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The Sunday News Recap! 5.14.06

The Sunday News Recap: P-51! Cadillac of the sky!
by Ryan Arthur

It's Mother's Day, and this is the Sunday News Recap. Even on a day like today, we've got the last seven days worth of reviews and features at HBS/eFC, as well as box office numbers for the weekend, and a preview of films, DVDs and features for the week ahead. I'm Ryan, and I'll refrain from jokes about your mom, at least this week. Ready?

What I'm Watching
Empire Of The Sun

"Skull cracked...brains leaking out...Can't wait to see the new Chevy Chase movie..."

Reviews from our staff over the last week:

Mission: Impossible 3

Jack Sommersby
Silver Bullet
When A Stranger Calls (1979)
Critical Condition

William Goss
American Dreamz
(Screened at the 2006 SXSW Film Festival)
American Stag (Screened at the 2006 Florida Film Festival)
Americanese (Screened at the 2006 SXSW Film Festival)
Akeelah And The Bee
The Arayan Couple
Art School Confidential
La Mujer De Mi Hermano

MP Bartley
Hero (2004)
Mission: Impossible 2

Jay Seaver
The Promise
Mission: Impossible 3
Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story

Peter Sobczynski
An American Haunting
Hate Crime
Saving Shiloh
Goal! The Dream Begins
Art School Confidential

An American Haunting
The New World
Goal! The Dream Begins
Just My Luck

Just My Luck

Doug Bentin
Silent Hill
The Sentinel (2006)

Marc Kandel
(Screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Colour Me Kubrick (Screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)
Mentor (Screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)

Charles Tatum
The Wind (2004)

Angel's Rage

Dawn Taylor
Mission: Impossible 3

Mark Rodger-Snelson (welcome back!) (two and a half month absence)
Eight Below
Ice Age: The Meltdown
V For Vendetta
Aeon Flux
Kinky Boots

David Cornelius
American Soldiers
Jake's Booty Call

Todd LaPlace
Stick It

Scott Weinberg
Puff, Puff, Pass
Hollow Man 2
The Sci-Fi Boys
Duane Hopwood
Bad Dreams
Big Momma's House 2
Visiting Hours

Mel Valentin
Art School Confidential
(Screened at the 2006 San Francisco International Film Festival)
House Of Sand (Screened at the 2006 San Francisco International Film Festival)

Erik Childress

Collin Souter

Want more reviews from a particular author? Click on the author's name. Want more reviews, regardless of author? Check out the database
. Don't know what you want? Try searching the database.

We've got new features from our staff as well:

Peter Sobczynski
Interview: Chen Kaige Makes Us A "Promise"
(More Celebrity Exclusive Interviews)
DVD Reviews For 5/12: "Did You Leave A Cigarette Burning?"
(More DVD Reviews)

Marc Kandel
Richard E. Grant Said "Wah!?"
Nicolas Hoult Also Says Wah!?"
(More Celebrity Exclusive Interviews)

Natasha Theobald
Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews - Valley Girl
(More Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews)

Eric D. Snider
Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is: The Samir Patel Plagiarism Update

Uri Lessing

Investigating 'United 93': Researching And Honoring A Catastrophe: Part I
Investigating 'United 93': Researching And Honoring A Catastrophe: Part II

Ryan Arthur
The Sunday News Recap! 5.7.06
(More Sunday News Recaps)

You can access more features from a particular writer by clicking on his or her name. Want more features, coverage, interviews and the like? Click on the More option, found directly below the article title. Want more features, period? Check out the database. Don't know what you want? Try searching the database.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Radio Ga-Ga

Our staff of writers frequently makes appearances outside of our sites, including regular gigs on radio.

Hey! We've got our own radio station! Yes, it's true: you can now listen to Hollywood Bitchslap Radio online. We specialize in movie soundtracks, with specialty programming, movie news and opinion thrown in. It's fun, (and it's free!) but it's still a work in progress, so tell us what you like, what you don't like, and what you'd like to hear. All you need is an mp3 player and a healthy love of film, just like us.

As for traditional, terrestrial radio:

Erik Childress, Collin Souter and Scott Weinberg are regular guests on Nick Digilio's Nick At Night on WGN 720 AM in Chicago. The show airs every Sunday night, 11:00pm to 2:00am, Chicago (Central) time.

Scott Weinberg is also a regular guest on JD Balart's American Radio Journal on WMET 1160 AM in Washington, DC. Scott's segment airs every Friday afternoon from 1:30pm to 2:00pm, DC time (Eastern).

Loey Lockerby is a regular guest on The Walt Bodine Show on KCUR 89.3 FM in Kansas City. Loey appears with The Movie Critics every other Friday during the show, which runs every weekday from 10:00am to 11:00am, Kansas City time (Central).

Chris Parry, Erik Childress and Scott Weinberg are guests on Gaalen Engen's Fellini Is King on CJSF 90.1 FM in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The show airs every Sunday from 11:00am to 1:00pm, Vancouver (Pacific) time.

