Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hello from Cinque Terra!

You may have noticed I haven't been posting comments recently... that's because I'm in Italia, and in beautiful Cinque Terra specifically... Went to a wedding in Roma a couple days ago, which, after the ceremony, lasted another eight hours before things finally wound down. The weather was a scorching 90-degrees the first couple of days as we walked around the Forum and Colliseum, and has now dropped to the 60's in Cinque Terra - which is actually okay considering the hikes here are a lot of up and down.

Gotta go, paying $9.00/hour for Internet...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Summer Stinkers (Bad Movies of the 2007 Summer Season)

The summer usually amounts to this: a bunch of really big movies you're excited for but that are ultimately disappointing, a bunch of so-so films that exceed expectations, and a whole lot of garbage that you can smell a hundred miles away. This is a list of my summer stinkers...

Delta Farce

Yet another vehicle for Larry the Cable Guy (how does this guy get work?), the fake southern hick stars as one of a couple guys who are accidentally set to Iraq. A war spoof, this movie is unlikely to be even remotely funny. If this makes money, I'll have no faith in the world. [Editor's note: since writing this quick anti-blurb, we are happy to say that Delta Farce crashed and burned, though there were still idiots in America that handed this film $3.5 million for the weekend]

Lucky You

Another movie that has already been released but is not being removed for the sake of allowing me to say "I told you so," Lucky You also crashed on burned... maybe because it looked awful! And here's what I originally wrote: Lucky You has a good cast (Eric Bana, Drew Barrymore, Robert Duvall) but this drama/romance just looks boring as Hell. A movie about a poker player who hates his poker-playing father and who falls in love with a woman, the previews haven't shown me a single reason to go and see this in theaters, let alone watch it on DVD. Maybe this is just a hard film to market, but this one looks to come and go in a matter of weeks (I told you so!).

Hostel: Part II

The first Hostel was God-awful; I really don't understand what people liked about it. The nudity was great, but everything else was just terrible, and the gore really wasn't that good. Hostel: Part II will undoubtedly up the ante for gore, but I don't expect this new film from Eli Roth to be any better than its predecessor. While I have nothing against gore/shock films, I hope this film falls flat and kills this strange little genre once and for all (or at least for a decade or so).

Surf's Up

Are you freaking kidding me? Another penguin movie? While I didn't love Happy Feet, it came at the right time and offered some funny moments, cute penguins and great visuals. Surf's Up is late to the party, and appears to lack all three of those ingredients. The previews aren't funny, the penguins really aren't that cute, and the visuals look sub par compared to other CGI films out there. This one really looks like a disaster in the making.

Evan Almighty

When I first heard that they were making a sequel to the hit Jim Carrey comedy Bruce Almighty and that it starred show-stealer Steve Carrell, I was excited. Carrell ("The Office", The 40-Year Old Virgin, and, of course, Bruce Almighty) is at the top of his career right now and is hilarious beyond belief. Unfortunately, the movie trailers portray Evan Almighty as an unfunny attempt at making money, and I am almost certain this movie is going to suck. Am I going to go see it in theaters? Probably. Am I going to like it? Most likely not.


I've never seen the original movie, nor have I seen the Broadway play upon which this new movie is based, but everything I've seen and heard implies that Hairspray is going to suck. Other than John Travolta as a fat woman, Hairspray sounds boring and downright stupid. I also saw the movie trailer the other day at Fracture, and my fears were concerned. The movie just looks like cheesy stupidity, and offers little in the way of laughs or plot.

No Reservations

The romantic comedy starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart may not end up being terrible, but it doesn't look all that good, either. A romantic drama-comedy, I can see this movie being one that can't decide which genre it belongs to, as it's going to have some dark parts and some goofy parts. All in all, I read dud all over this one.


I'm a big fan of Jason Lee, but when he stars as a dog in a live-action, comedy, I see a disaster of epic proportions. How a film about a talking superhero dog made its way to theaters is beyond me, but coming it is... Hide your children in the closet.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Fay Grim movie review

Fay Grim, the Parker Posey-starring comedy-thriller that arrived in limited theaters across the nation on May 18th and that hits DVD on May 22nd, is a surprisingly entertaining if not completely off-beat spy mystery that will appeal to fans of such subtle thrillers like The Zero Effect and The Spanish Prisoner.

