Saturday, March 31, 2007

Friday Box Office Analysis - Blades of Glory

Will Ferrell's Blades of Glory earned $12 million on Friday, guaranteeing it a top spot, while Meet the Robinsons also performed quite well. TMNT dropped a staggering 71% from last Friday. Did The Lookout not get released wide? It's not in the top ten...

Estimated cash earned over the weekend, in millions, based on Friday figures*:

1.Blades of Glory $34.2
2. Meet the Robinsons $27.1
3. 300 $11.1
4. Wild Hogs $8.4
5. Shooter $8.3
6. TMNT $7.7
7. Premonition $5.0
8. Reign Over Me $3.9
9. The Last Mimzy $3.8
10. The Hills Have Eyes II $3.7

*Source: Box Office Prophets

The Lookout Movie Review

I just watched The Lookout, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I must say it was pretty good. Levitt has already been a pretty strong actor, despite people's view of him as a sitcom actor from "3rd Rock from the Sun". In this Memento-like movie, he plays a young man who, after a car accident, suffers from short term memory loss (sort of), or at least a lot of confusion. As he works as a janitor at a bank, he becomes the target of a group of bank robbers who want to use him to get into the safe.

The movie is well acted by all parties involved, and despite taking a while to get into the meat of the story, is consistently good from beginning to end. Read my full The Lookout movie review.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fire Bill Bavasi - The beginning of baseball season

The Seattle Mariners, along with the rest of the MLB, kick into high gear next week, and while I am and always will be a loyal fan, I am preparing for the worst: a fourth place finish once again in the AL West, and perhaps the loss of one of the greatest players in the game: Ichiro Suzuki.

Several years ago, when the Mariners were off-and-on again in regards to the playoffs, I criticized Alex Rodriguez (and still do) for abandoning his loyal fans to go to a crappy Texas Rangers team for a shit load of money. Why leave a good team for a bad team just for more money you're not going to use?

Anyway, the point of my story is that I cannot blame Ichiro for leaving, if he does at the end of this season. Why stay with a team that sucks, when your dream, like any other baseball player's dream, is to play in and win the World Series? And yes, you should stick it through the bad years like Ichiro has, but when your management shows no sign of doing anything to help the team, what's worth waiting around for? Bill Bavasi, general manager of the Mariners, like the general managers before him, has failed to make a big trade once again. We're stuck with the same team that could do well if everyone has career years, but with exception to 2001, that doesn't happen. I like Beltre and Sexson and some of the other guys, but in a season where Bavasi really needed to make the big deals to keep people interested in the Mariners and to give us even a long shot at winning the division, he purchased B-grade players that are lackluster at best. Fire him now, and let's move on to the next crappy Mariners general manager!

In a Yahoo! sports prediction I read today, the Mariners were of course rated at the bottom of the division, but the prediction also included staff picks of who would be the first to be hired. Guess what? Bavasi, and Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, were both on the list!

Movie trailer review: Ocean's 13

The full new movie trailer for Ocean's 13, the sequel to hits Ocean's 11 and Ocean's 12, is now online, and I must say I'm pretty impressed. The new Ocean's 13 movie trailer screams of the first one, as its heist appears to be much more elaborate, much more personal and just as entertaining (after all, what's better than stealing from Andy Garcia? Why, stealing from Al Pacino, of course!). Furthermore, the movie returns the characters (played by George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and more) to Las Vegas.

The second movie was such a letdown that my anticipation for this second sequel has been minimal, to say the least. But the marketing department has pulled it off with their new movie trailer, as it offers up some good laughs, and, more importantly, shows us that this has the capability to be quite entertaining from beginning to end.

It's not quite as funny as the teaser, which in itself took several viewings to really become good (it's very subtle and offbeat), but definitely promises an entertainment factor that up until this point has been uncertain.

Watch the Ocean's 13 movie trailer now.

Mark Wahlberg to take on M. Night Shyalaman

Here's a pic for the ladies...

The Hollywood Reporter is saying Mark Wahlberg has signed on to star in M. Night Shyamalan's thriller, The Happening for 20th Century Fox.
The Happening revolves around a family on the run from an apocalyptic threat to humanity; Wahlberg will play Elliot Moore, the science teacher at the center of the event. Shyamalan wrote the original screenplay and will produce with Sam Mercer and Barry Mendel. Production on The Happening is set to begin in August in Philadelphia, for a June 13, 2008 release date.

So, can M. Night Shyalaman recover from two disappointments in a row? After The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable (despite what some people say, I think Unbreakable kicks ass), it looked like Shyalaman was unstoppable. Now, after The Village was a letdown and Lady in the Water was just a disaster (and a flop), he is anything but. Has his latest movies damaged his career enough to make his name now a liability?

I don't think so, but he's close. One more disaster and he could be in serious jeopardy...

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Movie trailer review: The Bourne Ultimatum

The Bourne Identity was pretty good. The Bourne Supremacy is one of my favorite action films of all time. Thus, needless to say, The Bourne Ultimatum, which arrives in theaters this summer, is high on my must-see list. The movie once again stars Matt Damon, Joan Allen and Julia Stiles, and also adds great actors David Strathairn, Gael Garcia Bernal and Paddy Considine to the mix. Additionally, the movie is once again directed by Paul Greengrass, who, aside from "shaky camera syndrome" last time around, did an incredible job.

