Weekend box office preview: It’s a “Nightmare” all around
So, we have just two major releases this week and while one is hard-edged remake of a franchise-spawning eighties horror hit and the other is a purported family film, to me all signs this weekend in terms of major new releases (and one tiny release) scream: “Be afraid, be very afraid.” For the most part, the critics aren’t disagreeing.
For starters, we have “A Nightmare on Elm Street” which brings us Jackie Earle Haley in the role made famous by Robert Englund — the child-murderer of everyone’s dreams with the specially augmented fingers, Freddy Kruger. Now, as someone who is such a wuss that he was unable to get past the first twenty minutes or so of the original on VHS — that Wes Craven guy really knows how to scare people — I’m not really one to judge. However, the critics are thoroughly unimpressed with the new version directed by another music video alum, Samuel Bayer, granting it a dismal 11% “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing.
Still, even if the original version is regarded as something of a classic today by critics, this movie has “critic proof” written all over it. Indeed, jolly Carl DiOrio, assures us that it’s “tracking” very well and will top the box office with “as much as” $30 million for Warner Brothers. He also gets a bit less jolly in his video this week and actually complains about the use of the word “reboot” to describe films like “Nightmare.” Well, considering that you’re starting over an existing franchise as if the original had never happened, I’m not sure what you’re supposed to call it. It’s not only a remake.
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Posted in: Action Movies, Actors, Actresses, Horror Movies, Movie Comedies, Movie Dramas, Movies, News
Tags: A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alan Arkin, Amanda Peet, Andy Garcia, Brendan Fraser, Catherine Keener, City Island, Death Wish, Dirty Harry, Dreamworks Animation, Emily Mortimer, Freddy Kruger, Furry Vengeance, Harry Brown, Headlines, How to Train Your Dragon, Jackie Earle Haley, Julianna Margulies, Michael Caine, Nicole Holofcener, Please Give, Raymond de Felitta, Robert Englund, Samuel Bayer, Summit, The Day of the Animals, Tom Six, Wes Craven, William Girdler
Thursday night movie news dump
I usually do this on Friday, but the interesting film related stories have been coming fairly hot and heavy all week and it’s time to play catch up. I’m telling you right now, as long as this post is, whatever the most important and interesting story from this eventful week turns out to be, it’ll be the one I skip.
* When I first heard about the project a week or so back, I was taken by the prospect of screenwriter Dustin Lance Black segueing from a biopic about the first openly gay U.S. politician in “Milk” to one about by far the most powerful closeted gay man in American history, J. Edgar Hoover. Hoover was the first director of the FBI starting in 1935 and, in a real blow to our democracy, intimidated several presidents into keeping him in the position until his death in 1972, a shocking 37 years later.
An already interesting project got even more interesting, however, a couple of days back when word got out that none other than Clint Eastwood, who will be joining the very smal club of octogenerian directors this May, might choose to helm it. (The Playlist broke the news on the 10th that Eastwood was “set” to direct; yesterday Borys Kit of The Hollywood Reporter wrote that he was merely “eying” the project.).
Taken together with “Invictus,” this would be the second time the right leaning but independent-minded Republican would be taking on subject matter that deals obliquely with a significant moral failure of American conservatism. Nearly all well-known conservatives tacitly supported both the racist and fascist pre-Mandela South African regime and Hoover’s uninterrupted reign.
In the case of “Invictus,” the idea of him doing it turned out to be more interesting than the film. However, for the man who embodied “get tough” law enforcement concepts as Dirty Harry to take on a law enforcement figure who enjoyed getting tough with anyone who dared to espouse politics he deemed radical — but not the mafia — that’s a horse of a potentially very different color. One to watch.