The DVD offers special features like "The Making of Fay Grim", the movie trailer and deleted scenes, but I found the movie itself to be worth the rental price (of course I got it for free and didn't pay anything for it). The movie isn't for everyone, but is good enough to warrant a rental... don't know if I'd buy it.

You can read my full Fay Grim movie review here, as I am going to spend the rest of this article ranting about this movies that are coming to DVD a couple days after they hit theaters...

Why are studios doing this? If you put a film in theaters, keep it in theaters. These DVD releases four days after their theatrical release don't make any sense to me, financially or otherwise. If you spend the money to put a movie in theaters, wait for a reasonable ROI before looking to the DVD game. So far I haven't heard of this strategy working, and there have been some perfectly good films with good actors that could have made a profit in theaters had they been marketed properly... and a well-marketed film for theaters will almost always result in good DVD sales.

Fay Grim and 10 Items or Less are two examples of films that are pretty good, feature good actors (Posey and Jeff Goldblum in Fay Grim, and Morgan Freeman and Paz Vega in 10 Items or Less) and were released to theaters for only a couple days. I just don't get it.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Apocalypto DVD Review

Apocalypto, the sensational action-drama from Mel Gibson, is coming to DVD on Tuesday, and I've grabbed an advance copy for your reviewing pleasure... or is it for my reviewing pleasure. Either way, Apocalypto did pretty decently at movie theaters considering it was directed by Mel Gibson, who has not exactly been Mr. Popular over the last year or two. Despite what you think of the man, he makes some incredibly exciting movies, and Apocalypto is no different. You can read my full Apocalypto movie review here.

As for the DVD, it's pretty lame. You can just smell a "Special 2-Disc Edition" looming in the darkness, just waiting for the right time, because this version is pretty slim on the special features. It does include an audio commentary by Mel Gibson, which is quite enjoyable, but it only has two other features, a single, 10-second deleted scene, which is actually pretty cool but still not worth the trouble of clicking on the play button, and a making-of featurette, which was clearing created before the movie was released to theaters and is intended for promotional use only. Whenever the interviews include "this film will..." you know they were made to promote the movie, not give us insight into it, and the interviews also contain quite a few "you're going to see things you've never seen before." Boring!

The behind-the-scenes featurette does have a few bits and pieces that are interesting, but for the most part, it's just disappointing and a waste of time.

Overall, Apocalypto DVD leaves little to be desired, but if you haven't seen the movie, it is certainly a recommended purchase/rental nonetheless.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hit-or-miss movies of the 2007 summer season

Every summer there are those massive blockbusters you can't wait to see, and the pieces of crap you know will be stinkers five months out (Surf's Up, anyone?). But every summer, there are a few pleasant surprises, lots of disappointments (Spider-Man 3) and those movies that you sort of want to see but also realize that there is some potential that you will be wasting your money.

Without further ado, in no specific order (other than alphabetical), here is a list of movies I regard as hit-or-miss. They may look, but could end up sucking (1408), or they may not look so good, but could end up surprising (Fantastic Four 2). So, without further ado (didn't I already say that?), here they are...


John Cusack stars as a ghost hunter who ventures into a haunted hotel room. Suddenly, he finds himself stuck in his own personal Hell with no way out, and his chances for survival are small. These star-studded horror movies are always hit-or-miss, as some are simply more effective than others. 1408 looks slightly original, but in the end it is going to depend on how scary the movie is and how well it can handle a single cast member roaming around inside a hotel room for an hour and a half. The previews are sort of neat, but not mind blowing.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I have extremely mixed reactions about this one. The first Fantastic Four movie sucked, in my opinion, as it was boring, cheesy and lacked much of a plot or central villain. My hope for the second film is that now that all the character development is out of the way, the crew can sit down and shell out an action-packed film that has plenty of Jessica Alba. The first previews so far haven't shown much, other than the Silver Surfer, and while some people have been amazed, I haven't been overly thrilled. The graphics still look questionable, and the introduction of yet another hero (albeit he is a gray character, no pun intended) is probably not what the franchise needs. Still, I'll give this one a shot, but I'm not expecting much.


