The March 2006 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
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Even with ‚”A Scanner Darkly” delayed yet again, March is looking better than January and February combined. Which isn’t terribly difficult. A single episode of ‚”24″ looks better than January and February combined.
16 BLOCKS
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Bruce Willis has 118 minutes (hey, that’s about the length of a movie!) to get a witness (Mos Def) from police custody to a courthouse.
WILL IT SUCK?
Richard Donner knows how to bring the action (the ‚”Lethal Weapon” series, ‚”Superman”) but, of late, he has only brought the suck (‚”Timeline”). The writer is fairly new, unless you remember ‚”Vamp” or ‚”Just the Ticket.” David Morse should make for a nice villain, however. Early buzz is not very good.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Now that ‚”Ultraviolet” has been moved to this weekend, the second frame of ‚”Running Scared” isn’t the only other action game in town. Expect this to be a middling Willis performer, like ‚”Hostage” or ‚”Mercury Rising.” $35mil.
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DAVE CHAPPELLE’S BLOCK PARTY
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Dave Chappelle holds a block party in Brooklyn and invites all his rap buddies, along with some folks from the neighborhood he currently calls home in Ohio.
WILL IT SUCK?
Caught this at Toronto. Funny. As. Shit. Also, incredible performances from some of the best names in hip hop and R&B, including Mos Def, Kanye West, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Erykah Badu, Common, and…wait for it…The Freakin’ Fugees!
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
A little bit of competition from the second frame of ‚”Madea,” but not much. People have been waiting for anything new from Chappelle for a while now. $102mil.
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ULTRAVIOLET
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Futuristic dystopia with butt-kicking action – does the plot actually matter?
WILL IT SUCK?
Four years ago, a guy named Kurt Wimmer wrote and directed a movie called ‚”Equilibrium.” It bombed and didn’t score too hot with critics, either. However, over time, more people saw it, loved it, and recommended it. Eventually I saw it, too, and you know what? They were right.
Now, in the same sci-fi action genre (looks like it takes place in the same future, just with color) Wimmer’s back. So yeah, I’m psyched. Doesn’t hurt to have Nick Chilund on board as the heavy, and the return of William Fichtner (he was in ‚”Equilibrium”) as…who cares, he’s in it.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Though the Wimmer faithful will be lining up, most folks’ll write this off as an ‚”Aeon Flux” knock-off, especially with Milla Jovovich playing an ass-kicking genetically enhanced mutant for the 17th time. Plus, it was ill-advised to move this from a weekend where it had to compete with Paul Walker to a weekend where it had to compete with Bruce Willis. $50mil.

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