Friday, April 15, 2005

Coming to a theater near you, 04/15/05...

The big movie of the week is The Amityville Horror, which is the latest in the apparently infinate line of '70s and '80s horror movie remakes. (Just this morning I saw that When A Stranger Calls is getting a redo.) I haven't seen the original movie, but apparently, to my surprise, the titular menace isn't a bigass shark.

Given the weak box office last week, along with the general continuity popularity of the horror genre right now, chances are this will easily win the weekend box office crown. I myself am not all that interested, but then I don't get out to see all that many movies. Besides, another film with a ghostly kid right now seems a tad superfluous. AH has earned a 42% postitive rating at Rottentomatoes.com, which actually is pretty decent for a horror movie.

That's about it for big movies this week, although David Duchovny's art house pet project House of D, which he wrote, directed and stars in, and which features Robin Williams in another "Please, give me an Oscar!" role, has the whiff of unintentional comedy all over it. Per The New York Times: "The reasons to avoid House of D, David Duchovny's earnest, unwatchable coming-of-age drama, can best be summarized in a simple declarative sentence: Robin Williams plays a retarded janitor."

Exorcist 4.1 to be released...

Paul "American Gigalo" Schrader was originally hired to direct the recent bombtastic prequel Exorcist: The Beginning. Dubbing the film "unwatchable," the studio then hired Renny Harlin--which has to rank as the most dire insult in history--to reshoot the film.

That version came and went without 'scaring up' (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) barely anything at the box office, so now, apparently aware that they've little to lose, they will give the Schrader version a limited theatrical release starting this month.

If I were to guess, I think they are generating as much publicity as they can before releasing the DVD, which I would expect will (in some version or other) pair the two films so as to hopefully draw curiosity seekers.

Scariest headline of the month...

Per Rotten Tomatoes.com: "There's a Whole Lot of Robin Williams on the Horizon."

Morning in America...

The crack staff at JBBD earlier reported that a scriptwriter had been hired to write the sequel to Garfield: The Movie. Developments continue apace as Tim Hill, who directed Muppets in Space and the apparently actual movie Max Kebble's Big Move, to helm the follow-up.

However, can only true cinema buff rest easy after reading the following: "No word yet on if Breckin Meyer, Jennifer Love Hewitt, or Bill Murray will be reprising their roles from Part 1"?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

DVD bargains for 4/14/05...

DVDPlanet.com is offering a deal for nostalgia buffs by offering the Schoolhouse Rock special edition set for $15, or 50% off.

Meanwhile, the Canadian DVDsoon.com is offering several (mostly) sci-fi season sets for over half off, including Andromedia Season 3, CSI Season 2, Farscape Seasons 1-4, Jeremiah Season 1 and, best of all, the second season of the original Outer Limits for $35.50, which is half off.

DVDSoon is alway offering the DEAL OF THE DAY by selling the Ingmar Bergman box set collection (Hour of the Wolf Special Edition, The Passion of Anna Special Edition, Persona Special Edition, The Serpent's Egg Special Edition, Shame Special Edition, Bonus Disc) for a mind-boggling 70% off, at $32.30.

Walmart.com is also offering some amazing deals on first season TV sets for the following shows, all for $15, which represents between 63 and 75% off: Ally McBeal, Buffy the VS, Dark Angel, Harsh Realm, NYPD Blue, King of the Hill and the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

DVD bargains of the Day...

Amazon.com is holding a sales on classic Fox movies, each selling for $10, which is a healthy if not spectacular 33% off. Better, if you buy $25 dollars worth of stuff total, the shipping is free. And Amazon, unlike many Internet DVD venders now, does not charge sales tax. So the deal is better than it looks.

The top film by my lights is the fantabulous Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power, but other winners include The Grapes of Wrath, All About Eve, The Day the Earth Stood Still (definately a must buy disc), My Darling Clementine, The Diary of Anne Frank, The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, The Three Faces of Eve and many, many more.

Moreover, lovers of classic chick flicks and/or camp devotees will purr in delight at the long list of four-hanky soapers: An Affair to Remember, A Letter to Three Wives, Leave Her to Heaven, Love is a Many-Spendored Thing, Peyton Place and Return to Peyton Place.

The complete list of films is here.

Those looking to hit the free shipping mark with something a little cheesier might look to the surprisingly decent Frankenfish, which Amazon is selling for $14, a hefty 43% off.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Nuts for Meg...

New Line has reportedly picked up from Disney the rights to Steve Alten's horrible series of novels about the reemergence of Megalodon sharks, which were basically prehistoric, 80-foot great whites. Alten's first book, Meg, was wooden but passable, while the second, Trench, was gut-bustingly horrible. I haven't read the most recent, Meg: Primal Waters.

Still, Jaws was a better movie than novel (although admittedly, that was one of that only times in history that's been the case), so who knows. And hey, giant shark!

Meg is due to begin filming this fall, with Jan "Speed 2" DeBont on the bridge.

Monday Morning QB[O]ing...

A tepid weekend at the box office saw viewers surprising 'desert' (ha ha) the well reviewed romantic comedy Fever Pitch, which was enervated by the surprising heat of Sahara, although it was a dry heat as the film drew only about $18.5 million. Still, the film was expensively produced for $120 million, and will have to draw strongly overseas to make a profit. However, it presumably will not be the disaster that the last film version of a Dirk Pitt novel proved, when 1980's Raise the Titanic hit an iceberg of audience indifference, and the film, famously the most expensive film ever produced in Britain, sank the English film industry as a producer of expensive, Hollywood-style films.

Proving more a typical genre film than a breakout hit, last week's box office champion Sin City dropped over 50% to reap a not so sinful $14.1 million. The odds of the film crossing the 100 million line seem pretty remote now, although it will undoubtably do well on DVD.

Any heated expectation for Fever Pitch broke as the Jimmy Fallon/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy drew only $13 million in its first frame, less than $4,000 a theater.

Every other holdover movie in the top 10 saw big declines, all of around 50% from the prior week. However, Vin Diesel's ill reviewed The Pacifier did manage to stagger across the hundred million mark.

Better news from the small house market as the acclaimed Kung Fu Hustle danced its way to a high-kicking $293,00 from only seven theaters, more than $41,000 per venue. The film goes wider next week, and hope to continue Chow-ing down.