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The Sunday News Recap! 8.27.06

The Sunday News Recap: You don't have to worry about me, brother. I'm all murdered out.
by Ryan Arthur

Hey, look, the Sunday News Recap’s back! And its front, they’re both here! Yes, the Recap’s back to running on a normal schedule this week, and 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’m engaged. Those are two words that a ton of people never thought they’d hear, I bet. Let’s get started.

What I'm Watching
The Simpsons Season 8, Discs 3 & 4

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

Reviews from our staff over the last week:

Matt Seaver
Snakes On A Plane
Raiders Of The Lost Ark

David Cornelius
Karate Dog

Rob Gonsalves
Film Geek

Jay Seaver
Nightfall (1957)
Monster House

Eric D. Snider
Old Joy
Invincible (2006)
How To Eat Fried Worms
Material Girls

Marc Kandel

Erik Childress
Invincible (2006)

Surviving Eden

Peter Sobczynski
How To Eat Fried Worms
Invincible (2006)

Brian Orndorf
How To Eat Fried Worms
Invincible (2006)
Brother Bear 2

Robert Flaxman

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:

William Goss
Chew On This: An Interview With “How To Eat Fried Worms” Star Luke Benward
(More Celebrity Exclusive Interviews)

Erik Childress
The Box Office Buster (Aug. 25-27 + Fall Box Office Preview)
(More Box Office Busters)

David Cornelius
Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews – Some Kind Of Wonderful
(More Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews)

Peter Sobczynski
DVD Reviews For 8/25
(More DVD Reviews)
Interview: Broken Lizard’s Kevin Heffernan
(More Celebrity Exclusive Interviews)

Ryan Arthur
The Sunday News Recap (Monday Edition)! 8.21.06
(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!"


* Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ted Levine, John Ortiz, Yul Vazquez and rappers Common, T.I. and RZA have joined Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington in Ridley Scott’s American Gangster. The story revolves around the empire of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas, which involved smuggling heroin in the bodybags of U.S. soldiers killed in Vietnam. Filming is underway now. (source: Variety)

* Emily Mortimer will join Ryan Gosling in Lars And The Real Girl, a comedy directed by Craig Gillespie. Gosling plays Lars, a lonely, delusional young man, and his unconventional relationship with a lifelike doll he finds on the internet. Eww. Nancy Oliver wrote the script. Filming starts October 11. (source: Production Weekly)

* Angela Bettis will star in Scar, a 3-D/HD feature written by Zack Ford that Jed Weintrob will direct. Bettis plays Joan, “who returns home for her niece Olympia's high school graduation only to be confronted by her nightmarish past: at the age of 16, Joan and her best friend were kidnapped and extensively tortured by a serial killer named Ernie Parish. Joan managed to escape and kill her captor, but it appears as though he has somehow come back from the dead, intent on continuing his macabre and deeply disturbing proclivities.” (source: Production Weekly)

* Add Nick Nolte to the cast of The Mysteries Of Pittsburgh, adapted from Michael Chabon’s novel and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. Sienna Miller, Peter Sarsgaard, Mena Suvari and Jon Foster also star. Foster will play Art Bechstein, a recent college graduate trying to escape the clutches of his mobster father (Nolte). The story follows the last summer of Art's youth as he falls into a love triangle with Jane (Miller) and Cleveland (Sarsgaard), a charismatic couple who draw him into a series of exhilarating adventures that ultimately pit him against his father. Suvari will play Phlox, Art's eccentric part-time girlfriend and boss at a discount book chain. Filming starts September 5. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Steve Buscemi and Dan Aykroyd are joining Adam Sandler and Kevin James in the Dennis Dugan-directed I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry. Sandler and James play two heterosexual firefighters who pose as a gay couple in order to qualify for their department’s domestic partner benefits. Buscemi will play a city official who is dispatched to keep a close eye on Chuck and Larry and is hell bent on revealing their deception. Aykroyd will play the fire department captain. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Inkheart has its Silvertongue: Brendan Fraser has signed to star in Inkheart, based on Cornelia Funke’s novel. Fraser plays Mortimer "Mo" Folchart, who also is known as Silvertongue. He’s a bookbinder and “has the power to bring characters from books to life by reading aloud. When a villainous ruler and his band of rogues from a children's fable kidnap the man, his daughter and her friends -- both real and imaginary -- must set things right.” Paul Bettany is expected to play Dustfinger, a fire-eating performer. Inkheart is one of my favorite books, and yes, I’m 30. And a guy. (source: Hollywood Reporter, Variety)

