October 6, 2006

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: The Departed, Employee of the Month, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Films from three different genres are opening this weekend, each one targeting a different segment of the film going populace. Which one will come out on top? Are any of them even worth seeing? There are very few, if any, weekends where there isn't one movie that I have liked in some way. Maybe I am too easy too please, or am just too optimistic, whatever the case, there is always something to like, and this doesn't look to break the streak.

The Departed. (2006, 149 minutes, R, drama, trailer) This film has been getting some fantastic early word, evidenced by the 96% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. It is the first film from Martin Scorsese since The Aviator in 2004, and the first set in the present since 1999's Bringing out the Dead. The movie is a reinterpretation of the excellent Hong Kong originating film, Infernal Affairs starring Andy Lau and Tony Leung. Scorsese has brought together a first rate cast, featuring Leonardo Dicaprio and Matt Damon in the lead roles, and also including Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg. The story concerns a mob mole undercover in the police department and a cop undercover in the mob, and the dangers of being in such a position. I am not sure how close it is to the original, but I cannot wait to see.

Employee of the Month. (2006, 103 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) Comedian Dane Cook is riding his current wave of popularity right on to the big screen. Dane faces off with Dax Shepard in a race to be the vaunted employee of the month and win the affections of new co-worker Jessica Simpson. I truly doubt that this will be any good. That said, it still looks like it could be funny, stupid, but funny. The supporting cast includes Andy Dick and Efren Ramirez.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning. (2006, 84 minutes, R, horor, trailer) The remake was succesful enough a few years back to warrant a sequel, or more specifically, a prequel. Like many remakes, the 2003 take on TCM went a long way to dividing audiences, receiving much criticism from the die hard fans of the original. For my money, I really liked the remake, and thought it was one of the best shot horror films I had seen in some time. This go around takes us back before the events of the remake and tells the story of a different group of kids trapped by the cannibal family. Jordana Brewster stars as one of the endangered, while the family is led by patriarch R. Lee Ermey. The one scary factor is the director, Jonathan Liebesman, his last outing was the awful Darkness Falls. Hopefully, that experience taught him something.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • 49 Up
  • Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker
  • Little Children
  • Love is the Drug
  • Love's Abiding Joy
  • The Queen
  • Shortbus
  • So Goes the Nation
  • Wrestling with Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner

Box Office Predictions

Three new entries this week, and I think two of them will come out at the top. I am going to go with Marty's movie to top the list. It has great early word and an all star cast, I have faith. It will be followed by the the latest horror entry, it is that time of year. The rest is pretty much anyone's guess, here are mine:

RankTitleBox Office
1The Departed$23.5 million
2The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning$18 million
3Open Season $12 million
4Employee of the Month$11.5 million
5The Guardian$9 million
6School for Scoundrels$6.75 million
7Jackass Number 2$5.5 million
8Gridiron Gang$3.25 million
9Jet Li's Fearless$2.5 million
10The Illusionist$2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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