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Biggest Weekend For Entertainment Ever: November 17 - 19, 2006

by
September 14, 2006

Daniel Craig in Casino Royale

James Bond's 21st: Casino Royale, Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny, Happy Feet, Fast Food Nation, Sony PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii. Yep, all of these entertainment massives make their debut in a span of 2 glorious days in the wonderful month of November. Ah yes, November… the month before Christmas and many delightful weeks of holiday break; the time when we eat pounds of turkey with our family and retail stores hold their annual trample-fest known as Black Friday.

November 17th to 19th may be the single most incredible weekend for the entertainment industry, ever. "Why, Alex," do you ask? Well, well, let's just take a more detailed look at November and all that's coming out in that one weekend…

Movies

Besides the best comedy of 2006, Borat, being released two weeks earlier on November 3rd, the other films that will be lingering in theaters from the week before (November 10th) include: Stranger Than Fiction, A Good Year, The Return, and Harsh Times.

Stranger Than Fiction - Friday, November 10
Another Will Ferrell comedy that has already been exciting some writers and Ferrell fans. Once marketing starts its real push, you'll see the excitement increase substantially. Given the success of Talladega Nights, Will Ferrell and any comedy he's in will be pushing very high on the charts come release day. IMDb Link

A Good Year - Friday, November 10
It's Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe teamed up again, but it's not Gladiator 2 (although that is slated for the future). It's a feel good movie with more subtle elements set a largely in Italy. If you're not into any of the crude comedy or freaky horror elements, you'll be into A Good Year. Especially with the marketing team devising trailers getting anyone who likes wine (similar to Sideways) interested in this… and, if you haven't heard, a whole sh*t load of people like wine! IMDb Link

The Return - Friday, November 10
Although it's not Grudge, Sarah Michelle Gellar is in another freaky "what the hell is going on" horror movie. And given that all the primary (good) horror movies already came out in October, this one is a hold-over for any horror fans looking to breeze by the rest of the movies out that don't involve gruesome killing. IMDb Link

Harsh Times - Friday, November 10
This one is still a bit quiet (no poster or trailer), but it's a indie flick starring an incredibly buff Christian Bale as guy in South Central Los Angeles getting into a bit of drama, or rather, some badass fights. IMDb Link

Casino RoyaleCasino Royale

Friday, November 17
Directed by: Martin Campbell
Starring: Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Judi Dench, Jeffrey Wright, Giancarlo Giannini

Bond is back in his 21st adventure. This time with another new face, that of blonde-haired England native Daniel Craig. Everything about this new Bond, from the girl (Eva Green) to the car (Aston Martin DBS) to the villain (the banker Le Chiffre) looks incredible. It's a perk up after a sad few years of Brosnan Bonds, even touching on the fact that director Martin Campbell also originally brought Brosnan to his first height (and ultimately his greatest peak) in Goldeneye (and hasn't done a Bond since). If you're not excited for this new Bond (which is highly unlikely - who doesn't love the guy?!), then you'll most likely fall perfectly into one of the other great movies that will be playing - whether it's cute penguins, guitar gods, hilarious tax auditors, or rich Italians.

Oh and we can't forget to mention this! The next Spider-Man 3 trailer will launch in front of Casino Royale, setting up what will likely be the biggest weekend in movie history in 2007. How about that for a final kicker to an already energetic weekend! IMDb Link

Tenacious DTenacious D: The Pick of Destiny

Friday, November 17
Directed by: Liam Lynch
Starring: Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Will Ferrell

What we're calling the modern day Bill & Ted, comes the guitar gods of Tenacious D: Jack Black and Kyle Gass! This movie has everything and more: magic mushrooms, sasquatch, the devil, power slides, high speed car chases, great rock music, big trees… As Jack Black says, this will be "the motion picture experience of the century." And it will be just that! IMDb Link

Happy FeetHappy Feet

Friday, November 17
Directed by: George Miller
Starring: Elijah Wood, Robin Williams, Brittany Murphy, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving

If you like none of the films mentioned above, or even if you do, you'll be seeing Happy Feet no matter what. First off, cute baby penguins, second off, Queen (the band), third off, Robin Williams. Although animated films have all too often been taking the big screen by storm, Happy Feet has one of the most original stories and has been in development (and marketing) for the longest time. It deserves the hype it will get and hopefully in return will deliver a great movie. IMDb Link

Fast Food NationFast Food Nation

Friday, November 17
Directed by: Richard Linklater
Starring: Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale, Luis Guzman, Ethan Hawke, Ashley Johnson, Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne

