Send in the clowns! Movies have gone a long way in debilitating the image and reputation of clowns, once beloved pillars of comedy, by employing them in all manner of brightly colored mischief and mayhem. In Stephen King’s horror epic, It, the title monster can transform into virtually any monster. Unsurprisingly, it frequently takes on the form of a common, snaggletoothed clown. As It: Chapter Two arrives in theaters — all but guaranteeing no child will ever take up the innocent, shadow-cloaked offers of the neighborhood sewer jester (what kind of paranoid world are we creating?) — we’re diving deep into the white powder and blood with 13 more creepy clowns!
As the new IT trailer has been opening up new dimensions in clown terror across the Internet, we’re celebrating (?) the occasion with 17 more terrifying clowns from movie and TV history!
This week’s release of Halloween marks Rob Zombie‘s third full-length directorial effort. Here at Total Recall, we thought we’d look back at the movies that have inspired the former Robert Cummings’ work on House of 1,000 Corpses (15 percent on the Tomatometer) and The Devil’s Rejects (53 percent).
Under the “Hellbilly Deluxe” trappings, Zombie is a true cinephile at heart: he’s as likely to find inspiration in the works of Martin Scorsese and Sam Peckinpah as he is in the grimy world of low-rent 1970s drive-in fare. True, Zombie looks to the dark side for inspiration, but he’s also informed by works with gallows humor.
The Brothers’ films are generally more like a string of gags than cohesive narratives, and some of their shtick — like the long musical interludes in A Night at the Opera — can seem hopelessly dated. But Groucho’s double-entendre-laden one-liners, Chico’s hustler persona, and Harpo’s deft physical comedy still contain a hilarious, rebellious edge. If you’ve never seen the Brothers in action, Duck Soup (94 percent) and A Night at the Opera (97 percent) are perhaps the best places to start. Of the latter, Peter Bradshaw of London’s Guardian wrote, “Their sheer irreverence, exuberance and verbal comic genius are marvelous.”
Filmmakers like Spike Lee (in Do the Right Thing, 100 percent) and the Coen Brothers (in The Big Lebowski, 83 percent) have borrowed dialogue from Hunter, and the excellent-yet-ignored Undertow (57 percent) re-imagined its plot for contemporary times. Hunter is at 100 percent on the Tomatometer; Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader calls Hunter “an enduring masterpiece — dark, deep, beautiful, aglow… Ultimately the source of its style and power is mysterious — it is a film without precedents, and without any real equals.” Shawn Levy from the Oregonian calls it “As crude, direct, rattling, mystifying and exciting as American movies get.”
It’s unlikely that Zombie’s Halloween will be the enduring classic the original has become, but that would be holding him to an impossibly high standard. Regardless, don’t let Zombie’s new remake and horror-film reputation fool you; there’s a much broader history of cinema informing his movies than their shock-and-scare heavy execution might suggest.
It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means. New DVD releases! This week we have 2007’s Best Foreign Oscar winner The Lives of Others, a Serenity Collector’s Edition, and other good bets. Read on to see what’s hot (and what’s not) this week in stores.
The Lives of Others (Sony)
If you’re in the mood for a smart, tense drama, you could do much worse than 2007’s best Foreign Oscar winner, The Lives of Others. Yeah, it’s in German, but reading subtitles is a small price to pay for good entertainment these days. Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck‘s tale of an East German surveillance operator and the playwright he’s charged to monitor earned an impressive 95 percent on the Tomatometer, making it this week’s best-reviewed new release.
Have you been anxiously awaiting the latest installment of R. Kelly‘s infamous hip-hopera as much as we have? Well, wait no longer — Chapters 13 to 22 of the genre-defying Trapped in the Closet serial are now yours for the taking. Kelly’s bizarre music video saga defies description, so suffice to say that Chapters 1 through 12 involved a host of interconnected characters (many of which are played by Kelly himself), lots of extramarital intrigue, guns, cherry pies, and a midget (“…midget…midget…”), all produced and co-directed by (guess who?) Kelly. Did I mention he was Grammy-nominated for the first five chapters? We can’t wait to see what melodramatic delights are in store for us next.
