(Photo by Sarah Shatz/©Columbia Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
In these days of six-feet-apart distancing, the idea of throwing/attending/completely humiliating yourself at a wild party is out of the question – no matter how much you might currently be fantasizing about doing just that. We here at Rotten Tomatoes have been feeling the itch for company of late too, and with that in mind decided to help bring the party home to you – with the help of some of the most out-of-control gatherings ever committed to screen. Start streaming one of the films below and – voila – you’ll be surrounded by booze, music, and friends. (Bonus: Your friends might include Kirsten Dunst, Seth Rogen, and Dave Chappelle.)
There’s something for everyone here: a ton of house parties for those looking for a Solo cup vibe; decadent bacchanals for those who want to live fancy (Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby, Marie Antoinette); office parties for those missing their colleagues (The Apartment, Office Christmas Party); and a sci-fi rave (The Matrix: Reloaded), a period ball (Pride and Prejudice), and some kink (Eyes Wide Shut) for good measure. (Note: We decided to leave some epic parties out, because, well, we didn’t like how the ended – looking at you Carrie and Scream.)
With that said, it’s now time to do our hair, grab something from mom’s liquor cabinet, and call an Uber – er, we mean, plonk ourselves on the couch. Party’s about to start and you don’t want to be unfashionably late.
Let us know your favorite movie party in the comments – and which movie characters you’d have on your party guest list. To see where to stream each movie, click into the title for more details.
The Broken Lizard boys have built a following out of their signature brand of fraternal comedy; RT brings you the scoop on their latest flick, The Slammin’ Salmon, straight from the set!
They’ve tackled law enforcement (Super Troopers); they’ve done horror-comedy (Club Dread); they’ve even tread the sudsy world of underground drinking contests (Beerfest). Now, the quintet popularly known as Broken Lizard — comprised of college buds Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske — have enlisted the help of Michael Clarke Duncan to bring you a comedy about the joys and sorrows of food service. We’ve got your first look at The Slammin’ Salmon here:
In The Slammin’ Salmon, Broken Lizard’s fifth feature film and the first to be directed by Lizard Kevin Heffernan, the fivesome star as employees of a seafood restaurant owned by former heavyweight boxing champ Cleon “Slammin'” Salmon (Michael Clarke Duncan). One night, Salmon inaugurates a competition among his waitstaff: the waiter who makes the most money in one evening wins $10,000; the loser wins a beating by Cleon Salmon himself.
RT visited the set of The Slammin’ Salmon to observe filming and talk to the Lizards between scenes — but we can’t share that with you just yet! However, we can divulge five of the awesomest details about Slammin’ Salmon:
Awesome Thing #5: The Broken Lizards play waiters at the Slammin’ Salmon (with Heffernan as the house manager) and based many of their characters’ quirks on their own real-life jobs waiting tables.
Awesome Thing #2: Michael Clarke Duncan on a horse.
Awesome Thing #1: Michael Clarke Duncan on a horse. (So good it counts twice. See below.)
A release date is still TBA; check out more images in our photo gallery, and stay tuned for our extended set visit report on Slammin’ Salmon.
Action stars Jet Li and Jason Statham face off this weekend in the new crime thriller War which leads a flood of new releases pouring into North American multiplexes trying to catch the final dollars of the summer movie season. The R-rated Lionsgate release finds the two playing an assassin and a federal agent, respectively, and will aim for young male audiences. Both actors have solid followings and the combination allows War to offer a two-for-one deal that will make the ticket price well worth it for many fans.
Li’s last films Fearless and Unleashed each bowed to just under $11M with averages of a little less than $6,000. Statham’s Crank opened over Labor Day weekend last year with $10.5M and an average of $4,158 over three days while during the same holiday frame in 2005 his action sequel Transporter 2 debuted to $16.5M with a $5,008 average over three days. Lionsgate has had a strong marketing push on War and should connect with male action fans. Last weekend’s top three films Superbad, Rush Hour 3, and The Bourne Ultimatum will all provide some direct competition, but a solid bow is likely. Opening in 2,271 theaters, War could premiere with about $14M this weekend.