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Posted in: Actors, Horror Movies, Movie Comedies, Movie Dramas, Movies, News, Sci-Fi Movies
Tags: Andrew Stanton, apartheid, Aragorn, Armond White, Carl Jung, Clint Eastwood, Col. Hans Landa, David Cronenberg, Dirty Harry, Dustin Lance Black, Freud, Headlines, HSX, Insurge, Invictus, J. Edgar Hoover, Jason Bateman, Jerry Lewis, John Carter of Mars, Kentucky Fried Movie, Lt. Archie Hickox, Michael Giacchino, Milk, Million Dollar Baby, Paramount, Paranormal Activity, Pixar, Planet of the Apes prequel, Ryan Reynolds, She's Out of My League, Sigmund Freud, Smurfs, Takeshi Kitano, The Producers, Twilight trailer, Untitled Comedy, Up, WALL-E
The League of Quality Superhero Animation plugs “Crisis on Two Earths” at Paley Center
It’s an old story. You’re a superhero minding your own business and then you bump into someone who looks very familiar but, well, something’s just not right. Gee whiz but this person looks a lot like you and is even wearing similar clothes, but then you notice your new acquaintance looks like he or she is made from rocks, uses terrible grammar and does everything the opposite of you. (“Me want to not save world!”) Or the newcomer looks like one of your deadliest enemies, but turns out to be no Bizaaro, but as heroic as you are. What’s a superhero to do?
It’s an old superhero comic story that has yet to find its way into a big-time costumed-hero flicks — but at least it’s finally been used in a solidly entertaining and often slyly funny direct-to-DVD animated production. Rated a mild PG-13 for non-deadly “action violence,” Warner Home Video’s “Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths” shows us the fall-out of an alternate universe where the equivalents of our most famed superheros are essentially costumed Mafioso, while a bald guy named Luthor and a joker named the Jester vainly fight the power of organized caped crime.
When the alternate Luthor (Chris Noth) manages a reality jump into the original DC Comics Universe, he enlists the aid of most of the Justice League. And so, Superman (Mark Harmon), Wonder Woman (Vanessa Marshall), and a less than cooperative Batman (William Baldwin), become involved in a desperate quest to free Good Luthor’s universe from super-powered criminal domination by the vicious Crime Syndicate and it’s Jersey-thug-like leader, Ultraman (Brian Bloom) — and also to stave off the possible destruction of all existence by an off-his-evil meds Dark Knight of the Soul, Owlman (James Woods), and his only slightly more sane GF, Super Woman (Gina Torres).
The 72 minute direct-to-video feature was premiered at both of the coastal outlets of the Paley Center, and I attended the one located on Earth Prime’s Beverly Hills. Us members of the local geek press were allowed to commune with members of the cast and crew and, in my case, that started with the extremely busy animation casting and voice director, Andrea Romano. The loquacious performer and voice director, whose work includes everything from “Animaniacs” to “Spongebob Squarepants” and “Ben Ten,” is held in as high esteem by super-animation fans as any actor, writer, or director. Her work on DC superhero projects goes back to the early nineties and “Batman: The Animated Series,” which revolutionized superhero cartoons with quality writing from creators like Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, animation, and, thanks to her efforts, acting.
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Posted in: Actors, Actresses, Movies, New Media, News, TV, TV Cartoons, TV DVDs, TV Sci-Fi, Video
Tags: 30 Days of Night, Alan Burnett, Andrea Romano, Angel, Animaniacs, Aquaman, Aristotle, Batman, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Ben Ten, Beverly Hills, Billy Baldwin, Brian Bloom, Bruce Davison, Bruce Timm, Chris Noth, Chris Rock, Crime Syndicate, Crisis of Infinite Earths, Danielle Keaton, Destroyman, Dirty Harry, Doom Patrol, Dwayne McDuffie, EC Comics, Firefly, Flash, Gina Torres, Green Lantern: First Flight, Headlines, I Think I Love My Wife, James Woods, Jason Todd, Jim Corrigan, Josh Keaton, Joss Whedon, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Lauren Montgomery, Laurence Fishburne, Luthor, Mark Harmon, Michael Douglas, Michael Keaton, Milestone Media, No More Heroes, Owlman, Paley Center, Paul Dini, Planet Hulk, Plato, Robin, Sam Liu, Serenity, Spiderman, Spongebob Squarepants, Static Shock, Steve Niles, Supeman/Batman: Public Enemies, Super Woman, Superman, Teen Titans, The Spectre, Ultraman, Vanessa Marshall, Vixen, William Baldwin, Wonder Woman