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-- John Shea
23 July, 2003
I know, I know. I'm slipping. I'm not getting these out anywhere near as quickly as hoped. Last week I just couldn't find much of interest to talk about. This week I have a better excuse. I threw out my back. It's strange, I've seen this happen countless times on TV but I always thought it was exagerated for comedic purpose. I couldn't have been more wrong. I literally spent an entire morning lying on the floor because moving was agony. Toss in a nasty storm that knocked out power to the area for an entire evening and I have a built excuse for making this the first column of the week. Luckily my inbox is filling up with stuff so let's get right to it.
Let's just take a real quick look at the weekend box office. Bad Boys II led all with $46 million. No surprise there. Critics loathed it but Bay/Bruckheimer films tend to open huge. We'll see next week if the audience agreed with the critics or not. Newcomers Johnny English and How to Deal didn't impress with openings of $9.1 million and $5.8 million respectively. Pirates of the Caribbean showed legs better than Keira Knightley's by hanging in there with $34 million and second place. Long term, Finding Nemo passed $300 million and The Matrix Reloaded passed $275 million. That's enough of the numbers. There wasn't much in the way of surprises this week so there really isn't much to discuss.
Sony released its first official photos on Spider-Man 2, which gave us a great look at Alfred Molina as Doc Ock and I have to say, I love it. I thought Molina was an inspired choice for the role and the look of the character only enforces that feeling. The tentacles look realistic but also have a muscular look that makes them seem as dangerous as they should be. Along with the photos, Sony provided a synopsis for the film:
Two years have passed, and the mild-mannered Peter Parker faces new challenges as he struggles with "the gift and the curse," desperately trying to balance his dual identities as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man and his life as a college student. Tormented by his secrets, Peter finds that his relationships with all those he holds dear are in danger of unraveling. His life-long yearning for M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) becomes even stronger as he fights the impulse to reveal his secret life and declare his love. His friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) is complicated by the young Osborn's bitterness over his father's death and his growing vendetta against Spider-Man. Even Peter's beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), who has fallen on hard times after the death of Uncle Ben, begins to have doubts about her nephew.
Peter's life is about to become even more complicated as he encounters a formidable new foe -- Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina). Peter must use all the powers at his disposal to try to stop this diabolical madman in his octagonal tracks.
It sounds like they are doing a good job of holding true to the kinds of stories told in the original comics.
On the opposite end of the movie making spectrum comes a new film starring Bob Dylan. Yes the legendary musician works with an impressive cast for his film Masked and Anonymous that includes Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Val Kilmer, Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Giovanni Ribisi, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris and Bruce Dern. It opens tommorrow in NY and the next day in LA. You can check out the trailer right here. Dylan stars as an old semi-legendary singer released from prison for a benefit concert by a crooked promoter. Even if the film doesn't appeal to you, Dylan's fans should be delighted with a new album of fourteen of his songs, four brand new, that accompanies the movie.
Masters of the Universe: Dolph Lundgren wasn't enough for you? You want a newer better movie? Maybe you're in luck. Inside sources are telling us that John Woo is in discussions to direct a new movie. Stay tuned. It's not a done deal yet but looks good.
Transformers: According to FilmForce, the top contenders to direct this live action film are Robert Zemeckis and Joseph Kahn. Michael Bay is not in the running.
American Gothic: The Movie: Fans of the departed show might have reason for hope. Universal is considering a movie, a DVD release and a possible new series. If you want to help them along, check out this site for more info.
Gigli: The movie has been moved back a few days to Aug. 1, 2003 from July 30.
Wachowski Brothers' Next Project: Will the men behind The Matrix be moving on to King Conan next? A lot depends on the success of Revolutions at the box office according to FilmForce. But we here from a source that they have another project on the back burner, one that might have a similar flavor to The Matrix. We'll see what happens.
V2: NBC is seriously considering reviving its popular V concept with a brand new miniseries. Robert Englund will definitely be back. (Thanks to TJarvis)
Once Upon a Time in Mexico:
Bad Boys II (negative/some spoilers)
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