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It is one funny movie!

Dave Matthews, Bowie, U2 & Others Set For ‘Deeds’

A mix of rock classics by David Bowie, Yes, and Pete Townshend, a new Dave Matthews Band track, and songs by modern hit-makers U2, Weezer, Trik Turner, and Natalie Imbruglia are featured on the “Mr. Deeds” soundtrack, due June 11 on RCA Records.

DMB’s “Where Are You Going,” from band’s forthcoming new album, Busted Stuff, is the first single from Mr. Deeds. The track will impact at alternative, modern AC, top 40, and triple-A radio stations on May 15. A video for the track was recently shot in New York City by director Chuck McBride.

The 12-track album also features “Go To Town,” a new track from Counting Crows, Bowie’s “Space Oddity” with a vocal introduction by the film’s star Adam Sandler, Trik Turner’s recent hit “Friends & Family,” and Weezer’s “Island In The Sun.”

The producers of the soundtrack felt that it would be best to include classic rock originals, such as Townshend’s “Let My Love Open The Door” and Yes’s “I’ve Seen All Good People,” with the new music, rather than commission remakes. “We felt that very few soundtracks had been able to combine new music and classic rock successfully. We aimed for an album that would appeal to both young and old,” RCA Records Senior VP of A&R and Artist Development Bruce Flohr said in a statement.” This soundtrack has a very wide demographic because a lot of kids today are just discovering classic rock, and this may be the first time they’ve heard a Yes song, a Pete Townshend song, or U2’s ‘Sweetest Thing’ for that matter.”

Mr. Deeds, which stars Sandler and Winona Ryder, opens in theaters nationwide on June 28. The complete tracklisting of the soundtrack is: “Where Are You Going,” Dave Matthews Band; “Sing,” Travis; “Let My Love Open The Door,” Pete Townshend; “Sweetest Thing,” U2; “Wrong Impression,” Natalie Imbruglia; “Happy In The Meantime,” Lit; “Island In The Sun,” Weezer; “Friends & Family,” Trik Turner; “Space Oddity,” David Bowie (vocal introduction by Adam Sandler); “Falling,” Ben Kweller; “Go To Town,” Counting Crows; and “I’ve Seen All Good People,” Yes.

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It was a 3 hour and 17 minute, always interesting, never compelling, self- congratulatory bore that I couldn’t take my eyes off of!

NBC summoned it’s stars for a 75th Anniversary Special.

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Way to go, Tiger!

‘Spider-Man’ Makes $114M in Debut

“Spider-Man” has leaped from comic book to record book, becoming the first movie to hit $100 million in its first weekend.

The live-action adaptation starring Tobey Maguire as the Marvel Comics web-slinger shattered box-office records with a $114 million debut, surpassing the previous best of $90.3 million taken in by “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” during its first three days last fall.

With $39.3 million on Friday and $43.7 million on Saturday, director Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” also beat the single-day record of $33.5 million set by “Harry Potter” in its second day, according to studio figures Sunday.

“Not in our wildest expectations or dreams” did the filmmakers anticipate such demand for “Spider-Man,” said Amy Pascal, head of Sony’s Columbia Pictures, which released the film. The studio would have been thrilled with a debut in the $70 million to $80 million range, she said.

Playing in 3,615 theaters, “Spider-Man” averaged $31,535 per location, a new high for films opening in 3,000 or more cinemas, running about $7,000 ahead of the old record held by “Harry Potter.” “Spider-Man” also was the fastest movie to reach $100 million, passing “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars: Episode I ó The Phantom Menace,” which both took five days to climb to $105 million.

“I don’t think there’s a distribution record in history that hasn’t been shattered,” said Jeff Blake, Sony president of worldwide marketing and distribution. “That $100 million opening weekend has always been sort of a great white whale of the movie business. To have `Spider-Man’ capture it is just thrilling.”

With few big films opening this past weekend or next, “Spider-Man” has a fairly wide-open field until the new “Star Wars” film opens May 16.

This past weekend brought two other modest debuts. “Deuces Wild,” a street-gang drama starring Matt Dillon, opened at No. 7 with $2.7 million, averaging a weak $1,824 in 1,480 theaters.

Woody Allen’s comedy “Hollywood Ending” tied for 10th place, grossing $2.2 million in 765 theaters for a $2,876 average.

Overall, the top 12 movies grossed $153.3 million, up 54 percent from the same weekend last year, when “The Mummy Returns” debuted. “Spider-Man” accounted for nearly three-fourths of revenues among the top 12 films.

Ubiquitous marketing, an audience built up through 40 years of comic readership, solid action and visual effects and a tale of an ordinary, misfit youth helped draw an across-the-board audience to “Spider-Man.” The crowds were split about 50-50 between men and women and viewers older and younger than 25, Blake said.

