There's always that conundrum for American-made, American-marketed films that depict something taking place in a foreign country. On one hand, it's ridiculous for the people in the film to be speaking English if they're in a non-English-speaking country like ... say, Germany. On the other hand, it would be hard to market said movie if it were in German with English subtitles.
The release of Tom Cruise's upcoming Valkyrie just got moved. Again. For the third time. The film, which tells the story of a German officer (Cruise) and his failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, has had myriad problems getting to the screen. It has been through everything from rows with the German government to reshoots to rumors about its quality (or lack thereof). Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie was originally slated to be released in June of 2008, got pushed back to October, and then had to film additional scenes in the month it was originally supposed to have been released. It got pushed back again to February of 2009.
Tom Cruise is really getting into recycling these days, it seems, and he's not stopping at separating the glass from the plastics before putting them out on the curb. No, he's recycling his actual career, according to an article in Variety. The actor is gearing up to play yet another secret agent in Columbia Pictures' Edwin A. Salt. According to the article, Cruise will play "a CIA officer who's accused of being a Russian sleeper spy." Naturally, "[he] must elude capture long enough to clear his name." Early bets have him spending most of the movie looking frantic, running around, jumping off buildings and/or geographical features, blowing things up and being nearly blown up himself. He could save himself the trouble and recycle footage from his past movies.
Stop me if you've heard this before: Tom Cruise's troubled WWII movie Valkyrie is having problems. The film, which is in the can and tentatively scheduled for release on December 26th, is now the subject of a lawsuit brought on by twelve German extras. E! Online reports the actors were appearing in a "less than action packed sequence in Berlin" that turned into an injury packed tour de force: the actors fell out of an improperly loaded truck. I guess the force they toured was gravity. I know studios are cheap, but this is one case in which United Artists doesn't want to buy something that fell off a truck. It might cost them $11 million.
In a move that everybody who witnessed how well Beverly Hills Chihuahua did saw coming, the latest cutesy dog picture to come out of Hollywood, Marley & Me, came in at number one at the box office, with $37 million for the weekend, and a whopping $51.6 million since Christmas. Sure, sympathetic tabloid fodder Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson may have helped those numbers, but never underestimate the power of puppies (or puppy-dog eyes).
It's a hell of a day for DVD releases, with a bunch of big films coming out for the first time, but I'm most excited about a TV show, one whose second season is about to start up in a brilliant bit of cross-promotional marketing. I've also got news of a movie that debuts on-demand tonight, plus the DVD release of a Web series that's never even aired on TV -- that's right, we're breaking all the rules!
Proving this country loves nothing if not its dogs, Marley & Me held tight to its position at the top of the box office this weekend, adding $24.1 million, for a two-week total of $106.5. Impressive, yes? Indeed. Even for a dog film. According to Box Office Mojo, it's "the third-highest grossing dog movie on record," a coveted position, as we all know. It falls behind only Scooby-Doo (really? That movie?) and 101 Dalmatians, and is fast approaching the top of that list.