In my last column, I was griping about how bad the movies coming out last Friday were going to be.
How bad were they?
"College" - 8% approval rating on the Tomatometer on rottentomatoes.com
"Babylon A.D." - 7% approval rating
"Disaster Movie" - ZERO percent approval rating.
It just might have been the worst weekend of movies all year...beating out January 25th, when "Rambo", "Meet the Spartans", and "How She Move" debuted.
This week won't be as bad...only because there is only one bomb-to-be being released.
News and Rumors
~ For those of you fanboys trying your damndest to convince us all that Two-Face Harvey Dent might still be alive...fergedaboudit. Aaron Eckhart, who played the tragic "white knight" in the Batman movie has revealed a conversation with director Chris Nolan, where Eckhart asked if there was any chance of coming back. "No way", said Nolan. "He's toast".
~ I am so tempted to put this in the "Stupid Remakes and Sequels" category...but maybe not. Judd Apatow and Seth Rogen are rumored to be working on a script for another "Ghostbusters" movie, set to reunite the original members; Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson. We'll keep our ears open for more news on this one.
~ One television note. This Sunday is the premier of "True Blood" on HBO. It's the tender story of vampires who have come out from seclusion now that an artificial blood plasma drink called "TruBlood" has been introduced; meaning they no longer have to suck on the necks of humans. Anna Paquin stars as a human waitress with a secret of her own and a crush on a 187 year old cutie vampire. It may sound a little dumb...until you realize it's created by Alan Ball, the man behind "American Beauty" and "Six Feet Under". I'll let you know what I think next week.
~ I lied...I'm about to give a second television note. Half-dolphin Michael Phelps not only will appear on an episode of "Entourage", he may even become a semi-regular on the show...playing himself, but perhaps getting involved with Ari, who is trying to steal him from another agent.
~ There is another TV show coming out this week that I'm interested in seeing. "Fringe" is the latest invention of J.J. Abrams, he of "Lost", "Alias", "Cloverfield", and the upcoming "Star Trek" reboot. It's about an FBI group working to uncover the causes of a rash of unexplained phenomena. No...really...it's not a ripoff of "X-Files" (and my dog doesn't bite).
~ Last TV note...look for a guest appearance from Anthony Edwards on "ER" later this year. Nope, Dr. Mark Green is not back from the dead...but he will be appearing in a flashback scene. Rumors are still about that this may also lead to a commitment from George Clooney to make an appearance as well.
Stupid Remakes and Sequels: Two new "Riddick" films are in the works, according to star Vin Diesel. Why not? Just because "Chronicles of Riddick" sucked rotten cheese and no one watched it is no reason not to make another two or three. This week's new movie release:
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Charlie Yeung, Shahkrit Yamnarm
Plot: A hitman in Bangkok to pull off a series of jobs falls for a local woman and bonds with his errand boy.
The BeerBuzz: A remake of an earlier Hong Kong film...at least it's still the same directors this time, as the Pang Brothers try to go mainstream Hollywood with Nic Cage and his greasy hockey-hair. Alas, there is a reason that the studio dumped the movie into this kiss-of-death release date that conflicts with the opening of the NFL season: It sucks. Just once, we could perhaps have a short movie where the hitman DOESN'T take that final job (that always goes wrong), and he lives happily and boringly ever after.
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DVD Releases for Tuesday, September 9th
Baby Mama - Relatively harmless chick comedy with Tina Fey as a Type A personality career woman desperate to have a baby...so desperate that she hooks up with a White Trash surrogate played by another SNL regular, Amy Poehler. Some extremely funny moments make it all worth a look.
The Forbidden Kindgom - Another Jackie Chan movie that makes no sense at all. Just a chance to get Jackie and Jet Li in a movie together to do some wild martial arts moves (and just ignore what Li said earlier about never doing another martial arts movie...money talks). More of a kids film than a true action flick...so don't be fooled.
Itty Bitty Titty Committee - I normally don't preview movies that were only released in LA and NY...and therefore nowhere else because they sucked...but the title of this one makes it mandatory. A heart warming film about a recent high school graduated lesbian and he introduction to radical feminism in the form of a group trying to tell the women of the world how bad plastic surgery is for them. Oooookkkkaaaayyyyy (at least the director, Jamie Babbit, is from Shaker Heights).
The Big Lebowski (10th Anniversary Limited Edition) - The Dude Rules! Calendar Watch
Next week (Damn...we finally have some good movies coming out!); Righteous Kill, Burn After Reading, Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys, The Women
Upcoming Biggies (click on the hyperlink to view the available trailers).
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 26th - 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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