Last week, "Tropic Thunder" finally managed to dethrone "The Dark Knight" as the number 1 film, after four weeks at the top of the charts. In any case, that didn't stop the Batman from becoming the second highest grossing film ever, now only behind "Titanic".
That still doesn't mean that it's the most ticket sales, as ticket costs are much, much higher now than when Luke Skywalker first took to the silver screen.
In any case, next week I'll use this section of the Ball to talk about the Summer of 2008, as we look forward to Autumn, and a lot more adult fare. News and Rumors
~ The fanboys are up in arms about this one. 20th Century Fox studios has stated that they will be able to get an injunction blocking the release of "Watchmen" in March of 2009. Seems Fox is arguing that they actually own the release rights to the DC Comic based film, which is already in the can. Fear not...I'd say there is only a very small chance that Warner Brothers won't reach a settlement with Fox on this one.
~ This is just so wrong. Universal studios is trying to entice fans of "Mamma Mia!" to return to the theaters over Labor Day by presenting a "Sing-Along Edition" of the film, complete with the lyrics of all the songs appearing at the bottom of the screen. My wife has already seen this film twice...once dragging me to it (I wasn't allowed to review it...but I think my best description might rhyme with "surgeon"). Thank God I'll be out of town for most of next weekend.
~ Paramount studios is planning to roll out newly restored editions of "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" to theaters in September, prior to their release on DVD. My only question is if I can wait for it to be given to me as a Christmas gift. Doubtful...I'm sure I'll buy them the first few days they are out.
~ This bit of news gets to stand on it's own, rather than going into the next category. Due to the disappointment of 2006's "Superman Returns", director Bryan Singer and probably star Brandon Routh have been let go from any future projects. The studio is taking a hard look at the success of Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, and are looking at a way to reboot the Man of Steel in the same way.
Stupid Remake and Sequel News: A remake of "Poltergeist"...no casting news at this point, only hack writers. A movie about "Voltron" filmed with the same technology used in "300". And a "Mission Impossible: 4" potential movie...but this one without Tom Cruise, who is said to be "too old". This week's new movie releases:
Good thing you still have the last weekend of the Olympics, and the Browns game on Saturday night...because even though late August is always a dumping ground for crappy movies, this week really takes the stinker cake.
No need for me to list individual estimated ratings. In the words of Ah-nuld in "True Lies"...
"They're ALL bad!"
Starring: Jason Statham, Joan Allen, Ian McShane
Plot: A former NASCAR champ is framed for murder so that he can drive in a notorious prison overseen by a warden that has created the country's most popular sport; a kill-or-be-killed car race.
The BeerBuzz: What the hell was such a great actress like Joan Allen thinking? I'm disappointed that Ian McShane is associated with this embarrassment as well, but I get the feeling his scene stealing character is the best part of it. Can this be considered a hybrid remake, as it not only takes the elements from the campy "Death Race 2000" (with Sly Stallone and Keith Caradine), but it's also a lame rip-off of "The Running Man" with the Governator, and Richard Dawson (his best movie role ever).
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The House Bunny
Starring: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone
Plot: A Playboy bunny who was recently booted from the Mansion winds up becoming the new house mother for a sorority full of losers.
The BeerBuzz: Is this "Legally Blonde" meets "Animal House"? Who knows for certain, because I doubt anyone is going to go see it...especially when they learn that just because it's about Playboy, that doesn't mean there are going to be any naked girls in it.
Starring: Ice Cube, Keke Palmer
Plot: An eleven year old girl looks to be the first female to play in the Pop Warner football tournament.
The BeerBuzz: Something totally aimed at the family...which means that many parents are going to be bored stiff watching this totally formulaic sports flick that will pale in comparison to the pedestrian (but amusing) "Game Plan" from this time last year.
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Josh Gad
Plot: A former 80s hairband rock-god drummer leaps for a second chance after coercing his way into a garage band fronted by his nephew
The BeerBuzz: Just as has happened for the last two weeks, we have a film that was released on Wednesday. This time, no one really noticed, as it barely reached the Top 10. An awful film with an awful idea, trying to make a leading man out of "Office" star Wilson. I'm sure it'll be getting ignored on DVD in about a month.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ DVD Releases for Tuesday, August 26th
What Happens In Vegas - Dumb idea comedy that actually made some pretty decent money at the box office. Two drunk and stupid horny people (Ashton Kutcher, Catherine Diaz) end up getting MWI (Married While Intoxicated), and then hit for $3 million before they can have it annulled. It co-stars Dennis Miller as the judge forcing them to live together. That should tell you how bad it is.
Redbelt - This might be a Mixed Martial Arts film that's worth taking a look at. Mostly due to the fact that it's written and directed by one of the best wordsmith's in the business, David Mamet, and the other because it stars the underappreciated Chiwetel Ejiofor. Tim Allen playing a smarmy MMA fight promoter is pretty intriguing as well. Calendar Watch
Next week; Babylon A.D., College, Disaster Movie, Traitor
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
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.
The Express - October 3rd - A must for Browns fans, the biographical tale of Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy.
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.
Changeling - October 31st - Clint Eastwood's latest Oscar potential, with Angelina Jolie as a Prohibition era mother who begins to think that the kidnapped son who was returned to her might not really be hers.
Quantum of Solace - November 7th - 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.
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.
Twilight - December 12th - the adaptation of the popular book series concerning a relationship between a non-blood drinking vampire and a teenaged girl.
Defiance - December 12th - 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".
Watchmen - March 6, 2009 - The screen version of what is arguably graphic novelist Alan Moore's greatest work.
Blockbusters on the Distant Horizon (movies that would seem to be big hits...as soon as they get made or released).
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
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - July 2009 - The sixth of J.K. Rowling's seven books, setting the stage for the two part conclusion in 2010 and 2011.
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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