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The Sunday News Recap! 8.6.06

The Sunday News Recap: But it wasn't because I didn't know enough, I just knew too much.
by Ryan Arthur

It’s August, and it’s time for yet another Sunday News Recap. As we do every week, 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 hope that you are having the time of your life. But think twice, that's my only advice. Let’s get started.

What I'm Watching
30 Days Season 1, Discs 1 & 2

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

Reviews from our staff over the last week:

Eric D. Snider
The Second Chance
The Ant Bully
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals

Collin Souter
Miami Vice
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Jason Whyte
Monster House
The Ant Bully
Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
The Descent

Jay Seaver
(Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)
Frostbite (2006) (Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)
God’s Left Hand, Devil’s Right Hand (Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)
Meatball Machine (Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)
Three Mighty Men (Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)
The All-Out Nine: Field Of Nightmares (Screened at the 2006 FantAsia Film Festival)

David Cornelius
Mrs. Harris
Ultimate Avengers 2
Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector
The Descent
The Night Listener
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Rob Gonsalves
The Designated Mourner
The Descent

Mel Valentin
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Elaine Perrone (welcome back!)
The Night Listener

Peter Sobczynski
Brothers Of The Head
Little Miss Sunshine
The Night Listener
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
The Descent
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Erik Childress
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Brian Orndorf
Barnyard: The Original Party Animals
The Night Listener
The L.A. Riot Spectacular
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Matt Seaver
Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby

Scott Weinberg
Done The Impossible

Kim Voynar
The Night Listener

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 writers as well:

Michael Collins
Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews – Miami Vice
(More Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews)

Erik Childress
The Box Office Buster (August 4-6)
(More Box Office Reports)

Peter Sobczynski
DVD Reviews For 8/4: Hello Moto!
(More DVD Reviews)

Ryan Arthur
The Sunday News Recap! 7.30.06
(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!"


* And the female lead for I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry will be…Jessica Biel. Biel has signed on to star opposite Adam Sandler and Kevin James in the Alexander Payne-scripted comedy, in which Sandler and James play two heterosexual firefighters who pose as a gay married couple in order to qualify for their department's domestic-partner benefits. Biel will play an attorney who represents the pair in their case and ends up being the object of Sandler's affection. Dennis Dugan directs. Alliteration. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Nicole Kidman will play the villainous Mrs. Coulter (first name: Ann) in His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass, based on the Phillip Pullman trilogy of novels. Chris Weitz is directing from his own adaptation of Pullman’s books. Newcomer Dakota Blue Richards stars as the lead, Lyla Belacqua, a young girl who travels to a parallel universe to battle the forces of evil and rescue her best friend. Eva Green (The Dreamers) has also joined the cast, playing Serafina Pekula, the Queen of Witches, who guides Lyla on her journey to the parallel universe. Filming starts in September. (source: Variety)

* Bill Pullman is in talks to star as science fiction author Philip K. Dick in the independent film Panasonic. Here’s the pitch: “The lines between reality and perception blur in this comic journey into the life and mind (literally!) of one of sci-fi's most brilliant authors. Paranoid conspiracies of the highest order, drug-fueled interdimensional shifts, and 1970's pop culture combine for the mind-bending adventure of the century.” It’s just like Capote, only wackier. Matthew Wilder (yes, the “Break My Stride” guy) is directing. (source: Production Weekly)

* The Devil Wears Prada’s Emily Blunt is in talks to star as the female lead in The Great Buck Howard. John Malkovich stars as the title character, a luckless magician. Colin Hanks plays his assistant, while Tom Hanks will stretch in playing Colin’s dad. Malkovich’s character struggles to reinvigorate his career, and Blunt will play a self-assured publicist who is hired to publicize an event to put Howard back on the map. Sean McGinley wrote the script and is directing. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* The rumors are true: Heath Ledger has been cast as the Joker in The Dark Knight, the sequel to last year’s Batman Begins. Christian Bale’s back as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Christopher Nolan returns as director. Nolan’s brother Jonathan worked with David Goyer on the script. (source: Warner Bros.)

* Bale, by the way, is expected to star with Russell Crowe in 3:10 To Yuma, director James Mangold’s remake of the 1957 Delmer Daves film. The story follows captured outlaw Ben Wade, who finds himself in the custody of small-time rancher Dan Evans. The rancher is secretly trying to take the outlaw to a railway station to catch a train to Yuma for the outlaw's court date. A battle of wills ensues. Bale would play the rancher to Crowe’s outlaw. Shooting begins this fall after the film was put into turnaround earlier this year. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Paul Dano, currently in theaters with Little Miss Sunshine, has joined Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson’s loose adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!. Dano plays a gifted, charismatic young preacher who captivates churchgoers. Day-Lewis portrays a tycoon who strikes it rich after gaining oil rights to a family's ranch, turning the small town where Dano's character preaches into a boomtown. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Singin’ and dancin’ Wolverine? Hugh Jackman is expected to star in Carousel, a remake of 1956 film version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. Negotiations are underway for Fox 2000 to obtain the rights to use the words and music from the stage production. Jackman would play Billy Bigelow, a carnival barker whose temper puts him in the middle of a botched robbery and leads to his death. Stuck in purgatory, he's given one day to return and fix the problems he left behind: specifically, a teenager who has a lot of his rebellious traits. (source: Variety)

