Pop Quiz: Is $18 million a worthwhile investment if it stops major studios from ever green lighting another M. Night Shyamalan stinker? Here’s to hoping that the worst box office ever for one of his films, combined with universal trashing of his movie by most critics (including yours truly) might make them think twice about it.
Yeah…like bad reviews and bombing movies have stopped Michael Bay, Woody Allen, Ron Zombie or Oliver Stone. Although there is hope for Stone with the upcoming World Trade Center…more on that one next week. Woody, on the other hand, has his new movie “Scoops” out in limited release this week, and it’s reported to being a bomb despite Scarlett Johansson and Hugh Jackman as stars.
Look for Clerks II to eventually pull in much more money than “Lady in the Water”, despite its opening weekend of only $8 million. Word of mouth has been good, and it should continue to draw in decent crowds for the rest of the summer.
News and Rumors:
I’m writing this a day early due to heading off to Browns Training Camp for the long weekend, so the news and rumors will be a little thin this week.
~ There will be another Fletch movie after all these years, but thankfully Chevy Chase won’t be involved (although in fairness, Chevy probably did his best work outside of “Caddyshack” and “Foul Play” as Fletch). Kevin Smith was supposed to be in charge of the project creating “Fletch Won”, but he went on to other projects, so it has been turned over to the team in charge of the excellent TV comedy “Scrubs”, and will star Zach Braff from that show.
~ Rumors are abuzz that Heath Ledger will play the Joker in the sequel to last year’s excellent “Batman Begins”. There are so many “Brokeback” jokes I could make here. None of them would be in good taste, of course.
~ Kurt Russell will be replacing Mickey Roarke as a crazed killer in the Quentin Tarantino part of the horror/thriller flick “Grind House”. The movie is actually two separate one hour films from Tarantino and “Sin City” mastermind Robert Rodriquez, set for a 2007 release. Expect a world record for gallons of blood spilled and more f-bombs than a season of “Deadwood”.
~ Lost and Alias creator JJ Abrams has been confirmed as the producer for the new Star Trek franchise film. The most talked about rumor would have the plot centered on Kirk and Spock first meeting up at Starfleet Academy, with Matt Damon the top choice to play Kirk and Topher Grace playing Spock. And as much as I want to make all kinds of snide remarks about that casting…I think they’d be good choices if they went down that route. Which of course means they’ll get Leonardo DiCaprio for Kirk, Ashton Kutcher for Spock, and Jon Heder for Dr. McCoy.
This week’s new releases:
Title: Miami Vice
Starring: Colin Ferrell, Jamie Foxx, Li Gong
Plot: Michael Mann re-creates his 1980s iconic series of two undercover cops tracking a ruthless drug lord.
The BeerBuzz: Buzz from a few months ago had this one being a bomb based upon rumors and Mann’s known compulsiveness in the editing room. But now that some people have seen cuts of the finished product, it’s being hailed as another brilliantly stylish piece of work in the same line as Mann’s other features such as “Heat”, “Manhunter”, and “Collateral”. The best things are no pastel clothing, stupid alligators on a boat, or Switek and Zito as bumbling clowns. This one appears to focus more on a Tubbs that is not as inconsequential as portrayed by Phillip Michael Thomas (who?) Additionally, Farrell’s Crocket is more laconic than the overbearing Don Johnson. Just as long as Farrell doesn’t come out in a few months with a remake of the song “Heartbeat”.
I’ll be posting a review of this next week…assuming my blood alcohol rate is back down to at least “pickled” after my weekend with the crazies in Berea.
Title: The Ant Bully
Starring: The voices of Paul Giamatti, Nicolas Cage, and Julia Roberts (among many others)
Plot: After a boy floods an ant colony, he is magically shrunk down to ant size and sent to hard labor in the ruins.
The BeerBuzz: Another kum-buy-yah, “can’t we all just get along” message animated flick from the makers of “Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius”. Screw it, I’m still going after those pests in my backyard with cans of Raid a-blazin’. With “Cars” still going well at the box office (it will end up probably earning more domestically than “X-Men” and “The DaVinci Code”), and “Monster House” garnering good reviews, I just can’t see this preachy film aimed at seven year-olds doing much.
Title: John Tucker Must Die
Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Ashanti, Arielle Kebbel
Plot: When three high school girls realize they are all dating the same slime bucket, they conspire to ruin his life.
The BeerBuzz: This one is going to fall off the face of the planet faster than “Little Man”, as the studio couldn’t really decide who the potential audience really was. They’re playing the print ads like a sex comedy, but the trailers like a bad remake of “Saved by the Bell”. The PG-13 rating points towards going after the young female teen viewer…which pretty much guarantees it’ll top out at $20 million at best.
New DVD Releases on Tuesday, August 1st
V For Vendetta – Slick adaptation of the graphic novel about a freedom fighter/terrorist fighting a totalitarian government in “an alternate universe” Great Britain. Natalie Portman rocks as the journalist turned protégé of the mysterious man behind the Guy Fawkes mask. Some controversy with this film as they retained the parts where V blows up a tube station, but hopefully most people can see the difference between the two circumstances.
The Shaggy Dog – Tim Allen has a howling good time in this remake of the Disney chestnut about a workaholic with no time for his kids turned into a sheepdog. As I said in my theatrical preview, the scene where he knocks an old lady with a walker into a tree was pretty funny…and yes, I do laugh at the “America’s Funniest Home Videos” where guys get hit in the balls…so my “sick bastard” credentials are firmly established. The kids will love it. If you have no children under the age of 14 and rent this movie…you need professional help.
Mrs. Harris – HBO movie about the murder of the Scarsdale Diet doctor, starring Annette Benning and Ben Kinglsey. If you already have HBO, you’ll only have about 5,000 chances to see it over the next six months.
A Fish Called Wanda: the Collector’s Edition – One of the funniest comedies ever made. If you’ve never seen this movie…then what the hell is WRONG with you?
The Comeback: The Complete Only Season: There is a reason there was only one season of this HBO comedy series with Lisa Kudrow as a washed up ditzy former TV star struggling with a supporting role on a new show. It SUCKED.
Next week: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Night Listener, The Descent, Barnyard
World Trade Center: August 9th
Snakes On a Plane: August 18th
Invincible: August 25th
Crank: September 1st (Jason Statham…The Transporter…as a poisoned hit man who is really pissed).
Lucky You: September 8th (Eric Bana gambling movie…possibly the life story of Swerb)
All the King’s Men: September 22nd
The Departed: October 6th (Scorsese’s latest)
Flags of Our Fathers: October 20th
Casino Royale (007): November 17th
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