A.J.'s Movie News Rewind!
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December 27, 2001:  The Fellowship Vs. The Phantom:  Racking up an impressive one-day total of $18.2 million, Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring takes third place for all-time Wednesday release box-office haul.  First place remains Star Wars: Episode  I- The Phantom Menace at $28.5 million, and second place is last year's Jurassic Park III with $19 million.  Yeah, but Fellowship of the Ring isn't a sequel!  And were either of those other movies nominated for best picture?  I'll bet Fellowship will be!
December 18, 2001:  Green Too Blue With Drew:  'Comic' Tom Green has filed for divorce after only five months of marriage to Charlies Angels 'actress' Drew Barrymore.  Yes... TOM filed against DREW... go figure!
December 17, 2001:  December is Schwarzenegger Month: With four news stories (now five!) mentioning Arnold Schwarzenegger, December has been deemed 'Arnie Month' at A.J.'s Movie News.  When asked to comment, Schwarzenegger replied, 'Thanks very much for the honor, and be sure to rent Jingle All the Way, it's lots of fun for the whole family!' Jingle All Zee Vey? 
December 14, 2001:  More T3 News:  The storyline for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines takes place 20 years after the events of T2, and will involve John Connor and his cyborg friend, T-800 Arnold Schwarzenegger, battling against a female Terminator!  Two words:  Borg Queen.
December 13, 2001:  Winona!  Say it Ain't So!:  Actress Winona Ryder was arrested wednesday for allegedly attempting to shoplift over $4,000 in merchandise from Sak's 5th Ave on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles.  Okay, that's it... the world no longer makes sense to me!

December 10, 2001: Schwarzenegger Wipes Out:  Action star Arnold Schwarzenegger suffered broken ribs today in a motorcycle accident.  Don't worry... he'll be back!
December 9, 2001:  Ocean's Washes Away Potter's Spell:  The remake of the rat-pack heist flick Ocean's 11 scored big during it's debut weekend, easily taking the top spot from king-of-the-box-office-hill Harry PotterGee, and it only took George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon to do it!
December 7, 2001:  Crocodile Who?:  Real life croc-jock Steve Irwin, fearless host of television's Crocodile Hunter's Croc Files, will star with his wife and co-host Magda Szubanski in Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course, the feature film now shooting in and around Brisbane, Australia.  Crikey, mate!
December 5, 2001:  Back to the Movies: Two films thoughtfully pulled from release following the September 11th terrorist attacks have found new release dates.  Collateral Damage, the anti-terrorist actionfest starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, will be released on February 8, 2002.  Big Trouble, the 'bomb in the suitcase' comedy starring Tim Allen, will debut April 5, 2002. 
December 3, 2001:  Terminator 3 to be Most Expensive Pic: Not to be outdone in the Hollywood war of big budgets, the third film of the Terminator saga is reported to have a budget in excess of $170 million.  The most expensive movie to date is Pearl Harbor, at a cost just over $140 million.  T3 begins shooting in April, 2002 with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Edward Furlong to star, Jonathan Mostow to direct.  Wow, think how much it would have cost if James Cameron were directing!
December 1, 2001: Clooney Cruising for a Bruising: Hollywood reports that George Clooney is viing for the affection of Miss Renee Zellweger... Hands off, Clooney, if you know what's good for you...  Renee is MY girl!
October 5, 2001:  A.J.'s Movie News on Hiatus: Movie News and More will return on Dec. 1st, 2001.   Can't wait, can you?!
October 4, 2001:  Next John Cusack Project:  John Cusack plans to follow this fall's romantic comedy, Serendipity, with a darker, more serious project.  The film, Max, will star Cusack as the owner of a Munich art gallery, who attempts to mentor a young struggling painter by the name of Adolf Hitler.  Uh, oh... sounds like Obi-Wan and Darth Vader all over again! 
September 20, 2001:  2001 Returns for 2001:  Stanley Kubrick's classic science-fiction epic will return to select U.S. theatres this October with a brand new digitally enhanced print and remastered soundtrack.  Oh, great... that means they'll end up re-releasing the DVD... a third time!  Argh!
September 13, 2001:  U.S. East Coast Events - Hollywood Responds:   In response to tuesday's reprehensible acts toward the people of the United States, World Freedom, Democracy and Peace, the following film releases have been postponed until further notice:  Big Trouble (scene involving bomb on airplane),  Collateral Damage (plotline deals with terrorism against a Los Angeles skyscraper),   Sidewalks of New York (romantic comedy set in The Big Apple)  Also, Sony Pictures has pulled the preview trailer for Spider-Man, which depicted a helicopter becoming stuck in a web between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.

