(Photo by Orion/ courtesy Everett Collection)
1974 drama Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is already one hell of a way to jump-start a pre-teen acting career for Jodie Foster, yet it would be her second collaboration with director Martin Scorsese that made her an international star. 1976’s Taxi Driver was a shocking game-changer in a decade full of them, with Foster’s casting as a 12-year-old prostitute eliciting awe and dread from audiences, not to mention an eventual Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. As a new unlikely industry “It” girl, Foster quickly began to fill her resume with roles equally precocious (Freaky Friday, Bugsy Malone) and dark (The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane) following Taxi Driver.
Foster continued to hone her craft through the ’80s and into the ’90s, receiving a Best Actress Oscar for 1988’s The Accused, and moving on to even bigger Oscar night wins for 1992’s The Silence of the Lambs. 1995’s Nell would be Foster’s last Oscar nom to date, but the Golden Globes have been more receptive: She’s been nominated since for 1997’s Contact, 2007’s The Brave One, 2011’s Carnage, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2013, and finally won another acting Globe with 2021’s The Mauritanian.
More of Foster’s highlights during these decades include David Fincher’s Panic Room, Spike Lee’s Inside Man, and her own directorial-and-starring efforts like Money Monster. And now we take a look at all Jodie Foster movies ranked by Tomatometer!
A Wrinkle in Time, adaptation of the Madeleine L’engle kids fantasy novel and Ava DuVernay’s sojourn into $100 million filmmaking, isn’t getting the best reviews. As the score settles in the lower-40s, Wrinkle would place somewhere in the middle of this week’s gallery: the 24 worst children’s book adaptations, each rated PG and ranked by Tomatometer.
Sparred by the triumphant onscreen return of a certain Johnny Rico, we turn
our DVD-minded focus to a few stars of yesterday popping up in new DVD releases
this week: Casper van Dien, Christopher Lambert, and Heather Graham. Also, check
out this week’s geek-tastic new releases: a Starship Troopers box set, Code
Monkeys, and Captain James Tiberius Kirk’s restored adventures aboard the
Casper Van Dien is back in Starship Troopers: Marauder
If you know the name Johnny Rico, then you know Casper van Dien. Back in 1997,
Van Dien turned in a career-defining performance as the brash “roughneck”
recruit Rico in
Starship Troopers; since that breakout role, he
appeared in no less than 28 (mostly made-for-TV or direct-to DVD) films. This
week Van Dien returns, eleven years later, to the franchise that kicked off his
career. (Read Casper van Dien’s Five Favorite Films here and hear what Rico’s up
against in Starship Troopers 3.)
Exclusive: Watch two exclusive behind-the-scenes featurettes about the new weaponry and the Marauder powersuit from Starship Troopers 3!
Unnecessary DVD re-release of the week: Christopher Lambert’s
In the world of home video, it seems everything old can become new again when
re-masterings, retrospective commentaries, or new footage come into play. But
what if no new changes are made whatsoever? Don’t check out Lionsgate’s new
re-release of Stuart Gordon‘s
Fortress, the horror veteran’s schlocky-but-entertaining
sci-fi flick from 1993 starring direct-to-video king
Christopher Lambert. In it,
Lambert stars as an Army officer imprisoned when he and his wife decide to
conceive more than the allotted one child per couple; highlights include what
happens when unruly prisoners get “intestined.” But anyone looking for further
insights from Gordon or even Lambert will be duly disappointed; the new release,
out this week, is merely a repackaged version of Artisan’s 2001 release. As for
Lambert, he’s since returned to his bread-and-butter — direct-to-video and
foreign language films – though we are excited at the thought of him
resurrecting Lord Rayden for a 2010 Mortal Kombat sequel.
The Where-Has-Heather-Graham-Gone Update of the Week
Speaking of celebrities who’ve fallen off the face of Planet Hollywood, this
week we stumble across
Heather Graham. Once an in-demand Hollywood Roller Girl,
Graham has taken to appearing in tiny indie and DVD flicks in the past few
years: a travel writer in the romantic-comedy
Cake; a hot lesbian in the
romantic comedy Gray Matters; a hot lesbian in the dark drama
see a trend here?) This week Graham’s back with another quirky indie:
Conception, the comic tale of one woman’s quest to conceive a child at any costs
before her “baby making days” are over.
Click for this week’s new releases!
Abigail Breslin continues to steal the title of America’s Sweetheart from Dakota
Fanning with her starring role as Nim Rusoe, the precocious, self-sufficient
daughter of a scientist (Gerard Butler) who has lived her whole life on – you
guessed it! – an island. Critics were mixed on the fantasy-adventure, but gave
kudos to the flick (and to producer/co-star
Jodie Foster as a neurotic writer)
for offering wholesome, well-intentioned counterprogramming for the Bratz crowd.
