Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Sporks on a Plane, too...Don't forget the Sporks!

In the early 90's, Snakes on a Plane would've been made with a different title. Perhaps the other title they considering calling it - something like Pacific Air Flight 121-ish. ??? It probably would've starred Steven Segal, and it probably would've made $65 million. It would've been made relatively straight forward - a hybrid of Executive Decision and Anaconda. Hell, they could have made this movie today and it would have done a lot better than what Snakes on a Plane is currently doing. But here lies the problem:

Audiences don't like their garbage to know its garbage.

And here also lies the joy of Snakes on a Plane:

Snakes on a Plane isn't that movie. It isn't some dignified human trying to move swiftly across a puddle of mud all the while looking like a fool in the process. Snakes is the pig that rolls around in the mud, not giving what a flying fuck anyone has to think about it.

I have to say I laughed harder during Snakes than many of the films I've seen this year. Some of the one liners are just classic, such as the aforementioned "spork." "Snakes on CRACK!" The snake kills are joyful. Anything you can think of, what perversions the screenwriters might have in mind when thinking of how a person can die from a snake or how a snake itself can die is right up there on screen. You've got snakes. You've got a plane. All hell breaks loose and it's a fucking blast. Yes, some of the snakes are CGI-d beyond belief. And I wish there had been more bigger ones. Another python please! But really, the middle of act of this film is in a word: GLORIOUS. Not only that, there are quite a few effective scares. I jumped about 2-3 times, quite rare for a movie.

Samuel L. Jackson is perfect. I've rarely seen an actor so pumped for his own movie as SLJ was while promoting this. He knows it's a thing of beauty. Julianna Margulies also does well with what is basically the Halle Berry role from Executive Decision. Now, in a perfect world, Bruce Campbell would've played the pilot. Julianne would've undone the top button of her uniform to support some ample B-movie babe cleavage and would've gotten a shotgun and blown some snakes off the fucking plane. In fact, SLJ, Julianna and Bruce would've been the last three left alive. And Wolf Creek's Nathan Phillips - who plays the witness - just cuz he's a cutie. (Kenan Thompson - more effectively used here than what's he probably ever been on SNL other than the Star Jones parody - would've died attempting to save Rachel Blanchard's Paris Hilton knockoff. That's what I would have done with that.) I do believe SOAP loses some of its Ka-razy ridiculousness in the end, going instead for some regular movie ridiculousness.

But golly, it sure is all fun.

And how catchy is that damn song over the end credits?

I witnessed a guy the other day (relative sidenote: he was wearing a Toby Keith shirt) try to tell two people not see the movie as it was shit.

He was really slow, apparently, The movie realized this long before he did. This movie isn't for cynics. It isn't for stupid people, believe it or not.

So who is it for?

The people who want to see some muthafuckin snakes on a muthafuckin' plane. Bring on the midnight shows baby. Rocky Horror style.

"Oh, I'm ready for it. Come on, bring it!"

Box Office Predix: Sept. 1 - 3

1. The Wicker Man - $12m / $12m / $32m
2. Invincible - $11.5m / $34m / $60m
3. Crank - $9m / $9m / $22m
4. Little Miss Sunshine - $8m / $34m / $68m
5. Talladega Nights - $6m / $136.5m / $148m
6. Crossover - $5.5m / $5.5m / $14m
7. The Illusionist - $5m / $9m / $22m
8. World Trade Center - $4.5m / $62.5m / $71m
9. Barnyard - $4.5m / $61m / $70m
10. Step Up - $4m / $57m / $64m
11. Accepted - $4m / $27.5m / $32m
12. Beerfest - $3.5m / $14m / $20m
13. Pirates of the Caribbean - $3.5m / $412.5m / $420m
14. Snakes on a Plane - $3m / $31.5m / $35m
15. Idlewild - $3m / $10m / $15m

i don't care what you think: i'd do him

'Little Children' Trailer & Site Now Up

They've actually been up for the past week, but whatever.



Quick Emmy Wrap-up!


Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy: Megan Mullally - Will & Grace
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama: Alan Alda - The West Wing
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama: Blythe Danner - Huff
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy: Jeremy Piven - Entourage
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Miniseries: Kelly MacDonald - The Girl in the Cafe
Outstanding Variety/Comedy Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Best Directing in a Comedy: My Name is Earl - Pilot
Best Writing in a Comedy: My Name is Earl - Pilot
Outstanding Performance in a Variety/Music Special/Series: Barry Manilow
Best Directing in a Drama Series: 24 - 7:00 - 8:00 AM
Best Writing in a Drama Series: The Sopranos - Members Only
Best Supporting Actor in a Miniseries/Movie: Jeremy Irons - Elizabeth I
Best Directing in a Variety/Music Series/Special: 78th Annual Academy Awards
Best Writing in a Comedy/Variety Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Best Actor in a Miniseries/TV Movie: Andre Braugher - Thief
Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Tony Shalhoub - Monk
Best Made for TV Movie: The Girl in the Cafe
Best Reality Competition Series: The Amazing Race
Best Direction in a Miniseries/TV Movie...: Elizabeth I
Best Writing in a Miniseries/TV Movie...: The Girl in the Cafe
Best Miniseries: Elizabeth I
Best Actress in a Miniseries/TV Movie: Helen Mirren - Elizabeth I
Best Actress in a Drama Series: Mariska Hargitay - Law and Order: SVU
Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus - The New Adventures of Old Christine
Best Actor in a Drama Series: Kiefer Sutherland - 24
Best Comedy Series: The Office
Best Drama Series: 24

Go THE OFFICE. I think this is officially the best show on televison. It's slowly but surely getting an audience and it is fully backed by the critics. Sad for Carell though. Go Julia Louis-Dreyfus! New Adventures of Old Christine is a fun show, and she totally owns it. Keifer Sutherland - what a classy guy. He gets better looking with age. Wow, whoda thunk the most moving moment of the night would come from Charlie's Angels. Though Farrah was high or ditzy or whatever she is, it was sweet. Damn, Heather Locklear looks fantastic. Now that's some great plastic surgery. Jon and Stephen killed up there. Hosts next year together? Boo on Sandra/Chandra losing! Just BOO! Don't worry Jaime Pressley fans, she'll be back next year and definitely win! I love how Annette Bening has to even overact her presentation of best Drama series. Seriously, what a beast. And what the fuck is up with Paula Abdul? Anyone see her on the red carpet or post show? Was she ever stoned out of her mind! And yes, I still don't get the appeal or talent of Mariska Hargitay. Ellen Pompeo is insane. Melanie Lynskey is adorable.

In conclusion, the nominees sucked. The show was decent and got better as it went on. Horrible first set of winners though.

Here's my best dressed:

The tan is pretty off, but the dress and hair are out of this world!


In a word: smokin!

Okay, ladies, you need not dye your hair into oblivion. Meryl in The Devil Wears Prada and Helen here totally own the silver look! And she said ass over tit.

And since I didn't see her on the show, the preshow or the post show, here she is:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Darren Goes Spelunking With Some Girlies! Like, for real?

(In a perfect world, this movie would have an all-male crew. Something about men going into holes you're not supposed to go into, the tight pants, the constant holding onto large hard objects, the asses constantly being in someone else's face......but wait a second. That wouldn't work!)

The DESCENT - 9/10

Obviously, I'm partial to the genre and no real amount of convincing will get some of you to see this classic in the making. BUT! I'll give it my best shot.

This is the best film of the year so far for me, and an easy contender for end of the year top 5.

The Descent is from director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, which I'll be checking out this weekend) and tells the tale of six women who go on a cave diving expedition in the Appalachians. As you may know, shit goes down and they end up stuck inside the cave with what appear to be trippy, Gollum-esque monsters. You may have ignored a similar movie called The Cave for appropriate reasons. Dom't make that mistake here. The first 45ish minutes are build up and most non-genuine fans of the genre will hate this and declare it boring or slow. It's actually well-paced with an excellent, foreboding aura of dread. One of the girls, Sarah, survived a tramatic experience the year before in which there was more going on than she realized, and all that tension comes striking back once the rocks collapse and the gals are trapped deep down inside the cave system. Yes, the best monsters in horror movies are actually metaphors. The characters clashing with each other and ultimately the evolved bat people of (let's go with) West Virginia - hey, no crazy rednecks for once! - do a number on each of the girls leading to what ulimately becomes a horror morality play. (!!!!)