                                AUSTIN POWERS in GOLDMEMBER
                                          I can't wait to hear the theme song!
August 29, 2001:  I SPY hits the big screen:  The 1960's NBC series is the latest from TV land to be dusted off for a feature film franchise.  The series starred Robert Culp and Bill Cosby as an unlikely pair of spies.  Eddie Murphy, Owen Wilson, and Famke Janssen will star in the remake, to be directed by Betty Thomas.  It's SPY FEVER!  Austin Powers III, James Bond 20, Mission: Impossible III and now this!  Somebody tell Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd that Spies Like Us: The Next Mission is a go!
August 20, 2001: STAR TREK DVD REDUX:  Paramount Home Entertainment is set to release the first of the Star Trek films in a 'Director's Cut Edition', to be available on November 6, 2001.  The two disc set for Star Trek: The Motion Picture will include documentaries, deleted scenes, technical commentary, outtakes and the 136 minute version of the film.  In other words, all the stuff they should have included the first time they released the DVD.  D'oh!
August 15, 2001: Vin Diesel Goes XXX: Tough guy Vin Diesel is set to star in XXX, a spy thriller to be released for Summer 2002.  What?  You were expecting something else? 
August 13, 2001:  Pie Flys High While Osmosis Groans: The R rated comedy American Pie 2 debuted at #1 over the weekend, managing to bank  $45.1 million in U.S. ticket sales.  The action / comedy sequel Rush Hour 2 falls to #2 taking in $31.5 (less than half of it's previous week total of $67.4 million), the Nicole Kidman shocker shocks the experts with a very respectible $13.7 million haul, and the animated / live-action Bill Murray vehicle Osmosis Jones brings up the rear with a miserable, embarrassing, dismal, pathetic, depressing excuse for a box office return at $5.6 million.  Osmosis Jones, you are... the weakest link!  Bye!
August 10, 2001: Jackie Chan To Become Legend in France:  Plans for a remake of the 1960 Jerry Lewis comedy The Bellboy, to star comic martial arts master Jackie Chan, have been fast-tracked following the success of his film Rush Hour 2.  Jackie will be paid $20 million for the part.   
August 9, 2001:  Ben Affleck and Kevin Smith- Together Again:  As inconceivable as it may seem, Ben Affleck is set to star in Kevin Smith's next film, reported to be a low budget chronicle based on Smith's own experiences raising his 2 year old daughter.  The film will be similar in tone to Smith's 1997 romantic comedy Chasing AmyTrivia!  The movie Chasing Amy starred what popular Hollywood leading man?  Any Guesses?  Hmm?  Tough one, eh?
August 8, 2001:  Sweden's Children Safe From Robots:  The Swedish Board of Censors have rated Steven Spielberg's A.I. with the strongest rating available, which bars anyone under the age of 15 from seeing the film.  The board cites scenes in which the young robot boy is abandoned in the forest by his 'mother' as being really scary, and states that scenes such as this could damage the emotional development of sensitive children.  Anyone else out there see the irony in this?  By the way, the original headline for this story was going to be  'Sweden Raises Generation of Sissies', but some of them may have read that and become severely tramatized, so it was changed.  (Don't tell them!)
August 6, 2001:  STAR WARS EP2 TITLE REVEALED:  George Lucas officially revealed the title of the next installment of the Skywalker Saga today...


