It’s Monday, which means it’s time for New And News, where I preview this week’s new releases and highlight some of my favorite news stories over the past week. Since it is the week of Christmas, Hollywood has decided to give American theaters a whole bunch of presents: three new wide releases debut on Christmas Day, and two other films will see major wide release expansions. We’ve got grandiose musicals, detective superheroes, animated chipmunks, elderly affairs, and a whole lot of frequent flyer miles to talk about. And that’s just the New! Let’s get started…
The fact that the original Alvin And The Chipmunks earned $244 million in 2007 is so unbelievable to me, that I almost don’t want to talk about it. I’m usually all about the middle-American, widely appealing movies, but I just can’t get behind these one-joke, gimmicky, poorly animated films. The trailer for this one features more high-pitched chipmunk voices, dancing girl chipmunks, and utterly inconsequential plot lines. I try to be impartial, but I’m truly hoping this will under-perform. Bah humbug!
Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams star in this Guy Ritchie new adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective. Warner Brothers is clearly hoping to launch a major franchise here, as they’ve re-imagined Sherlock as an action hero. A hefty $80 million was spent on the film, and despite buzz amongst movie buffs, I get the feeling Sherlock Holmes probably won’t break out the way the studio is hoping. (It looks a little bit too much like Van Helsing…) Reviews are solid, though, and I would love to see this take down the chipmunks.
Any time an actress above the age of 50 gets a role, I’m happy. It’s simply not fair that older women aren’t represented at the box office. Unfortunately for most older actresses, though, Meryl Streep takes 98% of these roles. It’s Complicated follows Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep, a bitterly divorced couple. Over time, Baldwin marries a much younger woman, and Streep begins dating Steve Martin. The comedy in this movie comes when Streep, in a drunken state, ends up sleeping with her ex-husband, which begins an extended affair with him! The concept is absolutely fantastic, so I wish the reviews were a bit better, but on the heels of Did You Hear About The Morgans?‘s poor performance, It’s Complicated should provide a better choice romantic comedy fans.
George Clooney stars as a jet-setting business man who spends most of his life in the air, but his life changes when he finds himself suddenly smitten with a fellow traveler, Vera Farmiga. Riding the wave of awards buzz, this has done very well in limited release thus far, having already earned almost $9 million in limited release. With a major expansion on Friday, I’d expect Up In The Air to about double its total this weekend.
Nine (Weinstein) – 1,500 theaters – Reviews
Rob Marshall, director of Chicago and Dreamgirls, brings Nine, yet another musical, to the screen. With a cast that is adored by Hollywood, featuring Daniel Day Lewis, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, and Fergie, the movie world is extremely excited about Nine. However, reviews are below average, and the ads have given absolutely no sense of the story. Like so much of Marshall’s work, this looks more about style than substance. I’m not thinking this will be be a major box office success.
I was crushed when the director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United decided not to direct X-Men: The Last Stand… we were so close to having a great trilogy! Thankfully, though, Bryan Singer has decided to direct the latest Marvel spinoff, X-Men: First Class. I can’t wait!
Reshoots usually mean a movie is not good. Adding 3D effects is often nothing more than a desperate attempt to make more money. Therefore, when news comes out that Warner Brothers’ Clash Of The Titans is reshooting and attempting to add 3D to a movie just six months before its release, it tells me that this movie is destined to be a disaster.
After coming out of nowhere and earning an amazing $277 million this Summer, The Hangover was all but guaranteed to have a sequel. CHUD reports that the next film will probably take place in Thailand, taking up a storyline that wasn’t used in Old School 2, which never saw the light of day.