So now you know a bit of what the film's about, here's why it is so great: Marshall's expert direction for starters. He has several films in development including a zombie film. He's the real deal. I even squirmed in my seat long before the monsters reared their heads; the claustrophia runs rampant. Wait till Sarah gets stuck in the tunnel part and you'll see what I mean. The attacks scenes are incredibly well shot and edited. You know those fast paced, whiz-bang Michael Bay action sequences where you can't tell what the fuck is going on because of the frenetic editing? You get some, but you can follow them! Miraculous! Since it is underground and dark, Marshall finds clever ways of making the monsters even more terrifying. The first sight of one is truly eerie, and when the gals use the light from flares or a home video camera, it really gets under your skin. The scares here are actually geunine. Me - the most nonvocal person during a movie - had to practically bite my lip from yelping at the screen in horror. There's some dazzlers of effective jump sequences - none of which are people appearing from behind someone at random and then the soundtrack booms for no other reason than to keep the audience awake or erase their ADD for a moment! Nope, it's all real scares. It's not the goriest film by far, but it will satisfy the gorehounds easily and put an "ewww!" and an "ick!" in the mind of the more conservative horror fan. The 6 women are all perfectly played. There's not a lot of character development and we get enough of the characters to get just who they are. In other words, we actually care about them. And when it comes to fighting back at the caveman-bat-people-WV-underground-hillbillies, they are well built women, so we buy it. And much like Emily Blunt, Natalie Mendoza deserves to have a very long career. I think this might be my favorite performance by a leading actress so far this year. There are several references to other films such as Carrie, The Shining and Apocalypse Now, but none of these are too cheeky. The one I'm most intrigued by though is how the film is similar to Picnic at Hanging Rock. In the same vein that Peter Weir uses a rock formation and disappearance as a sympbol of woman's sexual maturity, Marshall finds ways to make the caverns and monsters mean lingering, never acknowledged suspicions and resentments of our very own friends.

It's a shame Lions Gate - the studio that used marketing to turn crappy low budget horror Saw movies into blockbusters and get a Best Picture Oscar for Crash which had the least amount of precursor wins of any Best Picture winner in Oscar history - couldn't make this take off more. It'll finish it's theatrical run with $25m, far more than the film cost to make but still chump change compared to most successes.


10 Best Horror-ish Movies of the Aughts (so far)

(I'm not saying these are the scariest of the decade...)

1. The Descent
2. The Others
3. Joyride
4. 28 Days Later
5. May
6. George Romero's Land of the Dead
7. Jeepers Creepers
8. Slither
9. Shaun of the Dead
10. Ginger Snaps

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Box Office Predix: Last Week of Summer Movie Season

1. Invincible - $14m / $14m / $45m
2. Talladega Nights - $9m / $129m / $152m
3. Idlewild - $8.5m / $8.5m / $29m
4. Beerfest - $8m / $8m / $20m
5. World Trade Center - $7.5m / $57m / $75m
6. Little Miss Sunshine - $7m / $22.5m / $60m
7. Snakes on a Plane - $7m / $28m / $40m
8. How to Eat Fried Worms - $6.5m / $6.5m / $20m
9. Step Up - $6m / $50.5m / $62m
10. Barnyard - $5.5m / $54.5m / $68m
11. Accepted - $5.5m / $20.5m / $32m
12. Pirates of the Caribbean - $3.5m / $407m / $416m


So Al Gore AND The Dixie Chicks will be at the Oscars?

How AWESOME would THAT be!?!?!?

From Hollywood Reporter:

By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK -- Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck's politically charged documentary "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing" has been picked up for worldwide distribution by the Weinstein Co. A release is tentatively scheduled for the fall, possibly right before the November elections.

The film revolves around the aftermath of singer Natalie Maines' statement at a 2003 London concert, where she said, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." It chronicles death threats, political attacks and radio boycotts against the band, and that could make the film a political hot potato as well as potential ammo should longtime Democratic party supporter Harvey Weinstein become involved in the fall political campaigns.

Asked why Cabin Creek chose to go with the Weinstein Co., Peck said, "They made a great offer," though no figures were disclosed. Such companies as Focus Features and Picturehouse expressed interest in the docu a few months ago.

Sources involved in the negotiations said some parties in the docu's camp wanted to screen the entire film for several indie distributors, while others only wanted a 15-minute highlight reel to be shown. Eventually only two final bidders were allowed to see a complete rough cut of the film: the Weinstein Co. and Sony Pictures Classics, a sister company of the Dixie Chicks' record label.

"I am extremely proud to be associated with this film because it's not only an outstanding and creative piece of work, but it also exposes our responsibility as Americans to confront our fundamental right to freedom of speech," Weinstein said.

Kopple said plans for a grassroots promotional campaign are still being discussed, and Peck said the film is likely to be a hot topic in the approaching elections. "It deals with freedom of speech, censorship and other important issues," Kopple said. "It looks at the cost of standing up for what you believe in."