* Tim Roth will join Naomi Watts in Funny Games, Michael Haneke’s remake of his 1997 film of the same name. Roth plays a father and husband who tries to protect his family after two psychos invade their cabin during a vacation. Filming starts in September. (source: Variety)

* Jason Behr is set to take the title role in The Tattooist, directed by Peter Burger. Behr plays a tattoo artist who becomes fascinated by the Samoan tatau tradition, but his desire to learn the ancient skill brings him into conflict and danger with the island mysticism and a deadly spirit is released as a result. Matthew Grainger and Jonathan King wrote the script. Filming starts in September. (source: Variety)

* John Leguizamo, Hector Elizondo and Fernanda Montenegro have joined Javier Bardem, Benjamin Bratt and Giovanna Mezzogiorno in Love In The Time Of Cholera, the Ron Harwood-scripted adaptation of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel. Mike Newell directs the tale of a man in romantic pursuit of a woman over five decades. (source: Variety)

* Gerard Butler will star opposite Hilary Swank in Richard LaGravenese’s P.S., I Love You, based on Cecilia Ahern’s novel. Swank plays a grieving young widow who discovers her late husband has left her a list of tasks revealed in 10 monthly messages that are intended to ease her out of grief and transition her to a new life. Butler plays the dead husband. Filming starts this fall. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Charlize Theron will star in Battle In Seattle, written and directed (in his directorial debut) by Stuart Townsend, Theron’s boyfriend. The project is set in 1999, during the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, where “an eclectic group of demonstrators, including environmental activists, doctors, anarchists, attorneys, eco-terrorists and just plain folks, brings the city to a state of near-chaos, and chases the WTO straight out of town.” (source: Production Weekly)

"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:

* Bruce Beresford will write and direct an Australian feature based on the Battle of Long Tan, an important battle during the Vietnam War for Australian and New Zealand troops. Eighteen Australians died Aug. 18, 1966, when a contingent of 108 soldiers from Australia and New Zealand fought off 2,500 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation at Long Tan, with enemy casualties numbering 200-500. Filming begins next year. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* The Weinstein Company has picked up the worldwide rights to Barbara Kopple’s documentary Dixie Chicks: Shut Up And Sing. The film follows the lives and careers of the Dixie Chicks over a period of three years during which they were under political attack (following singer Natalie Maines’ comments about President Bush) and received death threats, while continuing to live their lives, have children, and of course make music. The film ultimately presents who the Dixie Chicks are as women, public figures, and musicians. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Deepha Mehta (Water) will direct The Julia Project for Focus Features. The film focuses on “Julia Mullock, an American interior designer who married the last crown prince of Korea. Mullock met Kyu Lee in New York in the 1950s, after Japanese colonization and subsequent independence had removed the royal family from any official function in Korea. After marrying, the couple lived in Hawaii and then moved to Seoul. In 1982, Lee divorced Mullock under pressure from his family due to the lack of an heir. He died last year; she lives in Hawaii.” (source: Variety)

* Paramount Pictures has picked up an untitled action drama written by Dave Callaham that will be directed by Max Makowski and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura. The noir-style project begins with the murder of a mob boss. His current and former bodyguards unite to avenge his death. (source: Variety)

* South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have two live-action projects set up at Paramount Pictures: My All-American, a high school comedy written by Jeff Roda, and Giant Monsters Attack Japan!, a film written by J.F. Lawton that will combine live-action with the rubber-suit techniques made popular in the Japanese Godzilla films. Parker will direct both films, and Stone will produce, while both will work with the writers on the scripts. Production will begin in 2007, during South Park’s hiatus. (source: Variety)

* Rogue Pictures has picked up the feature film rights to Lost Squad, Chris Kirby’s comic book. The plot follows the adventures of a ragtag unit of Allied soldiers who fight Hitler's occult agents and other supernatural threats during WWII. Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter are producing. (source: Variety)

