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Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 30th, 2008

Looks like Jim Sturgess & Co. gambled right with 21. It managed to collect $23MIL in less than 72 hours. It’s no surprise though that it hit number with the movies it went against this weekend. I mean, seriously, is anyone surprised SUPERHERO didn’t do more than $10MIL? I do hope this is a wake-up call to whoever in Hollywood thought it would be a good idea to spoof one of the greatest superhero films of all time.


The biggest disappointment with this weekend’s new releases was STOP-LOSS and RUN, FATBOY, RUN, which didn’t even get close to making it to the top five. STOP-LOSS only managed to pull in $4.5MIL and RUN, FATBOY, RUN barely scrapped by with $2MIL. War stories normally do very well, especially a film about a war still in progress. With RUN, FATBOY, it probably had to do with the fact that it didn’t market as much as it should have because Simon Pegg definitely has built himself a huge fan base by now.

Oh whale.

Results (Feb. 29- Mar. 2):

Movie Studio Weekend Gross Total Budget
21 Sony $23,700,000 $23,700,000 $35M
Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! Fox $17,425,000 $117,274,000 $$85M
Superhero Movie MGM $9,510,000 $9,510,000 N/A
Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns LGF $7,760,000 $32,828,000 N/A
Drillbit Taylor Par. $7,760,000 $32,828,000 N/A

Source Box Office Mojo

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 29th, 2008

My first thoughts when I saw this poster was, “You’re kidding me right? You’re going to market your film based on the success of another?” It reminded me of the terrible bands that get fame and fortune because of a popular song they covered.

But then I read what this movie was about, and it made complete sense to me. American Teen is a documentary very similiar to the The Breakfast Club in which it invloves “Five total strangers, with nothing in common, except the school they went to. A heartthrob, a princess, a jock, a rebel and a geek. Before the year was over, they broke the rules. Bared their souls. And changed in ways they never dreamed possible.” I find this marketing brilliant, and from what I have been reading, this is one of 2008′s best documentaries. American Teen hits theaters July 25th.

(Click on photo to enlarge.)

Source FilmSchoolRejects

PS I’ve seen Breakfast Club over fifty times. Not kidding.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 29th, 2008


I have good news, and I have bad news. The bad news is, Nicolas Cage is starring in a sort of remake of Bangkok Dangerous. Written by the same guys that did the original (Oxide Pang Chun and Danny Pang) with the same title, but now a completely different story line. This one involves a hitman (Cage) who falls in love with a local women when “VOWED TO NEVER GET INVOLVED.” The original, which is sounds so much cooler involves a deaf-mute hitman. Oh and the good news is, the Cameron Poe hair is back! See Below.

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Source IGN

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 28th, 2008

Rating: 5.5/10

Director: J.P. Schaefer
Writers: J.P. Schaefer, Jack Jones (novel)
Cast: Jared Leto, Lindsay Lohan, Ursula Abbott

CHAPTER 27 takes up where Catcher in the Rye leaves off. It follows Mark David Chapman in his final (free) three days leading up to his murder of John Lennon. Mark looked was obsessed with the book Catcher in the Rye and often believed he was Holden Caulfield, the book’s main character. Catcher was even found at the scene of the crime, and Mark was quoted saying that John Lennon knew where ducks flew during the winter and he needed to know where that was, which was a reference to Catcher in the Rye. (more…)


Kiko Martinez

by: Kiko Martinez
March 28th, 2008


It might be based on a true story, but somewhere in its two hours of drawn out card tricks and casino hopping, 21 gets so unrealistic and immature it busts.

This just might actually be how director Robert Luketic likes to work. He did the same with Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde and no one can forget the insanely childish and unfunny slapping scene between Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in Monster-in-Law. Sure, we might believe that a sorority girl with no law experience could be accepted to Harvard or that an in-law could purposely destroy her son’s relationship out of spite for his detested fiancée, but Luketic always seems to cross the line into lunacy.

He does the same with 21. Based on the book “Bringing Down the House,” 21 is the story of a group of six MIT geniuses who, with the expertise of their professor, learn how to count cards in blackjack and win millions on the weekends in Las Vegas with just enough time to get back for class Monday morning.

First, we meet the innocent Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), a prospective Harvard Medical School student who has worked his entire life to reach the academic success that could possibly put him on the road to becoming a doctor. The problem is that Ben, despite his $8-an-hour job selling suits at a men’s retail store, cannot come up with the $300,000 tuition to the Ivy League without earning a very competitive scholarship that he probably won’t get.


When he is introduced to the world of counting cards, however, Ben, sees a “means to an end” of his financial situation. With the guidance of Professor Mickey Rosa (Kevin Spacey), he and his new friends, including the pretty Jill Taylor (Kate Bosworth), hone their blackjack skills, become “gambling” pros, and set off to Vegas with little to worry about except what they will order from room service in their high-roller suites.