Attack of the Clones takes place ten years after the events of The Phantom Menace, and follows Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they fight to protect Queen Amidala from a faction of political separatists.  Lucas also promised that this episode would mark a return to the adventure-serial roots that first inspired him to create Star Wars.  Hmm... ten years after Phantom Menace?  Translated, could that mean 'No Jar-Jar Binks'?! 
August 4, 2001:  Wedding Bells for Bond:  Actor Pierce Brosnan and Keely Shaye Smith made it official on Saturday, exchanging wedding vows at an 11th century abbey in western Ireland. 
August 1, 2001:  It Wasn't Real, It Was Just and Incredible Simulation:
The preceding month without any new A.J.'s Movie News has been a chilling demonstration of what would come to pass had there been a strike by Hollywood actors, writers and directors.  Luckily, that strike was averted and A.J.'s Movie News now continues it's regular reporting... (Scary, wasn't it?)

June 25, 2001:  Disney Softens Pearl Harbor for Japanese:  The film, which depicts the horrors of wartime love triangles, has been re-edited to avoid offending Japanese audiences.  The 'date of infamy' must now refer to that first date between Ben Affleck and Kate Beckinsale!
June 24, 2001: U.S. Movie Fans Desperate for Entertainment: That's the only reasonable explanation for why this week's Number One movie is The Fast and the Furious.  The 'film' grossed over 41 million dollars it's opening weekend... I don't remember if this is one of the signs of the Apocalypse, but it should be! (...and the savages shall arrive upon iron beasts of smoke and fire, to engulf all that stands before them...)
June 21, 2001: Cowabunga, Woo!:  Director John Woo, still searching for a superhero project to work on, has decided to resurrect the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a full C.G.I. feature.  Keep Searching, Woo...
June 17, 2001:  Fake Moviegoers Exposed!:  Sony/Columbia Pictures are at it again! (see Headlines; June 4) This time, they've been caught paying Sony Pictures employees to recite scripted lines as audience testimonials on television advertisements for the film The PatriotSony... break out those Ribbons of Shame!      
June 16, 2001: PHANTOM TO MENACE DVD: It's TRUE!  This October, Star Wars- Episode I: The Phantom Menace will be released on the DVD format!!!  The two disc set will include director's commentary by George Lucas, deleted scenes and MORE!  Look for it October 16, 2001!
June 14, 2001:  Strike May Be Averted:  Talks between the Screen Actors Guild and studios continue to go well, with the contract deadline on June 30.  If agreements can be reached by that date, no strike will occur.
June 8, 2001:  A DVD SET YOU CAN'T REFUSE: The Godfather  Trilogy DVD set will hit shelves October 9, 2001.  The collection will be comprised of four discs; each of the three films and one full disc of supplementary material!  It is not yet known if the films will be available for purchase separately.
June 4, 2001:  Fake Critic Exposed!:  A so-called critic, David Manning,  who has been giving rave reviews for a string of Sony/Columbia Pictures films, has been exposed as a creation of that studio's advertising department.  The unbelievably positive quotes from this 'critic' have been duping the public for nearly a year.  Quotes credited to Manning include glowing reviews of A Knight's Tale,Vertical Limit and The AnimalLooking for work?  I think there may be some openings at Columbia Pictures!
June 1, 2001:  Tomb Raider Troubles:  Due for release in two weeks, the makers of Tomb Raider are scrambling to finish a re-worked version of the much anticipated movie.  A recent test-screening audience is said to have found the film 'virtually unwatchable'.  It has also been reported that director Simon West has been removed from input into the re-working process of the film.  Uh, oh.
May 31, 2001:  Another Date of Infamy: The success of Pearl Harbor has already inspired a new historical feature from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett. Their next affront to historical accuracy is reported to be The Alamo.  I'm not making this up! 
May 24, 2001:  Smashmouth Smash:  The band Smashmouth will be featured in the upcoming movie Rat RaceSo be sure to add this to your "Films that use that 'Hey now, your an All-Star' song" scorecard!
May 12, 2001:  Tomb Raider a Quick Sell Out:  The new film, which chronicles the adventures of video game favorite Lara Croft, has been tied to at least four corporate sponsors.  Tomb Raider themed ads for Cherry Pepsi, Taco Bell, Land Rover and a wireless communication company have begun to flood the airwaves.
Not a good sign!  
May 7, 2001:  Mummy No Curse at Box Office:  The Mummy Returns, the sequel to 1999's Summer hit, scored the biggest opening weekend ever for a non-holiday release... $70 million in three days!!!  Will this date live in infamy? 
May 5, 2001:  Brando off Scary Movie 2:  Marlon Brando has left production of the horror comedy due to illness.  Taking over his role will be James Woods.
May 1, 2001: Driven Tops Box Office:  The Stallone testosterone festival Driven is the number one Summer blockbuster in America.  Wow!  And it did that up against, um, well, uh, nothing.
April 24, 2001:  Downey Jr. Strikes Early:  Robert Downey Jr. got a jump on the planned actor's strike today when he was once again arrested for suspected drug use...  Only hours after the arrest, producers of television's Ally McBeal program held a press conference stating that  Downey Jr. was off the show.   With no television or movie offers to speak of, he is now officially unemployed.  Use this time wisely, Robbie!