The docu from Kopple's Cabin Creek Films still is being completed, but is set to be a Gala Presentation at next month's Toronto International Film Festival. In addition to chronicling the lives of Maines and bandmates Martie Maguire and Emily Robison, Kopple said the docu features clips from 15 of the Dixie Chicks songs and a new one written especially for the film, though no soundtrack is planned. "You definitely feel like you're in the front row of a Dixie Chicks concert," Peck said.

Weinstein Co. exec vp and co-head of acquisitions and co-productions Michelle Krumm brought the project to the studio. Krumm, co-president of production Michael Cole and executive vp business and legal affairs Barry Littman negotiated the agreement with CAA and Dixie Chicks manager Simon Renshaw on behalf of the band.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

2006 Year In Review So Far

I'm bored. Blow me.

Gosh, I'm behind. But I don't care. So much out there right now just doesn't interest me. :-( Fall is just around the corner, thank god!

1. A Prairie Home Companion
2. United 93
3. Superman Returns
4. The Devil Wears Prada
5. V For Vendetta
6. Friends With Money
7. Bubble
8. Slither
9. Brick
10. Akeelah and the Bee
11. Mission Impossible 3
12. The Hills Have Eyes
13. Little Fish
14. Thank You For Smoking
15. Over the Hedge
16. Last Holiday
17. My Super Ex-Girlfriend
18. The Break Up
19. She's the Man
20. Something New
21. Scary Movie 4
22. American Dreamz
23. Inside Man
24. Just My Luck
25. Poseidon
26. RV
27. Stick It
28. Silent Hill
29. Ice Age: The Meltdown
30. An American Haunting
31. Click
32. The Lake House
33. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
34. Basic Instinct 2
35. Failure to Launch
36. The Benchwarmers

Paul Greengrass - United 93

Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Brick (I think this kid is goin' places!)

Jennifer Aniston - Friends With Money

Supp. Actor:
Kevin Kline - A Prairie Home Companion

Supp. Actress:
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada

That's all.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Box Office Predix: SNAKES ON A PLANE!

1. Snakes on a Plane - $34m / $34m / $72m
2. Accepted - $13m / $13m / $46m
3. Talladega Nights - $12m / $113m / $148m
4. World Trade Center - $11m / $46m / $72m
5. Step Up - $10m / $41m / $60m
6. Barnyard - $6.5m / $45m / $62m
7. Little Miss Sunshine - $4.5m / $11.5m / $60m
8. Pirates of the Caribbean - $4.5m / $400m / $414m
9. Material Girls - $3.5m / $3.5m / $9m
10. Pulse - $3m / $14.5m / $20m

dysfunctional family on a bus >> snakes on a plane?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Box Office Predix: Aug. 11 - 13

1. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - $25m / $99m / $160m
2. World Trade Center - $16m / $23m / $58m
3. Pulse - $14m / $14m / $39m
4. Zoom - $11m / $11m / $35m
5. Barnyard - $10m / $34m / $56m
6. Step Up - $9m / $9m / $25m
7. Pirates of the Caribbean - $7m / $392.5m / $415m
8. The Descent - $5.5m / $18.5m / $32m
9. Miami Vice - $5m / $56m / $65m
10. Monster House - $3.5m / $64m / $72m

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Box Office Predix: Aug. 4 - 6

1. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - $40m / $40m / $135m
2. Miami Vice - $14m / $51.5m / $80m
3. Pirates of the Caribbean 2 - $12m / $380m / $415m
4. The Descent - $8m / $8m / $30m
5. Monster House - $7.5m / $57.5m / $72m
6. John Tucker Must Die - $7m / $30.5m / $45m
7. Barnyard - $6.5m / $6.5m / $22m
8. The Night Listener - $5m / $5m / $14m
9. The Ant Bully - $4.5m / $17.5m / $28m
10. You, Me and Dupree - $3.5m / $66.5m / $74m

i'd have my arm around amy adams, too

Emily Blunt continues her ascension to becoming queen of the world!

Not exactly. But she's like an English version of Rachel McAdams.

From Hollywood Reporter:

Emily Blunt is in negotiations to play the female lead in Bristol Bay Prods.' The Great Buck Howard. Tom Hanks, John Malkovich and Colin Hanks star.

Written and directed by Sean McGinly, the story revolves around a luckless magician and his assistant who struggle to reinvigorate his career. Blunt will play a self-assured publicist hired by Buck Howard (Malkovich) to publicize an event that will put him back on the map. The film began shooting Monday in Los Angeles. Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing through their Playtone Prods. banner. Marvin Acuna, Marina Grasic, Steven Shareshian and Jan Korbelin are executive producing.