Ryan Arthur does entertainment news on Gary O'Brien And Friends on WDWS 1400 AM in Champaign, Illinois. I'm on Monday through Friday from 2:40pm to 3:00pm, Central time.

Listen to us, if you get the chance!

"Your job is to rate movies on a scale from 'good' to 'excellent.'" - The Criticwatch Update

Opening this Friday is Poseidon, and the Quote Whores are out in force:

"It's a blast. Poseidon hits the action button and never stops!" - Peter Travers
"Awesome! The most amazing images you'll see on the big screen this summer!" - Mark S. Allen
"A terror-drenched thrill-ride full of action and suspense." - Shawn Edwards
"An edge-of-your-seat, non-stop adventure that will leave you breathless." - Tony Toscano

Visit Criticwatch. Because there's got to be a morning after.

"They took the idols and smashed them, the Fairbankses, the Gilberts, the Valentinos! And who've we got now? Some nobodies!"


* Halle Berry and Benicio del Toro will star in Susanne Bier's Things We Lost In The Fire for DreamWorks. The story, written by Allan Loeb, has Berry playing a woman whose husband has died suddenly. She invites her husband's troubled best friend (Del Toro) to live with her family, and as the friend turns his life around, he helps the grief-stricken family confront their loss. Sam Mendes and Sam Mercer are producing. (source: Variety)

* Three more have joined the returning Milla Jovovich, Mike Epps and Oded Fehr in the currently-filming Resident Evil: Extinction: singer Ashanti joins Ali Larter and Chris Egan as new cast members. Larter will play Claire, a new character to the film franchise who was introduced in the video game Resident Evil 2. Claire leads a convoy across the Nevada desert. Alice (Jovovich) joins them in their fight for survival as they battle against the evil Umbrella Corp. Ashanti will play Nurse Betty, while Egan will play Mikey. Fehr is back as Carlos, while Epps will reprise his role as L.J. Russell Mulcahy is directing from a script by the hack-tacular Paul W.S. Anderson. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* RV's Kristin Chenoweth and The Shaggy Dog's Kristin Davis are joining Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito in Deck The Halls, a holiday-themed comedy formerly known as All Lit Up. The film centers on two neighbors (DeVito and Broderick) in a small New England town who go to war when one decides to decorate his house for Christmas in an effort to be visible from space. Chenoweth will star as the wife of DeVito's character, while Davis will play Broderick's wife. Arrested Development's Alia Shawkat is also on board as Davis and Broderick's daughter. John Whitesell directs. (source: Variety, Hollywood Reporter)

* Rachael Taylor and Amaury Nolasco are confirmed, and Tyrese Gibson is in talks to join the growing cast of Transformers: The Movie, to be directed by Michael Bay. Taylor will play Maggie Marconi, a codebreaker at a think tank. Nolasco and Gibson are Army officers. Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Jon Voight and Bernie Mac are already on board. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Former Lostie Maggie Grace is expected to join Sarah Michelle Gellar and Alec Baldwin in The Girl's Guide To Hunting And Fishing, adapted from Melissa Bank's book and directed by Marc Klein. Gellar plays a young woman in the New York publishing world and examines her relationship with one of the industry's luminaries as her father battles a terminal illness. Grace will play Chloe, a grounded, down-to-earth swimsuit designer and best friend of Gellar's character. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Frankie Muniz, Ryan Pinkston, Jamie Kennedy, Andy Milonakis and Matthew Lillard are joining Michael Cera, Kevin Hart, Joanna Garcia and Ashley Schneider in Parental Guidance Suggested, written by Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson, who are also making their directorial debuts. The film is described as a "teen sketch sex comedy," with a number of different segments. "Muniz stars as a teen who loses his virginity with his girlfriend (Schneider), only to find she wants to take things much further, including farm animals and midgets. In the film's one ongoing sketch, Pinkston plays an average high-schooler who falls for the cutest girl in his class but finds he's looking for love in all the wrong places. Kennedy plays a young man facing the aftermath of a crazy night of partying. Milonakis' character falls in love with an electric vagina, and Lillard hosts a spoof of TV public service announcements about teen sex. Cera's character meets a girl (Garcia) online and goes to her home for role-playing sex games, only to realize he's in the wrong apartment. Hart plays a kid obsessed with building the perfect woman on his computer," just like in Weird Science. Yes. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly are in talks to star in Quebec for Dimension Films. Steve Conrad is writing the script and directing. The film is a dramedy about two supermarket assistant managers who compete against each other for the job of manager. Lili Taylor, Jenna Fisher, Fred Armison and Gil Bellows are also in talks to join the cast. (source: Variety)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
"I was just thinking what an interesting concept it is to eliminate the writer from the artistic process. If we could just get rid of these actors and directors, maybe we've got something here."