The master of weird himself, Richard Linklater, is directing this adaptation of a New York Times Bestseller book and cultural phenomenon. So many people are just looking forward to this given everything surrounding it and are hoping for just a fun film (and controversial one as well). I don't need to go into much more explanation as to why this will fill every last gap in movie-goers and… yes, I think we've covered absolutely every single demographic that exists in this world. IMDb Link

Video Games

The start of the video game madness begins with the continued wash out from a number of very big video games released earlier in November, including: Star Trek: Legacy, Guitar Hero 2, Gears of War, Superman Returns: The Videogame, and Eragon. Then on top of these (which are looking to be the biggest releases out of 2006 anyway), you throw in the new consoles from both Nintendo and Sony into the mix, and you'll get an idea of what I mean by "madness."

Star Trek: Legacy - Tuesday, November 7
The game every Trek fan (from any series) has been waiting for.
Pre-Order It Now!

Guitar Hero 2 - Tuesday, November 7
The game every Guitar Hero 1 fan (and guitar playing individual) has been waiting for.
Pre-Order It Now!

Gears of War - Sunday, November 12
Regarded by almost every member of the press at E3 (myself included) as the greatest upcoming game in 2006 for next generation consoles, specifically the Xbox 360. It's the Halo replacement shooter (or dare I say killer) until Halo 3 shows its face sometime next year.
Pre-Order It Now!

Superman Returns: The Videogame - Tuesday, November 14
Although the movie wasn't as succesful (or I mean, didn't make as much money…) as Warner Brothers wanted, the game certainly will. The demos shown at E3 in the EA booth were beautifully exciting examples of an incredible revolution in super-hero based video games.
Pre-Order It Now!

Eragon - Tuesday, November 14
Not sure why the game is being released much earlier than the movie, but no matter, the marketing and sales pitch for this game (did you see their E3 booth) will cause it to be a big interest for anyone looking for a fun epic fantasy adventure involving dragons.
Pre-Order It Now!

Sony PlayStation 3Sony PlayStation 3

Friday, November 17
Price: $499 / $599
Although it's been considered likely to fail given its high cost and poor marketing, the PlayStation 3 is still a powerful beast in the video game world. PlayStation 2 has the world's biggest draw and percentage of ownership over any other console, and there are more Sony fanboys out there than any other brand (although I'd be hardpressed to say that maybe there are nearly as many Nintendo fanboys). Either way this thing will pack one hell of a punch on its Friday release. Not only will it introduce Blu-Ray into millions of homes, but its selling point is its unmatched power and capabilities. You've been warned…

Nintendo WiiNintendo Wii

Sunday, November 19
Price: $250
If the Nintendo DS Lite's sales numbers aren't a measure of how succesful a Nintendo product launch can be… then I truly hope you hide under your covers on November 19th. This day may shock the earth more than you could ever imagine. Not a single kid, teen, adult (anyone!) who gets their hand on a Wii will ever stop playing for at least 24 hours - maybe even 48! You thought the Nintendo 64 launch rush was crazy, you thought the PlayStation 2 launch rush was crazy, you thought the Xbox 360 launch rush was crazy… well all of those are about be topped off by the Nintendo Wii's North American launch - guaranteed.

DVDs

Although it's not going to have that substantial of an impact on the rest of the entertainment choices above, The Da Vinci Code, the Extended Edition of King Kong, and Family Guy, Volume 4, all get a release on Tuesday, November 14 on DVD as well.

Conclusion

Are you ready? Are you saving up all the money that you'll need when November 17th finally comes and you'll be hit with a plethora of entertainment giants? If not, luckily you still have about 60 days to get ready.

I think the most interesting observation will be seeing how this weekend plays out on the entire entertainment industry. Will all the gamers be inside playing new consoles and not get out to the movies that they should be seeing (Casino Royale and Tenacious D) and in turn cause Happy Feet to take the weekend? Or will the fuel from all the entertainment giants in its entirety and successfully placed marketing get every gamer out to not only Best Buy, but also to the movie theater to see some of the best films of the fall season?

My personal conclusion… I'm worried for the movies. It'll be a mess, I can tell you that, it's just a matter of how each company handles themselves and which ones do the better job. That's where the winner will be determined, and to tell you what, it's not Sony (for gaming). They're already slipped and fallen down the stairs on the PlayStation 3. But maybe Casino Royale will be the winner that Sony needs to pull themselves up and take the weekend over. We'll just have to bask in the glory leading up to this eventful weekend… and relax while we all still can!

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