Tag Archives: Mike Zembowski

Ghost Rider

This box office hit, unfairly judged by critics is an excellent DVD. The film which has grossed over $200 million worldwide stars Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, Gone in 60 Seconds), Eva Mendes (2 Fast 2 Furious, Hitch), Wes Bentley (American Beauty), Sam Elliott (Hulk), Donal Logue (Zodiac, Blade) and Peter Fonda (The Limey, Easy Rider).

Cage plays Johnny Blaze, a famous motorcycle stunt man who, as a kid, gets tricked into selling his soul, and later learns that he is now the Devil’s bounty hunter. His job, assigned by Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) himself, is to stop Meph’s rebellious son Blackheart (Wes Bentley) from replacing him as the Prince of Darkness. Forced to do the devil’s bidding, Johnny is determined to confront his fate and use his curse and powers to defend the innocent.

DVD special features give viewers a chance to go behind-the-action with bonus feature “Spirit of Vengeance: The Making of Ghost Rider,” which includes commentary with director/writer Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil). The Extended Cut also includes “Sin and Salvation,” which delves into the history of the Ghost Rider comics and how it became a hit. 

The Extended Cut of Ghost Rider also includes an additional 15 minutes of never-before-seen footage including more suspense, more story and more excitement! Additional scenes include more back story between Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) and his father, additional scenes between Johnny and evil incarnate Mephistopheles (Peter Fonda) and an intense confrontation between the Caretaker (Sam Elliot) and Blackheart (Wes Bentley).

Ghost Rider races onto DVD June 12, 2007.

The Silence of the Lambs

Dr. Hannibal Lecter, one of cinema’s most twisted madmen is back in the two-disc The silence of the Lambs Collector’s Edition, newly remastered and complete with never-before-seen extras including documentaries, featurettes, outtakes and over 20 deleted scenes.

The Silence of the lambs carved a niche in Hollywood history by sweeping the top five Oscar categories – only the third film ever to do so – with wins for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay (adapted).

The Silence of the Lambs two – disc Collector’s edition goes deeper into the intrigues of the film, boasting a buffet of chilling extras from behind the scenes and behind-the-mask. Bonus materials include several documentaries featuring all-new material from the contemporary classic film, such as the two-part Silence of the Lambs: From Page to Screen, a three-part examination of the film with director Demme and Foster and a featurette about the film’s chilling score. Also featured are Inside the Labyrinth: Making the Silence of the Lambs, an original “making-of” featurette from the film’s 1991 theatrical release, 22 deleted scenes, an outtake reel, photo gallery, TV spots and a special phone message from Sir Anthony Hopkins.

Fiddler on the Roof

Shout it from the rooftops! Fiddler on the Roof returns to DVD in an all new two-disc collector’s edition containing a host of bonus materials…enough to make even the most humble dairyman feel rich. 

Fiddler On The Roof is a triumph on DVD. The music and picture quality is outstanding, appropriate for any modern day surround sound home theatre. It features audio commentary by director Norman Jewison and Topol, a comprehensive array of featurettes, documentaries both new and vintage, a deleted scene featuring the song “Any Day Now,” photo galleries, original trailers, teasers, TV spots and a special Easter egg, “The Tale Of The Beggar.

Winner of three Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Score (for John Williams), and Best Sound, Fiddler also earned nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Topol), Best Supporting Actor (Leonard Frey) Best Art Direction and Best Director for Jewison’s tragic-comic recreation of pre-Revolution Russia. 

Casino Royale clear box office winner in Canada

By: Mike Zembowski

James Bond landed #1 in Canada weekend box office defeating the tap-dancing penguin taking in 5.2 million compared with only 2.4 million from Happy Feet according to Neilsen EDI, but this not the case south of the border. The Warner Bros. animated penguin romp "Happy Feet" debuted with US$42.3 million on the weekend, grabbing an edge for the No. 1 slot over Sony’s Bond adventure "Casino Royale," which opened with $40.6 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. The two films were close enough that their rankings could change when final numbers are released Monday.

"Happy Feet is just ahead by a flipper," said Paul Dergarabedian, president of box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations. "It’s unusual to have two movies this close, battling for that No. 1 position." Dan Fellman, head of distribution for Warner, said "Happy Feet" was solidly ahead and that the rankings would not flip-flop on Monday.

"It’s not going to happen," Fellman said. "It’s a clear victory here."

"Casino Royale" took an early lead over "Happy Feet" on opening day because of strong adult audiences Friday night. "Happy Feet" dominated the rest of the weekend, drawing big crowds on Saturday and Sunday when family films do their best business.

The box-office leader the last two weekends, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," slipped to third with $14.35 million, lifting its total to $90.5 million.

With the rarity of two movies in the $40-million range, Hollywood had a robust weekend, the top 12 movies taking in $133.6 million. Still, that could not measure up to the same weekend a year ago, when the $102.3-million debut of "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" paced the top 12 to a $171.9-million total at theatres in the United States and Canada.

"Happy Feet" features the voices of Elijah Wood, Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman and Robin Williams in the story of an penguin who cannot carry a tune like his brethren but can tap-dance up a storm.

"Casino Royale," introducing Daniel Craig as British super-spy Bond, fell between the debuts of the previous two 007 flicks, which had been No. 1 and 2 among the franchise’s openings.

The last Bond movie, Pierce Brosnan’s "Die Another Day," holds the franchise record with $47.1 million in November 2002. Brosnan’s 1999 Bond adventure "The World Is Not Enough" premiered with $35.5 million in November 1999.

"I think a $40 million-plus start for a new series of Bonds with Daniel Craig is a great beginning," said Jeff Blake, Sony vice-chairman. "Casino Royale" also brought in $42.2 million in Britain, Russia and 25 other countries where it opened this weekend, Blake said.

In narrower release, two other new movies bombed, Universal’s jailhouse comedy "Let’s Go to Prison" took in only $2.1 million, and Fox Searchlight’s junk-food chronicle "Fast Food Nation" grossed just $390,000.

Christopher Guest’s Hollywood spoof "For Your Consideration" debuted strongly in limited release with $394,000 at 23 theatres. The film released by Warner Independent features a huge ensemble including director Guest, co-writer Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara in a comedy about Academy Awards fever among the cast of a small Hollywood drama.

Emilio Estevez’s Robert Kennedy saga "Bobby" opened well with $67,000 in just two theatres. From the Weinstein Co. and MGM, "Bobby" features an all-star cast including Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, Anthony Hopkins and Lindsay Lohan in the story of people gathered at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles the night Kennedy was assassinated there in 1968.

"Bobby" and "For Your Consideration" expand to wide release this week.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Exhibitor Relations Co. Inc. Final figures will be released Monday.

1. "Happy Feet," $42.3 million.

2. "Casino Royale," $40.6 million.

3. "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," $14.35 million.

4. "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause," $8.2 million.

5. "Flushed Away," $6.8 million.

6. "Stranger Than Fiction," $6.6 million.

7. "Babel," $2.9 million.

8. "Saw III," $2.8 million.

9. "The Departed," $2.6 million.

10. "The Queen," $2.3 million.