Rush Hour 3 will race past the $100M mark this weekend and could slide by 50% to around $10.5M. That would give New Line $107M after 17 days. Fellow threequel The Bourne Ultimatum should have a better hold and drop by 40% to roughly $12M putting the Universal smash at $185M overall with its eye on the double-century mark by Labor Day.
LAST YEAR: Buena Vista topped the charts with its football saga Invincible which bowed at number one with $17M on its way to a solid $57.8M. Will Ferrell‘s comedy Talladega Nights placed second with $8.1M while Little Miss Sunshine expanded and jumped up to third place with $7.4M. Warner Bros. opened its comedy Beerfest in fourth with $7M leading to a $19.2M final. World Trade Center rounded out the top five with $6.5M in its third frame. Two smaller films debuting far below were Universal’s Idlewild with $5.7M and New Line’s How to Eat Fried Worms with $4M. Final tallies reached $12.6M and $13M, respectively.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Moviegoers had football on their minds for the second straight weekend as Disney’s true-life NFL tale "Invincible" remained atop the North American box office over the long Labor Day holiday weekend finishing off another summer movie season. New releases "Crank" and "The Wicker Man" opened in second and third, respectively, while the critically acclaimed films "Little Miss Sunshine" and "The Illusionist" both scored strong per-theater averages in moderate release. The holiday frame marked the first weekend in six long months where no new film debuted with at least $15M. Hollywood was happy to close the books on a summer movie season that was slightly better than than last year’s.
Retaining its first-place position, Mark Wahlberg‘s "Invincible" grossed an estimated $15.2M over the four-day Friday-to-Monday holiday weekend and remained the most popular movie in North America. After 11 days of release, the feel-good drama about a 30-year-old bartender who earned a spot on the Philadelphia Eagles starting lineup has grossed a solid $37.8M and could be headed for the neighborhood of $60-70M.
It was only fitting that Disney topped the box office charts as the summer came to an end. Since the summer movie season kicked off on May 5 with "Mission: Impossible III," Buena Vista has grossed $786M at the multiplexes beating out all other studios. Disney’s success was powered by the summer’s two highest grossing hits, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" ($414.2M) and "Cars" ($242M), but also included surprise late-summer winners like "Invincible" and "Step Up." It was a drastic turnaround from last summer when the Mouse House’s biggest film was "Herbie: Fully Loaded" with $66M.
Opening in second place was action star Jason Statham‘s new thriller "Crank" with an estimated $13M over four days from 2,515 theaters. Averaging a commendable $5,169 per site, the R-rated film features a poisoned hitman who will die if he can’t keep his adrenaline up constantly. The Lionsgate release opened better than Statham’s 2002 film "The Transporter" ($9.1M in three days) but did not reach the $20.1M bow of his action sequel "Transporter 2" which ruled the Labor Day frame a year ago. That number one hit carried a commercially friendly PG-13 rating and kicked its way into 800 more theaters. Over the Friday-to-Sunday span, "Crank" grossed $10.3M and averaged $4,095.
Nicolas Cage opened his new suspense thriller "The Wicker Man" close behind in third place with an estimated $11.7M in ticket sales over the Friday-to-Monday holiday session. The Warner Bros. remake about a cop who investigates a missing girl averaged a mediocre $4,210 from 2,784 theatrs over four days. The PG-13 film grossed $9.6M in three days for a mild average of $3,448. Cage appeared twice in the top ten as his previous film "World Trade Center" finished further down in ninth place.
