1. Super 8 (Paramount, 3,379 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The one thing that you have to give J.J. Abrams credit for, he know how to use suspense to increase viewer interest. Cloverfield, which he produced, must have sold 90% of its tickets because people wanted to see exactly what tore the Statue of Liberty’s head off. And I’m just most of the people buying tickets to this one are doing so to see what exactly is attacking that small town in the trailer.
But will there be pay off for all the hype? Opinions on Cloverfield are mixed depending on who you ask. However, it might be a little different this time around as Abrams also wrote and directed this film. I liked his work on Star Trek, and this one does look intriguing. Showings have already started. As of this writing, it has a 82% fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes. We’ll see if it lives up to the hype.
2. Judy Moody And The NOT Bummer Summer (Relativity, 2,524 Theaters, 91 Minutes, Rated PG): It’s a time-honored strategy called counter-programming. When a hugely-hyped film is about to open, one that might sell-out quickly yet not be 100% kid-friendly, put out another, more kid-friendly film the same weekend. This way, you have something to send the sprouts too while you see the film you want to see or a family-friendly alternative if you get to the theater too late and the film you want to see is sold out.
The classic example of this is Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which was released on the same day as the first of Tim Burton’s Batman films. It became a rather sizable hit for the reason listed above.
However, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids looked better than this film and Disney spent more than fifty cents promoting it. So, I doubt the
They say that no news is good news, but some times no news is just that- no news.
That’s the case with the potential to 2008’s monster film Cloverfield. Director Matt Reeves chatted with the folks from Bloody Disgusting and when asked about a followup to Cloverfield had this to say –
Unfortunately, I don’t have any [news]. We’re just…you know, somebody was saying to me that I had said something about, ‘well, we’re gonna try and get the band back together.’ And the band is still not back together, we’re just still talking about getting back together. But we haven’t really had a chance to talk about it. I mean, J.J. is editing Super 8 right now, he’s got a very, very intense schedule right now that he’s working on. And Drew [Goddard] is writing Steven Spielberg’s next movie, I think, after the Abraham Lincoln film. He’s doing Robopocalypse. So everybody’s very, very busy. But I’m sure we’ll get together one of these days and sort of bounce it around until we come up with something that we get excited about. And if we don’t, then we won’t make it.
So it sounds like everyone is still interested in making a second film, it just depends on all of their schedules aligning.
Speculation as to what JJ Abram’s top secret project Super 8 continues to swirl around the internet. When the news first broke earlier this week, many thought that this could be a sequel to Cloverfield, a school of thought that was further strengthened by a report from Vulture that “absolutely connected to 2008’s Cloverfield.”
Well, Vulture managed to catch up with Abrams himself and asked him point blank if it was indeed the case that Super 8 was a prequel/sequel to the 2008 monster film. While Abrams complimented them on their reportage, he shot down the story they ran in no uncertain terms, saying that Super 8 “has nothing whatsoever to do with Cloverfield.”
So we do believe Abrams or is he lying to help preserve the surprise of what Super 8 actually is? Who knows? I somehow don’t think we’ll even get a definitive answer when the trailer debuts this weekend in front of Iron Man 2. No matter how the final film turns out, at least the promotion will keep us entertained for a while.
It’s not like Hugo Weaving needs any more geek cred. His role in the Lord of the Rings trilogy secured that. If that wasn’t enough, his performance in the Matrix trilogy cast it in iron. Then his adding his voice to Megatron in the Transformers films plated it in gold. And even his role in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert ensured that he will always have a cult status.
But apparently that wasn’t enough. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the actor is in negotiations to play the Red Skull in the upcoming Captain America film.
If this goes through, it will be the second time in ten years that Weaving has starred in a comic book movie, following 2005’s V for Vendetta. It would also reunite him with his director for The Wolfman, Joe Johnson.
The Red Skull, Captain America’s arch-enemy, was a German bellhop whose merciless nature caught the eye of Adolph Hitler. He quickly rose to the position of Hitler’s right hand man and was a constant foe for the star-spangled hero.
The search for who is to play the lead is still going on, but the list of potential candidates has been whittled down to Mike Vogel (Cloverfield), Wilson Bethel (The Young and the Restless, Generation Kill), Chris Evans (The Losers, Fantastic Four) and Garrett Hedlund (Friday Night Lights, Tron Legacy), according again to The Hollywood Reporter.
