March 2, 2007

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Black Snake Moan, Wild Hogs, Zodiac

From a weekend of numerology, haunted houses, and inept police officers we move on to a weekend of moaning snakes, mid-life crises, and astrological symbols. Which weekend seems to offer up more entertainment? When boiled down to these choises, it is pretty much a toss up. How about stars? Jim Carrey, Thomas Lennon, and Anastasia Hille against Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, and Robert Downey Jr. Well, I guess we know where the star power lies, but as we all know, that does not always translate to box office success. What am I saying? I have no idea, all I hope for are entertaining films.

Black Snake Moan. (2007, 116 minutes, R, drama, trailer) From snakes on a plane to snakes that moan, Samuel L. Jackson cannot escape the the slitering reptiles. This time out he is a bluesman living in a rundown shack. He comes across a woman stripped and beaten, left for dead. She is Christina Ricci, a woman who has given into a wild libido, an affliction that Jackson sets out to cure her off. I must admit, this is a wild looking movie, completely bizarre, and something that I must see. It was written and directed by Craig Brewer, whose last film was Hustle & Flow.

Wild Hogs. (2007, 99 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) What do you get when you combine John Travolta, William H. Macy, Martin Lawrence, and Tim Allen? The latest from the director of Van Wilder, that's what. It is a road film where a group of friends seek to reconnect with their wild side. In their search of excitement, they head out on the road for a motorcycle trip, and are sure to meet up with inevitable goofy hijinks. I like the cast, it will probably be dumb, and hopefully I will laugh. That's all that I hope for.

Zodiac. (2007, 160 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) A David Fincher film is always a time to rejoice, the man makes wonderful movies. Are they all great? No, but they are all eminently watchable. Hopefully, the trend will continue as he turns his eye on the infamous Zodiac killings. With an eye to detail, a good cast, and a generous runtime, could we have a classic thriller on our hands? I hope so. The film features Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Edwards as reporters and detectives on the case, as the killer claims victims leaving the city gripped in fear. My main concern is the long runtime.

The Mafioso. (1962, 109 minutes, unrated, drama) This is a tale of the Italian underworld before there was a Godfather. It is the story of a man who is happy in his job, has a loving family, and is set to take them to meet his parents. His boss asks him to take something to Don Vincenzo, he does so, but then Don asks him for a favor. This film was dirested by Alberto Lattuada. This having theatrical screenings at a local arthouse.

The Lives of Others. (2006, 137 minutes, R, drama, trailer) This was the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language film at the recent awards ceremony. It is from Germany and is set in 1984 East Berlin. The Berlin Wall is still up, and the populace is terrified of the secret police, and they watch and listen to everything. I have heard nothing but good things about it, although I am still surprised that it won over Pan's Labyrinth.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Full of It
  • Wild Tigers I Have Known

Box Office Predictions
Ghost Rider has taken the last two weekends, will it take a third? Not if John Travolta has anything to say about it. I am pretty sure the star power of the goofy looking mid-life comedy is going to take the top spot, after a couple of weekends featuring a flaming skull and an unfunny Jim Carrey, I think people are ready for a laugh. After that, it's anyone's guess. Zodiac is an iffy proposition, with its long run time likely to discourage some from going to see it, still, I think it will be strong enough to place second.

Here is how I think the top ten field will play out:

RankTitleBox Office
1Wild Hogs$26 million
2Zodiac$17 million
3The Number 23$12 million
4Bridge to Terabithia$9 million

Ghost Rider

$8 million
6Reno 911!: Miami

$6 million

7Norbit$5.5 million
8Music and Lyrics$4 million
9Breach$3.5 million
10The Astranaut Farmer$2 million

What are you seeing this weekend?


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