Two smaller films successfully expanding into national release followed and scored the best averages among all the wide releases. Fox Searchlight’s road comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" ranked fourth for the weekend with an estimated $9.7M over four days with $7.6M over the Friday-to-Sunday portion. It was the second weekend in a row that actor Greg Kinnear had two films in the top five. He plays a supporting role in "Invincible" as well. "Sunshine" averaged a strong $6,071 from 1,602 theaters over four days pushing its total to $35.8M and counting. At its current rate, it should eventually surpass "Miami Vice" as the top-grossing R-rated film to come out of the summer.
Rookie distributor Yari Film Group did an excellent job expanding its period mystery "The Illusionist" into national release and jumped into fifth place with an estimated four-day gross of $8M. Expanding from 144 to 971 theaters, the Edward Norton–Paul Giamatti drama scored the best average in the top ten with a sturdy $8,261 per venue. Cume now stands at $12.1M. The distributor scored excellent averages during its two weeks in limited release allowing positive word-of-mouth to spread for a film that was not easy to sell at a time when there were plenty of good choices for mature adults. Another 400 theaters will be added on Friday.
A trio of comedies followed. Sony’s Will Ferrell hit "Talladega Nights" grossed an estimated $7.7M over four days and lifted its cume to a stellar $138.4M making it the top-grossing comedy of the summer. Paramount’s animated pic "Barnyard" took in an estimated $6.4M pushing its total to $63.6M. The teen flick "Accepted" placed eighth and collected an estimated $5.9M giving Universal $29.4M to date.
Rounding out the top ten were the 9/11 drama "World Trade Center" with an estimated $5.8M over four days and the dance saga "Step Up" with $5.5M, according to estimates. Paramount’s Oliver Stone film has taken in a solid $63.7M thus far while Buena Vista’s surprise hit has taken in $58.4M.
Opening quietly outside of the top ten was the street basketball drama "Crossover" with an estimated $4.5M over four days from a moderate release in 1,023 theaters. Sony averaged a decent $4,399 over the long weekend on the $6M film which played mostly to a young urban audience.
Platforming to muscular numbers was the IFC Films doc "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" which grossed an estimated $42,000 from solo houses in New York and Los Angeles for a potent $20,832 average. The unrated expose that examines the ratings board of the MPAA will continue to expand throughout September.
Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The raunchy comedy "Beerfest" tumbled to an estimated $4.6M over four days giving Warner Bros. only $14.8M in 11 days. A $20M final seems likely. Universal’s OutKast pic "Idlewild" took in an estimated $2.9M in its sophomore session giving the music-driven film only $9.9M in 11 days. Look for a $14M conclusion. New Line’s buzzworthy action-horror pic "Snakes on a Plane" has scared up just over $31M to date and is set to end with a final domestic gross close to its $35M production budget.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $89M over four days which was down 3% from last year when "Transporter 2" debuted at number one with $20.1M; but up 19% from 2004 when "Hero" remained in the top spot with $11.5M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
Football season was back in swing at the North American box office this weekend as Disney’s real-life pigskin drama "Invincible" scored a number-one opening by more than doubling the ticket sales of its nearest competitor. The rest of the films in the top ten were packed into a tight range and were separated by a mere $2.6M meaning chart positions could change when final numbers are released on Monday. The frame’s other newcomers — the raunchy comedy "Beerfest," the music-driven drama "Idlewild," and the kidpic "How to Eat Fried Worms" — all generated more modest grosses in their debuts. Overall, the marketplace slumped to levels typical of the last weekend of August.
Mark Wahlberg was the most valuable player this weekend as his new football pic "Invincible" easily beat all foes and grossed an estimated $17M over the weekend finishing in first place. Averaging a solid $5,838 from 2,917 theaters, the PG-rated pic tells the true story of a 30-year-old bartender who landed a spot on the roster of the Philadelphia Eagles. Disney set up a sizable marketing campaign with the NFL promoting "Invincible" during the current pre-season and it seemed to have paid off handsomely. Reviews were generally favorable for the feel-good drama.
