"Funny People" Wins Box-Office Weekend with $23.4M 

Writer-director Judd Apatow's "Funny People" led the pack with $23.4 million. The Adam Sandler-Seth Rogen bromantic dramedy debuted at the top spot of the box-office weekend.

Many studio insiders are calling this a "modest weekend" compared to last summer's spectacular same weekend showing of "The Dark Knight" with $42.7 million followed by "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" with $40.5 million.

Coming in second for this weekend was the fantastic "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" with $17.7 million, so far raising its domestic total to $255.5 million.

Meanwhile, previous weekend's box-office champion, "G-Force," slipped to No. 3 with $17.1 million, lifting its total to $66.5 million.

The sad story of the weekend? 20th Century Fox's "Aliens in the Attic" which opened at No. 5 with $7.8 million at 3,106 theaters! Yikes!

Here's the Top 10 list of box-office films for weekend of July 31st:

1. "Funny People," $23.4 million.

2. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," $17.7 million.

3. "G-Force," $17.1 million.

4. "The Ugly Truth," $13 million.

5. "Aliens in the Attic," $7.8 million.

6. "Orphan," $7.3 million.

7. "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaur," $5.3 million.

8. "The Hangover," $5.1 million.

9. "The Proposal," $4.8 million.

10. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," $4.6 million.

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Far Out! Take a Trip with "Taking Woodstock!" I Enjoyed this Film! 

I feel so blessed to have seen "Taking Woodstock," another knockout film from director Ang Lee. By the way, Lee is one of the greatest living directors around. He can go from action ("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") to Brit Lit ("Sense and Sensibility") to comic book genre ("Hulk") to searing drama ("Brokeback Mountain") without missing a beat!

And I haven't even added "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Lust, Caution," and "The Ice Storm." I cannot think of a director who has worked in such a wide canvass.

In "Taking Woodstock," Lee, working from James Schamus' screenplay, creates a film so richly layered and textured centering on the making of a monumental event that changed the landscape of pop culture forever -- Woodstock.

Based on the book by Elliot Tiber called "Taking Woodstock: A True Story of a Riot, a Concert, and a Life," comedian Demetri Martin is refreshingly complex as the book's author who becomes the crux of the concert. Without him, Woodstock might not have happened.

All the supporting players are excellent including Imelda Staunton as Eliott's money-hungry mom, Henry Goodman as his forgiving father, Emile Hirsch as the deluded, Vietnam-vet, Jonathan Groff as concert promoter Michael Lang, and Liev Schreiber as Vilma, the cross-dressing security guard.

I'll post my full review soon, as well as my interviews with the cast. But for now, save the date, "Taking Woodstock" opens August 29, don't miss it!

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"Chicago" Director to Helm "Pirates of the Caribbean 4?" 

Get ready for a song and dance extravaganza from Captain Jack Sparrow!

Choreographer-turned-director Rob Marshall is in serious talks to take over the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise from director Gore Verbinski.

Verbinski chose to jump the ship and work on the movie adaptation of the videogame "Bioshock." Though that film is stalling right now, the director has moved on to other producing and directing projects.

If negotiations go well, the production of the fourth installment will set sail for an early 2010 start. Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney are eager to push the project forward before they work with Johnny Depp for "The Lone Ranger" film. They want to work with the actor for a new "Pirates" then hi-ho silver they go!

Bruckheimer and the studio are optimistic that Marshall will come on board that they've begun casting new characters for the new "Pirates" film.

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My Fun "Funny People" Movie Review! Stand-Up Comedian, I Ain't! 

I visited our lovely Fantasy Springs Resort Casino to do my stand-ups for my "Funny People" review. It's a fun, local casino, and they opened their Improv door just for me :happy

I wanted to do my stand-ups pretending I'm a stand-up comedian and the result? I think it's funny, people!

So yeah, writer-director Judd Apatow recruited Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Schwartzman, Leslie Mann, and Eric Bana to act side-by-side with Adam Sandler in "Funny People." A film so serious, it's funny!

Take a look at my review and have fun! (For my written review of "Funny People," click here)

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"Alien" Prequel in the Works! Director Ridley Scott Set to Return! 

Get ready to revisit "Alien." The groundbreaking 1979 film is getting a prequel, and Ridley Scott, the original director is set to return!

YAY! This is the first time Scott is directing an "Alien" movie made after his visionary film came out.

The genesis of the project started with screenwriter Jon Spaihts who was hired to pen the script based on his pitch to Twentieth Century Fox.

The plot of the film? Variety is saying:

It will precede that film (the original "Alien"), in which the crew of a commercial towing ship returning to Earth is awakened and sent to respond to a distress signal from a nearby planetoid. The crew discovers too late that the signal generated by an empty ship was meant to warn them.

So who is Spaiths? Apparently, he's the go-to-guy for space thrillers. He has written many scripts that are currently in pre-production like the Keanu Reeves sci-fi "Shadow 19," there's the space journey film "Passenger," and "Children of Mars" for Disney and Scott Rudin.

Wow, the powers-that-be in Hollywood have such great faith on Spaiths and his sci-fi know-how that he better deliver a fantastic script for the "Alien" prequel!

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