It was an insane — not to mention insanely fun — weekend at WonderCon here in San Francisco. I already reported back on the exciting Watchmen panel, and now I'm giving the lowdown on the panels I attended for Star Trek and Terminator Salvation. The directors of both movies showed up to explain to a crowd of devotees how they think they've done right by fans with these reboots. To read what J.J. Abrams and McG had to say about reviving beloved franchises with care, read more
All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to the titles below you can also watch the Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts political movie Charlie Wilson's War and the horror flick One Missed Call.
With the release of Cloverfield to DVD it seems like this is one JJ Abrams chapter that has officially come to an end (well, at least until the sequel comes out, and the viral marketing campaign for that will surely precede it by about a year). Cloverfield was so overly hyped that I had some reservations going into the movie, but I was happy to report that I had been worried for nothing. It is a frightening monster movie that kept my heart racing.
This movie also earned a reputation for the shaky-cam visual style making some people feel nauseated, though if you were worried about that on the big screen, your home entertainment center will likely make for a much mellower experience. The movie follows a gaggle of 20-somethings at a going away party in New York. When the city comes under attack by a monster, what ensues is a great balance of action, relief, tender moments and "real-life" drama and humor.
As expected, this DVD is packed full of special features including commentary by director Matt Reeves, alternate endings, and the making of the film.
Two more excellent (albeit dark) films out this week, so read more
While most of us had our attention turned to the Super Bowl this weekend, Miley Cyrus fans headed to the theaters in droves to make Disney's 3-D pic Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour the highest-grossing Super Bowl movie of all time.
Jessica Alba's thriller, The Eye came in a distant second, pulling in $13 million compared to Hannah Montana's $29 million. The Katherine Heigl-James Marsden romantic comedy 27 Dresses came in at No. 3, followed by Juno. After being knocked down last week, Juno's return to the top five brought the indie's total gross up to $110 million.
Did I Call it or What? Cloverfield Sequel Already in the Works As soon as I saw Cloverfield I knew immediately that there would be sequels. Making one stand-alone video of a Manhattan monster attack means there could be any number of other videos out there with similar footage — from the New York attack, or from other cities the monster demolished. Basically, all they need to come up with are the various reasons for people to be using a handheld camera.
As soon as I saw Cloverfield I knew immediately that there would be sequels. Making one stand-alone video of a Manhattan monster attack means there could be any number of other videos out there with similar footage — from the New York attack, or from other cities the monster demolished. Basically, all they need to come up with are the various reasons for people to be using a handheld camera.
This easy setup for a sequel combined with the fact that Cloverfield cost $25 million to make and raked in $46 million over its opening weekend alone has now motivated Paramount to team up with director Matt Reeves again for a Cloverfield sequel. Variety states today that the Cloverfield sequel might even be Reeves next project.
While I know I totally called this, there's a part of me that already feels a pending weariness toward the Cloverfield movies. Part of the satisfaction with Cloverfield was the intrigue surrounding it — the sequel(s) will have to consistently think of ways to surprise us. Also, they may want to figure out how to avoid that shaky-cam nausea.
What do you think about a Cloverfield sequel?
Photo courtesy of Paramount
The 300 spoof movie Meet the Spartans took the box office crown this weekend, just barely edging out the latest Rambo for first place. Still, Rambo's numbers are encouraging to studio heads, who appear to be "thinking about reviving Rambo as a franchise." According to Variety, Harvey Weinstein remarked, "Based on these numbers, there should be another one."
Meanwhile, 27 Dresses and Cloverfield swapped places, with Dresses coming out ahead in third place. Cloverfield suffered a decrease in sales of over 68% — maybe news got around about the movie's camera work making audiences vomit. Newbie Untraceable followed up just behind Cloverfield in fifth place, knocking Juno out of the top five for the first time in many weeks.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Personally, I had a good time watching Cloverfield, and while the camera work is a bit nauseating at first, I didn't really have any urge to, well, barf. That doesn't appear to be the case for everyone though, and since its huge opening last weekend the movie has been plagued by some bad word of mouth. Zap2it reports one woman's rough experience immediately after watching the movie:
"I'm really nauseous right now — just hold on for a second," she said, before walking down the hall and retching into a trash can.
Wow. Some are actually predicting these reports might seriously affect ticket sales. So what about you: Did watching Cloverfield make you want to hurl?
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
- Several entertainment bloggers have launched an Adopt a Writer site, which will feature interviews with striking writers.
- Cinematical ponders the possibility of a third Fantastic Four movie. Would this be necessary at all?
- In honor of the Price is Right getting six primetime episodes, TV Squad has a list of the six worst prizes you can win on the show.
- Stereogum has posted video of Lisa Loeb playing inside an Ikea store.
- TV with MeeVee wonders whether David Simon is too angry for his own good on this season of The Wire.
- Hypeful helpfully puts together Rob's party mix from Cloverfield.
- Meanwhile, Popwatch hails the return of Erykah Badu.
January usually isn't the month to expect big things at the box office, but Cloverfield just changed all of that. JJ Abrams' monster flick was No. 1 at the box office this weekend, earning an estimated $41 million and setting an all-time January record, Variety reports. Katherine Heigl's 27 Dresses came in a respectable No. 2 earning $22.4 million — another great opening for this time of year.
On the other hand, the ladies of Mad Money didn't fare well at all over the weekend, coming in low down the list at No. 7. The Bucket List took the third slot while audiences continued to enjoy the little comedy that could, Juno, which came in No. 4.
Despite this weekend's huge numbers, we might not be done yet: Studios could gross even more today if moviegoers head to the theaters on their day off.
Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures
Cloverfield: Something's Coming. . . And It's Awesome I am genuinely surprised by how much I love Cloverfield, the JJ Abrams-produced monster movie which, despite being heavily promoted through viral marketing schemes, has largely managed to remain shrouded in mystery up until today's release. The viral stuff was starting to get exhausting — and ridiculous — and I worried that all this hubbub would be for naught, and all of us Abrams fans would be fiercely disappointed. I was wrong.