Archive for the ‘James Cameron’ Category

New And News: Denzel And Jackie Star In One Very Confusing Movie, And One Very Obvious One

January 11, 2010

Alright, now this is more like the January I’ve come to know and love.  As opposed to the relatively well-reviewed releases of last week, two sorta crappy-looking movies are hitting theaters this Friday.  These are the sorts of films that usually debut in January.  Movies have typically opened poorly in January, as it’s somewhat of a box office dead zone after the huge numbers of November and December.  Because box office results are often bad, studios release some of their worst movies in January, and because movie quality is bad, the box office stays in the toilet.  Do you see how that cycle perpetuates itself?  Well, with a confusing apocalyptic thriller and a fish-out-of-water family comedy that, despite some solid star power, each look pretty poor, the third weekend of January should continue the tradition sub-par quality.  Poor box office, however? That’s another story, as both of these new releases have a shot at some moderate success.  Keep on reading for an over view of this week’s new releases, as well as some news about Star Trek 2, Green Lantern, a sequel to Twister, and James Cameron’s latest move.

New:

The Book Of Eli (Warner Bros) – 3,000 theaters – Reviews

This movie looks downright confusing.  Somehow, Denzel Washington is a super-violent, Bible-thumping, warrior in a post-apocalyptic world.  Maybe it’s a sequel to 2012?  Maybe to The Road?  Denzel is supposed to be a sort of righteous fighter, with Mila Kunis as his apprentice, and as they journey over a barren landscape, they kill a lot of people.  This movie’s advertising seems to be avoiding associating itself too much with the Bible, though it seems like a key plot point.  Thus, the ads have left me scratching my head, and when audiences don’t have any clue what movie is about, it’s never good for business.  Denzel will bring in audiences for sure, but I don’t see this taking down Avatar.

The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate) – 2,800 theaters – Reviews

This looks almost exactly the same as Disney’s 2003 Vin Diesel vehcile, The Pacifier.  Jackie Chan plays a former spy ready who’s asked to babysit a neighbor’s three children, who find themselves in a heap of trouble when one of them downloads an top secret code.  Keeping these kids in line and winning their approval proves to be harder than he would have thought, and hijinks ensue.  Blah.  How can I tell this movie is a stinker.  First off, it’s an uncreative premise.  Second, it’s debuting in January.  Third, it’s starring Billy Ray Cyrus. 

News:

Star Trek Sequel’s Release Date Set:

I mentioned it last week that Star Trek 2 (I’m sure the title will be something more along the lines of Star Trek: The Rise Of The Blah-Blah-Blah) would begin shooting in Late 2010. Now, BoxOfficeMojo reports that the Paramount sci-fi film will release on June 29th, 2012.  That means we’ve got 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days to buzz anxiously about it!

James Cameron Options Japanese War Film

The Avatar director has optioned yet another film that he may possibly make.  Instead of a sci-fi epic like Battle Angel or The Fantastic Voyage, though, this one would be an adaptation of the upcoming book, The Last Train To Hiroshima, which chronicles the eyewitness accounts of Japanese civilians and American pilots who watched the atomic bombs go off.  Is this really the right movie for Cameron to direct? I know he loves big special effects, but we don’t really want to turn Hiroshima and Nagasaki into entertaining spectacle, do we?

What Goes Around Comes Around

Who needs new ideas when we’ve got so many old ones?  Despite the fact that Twister, which earned $241 million at the box office, is now a whopping fourteen years old, Bill Paxton is hoping to move forward with production on a sequel.  At least he’s honest about why he’s doing it, though: “The only reason I’d like to revisit that ground is because I realize we’re living in a time where big movies cost so much to make that the town is looking for built-in audiences…”  The bad news about this: they want to shoot it in 3D.  Ugh.

Blake Lively Cast In Green Lantern

Female castings in superhero movies are always some of the most buzzed about movie news on the web, and that’s certainly been the case with Blake Lively’s recent casting as Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern.  I think she’s a great actress, and she’ll probably do a good job, but to me, her voice is a bit too deep to be a screaming damsel in distress!  Is that too judgmental?

Merry Christmas From Avatar!

December 24, 2009

It’s Christmas Eve, and the Christmas spirit has just reached a peak in my mind.  Why?  Well, because I just saw Avatar, of course!  Now, you may be asking why Avatar (which just passed the $300 million mark worldwide, by the way) would ever put someone in the Christmas spirit, and if you’re a little bit confused, just watch the video above!  I hope you enjoy it- consider it my Christmas gift to all you fantastic readers!  Have an amazing Christmas!

Weekend Preview: Avatar Is Finally Here! But Don’t Forget The Morgans!

December 18, 2009

Alright, because I love you all (and because I am really tired of studying for this exam), I’m going to break my self-inflicted silence and give you two quick box office predictions for Avatar and Did You Hear About The Morgans?.

Avatar

Fanboy demand means people want to see this right away.  The holidays, however have the opposite effect, and while they inflate grosses in the long run, they soften openings.  Thus, the sci-fi epic should have a solid, but not mind-blowing debut.  Still, with great reviews and pervasive media exposure, this has very effectively turned around its early negative buzz.  People, self-included, are genuinely excited to see Avatar.  I’ll give James Cameron’s Na’vi spectacle a $68 million opening weekend.