An international teaser trailer is online now, and while it does use a lot of footage from the previous two films, the marketing department has done a great job. This is everything a teaser trailer should be. It reminds us of what happened, and it gives us a glimpse of what is to come without revealing any of the plot. The music and setup is great, and the payoff is shots of Damon running around punching and kicking people. Excellent!

I can only hope that the story somehow features Carlos the Jackal, as the villainous assassin is a central part of the book series but has been completely left out of the movie trilogy. I'd also love to see someone attempt to make the books at some point, as books 2 and 3 are completely different from the movies.

Movie trailer review: Evan Almighty

Evan Almighty. The sequel to Bruce Almighty. Jim Carrey is no longer around, but the movie stars Steve Carell, who is just as funny, if not more so. So why the hell does Evan Almighty look so bad?

Almost guaranteed to be a casualty of "sequelitis", Evan Almighty is an unnecessary sequel to what was a good, one-off film. This time around, Morgan Freeman, once again playing God, tries to teach a man a lesson... but instead of giving him powers, he gives him an uncontrollable beard and forces him to build an ark. The entire concept that made the first movie so funny is missing here, and this one just looks like a lame attempt to draw in the Christian crowd without even trying to evoke a laugh.

How I can watch a whole movie trailer for a movie that stars Steve Carell and not laugh once is beyond me, but the marketing team for Evan Almighty certainly pulled it off. Of course, they're not to blame, as this movie looks like a disaster...

Watch the Evan Almighty movie trailer here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Sopranos + Entourage = Happy Erik

Okay, so I watch too much television. In addition to watching nearly every major movie that is released in a given year, I subscribe to many television shows. I don't know how I do it and still manage to maintain a moderate social life. It probably helps I'm single, but anyway...

With Battlestar Galactica ending unexpectedly this last Sunday, I now have to look forward to The Sopranos and Entourage, both of which start April 8th on HBO. The Sopranos, in its final season for sure this time, hopefully will go out with a bang, and not a non-ending like it concluded on last season, or like Deadwood did. This is old news by now, but here's the Sopranos trailer.

Of course, I really can't wait to see what happens to Ari on Entourage, who could quite possibly be one of the greatest characters ever conceived by man. I am assuming he will return, but if he doesn't, I will be devastated!

Monday, March 26, 2007

More DiCaprio news (plus Kate Winslet)

Leonardo DiCaprio is busy hooking up with people he's already worked with. He's re-teaming with Kate Winslet for the drama, Revolutionary Road, reports Variety; Revolutionary Road will be the first time the two have worked together since Titanic.

Sam Mendes (American Beauty) will direct and produce the film, which is based on the acclaimed 1961 novel by Richard Yates about post-war disillusionment. The book follows a seemingly happy suburban couple with two children in the mid-1950s who find themselves caught between their true desires and the pressure to conform - with explosive consequences.

Revolutionary Road begins shooting this summer. How can this not be good?

Scorsese and DiCaprio team up again

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Martin Scorsese is re-teaming with Leonardo DiCaprio once again in the film adaptation of Jordan Belfort's upcoming autobiography The Wolf of Wall Street for Warner Bros. Pictures.

No deals have been signed yet, but assuming things work out, DiCaprio would play Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 20 months in prison for refusing to cooperate in a massive 1990s securities fraud case that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including mob infiltration. Much of the film would hinge on Belfort's relationship with the FBI agent who tried to make him an informant.

The Wolf of Wall Street will be written by Terence Winter, but who knows (other than The Shadow) when it will be produced or released.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Is Sea World just an overpriced aquarium?

The lack of posts recently have been for one specific reason: I've been away from the computer, away from Internet in remote San Diego. The Sheraton to be exact. Having just visited Sea World for the first time today, I have to remark that while I had a lot of fun, I do not see how they can charge $60 for admittance for what is essentially a glorified zoo/aquarium.

What do others think?

Yes, there are some entertaining shows where dolphins jump and Shamu splashes (the Shamu show was especially cheesy and underwhelming), but essentially they just took an aquarium, spread it out over a big piece of land, stuck a bunch of shops and stuff like that in between, and called it a theme park. What gives?

I didn't see any creatures that I can't see in most aquariums, and while the whale and dolphin shows were cool, they certainly were not worth an extra $40.00. Luckily, I didn't pay to get in. And what is with that Haunted Lighthouse 3D movie? How cheesy, un-scary and un-exciting was that, even as a kid's show?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Are they naked? An Unrest movie review...

I watched Unrest the other night, one of the countless horror movies I have watched within the last week. I'm getting pretty sick of the genre for the time being, especially since none of the After Dark Horrorfest films are especially intriguing. I even got tricked into watching Blood Trails, which was God-awful (movie review to come later)... by "tricked" I mean that it was in the same stack as my Horrorfest films, and so I assumed it was a part of the set - but oh God no it wasn't.

