Weekend Forecast: 6/29/07

Ratatouille
Mmmmmmm…cheese.

FOX is rolling out its big summer sequel a couple of days early so I’m rolling out the Weekend Forecast a couple of days early too. The difference is that the Weekend Forecast doesn’t have Kevin Smith in it and won’t make tens of millions of dollars.

In wide release this week:

  • Ratatouille. The latest from Pixar about a rat with dreams of being a chef in a fancy restaurant in Paris. For me, this is the summer movie I’m most looking forward to. Pixar doesn’t just make good cartoons, they make good movies. The fact that they’re gorgeously animated is a bonus. Yes, they’re family friendly, but they’re not just kid stuff. Plus it’s not another freakin’ sequel. Plus I like food. Plus I have a romanticized ideal of Paris. Can’t wait. Trailer
  • Live Free or Die Hard (Opens Wed. 6/27). Strike 1: it’s PG-13. Strike 2: it has the iTard from the Mac commercials who needs to be punched in the neck. Strike 3: it’s another sequel. Sorry, the original Die Hard was one of the cornerstones of my young movie-going life, but three strikes and you’re out. Trailer

  • Sicko (Opened in NY 6/22). Michael Moore takes on the health care industry. I always worry with Moore that the man gets in the way of the message and the message is rejected because people don’t like the man. The health care mess deserves more than that. I hope Sicko delivers. Trailer
  • Evening. Spectacular cast of women: Toni Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and Claire Danes. The director of the well-regarded Fateless (2006). And yet, something tells me this one is going to suck. Maybe it’s the trailer. Maybe it’s the 20% Fresh rating at Rotten Tomatoes (as of 6/26). I don’t know. I could be wrong. Trailer

In limited release:

  • Strike. (Opened in NY 6/15). The latest film from international cinema titan Volker Schlöndorff based on the true story of an ordinary working woman whose efforts to improve working conditions for welders helped inspire Poland’s Solidarity movement. I’m guessing this won’t be some kind of bogus North Country Lifetime movie of the week thing. Trailer
  • Death at a Funeral. Black comedy from Frank Oz about an eccentric English family. I don’t know. Part of me is drawn to this sort of English comedy and the other part of me is almost always disappointed. This one has Peter Dinklage. If I see it and I hate it, I have no one to blame but myself. Trailer
  • Ghosts of Cité Soleil. Documentary about the gangs that dominate the Haitian slum, one of the poorest cities in one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, declared the most dangerous city on earth by the United Nations.  Music by Wyclef Jean.
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5 thoughts on “Weekend Forecast: 6/29/07

  1. Ratatouille: Definitely seeing this at some point but I stand by my earlier comment that this one will have a little trouble finding the audience that most Pixar movies draw. Should hold up on strong word of mouth and a weak slate of family-oriented films this summer.

    Die Hardererer: Yeah, the trailer peaked my interest but the early word is incredibly negative and Willis has been working every angle trying to claim differently. Sorry Bruno, but I ain’t buying it.

    Patch Borat: Moore’s newest seems to be getting some good reviews but I just can’t get behind the guy that gives documentary filmmaking a bad name. Wish I had seen it on youtube for free.

    Evening: No. Way. In. Hell.

    Strike: It’s doing nothing for me, probably because it sounds like Norma Ray with accents. Sorry, I’m just not interested.

    Death at a Funeral: Great cast on this one but the trailer was awful. It felt like Four Weddings and a Funeral by way of a Steve Martin family comedy. Painfully not funny. The only thing that could make this look worse is Robin Williams playing the loud-mouthed, wacky reverend but I see that’s a different romantic comedy coming out this summer.

    So Ratatouille it is.

  2. Yeah you’ve pretty much nailed my feelings on the whole mess. I could theoretically check out Die Hard just for nostalgia value, but why torture myself?

    I also have a feeling Ratatouille will not be huge, like Nemo huge, but it will still do well. Most importantly I have a feeling I will enjoy it. Ultimately I’m the only ticket buyer I really care about.

    A lot of pressure though as the hopes for my entire summer are resting on the the Rat.

  3. If its as good as the critics are saying, I think Ratatouille might do much better than some are predicting. I don’t think audiences care that they can’t pronounce the title, they know its for kids, has a cute rat (sorta) and is from a company that has given them considerable pleasure in the past. Though I thought Cars was gonna stiff and I was certainly wrong on that.

  4. I agree that Ratatouille will do better than some are predicting. Pixar films have a built-in audience that really doesn’t care about big-name voice talent or concept or wacky trailers. They get what Pixar is about and they’re happy to take a chance on whatever the best in the business are cooking up.

    That said, this is probably the least accessible Pixar-movie concept since Bug’s Life, which still did well but hasn’t really retained much of a following over the years.

    I think Ratatouille will do fine, just not make Cars or Incredibles-sized box office, which is fine for Pixar but disappointing for Disney.

    But I second what Craig said: I’m the only ticket buyer I care about.

  5. The whys and wherefores of the average ticket buy remain a complete mystery to me and whenever I make a prediction I come out looking like a jerk. That’s right, last year I predicted Pirates 2 would be a disappointment at the box office. Anyway, I hope Rat is great and I hope it does well because I want Pixar to be rewarded for being one of the cleverest, most detail oriented group of film guys around.

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