Rob Zombie is reinventing the Halloween franchise and taking things back to its roots. This is either a good thing or a really, really bad thing. Zombie has shown that he can do f**ked up horror, but can he do something that is a little more grounded in reality? Furthermore, the Halloween franchise wore out its welcome decades ago, so the question remains: will restarting the franchise really offer up anything new? The first teaser trailer is surprisingly good, but as with all horror movies, isn't a very good indicator of the final product.

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Adam Sandler and the chubby guy from King of Queens team up as two straight men who, to cheat the system, pretend to get married so they can collect domestic partner benefits. This is just asking for trouble, and, more importantly, lots of laughs. Throw in Eva Mendes as a love interest and you have the formula for success, though of course this could be a movie where all the funny parts are in the previews.

The Invasion

On paper, this one sounds really good. Nicole Kidman stars in a movie about an epidemic that transforms people (into zombies or aliens or monsters or something), and the source of the epidemic is from out of space. From what I see, this could end up being an intelligent and more adult-oriented alien invasion film, but the only reason The Invasion is in the hit-or-miss section is that there have not been any movie trailers thus far.

Knocked Up

From the guys behind 40-Year Old Virgin comes Knocked Up, a movie about a loser of a man and a beautiful woman who have a one-night stand and end up having a baby together. While neither loves the other, they decide to go forward with the pregnancy, and thus must grow to accept one another to some level or another. Of course, this is a romantic comedy made for guys, and the previews have suggested that this could have the same charm as 40-Year Old Virgin. Still, the previews haven't been so funny to get me overly excited, and the lack of star power could hurt this film a bit.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End will be squaring off for the biggest movie opening ever (the previous Pirates beat out Spider-Man's record by nearly $20 million), but I'm not concerned about financial well-being here. While the first Pirates movie was fantastically entertaining, the second one was dreadfully boring, way too long and just not that good. Filmed back to back, At World's End could end up being more like the second movie than the first, unfortunately, but the trailers thus far have salvaged my outlook on the film. At World's End looks extremely exciting and fun, and I am hesitantly looking forward to this. My hope is that it does not become so absurd as The Mummy Returns did... but we shall see.

Rush Hour 3

Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker return after a long hiatus to do Rush Hour 3, which now sets the two in Paris (first Chan was in the U.S., then Tucker was in China, and now both are out of their element). The first one was quite good, and I actually found the second movie to be even more enjoyable, so the third one has potential to be a blast, but Rush Hour 3 is essentially a sequel that is just repeating its formula once again. It could end up being a disappointment, or even worse: downright bad. I've never been a huge fan of Tucker, and the most frustrating part about the Rush Hour films is that they've always given more emphasis to Tucker's comedy rather than Chan's fighting. Furthermore, as an American production, Chan is restricted in the stunts he can do, which asks for inevitable comparison to better Chan action movies.


One of the more unique films of the summer, Stardust stars Claire Danes, Peter O'Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro, Ian McKellen and others in what appears to be a fantasy action-drama-romance sprinkled with humor. Pfeiffer plays an evil witch, De Niro a pirate captain who sails a flying ship, and Danes a mysterious woman who literally fell from the sky. There haven't been many entertaining, off-the-wall fantasy films lately, and so Stardust certainly looks to fill that gap, but is that a gap we wanted filled in the first place? I'm intrigued, but the movie trailer isn't good enough to have me excited.


The title is just asking for a critical drubbing, but if you watch the movie trailer for Superbad, you'll find a surprisingly funny and offbeat comedy about two losers looking to get laid. Unlike most teen comedies, this one seems to be geared toward the slightly smarter crowd, as it isn't about a bunch of jocks but a couple of much more "realistic" guys. Just watch the trailer to find out what I'm talking about.

Forest Whitaker and Jessica Biel have nude sex scene

Wow, never expected to hear this. Jessica Biel and Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker will have a 10-minute, nude sex scene in their upcoming movie Powder Blue.

Variety reports the two have joined an ensemble drama about a mortician, an ex-con, a suicidal ex-priest and a stripper (Biel plays the ex-priest, Whitaker the stripper) who all are brought together on Christmas Eve for some reason or another. Powder Blue is to be written and directed by Timothy Linh Bui.

By the way, the part about the sex scene isn't true. Nor is Jessica Biel going to get naked. The rest of the story is true. Except the part about Whitaker playing a stripper. Basically, I just wanted to write about Jessica Biel so I could put a picture of her on the movie blog.

Magneto: The Prequel like Hannibal: The Prequel?

A recent interview with producer Avi Arad about the upcoming Magneto movie suggests that the movie will look at a younger Magneto after the World War II concentration camps and show his rise to "greatness". Basically, nothing we didn't already know.

So, the question is, is Magneto going to be a good movie? Can another actor fill the shoes of Ian McKellan? Will it be like the time some no-name guy tried to fill the shoes of Anthony Hopkins to play the Academy Award-winning character Hannibal Lecter, where that movie ended up tanking and sucking and getting very bad reviews? While I don't think Magneto will suck to the same extent that Hannibal Rising apparently sucked (I haven't seen it - yet - so can't comment), I can't imagine it will be very easy to do a film that is both engaging as a "life-building" movie and as an action movie as X-Men fans will of course be asking for. You're going to replace two and possibly more very good actors (Patrick Stewart being the other) with younger actors, put them into a story that won't ask for the same kind of climax or action, and expect the film to make $200 million domestically?

I'll have to see it to believe it...

Monday, May 14, 2007

Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee Trailer

Okay, I am trying to avoid just pasting up every random news clipping a studio or advertising agency sends me, but it's just so easy to do (I don't have to put much brain power into it or anything). So, without further ado, here is the press release...

Starring Adam Beach, Anna Paquin and Aidan Quinn Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, based on the best-selling novel by Dee Brown, premieres Sunday, May 27 at 9:00p.m., exclusively on HBO.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee tells the tragic and powerful story of the subjugation and cultural extermination of the American Indians. Told through two unique perspectives: Charles Eastman, a young white-educated, Sioux doctor held up as living proof of the alleged success of assimilation, and Sitting Bull, the proud Lakota Sioux Chief whose tribe won the Indian’s last major victory at Little Big Horn, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee powerfully explores the economic, political and social pressures that underpinned the opening of the American West and the tragic impact this expansion had on American Indian culture.

And here's a link to the trailer: http://www.ifilm.com/video/2854320

Movie trailer review: Captivity

The full movie trailer for Captivity is now online, and what can one say... it looks pretty dumb. Not all too different than films like Saw and Hostel, in that it is about a young woman (Elisha Cuthbert) who is captured by a madman and tortured, Captivity looks to add nothing new to the genre.

Captivity has already stirred controversy when After Dark placed pictures of a dead and tortured Cuthbert on billboards in Los Angeles (I think it was LA), which 1) was a smart move in that it got itself some free publicity and 2) it tells us that the main character most likely dies.

Anyway, Captivity could presumably be clever if done right, but Cuthbert isn't a strong enough actress (or at least she hasn't proven it thus far) to carry a film like this on her own, and the movie is going to have too much shock and gore for its own good. If one of these films attempted to take the psychological angle and extract an award-winning performance from its leading actor, that would be pretty damn cool, but these studios are all just trying to make some money by showing young, hot actors getting killed off in gruesome ways.

I'm not someone who gets easily upset about gore, and I actually like gore in films, even if it gratuitous, but I'm getting pretty damned bored with this torture sub-genre that was never very good to begin with.

As for the Captivity movie trailer, it isn't overly successful in many ways. It perhaps shows too much, and is too frenetic to be very effective. This one will flop.

Movie trailer review: Bratz: The Movie

I honestly feel dumber for watching the movie trailer for Bratz: The Movie, an adaptation of some lame-looking but supposedly popular cartoon about four high school girls. Who thought that making this into a movie would be a good idea is beyond me, as Bratz looks like any other cheesy teen flick, only stamped with a PG rating and some ludicrously over-the-top hijinks.