House of Games (Criterion)
Fans of writer David Mamet‘s critically-acclaimed directing debut, rejoice! House of Games is getting the Criterion treatment. The 1987 psychological thriller stars Lindsay Crouse as an ice-cold shrink and Joe Mantegna as a devious con man, between whom a dangerous cat-and-mouse game unfolds. The folks over at Criterion have a host of special features, including interviews with Crouse and Mantegna, audio commentary with Mamet and co-star (and card magician extraordinaire) Ricky Jay, and a behind the scenes doc filmed during the original production.
Add this one to the Must-Have list. This version of what’s arguably one of director Paul Verhoeven‘s best efforts boasts two discs full of extended cuts and special features, all in an impenetrable steel case. Well, maybe it’s not impenetrable, but it’ll look awesome on your DVD shelf! Bonus features include a commentary track by Verhoeven, writer Ed Neumeier and exec producer Jon Davison; four deleted scenes; cast, crew, behind-the-scenes, and design photo galleries; storyboard commentary by special effects whiz Phil Tippett; the extended widescreen cut of the film; and loads more featurettes. Grab this unrated collector’s edition and have yourself a RoboParty.
Serenity Collector’s Edition (Universal Studios)
Firefly fans waited with bated breath for the feature-length Serenity to come out in 2005, and bought the first DVD edition in droves. So why give this new Collector’s Edition a look, when many of the special features were available on the first? Two discs, new bonus features, and gorgeous layered packaging, that’s why! Hardcore browncoats and sci-fi fantasy enthusiasts should enjoy features like the “Take A Walk on Serenity” set tour, the “Sci-Fi Inside: Serenity” retrospective, and Joss Whedon‘s account of adapting Firefly from TV-to-film in “A Filmmaker’s Journey,” but they’ll really love the “Session 416” internet episodes and an all-new commentary track by Whedon, and his stars Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Summer Glau, and Ron Glass.
Other Safe Bets This Week
The foul-mouthed little boys of South Park invade home theaters with Season 10, taking cracks at the Nintendo Wii, World of Warcraft, and Family Guy.
ABC’s award-winning serio-comedy about the world’s mousiest personal assistant (America Ferrera) and the cutthroat “beautiful” people at the fashion magazine she works at is now out on DVD.
This collection gathers four films from the Austrian director’s career — The Seventh Continent, Benny’s Video, 71 Fragments of a Chronology of Chance, and Funny Games — for an alternative to the usual Hollywood offerings.
It’s a 1960s science fiction spectacular! Japan’s Toho Studios bring you not one, not two, but three creature features from the golden age of monster movies and the land of Godzilla: Varan the Unbelievable, The Mysterians, and Matango: The Curse of the Mushroom People!
Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You…
This independently financed actioner cost a reported $26 million to make, smashed countless priceless sports cars during production (including the Enzo Ferrari crashed by star Eddie Griffin during a promotional event) and bombed at the box office. Of the 23 critics who reviewed it, guess how many recommend Redline? That’s right. Zero.
Faring ever so slightly better than Redline, this Bruce Willis–Halle Berry stinker was too chock full of inane twists and turns for most critics. If the allure of watching the “Virtual Lives: The Making of Perfect Stranger” special feature appeals to you, then good; it’s pretty much the only bonus feature on the disc.
Separately, Zach Braff, Amanda Peet, and Jason Bateman are all arguably funny performers; thrown together in this third-wheel rom-com, critics found them not only unfunny but largely unlikeable. But hey, that’s why we have the term “wait until DVD.”
This most recent offering from Christian shingle Fox Faith follows a spoiled young man (Drew Fuller) who has to perform a series of spiritual character-building tests in order to receive his inheritance. Cute little pipsqueak Abigail Breslin co-stars. This might be a bit saccharine, but it’s family friendly.
Until next week, happy renting!
Watch the trailer all the way through and you’ll get a peek at a rather cool new "Halloween" poster. Plus there’s a new take on John Carpenter‘s classic horror theme that’s pretty slick. (Not as good as the original, but not bad either.)
The third film from Zombie after "House of 1000 Corpses" and "The Devil’s Rejects," "Halloween" is scheduled to hit theaters on August 31st. Don’t ask why. The rather colorful cast includes names like Malcolm McDowell, Brad Dourif, Udo Kier, Danny Trejo, and Danielle Harris.
