October 3, 2008

New Movies and Box Office Predictions: Blindness, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Religulous, Appaloosa, and more

Last week brought us romance, thrills, and war, this week brings us a whole lot more. No fewer than eight new films will be arriving on the big screen. Sounds like a busy weekend, right? Fortunately a few of them look like they can safely be skipped, leaving a much slimmer list to deal with. Yes, it will be busy, are you up to the challenge?

An American Carol. (2008, 83 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) I find the trailer for this David Zucker helmed spoof to be mildly amusing, but I cannot help but think it is a few years too late. The comedy takes aim at Michael Moore, played by Kevin Farley (brother to Chris). In A Christmas Carol fashion, the filmmaker is visited by the ghosts of America past in an effort to get him to change his ways. Something tells me I can safely skip this one on the big screen.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua. (2008, 85 minutes, PG, family/comedy, trailer) Here is another one I will not feel bad about missing. I am sure the youngsters will eat it up, but from the moment I first the trailer I knew I did not want to see this. It is the story of a chihuahua (duh) out to save an upscale pup on the wrong side of the border. Voices include George Lopez and Drew Barrymore, while Piper Perabo plays one of the human characters.

Blindness. (2008, 118 minutes, R, thriller, trailer) Finally, a movie I am interested in seeing. I have heard rumors of poor early buzz, but I don't care, I love the trailers. An epidemic of blindness sweeps the nation, the government tries to cover to up and sequesters the affected. However, they miss Julianne Moore and the drama starts. This movie just fascinates me to no end. Hopefully I am not setting myself up for a fall.

Flash of Genius. (2008, 119 minutes, PG-13, drama, trailer) This docudrama centers on the man who, in the 1960s, invented the intermittent windshield wiper only to have it stolen by the Ford Motor Company. This looks at the creation and the subsequent litigation. Doesn't sound that exciting, does it? No, I suppose not. I do think the trailer looks good, and having Greg Kinnear in the lead doesn't hurt. It is not at the top of my list, but definitely worth looking into.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. (2008, 110 minutes, R, comedy, trailer) Simon Pegg's latest shot at the American box office comes in the form of this comedy with a rather unwieldy title. The movie does look pretty funny. It is about a small time writer who has a shot with a big time New York celebrity magazine, if he can't sink himself first. Pegg co-stars with Kirsten Dunst, Jeff Bridges, Gillian Anderson, and Megan Fox.

Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. (2008, 90 minutes, PG-13, comedy, trailer) This looks like a fun movie. Nick was recently dumped and Norah is perennially alone when they bump into each other at an indie rock club, where Nick has just played a set. A chance encounter sets the two of them on a night long adventure. The trailer just looks like fun, plus Michael Cera is a good up and comer, plus Kat Dennings has turned in some good performances as well.

Religulous. (2008, 101 minutes, R, documentary, trailer) Bill Maher teams with the director of Borat to question people around the world about their faith. On one hand, this looks kind of funny, but on the other hand, I cannot say I have high interest in it. Perhaps somewhere down the line I will give it a look see.

Appaloosa. (2008, 114 minutes, R, western, trailer) Aside from Blindness, here is the next film on my must see list for the weekend, which is funny as I never used to be a fan of westerns. It opened in limited release a week or two back and is now expanding into a wider market. Viggo Mortensen and Ed Harris star as hired guns brought in to clean up a town under the control of a ruthless rancher played by Jeremy Irons. Ed Harris also directs.

Also opening this week, but not near me:
  • Ballast
  • Kidnap
  • Rachel Getting Married

Box Office Predictions
Wow. I look at this week's releases and I have no idea how it will play out. Something tells me the top spot will be held by some animated puppies, although I would like to see something like Blindness at the top, hopefully I will like it! Anyway, this is just going to be a wild guess and will likely continue down the trend of bad picks that began last week.

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

RankTitleBox Office
1Beverly Hills Chihuahua$20 million
2Eagle Eye$16 million
3Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist$12.5 million
4Nights in Rodanthe$7.5 million
5Blindness$7 million

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People

$6 million
7Flash of Genius$4.5 million
8Fireproof$4.25 million
9Appaloosa$4 million
10An American Carol$3.5 million


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