I'm not quite sure what the plot is, despite the trailer between two and a half minutes long. I think that these four new friends show up and some overly bossy cheerleader who "runs the school" expects them to join her clique... instead, the four girls split into four different cliques, but remain friends after a brief food fight. Suddenly, this domineering cheerleader sees that her perfect plan of organization and segregation is at risk since these four girls are all bringing their cliques together, and... somehow I'm guessing everyone is going to get along at the end.

Honestly, what a freaking waste of time.

Rachel Weisz [smartly] not doing Mummy 3

Rachel Weisz, who I consider to be a pretty good, talented and likable actor, has made the wise decision to not join The Mummy 3 (whatever it will be called). The Mummy Returns was one God-awful movie, and there's a possibility that this third film will be just as bad.

According to Variety, Maria Bello will replace her to join Brendan Fraser, Luke Ford, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh. The movie, to be released in the summer of 2008, will be directed by Rob Cohen.

Written by Smallville creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough, The Mummy 3 brings the O'Connells and their full-grown son (Ford) to the forbidden tombs of China and the Himalayas, where they battle a shape-shifting mummy, a former Chinese emperor (Li) cursed by a wizard (Yeoh). Bello will play Evelyn Carnahan O'Connell, the character played in the first two films by Weisz.

Now the question is: why, Maria, why?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Spider-Man 3 drops precipitous 60% in second weekend

Spider-Man 3, which shattered box office records last weekend with over $150 million in weekend sales over three days, almost broke another, far-less-honorable box office record this weekend: the biggest drop-off of any blockbuster. The other two Spider-Man films have been especially good with weekend holdover, but both those films had excellent word-of-mouth and repeat viewing capabilities. Spider-Man 3, which a sluggish pace and a mess of a screenplay, does not have the luxury of the same glowing reviews and the potential for fan boys to run back to the theater to watch it a second or third time.

Spider-Man 3 made $60 million over the weekend, a great take for most films. Just not the Spider-Man franchise. From $150 to $60 million is a 60% drop, a nasty number by anyone's imagination. It beat out previous weekend box office record holder Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (54%) and luckily for it avoided the crushing defeat another Marvel master franchise took at the hands of X-Men: The Last Stand, which fell 67% in its second weekend after an amazing opening.

So we are starting to see a trend here... Studios have long ignored critical demands for good films during the summer months, but with openings getting bigger and bigger, blockbusters are getting more and more front loaded. If a studio can make $150 million in a weekend based on marketing efforts alone, then there's no need to make a good movie, right? WRONG! Had Spider-Man 3 been as good as Spider-Man 2, we'd probably be looking at $20 million more in the bank right now for the film, on the weekend alone - not to mention the day-by-day numbers during the week. The fumbling of Spider-Man 3 will cost its studio and Marvel tens of millions of dollars, which is a lot of zeros that add up quickly.

And looking at the previously mentioned films in this article, neither X-Men: The Last Stand nor Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest were especially good (though sadly I must say X-Men United was the most entertaining of the three). Had X-Men: The Last Stand been as good of a film as X-Men 2, it wouldn't have suffered bad word-of-mouth and bad reviews. Dead Man's Chest was just the same.

Bottom line: In the summer, movie reviews may not matter much on opening weekend, but all of those people who didn't want to see the movie enough to see the film on opening weekend are listening, both to movie reviews and, more importantly, word-of-mouth. Studios, get a clue!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Nicolas Cage doing Snakes Eyes 2... okay, not really

Nicolas Cage is reuniting with his Snake Eyes director, Brian DePalma, for The Untouchables: Capone Rising, where he will play a younger version of the character made famous by Robert DeNiro. Capone Rising is a prequel to DePalma's 1987 classic The Untouchables, and will revolve around the early dealings between Capone and Irish cop Jimmy Malone, a role that garnered an Oscar for Sean Connery.

