January 2006 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas

whywefight.jpg
From Why We Fight

This month’s movie preview is coming a tad late because, well, we’re retarded and forgot to post it. So sorry, Dave. We’ve kept your public waiting. We’re still in a post-holiday haze, even though it’s almost February. Without further ado, here’s the truncated January Movie Preview.

LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Albert Brooks is hired by the government to be the title.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is not so great. Apparently, he doesn’t find it.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The return of Steven Soderbergh next week will overshadow this. This week, bad
buzz might move people to the more serious "Why We Fight." $1mil.

———————————–

UNDERWORLD: EVOLUTION

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
More fun with that guy who looks like the lead singer of Creed and Kate Beckinsale
as a werewolf/vampire hybrid and straight-up vampire, respectively.

WILL IT SUCK?
They have pretty much the same crew in front of and behind the camera again
so expect the same level of quality as the original. Which is to say, yes, it
will suck, but not terribly so.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I think this will pull a "Saw II" and outdo the original thanks to
DVD sales expanding the audience for the franchise. $87mil.

———————————–

WHY WE FIGHT

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Remember when Eisenhower warned us against the military/industrial complex?
This doc looks out how that all worked out for us.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is quite good, claiming this is even better than the documentarian’s
previous effort, "The Trials of Henry Kissinger."

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Higher profile indies the following week, and it’s unclear whether or not audiences
are ready for a head-on discussion of war, though "Syriana" returns
indicate they’re at least ready to hear about oil. $2mil.

———————————–
January 27
———————————–

ANNAPOLIS

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
"An Officer and a Gentleman." Really, there’s no twist. That’s basically
what it is.

WILL IT SUCK?
I would call this an enourmous waste of director Justin Lin’s ("Better
Luck Tomorrow") considerable talent, except his next project is just that
("The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift"), so I have to call this
something else. How about "serviceable?" That’s what the writer’s
last project ("Out of Time") turned out to be.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I think between this and "Tristan and Isolde," James Franco will split
his own demo. $23mil.

———————————–

BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE 2

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
I’m not sure I really need to say.

WILL IT SUCK?
Fear not. They got the screenwriter of the original back! And they added the
director of "Malibu’s Most Wanted!" Are you crying yet?

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Sadly, the first one was a hit. Fortunately, we’ve had five years to forget
that fact. $46mil.

———————————–

NANNY MCPHEE

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Think "Nanny 911" with magical powers.

WILL IT SUCK?
The reigning queen of starring in her own adaptations, Emma Thompson ("Sense
and Sensibility," "Wit") pulls double duty once again. This time
she is the titular Nanny. And having the director of "Waking Ned Devine"
on board doesn’t hurt. Early buzz is good, but it’ll have to be pretty damn
great to be as awesome as her turn as Nanny G on "Cheers."

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
I don’t think the trailer is doing it any favors. $25mil.

———————————–

TRISTRAM SHANDY: A COCK AND BULL STORY

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
An extremely post-modern adaptation of the "unfilmable" Laurence Sterne
novel "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman."

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is extremely good. It looks like director Michael Winterbottom is
back in his "24 Hour Party People" playground with Steve Coogan once
again narrating directly to the camera. He’s got the screenwriter from that
film back as well. Good times.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
"Bubble" will provide some competition, and I may be the only one
who’s been yearning for a philosophical follow-up to "24 Hour Party People."
$200,000.

———————————–

BUBBLE

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
The plot involves a murder at a toy factory, but the point is that Steven Soderbergh
has a bunch of non-actors act. Hence, the naturalism…we hope.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is mixed, but generally positive. This is from the screenwriter of
"Full Frontal," considered by many to be Soderbergh’s worst effort.
If nothing else, though, expect this to be on the experimental side of his oeuvre.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
That’s the question. The real story here is the release. This is coming out
simultaneously in theaters, on DVD, on an HD Cable Network, and I think in cave
drawings as well. Will this experiment prove successful or will Steven Soderbergh
single-handedly destroy theatrical distribution? Or will the fact that it’s
an experimental Soderbergh film negate the fact that there’s anything unusual
about the release at all since those generally don’t do well to begin with?
$3mil.

———————————–

IMAGINE ME & YOU

WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Remember how I said there were two films with a fiancée falling for another
woman this month? Here you go.

WILL IT SUCK?
Early buzz is split with the meme being that this is too straight for the queer
eye and too queer for the straight eye. But hey, Anthony Stewart Head! Giles,
man! Yeah, that’s still not enough.

HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
The above problem could leave this as a film without a demo. $2mil.

———————————–

Next month: Joe Roth and Lars von Trier both give us their takes
on race relations. Which do you think will be more incendiary? And you have
one month to watch "Equilibrium" and discover why maybe you should
get psyched for "Ultraviolet."

Dave Thomas

Speak Your Mind

*

So We Know You\'re Not Spam *