Amusing animated CGI sequences could look great on Blu-ray; deleted scenes,
featurettes, and commentaries by both husband and wife directors Mark Levin and
Jennifer Flackett and stars Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin flesh out the
Still upset about the video game crash of 1983? Is your old Atari 2600 gathering
dust in the attic while the young folk rock out to Guitar Hero? Cheer up by
watching Code Monkeys, G4’s original animated series chronicling the employees
of the fictitious GameaVision video game company during the 1980s. Code Monkeys
combines South Park-style humor with 8-bit animation and features cameos by tech
celebrities like Dungeons & Dragons creator Gary Gygax, God of War developer
David Jaffe, and Steve Wozniak as the “CEO” of GameaVision who leaves to start a
little company called Apple.
Shout Factory’s 2-disc release includes Behind the Scenes of Code Monkeys, Daily
Pranks, gaming tips from G4’s Kristin Holt, original GameaVision games, and
Austria nabbed its first Academy Award when The Counterfeiters won Best Foreign
Film last February; this week, the World War II tale comes to DVD. Based on the
real-life memoirs of Adolph Burger, the critically-acclaimed drama follows the
harrowing experiences of Holocaust victims forced to work for Nazis in exchange
for their lives.
Delve deeper into the film and the events that inspired it with commentaries and
interviews with director Stefan Ruzowitzky, star Karl Markovics, and Holocaust
survivor/memoirist Burger himself.
Breaking news: we’ve got a film this week about a giant killer crocodile, and
it’s got a fresh Tomatometer!! Suspend your disbelief long enough to rent this
creature feature, starring
Radha Mitchell and
Michael Vartan, about a tour group
terrorized in the outback by Australia’s native predator. (Where’s Paul Hogan
when you need him?)
Check out commentary by writer/director Greg McLean (Wolf Creek), a making-of
documentary shot by the director himself, and a few additional features.
How should you prepare for the debut of Starship Troopers: Marauder, writer Ed Neumeier’s directorial debut and the long-awaited return of Johnny Rico? By
picking up the entire trilogy on Blu-ray, available in a three-film box set or
individually this week! Watch Marauder in Blu-ray’s Picture-in-Picture mode to
watch pop-up trivia about new characters, weapons and story. Even the first
Starship Trooper film has been plumped with new Blu-ray features including
pop-up retrospective comments and a Starship Troopers trivia test.
Tons of Marauder-focused extras accompany the release, including commentary with
Ed Neumeier, Casper Van Dien, and Jolene Blalock, features on the newly
introduced Bugs and weapons, and a music video for the satirical government
anthem, “It’s a Good Day to Die.”
Hardcore Trekkers may already own Star Trek: The Original Series on DVD or VHS,
but this week’s debut has something none of the previous home video releases
did: remastered versions of the complete second season! Originally re-broadcast
in 2006, the updated Original Series featured additional CGI effects, recomposed
scenes, and updated image and sound. Season Two also features such memorable
episodes as “The Doomsday Machine” and “The Trouble with Tribbles.”
No new materials can be found on this 8-disc release, though the set is packed
with enough previously released featurettes, documentaries, and commentaries to
keep you engaged in Star Trek lore. However, this is only a standard release,
with no news yet of Blu-ray plans; still, for diehard fans the set will be worth
its weight in quatloo.
It was grizzled masculinity versus shopping-obsessed, emotionally-open womanhood at the box office this week — yep; Indy Jones battled Carrie Bradshaw, with the archeologist ousting the Monolo Blahnik-clad Manhattan socialite from the top spot only two weeks into its run.
Without wishing to stereotype (but we will anyway), women — many with their bedraggled boyfriends — flocked to theatres nationwide see the cinematic continuation of the hit TV show Sex and the City, earning studio Entertainment Film Distributors almost £9 million in its first three days of release.
Critics weren’t entirely sure about the film – many found the movie overlong and thought it added little new material to the ground covered in the long-running HBO series — yet most conceded that the show’s army of fans (approximately 95% of the female population) would still lap it up.
Sex and the City‘s success will have bought Paramount’s Indy IV down to earth with a bump, after the movie’s spectacular opening numbers last week. The film still did very respectable business — raking in over £5 million — but this was still down over 50% from last week. Dare we say it; maybe word of mouth about the film — which has been fairly negative — has gotten around and is beginning to affect the box office performance.
Meanwhile, the other films released last Friday didn’t have a hope of competing against these money-making titans; duff niche comedies Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay and Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins predictably tanked in a wave of non-publicity.
Summer box office season began with a bang last Friday, with Iron Man the first of the pumped-up, big-budget teen-friendly blockbusters to emerge from the bowels of the Hollywood studios this week.