April 20, 2001:  VOTE AFFLECK?:  Ben Affleck, star of the upcoming Pearl Harbor film, and new Jack Ryan character in the next Tom Clancy technothriller-based feature, voiced his political aspirations recently in an interview with GQ magazine.  Well, if Schwarzenegger can run for governor of California, then anything is possible!

April 18, 2001:  Marlon Brando Goes Completely Nuts:  Movie God Marlon Brando has agreed to a cameo part in Scary Movie 2And to think, he coulda' been a contender... but now he'll probably just be a fart joke.

April 16, 2001:  A.J. Says No to Green:  Sorry, but I cannot bring myself to actually pay real money to see Tom Green's film Freddy Got FingeredYou'll just have to decide for yourself how much it sucks.
April 10, 2001:  Next Star Trek Movie to Bomb Bigtime:  The next Federation outing seems to have a little problem... It's set to open in May of 2002, right up against STAR WARS: EPISODE II.  Hmm, live long and prosper or use the Force... Um, Star Trek guys, move the premiere to October or you'll be bantha fodder for sure!
April 5, 2001:  Now Who's Caged Cage?:  Okay, I try to stay away from rumors here, but have you noticed how many times Nicholas Cage has been rumored to be attached to different films?  It's like some kind of twisted game.  The latest Cage-rage is that he is to play Bruce Wayne in Batman: Year One.  Wait, isn't this the same guy who was once up to play the next SupermanHey Nick, pick a superhero already!
March 25, 2001:  GLADIATOR GETS GOLD GUYS:  Gladiator became the most honored film of the year today, picking up 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. 
March 18, 2001:  You Will Believe a DVD Can Fly:  Coming soon,
SUPERMAN, the restored and remastered director's edition on DVD!  Painstakingly restored, many sound effects have been improved, the visual effects have been recomposited from the original optical elements with at least one new digital effect replacing an old effect, and John Williams long lost 24 track recording of the score has been found, making a true 5.1 Dolby Digital mix possible.  In addition, the original film negative got a much needed cleaning, and color-correcting technology was also utilized.  Other DVD features will include at least one documentary on the making of the film, and original cast screen tests.  Before coming to home video, SUPERMAN will be playing a limited run in theatres.  Well, if you ask me, that's just swell, and while I'm thinking of it, another really swell thing is the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation.  Please urge Warner Brothers to donate a portion of ticket and DVD sales to this fine organization!                        
March 14, 2001:  He Can Crouch, But He Cannot Hide:  Action director Ang Lee was spotted this week at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, looking into taking on the latest troubled action-hero project, The Hulk.
March 11, 2001:  This... is Gonna Be Good: The long awaited trailer for the eagerly anticipated Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, is in theatres, and on the web... Check it out at www.lordoftherings.net 
March 9, 2001:  Crowe Kidnap Plans Confirmed: The FBI released a statement today which confirms a plot to kidnap Best Actor nominee Russell Crowe.  When asked about the foiled plan, Crowe exclaimed, "If someone wants to kidnap me, and put me in a room, just me and them, then they don't know me very well... after about 2 days, they'd be on the phone.... we've got Crowe, we've got $50,000.... someone come and take him!  We'll even throw in airfare!"  And that's... the Quote of the Month!
March 5, 2001:  There's Something About Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk:  Those nutty chowderheads, the Farrelly Brothers, are planning a new, original Three Stooges comedy feature.  The proposed film will be produced by Warner Brothers.
March 1, 2001: Craven Craves Remake:  Horror director/producer Wes Craven is set to update Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.  Mr. Craven, if  you're thinking of making it a trans-gender romantic comedy, don't!  (that's already been done to perfection)
Feb. 28, 2001:  Apes Take the Net: The official Planet of the Apes movie site is up and running!  Includes a great teaser trailer, Tim Burton interview, and more!  Planet of the Apes premieres July 27, 2001.  Check it out at www.planetoftheapes.com!  (requires Flash and Quicktime)
Feb. 26, 2001:  Bean in the Bush:  Silly person Rowan Atkinson is currently negotiating to bring the bumbling Mr. Bean back to the big screen.  The story will take place in Australia and is set to involve Bean in a steamy romance.  Apparently, unlike the first Bean movie, this one will be a comedy.       
                         More Rowan Atkinson News:  Rowan also appears in the upcoming Scooby-Doo movie.  The film, currently in production, will take place in a haunted amusement park.  Aww, I already know how that one ends... it was old Mr. Johnson, and he would have got away with it too, if it hadn't  been for those meddling kids!
Feb. 25, 2001:  Shameless Beatle's Karaoke:  Dudu dudu dudu -  you say it's your birthday - dudu dudu dudu - well it's my birthday too, yeah!
Okay, that's enough.
          Trivia Question!  Who sings that song, in what 80's movie?

