April 2006 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
slevin.jpg
Lucky Number Slevin
I don’t know which is more disturbing; that there is a fourth Scary Movie, or that it’s likely to be the month’s highest grosser. Since April begins on Saturday, this month’s new releases officially begin next Friday, but hey, this is a movie preview. If you’re itching to see a new release this week, you can check out the new Lynchian high school noir, Brick.
April 7
THE BENCHWARMERS
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Three grown men (David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Jon Heder, so I use the term loosely) take on a bunch of little league teams all by their lonesome.
WILL IT SUCK?
Well, you’ve got the director of Saving Silverman and the writers behind Grandma’s Boy up in here. Granted, that same director did Happy Gilmore, but did I mention Beverly Hills Ninja, National Security, and Problem Child? This is not a film festival you want to attend.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
Fans of stupid comedy will have much more to rejoice about the following week, when Scary Movie 4 takes the stage. In the meantime, this will sate them, though I doubt Spade and Schneider combined will equal Heder’s draw. $49mil.
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PHAT GIRLZ
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
They are girlz. They are phat. And overweight.
WILL IT SUCK?
I have no idea. But what’s curious is the writer/director is newcomer Nnegest Likk√©, who is young, black, female, and not the slightest bit overweight. For shame. Seriously, though, how many young, black, female directors can you name? (Actually, even if I remove only one of those adjectives, I bet you’re still confined to one hand).
Also, if you like Mo’Nique, she’s one of the girlz in question, and Raven Goodwin, whom you might remember as the really cool kid from Station Agent (or, far more likely, from Everybody Hates Chris) makes an appearance. Plus: Eric Roberts alert!
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
A little bit of demographic competition from Take the Lead, but it should have a core following of, well, phat girlz, or really anyone fed up with body image fascism. Not that any of that helped Real Women Have Curves make bank. $14mil.
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TAKE THE LEAD
WHAT’S THE PITCH?
Mad Hot Banderas
WILL IT SUCK?
Newcomer writer and director, though the director has done plenty of music videos which, in this case, is appropriate. The trailer, I have to admit, looks a lot better than it should.
HOW WELL WILL IT DO?
This probably has about as much star power as anything else opening wide this week. Still, I see it as an uphill battle. $26mil.

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