This zesty tale of billionaire weapons magnate Tony Stark (played by a rakish Robert Downey Jr.) – who decides to change his ways and don metallic apparel after seeing the devastation caused by his company’s weapons – has won almost uniformly positive (if not ecstatic) notices from critics and made it the freshest big film of the year so far on Rotten Tomatoes.
The zippy pace, lack of existential naval-gazing and sly sense of humour provided by the talented ensemble cast were all praised, with James Christopher of The Times summing up the critical consensus by dubbing it a “roaring fairground ride.”
More pleasing to the bean-counters at Paramount and Marvel, however, will be the film’s takings. The movie took over £5million in its first three days, which, added to the film’s gargantuan $100 million-plus in the States, already makes the movie a monster smash-hit.
In the wake of Iron Man‘s domination, this week’s other contenders were left fighting for scraps. Nim’s Island , the kiddie-tastic adventure story starring Gerard Butler, Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (the smiley-faced cherub from Little Miss Sunshine) was the second highest new entry — coming in at third place but taking a paltry £850,000. Made of Honor meanwhile, the latest forget-it-as-soon-as-you’ve-seen-it rom-com with Patrick Dempsey in the lead role fared even worse, scraping by into fourth.
Indeed, this year more than ever, it looks like the little guys are going to have to take a back seat as sequels and superheroes boss our cinema screens. In fact, what with the Wachowski brothers’ (The Matrix) latest effort — the family-friendly anime adaptation Speed Racer – out this Friday, and Steven Spielberg‘s long-anticipated/feared fourth instalment in the Indiana Jones series following a couple of weeks after on the 22nd, May could even be a potentially the most lucrative month of the year for the studios.
Multiplexes gear up for another weekend of empty seats as Hollywood supplies three new films that are unlikely to energize the North American box office. The queen at the head of the class is the horror flick Prom Night which should scare up the most business and play to teens and young adults. The cop actioner Street Kings will target older males while adult women will be enticed by Smart People. The top ten could once again fall 25% below last year’s levels making this a spring season to forget.
If there’s one thing the geniuses at Sony’s Screen Gems unit know how to do it’s market fright films to teenagers. They get their latest shot with Prom Night, a loose remake of the classic 1980 Jamie Lee Curtis chiller about high schoolers stalked by a killer on their big celebratory night. Brittany Snow stars and the R rating of the old film has been replaced by a PG-13 which will be key to getting in the kind of kids who watch My Super Sweet 16. Horror film openings have gotten smaller and smaller this year as some fatigue has kicked in with consumers. But Prom Night has an appealing premise, a recognizable title, and a terrific marketing push behind it that is exciting the core crowd.
Sony hasn’t released a terror pic since last October so it’s had plenty of time to concentrate on getting this campaign right. And with trailers in front of its chart-topping studio stablemate 21, awareness is high with teens. Prom Night should perform better than this year’s other horror flicks and could post the best bow for the genre since Saw IV from last Halloween. The running time matches the amount of time Al Pacino has left to live and multiplexes are double-screening the pic so there will be plenty of showtimes to meet the expected demand. The one downside is the weak marketplace which has made overall moviegoing sluggish. Opening in around 2,400 theaters, Prom Night might debut with about $15M.
Fox’s Nim’s Island got off to a mediocre start last weekend posting a $3,760 average. But with no new films targeting families, competition will be light so a 35% drop may result. That would give the Abigail Breslin flick about $8.5M and a ten-day cume of $25M.
George Clooney attracted less-than-spectacular opening weekend sales for his football film Leatherheads and buzz has been mostly bad. A larger drop of 45% could be in order giving Universal a $7M take. The score would climb to just $22M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: Paramount replaced itself at the top of the charts with the teen thriller Disturbia which surprised the industry with a potent $22.2M bow at number one. The Shia LaBeouf starrer went on to bank an impressive $80.2M. The studio’s Will Ferrell comedy Blades of Glory slipped to second after two weeks on top and grossed $13.8M. Both were supplied by DreamWorks. Disney’s Meet the Robinsons followed with $12.5M, also in its third round. Sony’s adult thriller Perfect Stranger underperformed with its fourth-place debut of $11.2M. A $24M final resulted. The studio’s Ice Cube sequel Are We Done Yet? rounded out the top five with $9M. Fox’s adventure film Pathfinder quietly opened in sixth with $5M on its way to just $10.2M.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com
This week at the movies, we’ve got gridiron giggles (Leatherheads, starring George Clooney and Renée Zellweger), isle imagination (Nim’s Island, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin), and archeological anxiety (The Ruins, starring Shawn Ashmore and Jena Malone). What do the critics have to say?
