5 items from 2008
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the much-anticipated and only mildly disappointing return of Harrison Ford's iconic action hero, leads off this week's crop of new DVD releases. We recommend the Blu-ray 2-Disc Special Edition, featuring a gaggle of special features and behind-the-scenes featurettes -- all in sparkling HD. (Don't look for alternate endings or deleted scenes, though; Senor Spielbergo has never been fond of such things.) There are also several exclusive editions, featuring unique items like giant, creepy crystal skull replicas (pictured left), available at retail chains Circuit City, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, and Trans-World.
Also debuting today on DVD: War Inc., John Cusack's sequel to Grosse Pointe Blank political satire of corporate-managed warfare; Stuck, Stuart Gordon's quirky horror-comedy about a man trapped in a car windshield; and the animated hit The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie.
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- Thomas Leupp
DVD Links: Release Dates | New Dvds | Reviews | RSS Feed One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest There isn't a whole lot to say about One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest that hasn't already been said. You can look back at just about every single Jack Nicholson performance and find reason to call one or the other his best. Cuckoo's Nest is without a doubt one of his best. Warner didn't send me a review copy of this film so I can't tell you how the transfer looks, how it sounds or what the special features are like, but knowing them it's going to be impressive. Very rarely am I ever not impressed by a Warner special edition release and I highly doubt they would mess this one up. I still remember the first time I watched this movie and there is one line that gets me still to this day, "Hit me, »
- Brad Brevet
21 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
Paramount's modestly budgeted and stealthily marketed monster film Cloverfield opened monstrously indeed, with an estimated $41 million over its first three days, blowing away the weekend record for the long Martin Luther King holiday frame.
The 2001 military action film Black Hawk Down had marked the previous best MLK weekend. It posted a three-day gross of $28.6 million, which it stretched to $33 million through that year's Monday holiday.
Paramount executives expect Cloverfield to fall just short of $50 million through Monday.
Also during the weekend, Overture debuted the first of its slate of modestly budgeted films, bowing the female-ensemble comedy Mad Money about as expected with $7.7 million in seventh place.
Elsewhere, Warner Bros.' Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman starrer The Bucket List dropped a tiny 22% from the previous weekend -- its first in wide release -- to gross $15.2 million in third place, shaping a $42.7 million cume.
Sony/Screen Gems' Ice Cube starrer First Sunday dropped 56% in its second session to gross $7.8 million in sixth place, toting a $28.5 million cume. Universal's animated The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie tumbled from the top 10 despite a modest 35% decline from the previous weekend to $2.8 million, with a $7.7 million cume.
In a limited bow, the Weinstein Co. unspooled Woody Allen's latest drama, Cassandra's Dream, in 107 theaters. Starring Colin Farrell and Ewan McGregor, the film grossed $400,000, or an acceptable $3,740 per venue.
Elsewhere in the specialty market, Focus' Keira Knightley-James McAvoy starrer Atonement added 341 theaters for a total of 1,291 and grossed $4.8 million to finish 10th overall. With a sturdy $3,687 per venue, the latest grosses brought the cume for the Working Title-produced period drama to $31.9 million. »
14 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
The old boys can still bring it on.
An offbeat comedy involving the tale of two terminally ill patients, "Bucket" beat back a tough challenge from Sony Screen Gems' urban comedy "First Sunday", with the Ice Cube starrer bowing in second place with $19 million. Fox Searchlight's "Juno", another quirky but more youth-oriented comedy, finished third with $14 million shaping a $71.3 million cume.
"Bucket" led a brigade of four Warners pics in the weekend top 10.
The studio's Will Smith starrer "I Am Legend" rung up another $8.1 million in sixth place to move its five-week cume to $240.2 million, while its "One Missed Call" horror pic placed seventh with a 51% drop in its second frame yielding $6.1 million and a $20.6 million cume. And Warners' Hilary Swank-Gerard Butler romance "P.S. I Love You" grossed $5 million in eighth place for a four-week cume of $47 million.
Another wide opener this weekend -- Universal's "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie," an animated feature from Big Idea Prods. -- found $4.4 million in boxoffice booty to capture ninth place. But Freestyle's medieval Jason Statham starrer "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" fetched just $3.3 million to bow well outside of the weekend top 10.
Industrywide, the weekend marked a 1% uptick over the same frame last year with $129 million in collective grosses, according to Nielsen EDI data. But in a year-to-date comparison, 2008 is off 7% from the same portion of 2007.
Elsewhere this weekend, Focus/Working Title's "Atonement" added 367 playdates for a total of 950 and grossed $4.3 million in 10th place. That stretched the cume for the Keira Knightley-James McAvoy starrer to $25.2 million, with the weekend's $4,526 per-theater average representing sturdy foundation for coming frames.
Picturehouse broadened its Spanish-language horror film "The Orphanage" by 641 engagements for a total of 707, grossing $2 million, or $2,891 per playdate with a $3.2 million cume. »
11 January 2008 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
January is rarely the month of the year that comes to mind for quality family films, but the creative minds at Big Idea, home to the Christian-based animated VeggieTales franchise, buck that trend with the unspooling of Universal's The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.
Following 2002's theatrical feature Jonah plus innumerable direct-to-video offerings and a TV series, Pirates scores with adventure, humor and a morality tale rather than a standard biblical message. Cannily riding the wave of Disney's blockbuster pirate trilogy, and borrowing heavily as well from Baum's The Wizard of Oz and others, this briskly paced voyage should bring the pre-tween set aboard.
Like Jonah, the new film is framed by a contemporary story, but the framing is more polished than that first feature six years ago. Set "somewhere in the 17th century," we meet Prince Alexander and Princess Eloise, just as their ship is attacked by their jealous, peg-legged uncle Robert the Terrible and his pirates. A feisty Alexander is kidnapped, and, interestingly, he is held captive -- and contributes virtually nothing -- for the remainder of the story.
It is Eloise, with her Franklin Pangborn-like butler-sidekick Willory, who propels the entire action. Via a magic ball, three dinner-theater waiters in the present-day are plopped into the past to assist Eloise: timid Elliot (played by VeggieTales regular Larry the Cucumber), lazy Sedgewick (VeggieTales' gourd, Mr. Lunt) and unsung family man George (Pa Grape).
The five battle obstacles -- including the Island of Walking Rocks -- and encounter a few energetic musical interludes (the B-52's' "Rock Lobster" becomes a rousing closing-credits bonus video, "Rock Monster").
The crew features the usual Big Idea names. This time, co-founders Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer produce (with Paula Marcus), Nawrocki directed and Vischer scripted. Each man provides at least a half-dozen of the lead voices. Computer animation and tech credits overall are excellent.
THE PIRATES WHO DON'T DO ANYTHING: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE
Big Idea/Entertainment Rights Group
Director: Mike Nawrocki
Screenwriter: Phil Vischer
Executive Producers: Mike Heap, Jane Smith, Terry Pefanis
Production designer: Charles Vollmer
Music: Kurt Heinecke
Editor: John Wahba
George, Sedgewick, Willory, Sir Frederick, Mr. Hibbing, Bob the Tomato, Pirate Spy, Pirate Philippe Pea: Phil Vischer
Elliot, Pirate Jean Claude Pea, Theater Foe, Pirate Spy Sidekick, Pirate With Dummy, Rock Monster Father: Mike Nawrocki
Robert the Terrible, the King: Cam Clarke
Running time -- 84 minutes
MPAA rating: G
5 items from 2008
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