Anyway, Unrest is about a really hot chick who is a medical student who is taking a cadaver class. Unfortunately for her, her cadaver's spirit is very much "alive" and out to kill a bunch of people. The movie has its moments, including a scene where Ms. Corri English (pictured here) takes a dive into a formaldehyde bath full of cadavers, but overall the movie is sort of slow, dull and ultimately pointless, even though it's only 88 minutes long. Unrest is by no means a complete waste, but could have been a lot better. Read my full Unrest movie review.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Movie trailer review: Martian Child

Martin Child is John Cusack's latest attempt at doing something other than comedy. He certainly seems to try every couple of years to break out of his mold, but it doesn't look like Martian Child is going to be that film. While not looking like a complete disaster, the quasi-weird premise that also seems to retread other movies done before will probably not lure in mass audiences come its release.

The Martian Child movie trailer is online now, and looks to be a blend between a father-son drama, a normal John Cusack comedy where he makes random sarcastic remarks and perhaps some kind of sci-fi film in disguise? There is no direct indication that the kid is an alien, but some of the visuals tend to imply that the film could go down that path. Will that turn away some of the female targets who are inevitably going to be drawn to this film? Perhaps.

All in all, this could make a good rental, but I'll need to see a more compelling reason to see Martian Child in theaters.

Movie trailer review: No Reservations

Catherine Zeta Jones is hot. Let's just get it out there. No bother that she's shagging Michael Douglas, blah blah blah. She's quite good lucking. That being said, her playing a chef who adopts her dead sister's child (Oscar-nominated Abigail Breslin) and who finds love in her cooking rival Aaron Eckhart, looks pretty damn boring.

The movie trailer for No Reservations is now online (watch the No Reservations movie trailer now), and it offers very little to pull me in. The movie trailer itself isn't poorly done, as the marketing department surely did the best they could with it, but this is a movie that will appeal to women, and only women interested in boring films about chefs who fall in love with each other.

Try again, Mrs. Douglas.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Movie trailer review: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

She can cut me up any day. Goodness gracious, Kiera Knightley.

Anyway, the first movie trailer (or it is a long teaser trailer?) for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is online now, and I have to say, despite my animosity toward the second film, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, this third film looks quite good.

I was a huge fan of the first Pirates movie, and just felt the second one dragged on and on and on forever and ever. I had never been so happy for a movie to end, even if it ended at such a stupid place. That being said, the lack of entertainment the second one brought to the table does not bode well for the third one, but the new movie trailer for At World's End certainly holds promise.

The movie trailer shows all the characters, and all of the pirates uniting against a common foe. We see Davy Jones sword fighting Captain Jack (Johnny Depp), and unfortunately not enough of Ms. Knightley. The movie trailer is full of excitement, and is set up quite properly from beginning to end. There are one or two laughs, but for the most part things are pretty serious, and, given how serious the second film was, this one is likely to be even darker.

Interestingly enough, the previews for the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie didn't impress me at all, but the movie was great. The second movie's previews also didn't blow me away, but I held out high hope, and those hopes were stabbed out of me with a rusted fork. For the third film, I don't have high expectations, but the movie trailer kicks some major butt. Perhaps this is a good sign?

Watch the Pirates of the Caribbean movie trailer here.

How can I make this movie blog better?

Here's the test to see if anyone actually reads this blog. It only launched last month, so I'm not expecting a massive rush of comments, but please let me know your opinion on this movie blog. Constructive criticism welcome. Do you want more movie news, more movie reviews, sports, politics, rants, raves, more personal posts, what? Tell me now! I'm getting impatient.

The Hamiltons Movie Review

This last weekend, aside from partying for St. Patty's Day and a housewarming party on Sunday, and watching three hours of "Lost" with my dear friend Jessie, and sleeping in until 11am on both Saturday and Sunday, was full of watching horror movies. No, not out of choice, but because Lionsgate sent me seven of the "8 Films to Die For", and I can't possibly just let movies sit on my shelf and collect dust.

One of the After Dark Horrorfest movies I watched was The Hamiltons, which so far is the best of the bunch. Not as much horror as just f**ked up family drama, the movie is about a family who, with exception to one kid, loves to kidnap, torture and ultimately kill/eat their neighbors. The movie is bloody, disturbing and relatively well acted. The twist ending is questionable, but in hindsight is actually quite good (I didn't see it coming).
Read my full Hamiltons movie review here.

The Gravedancers Movie Review

The Gravedancers is one of the 8 films to die for, according to 2006's After Dark Horrorfest. In reality, none of the Horrorfest films I've seen so far have been overly riveting or "too graphic for movie theaters" (perhaps this is why they were shown in theaters), but compared to some of the crap that comes out every year in the horror genre, the "festival" offers up some okay entertainment.

The Gravedancers is about the main character from Prison Break going out with his friends and dancing on a couple grave sights (who does that?), and they end up waking up the spirits. These spirits happen to belong to three very mean ex-humans who would like nothing more than to tear their living victims to pieces.