Of course, where there’s money there’s power and when power begins to switch hands within the group, things become testy between Mickey and his minions. Along with the inner turmoil between team members, Cole Williams (Lawrence Fishburne), one of the casino’s security heads has become ever-so suspicious of Ben and his buddies because of the amount of money they are raking in during their weekly visits.

Devoid of any real exciting card playing moments or memorable scenes in Vegas (the girls on the team do stick their heads out of the limo’s moon roof at one point), 21 becomes predictable and cliché from the rise and fall of the main hero to the obvious plot twists and payoff.

Stick to pinochle with your granny on a Sunday afternoon. At least you might get some milk and cookies out of that deal.

Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
March 28th, 2008


David Schwimmer enters the long line of actors who have attempted directing with the new comedy Run Fatboy Run. However, this is not Mr. Schwimmers movie. The movie belongs to the synthetic pot-belly wearing lead Simon Pegg, whose comedic gifts manage to keep the movie working despites the film’s plot, which manages to be both blatantly obvious and paper thin at the same time.

As the gelatinous protagonist Dennis, Pegg is able to create a character so clueless and helpless that you can’t help but find him endearing, in a pathetic sort of way. Which is especially impressive when you consider that the film opens with Dennis running away from his wedding, leaving his beautiful, sweet, and pregnant fiancée crying behind him. The fact that the amusing, but goofy, and average at best looking Dennis could ever get and convince a woman as perfect as Libby (Thandie Newton) to stay with him just reaffirms one of the greatest thing about movies, anything can happen. The geek can get the girl. You can just imagine the courting of Libby by Dennis could be a solid romantic comedy. However, we do not get to see the sweet and likely surprising beginning of Libby and Dennis’ relationship. Instead, we get the sad ending, in which Dennis’ insecurities get the best of him, causing him to do one of the stupidest things anyone could ever do.


Five years later Dennis is still just as foolish as ever. Dennis’ gut has grown over the years but his maturity has not. Dennis is a security officer at a women’s clothing store, and is constantly getting locked out of his apartment, as he cannot afford to pay his rent. Also, despite his good intentions he is failing as a father. However, Dennis finally gets the proper motivation to change his life when he meets Libby’s new boyfriend, the ripped and seemingly flawless Whit (Hank Azaria). With the introduction of Whit, Dennis realizes that his time to possibly win back Libby could run out forever. Dennis decides to make a final attempt to convince Libby that he can see something through to the end, and decides to run in the same marathon as the fit Whit.

There are many laughs to be had on the film’s predictable journey, mostly courtesy of Dennis and his gambling addicted best friend Gordon (Dylan Moran), whose just as much a likeable loser as Dennis. There are a surprising amount of decently funny scenes, with the fistfight between Dennis and Gordon being the stand out. There also a fair amount of quotable lines, including my personal favorite, “that is the second most disgusting liquid I have ever had in my mouth.”

Run Fatboy Run is co-written by Michael Ian Black, and Gordon is exactly the type of character Black loves to play, slimy but not entirely nauseating. Which makes me wonder why Black didn’t play Gordon himself? However, Moran proves to be more than capable in keeping up with Pegg, successfully generating many of his own laughs.


While Moran is able to keep up with Pegg, he is not in enough of the film’s running time to serve as a reliable comedic partner for Pegg, which he had in the form of Nick Frost in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Pegg often has to go at it alone, showcasing both great physical comedy and superior whit, spewing out sly one-liners with ease. Pegg is even able to carry the film through its slower and more emotional scenes. If Run Fatboy Run ever begins to drag, Pegg is always there to pick it back up and put it on his shoulders, turning in a fantastic performance that will probably go unnoticed because of the film’s genre and plot.

Yeah, David Schwimmer directed Run Fatboy Run, and yeah, he actually does a fine job. However, while David Schwimmer’s directorial debut maybe what most people are thinking about going into the theater, it is Simon Pegg’s great comedic performance as the “fatboy” that will have audience members smiling as they exit the theater?

Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
March 28th, 2008


“What the hell happened to these guys?”

These are the concerned words of Michelle (Abbie Cornish) that appear around the half way point of the Stop-Loss, the new film by Boys Don’t Cry director Kimberly Peirce. Michelle’s worried words come as a result of the alarming incidents by the American soldiers returning from Iraq to their small base town in Texas. War happened to these guys, and its resulting effects on these soldiers lie at the center of this earnest film.

The film’s title suggests that the film is more of an in-depth analysis of the practice of stop-loss, which is when a soldier is suppose to be discharged from the military, but instead are told they must return for at least one more tour of duty. However, the stop-loss of the film’s protagonist is merely a MacGuffin, creating the event that allows for the study of these damaged characters.

