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Friday
Mar142008

New Documentary to Chronicle Cubs' Trip to World Series...or More Likely Not

cubslogo.jpgA documentary filmmaker is banking that the 2008 baseball season will be one that fans of the lovable losers will remember for all the right reasons.

John Scheinfeld, who previously made the documentary The U.S. vs. John Lennon, believes this is finally the year the Cubs win the World Series. It's been 100 years since the last world title for the Cubbies, and according to Film Stew, Scheinfeld is "putting together a exhaustive portrait of the (unrequited) love affair between Windy City residents and their Wrigley Field team."

"I'm a long-suffering Cubs fan, like most people," said the director, a Chicago native. "What I hope I'll be good enough to do is capture in this film what that [Cubs fan] spirit is and why it's so special."

Scheinfeld has spent time in Arizona this month interviewing players and fans at spring training, with an eye on following the team all the way to the fall classic.

While talking to Cubs manager Lou Piniella this week, Scheinfeld apparently quipped that if the Cubs do in fact win the World Series, it would probably help the box office prospects for his film.


Friday
Mar142008

Sarah Michelle Gellar 'Decides to Die'

smg1.jpgHer star no long shining bright, former Buffy the Vampire Slayer star Sarah Michelle Gellar is looking for cred by deciding to kill herself.

Gellar is in final negotiations to star in the indie drama Veronika Decides to Die, according to Variety. The film is about a severely depressed woman who wakes up one morning to realize that she really did marry Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Sorry. That one was too easy.

Actually, the movie has an interesting little twist: After surviving a suicide attempt, Veronika learns that she only has weeks to live because her heart suffered irreparable damage in the first go-round.

Originally, this movie was supposed to star Kate Bosworth, who has since abandoned the project. I have to say that this sounds like a challenging role for any actress and I'm a little hesitant about subject matter that's too weighty and an actress I'm not sure can pull it off. But maybe there's more to Gellar than Buffy, Daphne, and the girl from The Grudge.

If this drama is going to be taken seriously, there better be.


Thursday
Mar132008

Fearless Forecast - 'Horton Hears' Cash Registers

hortonwho1.jpgSo far, 2008 at the box office has just been kind of screwing around. Nothing released to this point will be a $100 million movie. Think about that for a minute: 10 weeks of releases, nearly 20% of the year, and not one of them will get to $100 million.

That's about to change.

Fox is releasing Horton Hears a Who in nearly 4,000 theaters this weekend, and the move will pay immediate dividends. In addition to having scant competition - and frankly, I'm getting tired of the one major release a week rule that's plaguing this year - Horton happens to be a great family flick with loads of name recognition.

You don't have to be a marketing genius to know that spending an inappropriate fortune on commercials for this thing will really pay off. Horton should easily make $45 million, and I'm going to say the number will be closer to $55 million.

Where does that leave this week's other new releases, Never Back Down and Doomsday? Why, fighting for scraps, obviously. Doomsday has the most buzz appeal and is seems more unique than Never Back Down, which is the first real Mixed Martial Arts movie, making it kind of a modern day Gleaming the Cube. Will either movie stand out? My hunch is that it will be Doomsday, although most analysts are saying it'll be Never Back Down.

Other recent releases will fall in place through the top ten on an otherwise soft weekend outside of that one big elephant in the room.

The top five:

1 - Horton Hears a Who ($53 million)
2 - 10,000 B.C. ($9 million)
3 - Doomsday ($7.5 million)
4 - Never Back Down ($6.8 million)
5 - College Road Trip ($6 million)


Thursday
Mar132008

Trailer - Yep, It's 'Lost Boys 2', All Right

Oh, the Coreys. If you're of a certain age, roughly mid-30ish, then you remember Haim and Feldman either as Tiger Beat cover boys or as eternal douchebags. Over time, it has become evident that Camp Douchebag has won that race.

So why are they reuniting, and why is
Lost Boys 2 the outlet? Great question(s). I have no answers, other than to suggest that this is a much better idea than License to Drive 2. I can't imagine that a direct-to-video sequel to a 20-year-old vampire movie is going to turn their careers around.

At least we can hope not.


If you're still curious or masochistic, Lost Boys 2: The Tribe hits home video this July.

Thursday
Mar132008

Bryan Singer Able to Leap Tall Sequels in a Single Bound

slogo4.jpgThere have been tons of reports that director Bryan Singer will be back at the helm for the sequel to Superman Returns. I haven't read all of them, of course, but I'm go out on a limb and say that some people think this is big news.

I disagree, but more on that in a moment.

First the specifics: For the sequel, the director will work with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who have cranked out scripts for the new Star Trek and Trasformers. Singer confirmed to EmpireOnline that he is developing "with the intention" of breaking in another director's chair.

Here's why I don't think this is big news: Superman is irrelevant.

I'm not saying this is a permament diagnosis for the most famous comic book creation of all, but the time of right vs. wrong being a more black and white issue has passed. Things are cyclical and I'm certain that there will come a day when we want a morally uncompromised hero who has very few failings (the two major ones are essentially his girlfriend and an allergy), but right now, with an upopular war undertaken with questionable veracity and with the rising interest in heroes and storylines from the same arena that aren't as crystal clear but rather have an undercurrent of darkness, it seems like audiences just look past Superman as being, I dunno, corny or passe.

Superman will be back in vogue. But there's a reason the first film struggled to make $200 million in a season when that is expected behavior (and which Iron Man and Dark Knight should breeze past this summer), and I believed then and believe now that it has more to do with the character being out of touch with audiences than marketing or script issues.

I just don't think the time is right for another Superman movie, regardless of who's directing it. Some will argue that The Man of Steel will always be the gold standard for superheroes. Funnily enough, we don't use the gold standard these days, either.