Only Two More 'Christmases' To Go Before We Can Forget It ExistedSeth Abramovitch · 12/08/08 01:21PM
The weekend kicked off with a mild rumbler and closed out with a sputter, as not even Lionsgate's completely stupid Punisher remake of a remake of a remake managed to connect with completely-stupid-movie-loving audiences. Still, things continued to bode well for indepe—we mean specialty films—with Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, and a number of other brain-fertilizing offerings continuing to show specialty legs. That said—buckle-up for a ride on the post-Thanksgiving Deja Vu Express, aka the Grove Trolley to Movie Hell:
'Four Christmases' Quadruples Your Forgettable-Holiday-Movie ExperienceSeth Abramovitch · 12/01/08 12:00PM
Fears that the R-word would keep audiences from the movies this weekend were unfounded, as the name "Reese Witherspoon" still proved an impressive multiplex draw. Have another helping of turkey-chip pancakes topped with cranberry syrup and a pat of yam, as we grind down to the last of the leftovers and run down the box office numbers:
Australia Does Not Celebrate ThanksgivingRichard Lawson · 11/28/08 03:00PM
We hate to say we told you so, but Australia—Baz Luhrmann's sweepy weepy about his homeland in the 1940's—is not doing so well at the ol' box office. Nikki Finke reports that it's basically tanking, ceding top honors to such unambitious, unartsy fare as the darkening Twilight and this weekend's most likely top dog (and we mean dog), Four Christmases.
Vince Vaughn, Nicole Kidman Share Their Turkey in Hollywood Charity TraditionSTV · 11/26/08 11:40AM
Welcome back to a special holiday edition of Defamer Attractions, your weekly guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or stillborn at the movies. And this Thanksgiving, we're grateful for a slate of Wednesday releases granting us a reprieve from another day of Twilight chatter. Not that any of them will surmount last week's blockbuster, but we have a quick and dirty forecast for long weekend's hits, sleepers and subplots, including a glimpse at the biggest disappointment and underdog to come. As always, our opinions are our own, but are easy to bake for that last-minute dessert idea. The full recipe is after the jump.WHAT'S NEW: Speaking of recipes, Four Christmases sure has a fresh one! Mix Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn. Add two cups of diced ensemble players including Robrt Duvall, Jon Favreau, Kristin Chenoweth and Sissy Spacek. Flavor with ball-kicking, pratfall and baby-vomit jokes. Bake for two hours. Serve lukewarm. It's good for about $40 million over five days. Transporter 2 is a little simpler hors d'oeurve for the guys out there, with Jason Statham liberally seasoned with bullets, quick cuts and decibels, turning out $18 million before the main course on DVD. But if you're allergic to the multiplex, you may be best best suited to skip ahead to this week's new home video releases; the art-house kitchen appears to be closed to deliveries for the holiday weekend. THE BIG LOSER: Australia is almost three hours' worth of the expansive (and expensive, at $130 million) hisorical epic no one makes anymore. And despite Oprah Winfrey's lavish endorsement, there's a reason for that: It's one in a generation that actually finds any traction in the two female quadrants whose repeat viewings push it toward box-office longevity and, almost necessarily, Oscar luster. Fox needs half a Titanic here (thus its Hugh Jackman heartthrob push at non-starter Nicole Kidman's expense) to make this work, and for the sake of the studio and director Baz Luhrmann and all involved, we hope they get it. But the middling, $26 million reality — especially on Twilight's likely second week at No. 1 — is what it is.
4 Bizarre Films Coming To A Theater Near YouAlex Carnevale · 11/16/08 04:25PM
In the excitement following last year's Hollywood writer's strike, a lot of projects got restarted or greenlit. The fruits of those labors are now unfolding in movie theaters across the country, and some of them are too weird to live, and too rare to die. Whether it was studio enthusiasm to get any project going, any at all, or a desire to repeat the same old formulas and see if they could still make money (or do so for the first time), these upcoming films seem particularly unlikely to succeed:
Are the executives who put together these projects high, or just crazy enough to be billionaires?