Being stop-lossed inspires Brandon King (Ryan Phillipe) to drive from Texas to Washington D.C. in search of a certain Senator, who Brandon believes can help with his current problem. Along the way Brandon visits the family of a deceased soldier nicknamed Preacher, who served under Brandon during the war. Brandon also visits Rico Rodriquez, another soldier who was in his unit back in Iraq. Rico is still alive but has lost a leg and an arm, and large amount of his skin has been scarred. The battle that claimed Preacher’s life and most Ricardo’s body was led by Brandon, and is shown in the beginning of the film. This battle is surprisingly intense and arguably one of the most realistic gun battles to appear on screen in recent memory. Obviously Brandon feels a large amount of guilt for what happened to these men. Both scenes are emotionally poignant and shot with the perfect amount of discipline. Peirce doesn’t rely heavily on sobbing close ups or over the top dramatic music. The audience is simply watches Brandon as he confronts two of his most painful memories, a confrontation that being stop-lossed caused to happen sooner, if at all, for Brandon.


Brandon’s companion for the journey is Michelle, the fiancée of Brandon’s fellow soldier and best friend Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum). Michelle’s willingness to go with Brandon might have to do with Steve’s own recent incidents since returning home. On Steve’s first night home he attempted to dig his own sleeping quarters in the front yard, as if he was back in the war, the amount of alcohol consumed by Steve earlier in the day most likely had a large part in this strange act. However, it is the character of Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon Levitt) who strongly looks to alcohol to help him deal with the fallout of returning back to America. Tommy takes to drunk driving and various other alcohol induced acts, as he simply cannot handle all his various emotions.

Through most of the Stop-Loss, the audience observes sympathetically as these soldiers try to adjust to life back home. The film’s characters experience many emotional and sometimes violent outbursts, including a fistfight in a cementary, when the time for words has run out for Steve and Brandon. As you can see these men are not all right, and who knows if they will be ever be at peace again, certainly not them. A stop-loss may kick off the film, and a statistical quote about the controversial practice may accompany the ending credits. However, the majority of Stop-Loss is comprosed of poignant scenes in which the film’s characters unsuccessfully try to bumble around as their former selfs.

The key cast members of Stop-Loss are fairly young, with the oldest being Mr. Phillippe at age 33. Which may help explain MTV’s involvement in the film, which is usually not concerned with characters studies but rather breezy comedies. While most of these actors are still in their twenties, they are able exhibit the necessary maturity in their performances. Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Tommy is the third lead, but is equally if not more impressive than the other two male leads. The baby-faced actor is able to transform himself into a soldier trying to unsuccessfully hold all of his pain inside of him. Due to the quality of Joseph Gordon’s Levitt’s performance, you never question Tommy’s quiet torment.

As part of her research for the film Ms. Peirce interviewed many current soldiers, obtaining over a hundred hours of footage. Ms. Peirce’s interaction with these soldiers has obviously caused her to care very deeply for these people; this affection is evident with the very real and endearing characters she has created in Stop-Loss.


One cannot go to war and participate in combat and not change, regardless of the circumstance, a part of your humanity will be altered forever. Ms. Peirce wants to show just how of high of a price that these current soldiers are paying for their country. Stop-Loss may contain a few war clichés and some less than fresh dialogue at times, However, it is still a strong film, full of heart, and definitely one that should be experienced.

PS: A video review has been shot for Stop-Loss and will be up very shortly.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 27th, 2008

Jim Sturgess is new to the acting game, but I think he’s going to have a good long career in Hollywood if he keeps up what he’s doing. He’s super nice, a bit shy, but has a very good sense of humore. Sadly, the studio behind 21 made me cut off six minutes of footage, but hopefully you will enjoy what’s here. I’m way too tired to write anymore. I almost wrote “right” for “write.”


Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 27th, 2008


There was speculation floating around about the delaying of Spike’s MUCH anticipated big screen adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are due to the film not looking too promising. Spike fans new that wasn’t true, and today it’s been proven.

The main problem with the film is that Spike stayed so true to the book, that the dark parts were deemed “too scary for kids” resulting in re-shoots, cuts, and different paths the film should take.

Academy Award winner Forester Whitaker plays the main monster in the film, Ira, the one who “punches holes in the trees.” He is backing the original cut because he took his three young kids to an early screening and said, “It was intense. They liked it, though. They enjoyed it… I’m going to call Spike and find out what’s going on,” he promised. “The thing is, it’s one thing to read [scary stuff] in a book, but when you see an itty-bitty kid running alongside a 10-foot-giant on the side of a cliff, it gets intense. But that’s the point, because we’re representing the things inside of the kid. They represent his struggles, either him being too angry or being confused, or not feeling like he belongs. They’re a gargantuan extension of the way he’s feeling inside.”