Sony’s hit NASCAR comedy "Talladega Nights" stayed put in second place again with an estimated $8M in its fourth lap. The Will Ferrell smash dropped 42% and upped its cume to $127.7M making it the summer’s second biggest comedy.to date after Adam Sandler’s "Click" ($136M) which was also a Sony release. "Talladega" could race past "Click" by Labor Day.
Making its way up to the number three position was Fox Searchlight’s hit road comedy "Little Miss Sunshine" which more than doubled its theater count and grossed an estimated $7.5M from 1,430 sites. The R-rated pic averaged a solid $5,245 and boosted its cume to $23M. "Sunshine" has steadily grown over the past month into a pop culture phenomenon becoming the "it" movie of the moment and looks certain to charm its way past the $50M mark domestically in the weeks ahead.
Another R-rated laugher followed in fourth. The new Warner Bros. comedy "Beerfest" debuted with an estimated $6.5M from 2,964 playdates for a mild $2,193 average. The Broken Lizard concoction opened much like the comedy troupe’s 2002 hit "Super Troopers" which bowed to $6.2M over three days on its way to $18.5M. "Beerfest" tells of a group of American beer chuggers who must train and compete in a secret drinking tournament in Germany.
Yet another comedy followed with a similar estimate of $6.5M in ticket sales. Universal’s "Accepted" dropped only 35% and upped its ten-day total to a respectable $21.1M. Fellow sophomore "Snakes on a Plane" was an inch behind with an estimated $6.4M tumbling 58% in its second weekend. Total stands at $26.6M. Final grosses look to reach $36-39M each.
Universal’s music-filled drama "Idlewild" bowed in ninth place but generated the best average in the top ten. The OutKast pic grossed an estimated $5.9M from only 973 locations for a solid $6,055 average. Studio research showed that 55% of the audience was over age 30, 61% was female, and 82% was African American.
Rounding out the top ten was Paramount’s animated comedy "Barnyard" with an estimated $5.4M in its fourth weekend. Down only 28%, the PG-rated toon has taken in an encouraging $54.7M to date.
Debuting poorly just outside the top ten was New Line’s kidpic "How to Eat Fried Worms" with an estimated $4M from 1,870 sites for an average of only $2,112 per theater. Yari Film Group widened its period mystery "The Illusionist" and grossed an estimated $1.8M from just 144 theaters for a strong $12,688 per venue. Cume is $3.2M and the Edward Norton–Paul Giamatti drama will go national on Friday.
Three films dropped out of the top ten this weekend. The summer juggernaut "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" enjoyed a seven-week run in the top ten, but dipped to an estimated $4M this weekend for a slim decline of only 23%. With a colossal $407.6M from North America alone, the Johnny Depp adventure surpassed "Spider-Man" ($403.7M in 2002) to claim the number six spot on the list of all-time domestic blockbusters. Chest looks to reach about $420M stateside. Worldwide, the "Pirates" sequel is closing in on an astounding one billion dollars in global box office.
The teen comedy "Material Girls" starring Hilary and Haylie Duff dropped by 50% to an estimated $2.3M in its sophomore session. The MGM title has collected just $8.5M in ten days and should end up with around $13M before finding a bigger audience on DVD. The horror flick "Pulse" grossed an estimated $1.7M, down 53%, for a total of $17.9M. A final tally of about $21M could result.
ThinkFilm’s drug-addicted teacher drama "Half Nelson" expanded from three to 21 theaters and grossed an estimated $210,000 for a strong $10,000 average. Cume is now $389,000. Fox Searchlight’s relationship film "Trust the Man" did not have as much luck during its expansion. The David Duchovny–Julianne Moore pic grossed an estimated $285,000 from 158 sites (up from 38 last weekend) and averaged a poor $1,804. Total is $541,000 with another widening up to 300 theaters set for Friday.
The top ten films grossed an estimated $75.8M which was off 2% from last year when "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" remained at number one with $16.3M; and down 4% from 2004 when "Hero" opened in the top spot with $18M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
RT’s Jen Yamato is a diehard fan of the sport known as beer pong, so when she got the chance to hang out with the guys from Broken Lizard and watch them challenge Chicago’s finest to a game of the precision sport, she took it. Read on for her beer-soaked stop on the "Beerfest" tour.
What’s more intriguing than a secret Beer Olympics, where international teams compete for bragging rights in every single drinking game known to man? That’s right: not much. Especially if you’re me, Jen Yamato (hostess and winner of my annual birthday beer pong tournament, thank you very much), which is why I scrambled on over to the Broken Lizard "Beerfest" Tour stop in Chicago a few weeks back, where thirsty revelers were treated to a screening of the pic, a Q&A with Lizards Jay Chandrasekhar and Kevin Heffernan, and (even better) free beer!
The Broken Lizards were barnstorming the country on a suds-soaked "Beerfest" tour, and took time to talk with me about the finer points of making their latest Lizard original (after disappointing with 2004’s "Club Dread" and last year’s "The Dukes of Hazzard"). But forget about comedy writing, their three-year deal with Warner Bros., and nabbing a pair of first-rate actors for their cast (Cloris Leachman and Donald Sutherland); I want to know if they play beer pong with a paddle!
Check out RT’s exclusive video interviews (and see the "Beerfest" boys in Beer Pong action):
Kevin Heffernan on "Training"
How did the actor prepare for a role as a beer-swiller named Landfill in "Beerfest?" By training his physique — training real hard. Also, the true-life Australian chug-off that inspired "Beerfest."
Kevin Heffernan on his fellow "Beerfest" cast members
Which octogenarian Oscar-winner had a thing for director Jay Chandrasekhar on set (hint: her initials are Cloris Leachman)? Who showed his chugging prowess during filming but had to sneak out between takes to barf it all up? And just how many special effects did they have to use to simulate realistic, Olympian-grade drinking skills?
"Beerfest" Beer Tour: Chicago
Check out the skills of the local Broken Lizard fans who came out to the Park West Theater to see the movie, play beer pong with the Lizards, and test their own masteries of the immortal Beer Hula Hoop, Baby Bottle Chug, and the ever-popular Flippy Cup!
"Beerfest" Drinking Games
Kevin Heffernan gives us the rundown of all the drinking games they played in the movie, and more.
Director and actor Jay talks about his traumatized "Beerfest" character, Barry and picks a side on the Beer Pong – Beirut issue. Plus, watch Jay in his game skills action at the Chicago tour stop, and listen as he reveals which Broken Lizard goes nude in "Beerfest."
Another wave of new releases hits the multiplexes across North America this weekend in hopes of capturing the final dollars of the summer movie season.
Leading the charge are Disney’s football tale "Invincible" for all audiences and the raunchy Warner Bros. comedy "Beerfest" aimed at young men. Music fans will get Universal’s "Idlewild" starring the OutKast duo while the New Line comedy "How to Eat Fried Worms" will play to school kids. Indie hit "Little Miss Sunshine" advances to another round in the box office pageant doubling its theatrical run in hopes of winning over new fans in all parts of the country. Overall, the marketplace looks to remain sluggish with moviegoers not being too impressed with Hollywood’s late-summer menu.
Mark Wahlberg hopes to score a box office touchdown this weekend with the football drama "Invincible" from Disney. The Good Vibrations rapper-turned-actor plays Vince Papale, a 30-year-old bartender who earns a spot on the starting lineup of the 1976 Philadelphia Eagles. With a PG rating and the studio’s brand name behind it, "Invincible" should play to a broad audience with men connecting to the sports angle, women responding to the emotional true story, and kids coming in for the inspirational underdog tale. The studio has devised a strong marketing promotion with the NFL which has been pushing the film to football fans during the pre-season.