The movie is okay. There's some good gore, and a few creepy moments, but all in all it feels like a less-original version of Evil Dead. There's not much of a plot, and the ghosts look kind of cheesy - yet at the same time, that's their appeal, and they are almost creepier because of it. Read more of my Gravedancers movie review.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Movie Trailer review: Firehouse Dog

Firehouse Dog is the latest classic to come from 20th Century Fox. I may be a bit out of the demographic on this one, but Firehouse Dog looks like a real stinker of epic proportions. The movie is about a Hollywood celebrity dog who is dropped out of an airplane (at night?) for some kind of promotion, but his parachute fails to open. Somehow he manages to fall into a tomato truck and survive (yes, let's teach kids that you can jump from high places as long as you land in something soft and squishy) and ends up getting befriended by a silly kid and his father, a firefighter. This trickster dog becomes a firefighting hero, blah blah blah.
The movie just looks stupid, and is a retreading of a hundred movies just like it. To make matters worse, the dog is as scruffy and un-cute as a dog can be, and the trailer is laced with all kinds of sentimental music that just makes things all the cheesier.
Read more about Firehouse Dog and watch the Firehouse Dog movie trailer.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Lost Episode Review: Season 3, Episode 12: Par Avion

Lost has consistently ranked in my top 2-3 shows over the last couple years. The ABC TV show is losing viewers with every episode, as people complain it offers too little explanation, etc. etc. While I tend to agree, Lost is still one of the most compelling, engaging and intriguing shows on TV, and while it often doesn't offer many answers, when it does, it makes the episodes well worth it.
The latest episode of Season 3 is called Par Avion, and while I won't go into details (if you watch the show, you already know what happened, and if you don't, you HAVE TO start from the beginning), it focuses on a back story on Claire, follows her attempt to implement an idea to save everyone and also look at the journeys of Sayid, Kate and Locke as they encounter a difficult new obstacle.
The last several episodes have been top notch, with exception to the Hurley episode which was probably the worst episode of the year. While of course it doesn't provide any absolute answers (does the show ever?), it provides plenty of partial truths and plenty to chomp on.
What we get out of the episode is this: the patch-eyed guy alludes more to the reason why certain people have not been taken by The Others (they are not on the list due to being flawed) and, the doozy of the episode, that he knows Locke. Locke, having made a stupid mistake in the previous episode (was it a mistake?) continues to act suspicious and does more things this episode to cause animosity with his island mates, though in reality his moves here make sense and provide one of the coolest moments this season (don't walk through the fence!). In addition, the patch-eyed guy confirms that Ben is not the leader of The Others. Another shocker is the revelation of Claire's father, and yet another is that Jack is apparently not at odds with The Others as much as you'd expect.
All in all, there are plenty of twists and surprises in the episode, more so than in most. Thankfully, the episode does not end on a cheerful montage as many do; Lost should get away from that thing they do, and always end with some kind of shocker to keep us drooling for next time.
And now, here is the question I pose (MORE SPOILERS): Is Jack's dad the leader of The Others? We continue to see that he has connections with more and more of the people on the island, and he seems to be the only character that overlaps everyone. He's been seen on the island (granted, only by Jack in what was supposedly a hallucination). He is a doctor, and we know The Others spawn from some kind of medical project (but then, why did Ben need Jack to operate if his dad was available?). Furthermore, Jack's father is perhaps more flawed than anyone else, and perhaps he is trying to make amends by "helping" other flawed individuals?

A rant: Use your freaking turn signal!

This post is unrelated to movies in any way. If movies and the entertainment industry are your life, and nothing else matters to you, then please ignore this post. But I need to vent, and the great thing about blogs is that any idiot in the world who knows how to use his or her computer can unleash their pointless rants upon the world. I will keep it short.
Turn signals. Blinking yellow or red lights that indicate when a car is turning a corner or changing lanes. To activate, it takes a mere flick of the finger, a fraction of a second, a fraction of a fraction of energy. Not only is it courteous to use turn signals, but it is also safe. Other people can't read your mind. They don't know you are going to change lanes right in front of them, or slow down to make a turn while they are going full speed, as they should.
So why the f**k are more and more people not using turn signals? It is so easy, so logical, so useful... what makes you so special that you can't apply your finger to that lever that indicates where the heck you're going to go.
This spawns from the other day, where I'm sitting in stop-and-go traffic. The lane next to us moves faster, but also ends, and thus we get the jackasses flying by who then try to squeak in at the last second. Nothing really wrong with that, but lose your turn signal. If you are going to cut in front of me when I've been waiting there for much longer, don't just idle next to me and assume I know you want to come over. Tell me. It's that freaking simple. And I don't know how many times recently I have seen so many close calls, when some dumbass (usually, but not always, in a BMW) thinks it is okay to change lanes without using a turn single right in front of a car that's going 20 mph faster. Just don't.
And that... ends my rant. Do you feel smarter now?

