This week brings films targeting vastly different markets, with probably little crossover appeal. First up, there is a family friendly comedy which is sure to rule the box office for the weekend, and have the widest appeal. Coming up after that is a horror/thriller which looks halfway decent, but still could go either way. Finally, we have a real life tale translated to film concerning one of the more tragic events of the ongoing war in the Middle East. Seems like a relatively quiet weekend as we build up to the next wave of big summer movies with Live Free or Die Hard, Transformers, and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix set to come out in pretty rapid succession.
1408. (2007, 94 minutes, PG-13, horror thriller, trailer) Stephen King tales turned big screen releases are always an iffy proposition. It seems like more often than not they crash and burn, but occasionally one sticks out — will this be one of them? The trailers look promising, and having John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson in your cast doesn't hurt a bit. The story centers on an author (Cusack) who's made a career out of debunking paranormal events. He checks into a haunted hotel ready to write his next novel, but will he finally become a believer? I am actually looking forward to seeing this. Mikael Hafstrom (Derailed) directs a screenplay from Matt Greenberg, Scott Alexander, and Larry Karaszewski.
Evan Almighty. (2007, 90 minutes, PG, comedy, trailer) Steve Carell stars in this most expensive comedy ever made, carrying a budget north of $175 million. There have been reported arguments between director and studio over marketing, while the budget spiraled up. Honestly, I don't care, I just want to see the movie. It looks like it could be fun, but I doubt it will live up to Bruce Almighty. Still, Carell seems like the right guy to take up the mantle. This time out, God (Morgan Freeman) comes to Carell and requests that he build an ark, so he goes off on a Noah-like quest. Tom Shadyac (Bruce Almighty, Patch Adams) directs a script from Bob Oedenkerk (Barnyard, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist).