April 28, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: United 93, RV, Stick It, Akeelah and the Bee

The end of April is upon us, it is just about time for the early summer season to start. Each year, the summer season starts earlier and earlier. That summer starts next weekend with Mission Impossible III, but before that we have a few potential hits to deal with. First and foremost, this weekend brings the first 9/11 themed film, also tagging along are a tweener film, a family comedy, and an inspirational drama. I am most interested in the reaction to United 93.

Akeelah and the Bee. (2006, 97 minutes, PG, drama, trailer) I remember seeing this trailer a few months ago and thought that it looked pretty good. It is the story of a girl from south LA, who enters a variety of spelling contests to the objections of her mother. She is coached by a Doctor and her principal, and earns a shot at the National Spelling Bee. It stars Keke Palmer, whose smile lights up the screen, along with Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett. It looks like a delightful inspirational drama.

RV. (2006, 98 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) Robin Williams returns to the big screen with a family adventure comedy. He cancels the family's trip to Hawaii when a job obligation comes up. He turns the tropical trip into a trip to the north in, what else, an RV. This will lead to much comedy. The movie was directed by Barry Sonnenfeld.

Stick It. (2006, 105 minutes, PG-13, trailer) Could they have come up with a worse title? This concerns a renegade gymnast and her team. A teen targeted film with, one can assume, a fair share of sexual innuendo, and they saddle it with the words"stick" and "it." It is a title ripe for picking, many jokes are sure to come about. Oh yeah, it also features a slumming Jeff Bridges. I may be prematurely judging the movie, but I do not foresee quality.

United 93. (2006, 90 minutes, R, suspense, trailer) Are you ready for a 9/11 themed big screen film? Is anybody ready? It has been a very touchy subject ever since it was announced that this movie was coming. I wasn't sure that I really wanted to see it, until I read a review over at Ain't it Cool News (a review that I am no longer able to find). The review spoke of the intimacy and reality of the film, and the care that director Paul Greengrass put into it. I think I am ready for this.

Return of the Idiot. (1999, 99 minutes, NR, comedy, trailer) Coming from the Czech Republic is this comedy based on Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. The film concerns a man released from the institution, where he has spent most of his life. Now he must reaclimate to the outside world, which brands him, what else, an idiot.

Brats. (2002, 99 minutes, NR, drama, trailer) Also hailing from the Czech Republic, this film deals with racism in a country town. A family move from the city with their adopted children. This looks like it could be interesting.

The Revolution Will Not be Televised. (2003, 74 minutes, NR, documentary, trailer) This may be one to see, and its coming to the local arthouse. A pair of Irish filmmakers were in the presidential palace in Venezuela, when Hugo Chavez was forcibly removed from office. They filmed the following 48 hours when he returned to power. The film gives insight to the media manipulation that 0ccurred. This is not available on DVD, nor has it been seen in the US since its original theatrical release.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Clean
  • The Death of Mr. Lazaresco
  • Guys and Balls
  • Killer Diller
  • The Lost City
  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
  • Three Times (Zui hao de shi guang)
  • Water

Box Office Predictions.

This could prove to be an interesting weekend. I am willing to bet that the latest Robin Williams comedy will do well. On the other hand, the big screen is playing host to the first 9/11 themed film, and I am not so sure how well it will perform. Some are willing to see it, many others think it is too soon. At the moment, I am eagerly looking forward to it, especially after some of the reviews I have seen. The latest teen flick should pull decent numbers, although I doubt it will be a frontrunner. Lastly, there is an uplifting spelling bee film which will most likely pull in low numbers, despite being a good film (although, not having seen it, I have no real idea). Anyway, here is how I think it will shake down:

  1. RV
  2. United 93
  3. Scary Movie 4
  4. Stick It
  5. Silent Hill
  6. Ice Age: The Meltdown
  7. Akeelah and the Bee
  8. The Wild
  9. The Benchwarmers
  10. Friends with Money

What are you seeing this weekend?


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