Friday Box Office Analysis - 300 plunges, but still takes #1

To no great surprise, 300 drops 60% from last weekend as the fanboy rush is off, and, to no great surprise, 300 once again still wins the weekend. Wild Hogs continues to perform strongly despite all odds, and Premonition, which looked okay but wasn't expected to do much at all, earned enough to where it could end up being Sandra Bullock's best weekend opening ever (how the heck does that happen?). Thankfully, audiences told director James Wan that his first film, Saw, was a fluke success, and that no one really thinks he's all that good, as his new horror film Dead Silence didn't repeat Saw's success. I Think I Love My Wife, a Chris Rock movie I actually wanted to see despite so-so reviews, crashed and burned with only $1.8 million on Friday.

And people, go and see Zodiac! It is amazing! It deserves better treatment than the box office take it is currently receiving!

1. 300 ($30.5 million)
2. Wild Hogs ($19.2 million)
3. Premonition ($18.2 million)
4. Dead Silence ($7.5 million)
5. Bridge to Terabithia ($5.6 million)
6. I Think I Love My Wife ($5.0 million)
7. Ghost Rider ($4.2 million)
8. Zodiac ($3.1 million)
9. Norbit ($2.8 million)
10. Music & Lyrics ($2.1 million)

*Weekend estimates based on Friday box office numbers, from Box Office Prophets

A Good Year Movie Review

Wow. I don't know what else to say. And that's not a "wow" that's necessarily a good thing. Teaming up for the first time since Gladiator, Russell Crowe and Ridley Scott join forces to give us a romantic comedy-drama that isn't quite sure what it is. Is it a man, a woman or some mishmash of every genre except for action and thriller? Read my A Good Year movie review over at, or continue reading for a brief synopsis of the review (ideally, you'd read this and then go on to the review to read more, if you even remotely care about my opinion whatsoever): A Good Year has its moments and manages to be just entertaining enough to keep you watching, but it is so scattered and random with so many subplots that all lack much substance that it is hard to tell what the point of the movie is supposed to be. Sadly, I think A Good Year is supposed to be, first and foremost, a comedy not unlike Sideways, but almost all of the jokes fall completely flat on their face. Come on, I know you want to read more of my Good Year movie review...

Flushed Away Movie Review

I've posted a movie review for Flushed Away over at Read my Flushed Away movie review now (or else!). If you're too lazy to click on the link to read the movie review, here's a brief synopsis of what I thought: why the heck did Pixar's Cars get nominated and this one didn't? Cars may have been a little deeper, but was super boring... Flushed Away isn't as good as Chicken Run, which was produced by the same company, but it is certainly one of the better animated movies of 2006. The slugs all by themselves make Flushed Away worth watching.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Cate Blanchett in Indiana Jones 4

Cate Blanchett has joined Indiana Jones 4, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Blanchett, coming off an Oscar nomination for Notes on a Scandal, will play an undetermined starring role from the screenplay of David Koepp. The movie, starring Harrison Ford and directed by Steven Spielberg, will arrive in theaters May 22nd.
I have heard from some people that they are unsure about Indiana Jones 4 or think it will be stupid - but what the heck are they thinking? Sure, Ford has been shaky lately, and he's getting old for the part, but this is Indiana Jones we're talking about! And Ford has looked the same for 20 years! And, most importantly, the movie is directed by Steven Spielberg of all people. How can it not be good?

The Last Mimzy Sneak Preview this Sunday

The Last Mimzy hits theaters on Friday, but there's going to be a sneak preview this Sunday, March 18th. More details can be found at
The movie is a family film, but it actually sounds pretty good. It is about two kids who, through playing with a couple of "toys" (innocent toys, mind you), they become smarter and smarter. But as they transcend beyond genius status, the power in their city goes out as a result of these toys. This leads to more revelations, but who knows what those will be.
I'm intrigued...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Movie RSS Feeds

After years of anticipation, I've finally posted nine RSS feeds to provide you with direct access to movie reviews, contests, DVD release dates and more. As you may or may not know, with RSS you can add a list of links and/or articles to your web browser (like Internet Explorer 7 and Firefox 2.0) or to a personal homepage, such as your Google homepage or Yahoo homepage.
Movie RSS feeds include:

-New movie contests
-New movies in theaters
-New movies on DVD
-New theatrical movie reviews
-New movie reviews for movies on DVD
-Movie updates
-New movie trailers
-New movie photos/stills
-New movie posters

Visit my Movie RSS Feeds page for more information and to subscribe.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Watchmen finds new glory with success of 300

The success of 300 means good news for the long-awaited adaptation of Alan Moore's Watchmen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zack Snyder, the director of Warner Bros. Pictures' 300, has been developing Watchmen at Warners since June, and during the recent press tour for the Spartan epic, he has openly said he is aiming for a summer shoot for Watchmen.

Snyder's enthusiasm for the project spilled out online late last week when a Snyder-created image of one of the Watchmen characters was discovered embedded in a DVD trailer distributed by marketing street teams and was posted all over the Web.

Street Wise Marketing was charged with running a campaign using tactics from a community Web site to handing out Spartan condoms ("Prepare for glory," read the packaging) and a DVD of the 300 trailer that was a sensation at last year's Comic-Con International in San Diego. Inserted at the 1:52 mark is an image of Rorschach, the hero with an inkblot mask, a trench coat and hat, with a gray city behind him. According to sources, the shot is a test image of what that character might look like. At this point, the movie is not greenlighted, nor is it cast.