RIGHT ON Forest! Read the rest of the interview he shared with MTV HERE.

Cool Fact: Spike Jonze started out directing skateboard films in the mid-90s, and is co-owner of Girl Skateboards. Represent!

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 26th, 2008


To celebrate David Schwimmer’s (yep, Ross directed a good movie) release ofRun, Fatboy, Run, Picturehouse Entertainment has released an online game where you control a short stubby version of Simon Pegg. You’re goal is to help him run his marathon and avoid beer, running into people, and bad food.

Click HERE to Make Simon Pegg run! The movie opens this Friday!

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 26th, 2008

‘Tis this season for remakes, and why not a horror film? And why not a horror film in 3D, oooooh! The blonde bombshell has signed on to star in the lead role of My Bloody Valentine 3-D, which centers around a guy who offs people that celebrate Valentine’s Day. Jamie comes in when she marries her teenage sweetheart’s nemesis, and has a child with him. Years later, her teen love are reunited, and she still has a flame for that man. Make sense?


My Bloody Valentine 3-D will be directed by Patrick Lussier (the guy behind the straight-to-DVD sequel of White Noise and film editor of the Scream franchise) and written by newcomer Zane Smith. Valentine has a tentative release of Jan. 23, 2009. You can next see Jamie in the long awaited Fanboys, and she just finished wrapping up Frank Miller’s The Spirit

Source Hollywood Reporter

PS There is a band called My Blood Valentine that really sucks.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 26th, 2008

Good news everybody. The always funny Will Ferrell has finally stepped outside of the arena, but still walks into familiar territory. Here is a a first look at Mr. Ferrell on the set of Land of the Lost, the tv adaptation about a family who accidentally stumbles upon a land of dinosaurs.






Source JFX

PS I remember this show as a kid. I remember this show only lasting ONE season as a kid. Please God, let them take their time on the CGI.

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 26th, 2008


I stopped watching these after the first, and most people started complaining after the second, but if you’re going to keep giving money to the man, the man’s going to keep pumping out sequels.

Julie Benz, Dex’s lovely on and off again girlfriend, is billed to lead the cast in Saw V, opening this October 24th. I’m sure it’ll involve crazy death scenes and a huge plot twist at the end. I hope I’m not giving too much away.

Saw V was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan and David Hackl will take the director’s chair.

PS You can next see Julie in the comic book adapation The Punisher: The War Zone, which will no doubt be a box office failure.

Source Variety

Chase Whale

by: Chase Whale
March 25th, 2008


Michael Fleming of Variety reports Moxie and Killer Pictures are joining forces to make The Man Who Invented Fidel: Castro, Cuba and Herbert Matthews of the New York Times, a novel by New York Times writer Anthony DePalma.

Herbert Matthews, being one of the top foreign correspondents of this time, who was smuggled into the jungles of the Sierra Maestra Mountains to get the first (detailed) recorded interview with Castro. The book focuses on how Matthews’ opinionated views of Castro influenced his rise to power.

No director or screenwriter has been released yet.

Source Variety

Rusty Gordon

by: Rusty Gordon
March 24th, 2008

The Mist
Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, William Sadler, and Toby Jones
Directed by: Frank Darabont
Synopsis: An artist (Jane) and his son get trapped in a grocery store along with other survivors as a mysterious mist overtakes a small New England town. In the mist lives various monsters that look and act like mutations of various earth creatures. Based on a short story by Stephen King.
In a few words: Bad CGI and a large number of horror clichés keep this film from being anywhere close to as poignant or terrifying as the filmmakers intended. Read the full review HERE.

: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, and Alexandra Maria Lara
Directed by: Anton Corbijn
Synopsis: Based on the life Joy Division lead singer Ian Curtis, who took his own life at 23.

Watch the video review HERE.

The Kite Runner
Starring: Khalid Abdalla, Shaun Tobb, Zekeria Ebrahimi, Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada
Directed by: Marc Forster
Synopsis: “After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.”

Lost Highway (1997 Widescreen)
: Bill Pullman, Patricia Arquette, Balthazar Getty
Directed by: David Lynch
Synopsis: “Fred Madison, a saxophonist, is accused under mysterious circumstances of murdering his wife Renee. On death row, he inexplicably morphs into a young man named Pete Dayton, leading a completely different life. When Pete is released, his and Fred’s paths begin to cross in a surreal, suspenseful web of intrigue, orchestrated by a shady gangster boss named Dick Laurent.”

Bonnie and Clyde (Two Disc Special Edition)
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, and Gene Hackman
Directed by: Arthur Penn
Synopsis: “A bored small-town girl and a small-time bank robber leave in their wake a string of violent robberies and newspaper headlines that catch the imagination of the Depression-struck Mid-West in this take on the legendary crime spree of these archetypal lovers on the run.”

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