixth of J.K. Rowling's seven books, setting the stage for the two part conclusion in 2010 and 2011.
The Road - November 28th - Viggo Mortensen as a man walking with his son for months across a ravaged, post-apocalyptic landscape in search of civilization. Charlize Theron co-stars.
Defiance - December 19th - Daniel Craig and Live Schreiber as Jewish brothers in WWII Russian, leading a band of refuges in striking back at the Germans. A major early Oscar contender
Revolutionary Road - December 19th - Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as a young couple raising a family in a Connecticut suburb during the mid 1950s. Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") directs the "Titanic" stars in their on-screen reunion.
The Spirit - December 25th - Frank Miller's next comic book adaptation, done in the same style as "Sin City".
Blockbusters on the Distant Horizon (movies that would seem to be big hits...as soon as they get made).
Watchmen - March 6, 2009 - The screen version of what is arguably graphic novelist Alan Moore's greatest work.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine - May 1, 2009 - Hugh Jackman goes it alone as the adamentium enhanced anti-hero. With Live Schreiber as Sabertooth, and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool.
Star Trek - May 8, 2009 - J.J. Abrams and a young cast reboot the franchise, going back to Kirk and Spock's days at Starfleet Academy.
Angels and Demons - May 15, 2009 - Tom Hanks and Ron Howard follow-up to "The DaVinci Code"
Terminator 4 - May 22, 2009 - Christian Bale as John Conner as the franchise moves into the apocalyptic future.
Transformers 2 - June 26, 2009 - The next chapter of Robots In Disguise!
Public Enemy - July 1, 2009 - Johnny Depp as John Dillinger. Co-staring Christian Bale, and directed by Michael Mann
The Taking of Pelham 123- August 7, 2009 - Denzel Washington, John Travolta, and James Gandolfini in a remake of the classic 1974 film about a hijacked subway car.
Shutter Island - October, 2009 - Martin Scorsese working once again with Leonardo DiCaprio in this mystery set in 1954.
Nottingham - November, 2009 - Ridley Scot and Russell Crowe together again in a retelling of the Robin Hood legend, this time through the eyes of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Crowe).
Avatar - December 18, 2009 - James Cameron's sci-fi/CGI extravaganza.
Iron Man 2 - May, 2010 - Right on the heels of the success of the first one, Marvel is quick to get Robert Downey Jr. back into his titanium suit.
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - May, 2010 - The series goes off in a bit of a different direction, as those of you who love the books already know.
Thor - June 2010 - Another Marvel superhero...but the Nordic God is about as bland personality-wise as Superman, so we'll see how it goes.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I - 2010 - The start of the End for the boy wizard and his battle against He-Who-Shall-not-Be-Named
Lincoln - 2010 - Steven Spielberg directs the biographical film of the 16th President (Liam Neeson)
The Hobbit - 2010 - Guillermo del Toro directs and Peter Jackson will produce the prequel to "Lord of the Rings". Ian McKellen will return as Gandalf
Fantastic Voyage - 2010 - Roland Emmerich ("The Day After Tomorrow", "10,000 B.C.") remakes the classic 1967 movie about a miniaturized sub and crew operating on a scientist from inside his brain.
The Avengers - 2011 - Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America open up a can of whoopass on bad guys everywhere.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II - 2011 - The end of the line for what will be beyond doubt the most profitable series in the history of film making.
The Hobbit 2 - 2011 - del Toro and Jackson again, this time covering the time between the end of Tolkien's book, "The Hobbit" and the start of LOTR.
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