As February draws to a close you will note that I've added another section to the weekly film news - Box Office Review. This will turn up on the last Saturday of every month. We'll highlight any new release dates and reviwe who stormed the box office charts in the previous month. But all that is after:
Richard Pryor: Is it something I said
It looks like the Richard Pryor story is coming to the big screen. This will be both easy to do but hard to make it really good. Pryor has a fascinating life story including drugs, sex, early death from MS, and plenty of drugs. The problem is the film will only work if we really get an idea of how good Pryor was at stand-up. Without that people will wonder how much of an impact he really had (see the recent Notorious which botched the rap scene). It looks like Eddie Murphy is interested in the role - which is great news. As a stand-up himself Eddie can understand how Pryor paved the way for other comedians.
Normally I have a fairly live and let live attitude to remakes, however this week Varierty reports there are moves to make another film from Clue, the boardgame. Now I know the original didn't blow the box office away but it has become a cult item - ahh those parties when I was a student when we replayed the whole thing... Hopefully the new film will play it as a comedy as well. The thought of a serious whodunnit with Professor Plum and Miss Scarlett is too much to comprehend. It's like flames, flames at the side of my face. Heaving, heaving breaths...
The Green Hornet
The big screen adaptation of the more tongue in check superhero The Green Hornet (to be played by Seth Rogen) has found a new director in Michel Gondry. I'm thinking Gondry bizarre visuals will make this a must see. Stephen Chow is still signed on to play sidekick Kato.
Untitled Woody Allen Picture
Woody Allen's London set, Spanish financed project for 2010 is expanding it's cast with Naomi Watts, Frieda Pinto and Antonio Banderas all signing on the dotted line. I don't know whether this is a good thing - sometimes the more starry the cast of an Allen film th more banal it gets.
Little reported this week, but Howard Zieff, Director and Producer, passed away on Sunday. His output as a director was spotty but highlights like My Girl, House Calls and Private Benjamin won't be easily forgotten.
Box Office News
(With thanks to Pearl and Dean and Box Office Mojo)
Release Date Changes
Life Before Her Eyes: I thought this girl survives high school shooting, has problems with guilt film starring Uma Thurman would never see the inside of a cinema here in the UK. I was wrong - look out for it on 27 March.
Cheri: Everyone waiting for Michelle Pfeiffer as a coutesan falling for a younger man will have to wait a little longer. It puched it's release date back until 08 May, possibly afraid of competition with Life before her eyes?
Sugar: The story of a basball player from the Domincan Republic as he stuggles with integrating in America has fallen back a month to 05 June.
Shutter Island: Just a minor change here as the latest Scorcese/DiCaprio collaboration settles on 09 October.
Christmas Carol: The most filmed Dickens novel, this time starring Jim Carrey and Zemeckis' finely tuned computer animation. Latest date is 06 November.
Untitled Nancy Meyers Picture: I doubt Meryl Streep will be aiming to get an Oscar from this love triangle with Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, but you never know. Look out for it on 01 January 2010.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: We're one day closer to seeing Jake Gyllenhaal prance around for a whole film with his body out. Mmmm. Can't wait until 28 May 2010.
The Last Airbender: Write this date in your diary and then plan to avoid the cinema that week, yes it's M. Night Shyamalan's latest magnum opus. At least if we don't see it we won't be thinking about how he thrown away all his credibility. Coming on 06 August 2010.
Box Office Report
As the dust settles from January there's a very clear winner in Slumdog Millionaire. It hasn't just won an Oscar for best picture but it's also taken £23m since opning. Putting that into perspective it's a similar haul to Iron Man or High School Musical 3, and it's still going strong. The rest of the top five is pretty much as you'd expect from January - a couple of so so comedies, a horror and a Tom Cruise film.
1. Slumdog Millionaire
2. Role Models
3. Bride Wars
4. My Bloody Valentine