Excitement does not match what the studio saw with "Remember the Titans" or what Universal had with "Friday Night Lights." Those fall football films opened with just over $20M a piece. But, "Invincible" does offer a feel-good story that could work for the moment. And Disney can crank out these uplifting sports dramas with its eyes closed. Wahlberg is hit or miss at the box office, but here he should add some decent starpower to the picture. And Greg Kinnear, who plays Coach Dick Vermeil here and also stars in "Little Miss Sunshine," will have a great weekend at the turnstiles allowing his agents to start asking for more bucks for future projects. Charging into more than 2,400 theaters, "Invincible" could live up to its name and score a top spot debut with around $14M.
The Broken Lizard group returns in "Beerfest," a new comedy about a group of American dudes who train to take on the Germans in a secret beer drinking competition in Munich. Warner Bros. is looking to target the frat boy crowd with this R-rated gross-out comedy. With lots of belching and the most shots of bare breasts of any movie released in theaters this year, the studio should hit its mark with older teens and twentysomethings. "Wedding Crashers" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" may have been doing brisk business at this time last year, but R-rated sex comedies with no stars often end up struggling at the box office before finding gold on DVD. Films like "The Girl Next Door," "Eurotrip," "Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle," and even Broken Lizard’s "Super Troopers" all opened in the $5-7M range. The troupe’s fan base has grown thanks to cable and video so "Beerfest" should benefit. Plus the studio is giving it a relatively strong push for an end-of-August flick. But it has also been a tough year for R flicks and there is plenty of competition for young males right now. Chugging down brews in over 2,800 theaters, "Beerfest" might drink down about $11M this weekend.
Andre Benjamin and Antwan A. Patton of the Grammy-winning hip hop act OutKast reunite for the new music-driven film "Idlewild" which also stars Terrence Howard, Cicely Tyson, Patti Labelle, and Ving Rhames. The R-rated drama about the goings-on at a Prohibition-era nightclub will have significant appeal to hardcore fans of the popular musical act and should see much of its business come from African American adult audiences. Casual fans who only know them as the "Hey Ya" guys are not likely to spend money on tickets. Last summer, "Hustle & Flow" played to a similar audience and bowed to $8M from 1,013 theaters for a solid $7,915 average. "Idlewild" is going out in about the same number of playdates and could end up in the same neighborhood. Debuting in 973 theaters, the Universal release could capture about $7M over the frame.
New Line offers up "How to Eat Fried Worms," the big-screen adaptation of the best-selling kids book.The PG-rated film is aimed at school children and the tween set with a pic filled with immature boy pranks. Last weekend’s top five lacked any movies for kids so "Worms" should not face too much direct competition. However, excitement might not be high enough to generate a large opening. Parents and children familiar with the book might take a trip to the local cinema for this one. But the real cash will be made on DVD. Opening in about 1,800 theaters, "How to Eat Fried Worms" could bow to around $6M this weekend.
In limited release, Sony Classics opens its dramatic thriller "The Quiet" which stars Elisha Cuthbert as a popular cheerleader whose life changes when her parents adopt an orphaned deaf girl into the family. Edie Falco co-stars in the R-rated film which opens in six sites in New York and Los Angeles on Friday. Reviews have been mixed.
Last weekend, "Snakes on a Plane" eked out a victory atop the box office charts with a less-than-expected $15.2M bow. About half of that business was generated on Thursday night and Friday leaving little audience left for the days and weeks ahead. A steep drop is sure to occur this weekend now that the hype is all gone. Most people interested in "Snakes" in the first place have already gone and seen it. A 60% fall would leave New Line with a $6M weekend and a ten-day tally of $26M.
Will Ferrell has been satisfying audiences with "Talladega Nights" all month long. A 35% drop could result giving the Sony hit about $9M for the frame which would push the cume to $128M. A similar decline could be in the works for Paramount’s "World Trade Center" which may grab around $7M this weekend boosting its total to $56M.