* 20th Century Fox Animation has optioned and is developing The Leaf Men And The Brave Good Bugs, based on the William Joyce illustrated children’s book. Joyce and Jim V. Hart are adapting and expanding Joyce’s story for the screen, with Chris Wedge (Ice Age) directing. The plot is described as “an epic adventure centering on ancient elfin magic, the book follows a troop of brave bugs who march off to save a garden, where they encounter an evil spider queen and must summon the mythical Leaf Men to save the day.” (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* Kung Fu Hustle’s Stephen Chow will direct, produce and star in Yangtze River 7, which starts filming this week. The film's title (and the inspiration for the plot) came from China's Shenzhou 6 space mission last year. (source: Variety)

* Blue Star Pictures and Mandalay Pictures have optioned Living Dead Girl (no relation to this title), an original screenplay by T.S. Faull. The plot centers on a dead woman who rises from the grave as a zombie to track down her killer and save his latest victim. She is aided on her journey by a handsome funeral director who has a thing for dead girls and helps her stave off decomposition. Eric Tessier will direct. (source: Hollywood Reporter)

* New Line has acquired screen rights to Black Dahlia Avenger a book by former Los Angeles homicide detective Steve Hodel. The book details Hodel's investigation into Hollywood's most infamous unsolved crime…that led him to finger his own father as the killer. Yikes. Ralph Pezzullo will write the script, with Hodel serving as executive producer. James Ellroy, who wrote The Black Dahlia (adapted from his novel for the Brian De Palma film), wrote the intro to Hodel's book and declared that the author had probably correctly identified Dr. George Hodel as the killer. (source: Variety)

* George A. Romero is sticking with what he knows. I guess. Romero will produce (with his Romero-Grunwald Productions and Artfire Productions), write and direct George Romero’s Diary Of The Dead. The storyline revolves around a group of film students who encounter real zombies when making a horror movie in the woods. So, it’s like The Blair Witch Project crossed with a Romero zombie movie? Production begins in October. (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. Invincible $17.0 million
2. Talladega Nights: The Ballad Of Ricky Bobby $8.0 million ($127.7 million total)
3. Little Miss Sunshine $7.5 million ($23.0 million total)
4. Beerfest $6.5 million
5. Accepted $6.47 million ($21.1 million total)
6. World Trade Center $6.39 million ($55.6 million total)
7. Step Up $6.18 million ($50.4 million total)
8. Idlewild $5.89 million
9. Snakes On A Plane $5.86 million ($26.0 million total)
10. Barnyard: The Original Party Animals $5.4 million ($54.7 million total)

Opening September 1 (wide release):
The Wicker Man (2006)

Opening September 1 (limited release):
Captain Sabertooth
Flannel Pajamas
Lassie (2006)
Looking For Kitty
Mutual Appreciation
Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles
This Film Is Not Yet Rated

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

Previewing the week ahead...

On DVD This Tuesday (theatrical/DTV):
Akeelah And The Bee (widescreen and fullscreen)
American Gun (2006)
Braddock: Missing In Action 3
Brother Bear 2
Delta Force 2
The Delta Force
Father Of The Bride (1950)
For Me And My Gal
Fourteen Hours
Friends With Money (widescreen and fullscreen)
The Jewel Of The Nile (Special Edition)
Lonesome Jim
Looking For Comedy In The Muslim World
Missing In Action
Missing In Action 2: The Beginning
Mountain Patrol: Kekexili
Pretty In Pink (Everything’s Duckie Edition)
Romancing The Stone (Special Edition)
The Sentinel (2006) (widescreen and fullscreen)
Some Kind Of Wonderful (Special Collector’s Edition)
Take The Lead (widescreen and fullscreen)
White Nights (widescreen and fullscreen)

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

Michael Collins has a brand new Sonic Death Monkey Soundtrack Reviews on Wednesday.

Peter Sobczynski has more DVD Reviews on Friday.

Erik Childress breaks down the weekend box office predictions with another Box Office Buster early in the week, and gives you regular updates and additions in 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.

The Recap’s all done for another week, and coming up next week, it’s the third anniversary of the Sunday News Recap. We’re not planning anything special, but I do hope you’ll join me for it. In the meantime, give a listen to Hollywood Bitchslap Radio, take a look at our previous Recaps and join and visit our forums, too. Your colon will thank you. Thanks for reading, and as always, your feedback is appreciated.

link directly to this feature at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=1923
originally posted: 08/27/06 15:56:48
last updated: 09/04/06 13:35:28
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