Friday at the Movies: Weekly News Roundup!

At BWP, we plan to bring you as much news from the entertainment industry as we can legally jam through your nose and into your brain. Surprisingly, in most states and provinces, the amount is fairly large, so get ready for a large intake!

Every Friday, I will recap the week's biggest stories from around the movie industry, including new releases, hirings, firings, interviews, and pretty much anything that I might consider even remotely interesting. We can't posts blogs on everything of course, so we hope this little round-up will do the trick in satisfying your craving for news, rumors, gossip and all of that stuff!

If we miss anything, don't hesitate to post it in the comments and we'll add it to the blog.

So without further adieu, here is the first "Friday at the Movies" Weekly Roundup!

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R.I.P LESLIE NIELSEN

The biggest news of the week was no doubt the death of comedic icon Leslie Nielsen. Probably known best for his role in the 1980 classic Airplane! as the hilarious Dr. Rumack, as well as The Naked Gun series as the iconic Sergeant Frank Drebin. Interestingly enough, the comedic legend also showed his acting chops as a serious actor in the 1956 cult science-fiction film Forbidden Planet and then in The Poseidon Adventure in the 70s.

It would really be unfair for me to limit Leslie Nielsen's career to just this handful of movies, or even a couple of paragraphs in a news recap post. Appearing in over 200 movies and on TV over 1500 times, Leslie Nielsen is one of the most versatile and talented actors in TV and movie history. He was a household name, and engraved his name on the hearts of movie fans everywhere with many of his roles. He's also been in many flops and simply bad movies, but we'll give him a pass for just about all of them.

To say that he will be missed would be an extreme understatement.

All that seems appropriate is the following video:

Rest in Piece.

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BOX OFFICE PREVIEW

December is a big month for movies, as it is the start of "Oscar season", and many films need to get out to theaters in order to wow Oscar voters and make themselves eligible for the biggest movie awards show of the year. Many of these films are rushed and only end up appearing in a few theaters, and that's the case for most of the releases this week.

Black Swan seems to be the standout on the list, as it's definitely catching the good eye of many reviewers (it stands at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes as of this writing). Starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, and directed by Darren Aronofsky of The Wrestler, the film follows a ballerina's (Portman) tribulations as she is cast in a production of Swan Lake, and could very well find itself in many brackets when the Oscar nominations are announced.

The week's only wide release is The Warrior's Way, a stylistic fantasy/action movie with South Korean action star Jang Dong Gun and Geoffrey Rush. It currently has no ratings on RT, which would likely indicate that it's probably not very good if Reviewers don't get to watch it prior to release.

Also releasing this week in few theaters are I Love You, Phillip Morris, an R-rated comedy about two gay convicts starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, and All Good Things, a thriller starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella.

All in all, unless you're lucky enough to live in the "selected" markets for the limited releases of the week, it's likely time to catch up on some missed films, or stay in and rent a good movie.

In terms of the box office, expect Tangled and Harry Potter to maintain their dog fight for 1st place, with both films hovering around the $25-$30 million mark in 1st and 2nd place. Third to fifth place will likely be another dog fight between Megamind, Unstoppable, Burlesque the Warrior's Way and Love and Other Drugs. We'll have your official report at the end of the weekend.

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NEWS AND NOTES

- As you all know, I'm a fan of Jackass 3D and pretty much anything these guys come up with. Well, they're at it again, as they will be releasing Jackass 3.5 on the Internet (and later on DVD and Bluray), a collection of clips from the cutting-room floor of Jackass 3D as well as new footage shot in Europe. The feature will be 83 minutes long and will mimick Jackass 2.5, which is one of the most downloaded videos in iTunes history. And yes. It's going to be awesome.

- The people behind the Oscars turned some heads this week, as it was announced that Anne Hathaway and James Franco would be co-hosting the oscars on February 27th on ABC this year. It's a nice change from the normal, irrelevant stage actor and/or comedian playing to the crowd and to current events, as, you know, Hathaway and Franco are actually relevant. Both could find themselves nominated on the show they're hosting, Hathaway for "Love and Other Drugs" and Franco for "127 Hours". Both are great actors, and both have shown they can be funny and entertaining in front of crowds as well, as both have hosted Saturday Night Live and Franco of course is known for his comedic roles. I'd say this one definitely deserves some positivity.

- It was also announced this week that Tom Hanks was the first star to sign onto Triple Frontier, Kathryn Bigelow's follow up to the Oscar-winning "The Hurt Locker" from last year. According to ComingSoon.net, Triple Frontier "is an ensemble picture set in the notorious border zone between Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil where the Igazu and Parana rivers converge -- making "la triple frontera" difficult to monitor and a haven for organized crime". Mark Boal is attached as the screenwriter but no other actors have been announced for the film.

- News from the next Christopher Nolan Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" (Vivid entertainment isn't going to be happy about that title), as Aaron Eckhart confirmed that Two-Face would not be in the sequel, and Nolan himself confirmed that there will be no footage of Heath Ledger as the joker in the film either, as rumors had spread that a use of footage from the 2008 film as well as CGI would be used to bring Ledger into the film for a cameo. The script has not been finalized as of yet, and filming with an all-new set of villains yet to be announced (all we know is it won't be The Riddler either), as well as of course Christian Bale, is set to begin in 2011.

- Speaking of Chris Nolan, it was also revealed yesterday that he would be dropping the Superman reboot as a project in order to focus on The Dark Knight Rises. While this is good news for Batman fans, Superman fans should be disappointed as the chances of seeing a good Superman movie for the first time in decades has now been significantly reduced. Meanwhile, director Zach Snyder is still looking for his lead, and if it isn't Jon Hamm, I might be pretty angry. Hulk angry.

- The troubled filming production of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" hot another snag this week, as accusations of racism hit the set after a Pakistani woman was denied an audition to be a lady-hobbit because she wasn't "pale" enough. We'll leave that one at that.

- In more hate-related prejudice news, Johnny Depp was interviewed on the set of Pirates 4, and claimed that Disney executives hated his "gay" interpretation of Jack Sparrow. It was also revealed today that Pirates 5 and 6 have also slowly entered the mind of Disney execs, and will likely film back to back, a growing trend in Hollywood these days.

- Finally, it was announced that Channing Tatum would be joining Jonah Hill in the big screen adaptation of the TV series from the 80s, 21 Jump Street

Stay tuned for more news and many more features to hit our blogroll!

George Prax
www.thecheckingline.com
www.twitter.com/GeorgePrax

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Comments 5
Tyg's picture

Looking forward to the next Dark Knight sequel (big Chris Nolan & Christian Bale fan) & Triple Frontier. Also may check out Black Swan. Rest of it... meh. And nice tribute to Leslie Neilsen. To this day I still watch the Naked Gun movies - don't judge me!

George Prax's picture

Thanks Tyg. TDK was one of my favorite movies ever so ya you could say I'm excited for the sequel lol. I was actually considering making a separate post for all the Batman news but hey it is what it is.

Micheal A. Aldred's picture

Great article, very interesting stuff going on and damn I'm gunna miss Leslie Nielsen!

Patrick Storto's picture

What do they mean by Triple Frontier being a 'follow up' to the Hurt Locker? Not sure how I feel about big name actors being in a movie like that. One of the things that I really loved about the Hurt Locker is how they made such a great movie without the need of big names.

George Prax's picture

Follow-up in the sense that it's Kathryn Bigelow's next movie. And I think it depends completely on the actor. I have faith in Tom Hanks.