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The Sunday News Recap! 5.21.06

The Sunday News Recap: Ah! My ‘me time’ hand!
by Ryan Arthur

Hey there, and welcome back to the Sunday News Recap. As you’ve come to know, 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 by the by, this moment is so great that I would cheat on that other moment with it, marry it, and raise a family of tiny little moments. Let’s roll, newbies.

What I'm Watching
Scrubs Season 3, Discs 2 & 3

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

Reviews from our staff over the last week:

John Rice (welcome back!) (four month absence)
Proof (2005)

Matt Seaver
Mission: Impossible 3

Jay Seaver
The Notorious Bettie Page

Sketches Of Frank Gehry
The Grace Lee Project
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
Over The Hedge
The Da Vinci Code
See No Evil

Marc Kandel
Flock Of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus
(Screened at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival)

Erik Childress
The Da Vinci Code
Over The Hedge
Down In The Valley

The Da Vinci Code
Art School Confidential

Over The Hedge
Drawing Restraint 9
The Da Vinci Code
See No Evil

Uri Lessing
The Da Vinci Code

Peter Sobczynski
The Sisters
The Proposition (2006)
Down In The Valley
Over The Hedge
The Da Vinci Code
See No Evil

David Cornelius
The Da Vinci Treasure
The Da Vinci Code
Over The Hedge

William Goss
See No Evil
Goal! The Dream Begins
The Da Vinci Code

Mel Valentin
The Da Vinci Code

Dawn Taylor
See No Evil

Rob Gonsalves * NEW REVIEWER *
Terror Train
The Town That Dreaded Sundown
Cannibal Holocaust
Café Flesh
Rock ‘N’ Roll High School
Howard The Duck
American Pop
Saint Jack
11’09”01 – September 11
The Burning
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter
American Psycho 2: All American Girl
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Sick: The Life And Death Of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist
Swimming To Cambodia
The Da Vinci Code

Collin Souter
The Da Vinci Code

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:

The Year In Spielberg
(More Rants And Raves)

Chris Parry
The Nick Swardson Show Rolls On
(More Bonehead Of The Month)

Michael Collins
Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews – The Da Vinci Code
(More Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews)

Peter Sobczynski
DVD Reviews For 5/19: You wanna See Something Really Scary?
(More DVD Reviews)

Marc Kandel
Tribeca Film Fest Diary Part II
(More Film Festivals Of The World)

Ryan Arthur
The Sunday News Recap! 5.14.06
(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!

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


* Aaron Stanford and Kristen Stewart will join Jayce Bartok (who also wrote the script) in Mary Stuart Masterson’s directorial debut The Cake Eaters. Bartok plays a man who returns to his small hometown after pursuing his dreams in the big city. Stanford will play Beagle, his oddball brother who falls for a gravely ill girl named Georgia (Stewart). (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Underdog has his Polly Purebred: Amy Adams has been cast as the female lead in the live-action/CGI animated remake of the ‘60s cartoon. Jason Lee’s already on board as the voice of Shoeshine Boy/Underdog, while Peter Dinklage plays the heavy, Simon Barsinister. Frederik Du Chau directs. (source: Variety)

* Kate Hudson and Ken Watanabe will star in A Dream Of Red Mansions for director Bruce Beresford. The film is described as an epic romance set against the backdrop of the 1949 Chinese Revolution. Hudson will play an American photojournalist who ends up falling for Watanabe’s character, an idealistic revolutionary. (source: Variety)

* Ryan Gosling and Tom Waits (!) will star in Dagur Kári’s The Good Heart, which starts filming in the fall. Gosling plays a young homeless man named Lucas who is taken under the wing of Jacques (Waits), a bar owner from his fifth heart attack. Knowing his days are numbered, Jacques decides to train Lucas to take over his bar. (source: Variety)

* How about a sequel to Stir Of Echos? Well, you’re getting one anyway. Rob Lowe will star in Stir Of Echos: The Dead Speak for writer/director Ernie Barbaresh. The story deals with a soldier who returns from Iraq and is haunted by visions of the dead. (source: Variety)

* Woody Allen’s Untitled Summer Project has two more: Collin Farrell and Ewan McGregor join the already cast Tom Wilkinson on Allen’s film, which will be the third in a row he’ll be filming in London (following last year’s Match Point and the upcoming Scoop). The plot follows two brothers with serious financial troubles. A third party recommends the two turn to crime, and things go south, turning the brothers against each other. (source: Production Weekly)

* Lindsay Lohan is attached and Elizabeth Banks is in talks to join the cast of Bill, directed by Bernie Goldman and Melisa Wallack. Aaron Eckhart stars as a man in the midst of a mid-life crisis who ends up having an affair with a newscaster that is broadcast over the internet. (source: Variety)

* Lohan will also join Annette Bening and Sean Bean in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s A Woman Of No Importance, directed by Janusz Kaminski. Howard Himelstein is adapting Wilde’s story for the screen, in which an ambitious young man, Gerald Arbuthnot, who introduces his prospective employer, Lord Illingworth, to his mother. But she realizes that Illingworth is the man who jilted her long ago and is Gerald's father. (source: Variety)