“It is a very universal story everybody can relate to,” Pascal said. “He’s a completely misunderstood guy that nobody recognizes and who just wants to do good. He’s not a hero from planet Krypton. He’s all of us.”

The success of “Spider-Man” bodes well for Hollywood’s overall summer, which is crowded with marquee titles including new “Star Wars,” “Men in Black,” “Austin Powers,” “Stuart Little” and “Spy Kids” movies.

“Spider-Man” also sets a benchmark few films will be able to rival.

“This sets a new gold standard by which the rest of the summer blockbusters are going to be judged,” said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. “Everybody’s going to have to try and live up to `Spider-Man.'”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at North American theaters, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. “Spider-Man,” $114 million.

2. “The Scorpion King,” $9.6 million.

3. “Changing Lanes,” $5.6 million.

4. “Murder by Numbers,” $3.8 million.

5. “The Rookie,” $3.3 million.

6. “Life or Something Like It,” $3.28 million.

7. “Deuces Wild,” $2.7 million.

8. “Ice Age,” $2.5 million.

9. “Jason X,” $2.4 million.

10 (tie). “Hollywood Ending,” $2.2 million.

10 (tie). “Panic Room,” $2.2 million.

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Beam him home, Captain!

‘Star Trek’s’ Scotty hospitalized

Canadian James Doohan, beloved to generations of “Star Trek” fans as Capt. Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, has been hospitalized with a second bout of pneumonia.

Doohan, 82, and a father of a two-year-old daughter named Sarah, is currently recovering from his illness, and is expected home soon, the report said.

Doohan had previously announced that he intended to retire from appearing at the worldwide network of “Star Trek” conventions.

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Cool!

Stan Lee and Kevin Smith chat for a new DVD.

Gimme gimme gimme!

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Comics rock!

Tarantino to Executive Produce New Marvel Film

As “Spider-Man” swings into movie theaters this weekend, filmmaker Quentin Tarantino plans to bring another comic book adaptation to the silver screen.

Tarantino will serve as executive producer of a film based on the Marvel comic series, “Mort: the Dead Teenager,” Tarantino’s publicist Bumble Ward said on Friday. Madonna’s Maverick Films will co-produce the movie.

In a departure from other Marvel comics, the movie’s main character, Mort, is not a superhero, but a teenager who is beheaded in a train accident at the start of the film.

Mort descends in the Netherworld and meets Teen Death, the son of the Grim Reaper, and “the two of them get into all sorts of trouble,” said Zachary Feurer, a producer at Maverick Films. “Mort convinces Teen Death to return to high school with him so he can win back the girl of his dreams, even though he’sdead.”

“The film is a completely unique look at adolescence as seen through the eyes of a fantasy. It speaks to teen-agers everywhere,” Feurer said. “It’s a teen comedy with a ‘Beetlejuice’ sensibility.”

Actress Dominique Swain, who starred in “Lolita,” and Elijah Wood, who recently appeared as the young hobbit Frodo in “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” are being considered for the lead roles, Feurer said.

Director Ang Lee is currently working on “The Hulk” a film based on the Marvel comic, starring Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Connelly and Eric Bana from “Black Hawk Down.” “The Hulk” started filming near San Francisco in April and is expected to be released in June 2003.

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Or it might not

“Spider-Man” could snare opening weekend record.

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That Em is such a cut- up!

Eminem Plays Bin Laden in Video

Eminem’s latest video includes a scene in which the rapper dresses up as Osama bin Laden.

In the video for his new single “Without Me,” Eminem ó whose real name is Marshall Mathers III ó also appears dressed as techno artist Moby, and as a fat Elvis Presley sitting on a toilet.

The video depicts suspected terrorist bin Laden as an old-school hip-hopper who busts into MC Hammer-like dance moves.

It premiered Wednesday on MTV’s “Making the Video” show, and aired again Thursday on “Total Request Live.”

Eminem’s video also parodies several TV programs, including “Survivor” and “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show.”

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So Dan, is there anything new at the Multiplex this weekend?

Why yes there is!

Although there has been no hype whatsoever, he says mockingly, there is an actual Summer blockbuster being released this weekend.

It is called Spider- Man and it is based on the awesome comic book. Is it worth seeing? Is it good? Is it Web-tastic? Well, even though that final one is not a real word, yes it is! It is all three of those things.

And you can read my full review below (should you choose to).

Now, even though you might think that Spider- Man is the only film opening this weekend, it isn’t.

Some parts of North America will also have the opportunity to see the latest Woody Allen film. Called Hollywood Ending it is an incredible comedic romp (if you like Woody Allen), a great comedy (if you like Woody Allen), and a film that is well worth your time and money (if you like Woody Allen).

So (if you like Woody Allen)… and live in one of the few cities showing Hollywood Ending, have a good time!

There is no good time to be had at this weekend’s other new film. Deuces Wild is a mess.

Completed over a year ago and sitting on the shelf it is finally seeing the light of day this weekend. And while every generation needs their own version of The Outsiders, Deuces Wild is not it.

What it is, is a preposterously melodramatic paean to gang-member teens in Brooklyn circa 1958. Tuff-tawkin’ brothers spend their days battling dose doity guys ”da Vipers,” a rival gang out to peddle heroin to the Flatbush Avenue set. Why do drugs bug Leon so much? Because his other brother OD’d, and Leon is haunted by flashback visions of the kid’s demise — discovered, naturally, at the height of a raging thunderstorm.

Blah, blah, blah, blah frickin’ blah! I thought it was a waste of time, but one young guy who saw it when I did said:

“I loved this movie! It’s way better than The Godfather, Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco. It is truly a wonderful piece of film and is sure to become a genre classic.”

I have no conclusion to offer other than he is an idiot, and Dueces Wild is idiotic.

See Spider- Man instead.

Hmmm… Kirsten Dunst… yummy!

So enjoy Kirsten…I mean, enjoy the popcorn and I’ll see you at the movies!

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The Full Length “Spider- Man” Review (For The Third Time)

Spider- Man
Director: Sam Raimi
Screenwriter: David Koepp; Based on the Marvel Comic Book by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Peter Parker/Spider-Man: Tobey Maguire
Norman Osborn/Green Goblin: Willem Dafoe
Mary Jane Watson: Kirsten Dunst
Running time 120 minutes

After years of false starts and legal problems the first big screen version of the classic comic book hero ìSpider- Manî is set to spin into theatres on May 3, 2002.

Director Sam Raimi (Darkman, A Simple Plan, The Evil Dead films) was eventually chosen to give Spidey his cinematic bow over Chris Columbus, who went on to do great things with ìHarry Potter.î That choice plays wise in a film that is rooted in the two worlds that best suit this superhero – a comic- book geography, in which the character can climb and spin through the urban jungle just as non-Ritalin induced kids scamper about a jungle gym, and old B-movies, where things happen with a rush and no one is afraid to be a little corny.

But I like corn. Especially Popcorn.

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) may be close with his beloved Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and idealistic Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), but in a change to the comic books, his academic life isn’t quite so rosy. For one thing, he repeatedly gets picked on by his fellow high school students, but more importantly, the love of his life, red-headed beauty Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), hardly knows he exists.

At a science-class outing to a research lab, Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider. The next morning, he discovers that a) he doesn’t need his glasses, b ) his body is buffed out and c) he has spiderlike powers including the ability to cling to any surface, spin tough-as-rope webs and make tremendous leaps. The movie takes some time to delve into and have a lot of fun with the latter as the young man explores the range of his new abilities.

But not soon after initially reveling in his newfound web-spinning powers, he learns the hard way that with great power comes great responsibility.

Spider-Man’s main opponent this outing is the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), industrialist Norman Osborn in ìreal lifeî and father to his best buddy Harry (James Franco). The Green Goblin is a conflicted villain. He holds schizophrenic conversations with himself — staring into a mirror or at his evil mask –as he struggles against the villainy that has invaded his body. It is once that villainy is set free that ìSpider- Manî really gets into gear.

With a lesser cast the script could have come off as weak and contrived, but in the hands of the exceptionally talented Maguire, Dafoe and Dunst it plays just right. Said script also does a decent job of combining the origins of Spidey as we know it in the comics and creating a new world for him here.

Unfortunately some of the action sequences and computer graphics take away from the movie. Itís almost as if this $100 million+ film was made on a cheap shoestring budget. Maybe if the lighting approach wasn’t so bright, this is not a dark film, it could have covered up the apparent mistakes. I enjoyed the film more than ìSupermanî but it fails in many areas compared to the first ìBatman.î

But I do have to admit that I liked it. I liked it a lot! I thought it was really great! Not awesome, but great!

Ultimately this release does what the doctor ordered: It sets up ìSpider-Manî for a tent pole series that will continue for a long while, or at least until Maguire tires of the role, provides a satisfying first episode and compelling Jekyll-and-Hyde villain, establishes the hero’s love interest in Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson and leaves enough threads dangling so you’re eager for the next episode.

I guess you could say that “Spider-Man” is a flawed masterpiece. A masterpiece that youíll likely see more than a few times.

So enjoy the popcorn, and Iíll see you at the movies!

By Dan Reynish, April 10, 2002.