Source: Official Site
First came word that a newcomer called Daeg Faerch would be playing the young Michael Meyers in Rob Zombie‘s "Halloween." Then we learned that Malcolm McDowell would be stepping into the role of Dr. Loomis — aka the raving doctor who chases Mike all over the place. And now we know who’ll be playing the big killer himself.
Zombie’s version of "Halloween" opens in … August.
For more information visit Bloody-Disgusting.com.
Directors take center stage this weekend providing starpower to four new films opening in North American theaters all hoping to take down reigning box office king Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
M. Night Shyamalan leads the way with his latest creepy tale Lady in the Water while fellow east coast helmer Kevin Smith lets the expletives fly in the comedy Clerks II. Oscar winners Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis serve as producers on the animated film Monster House which is aiming for kids, and Ivan Reitman provides a different type of super hero film in My Super Ex-Girlfriend. With four interesting new films and Johnny Depp still firing off his cannons, the overall marketplace should expand as it moves into the late July period.
Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan returns to theaters with his fantasy chiller Lady in the Water which marks his departure from the Disney family. The Warner Bros. release tells the story of a superintendent who discovers a mysterious creature in his building’s pool that must be sent back to her world. Paul Giamatti, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeffrey Wright, and Bob Balaban star in the PG-13 pic. Known for his small cameos in previous pics, Shyamalan the actor has been promoted this time around and gets a meaningful supporting role. As they say, it pays to know the director. Could he be preparing himself for playing the lead role in a future film? Only time will tell.
The Philadelphia-based director has been seeing diminishing returns at the box office over the last few years. In 2002, his alien drama Signs with Mel Gibson opened to a sturdy $60.1M on its way to a robust $228M. Two years later, The Village tested Shyamalan’s brand name since it lacked any A-listers and the opening was still strong with $50.7M. But poor word-of-mouth quickly set in with the film plunging 68% in its second frame on its way to $114.2M overall. This time around, the director is once again the biggest name attached to the project. Giamatti won plenty of acclaim with Sideways, but he’s still not a star who drives in audiences on opening weekend. Shyamalan’s starpower will be put to the test once again, and some who left The Village with a bad taste might just pass on Lady. The new film should also open weaker than Village because it will debut in 500 fewer theaters.
Many elements to the film and its marketing are new this time around. With a different studio in charge, a notable difference is the female voiceover on the television commercials where a little girl whispers to viewers in a creepy way. This reinforces the new angle where the picture is being sold as a bedtime story. Shyamalan also became very visible this year with his American Express commercial. Instead of relying again on a twist, Lady instead plays out like a fantasy arthouse film that offers more comedy than all of Shyamalan’s past films combined. Audiences may end up once again dividing themselves into the love and hate camps after coming out of theaters. But in a world where people complain about the lack of originality coming out of Hollywood, the filmmaker does deserve credit for offering moviegoers something new and different.
The summer has not seen too many scary movies yet so Lady in the Water will stand out to audiences who like a good fright. With a story that is really out there, the film may find more fans with the fantasy and sci-fi crowds than with mainstream moviegoers. That will hurt ticket sales in the long term. Still, like with other Shyamalan movies, there is a mystery to them which draws in fans. That magic will work its charm again as the film will try to attract enough moviegoers to knock the popular Pirates out of first place. Emerging in 3,235 locations, Lady in the Water might find itself with around $33M this weekend.
The late-summer cartoon wars begin with Sony launching the first attack with its computer-animated entry Monster House. The PG-rated film tells the story of some teenage kids who believe that a neighborhood house is actually a ferocious beast. Although directing duties fell on newcomer Gil Kenan, it’s executive producers Spielberg and Zemeckis whose names are used most prominently in the marketing materials. Many families are sure to be fooled into thinking these brilliant filmmakers were behind the camera. The studio reported encouraging results for the sneak previews it offered last weekend to help spread advance buzz.
And advance buzz will be essential to box office success since rival studios will be unleashing their big toons in each of the next two weekends with Warner Bros. opening The Ant Bully on July 28 and Paramount tossing in Barnyard on August 4. There might not be room for all three to thrive so Sony’s early jump on the competition gives it a major leg up. The Disney/Pixar hit Cars has raced past the $220M mark, but is aging so young kids will be looking for something new to rally behind. Direct competition should not be too fierce for Monster this weekend since even the PG-13 Pirates is a bit too scary for smaller children. Sony is going all out with their push of Monster House which debuts in 3,553 sites on Friday. An opening of about $25M could result.