          Answer:  Anthony Michael Hall, in Sixteen Candles.
                         (^highlight above with mouse!^)
Feb. 23, 2001:  Star Wars Episode II News:  Among the characters to be introduced in EPII are a pint-sized Boba Fett and his father, bounty hunter Jango Fett.  For more Star Wars, check out A.J.'s Movie Links!
Feb. 22, 2001: NO NO NO NO NO!:  According to Ain't It Cool News, an eighth Halloween movie is in the works...  The title will be Halloween 8: MichaelMyers.com  I repeat - NO NO NO NO NO!
Feb. 19, 2001:  Jolie Says Croft A One-Shot:  Actress Angelina Jolie, who portrays video game adventurer Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider movie, says that she will not do any sequels to the film.  Jolie cites being away too long from her husband Billy Bob Thornton and her desire to have a baby as reasons.  Geez, these Hollywood actresses are all so selfish... always wanting to have lives of their own!  Of course, she could dump Billy Bob tomorrow, and Tomb Raider 2 is a go!
Feb. 14, 2001:  Luke Skywalker Strikes Back: Star Wars veteran Jedi Mark Hamill will make a cameo appearance in the new Kevin Smith flick, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, engaging in a lightsaber duel with the trivial twosome.  J&SBSB premieres this August.  Well, that's just dandy but Mark, when will you finally agree to do Corvette Summer 2: Stingray Surprise?
Feb. 10, 2001:  Indy 4 Plans Revealed:  The next and presumably final installment of the Indiana Jones series is reported to include supporting cast members from each of the previous films!  Returning will be Sean Connery from Last Crusade, Kate Capshaw from Temple of Doom, and Karen Allen from Raiders.  Of course, Harrison Ford will star and Steven Spielberg will once again direct. Indy 4 will be produced through Spielberg's DreamWorks company.  
Feb. 6, 2001:  A.J.'s Quote of the Month:  Anthony Hopkins on the
intriguing nature of Hannibal Lecter:  "It'd be amazing to have lunch with him, as long as you aren't the lunch."
Feb. 5, 2001:  STAR WARS EP2 on Schedule:  Or at least it seems to be, judging by all that traffic headed for Skywalker Ranch every morning!  Hey guys, do me a favor and stay to the left when exiting Hwy 101 North so I can drive around you, okay?
Feb. 3, 2001:  Manson NOT Wonka:  The much publicized report that
shock-rocker Marilyn Manson would play Willy Wonka in the proposed remake of the children's favorite has been denied by studio officials.  Oh, darn.  Going with Alice Cooper, are they?
Jan. 30, 2001:  Going Going Gone.Com:  Disney studios is giving up on it's internet business presence with the closure of Go.com.  Our last two movies bombed... Hey, let's blame the internet!        

