February 3, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Featuring When a Stranger Calls

The column in search of a name. I'm still looking for a new name, so if anyone has any ideas, please share!

This week brings a new romantic comedy and another remake of an old horror movie. Those are the only 2 new films taking it to the national stage. In addition to those, Capote is getting a wider release, expanding to 1200 screens. Hopefully it's recent Oscar nominations will attract an audience to this excellent film. In any case, here are those films, plus a few local openings.

Something New. Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker star in this romantic comedy about a businesswoman who finds love with a landscaper. This looks as if it could be moderately entertaining, but I'm not really holding my breath. TRAILER

When a Stranger Calls. Another remake. This one of the classic 1974 thriller starring Carol Kane. Can the remake live up to it? I don't have high hopes, the trailers have not impressed me all that much, but who knows, maybe I will be surprised. This may make you want to rethink your plans for being a babysitter, or leaving your children alone. TRAILER

Cache. What would you do if someone was watching you and your family? What would you do if he had been doing it for a long time and started to send threatening letters and drawings? This film delves into the paranoia of being watched, and of having a secret about to be exposed. I have heard nothing but good about this, despite it having a strange ending. Michael Haneke won Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival for his work here. TRAILER

The Passenger. This is a film by Michaelangelo Antonioni from 1975. It stars Jack Nicholson as a reporter who impulsively takes on the identity of a deceased man. The film follows him as he starts living this new life until it begins to fall apart. This may be worth seeing on the big screen.

The Beautiful Washing Machine. This film from Malaysia is getting a 2 day/3 show engagement at the local arthouse and is being sponsored by Asian Cinevision. This looks to be an odd piece of cinema. It is about a man who loses his girlfriend and her things, so he goes to shop for a new washing machine. It turns out to be a junker, but then a woman appears and is made to take on washing duties. Sounds like it could be interesting.

Also opening, but not near me:

  • A Good Woman
  • Suits on the Loose
  • Tamara
  • Tenants
  • What the Bleep?: Down the Rabbit Hole
  • Who Gets to Call it Art?

Box Office Predictions.

Last week I was able to get 2 placements right, a couple more close, and a few that were just flat out, completely wrong. Let's see if I can do better this week.

  1. When a Stranger Calls. Horror films tend to open well, I don't think this will be any different. It will slip quickly, though.
  2. Big Momma's House 2. I have a feeling that this will continue to have a strong showing.
  3. Something New. This seems like a reasonable place for this film to open.
  4. Nanny McPhee. I underestimated this last week, don't want to do the same thing again.
  5. Annapolis. James Franco will show if he can be a draw this week.
  6. Brokeback Mountain. This is going to hold steady, perhaps climb a bit as the Oscars approach.
  7. Hoodwinked. Don't underestimate the word of mouth on this little film that could.
  8. Underworld: Evolution. This will start a relatively quick decline.
  9. Capote. The newly widened release could push this up to the top ten.
  10. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Hanging in there, this will probably be its last appearance in the top ten.

Have a good time this weekend at the movies! Be sure to check on Tuesday for my Box Office Update and see how poor my predictions were.


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