This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

I. Balls of Fury (3,052 Theaters, Rated PG-13, Opened Wednesday): Ah, will Hollywood ever run out of sports to parody? I think ping pong falls somewhere between Ice Dancing (Blades of Glory) and Dodgeball (DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story) on the sport/not-a-sport scale.

This film also apes that Jean-Claude Van Dam classic Kickboxer in it’s premise. Dan Fogler stars as Randy Daytona, a down and out ping pong player who must train with a mysterious Asian master so he can enter an illegal, underground table tennis tournament. Every win in the tournament brings him one step closer to Feng (Christopher Walken), the man who killed his father, and also, to vengeance.

If you are not familiar with Dan Fogler, you might think that he is just a “Jack Black-type” the producer got on the cheap. But Fogler is a TONY Award-winning actor, known most for his role as William Morris Barfee in Broadway’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. So, he got acting chops.

Another reason to see the film is the fact that it’s written by Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon, the creative minds behind Reno 911 and former members of The State, one of the best comedy troupes of the 1990s.

2. Halloween (3, 472 Theaters, Rated R): The original Halloween was one of the first slasher films, was one of the most well received of the genre, spawned numerous sequels and served as inspiration for the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street franchises.

So, it was only a matter of time before it was remade. I’m not saying that it needed to be remade, only that it was bound to be remade, eventually.

If you believe that the Horror genre could be home to a distinct cinematic vision, then Rob Zombie is a director with one. His work on House of 1,000 Corpse and The Devil’s Rejects were original takes on Horror and have acquired Zombie a fanbase.

So, we are almost guaranteed that Rob Zombie’s take on Halloween will be unique. But we have to ask, as we do with all remakes, will it be better than the original. And will Zombie’s unique take separate it enough from the John Carpenter version.

4, Death Sentence (1,822 Theaters, Rated R): A man sees his son killed by a gang. When the gang is put on trial, the prosecution gives them a plea deal of 6 months. This does not make the father happy and he decides to inflict his own punishment by tracking the gang members down and killing them.

A man disenchanted by the legal system taking the law into his own hands? That sounds a lot like Death Wish, doesn’t it?

Well, it should. Death Sentence is loosely adapted from a 1975 novel by the same name from Death Wish author Brian Garfield.

How loose is the adaptation? Well, the novel was a more direct sequel to the Death Wish novel and followed the main character Paul Benjamin to Chicago. According to Wikipedia, it followed Benjamin as he continued his vigilantism. No family, no gang, no dead son.

This movie is also marks a departure for Saw director James Wan, moving from the horror genre to crime thrillers.

So, what about predictions, first let’s take a look at what I predicted for last week:

  1. Superbad
  2. War
  3. Nanny Diaries
  4. Rush Hour 3
  5. The Bourne Ultimatum.

And here’s how it really was:

  1. Superbad
  2. The Bourne Ultimatum
  3. Rush Hour 3
  4. Mr. Bean’s Holiday
  5. War

A weak week, performance wise, from the new releases. Mr. Bean’s Holiday did better than I expected, but nowhere near #1. This makes me 9 for 20 and an accuracy percentage of 45%.

What do I think of this week?

  1. Halloween
  2. Superbad
  3. Balls of Fury
  4. The Bourne Ultimatum
  5. Rush Hour 3

I think Halloween might pull in enough for the top spot, but Superbad will be able to hold on to the second spot. What do you think?

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About William Gatevackes 1933 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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