September 29, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Guardian, Open Season, School for Scoundrels

This weekend Ashton Kutcher makes his return to the big screen, could this be his big test as a box office draw? Will he benefit from the Kevin Costner rub? Who knows. I am intrigued, but not especting much. Going against it we have an underdog comedy and an animated family film. Will this be enough to unseat the Jackass crew? Will these movies actually have some level quality? It's anyones guess. Why don't you all go see them and let me know. We'll meet back here on Monday.

The Guardian. (2006, 135 minutes, PG-13, action, trailer) It seems that early word on this one is good, although I will have to see it to believe it. For one thing, I cannot beliece that this is running over two hours, based on what I have seen in the commercials. Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher team up in this actioner surrounding Coast Guard rescue swimmers. Costner is a swimmer who is struggling with the loss of his team, is assigned to teach the next generation where he meets up with Kutcher. The two of them work together and the younger learns heroism. I don't know, I am sort of interested to see if the as yet still untested Kutcher can rise to the occasion. The movie was directed by Andrew Davis, who is a proven talent with The Fugitive on his resume.

Open Season. (2006, 100 minutes, PG, animated adventure, trailer) I feel as if I have been seeing trailers and commercials for this for the past two years. I cannot say that it looks terribly impressive, but that has been the case with many of the CG movies this year, of which there have probably been too many. This is the story of a pet bear named Boog and his deer buddy Elliot. Elliot convinces Boog to leave his cushy garage and give life in the woods a shot, unfortunately it is also hunting season. Ashton Kutcher features in this film as well, as the voice of Elliot, Martin Lawrence is his partner in crime, Boog. Some of the moments look kind of funny, but I am not holding my breath.

School for Scoundrels. (2006, 100 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Now here is the one wide release that I am most looking forward to this week, and, get this, it is another remake. It is based on the British movie, of the same name, from 1960. The story follows a guy who never learned to be a man, and lacks anything resembling self confidence. So, he does what any born loser would do for the girl of his dreams, enroll in a class taught by Billy Bob Thornton. Just as the class begins to work, our loser finds his teacher is know his competition. Thornton co-stars with Napoleon Dynamite's Jon Heder. The cast is rounded out with Michael Clarke Duncan, Jacinda Barrett, and David Cross.

The Science of Sleep. (2006, 105 minutes, R, drama, trailer) Here is a movie that I very much want to see, but am not sure if I will get to see it on the big screen. I will find some way to see this, although it may have to wait for DVD, much like what happened with me seeing A Scanner. This is Michele Gondry's followup to the amazing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (not counting the documentary Dave Chappelle's Block Party). Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a graphic designer who moves to France, where his mother finds him some mind numbing office work. He spends his time drifting in and out of his dream world, where he has control of his future. He meets a kindred spirit, and soon he is unable to distinguish his surreal dream world and reality. The trailer for this looks amazing, Gondry is an amazing talent and comes up with some wonderful visuals, hopefully the film lives up to the trailer.

Keeping Mum. (2006, 90 minutes, R, drama, trailer) I have read the description of the film, and I am still not quite sure where it is going. Dame Maggie Smith stars as a housekeeper who goes to work for Rowan Atkinson, the local vicar. Smith arrives at a critical time as the family is falling apart, the vicar's wife is getting close to a sleazy golf pro, their daughter is going girl crazy, and their son is bully bait. What really threw me is this line: "Tut-tutting, sweet grey-hairedGrace, a genteel psycopath, becomes the stealth fixer." May be interesting.

Who Needs Sleep? (2006, 78 minutes, NR, documentary, trailer) This is a documentary that is only getting two screenings. It concerns the long hours that film crews put into their work and the toll that it takes on them. The director was spurred onto this by assistant cameraman Brent Hershman fell asleep behind the wheel, crashed his car, and died in 1997 following a 19 hour day on the set. The film explores the effects of sleep deprivation combined with long work hours to make a lethal combination.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Facing the Giants
  • A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints
  • The Last King of Scotland
  • The Queen

Box Office Predictions

Both The Guardian and Open Season are both being pushed pretty hard this week, so I have no doubt that they will be the top two this weekend. On the other hand, I think that Jackass Number Two will start a relatively quick slide, I don't see it having much repeat viewing appeal and most who wanted to see it probably saw it opening weekend. The rest is pretty much anyone's guess, here are mine:

RankTitleBox Office
1The Guardian$21.5 million
2Open Season$15 million
3Jackass Number 2$12 million
4School for Scoundrels$11.5 million
5Flyboys$4 million
6Gridiron Gang$3.75 million
7Jet Li's Fearless$3.5 million
8Everyone's Hero$3.25 million
9All the King's Men$2 million
10The Illusionist$1.5 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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