September 22, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Jet Li's Fearless, Jackass Number Two, Flyboys, All the King's Men

This week we get an interesting little mix, blending high brow with the low brow. Pseudo-documentary comedies rub shoulders with Hong Kong martial arts, World War I action/drama stands alongside political drama, not to mention indie horror and foreign thrillers. Anything sound interesting to you?

Jet Li's Fearless. (2006, 104 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) This is the movie I have been waiting for, except I don't like the possessive they added to the title. This is Jet's final martial arts epic, which seems to be confusing a lot of people. No, he is not retiring from the movies, he is just retiring from wushu and the films that employ that style. This means there will be no more Heros or Once Upon a Time in Chinas with him. We will be more likely to see things like Unleashed and Kiss of the Dragon, at least that is what I took it to mean. Anyway, this is the story of Huo Yuanjia, a man who battled through tragedy to become a legendary fighter who fought for his country. The action was choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix) and it was directed by Ronny Yu (The Bride with White Hair).

Flyboys. (2006, 139 minutes, PG-13, adventure, trailer) The flying scenes in the trailer look absolutely spectacular, hopefully the rest of the movie will be just as good. James Franco and Jean Reno star in this story of American pilots joining the fight in Europe prior to the US entering WWI. This is based on the true story of the first American fighter squadron.

Jackass Number Two. (2006, 95 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) OK, did anyone really ask for this? Do people even remember Jackass? It seems like so long ago when that was popular. Well, something lured Johnny Knoxville back to world of insane stunts. This will surely be the top film this week, but will it top the original? Also, word has it that the bit with the tooth extraction in the commercial is not int he film, due to the subjects accusations of sexual misconduct.

All the King's Men. (2006, 128 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) The latest Sean Penn Oscar hopeful descends on us today. It is based on the novel by RObert Penn Warren, and loosely on the life of Huey Long. It follows the political career of Willie Stark, an idealist filled with good intentions who turns to corruption as his career soars. It looks interesting, but I am not so sure I like Penn, he seems to be wildly overacting in the trailer clips.

Feast. (2006, 114 minutes, R, horror, trailer) This was the winner of the 2005 Project Greenlight. It is a survival horror film that follows a group of strangers in a tavern who must band together to battle back a a gaggle of flesh eating monsters outside. Could be fun. The cast includes Jason Mewes (Jay from Clerks), Henry Rollins, and Krista Allen.

13 Tzameti. (2006, 114 minutes, R, thriller, trailer, in French with subtitles) I have been looking forward to seeing this ever since I heard about it, some months ago. I remember reading that this is how you make a truly unsettling film. The story concerns a man just scraping by, who gets stiffed on a paycheck by a junkie that he did some work for. So, he steals a package from the guys house whose contents are supposed to lead to easy money.The journey leads him on a run from the police and into a high stakes underground game of Russian roulette. The trailer is pretty intense, I can only imagine what the film is like. This is beginning a run at the local arthouse theater.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • American Hardcore
  • Bandidas
  • The Genius Club
  • Khosla Ka Ghosla
  • Laura Smiles
  • Renaissance
  • The Science of Sleep
  • Shottas
  • Solo Con Tu Pareja

Box Office Predictions

Last week saw an increase over the prior week's awful box office, will this week continue the trend? I think so. The second Jackass film starts this week, and I am sure it will be a big draw for the coveted college and high school kids, but I don't think it will eclipse the $22 million take of the original 4 years ago. The one movie I truly hope to see do well is Fearless, or at least do better than The Protector. Anyway, here are my estimates:

RankTitleBox Office
1Jackass Number 2$17.5 million
2Gridiron Gang$9 million
3Flyboys$8.5 million
4The Black Dahlia$6.5 million
5Jet Li's Fearless$6 million
6The Last Kiss$4.75 million
7All the King's Men$4.5 million
8Everyone's Hero$3.5 million
9Invincible$3 million
10The Illusionist$2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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