The comedy sensation "Little Miss Sunshine" will more than double its run this weekend and further infiltrate theaters across the country. Fox Searchlight’s unstoppable hit will expand from 691 to over 1,400 locations on Friday and could collect about $7M in its fifth frame. That would put "Sunshine’s" cume at $22M putting it on course to become a bigger hit than "Snakes on a Plane" will be.
LAST YEAR: The Steve Carell surprise hit "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" enjoyed a small decline and held onto the top spot with $16.3M dropping only 24% in its second frame. Miramax opened its Matt Damon adventure "The Brothers Grimm" in second with $15.1M on its way to $37.9M. The airline thriller "Red Eye" followed with $10.3M with the revenge actioner "Four Brothers" in fourth place with $7.9M. Opening poorly in fifth was "The Cave" with $6.1M leading to a disappointing $14.9M finish. The teen flop "Undiscovered" opened to an embarrassing $676,000 from 1,304 theaters for a pathetic $518 average landing in the number 20 spot. The Lions Gate release ended up with a miserable $1.1M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies, we’ve got four underdog stories. An average Joe tries to play pro football ("Invincible," starring Mark Wahlberg), the new kid in school tries to ward off bullies by consuming soft-bodied invertebrates ("How to Eat Fried Worms"), a ragtag bunch tries to win an international keg-tapping contest ("Beerfest," starring Broken Lizard), and two struggling 1930s musicians try for a big break ("Idlewild," starring Outkast). What do the critics have to say?
Pity the poor Philly football fan. Despite some recent success, the Eagles haven’t had a championship season since 1960. I’ll bet a lot of residents of the City of Brotherly Love think they could do better themselves. Well, "Invincible" tells the true story of a guy who felt that way… and was right. Mark Wahlberg stars as an over-the-hill substitute teacher and bartender who shows up at an open tryout and wows coach Dick Vermeil (Greg Kinnear) with his speed and skills despite never playing ball in college. The critics say what could have been another clichéd sports drama is elevated by strong performances by Wahlberg and Kinnear, as well as a palpable sense of time and place. "Invincible" is at 74 percent on the Tomatometer.
Despite a title that conjures images of a pre-teen "Fear Factor," the critics say "How to Eat Fried Worms" is actually quite tame — or quaint — compared with much of contemporary family fare. Although its youthful cast contribute solid performances, the critics say "Worms" doesn’t quite live up to the standard set by the classic children’s book of the same name. Still, they also say the film is good-natured fun for the kids. At 61 percent on the Tomatometer, "Worms" is a reasonably appetizing item on the cinematic menu.
Those Broken Lizard folks are at it again, with another gleefully juvenile movie that should appeal to their cult audience while confounding the critics. Sort of like "Dodgeball" for the pub set, "Beerfest" tells the tale of a group of misfits who take on the world in an international beer drinking contest. While critics concede that there are more than a few moments of boozy, tasteless fun, they also say the film, at 111 minutes, is a little too hit and miss to justify its running time. At 51 percent on the Tomatometer, "Beerfest" is a little too sudsy. Still, it’s the best reviewed Broken Lizard film, beating "Super Troopers," which scored 36 percent.
"Beerfest": More subtle, sophisticated humor from Broken Lizard
Ain’t nobody dope as Outkast — in the studio. The silver screen may be a different matter. Big Boi and Andre 3000 bring their Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik to a story set in the Depression era south in "Idlewild." Critics say that with the musical scenes, the cast are the type of people make the club get crunk. But, ah ha, what’s that fuss, then? Well, the scribes say there’s too little of Outkast’s power music electric revival, and the plot gets bogged down in clichés. At 52 percent on the Tomatometer, critics don’t love the way "Idlewild" moves — but don’t hate it either.