Street Wise knew of the insert but was asked not to disclose it. The trailer was in the hands of viewers for about a week before someone noticed it and posted it on YouTube.

AdaptingWatchmen has stymied such filmmakers as Darren Aronofsky and Paul Greengrass and such studios as Universal and Paramount. The scope and density of the source material -- the only graphic novel Time Magazine listed among the 100 best novels since 1923 -- is vast and budgetary concerns were among the reasons the project was put into turnaround by Paramount in early 2005.

"To do it right, you need a huge budget," an insider said.

Sources said Snyder's vision for the movie would have the project in the $150 million range. The studio, on the other hand, wants to keep it less than $100 million. Snyder's 300, based on another award-winning comic book, cost about $65 million to make and grossed $70 million during the weekend, breaking records and surprising many at the studio.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Naomi Watts stars in a movie with a really long title

Naomi Watts will star in the romantic comedy, Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premiere School for Exotic Animal Trainers. I hate movies with long titles... they always mess up the look of my website.

The film is the adaptation of Amy Sutherland's novel; Todd Louiso and Jacob Koskoff are writing the screenplay. Variety says the book focuses on the year she spent with students at the Exotic Animal Training and Management Program at Moorpark College, where students learn how to communicate with animals such as camels, emus, baboons, cougars, wolves and snakes. Alumni hold posts at the world's top zoos, aquariums and sanctuaries or become trainers who work in television and film.

Lakeview Terrace is Ashton Kutcher's new home

Neil LaBute is in negotiations to direct and Ashton Kutcher is in talks to co-star in the thriller, Lakeview Terrace.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington already have been cast in the film, which centers on an LAPD officer (Jackson) who will stop at nothing to force out the interracial couple that recently moved in next door. Kutcher would play Washington's spouse.

David Loughery wrote the screenplay and is executive producing; Howard Korder is set for a re-write. Shooting on Lakewood Terrace will begin in June in Los Angeles.

Jack Black Finds Tropic Thunder

Production Weekly reports Jack Black has signed on to star in the Ben Stiller-directed comedy Tropic Thunder, with Robert Downey Jr. and Jay Baruchel.

In Tropic Thunder, everything goes wrong during the making of a big-budget war movie, and the actors end up becoming the commandos they are playing. Stiller, Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen wrote the screenplay.

Black will play Jeff "Fats" Portnoy, an overweight gross-out comedian, who's forced to kick his drug addiction while filming on location in the jungle. Downey will play Kirk Lazarus, the greatest actor of his generation and a four-time Oscar winner. Baruchel will play Kevin Sandusky, an unknown actor on the set and Stiller plays Speedman.

Bryce Dallas Howard in Herbie 2?

Production Weekly reports Bryce Dallas Howard is in negotiations to replace Lindsay Lohan as the female lead in Tennessee Williams' The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond.

Chris Evans, Ellen Burstyn and David Strathairn are also starring in the film slated to film in Louisiana later this year. Independent-film actress Jodie Markell will make her feature directing debut.

In this original, previously undiscovered screenplay by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, a rebellious socialite, Fisher Willow (Howard), is caught up in a world of social conventions, glittering society balls, and her father's greed that she desperately wants to escape. Her love for Jimmy (Evans), a handsome farm hand may be her only way out. Burstyn would play Fisher's mother and Strathairn would play Jimmy's alcoholic father.

Harsh Times Movie Review

I'm a fan of Christian Bale. I loved Newsies, and he's been great in everything from Batman Begins to The Prestige. Hell, he was even good in Shaft. Unfortunately, his latest film, Harsh Times, is a rather lackluster crime drama where he plays an immoral wannabe cop who goes around town screwing up his life. The film isn't awful, but just doesn't amount to much. I have a full movie review over at, so read my Harsh Times movie review now.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Movie trailer review: New Spider-Man 3 Trailer

As I found myself sitting gracefully in a newly renovated Crossroads movie theater in Bellevue, WA last night, preparing for the onslaught that was to be 300, the powers that be presented us, the audience, with the second full movie trailer for Spider-Man 3. Gone was the cheesy patriotic beginning the first trailer started off with, and gone was much of the sappy relationship issues. Sandman isn't shown once...
No, this second full movie trailer (which I can't find online as of yet except in low-quality YouTube format) for Spider-Man 3 presents with two villains, the Green Goblin, and, more importantly, Venom. The trailer is serious from beginning to end, and starts off with Topher Grace (Eddie Brock/Venom) going into a church and asking God for help... to kill Peter Parker. That sets the stage for what is to come, and we finally get to see Venom in all his glory.
Basically, this is the way action movie trailers are meant to be. The setup is fabulous, the action looks intense, and it gives the fanboys exactly what they need to wet their whistles. The marketing team for Superman Returns should pay attention to how you build hype for a superhero franchise...

