Monday, January 30, 2012

The Week That Was and the Week That Will Be

John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side) will direct The Partner based on a John Grisham novel. Hancock is responsible for one of my favorite films, The Alamo, which no one else in the world cares for. And while the majority of films based on Grisham novels haven't been so great, The Partner is an excellent read with a little more to it than the author's typical product. I'm excited.

With The Grey opening this weekend, Cinema Blend gives us six great man vs. animal movie moments. Well done!

Details are slipping out about two (loosely?) Biblically-based films: Darren Arnofsky's Noah and Steven Spielberg's Gods and Kings (about Moses). Intrigued.

I discovered a new blog this week called In the Frame Film Reviews. Really like this guy's work especially his 100 Movies to See Before You Die post. Check it out.

And finally, here's absolute official word from Dean Lorey's website: the new season of Arrested Development is a go. I. Cannot. Wait.

Weekend Box Office Results
Much to my chagrin, I didn’t make it to the theater this weekend. I definitely wanted to as the idea of Liam Neeson destroying nature had me quite excited.  Alas, I was too busy with, you know, real life. Anyway, glad to see audiences embrace The Grey this weekend though the upcoming weekend will be the real test for this movie: with all the (possibly unexpected) positive reviews, The Grey could be looking at a long theatrical run, much like Taken enjoyed a few years ago. And here’s hoping One for the Money fades away as quickly as Katherine Heigl’s star appeal.

1. The Grey - $20M
2. Underworld: Awakening - $12.5M ($45.12M)
3. One for the Money - $11.75M
4. Red Tails - $10.4M ($33.78M)
5. Man on Ledge - $8.3M
6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - $7.14M ($21.1M)
7. The Descendants - $6.55M ($58.84M)
8. Contraband - $6.5M ($56.4M)
9. Beauty and the Beast 3D - $5.35M ($41.14M)
10. Haywire - $4M ($15.27M)

New to DVD
What I’ve Seen and You Should, Too
Drive (2011) - Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks
New in Town (2012) - John Mulaney
This is my last chance to extoll the greatness of this film since the Academy, in all their infinite wisdom, decided to leave it out of Oscar consideration altogether. So allow me one last time to tell you that this is the best movie of 2011 and a film that is about one step away from “masterpiece” status. It’s not for everyone but if you can handle the hyper-violence, this is a must-see. New in Town is a stand-up comedy set by John Mulaney that debuted on Comedy Central this weekend. Mulaney is the head writer for Saturday Night Live and he’s one of the funniest dudes in the business. Check it out.

What I Know I Shouldn’t Watch But I’m Probably Going to Anyway
In Time (2011) - Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy
My colleague Matt Kraus pegged this as the worst film of 2011. I’ve seen other similar reviews and it currently has a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I know all of this and I expect to agree with the aforementioned assessments. But I also know myself and I know that I can’t resist a high-concept sci-fi flick like this one. So expect a scathing review in the near future.

Also New
The Thing (2011) - Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen
Texas Killing Fields (2011) - Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chloe Grace Moretz
The Big Year (2011) - Owen Wilson, Steve Martin, Jack Black
Dream House (2011) - Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts

New to Blu
To Kill a Mockingbird  50th Anniversary Edition (1962) - Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton (One of my favorite books ever and a cinematic classic.)
Shakespeare in Love (1998) - Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush (One of my least favorite movies and possibly the worst movie to ever win Best Picture. I’m not bitter or anything.)
Cold Mountain (2003) - Jude Law, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zellweger
The English Patient (1996) - Ralph Fiennes, Juliette Binoche, Kristin Scott Thomas
Adaptation (2002) - Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, Chris Cooper
The Piano (1993) - Holly Hunter, Sam Neill, Harvey Keitel
Malcolm X (1992) - Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett
Frida (2002) - Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush
The Scout (1994) - Brendan Fraser, Albert Brooks, Dianne Wiest
Monkeybone (2001) - Brendan Fraser, Bridget Fonda
A Soldier’s Story (1984) - Howard E. Rollins, Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington
Grand Canyon (1991) - Steve Martin, Danny Glover, Kevin Kline
Nothing in Common (1986) - Tom Hanks, Jackie Gleason

Coming to a Theater Near You
Well, I was way off on my RT score predictions last week. Who knew The Grey would do so well (79% fresh) and both Man on Ledge (23% rotten) and One for the Money (3%) would tank so hard? I mean, I knew OFTM would be atrocious but 3%?! Wow. Hoping I can redeem myself this week.

Chronicle - Michael B. Jordan, Alex Russell, Dane DeHaan
I’ve been cautiously optimistic about this found footage movie about three teenagers who are imbued with special powers after discovering an alien object. I’ve seen no reviews as of yet but the Twitter buzz has been far better than expected. Here’s hopin’! Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 70%

The Woman in Black - Daniel Radcliffe, Janet McTeer, Ciaran Hinds
My dislike of horror movies is well established at this point. But this one looks intriguing. I think it’s a smart play for Radcliffe to jump into something different from Harry Potter but not entirely uncomfortable. Could be worth a look at some point. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 67%

The Innkeepers - Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis
Speaking of horror movies… This one has gotten really good reviews to this point but looks less interesting to me personally. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 70%

Big Miracle - John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Tim Blake Nelson
The obvious comparison for Big Miracle is Dolphin Tale which was well-received and scored an 83% fresh rating. But will Big Miracle be of the same quality and do critics (and moviegoers alike) have enough room for such a similar movie so soon? My guess is no to the first question, yes to the second. Rotten Tomatoes prediction: 52%

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