Jan. 28, 2001:  IMAX Fights Theatre Chain Turmoil:  As theatre chains begin falling faster than dot.com companies, silver screen giant IMAX is fighting to escape the slaughter.  IMAX orders dropped off as exhibitors scrambled to occupy space in the dwindling number of non-IMAX locations.  Help us, George Lucas, you're our only hope!
                       (Star Wars: The IMAX Experience... good idea, huh?)
Jan. 24, 2001:  TREK WARZ:  While the powers that be seem content with producing more Star Trek: The Next Generation features, an  internet fan group called Horizons is pushing for a Deep Space Nine film.  Another group, Excelsior, is lobbying for a new Star Trek television series or film that would star Trek veteran George Takei. 
Star Trek: The Sulu Logs?
Jan. 23, 2001:  Daily Show Shenanigans:  Actor Matthew McConaughey appeared tonight on the Comedy Central television program The Daily Show COMPLETELY WASTEDWay to go, Matthew!
Jan. 22, 2001: All Hail Maximus: Gladiator has won the Golden Globe award for best dramatic film.  Other winners were Almost Famous for best comedy, Traffic for best screenplay, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for Ang Lee's direction.  Top acting awards went to Tom Hanks (Cast Away) and Julia Roberts (Erin Brokovich) for the dramatic, and Renee Zellweger (Nurse Betty) and George Clooney (O Brother, Where Art Thou) for comedy.  George beat out Jim Carrey,  John Cusack, Robert DeNiro, and Mel Gibson!!!
Jan. 18, 2001:   Oliver Stone's Final Flick?:  After completing his present project, Beyond Borders, controversial film director Oliver Stone says that he will direct only one more film.  He describes his final project as 'relatively light' compared to his other works, stating "It's going to be a date movie"  Ollie's having us on, aren't you Ollie?  Ollie...?
Jan. 14, 2001:   STAR WARS Goes Digital:  Star Wars: Episode II was shot completely with digital cameras and is being edited using only digital media.  It will be shown on conventional projectors in most theatres, but the image quality will be an improvement over regular film, since all copies will be printed from the original digital source.  Wow!  That ought to look great when they release it later on VHS tape.
Jan. 11, 2001:   Bruce Lee to Fight Again!:  Using footage that Bruce Lee had been editing at the time of his death, Art Port Inc., a Japanese film company, has produced a new version of his final film, Game of Death.  The 'new' film, Bruce Lee in G.O.D., contains over 40 minutes of footage featuring Lee and other martial artists.  The company has produced the film following notes, sketches, and an incomplete script left by Lee.  The original version of Game of Death featured only 13 minutes of footage actually shot for the film.
Jan. 8, 2001:   Phantom to Menace Broadcast TV: Star Wars: Episode I will make it's world television debut on the FOX TV Network at 7PM on Sunday, April 29, 2001.  Meso tinks cable tv be verrry angry!
Jan. 2, 2001:  2001: A Space Oddity:  On New Year's Eve, someone secretly erected a nine-foot tall monolith in Seattle's Magnuson Park.  A local television station, KING, reported the story, saying that the dark,  rectangular form had people puzzling, "What is it?  Where'd it come from?  Who put it there?  What does it mean?" 
Happy New Year, everybody!  
A.J.'s Year 2001 Time Capsule
Top 10 in
U.S. Theatres
Week ending Dec. 30, 2001

1)  The Lord of the Rings:
     Fellowship of the Ring
2)   Ocean's Eleven
3)   Jimmy Neutron
4)   Ali
5)   Vanilla Sky
6)   Harry Potter
7)   Kate & Leopold
8)   A Beautiful Mind
9)   Monsters, Inc.
10)  The Majestic

Source: U.S. Box Office Report
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