New And News: Maybe Sherlock Can Figure It Out- Why Do People Like Alvin And The Chipmunks?

on Monday, December 21, 2009  


It's Monday, which means it's time for New And News, where I preview this week's new releases and highlight some of my favorite news stories over the past week.  Since it is the week of Christmas, Hollywood has decided to give American theaters a whole bunch of presents: three new wide releases debut on Christmas Day, and two other films will see major wide release expansions.  We've got grandiose musicals, detective superheroes, animated chipmunks, elderly affairs, and a whole lot of frequent flyer miles to talk about.  And that's just the New!  Let's get started...

New:

Alvin And The Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (Fox) - 3,700 theaters - Reviews
The fact that the original Alvin And The Chipmunks earned $244 million in 2007 is so unbelievable to me, that I almost don't want to talk about it.  I'm usually all about the middle-American, widely appealing movies, but I just can't get behind these one-joke, gimmicky, poorly animated films.  The trailer for this one features more high-pitched chipmunk voices, dancing girl chipmunks, and utterly inconsequential plot lines.  I try to be impartial, but I'm truly hoping this will under-perform.  Bah humbug!

Sherlock Holmes (Warner Bros) - 3,600 theaters - Reviews

Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, and Rachel McAdams star in this Guy Ritchie new adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's iconic detective.  Warner Brothers is clearly hoping to launch a major franchise here, as they've re-imagined Sherlock as an action hero.  A hefty $80 million was spent on the film, and despite buzz amongst movie buffs, I get the feeling Sherlock Holmes probably won't break out the way the studio is hoping.  (It looks a little bit too much like Van Helsing...)  Reviews are solid, though, and I would love to see this take down the chipmunks.

It's Complicated (Universal) - 2,800 theaters - Reviews

Any time an actress above the age of 50 gets a role, I'm happy.  It's simply not fair that older women aren't represented at the box office.  Unfortunately for most older actresses, though, Meryl Streep takes 98% of these roles.  It's Complicated follows Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep, a bitterly divorced couple.  Over time, Baldwin marries a much younger woman, and Streep begins dating Steve Martin.  The comedy in this movie comes when Streep, in a drunken state, ends up sleeping with her ex-husband, which begins an extended affair with him!  The concept is absolutely fantastic, so I wish the reviews were a bit better, but on the heels of Did You Hear About The Morgans?'s poor performance, It's Complicated should provide a better choice romantic comedy fans.

Up In The Air (Paramount) - 1,800 theaters - Reviews

George Clooney stars as a jet-setting business man who spends most of his life in the air, but his life changes when he finds himself suddenly smitten with a fellow traveler, Vera Farmiga.  Riding the wave of awards buzz, this has done very well in limited release thus far, having already earned almost $9 million in limited release.  With a major expansion on Friday, I'd expect Up In The Air to about double its total this weekend.

Nine (Weinstein) - 1,500 theaters - Reviews

Rob Marshall, director of Chicago and Dreamgirls, brings Nine, yet another musical, to the screen.  With a cast that is adored by Hollywood, featuring Daniel Day Lewis, Kate Hudson, Nicole Kidman, and Fergie, the movie world is extremely excited about Nine.  However, reviews are below average, and the ads have given absolutely no sense of the story.  Like so much of Marshall's work, this looks more about style than substance.  I'm not thinking this will be be a major box office success.

News:

Bryan Singer Returning for X-Men: First Class
I was crushed when the director of X-Men and X2: X-Men United decided not to direct X-Men: The Last Stand... we were so close to having a great trilogy! Thankfully, though, Bryan Singer has decided to direct the latest Marvel spinoff, X-Men: First Class.  I can't wait!

Clash Of The Titans Reshooting... Possibly In 3D?!
Reshoots usually mean a movie is not good.  Adding 3D effects is often nothing more than a desperate attempt to make more money.  Therefore, when news comes out that Warner Brothers' Clash Of The Titans is reshooting and attempting to add 3D to a movie just six months before its release, it tells me that this movie is destined to be a disaster. 

The Hangover 2 To Be Set In Thailand
After coming out of nowhere and earning an amazing $277 million this Summer, The Hangover was all but guaranteed to have a sequel.  CHUD reports that the next film will probably take place in Thailand, taking up a storyline that wasn't used in Old School 2, which never saw the light of day.

5 comments:

Reed Arnold said...

I have to admit it... I started cracking up when the Smurfettes started doing the Single Ladies dance. I agree with everything you said about it, however, and that's why I'm so ashamed. I was in the theater, almost angry and offended they were showing that preview, and then they started dancing... Soon I was laughing uncontrollably.

Grady Smith said...

I had more faith in you, Reed.

Krystal said...

Re. Clash of the Titans reshooting: Colin Boyd at Get the Big Picture blog says the reshoots are "the good kind."

Also I hope Sherlock Holmes makes enough $ to push Warner Bros. over the $2 billion domestic gross mark for 2009. As of yesterday, they just need $52M.

Brandon said...

Saw the trailer for Clash of the Titans, and it looked really cool (and well shot/directed). The hopeful thing for the reshoot, though, would be that research (surveys and focus groups from test screenings) showed that the movie was flawed somewhere. and i'm hopeful that the studio wants to make it a good film, and theyre listening to the audience.

Reed Arnold said...

I know, Grady... I know.

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