Movie review: 300

Wow. That's all I can say. Wow. Okay, that's not true. 300, the movie, is incredible. The visuals kick ass, the action is stupendous, and the movie is surprisingly deep given the subject matter. Zach Snyder, director of 2004's Dawn of the Dead, does an incredible job of taking every thing to the limits without pushing things overboard - this movie could have easily been a cheesy disaster if done wrong.
You can read more of my 300 movie review by clicking here.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Quiet Movie Review

I've posted a movie review for The Quiet over at The movie stars Elisha Cuthbert from "24" and Camilla Belle from When a Stranger Calls as two quasi-sisters who start out hating each other but form a bond as Belle's character realizes that her new family is about as screwed up as families get, despite on the surface looking quite normal.
After When a Stranger Calls, Belle could only move up in the world, and The Quiet is a huge leap forward. While still not wonderful, the movie holds it own, and the best part is that it stars two super hot female leads!
Read our Quiet movie review.

Friday Box Office Analysis - 300 Makes a Lot

300 exceeded expecations with an estimated $27.6 million on Friday alone (including midnight showings), according to Box Office Prophets. Due to the type of film, it is most likely front-loaded, still, that's an explosive opening, especially for March. Wild Hogs also did amazingly well, dropping only 30% from last week.

Here are the numbers (for Friday, March 9, 2007):

1. 300 ($69.0)
2. Wild Hogs ($26.6)
3. Bridge to Terabithia ($7.5)
4. Zodiac ($7.1)
5. Ghost Rider ($7.2)
6. The Number 23 ($4.2)
7. Norbit ($4.2)
8. Music and Lyrics ($3.9)
9. Breach ($2.6)
10. Amazing Grace ($2.5)

Movie trailer review: Vacancy

Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale star in Vacancy, a thriller about a good-looking couple (isn't that self explanatory when Beckinsale is involved?) who end up staying at the wrong hotel. Props go to the marketing team behind the Vacancy movie trailer, as I am definitely licking my lips in anticipation of this one. The plot is simple, and the trailer sets things up as such, and then it hits you with a rather horrifying realization that this couple is being watched on cameras in their hotel room.
A combination of the visuals and music make the trailer quite exciting, though it does go a little too far when showing plot developments. The phone booth scene at the end shows a little too much, unfortunately, but still, most of the movie is still kept under wraps.
I am definitely looking forward to Vacancy, which hits theaters April 20th.
Watch the Vacancy movie trailer.

Kristen Bell is Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Production Weekly reports Kristen Bell will play the title role in the romantic comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall, during her eight week hiatus from "Veronica Mars".

Jason Segel ("How I Met Your Mother") wrote the script and will co-star with Bell, with Nick Stoller making his directing debut.

After a devastating break-up with his girlfriend TV sitcom star Sarah Marshall (Bell), a heartbroken and depressed Peter (Segel) heads to Hawaii for a little vacation to try his best to forget every detail of his relationship with Sarah. But love laughs at Peter, because Sarah is vacationing in the same exclusive resort as Peter, along with her new boyfriend.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall will start filming mid-April on location at the Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, Hawaii and Los Angeles.

Maggie Gyllenhaal replaces Katie Holmes in The Dark Knight

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Maggie Gyllenhaal is set to join the all-star cast of The Dark Knight for Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures.

She'll play D.A. Rachel Dawes, the love interest to Bruce Wayne/Batman (Christian Bale), replacing Katie Holmes from Batman Begins. Christopher Nolan returns as director, along with actors Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Gary Oldman; Heath Ledger is the Joker, while Aaron Eckhart will play D.A. Harvey Dent, also known as the villainous Two-Face.

Jonathan Nolan wrote the script for The Dark Knight, which is scheduled to begin shooting in April for a 2008 release.

The Dark Knight movie info

Bishop + Tarantino = Hell Ride

According to Production Weekly, Larry Bishop is set to begin filming this spring on Hell Ride, a blood and sex-soaked tale of motorcycle revenge and retribution under the "Quentin Tarantino Presents" banner.

The "chopper opera" has Bishop, starring, writing, directing and producing along with Tarantino. Bishop will play bad-ass biker Pistolero, (named after the original title for Robert Rodriguez's Desperado) who along with his brother The Gent and Comanche, hit the road to avenge the death of Pistolero's old lady Cherokee Kisum, by the 666ers, a rival motorcycle gang.

Production will start late April in Los Angeles.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Movie trailer review: Slow Burn

Slow Burn stars Ray Liotta as a political hopeful who finds himself in a web of lies, murder, sex and deceit. Jolene Blalock, who someone has never been discovered before, is scorchingly hot in a very exotic way as an assistant district attorney who is either really good or really bad. She kills a man in self defense, but is it really self defense? LL Cool J also stars in Slow Burn.
The movie trailer is adequate, but presents Slow Burn as essentially a thriller that could easily be forgotten. Ray Liotta is amazingly hit-or-miss with his films, and lately tends to miss. The payoff could be good, if Slow Burn adequately handles what could be a complicated plot, a sexy lead female... a.k.a. a new Fatal Attraction. Or it could end up being a jumbled mess that is trying to bank on the fact that it has a sexy lead female who looks like she sleeps with just about every man in the movie. There's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't make a movie.
Overall, the movie trailer is decent, but the marketing department certainly could have constructed the scenes they have a little better. More about Slow Burn.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Indiana Jones has a son!