* Two new projects for Vin Diesel: he’ll star in music video director Samuel Bayer’s feature film directorial debut Black Water Transit, an action thriller based on Carsten Stroud’s novel. Diesel will produce and likely star in Player’s Rules, a romantic comedy pitch that will be written by Ron Bass and Jen Smolka. (source: Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

* Kirsten Dunst is in talks to reunite with her Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry for Be Kind, Rewind. Jack Black will star as a man who becomes accidentally magnetized while trying to sabotage a power plant. His magnetic field erases all the tapes in the video store where his best friend works. To save the store, the duo re-enact and re-film every movie that its single loyal customer, an elderly woman with a tenuous grasp on reality, rents. Titles that Black’s character will recreate include Robocop, Back To The Future, Rush Hour and The Lion King. No word on what part Dunst will play. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Brittany Murphy will star with Japanese actor Toshiyuki Nishida in The Ramen Girl for director Robert Allen Ackerman. Murphy will play a woman stranded in Tokyo after she breaks up with her boyfriend. Searching for a direction in her life, the woman decides to train to be a ramen noodle chef under the direction of a “tyrannical Japanese master,” played by Nishinda. Let’s hope she’ll cut back on the collagen implants before filming starts. And the drug habit, too. (source: Variety)

* Jeff Bridges will star in A Dog Year for producer/director George LaVoo and HBO/Picturehouse. Bridges will play a man having a midlife crisis whose life is turned upside down when he takes in a border collie crazier than he is. LaVoo adapted the story from Jon Katz’s memoir. Filming starts in July. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Croneberg. Mortensen. Watts? Naomi Watts is joining Viggo Mortensen in David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, which starts filming in November. Watts will play “Anna, a midwife at a London hospital who gets dragged into the criminal underworld when she tries to discover the identity of a dead patient. Mortensen is set to play the mysterious and ruthless Nikolai, a man with links to one of London's most notorious organized crime families. His carefully maintained existence is thrown into turmoil when he crosses paths with Anna.” Steve Knight (Dirty Pretty Things) wrote the script. (source: Variety)

* Hilary Swank, who just finished filming Freedom Writers for director Richard LaGravanese, will reteam with the director on PS, I Love You, based on Cecilia Ahern’s bestselling novel. Swank will play a young widow trying to put her life together again after her husband dies. She receives monthly letters he wrote before he died, helping her to overcome her grief. (source: Production Weekly)

* Kevin Spacey is going to stick to playing bad guys at Warner Bros. Spacey, who’s playing Lex Luthor in Bryan Singer’s Suerpman Returns this June, will also play the villain in Joe Claus (formerly Fred Claus). David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers) directs the comedy, in which Vince Vaughn stars as the title character, the loser brother of Santa Claus who moves to the North Pole to join his sibling. John Michael Higgins and Judi Dench (you read that right) also star. (source: Variety)

* Rachel Weisz, Susan Sarandon and Ian McKellen have joined Colin Firth in The Colossus, director Sean Mathias’ adaptation of Ann Harries’ novel Manly Pursuits. The drama is set in South Africa at the turn of the 20th century and “is a fictionalized version of real events. It's the story of ornithologist Francis Wills (Firth), who is hired to transport English songbirds to recently deposed South African prime minister Cecil Rhodes (McKellen). Wills falls in love with a firebrand political activist (Weisz) and becomes entangled in a plot to stop the imminent Boer War.” Filming starts this fall. (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:

* Chris Rock, who co-wrote the script for and is set to star in I Think I Love My Wife, will now step in as director, replacing the departing Charles Stone. Rock plays Richard Cooper, a happily married man with a young daughter, whose former flame (Kerry Washington) reenters the picture causing him to question his marriage. The film is a remake of Eric Rohmer’s 1972 comedy Chloe In The Afternoon. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Paramount Pictures’ specialty division has acquired a comedy pitch based on American Storage, a comedy short that starred Steve Carell. Andrew Cohen (who directed the short) will direct the feature from a screenplay he wrote with Brendan O’Brien (who wrote the short) based on the short film’s screenplay. The story centers on a man who is trying to turn around a failing storage facility by leasing out units as low-rent apartments to random people on the Internet. No word on if Carell will star. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Touchstone Pictures has picked up the spec script Dead In The Water for Damien Saccani's Cider Mill House Pictures to produce. Noah and Alexi Hawley wrote the horror script, which follows a grieving couple “as they go on a cruise in an attempt to reignite their marriage. When the ship rescues a man at sea, the couple becomes embroiled in a horrific nightmare.” (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Bruce Joel Rubin will adapt Robert Kurson’s upcoming book Into The Light for Fox 2000 and producer Gil Netter. Kurson’s book is based on an Esquire article about the true story of Michael May, a blind athlete who holds the downhill skiing record for a completely blind person, racing at 65 mph. In 1999, May was offered a revolutionary stem-cell operation that potentially could restore his sight. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* David R. Ellis (the upcoming Snakes On A Motherfuckin’ Plane) will direct Asylum for Hyde Park Entertainment. Ethan Lawrence wrote the script, which is about a group of college freshmen that learn that their dormitory was once an asylum. (source: Variety)

