Each week, we the people of the movie-watching, celebrity-obsessed United States of America are inundated with hundreds of news items, reviews, casting announcements and gossip nuggets related to the juggernaut that is the movie industry. And I don't think I'm alone when I say that it's a whole lot to absorb. Luckily, I like to make things easy for myself and for the people who read this blog, so I'm going to go ahead and do a quick rundown of the five coolest things in movies this week.
1) Something That'll Make You Laugh:'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby'
Thankfully, you shouldn't have to be dragged kicking and screaming to the latest Will Ferrell vehicle 'Talladega Nights,' the tale of a cocky NASCAR stud who meets his match in a gay French driver played by Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G, aka Borat). 'Talladega' marks a return to form for Ferrell, whose Ricky Bobby is lovably hilarious despite the fact that he won't let his best pal (the scene-stealing John C. Reilly) win a race but he will let his two sons Walker and Texas Ranger (classic) tell their grandfather they're going to scissor-kick him in the back of the head.
2) Something That'll Spark Debate:Heath Ledger has nabbed the role of the Joker in 'The Dark Knight,' director Christopher Nolan's upcoming sequel to 'Batman Begins.' Judging by reactions, no one has mixed feelings about this casting call: People either love the idea or want to kick the filmmakers repeatedly in the thorax. Oh yeah, and then there's that whole Mel Gibson thing. Think I may remember reading about that somewhere.
3) Something That'll Make You Cry Like a Little Girl and Then Beg for More:'The Descent'
Despite a premise that sounds befitting of soft-core porn -- six sexy female spelunkers get trapped in an uncharted cave and find themselves stalked by physically exceptional mutant predators -- this British import is the scariest, funnest horror flick in years. It's refreshing to see women step into the role of action hero for a change, and the toned, adrenalized ladies of this film definitely rise to the challenge. As expedition leader Juno, Natalie Mendoza is especially kickass, wielding a pickax with more prowess than most men wield a TV remote control.
4) Something That'll Knock Your Socks Off on Sept. 15:'The Last Kiss'
Yesterday, I saw a long-lead screening of the film, which stars Zach Braff, Jacinda Barret, Rachel Bilson and Casey Affleck, and I'm happy to report that it's like 'Beautiful Girls' meets 'Garden State.' If that sounds like it's right in your wheelhouse, join the club. I'm going to hold off on doing a review until the film's Sept. 15 release date approaches, but just wanted to get some positive buzz out there now. You will like it. Oh yes, you will like it.
5) Something That'll Make 'Die Hard' Movie Fans Happy: Fox announced this week that the next installment of the Bruce Willis' 'Die Hard' action franchise, to be entitled 'Live Free or Die Hard,' will hit theaters on June 29, 2007. Willis is back for another go-around as John McClane, the badass cop with a notorious penchant for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Len Wiseman (director of 'The Underworld' movies AND Mr. Kate Beckinsale) will direct, and rumor has it that 'Accepted' star Justin Long is in talks to join the cast in some kind of sidekick role. The film will center on a terrorist attack on America's computer infrastructure that begins to shut the country down. Hopefully, this does not mean that Willis will be battling the bad guys with a mouse and a Mac Power Book -- although that might explain Justin Long's involvement. (Yeah, he's the guy from those commercials.)
Tags: Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell, Summer Movies