'Esquire' Wants You to Know That Vince Vaughn is Fat NowKyle Buchanan · 11/10/08 06:44PM
When Vince Vaughn first made his mark with Swingers, he was so whippet-thin that his wild, improvised riffs almost seemed to be a unique form of cardio. Now that a decade has passed, though, things have changed — a fact that Esquire's new issue takes great pains to point out. Vince Vaughn is not thin anymore, each line of its cover story (entitled "The Biggest Man in the Room") seems to say. No, Vince Vaughn is now a fatty, a great big fatty fat person. Think we're joking? Enjoy this opening paragraph, with all the ooky, relevant parts bolded in Defamer ChubbyFont™:
Kisses Are For The Second Date, Reese WitherspoonDouglas Reinhardt · 10/22/08 12:15PM
Click to viewBoomp3.com After a lunch date with a good friend, Four Christmases star Reese Witherspoon went in for a kiss since she felt the meal went well. However, Witherspoon’s companion gracefully glided Witherspoon to her cheek. The companion said, “Lunch dates get the cheek. Now, take me to Katsuya and maybe I’ll reconsider the lips.” [Photo Credit: X17] *A Call To The Bullpen is a work of fiction. Although the pictures we use are most certainly real, Defamer does not purport that any of the incidents or quotations you see in this piece actually happened. Lighten up, people ... it's a joke.
Why Can't Reese Witherspoon Get First Billing?Kyle Buchanan · 09/11/08 12:57PM
Correct us if we're wrong, but didn't Reese Witherspoon, y'know, win an Oscar just a few years ago? We're pretty sure she did, but you'd never know it from this poster for Four Christmases, the upcoming comedy she stars in with Vince Vaughn. Despite the fact that Vaughn fired UTA and his manager after the star vehicle Fred Claus opened to less than his first $20 million paycheck, the poster still gives him first billing over the Oscar-winning, A-list Witherspoon (and for another Christmas movie, no less!). To be fair, Witherspoon's last film Rendition was a box-office bust, but she wasn't top-billed on that, either: new beau Jake Gyllenhaal was, despite the fact that he's not yet proven himself as a box office draw. After winning the industry's highest award and proving her ability to single-handedly open a comedy with films like Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, what more does Witherspoon have to do to be called first in the billing block?Is it simply that studios are too terrified to give a woman first billing over a male star, lest people then think the film to be a chick flick? After all, Vaughn's last hit was The Break-Up, the rare romantic comedy with strong male appeal, something that marketing folks might have felt was in jeopardy had costar Jennifer Aniston been first-billed. Four Christmases isn't a romcom but a flat-out comedy, but would it be perceived as the former if Vaughn was subservient to Witherspoon in the billing block? Yes, when compared to Witherspoon, the presence of Vaughn in this film makes us more likely to see it (though still? not very likely), simply because the actor has a track record of enlivening even the most formulaic films with his improvised comic riffs. Still, we wonder just how B- and C-list you'd have to go to find a male costar whom the studio would allow Witherspoon to supplant. In an alternate Four Christmases, could the actress vault over Colin Farrell to claim first billing? Or will she have to settle for a part opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. to claim what, by rights, should be hers?
mark · 12/13/07 12:40PM
Egads! Could it be that actors with dissimilar personalities and performance styles are experiencing some professional friction even as they pretend to love each other in front of a movie camera? Gape in disbelief at a report that the set of Reese Witherspoon/Vince Vaughn holiday romantic comedy Four Christmases is rocked by not-getting-along-great scandal that could threaten the civility of their small talk around the craft services table! "'Vince rolls onto set in the morning looking like he just came in from a night out, while Reese will arrive early looking camera-ready,' says our San Francisco source. 'Then Reese tries to force Vince into blocking out each scene and running through their lines as Vince tries to convince her that he's an ad-libber and wants to play around and see where the scene goes.' ... 'She's a one-take perfectionist and Vince likes to try it a few different ways,' snickers our snitch. 'Sometimes Vince will be standing behind her and he has this look on his face that he just wants to kill her!'" [Gatecrasher]