George Clooney gets compared to Cary Grant all the time, so it’s only natural he would try his hand at Grant’s prime métier — the screwball comedy. Unfortunately, critics say the football laffer Leatherheads, in which Clooney stars and directs, is something of a mixed bag. Set in the early days of pro-pigskin (in the days when college was king), Leatherheads tells the tale of the struggling, ragtag Duluth squad, which has scored a major coup by tapping a college gridiron hero (played by John Krasinski) to team with aging pro Dodge Connolly (Clooney); however, the team is also under fire from an aggressive beat reporter (Renée Zellweger). The pundits say Leatherheads is a funny, amiable affair, but it could take some pointers from the no-huddle offense, which, like screwball comedy, emphasizes quick thinking, deft interaction, and risk. At 54 percent on the Tomatometer, Leatherheads is being thrown for a loss. And it’s Clooney’s worst-reviewed directorial effort to date — well below Good Night and Good Luck‘s 94 percent. (Check out our interview with George Clooney here.)
A sort of Swiss Family Robinson crossed with Indiana Jones, the critics say Nim’s Island is solid family fare — with the pros and cons that implies. Abigail Breslin stars as Nim, a precocious girl who lives on a South Pacific island with her father (Gerard Butler), a scientist; when he goes missing, Nim turns to the hero of her favorite book (also played by Butler) — and the tome’s author (Jodie Foster) — for help. Critics say Nim’s Island has an old-fashioned sense of wonder and adventure — as well as a healthy dose of girl power — that makes for an above-average kids’ adventure. But they also note the movie offers a predictable storyline and some hackneyed slapstick. Nim’s Island currently stands at 48 percent on the Tomatomenter. (Take a look at a clip from the film here.)
It appears the folks behind The Ruins feared its critical reputation would be left in ruins, since it was barely screened before its release. Jonathan Tucker, Jena Malone, and Shawn Ashmore star in this tale of a group of tourists who find danger lurking at a remote archaeological site — an obvious oversight by the Lonely Planet people. Kids, take your noses out of that atlas and guess the Tomatometer!
Also opening this week in limited release:
Jellyfish, which follows three Israeli women as their lives intersect at a wedding reception, is at 87 percent;
Shine a Light, Martin Scorsese‘s document of the Rolling Stones live (with special guests like Jack White and Christina Aguilera), is at 82 percent (check out this week’s Total Recall for a look at some of Scorsese’s lesser-known work);
And finally, props to Grendel-san for correctly guessing Superhero Movie‘s 17 percent Tomatometer, presumably while doing battle with Beowulf-san. One question for ya, G.S: is it hard to type with only one arm?
George Clooney, the Mayor McCheese of Hollywood, leaves behind Oscar season and returns to the big screen with lighter fare with the period sports comedy Leatherheads. The PG-13 pic also stars Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski while the former Caped Crusader directs. Given the story of the origins of football in the 1920’s, turnout should come mostly from older adults although The Office star is being counted on to pull in some younger moviegoers. In Los Angeles, Clooney is a God. But the other 99% of the U.S. population doesn’t necessarily bow down to him (unless pals Brad and Matt are along for the ride). Michael Clayton, which creatively was one of the actor’s best films, only managed $10.4M in ticket sales during its first wide weekend. And it was backed by plenty of Oscar buzz and glowing reviews.
Reviews for Leatherheads have been lukewarm at best which spells bad news since the target audience will be reading up on the opinions of critics and taking their warnings. Plus Zellweger is no A-lister when it comes to drawing in paying audiences. Add in a period setting that will turn many off and you’ve got a spring film that will have to work hard for the money. To its credit, Universal has backed the title with a solid marketing push doing what it can to generate excitement and the current top five will not provide too much direct competition. But a lack of momentum in the current marketplace will also have a negative effect on all films. Rushing into 2,778 theaters, Leatherheads may take in around $15M this weekend.
Fox’s animated blockbuster Horton Hears A Who will find its competition coming from the studio’s own new Jodie Foster adventure. But the Dr. Seuss comedy has been holding up well so a 30% fall to $12.5M could result. That would up the cume to a robust $134M.
Superhero Movie stumbled out of the gate last weekend and is not likely to have legs. A 45% drop would give The Weinstein Company roughly $5M and a sum of $17M after ten days.
LAST YEAR: With Easter falling on the first weekend of April, the box office was vibrant thanks to a pair of solid sophomores and a slate of new releases. Will Ferrell‘s skating comedy Blades of Glory spent a second frame on top with $22.5M while the Disney toon Meet the Robinsons held onto second with $16.7M. Leading the newcomers was the Ice Cube sequel Are We Done Yet? with $14.3M on its way to $49.7M for Sony. Opening in fourth was the two-for-one special Grindhouse with $11.6M followed by the new supernatural thriller The Reaping which bowed to $10M. Final grosses reached $25M and $25.1M, respectively. Failing to excite family audiences was Firehouse Dog which debuted in tenth with just $3.8M leading to a weak $13.9M final.
Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com