Although in many parts of the country it's still sweatier than a sumo wrestler in a sauna, the U.S. summer box office will be wrapping up the season as we head into Labor Day weekend. How did things go over the last few months? Better than expected, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Going into this weekend, "Nielsen EDI data showed domestic tallies of $3.96 billion that are sure to rise to beyond $4 billion by the Monday holiday." The box office was surprisingly strong "thanks to unsurprisingly robust sequels and a shockingly lucrative performance by the latest installment in a 19-year-old superhero franchise." The latter refers, of course, to The Dark Knight, although I have to wonder why its success is considered so shocking. Was anyone expecting, say, Meet Dave to siphon off some of the Bat's profits?
Comic book movie casting news changes faster than Clark Kent in a phone booth. Just a few days ago, Michael Caine (better known as Alfred to some, and as Alfie to others) was telling MTV News that he'd heard it from a Warner Bros. executive that the studio wanted Johnny Depp as the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the Penguin. It seemed all but confirmed that Hoffman would waddle onto the big screen as the Bat's next nemesis. When asked about it the next day, though, Hoffman himself denied the long-standing rumor, saying: "No one has talked to me about it, ever -- never." He added that he's "such a fan of those [comic book] movies," but explained that he'd rather watch them than be in them.
Don't get too excited (or fearful) yet. There's no definite plan for a fresh reboot of the Superman film franchise. There aren't even definite plans for another Superman film, period. Or at least no announced plans. Last month, Incredible Hulk director Louis Leterrier created a minor hubbub when, according to one website, he told a "French media outlet" that he had "heard whispers at [Warner Bros.]" that they were considering "reinventing" the Super franchise. Whispers of a reboot have been circulating since practically the day Superman Returns bowed in 2006. Now comic book writers Grant Morrison and Mark Waid are talking to MTV's Splash Page about how they'd like to do things.
There is a part of us that is vaguely interested in the movie Taking Woodstock, since we love Demitri Martin on his show Important Things, and the supporting cast (Emile Hirsch, Eugene Levy, Liev Schreiber cross-dressing again -- remember Mixed Nuts?) is impressive. But while the concert at Woodstock was certainly an exciting event, haven't there been enough movies about it? And is Ang Lee really the director to tackle the subject matter? Because when given exciting material, Lee has a tendency to turn it into a snooze-fest.
Here are some of the top movie-related stories from Movies Without Pity this week:
Marky Mark's House of Payne -- We hypothesize Marky Mark's rap soundtrack to Mark Wahlberg's Max Payne. Tighty-whiteys not included.
Alan Moore Endorses Watchmen Movie! -- ...Yeah, that's an old headline from 1987. But apparently, he was totally on board back then.
Raaarrrgh! Hulk DVD Smash Expectations! -- The Incredible Hulk DVD comes out on Tuesday, and we tell you what you need to know before you go and buy it.
W.: Oliver Stone's Conspiracy Notebook -- Ollie Stone is cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and thinks the cast of W. is out to get him, if his set diary is any indication.
Star Trek Movie Images Explode like the U.S.S. Reliant -- J.J. Abrams has set off a clusterbomb of Trek movie pictures. Never before has a blurry picture of Scott delighted so many. (Okay, me.)
Quentin Tarantino's Sex Drive -- Did you know QT wrote the original screenplay for Sex Drive? Neither did we! Or anyone else. (It's not true.)
Dan and Zach Talk About Watchmen -- Not a sequel to Zack and Miri Make a Porno, but judging by how turned-on they are by 25 minutes of Watchmen footage, it might as well be.
When The Incredible Hulk arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this October 21, home movie enthusiasts and will have several options to choose from. Collider has reported details about the extra footage that will be available. For those living in the past with mere DVD players (that would be me), there's the standard release, which will contain a little over 13 minutes of scenes deleted from the theatrical release. You can also choose to shell out the extra bucks for a three-disc collection that has almost 30 minutes of deleted footage. But if you've upgraded to a Blu-ray player, an incredible 44 extra minutes will be available to you.
Just in case you're not reading our DVDs Unwrapped blog, we thought we'd clue you in on the latest DVDs we've gotten the chance to review. In addition to a few new movies, there are also some kick-ass reissues out this week. Sadly, no Slumber Party Massacre 2 Special Edition yet, but we'll keep our fingers crossed.
In an article in this week's Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty says loud and proud, "I hate superheroes" -- or, to be more specific, superhero movies. His opinion is that there are too many of them, that they're all the same and that they're ruining the summer blockbuster season, apparently by forcing non-superhero movies to go elsewhere, or not get made at all. If Chris wrote this article in an attempt to find his nemesis, like Samuel Jackson trying to find Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, well then, Chris, you've found me.