* Owen Wilson will collaborate with Wes Anderson again, this time on The Darjeeling Limited. Anderson will one of three brothers who journeys through India. Anderson wrote the script with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. Production will start this December. Wilson’s in theaters with You, Me And Dupree. (source: Production Weekly)

* Chris Noth will star in Frame Of Mind with writer/director/producer Carl T. Evans. The story follows a police detective (Evans) who uncovers a vast government conspiracy. Noth will play a college professor who is skeptical of the detective’s discovery. Filming begins in October. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Add Macauley Culkin to the cast of the currently-filming Sex And Breakfast, which also stars Alexis Dziena, Kuno Becker and Eliza Dushku. The film is a dark comedy about a couple with problems in the bedroom who seek solace from a therapist. The shrink espouses group sex as a cure-all. Miles Brandman wrote the script and is directing. (source: Variety)

* Liv Tyler will star in writer-director Bryan Bertino’s suspense thriller The Strangers. Tyler plays the female half of a couple living in a remote suburban house who are targeted by three dangerous masked strangers. The resulting clashes force the couple to go well beyond what they thought themselves capable of in order to survive. Production begins this fall. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, currently co-starring in Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby, are expected to star in Step Brothers. Ferrell is writing the script with his Talladega Nights director, Adam McKay. Ferrell and Reilly will play coddled guys who live with their respective single parents. Their folks fall in love and marry, making the guys stepbrothers. Judd Apatow and Jimmy Miller will produce. (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:

* Dahmer director David Jacobson will adapt and direct Roadside Picnic for Columbia Pictures. The project is based on the book by Russian writers Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. As for the plot, an alien visitation occurs, and gangs of smugglers plunder the lucrative artifacts left behind. (source: Variety)

* John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky will rewrite Leisureworld for New Line Cinema. Jason and Justin Heimberg and Jeff Sank wrote the original script, which “centers on a burnt-out young man who seeks to escape the rat race of New York and moves into a Florida retirement home under the illusion that old people will be kind and harmless. Instead, he finds the home to be akin to high school for seniors, complete with sex, drugs and peer pressure.” (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Paramount Pictures has purchased The Donor, a comedy pitch that will be developed as a starring vehicle for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent Rob Corddry. Stewart, who will produce through his Busboy Productions, came up with the concept with Corddry, Ben Karlin. Corddry, Karlin, Jason Mantzoukas and Brian Huskey will write the script. (source: Variety)

* The Kit Whitfield werewolf novel Benighted has been purchased by Warner Bros. and Graham King’s Initial Entertainment, and King will produce the project with Andrew Adamson (The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe), who will likely develop it with an eye to direct. The book, published in the U.K. as Bareback, is a drama with themes dealing with racism and alienation, and is set in an alternate reality in which 90% of the population is made up of werewolves. The remainder of the population is forced to keep the peace during a full moon. (source: Variety)

* Sony Pictures Animation’s third animated feature has been given the greenlight: Hotel Transylvania will follow the upcoming Open Season and the currently-in-production Surf’s Up. Anthony Stacchi and David Feiss, co-director and head of story on Open Season, will share directing duties. The film is a monster comedy about a group of classic monsters (including Frankenstein, the Mummy, Dracula and the Werewolf) who are hiding out in a hotel on the outskirts of Transylvania now that 21st century technology has seemingly made them irrelevant. Don Rhymer (Big Momma’s House 2) is writing the script. (source: Variety)

* Video director will team with writer-director Jonathan Kesselamn (The Hebrew Hammer) to adapt Beemer, Glenn Gaslin’s satirical novel. The story is “a surreal suburban thriller that sends up SoCal life, pop culture, youth and advertising. The story centers on Beemer Minutia, a young man with big ideas who is coerced by his girlfriend to join an ad agency and enter "real life." He finds that life to be stranger than he imagined when he runs afoul of domestic terrorists, a boy band comprised of eunuchs, a crafty teen nemesis and a crazed suburban mom running a homeowners association militia.” (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Gold Circle Films has optioned the English-language remake rights to Dead Daughters. Jared Rivet will adapt the story, which deals with “three girls who are murdered by their mother. To seek vengeance for their untimely deaths, their ghosts randomly pick people to watch. If that person does something wrong or acts out of line, the girls hold a merciless trial.” (source: Variety)

* Screen rights to Tom Sniegoski’s novel Sleeper Code have been purchased by Warner Bros., with Jason Keller hired to adapt the thriller for the screen. The book is a young-adult title that will be refashioned as an adult franchise for the studio. The lead character suffers from an extreme form of narcolepsy, forcing him to be home-schooled and to work out of the house. When his psychologist is murdered and his files go missing, he discovers he hasn't been sleeping at all. (source: Variety)

* Michael Brandt and Derek Haas have been hired by Warner Bros. to adapt the James Siegel novel Deceit. The plot of the book follows a newspaper reporter who is busted for fabricating stories. Afterward, while working for a small-town paper, he stumbles onto a dark conspiracy stemming from government radiation testing in the 1950s. But given his history, he can't get anyone to believe him. (source: Variety)

* Wayne Wang will direct A Thousand Years Of Good Prayers, adapted from Yiyun Li’s award-winning novel. The book is a collection of stories about life in modern China and the United States. Filming starts this October. (source: Production Weekly)

* Universal Pictures has optioned the rights to the Oni Press comic book The Leading Man, written by B. Clay Moore and illustrated by Jeremy Haun. The comic follows the adventures of the world's biggest movie star, Nick Walter. Walter uses his celebrity, access, lifestyle and his films' international location shoots as a cover for his real job, that of an international spy. Oh man, it’s just like Damien Drake in Looney Tunes: Back In Action! Marc Platt is producing with Eric Gitter. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Like it or not, there will be a sequel to The Pink Panther. And it will probably suck. Sony and MGM have hired Scott Neustadter and Michael M. Weber to write the story, which is being described as “high-concept.” Steve Martin returns as Clouseau. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* The fourth Die Hard movie, now titled Live Free Or Die Hard, finally has a release date: June 29, 2007. Bruce Willis returns as John McLane, who attempts to stop a techno-terrorist from shutting down the nation's computer systems on the Fourth of July. The story takes place around in and around Washington, D.C. Justin Long is also on board, with Len Wiseman (both Underworld movies) directing. Filming starts in September. (source: Variety, USA Today)

* A sequel to National Treasure really is happening? Apparently so. Director and co-producer Jon Turteltaub says that “Everyone's back except anyone who's in jail or died,” meaning you’ll see Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Harvey Keitel and Jon Voight back on the big screen together. Filming starts around the first of the year. (source: L.A. Daily news)

* Agnieszka Vosloo will write and direct After.Life for Constellation Entertainment. The film is a supernatural thriller about a young woman in a transitional state between life and death who fights to avoid being buried alive and the funeral director who holds her fate in his hands. Filming begins this winter. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Hellboy 2 is back on. The film has been rescued from development turnaround by Universal Pictures, who will release the project. Production begins next year, with Guillermo del Toro returning as director, and cast members Ron Perlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones back as well. (source: Universal Pictures)

"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. Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby $47.0 million
2. Barnyard: The Original Party Animals $16.0 million
3. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $11.0 million ($379.7 million total)
4. Miami Vice $9.7 million ($45.7 million total)
5. The Descent $8.8 million
6. John Tucker Must Die $6.05 million ($28.6 million total)
7. Monster House $6.00 million ($56.9 million total)
8. The Ant Bully $3.9 million ($18.2 million total)
9. You, Me And Dupree $3.603 million ($66.8 million total)
10. The Night Listener $3.600 million

Opening August 9 (wide release):
World Trade Center

Opening August 9 (limited release):
The Trouble With Men And Women

Opening August 11 (wide release):
Pulse (2006)
Step Up

Opening August 11 (limited release):
Conversations With Other Women
Half Nelson
The House Of Sand
Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
The Ordeal
Piccadilly Cowboy
Poster Boy
Waltzing Anna

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

Previewing the week ahead...

On DVD This Tuesday (theatrical/DTV):
Adam & Steve
Bring It On: All Or Nothing
CSA: The Confederate States Of America
Don’t Come Knocking
Hellraiser 3: Hell On Earth
The Hidden Blade
Inside Man
Larry The Cable Guy: Health Inspector
The Last Mogul
Sorry, Haters
Tromeo And Juliet
Ultimate Avengers 2
Wasabi Tuna

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

Natasha Theobald should be back with the latest edition of Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews on Wednesday.

Want more DVD Reviews? Peter Sobczynski has them for you this Friday.

Erik Childress posts regular updates and additions to Criticwatch on Friday, too.

You can also visit our 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 on Sunday.

That’s the end? Afraid so. The Recap’s done for another week, so until next Sunday rolls around, you can always give a listen to Hollywood Bitchslap Radio, take a look at our previous Recaps and join and visit our forums, too. Join the discussions. Thanks for reading, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1907
originally posted: 08/06/06 16:26:22
last updated: 08/13/06 15:51:16
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