Also in theaters this week in limited release: "Old Joy," an exploration of friendship starring indie darling Will Oldham, is at 100 percent; "LOL," a no-budget tale of hipsters and technology, is at 100 percent; "Princesas," a story of friendship between prostitutes in Madrid, is at 70 percent; "Rolling Family," sort of like an Argentine "Little Miss Sunshine," is at 63 percent; the Spanish sex comedy "Queens" is at 57 percent; and the Elisha Cuthbert/ Camilla Belle psychological thriller "The Quiet" is at 27 percent.
Even though last year’s "Dukes of Hazzard" raked in a respectable $80 million at the box office, don’t look for another go from the Broken Lizard crew. "Dukes" director Jay Chandrasekhar and fellow Lizard Kevin Heffernan told RT they’re over it, and after this month’s "Beerfest" they plan on turning their attention to more Broken Lizard projects, including "The Greek Road," "The Babymaker," and … "Super Troopers 2!"
A direct-to-video "Dukes of Hazzard" prequel is already being filmed without the involvement of the Broken Lizard guys, but they seem ok with that. "Beerfest" kicks off the first release from Warner Bros. in a three-year deal, and they’ve got a few more crazy scripts up their sleeves.
This month, the Broken Lizards compete in every drinking game known to man in "Beerfest"
"The Greek Road"
One such project is a completed script called "The Greek Road," which the Lizards (Heffernan, Chandrasekhar, and fellow members Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske) have finished co-writing. They are in talks with Warner Bros. to secure funding for the period pic, which is set in ancient Greece and would require a larger-than-normal budget for a Broken Lizard movie.
And what is the plot for this next pic? Heffernan explains, "The movie we really want to do next is called The Greek Road. It’s set in ancient Greece, it’s a comedy. The general idea is that I play a fellow by the name of Plato — he is a freshman wrestling recruit at Athens University, and he’s failing his freshmen seminar, Basic Thought."
"So they bring in this hotshot senior to tutor him. His name is…Socrates. So Socrates tutors him and they end up road tripping to the Olympics to wrestle. And then the gods try to stop them. It’s a period piece. Steve is Socrates, and then Eric, Paul and Jay play Zeus, Poseidon and Hades who are trying to stop us from getting to the Olympics."
Chandrasekhar says "The Greek Road" will likely start filming in spring 2007; but first, he’d like to squeeze in another Broken Lizard production this fall:
"I want to make a movie with Kevin called "The Babymaker," said Chandrasekhar. "He plays a former high school football star who’s married and he and his wife want to have a kid, and they try for a year and they just can’t have a kid. Sothey go to a doctor and the doctor says, "Your sperm is no good," and he goes, "Nah, trust me dude, the sperm’s good." And [the doctor] says, "It’s no good, I’m telling you it’s no good," and he goes, "IT’S GOOD."
And so he eventually tells his wife that five years ago he donated 20 batches of sperm to a sperm bank, and they don’t take it unless it’s good. He did it because he needed a little extra money for his wife’s ring. And she’s furious; "You have other kids out there, you bought my ring with beat off money!" So he goes back to the sperm bank and says, I need my sperm back…And they say, well we only have one batch and we promised it to somebody. So then he goes and puts together a little team of his friends, and they go and try to do a sperm bank heist."
"Super Troopers 2"
But what of a sequel to the beloved cult hit, "Super Troopers?" Though fans have long been screaming for a sequel, reprising their Vermont State trooper characters is not on the immediate horizon for the five-some. However, they are considering the sequel in the future and have settled on a loose story — it would be called "Super Troopers ’76," and it will be a prequel in which they play the equally inept fathers of their "Super Troopers" characters.
"The joke is that we’ll make it Super Troopers ’76, set during the bicentennial," Chandrasekhar told RT. "We’ll have a little shaggier hair and mustaches…we might do it, I don’t know. That movie has sort of a special place in a lot of people’s hearts, so all we can do is f*ck it up…So I don’t know…I’ve been writing some little gags and I have a little file of "Super Troopers 2" gags, and we’ll see if we turn that into a flick or not."