The Week in Film: Halloween Weekend

Ho ho ho, Merry- wait, that’s not right. Gobble gobble! Happy Thanks- shoot,
that’s not right either. Ahem. *evil high-pitched cackle* Happy Halloween! Ah,
there we go. Sorry for the confusion there, folks. It happens when you try to
get a Turkey Santa Claus costume for this special day. You get confused. For
some reason, I couldn’t find one anywhere, but enough about me. And since it’s
Halloween weekend, time for scary movies! Right?

Maybe not so much. At least not new ones, as it looks like Hollywood decided too many folks were going
to be out trick-or-treating to check out a new movie this weekend. Fortunately
or unfortunately, Saw VI came out
last week and Paranormal Activity is
still in theaters scaring up big bucks (more on that later).

First up this week, we have Michael Jackson’s sold out This Is It that opened on Wednesday. This film documents Michael Jackson behind-the-scenes
rehearsals from April to June of this year, as he prepares and creates the
concert that would’ve been his concert for the summer.

If you’re a fan of Michael Jackson and can somehow get tickets, this is
definitely for you. There’s no scary or creepy factor to this movie, unless,
you know, you count the fact that he’s now kind of permanently dead and might
be like watching a ghost.

With the exception of the above, it seems like everything else coming out
this weekend is in limited release or in “selected cities” only. I’ve always
found that term funny, because unless the movie is about the history of Mormonism
and called “No Room For The Gays ” or some such, we all pretty much know which cities
are “selected” cities. Okay, enough about Mormon movies, moving on!

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
is a continuation/sequel to the 2000 film with lots of blood, killing,
wisecracks, and the token Hot Chick in the form of Julie Benz (from Buffy and Dexter). The film also stars Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, Billy
and Clifton Collins Jr.

Not a very Halloween-y movie, but if you’re up for some action (with a title
that made me giggle for some reason), and didn’t see Law Abiding Citizen last week, this would be your best bet … that
is if you’re near of the theatres playing it.

Jared Hess, the director of Napoleon
and Nacho Libre, is back
with Gentlemen Broncos, about a
writer (the cutie pie Michael Angarano)
who has his work stolen by a famous fantasy sci-fi writer (Jemaine Clement).

Being a fan of Flight of the Conchords,
I just might catch this for Jemaine (who looks absolutely hilarious in this
movie), and with one of my favorite comedic actresses, Jennifer Coolidge, playing
the mom, I’ll just upgrade that “might” to “definitely maybe”. Sam Rockwell is also in this
over-the-top, occasionally trippy-looking, comedy.

Next, we have The House of the Devil;
finally, something fresh for Halloween. A broke college sophomore takes a
baby-sitting job … even after when she finds out there’s no baby! Dun dun dun! It’s
getting fairly good reviews with 82% on, so it’s something
to see on Halloween weekend … possibly in a theater near you.

Next up is Skin which takes place in
the 1950s and 60s and is a true story about a white couple who were unaware of
their African ancestry until the wife surprisingly gives birth to a black baby.
And when this baby grows up into a girl and sent to boarding school, well, you
know, they treat her bad and expel her because she is considered black.

This definitely feels like a tear-jerker with a “Lesson” so prepare to be
uplifted and enlightened.

How much they made:

After four weeks in the theaters, the indie phenom, Paranormal Activity, finally got a wider release last week, nearly
tripling the theater count it had the week before. Paranormal hacked off a few of Saw
’s limbs (it’s about time someone did) to get the number one spot with
$21.1 million, beating the usual opening-weekend franchise champ, which got
only $14.1 million, less than half of the franchise got last year in its
opening weekend. Hopefully, this might mean the end of the torture porn era.

The number three spot went to Where
the Wild Things Are
, which just fell short of Saw at $14 million, marking a more than 57% drop from the week
before. Clearly, this movie looks like it won’t have any legs for the weeks to
come due to a lack of word of mouth.

Rounding out the top five were Law
Abiding Citizen
and Couples Retreat
with $12.4 million and $10.6 million respectively. As for Astro Boy and The Vampire’s
, the two other big releases last weekend? Astro Boy malfunctioned at number six with $6.7 million as Assistant was (un)dead on arrival with
$6.2 million.

Antichrist, the arthouse horror
flick last week actually made $71,397 in six theaters, having a strong $11,900
per theater average. .An Education aces another weekend with
$11,851 theater average.

Trailers Trailers Trailers!