Mixing the date movie formula of The Break-Up with the comic book antics of X-Men, Fox unleashes its new comedy My Super Ex-Girlfriend. The PG-13 film stars Luke Wilson as a man who dumps his squeeze only to learn that she is secretly a famous super hero who now will use her powers to exact revenge. The plot has ample appeal to both men and women so interest from the date crowd will be solid. But the marketplace has been flooded with comedies over the last several weeks so those looking for a laugh can easily go elsewhere. The concept does, however, offer a unique what-if scenario that is sure to attract business. A slight female skew is likely.
Starpower is also an important component here. Uma Thurman has had many hits and though Wilson is not much of a leading man, he does offer value when playing second fiddle to a bigger star, like in this case. Trailers in front of the studio’s recent mutant sequel have raised awareness with the comic book crowd. But Wilson’s brother Owen, coming off of a $21.5M bow for You, Me and Dupree, won’t help any and Super probably has the most direct competition in its way among the weekend’s four freshmen. Flying into 2,702 theaters, My Super Ex-Girlfriend could take off with around $13M this weekend.
Kevin Smith leaves the Jersey girls behind and revisits the boys in Clerks II, a sequel to the 1994 indie hit that launched his career. The R-rated film finds his Garden State slackers in their thirties and working at a fast-food restaurant where colorful customers make their way in and out each day. Released by The Weinstein Company and MGM, Clerks II has a very specific audience of Smith fans it will appeal to. Others will be hard to reach as there is little starpower on the screen. The director’s 2001 summer comedy Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back opened to $11M from 2,765 theaters for a $3,985 average while 1999’s Dogma starring Matt Damon and a pre-J. Lo Ben Affleck bowed to $8.7M from 1,269 theaters for a $6,832 average.
Clerks II will debut in a level of theaters that is in between those two pics. Males in their twenties and thirties will make up the core crowd and there will be other options competing for their attention like Pirates and Lady. The marketing push has been good, but multiplexes will be crowded this weekend so getting in the undecided vote will be difficult. Opening in over 2,100 sites, Clerks II might bow to roughly $12M this weekend.
After two weeks of sailing ahead of the rest of the box office fleet, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest will face a serious challenge for its number one position this weekend. The Johnny Depp megahit dropped 54% in its second frame, but should suffer a smaller decline this time around. A number of new enemies will invade its waters so audiences will be scattered and competition should be formidable. Pirates may fall by 45% this weekend giving Disney about $34M for the frame. That would push the adventure sequel past the triple-century mark in a record 16 days and up to a staggering $321M by the end of the weekend.
Last weekend, the competing comedies Little Man and You, Me and Dupree battled it out for the distinction of being the biggest non-pirate movie in the country. Man inched ahead of Dupree by less than $100,000, but this weekend, the Wayans Brothers could see the larger decline losing about half of its business. That would give Sony around $11M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $40M. Dupree won’t have it easy though. My Super Ex-Girlfriend will offer direct competition for its core audience. A 45% drop could occur leaving Universal with roughly $12M for the frame and a stronger $44M after ten days.
Superman Returns has been chugging away trying to get itself to the $200M mark. But the Man of Steel’s third weekend gross of $12.3M was weaker than the corresponding takes of some of last summer’s big action offerings like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Batman Begins, War of the Worlds, and even Fantastic Four. Pirates has been taking its toll on Superman and this weekend, the Clark Kent flick will no longer be in a massive 3,700+ theaters. Warner Bros could see a 45% decline to about $6.5M which would push the cume to $178M.