Did You Hear About The Morgans?

The reviews are horrendous, but I actually think the trailer for this romantic comedy was great.  It’s got a clear female appeal, so it should act as counter-programming to Avatar, and it’s going after a middle-American crowd with the simple theme of country vs. city.  Critics may hate it, but I think that a large percentage of America likes this kind of story!  Other analysts are saying this won’t even break $10 million, but I think that’s ridiculous.  Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant are both solid draws within this genre.  A $16 million weekend seems about right to me.

Avatar Is Good! I Knew It!!!

December 11, 2009

Alright, I usually don’t do posts like this, but I am just giddy with excitement!  RottenTomatoes finally has a Tomatometer for Avatar, and from the seven reviews so far, the James Cameron feature sounds dazzling and incredible!  The more of this movie I’ve seen, the better it has looked, and it appears that the whole movie is awesome!  Honestly, no great director works on a movie for 16 years and makes something bad!  After some unenthusiastic early buzz from audiences, who claimed the film looked too much like a video game, things were looking bad for Avatar, but if there’s one thing that is going to help this film’s box office, it’s going to be it’s quality, so this is a very good sign.  Look at what some critics are saying, and then tell me if you’re as excited as I am in the comments.

The screen is alive with more action and the soundtrack pops with more robust music than any dozen sci-fi shoot-’em-ups you care to mention.
-Kirk Honeycutt (Hollywood Reporter)

It’s a world, not to give too much away, that Cameron clearly fully intends to return to and further explore. When he does, our bags are already packed.
-Chris Hewitt (Empire Magazine)

Avatar is an overwhelming, immersive spectacle. The state-of-the-art 3D technology draws us in, but it is the vivid weirdness of Cameron’s luridly imagined tropical otherworld that keeps us fascinated.
-Wendy Ide (Times)

It’s a 3D movie people will look back on in years to come to comment on how it transformed cinema.
-The Sneak (Sun Online)

New And News: If Your Family Depresses You At Thanksgiving, These Movies Won’t Cheer You Up

November 24, 2009

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for The New And The News, the weekly column where I go over each of the new wide releases coming out this weekend, as well as post the news stories that really caught my eye.  This week, I’d like to not only summarize each of the new releases, but also propose a reason why you should see each of these films over your Thanksgiving Weekend.  Let’s get going.

The New

The Road (Weinstein) – Releasing In 31 Markets – Reviews

This is a grim movie based on Cormac McCarthy’s similarly grim novel of the same name.  The Road‘s story follows a father and son as they struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.  Doesn’t it sound uplifting?
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: This is a good choice for those families that are wealthy, happy, well-educated, and like to feel pseudo-intellectual by seeing artistic films like this one.  I imagine they would live in New England and probably eat tofurkey instead of an actual bird… For everyone else, this is just depressing.

Old Dogs (Disney) – 3,300 theaters – Reviews

Wonderful, John Travolta and Robin Williams starring in a Disney comedy about men having to take care of children.  It’s like RV or Daddy Day Care, only it’s even less original!  Expect many, many obvious jokes…
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: Because you’re a normal, American family, and even though you know this doesn’t look good, you think it looks good enough, and you trust that Disney will keep it appropriate. You’re happy to find a diversion for the kids, and you’re willing to settle for mediocrity.

Ninja Assassin (Warner Brothers) – 2,500 theaters – Reviews

A hyper-stylized martial arts movie with a very complicated plot that involves government conspiracies, CG-embellished fight scenes, and ninja stars galore.  It actually looks kind of cool.
Why you would see this on Thanksgiving Weekend: You’re aunt keeps judgmentally whispering about you, your grandfather won’t stop asking what you’re doing with your life, and no one is even touching the sweet potatoes you made.  You’ve got some built up aggression that you need to let out.

The News

Avatar’s Running Time Set At 2.5 Hours

The Hollywood Reporter let us know that James Cameron had officially cut Avatar at 156 minutes, the last 6 minutes of which are credits.  This is very good news to me, as I don’t like sitting around for too long, and I know that this will help its benefit its box office tremendously.  When audiences hear that a film is 3 hours long, they stay away.  Ask King Kong about it if you don’t believe me.  Also, a shorter running time means that Avatar can play more times in each theater every night, which will help its box office.

The Top 10 Most Overpaid Actors

Forbes released this interesting list of the actors who demand ridiculously high salaries, yet don’t provide solid box office results.  It’s a fun read.  Will Ferrell takes the number one spot.

Spider-Man 4 And Its Slew Of Potential Female Stars
There have been tons of rumors floating around the internet for a few weeks now about Spider-Man 4‘s casting decisions.  Lately, the focus has been on actresses that are being contacted to play Black Cat.  On the short list are Rachel McAdams, Julia Stiles, and Anne Hathaway, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out what kind of character the producers might want Black Cat to be if those are the top three choices.  Basically, there’s been a lot written about this, but I think CinemaSpy explained things pretty clearly.