When Cloverfield was a monster hit (sorry for that pun) back in 2008, immediate speculation began not as to whether there would be a sequel, but as to when. With two years having now passed and no concrete word on a follow up moving forward, one couldn’t be faulted for thinking that the project had quietly gone the way of the dodo.
But now Cloverfield producer J. J. Abrams confirmed that we shouldn’t right off the possibility of a Cloverfield sequel just yet, while actually giving nothing new in the terms of the potential film’s actual status. Speaking to MTV, Abrams stated “We’re working on something right now with that and again, you know, it’s early stages.”
I would tend to think that after two years if a project is still in its “early stages,” than there may be some serious problems that is prohibiting movement forward. I hope not though. I liked Cloverfield a lot and thought it was one of the few giant monster films that actually dares to be about something deeper than just a crazy giant beast stomping on model buildings. Hopefully, the desire for moviegoers to see a sequel is not diminishing over the time it takes fort the film to finally be produced.
1. The Express (2,808 Theaters, Rated PG): You could probably make 4 or 5 movies based on the life of Ernie Davis. You could focus, like this one does, on the his battle with racism. You can do a movie based on his relationship with Jim Brown. You can build a story around his tragic death. All would make for interesting flicks.
But to many football fans whose knowledge doesn’t go back much farther than Tom Brady or Brett Farve–the kind of fan that thinks Barry Sanders is old school, Ernie Davis is a distant memory or an unknown cypher. Hopefully, this movie will go to remind America about the man.
Ernie Davis had the potential to be the best running back of all time. He played behind Jim Brown, a running back on the top of many fan’s “best of” lists, at Syracuse. He, like Brown, was set to play for the Cleveland Browns as a rookie when he developed leukemia. He passed away at the age of 23 without ever playing a professional game.
I don’t know how much of Davis’ life story will make it into this movie. Previews make it look like just his struggles with prejudice in the 1950s will be on screen. But his life is tragic and inspiring at the same time. It’s about time his story made it to the screen.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a trailer to embed here. But if you want to check it out, click here.
2. Body of Lies (2,710 Theaters, 128 Minutes, Rated R): Russell Crowe, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ridley Scott. How can you lose with that combo.
Well, it might lose because it is set smack dab in the war on terror in the Middle East. That topic has been the kiss of death for many a film in the last few years. And a couple of those films had pretty good casts as well.
Sure, the trailer makes it look like a battle of wits and wills between DiCaprio and Crowe, but the novel the movie is based on is about a CIA operative in Jordan tracking a high ranking terrorist leader. Could the producers have changed the plot? Sure. But how will audiences react if the film they are seeing is way different than what they thought they were getting.
This is similar territory to the recent Traitor, and that film didn’t set the world on fire. It will be interesting to see if this film has any better luck.
3. Quarantine (2,461 Theaters, 89 Minutes, Rated R): During the San Diego Comic-Con, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
I stepped out into the main hall just as a line of people, there must have been a hundred of them, wearing haz-mat suits walked by.
I have to say, I was impressed (of course, I hadn’t seen the hundreds of “Sexy Jesuses” that did the same stunt earlier to promote Hamlet 2). I went over to one of the haz-mat people, who were handing out postcards. They were promoting this film. I thought that I might want to give it a shot.
That was, however, before I saw any trailers for the film. When I did, I found out that it was a clone of The Blair Witch Project by way of Cloverfield with vampires, apparently.
Could it still be a good movie? Yeah, I guess so. But I wish the movie was as inventive as their marketing (which really wasn’t that inventive, come to think about it).
4. City of Ember (2,022 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated PG): But at least Quarantine had at least some marketing. This film has been deadly silent. At least, I didn’t see anything for it. And you’d think if your movie was set to open in over 2,000 theaters, that they’d run an ad here or there.
Maybe the studio had a reason. This film comes from a line of children’s books. The bloom is off the rose when it comes to kid lit adaptations not named Harry Potter. Maybe the powers that be figured that spending money on advertising for a movie that was going to fail anyway was a waste of time.
Anyway, the story is about a magical city that is undergoing an energy crisis–it’s lights are going out, perhaps forever. Two teenagers go on a quest to find out the reason for the blackout and try to fix it before its too late.
If that synopsis doesn’t float your boat, then maybe the fact that Bill Murray and Tim Robbins star in it will. Any movie with both of them in it can’t be all bad.