First up, Legion:

Okay, let’s see, freaky old lady monster, hot black-winged shirtless angel
dudes, bad B-movie dialogue, a monotonous, stoic ass-kicker with tons of guns,
ridiculousness level cranked up to 11 but a tone of taking itself too
seriously? I’m so there!

Years after reading The Lovely Bones,
I can still remember certain parts vividly. It’ll be interesting to see how
they made it into a movie.

And from this trailer, it looks like I have nothing to worry about. It
starts off like a soft and hokey family drama, and then it quickly crescendos
into a fast-paced, heart-pumping thriller with the occasional incredible
visual. Definitely worth catching in December. With a cast to die for (that
includes Susan Sarandon, Rachel Weisz,
Mark Wahlberg
, and Saoirse Ronan
from Atonement) and a beloved
director in Peter Jackson, can anyone
say Oscar bait?

It feels like forever since we have seen the likes of my husband, Jake Gyllenhaal, on screen. With Brothers (and Prince of Persia next year), we can finally see him act again! Or
in the case of Prince, we can just
watch his abs. But for now, we’ll just have to settle for Brothers.

The story looks absolutely heartbreaking with Natalie Portman, Jake, and even (the very skinny) Tobey Maguire bringing their “A” game,
giving 110%, insert another cliché here. Man, I haven’t seen a trailer this
intense in awhile, and I have to say while all three do a very good job from
the looks of this trailer, I have to give it to Tobey for surprising me the

It may be just me, but since Far From
Dennis Quaid seems to be popping up in every badly reviewed movie (besides
In Good Company, which I liked. And
despite mediocre reviews, I also liked Smart
) there is. And Pandorum
does not look like an exception.

While the tone was quite interesting in the first 40 seconds or so, it
quickly devolved into a generic action flick.
Although we have Ben Foster
to ogle at, is that really enough to watch this movie? I don’t know, I guess I’ll have to wait for
it to come out as I’m reserving my judgment for now.

While I like Johnny Depp and love his quirky choices, and totally see him as
a great actor, for some reason, I never pant like my friends do whenever they
see him onscreen. And with his Mad Hatter role in the anticipated Alice in Wonderland, he seems to be
doing another quirky role, which is fine by me.

I totally can’t wait for this re-imagining of Alice!
Re-imaginings are always fun and also interesting to see what direction they
take. And with Tim Burton directing,
well, it’s going to be eye-popping for sure. March can’t come any sooner!

Speaking of March, in that month, we will also have Green Zone.

Honestly, it looks a Bourne film
that’s not a Bourne film. And I feel
like the trailer gives away wayyyyy too much plot, but with a cast like Matt Damon, Greg Kinnear, Brendan Gleeson, and
Amy Ryan (YAY!), who the hell
cares!? Let me say that again, Amy Freakin’ Ryan! WOOT!

Red Carpet Photos

Michael Jackson’s This Is It had premieres around the world including in Australia, Japan, and the U.S. with a whole slew of famous faces turning out to see the footage director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) managed to piece together from behind-the-scenes footage cameras captured as part of the rehearsal process and for the eventual DVD concert release that want happen now.

Adam Lambert and Katy Perry

Macy Gray

Neil Patrick Harris

Mario Lopez

Corbin Bleu

Choreographer Travis Payne and director Kenny Ortega

Bits and Pieces

Gay ally, Angelina Jolie, is set
to star in The Tourist with a release
date for 2011! The Tourist is a
remake of the French thriller Anthony
and is set to begin production in February. And the bigger news (for
me, anyway)is that Florian Henckel von
, director of one of my favorite films, The Lives of Others, is the frontrunner to direct the film! Yay! Oh,
man, is this what happy feels like?

For those of you who have seen Paranormal
, and saw the ending, did you know that ending was re-shot? For those of you who are interested in what
the original ending was like, (SPOILER ALERT) click here.

While this original has its own creep factor, I feel that the ending they have
now (the re-made one) is muchmore effective and jolting. So, I’m glad they
changed it. Watching it in a theater full of people, I’ll say, is half the fun
of this movie. This is probably the one movie that I didn’t mind people were
giggling and talking as I think it shows how jangled their nerves were. It was
even kind of fun to listen to. If you’re thinking to yourself “I’ll just watch
it on DVD”, I have to say you’re missing out. Anyway- BOO! Gotcha! Or you know,
probably not.

Until next week, try not to get any cavities from that Halloween candy!