* Rob Cohen will produce and direct Arrow, based on an original idea of his own. Brandon Noonan is writing the screenplay, with the story being set in the world of mixed martial arts. (source: Variety)

* Universal and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment have picked up the film rights to The School, based on a C.J. Chivers article from Esquire about the siege of a Russian elementary school by heavily armed Chechen rebels. Chivers, the Moscow correspondent for the New York Times, covered the ordeal as it unfolded over three days in 2004, ending with the deaths of about 300 of the 1,100 hostages; 31 terrorists also were killed. Chivers returned to the town of Beslan 18 months later to interview the survivors, whose viewpoints give the story an emotional thrust and its movie potential. Grazer is producing. (source: Variety)

* 20th Century Fox has pulled the plug on Used Guys, a Jay Roach-directed comedy that was supposed to star Jim Carrey and Ben Stiller. The studio said that pre-production delays were the cause of putting the film on the shelf, citing the project’s “futuristic settings” as being the reason why the film wouldn’t be ready for its start date this June. Because of the delays, the film wouldn’t be able to wrap up shooting prior to the two leads leaving for other film commitments. In a statement, Fox says that “all the parties remain committed to making the picture when time permits,” so it could go before cameras at a later date. The studio has moved Fantastic Four 2 to the Used Guys release date of June 15, 2007. The move gets Fantastic Four 2 away from Transformers: The Movie, which staked out the July 4, 2007 spot. (source: Variety)

* Bryan Singer may pass on directing Logan’s Run so that he can direct the follow-up to this summer’s Superman Returns. Producer Joel Silver wants to start filming Logan’s Run this fall, meaning Singer would have to shoot Logan’s Run and the Superman Returns sequel back-to-back. Singer likely won’t make a decision until later this summer. James McTeigue (V For Vendetta has been rumored to replace Singer, although nothing is confirmed. (source: Variety)

* Focus Features has picked up the worldwide rights to Coraline, Henry Selick’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s children’s book. Dakota Fanning voices a young girl who walks through a secret door in her new home and in turn discovers an alternate version of her life. (source: Variety)

* Domestic rights to Michel Gondry’s Be Kind, Rewind have been picked up by New Line Cinema. Jack Black will star as a man who becomes accidentally magnetized while trying to sabotage a power plant. His magnetic field erases all the tapes in the video store where his best friend works. To save the store, the duo re-enact and re-film every movie that its single loyal customer, an elderly woman with a tenuous grasp on reality, rents. Titles that Black’s character will recreate include Robocop, Back To The Future, Rush Hour and The Lion King.

"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. The Da Vinci Code $77.0 million
2. Over The Hedge $37.2 million
3. Mission: Impossible III $11.0 million ($103.2 million total)
4. Poseidon $9.2 million ($36.8 million total)
5. RV $5.1 million ($50.4 million total)
6. See No Evil $4.35 million
7. Just My Luck $3.37 million ($10.5 million total)
8. An American Haunting $1.66 million ($13.6 million total)
9. United 93 $1.4 million ($28.3 million total)
10. Akeelah And The Bee $1.0 million ($15.7 million total)

Opening May 24 (limited release):
An Inconvenient Truth

Opening May 26 (wide release):
X-Men: The Last Stand

Opening May 26 (limited release):

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

Previewing the week ahead...

On DVD This Tuesday (theatrical/DTV):
April’s Shower
Bloodrayne (Unrated Director’s Cut)
The Boondock Saints (Special Edition)
Cheaper By The Dozen 2 (widescreen and fullscreen)
The Da Vinci Treasure
The Dirty Dozen (2-Disc Special Edition)
Game 6
Hollow Man 2
Julie Johnson
Kingdom Of Heaven (4-disc Director’s Cut)
The Longest Day
Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey
One Last Thing…
The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Warning Sign
Who Gets To Call It Art

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

Laura Kyle returns with another fresh Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews on Wednesday.

Peter Sobczynski runs down this Tuesday’s new releases with his DVD Reviews on Friday.

Erik Childress also gives you updates and additions in Criticwatch on Friday, too, as well as occasionally 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.

Another Recap is done, so we’re going to take the rest of the weekend off. Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend (and next Sunday is my 30th birthday!) so, as a result, I’ll be back next Monday instead of Sunday, allowing for the holiday weekend box office returns and my need to recuperate from blowing out my 20s in style (or possibly battling depression at finally hitting 30, take your pick…). At any rate, we’re back next Monday, so while you’re waiting, give a listen to Hollywood Bitchslap Radio, take a look at our previous Recaps and join and visit our forums, too. Thanks for reading, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1834
originally posted: 05/21/06 16:22:50
last updated: 05/29/06 13:07:11
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