LAST YEAR: Johnny Depp spent his second weekend atop the charts with his cooky comedy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which fell 50% to $28.3M fending off competition from a quartet of new releases plus some solid holdovers. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn spent another week in the runnerup spot with Wedding Crashers which held up remarkably well in its sophomore date slipping only 24% to $25.7M. The super hero flick Fantastic Four remained in third with $12.6M in its third mission. Among new movies, the highest gross came from the action thriller The Island which bowed to $12.4M. Given its enormous budget, it was a big disappointment for DreamWorks which found its way to just $35.8M. Paramount did not fare much better with the remake Bad News Bears which debuted in fifth with $11.4M. The Billy Bob Thornton pic scored just $32.9M overall, but at least it didn’t have a huge production cost. Opening in fewer theaters, but with an impressive average, was the pimp drama Hustle and Flow which bowed to $8M and a $7,915 average. The horror film The Devil’s Rejects followed with a $7.1M opening. Final tallies reached $22.2M for the Paramount Classics hip hop pic and $17M for the Lionsgate gorefest.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
While discussing his next movie with CS.net, M. Night Shyamalan‘s "Lady in the Water," Paul Giamatti briefly side-tracked into talking about his upcoming role in Rob Zombie‘s "adult" cartoon "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" — and it sounds pretty wild.
Courtesy of ComingSoon.net: "Giamatti’s next animated movie most definitely won’t be for kids, though, as he plays the bad guy in "The Haunted World of El-Superbeasto," an idea conceptualized by Rob Zombie, the man behind "The Devil’s Rejects." "It’s basically a very dirty cartoon," Giamatti told ComingSoon.net while in New York. "It’s just a lot of sex and drugs and violence, which is good, because I think we need a cartoon like that. It’s like those ’70s cartoons like "Fritz the Cat" and stuff like that. I play this guy called Dr. Satan, who is trying to take over the world and may be gay or something. I don’t know."
"I did get to interact [with others] which is interesting because I don’t usually get to do that in cartoons," he said when asked how it differed from other animated features he’s voiced. "I think [Rob] wants that feeling of people screwing around together in this movie a little bit. It has a real snarky feel to it, like a bunch of guys making dirty jokes. I worked with this guy Tom Poppa who’s one of the writers, he’s a comedian, and he does the voice of El Super-Beasto, the Mexican wrestler in it. He’s a detective, who’s one of those masked Mexican wrestlers, and he goes around doing drugs and shooting and screwing people."
"But [Rob Zombie] was great, and he’s a really smart guy, and the script is very funny, so we had a good time doing it," he continued. "That was the most fun I had doing one of those kinds of things. He wants a theatrical release. It’s an unusual thing because someone hasn’t done it in a long time: a dirty feature cartoon like that."
If you love the original "Halloween," but have grown a little weary with the endless sequels, it looks like shock-maker Rob Zombie might have just the answer: He’ll be writing and directing an all-new installment in the series (don’t call it a sequel!), which will be ready for release in October of 2007.
One of the little guys got there before The Hollywood Reporter did, so let’s give fair credit to Bloody-Disgusting.com: "Dimension Films is proud to announce that they will make a new “Halloween” movie with Rob Zombie ("The Devil’s Rejects," "House of 1000 Corpses") writing, directing and serving as a producer. Malek Akkad of Trancas International Films ("Halloween H20: 20 Years Later") will produce the feature along with Andy Gould of Vision Entertainment Group ("The Devil’s Rejects," "House of 1000 Corpses"). Zombie will also serve as music supervisor on the film. Miramax Films will co-finance the development with Dimension Films. The announcement was made today by The Weinstein Company co-chairman, Bob Weinstein.
Zombie’s vision of this film is an entirely new take on the legend and will satisfy fans of the classic "Halloween" legacy while beginning a new chapter in the Michael Myers saga. This new movie will not only appeal to horror fans, but to a wider movie-going audience as well. It will not be a copycat of any prior films in the "Halloween" franchise. The film is set for an October 2007 theatrical release."
Paul Giamatti, clearly an actor who has a solid sense of humor, has signed on to do a voice-role in Rob Zombie‘s animated flick "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto," which is based on the comic book of the same name. And hey: They’re doing it in "traditional" animation!
According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Paul Giamatti will headline the voice cast of "Rob Zombie Presents the Haunted World of El Superbeasto," in production at IDT Entertainment’s Burbank studio. He will play Dr. Satan, the film’s villain. The 2-D animated comedy, based on the Spookshow International comic book "The Haunted World of El Superbeasto" created by Zombie, follows the exploits of a washed-up Mexican wrestler, El Superbeasto, in the mythic world of Monsterland. El Superbeasto will be voiced by Tom Papa, his sister Susie X will be voiced by Sheri Moon Zombie and the robot Murray will be voiced by Brian Posehn. The film will be produced by Tom Klein, with Rob Zombie serving as exec producer."