Some script, production and direction notes:

* Playwright Richard Greenberg's Three Days Of Rain is headed to the big screen. Deborah Reinisch has acquired the film rights and will produce and direct the movie from an adaptation written by Greenberg. Julia Roberts, Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper are starring in the stage version during its limited run, and the story, set in 1960 and 1995, follows a brother, sister and their childhood friend, who regroup following the death of the brother and sister's father, who was a celebrated architect. (source: Variety)

* Warner Bros.-based Legendary Pictures has picked up film rights to the online multiplayer fantasy video game World Of Warcraft. Legendary will develop the project with game publisher Blizzard Entertainment, which is owned by Vivendi. (source: Variety)

* About A Boy's Chris Weitz is back on as director of His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass after leaving the project last year. Weitz, who also adapted Philip Pullman's for the screen, returns to the director's chair and replaces Anand Tucker (Shopgirl), who exited due to creative differences. New Line hopes the film will still be ready for release on November 16, 2007. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Paramount Pictures and MTV Films have acquired Ned Vizzini's young-adult novel It's Kind Of A Funny Story for Misher Films to produce. The story, described as a young adult version of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, deals with a clinically depressed 15-year-old who checks himself into an adult psychiatric ward where he gains a new lease on life. Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden will adapt the story for the screen, and Fleck is expected to direct. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Delia Ephron's pitch Beautiful has been picked up by Sony for Cary Brokaw's Avenue Pictures to produce. Ephron will write the script, based on an idea by Brokaw that he developed with Ephron, about a high-powered woman in the world of fashion whose vanity jeopardizes everything she holds dear. Brokaw describes the film as a "psychological thriller loosely inspired by The Picture Of Dorian Gray." (source: Variety)

* Universal Pictures has acquired Charley and Vlas Parlapanides' spec script Live Bet, a heist film that is expected to star Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, who will also produce. (source: Variety)

* Vanguard Animation has preemptively bought producer Bruce Nash's pitch Santa Paws. Damian Dibben will write the script and Vanguard's minority owner, IDT Entertainment, will have rights to distribute if the film goes into production. The plot follows a stray dog that accidentally hitches a ride to the North Pole on Santa's sleigh. (source: Variety)

* Universal Pictures has picked up writer Jake Wade Wall (this year's When A Stranger Calls)'s pitch Anguish, based on the 1987 Spanish horror film Angustia. The original film, directed by Bigas Luna, was a horror-movie-within-a-horror movie. As an audience in a small theater watches a film about an optometrist on a killing spree, a maniac begins killing the moviegoers. (source: Variety)

"Great movie, huh? So refreshing to see something like this after all these...cop movies and, you know, things we do. Maybe we'll do a remake of this!"

Here is the preliminary top ten for the weekend. Estimates are taken from Box Office Mojo.com and are rounded up, where applicable.

1. Mission: Impossible III $24.5 milllion ($84.6 million total)
2. Poseidon $20.3 million
3. RV $9.5 million ($42.8 million total)
4. Just My Luck $5.5 million
5. An American Haunting $3.68 million ($10.9 million total)
6. United 93 $3.58 million ($25.6 million total)
7. Stick It $3.2 million ($22.2 million total)
8. Ice Age: The Meltdown $2.97 million ($187.4 million total)
9. Silent Hill $2.2 million ($44.5 million total)
10. Hoot $2.1 million ($6.2 million total)

Opening May 19 (wide release):
The Da Vinci Code
Over The Hedge
See No Evil

Opening May 12 (limited release):
The King
Mouth To Mouth
Twelve And Holding

"Can we agree that from now on, films have to be made by FILMMAKERS?!"

Previewing the week ahead...

On DVD This Tuesday (theatrical/DTV):
American Soldiers
Con Air (Unrated Extended Edition)
Crimson Tide (Unrated Extended Edition)
Enemy Of The State (Unrated Extended Edition)
Every Time We Say Goodbye
Napoleon Dynamite (Like, The Best Special Edition, Ever!)
New Police Story
The Producers (2005) (widescreen and fullscreen)
The Ringer (widescreen and fullscreen)
The Sci-Fi Boys
Shooting Livien
Something New (widescreen and fullscreen)
Tristram Shandy: A Cock And Bull Story
When A Stranger Calls (2006)
The White Countess
Winter Passing

We've got more DVD recommendations in our Upcoming DVD Release Schedule.

Michael Collins is back with another edition of Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews on Wednesday.

Look for Peter Sobczynski with more DVD Reviews on Friday.

Erik Childress also posts updates and additions in Criticwatch on Friday, and throughout the week.

And as always, don't forget to visit the Contest page for your chance to win DVDs and other assorted movie-related swag from HBS/eFC.

We'll also have some additional features and editorials throughout the week, and I'll have your Recap ready to go on Sunday.

The Mother's Day Edition of the Sunday News Recap is ready to be put to bed, so we're going to call this one done. We'll be back next Sunday, so while you're here, please give a listen to Hollywood Bitchslap Radio, take a look at our previous Recaps and join and visit our forums, too. We'll give you candy if you do. Thanks for reading, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1826
originally posted: 05/14/06 16:02:05
last updated: 05/21/06 15:33:04
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