This Date In Movie History: December 17th

December 17th, what more can I say? Maybe it’s because it’s near the end of the year, but there’s all kinds of good stuff about December 17th.

First, the birthdays:

Milla Jovovich, the first lady of zombie movies, was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1975

Giovanni Ribisi, whose father’s name is Gay, was born in 1974

Writer/director/producer/editor/cinematographer Gregg Araki was born in 1959

Rhode Island-obsessed director Peter Farrelly was born in 1956

Penthouse magazine founder Bob Guccione was born in 1930

Prolific supporting-actor Ernie Hudson was born in 1945

Cherokee actor Wes Studi was born in 1947

Bill Pullman, who is somehow often confused with Bill Paxton, was born in 1953

There were a slew of older movies released on this date that [...]

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Mamma Shows Titanic Who’s Daddy

mamma-mia-posterDespite not performing together since 1982, ABBA has never really waned in popularity. Somehow they’re still able to sell millions of albums a year. Since a reunion is out of the question, the best way to get your ABBA on has been to see Mamma Mia!, either the musical or, as of June 30th, the movie. Apparently in the United Kingdom, people have chosen to see the movie. Over. And over. And over again.

Mamma Mia! has passed Titanic as the highest-grossing movie to be released in the U.K. It has eclipsed Titanic’s 69 million pound mark (for now) by 100,000 pounds. The total equates to about $106 million.

It’s probably due to the perfect [...]

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Assessing The Weekend: Bullseye

bullseyeI don’t like to toot my own horn. Really I don’t. But like Jerry Reed said, when you’re hot, you’re hot. For the second time, I’ve nearly nailed one of my predictions. The Day the Earth Stood Still ended the weekend at $30,480,153. My prediction was $30,308,659, a difference of $171,494. Not as close as I was on Max Payne, but not bad using a formula to make a prediction to the dollar.

TDTESS didn’t do as well as some of the recent sci-fi remakes, but it should do alright. $30 million against the $80 million budget isn’t a great number, but TDTESS has been pretty popular oversees and should turn a nice profit once [...]

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They’ve Run Out Of Comics To Adapt, The Crow To Be Remade

the-crow-statueThe Crow will be most remembered for the on-set death of Brandon Lee. That’s unfortunate because it is quite an engaging movie with a fantastic performance by Lee. Many thought it would be his breakout role. Instead, just like his father, he will be remembered for dying young and under controversial circumstances.

Lee’s death cast a pall over The Crow that only intensified the brooding, melancholy tone and Gothic imagery. It’s generally well regarded and has a league of devoted fans. It made nearly $100 million at the box office and spawned four sequels.

So what does that mean? Well, it’s time for a do-over, of course. Stephen Norrington (Blade, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) [...]

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Public Domain Movie Of The Week: Captain Kidd

captain-kiddOnce upon a time, pirate movies were all the rage. People used to love all the plundering and high seas hi-jinks. Pirate movies hit a huge lull until Pirates of the Caribbean, but there was a whole mess of them from the 20′s through the 50′s. One of the more interesting offerings is 1945′s Captain Kidd.

Charles Laughton plays the eponymous pirate who manages to trick the King into giving him a ship and a crew full of condemned pirates. Kidd is expected to complete his charge and the crew expects a pardon for faithful service, but Kidd has other plans. He hopes to have others blamed for his acts of piracy while he reclaims [...]

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Sylvester Stallone Is Making The Greatest Movie Ever

sylvester stallone waxAfter the moderate successes of Rambo and Rocky Balboa, Sylvester Stallone is continuing his trip down memory lane. He’s writing and directing a movie about mercenaries in South America attempting to overthrow an evil dictator- The Expendables. By all accounts the plot is as simple as the one sentence summary. It’s simple, but totally awesome. It reminds me of (obviously) Rambo, Missing in Action, Commando- all the great 80′s military-ish action movies.

But it’s not just the plot that kicks ass, it’s the cast. Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, and Dolph Lundgren have all already been announced. Now Forrest Whittaker and UFC hall of famer Randy Couture have been added to the cast. [...]

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Weekend Predictions: 12-12-08

What a weekend for the triumphant return of the weekend predictions. We’ve got a overwrought sci-fi remake and an animated movie that no one has heard of. They’re the two widest releases, but they’re on total opposite ends of the spectrum.

Check out the handy spreadsheet.

The biggest release of the weekend, and the biggest in Alpha Centauri, is The Day the Earth Stood Still. If they were going to send a movie into space, why not a good movie? Fortunately all the residents of Alpha Centauri have four years for this movie to arrive. At least they have more time to prepare. The rest of us have to endure this mess right now. It’s funny that both Keanu Reeves and director Scott Derrickson [...]

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Oscars Might Be Worth Watching

I used to watch the Academy Awards religiously. But I stopped watching them as of 2005. The predictability of the winners, celebrity idolization, and grating Tonight Show format created a perfect storm of disgust, so I just read about the winners the next day.

The rumor is that this year the producers are going to chose a non-comedian to host and dump the intro monologue/song-and-dance. This is great news! The format is tired and the jokes always either childish or ego-stroking. Other than to stretch the show out to sell more advertising, I never really saw the point of the big comedy segments. It almost got the feel of a variety show at times.

They [...]

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Golden Globe Noms Are Out

golden globes awards signsThis year’s Golden Globe nominations are out. Since studios release their award hopefuls at the end of the year so they’re fresh in everyone’s head, it’s no surprise that the list is filled with movies that have been working the festivals but have yet to get a general release. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has a tendency to reward those who’ve put in an effort to win an award, so it’s not much of a surprise.

What will surprise many people, and possibly bring the Internet to a standstill, is that The Dark Knight only got one nomination. All the people who have been touting this as the most amazingly deep and [...]

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Assessing The Weekend: Punisher Punishes The Box Office

What do you get when you have one new wide release and the previous five week’s picked over corpses? You get the fourth smallest weekend of the year at $76,677,578- a 50% decrease from the previous weekend.

punisher skullThe only new release of any size was Punisher: War Zone. Even though 2004′s The Punisher didn’t do much even with John Travolta’s name, Lionsgate felt it was wise to give the franchise a makeover without having any recognizable names. When Dominic West, Ray Stevenson, and Wayne Knight are the biggest names, you better have a damned good movie if you expect to make any money. But Punisher: War Zone is not a good movie. It pulled [...]

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