It's been a good, long time since we dug our grubby fingers into the Hollywood rumor mill. Let's see what we can dig up this week. ...
The Chronicles of Riddick
Overblown sci-fi spectacle still explosive entertainment
Vin Diesel is pretty much the definition of a modern, manufactured movie star. He's famous, but it's a little hard to figure out why. He's usually cited as the star of The Fast and The Furious and xXx. Fast and the Furious made a respectable $140 million at the box office. Unfortunately, the non-Diesel-fueled sequel, 2 Fast 2 Furious, made $130 million without him. xXx also made $140 million. Unfortunately, it cost nearly $90 million to make. Like 2 Fast before it, the sequel will be made without Diesel's expensive help.
Lightweight romantic comedy reaches new heights on airy charm
While pal George Lucas continues to isolate himself from the realities of filmmaking, emerging occasionally from his hermetically sealed “ranch” to exert Nero-like control over yet another inaccessible Star Wars sequel, Steven Spielberg seems to be moving in the opposite direction. Spielberg's last movie outing was the jaunty little caper Catch Me If You Can. Though it boasted the star power of Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, it was a simple, modestly budgeted character piece. So too is his latest work, the humble romantic comedy The Terminal.
Must Bleed TV
Salem's Lot on TNT
Everybody of a certain age cites the 1979 Salem's Lot mini-series as one of the scariest things they've ever seen—largely due to one creepy ass dead kid scratching at a bedroom window. At the tender age of 10, that particular image was more than enough to haunt my dreams for weeks. Fright fans will be happy to note that TNT's new update of Stephen King's smash novel retains the kid.
The Week in Sloth
“Debunked: Secrets of the Stone Spheres” (Discovery 9 p.m.) A collection of 300 gigantic stone spheres in Costa Rica have long been a source of speculation. Apparently, Discovery Channel has figured out the truth of the allegedly ancient artifacts. Guess you'll have to tune in to find out what it is.
“Phil of the Future” (Disney 8 p.m.) A futuristic teen ends up stranded in the present day when his time machine breaks down in Disney's newest live-action comedy for kids.