Principal photography on the high-profile flick will begin in October, some 21 years after its predecessor was filmed. No word yet on whether the temporary Capone Rising title will be scrapped, following the chilly response audiences gave to February's Hannibal Rising prequel.

Based on the classic 50's/60's TV drama, The Untouchables was a box-office and critical smash that announced Kevin Costner as a leading man, re-launched the career of Connery, and solidified DeNiro's on-screen tough-guy persona.

According to MTV, rumors continue to swirl that Sean Penn or Colin Farrell will be cast as the younger Connery.

So... DePalma is doing a film that will have no satisfying ending? Leave The Untouchables alone! And can Nicolas Cage match Robert DeNiro? Hell no.

Linda Cardellini finds a dead guy to fall in love with

Linda Cardellini, best known for a starring role on "E.R." and as Velma in Scooby Doo, will star opposite Paul Walker in Heaven Project, an indie drama being directed by John Glenn (assuming The Hollywood Reporter can be trusted).

The story follows an ex-con who is sentenced to death and wakes up from his lethal injection in a small Oregon town. Working as a groundskeeper for a mental hospital, he is told he was given a second chance by God but questions whether he ever really died. Cardellini will play the hospital's administrator and Walker's love interest.

MPAA factors in smoking as rating criteria

I'm not a big fan of the MPAA. They call their rating system a guide for parents, but I see it as a way to censor material and block potentially legitimate viewers from seeing certain films. Why can't a mature 15-year old see an R-rated movie without his parents? A movie that is sexually explicit will end up with an NC-17 rating, which will cause the movie to either be edited (censorship) or not be played in most movie theaters (censorship - but more just business). The rating system is stupid.

That being said, the MPAA isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and so it's nice to see them do something good for a change. They have added smoking to their list of criteria that could cause a movie to get an R rating.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the MPAA ratings board "will now consider smoking as a factor among many other factors, including violence, sexual situations and language, in the rating of films," MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said.

"Clearly, smoking is increasingly an unacceptable behavior in our society. There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine's highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit. The appropriate response of the rating system is to give more information to parents on this issue."

Thankfully, smoking will not be an instant kiss of death. While I agree smoking should be a cause of concern in movies, some people wanted movies containing smoking to immediately receive R ratings. This would mean that films set in a historical time where smoking was prevalent would be R-rated no matter what, etc. etc. The MPAA, however, will look at a few rules:

Is the smoking pervasive?
Does the film glamorize smoking?
Is there a historic or other mitigating context?

I think this is a good movie, but we'll see how it's enforced...

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Wall Street 2? Seriously?

Wow. In the genre of sequels you never saw coming, Twentieth Century Fox is shooting for a sequel to Oliver Stone's Wall Street, which would return Michael Douglas to his Oscar-winning role.

The original 1987 drama won Douglas an Oscar for his role as cold-hearted takeover artist Gordon Gekko. The sequel will be titled Money Never Sleeps. Writer Stephen Schiff will write, but Oliver Stone is not involved. Usually I would say this is a bad thing, but have you seen Stone's movies of late?

Edward Pressman, who produced the original, will return for the sequel. Wow. Same financier. Amazing. This report comes from Variety.

Julie Benz bends backwards for John Rambo

Variety reports that the rather good-looking Julie Benz, best known for her starring role in Showtime's "Dexter" (never heard of it), will star opposite Sylvester Stallone in John Rambo (and I really hope they change the title back to Rambo IV).

The sequel finds Rambo living in solitude until he gets involved in a girl's disappearance. The movie is currently shooting in Thailand, Mexico and the U.S. In addition to starring, Sylvester Stallone is also directing. Uh-oh.

Benz has also been seen in Jawbreaker and The Brothers.

Kevin Costner gets a Swing Vote

Kevin Costner is going to star in Joshua Michael Stern's upcoming indie comedy Swing Vote, according to Variety. The storyfocuses on a single father who holds the deciding ballot in an upcoming election.

The movie is the first for Kevin Costner's new production company, Treehouse Films. Costner was quoted as saying, "Treehouse will give me the opportunity to shepherd projects from the ground up, with the goal of aligning partners of a like mind. Swing Vote fits right into that mold."

