After the big bang start of the summer with "Iron Man", we had seen nothing but a string of films that ranked anywhere from "good-but-not-great" to Spergeon Wynn territory. However, we are in the middle of the best period I've seen since the Oscar hopefuls came out last winter with "WALL-E" out now, and in the next seven days we have "Hellboy II" and "The Dark Knight". Enjoy it, because after that, another dead season arrives.
News and Rumors
~ A "Sopranos" movie? That's the big rumor going around. Supposedly some reports leaked that creator David Chase is in talks with James Gandolfini about reprising his role of mob boss Tony. Guess that would answer those "Did he or didn't he get whacked at the end of the last episode?" questions. 2010 has been mentioned as the most likely release date IF it comes off. We'll definitely be keeping our ears to the ground about this one.
~ Robert De Niro is wanting to make TWO sequels to "The Good Shepherd"? One would follow the character of Edward Wilson, played by Matt Damon, from 1961 to 1989, and the second would focus on Wilson to the present day. I'm not sure that this was a good enough movie to merit one sequel, let alone two.
~ Here is what may be a first: a NON-sequel blurb. Don't hold your breath for a sequel of "The Incredible Hulk", either with or without Edward Norton. Just like the bad Ang Lee version five years ago, this one has under performed as well, prompting movie executives to think that maybe the franchise has run its course.
~ Last month I mentioned that Guy Ritchie was looking to reboot the Sherlock Holmes franchise, a la "Casino Royale". This was before the announced Sherlock comedy with Sacha Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell. Color Ritchie unconcerned about competition, as he now has his Holmes. Robert Downey Jr will be playing the famed sleuth.
~ It looks like my prediction of "The Dark Knight" being the #1 hit at the box office will be coming true; at least based upon this news. With so many of the midnight showings for next Thursday night/Friday morning being sold out, many theaters are adding shows at 3 AM and 6 AM.
This week's new movie releases:
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones
Plot: The Big Red spawn of Satan is back to kicking ass, this time trying to stop a merciless dictator from the underworld from overrunning the Earth
The BeerBuzz: Guillermo del Toro is lately one of the hottest and most respected directors around. When he made the first "Hellboy", no one knew who he was. Now? This movie is going to make twice as much as the original. I'll let you know my opinion later this weekend.
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Journey to the Center of the Earth in 3D
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Josh Hutcherson
Plot: A geologist on a special mission with his nephew discovers the entrance into a previously unseen world.
The BeerBuzz: Very much a family movie, one that is getting relatively decent early reviews...although it is being described more as an amusement park ride rather than a film. Definitely make sure if you go to see it that you go to one of the theaters showing it in 3D, which is said to be fantastic.
My Estimated Rating: Bill Nelsen (2 ½ footballs).
Starring: Eddie Murphy...co-starring Eddie Murphy's Paul Bunyan sized ego.
Plot: A bunch of tiny aliens in a spaceship in the form of washed up jerk Eddie Murphy lands on Earth and proceeds to bore humans to death.
The BeerBuzz: Offensive without even the guilty laughs of "Norbit". The last time Eddie did outer space, it was the mega-bomb "The Adventures of Pluto Nash", a film that cost over $50 million to make and grossed $4 million. This may not bomb that much, but it's still going to bomb. What the hell was a very good actress like Elizabeth Banks thinking when she signed on for this?
My Estimated Rating: Spergeon Wynn (zero footballs).
New DVD Releases for Tuesday, July 15th
The Bank Job - This one jumps straight to the top of my Netflix Queue. Don't be misled by the fact that it stars Jason Statham, who usually just does action flicks. This film about an attempted heist that is more than what the perps bargained for is a very brainy caper movie.
Penelope - Christina Ricci playing a princess with a pig's nose who is waiting for her prince charming to break the spell. Can't blamer her...I'd be wearing a disguise like a pig's nose myself if I were involved in the piece of trash called "Speed Racer".
Shutter - Another lame horror flick; this one starring two unknown actors (read: works cheap) in a tale about ghostly images in photographs they develop after a tragic accident. Gore ensues!
Step Up 2 the Streets - More geeky white kids thinking they look cool by doing street dancing. They don't.
Next week; The Dark Knight, Mamma Mia!, Space Chimps
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
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.
Miracle at St. Anna - September 26th - Spike Lee's tale of a a battalion of black American soldiers who became trapped in a Tuscan village during WWII.
Body of Lies - October 10th - Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio in Ridley Scott's spy tale of intrigue in the Middle East.
Max Payne - October 17th - Mark Wahlberg stars in the adaptation of the video game about a DEA agent out to avenge the deaths of his family.
Pride and Glory - October 24th - Edward Norton and Colin Farrell in a story about a family of prominent NYC cops who are shaken to their core when a scandal is uncovered.
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.
The Day the Earth Stood Still - December 12th - Keanu Reeves in a remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi film.
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 or released).
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). With Sienna Miller as Maid Marion.
Avatar - December 18, 2009 - James Cameron's sci-fi/CGI extravaganza. The C.I.A. should take lessons about secrecy from Cameron, as he's keeping info about this film very much to himself at this time.
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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