Shia LaBeouf (A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints) is set to star in Indiana Jones 4 for LucasFilm and Paramount Pictures.

Steven Spielberg is directing the fourth installment of the adventure series; Variety reports Shia will play the son of Indy, to be played once again by Harrison Ford. The producers are keeping the storyline under tight wraps; David Koepp wrote the screenplay.

Indiana Jones 4 is scheduled to start shooting in June for a release of May 22, 2008. Is this actually happening?

Toy Story 3... but not until 2010

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney and Pixar are in production on Toy Story 3. In an appearance during Disney's annual shareholder meeting in New Orleans, CEO John Lasseter said: "We are finally in production on Toy Story 3," adding the film is scheduled to come out in 2010. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen are back on board to voice Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

The screenplay is by Michael Arndt, who just won the original screenplay Academy Award for Little Miss Sunshine, according to Lasseter, who said: "We got a great story."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Beyond the Gates Movie Review

I've posted a movie review for Beyond the Gates over at The movie is a lot like Hotel Rwanda, only it focuses more on foreigners and doesn't offer a stand out performance like Don Cheadle delivered. Still, the movie is quite good. Read our Beyond the Gates movie review.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz are lovers?

Can you believe it? Despite the age difference, Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz are getting married. They said they have been lovers for years, and are finally taking things to the next level. Or... maybe Gandhi is just finding intrigue in a movie...

Production Weekly reports Ben Kingsley and Penelope Cruz have signed on to the "erotic" adventure, Elegy.

The film is based on Philip Roth's 2001 novel, The Dying Animal, which evolves over eight years into a story of grim loss. Isabel Coixet will direct Kingsley, who is playing David Kepesh, an eminent TV culture critic and star lecturer at a New York college. He meets Consuela Castillo (Cruz), a decorous, well-mannered student of 24, the daughter of wealthy Cuban exiles, who promptly puts his life into erotic disorder. Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, when he left his wife and child, Kepesh has experimented with living what he calls an "emancipated manhood," beyond the reach of family or a mate. Over the years he has refined that exuberant decade of protest and license into an orderly life in which he is both unimpeded in the world of eros and studiously devoted to his aesthetic pursuits. But the youth and beauty of Consuela, "a masterpiece of volupte," undo him completely, and a maddening sexual possessiveness transports him to the depths of deforming jealousy.

Elegy is set to begin six weeks of principal photography April 24th in Vancouver.

Mel Gibson Gets Drunk in Panama

Okay, actually Mel Gibson didn't get drunk in Panama. He didn't get drunk anywhere. But he was in Panama. The Associated Press reports now controversial director Mel Gibson, fresh off his Mexico-based epic Apocalypto, may head south to film a movie in Panama, tourism officials said Monday.

Gibson dined Sunday night with Ruben Blades, a tourism spokesman and singer, who suggested his next project should be a remake of the 1950 film noir Panic in the Streets, set in Panama, the Panama Tourism Bureau said in a news release.

Panamanian filmmaker Jose Severino was quoted in Monday editions of the daily newspaper La Prensa as saying that he was in negotiations with Gibson to produce a movie about Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the first European to see the Pacific Ocean from its eastern shore.

The tourism bureau said Gibson and Blades spoke of the actor-director's experience directing Apocalypto, an epic movie about the demise of the Mayan civilization. The movie was filmed in the jungles of the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, and was released last year.

Walt Becker is a Runt

Dimension Films announced yesterday (yes, we're so behind!) that they have acquired the rights to develop and produce Runt, a high concept comedic pitch by Walt Becker (Wild Hogs and Van Wilder) and David Gallagher. The screenplay will be co-written by Becker and Gallagher. Becker will also direct.

Runt is a high concept comedy about twin brothers who are complete opposites.

Bob Weinstein stated, "I am very excited about being in business with Walt and think he is incredibly talented and has a long and successful career ahead of him. His vision for Runt is absolutely hilarious."

"I’m very excited to be working with Bob Weinstein and everyone at Dimension," said Becker. "I’ve long respected their passion for film and their support of filmmakers."

Wow, how political these two are. Of course, I would be political as well if dealing with Bob Weinstein.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Daniel Radcliffe to be Harry Potter Seven Times

According to, Daniel Radcliffe has signed for the last two "Harry Potter" films, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

I am pleased to inform you that it has been confirmed for us by Dan's Publicist that Dan has, in fact, signed on for the last two Harry Potter films. Dan will begin filming in September on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. He has also signed on to return and reprise his role as Harry in the very last film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. This will "mark a place" in history for Dan and fulfill his wishes as he stated more than three years ago that he would like to portray "Harry" in all of the films.

The fifth film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, arrives in theaters and IMAX on July 13th. "Half-Blood Prince" is currently scheduled for a November 21, 2008 release.