Monday, May 7, 2007

Four new movie reviews

I've posted four movie reviews on my movie website Movie-Source.com, and wanted to share them with you all:

Deliver Us From Evil, the Oscar-nominated documentary about pedophile priest Father Oliver O'Grady, who raped and abused children over several years and who was subsequently "punished" by simply getting relocated to new towns that didn't know any better. Way to go, Catholic Church!

Breaking and Entering, which has Jude Law cheating on Robin Wright Penn with Juliette Binoche, who he met after her son broke into his architecture firm repeatedly and he followed the kid home. Spooky!

Because I Said So, which stars Diane Keaton as a psychotic mother who drives daughter Mandy Moore nearly to insanity. The movie is a romantic comedy.

The Hitcher, a rather ridiculous slasher film with Sean Bean as the title character. Sophia Bush looks good, but can't make up for an idiotic character who does every stupid thing in the book.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Spider-Man 3 makes $148 million over the weekend

The Spider-Man franchise has reclaimed the box office throne from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, as Spider-Man 3 raked in $148 million since Thursday at midnight, the biggest opening ever, based on Sunday's estimates.

Up until laster year, the original Spider-Man had owned the three-day box office record of $114 million, only to be crushed by Pirates' $135.6 million opening. It's a fitting coup, as Dead Man's Chest really wasn't that good and didn't deserve the $135.6 million it made - of course, Spider-Man 3 ain't no Cinderella either, as it lacks the entertainment value of the previous two movies.

Still, is anyone really that surprised that Spider-Man 3 took back the throne, and does anyone expect Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End to do better in a few weeks? I highly doubt it, but crazier things have happened.

If you're wondering, the rest of the box office this weekend was scary, as Disturbia, the second place film, only made $5.7 million, which means that the rest were even worse. The only other new entry this weekend, Lucky You, saw its counter programming fail, as it came in sixth with only $2.5 million. Ha ha, I knew that one was going to tank!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

The Incredible Hulk finds Liv Tyler

Get this: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Liv Tyler will star opposite Ed Norton in Marvel Studios' The Incredible Hulk, signing on to play Betty Ross, the longtime love interest of Dr. Bruce Banner/the Hulk. Louis Leterrier is directing the movie. He is the man behind The Transporter films.

Ross, a classic "Hulk" character from the comic book's beginning in 1962, is Banner's fellow scientist and an ally in his quest to rid him of his lurking monster deep inside. The movie will unfold with Ross estranged from Banner (Norton), but with the pursuit of the Hulk heating up and Banner on the run trying to cure his condition, Ross finds herself swept back into his life. Jennifer Connelly played the character in the 2003 movie Hulk.

Filming on the new "Hulk" is slated to begin in the summer in Toronto. Universal Pictures is distributing.

Spider-Man 3 vs. X-Men: United - which one is better?

X-Men: United was a so-so sequel to two very good X-Men movies, as too much was crammed into a short running time. Spider-Man 3, is forty minutes longer but also crammed with too much stuff.

So which is better? I was not a big fan of X-Men: United, but I must say I actually liked it better than Spider-Man 3. After all, it was action-packed, fast paced and had lots of interesting developments, whereas Spider-Man 3 is long, a bit boring and doesn't offer any "money shot" action scenes.

I never saw that one coming...

(also, read my new Spider-Man 3 movie review)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Frank Miller's Ronin coming to theaters

Two recent Frank Miller adaptations have made a ton of profit lately... maybe you've heard of them? (Hint: Sin City and 300). You may not be surprised that, according to Variety, Warner Brothers had picked up Miller's Ronin to turn into a live action movie.

The original Ronin comic followed the adventures of a misbegotten samurai that accidently allowed the assassination of his old master to take place. There will also be a shape-shifting monster thrown in the mix. The film will follow the dead master's sword into 21st century New York, where the ronin and the demon will battle it out above skyscrapers.

Director Sylvain White (Stomp the Yard) will shoot the film in a similar fashion as to the way 300 was shot. The budget will be only $65 million, but White's pretty lucky - the director hasn't done anything close to something of this magnitude.