Though its animated Madagascar is still pulling in the bucks in theatrical release, this weekend DreamWorks is focusing on a very different little land mass. The Island, directed by action specialist Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon) comes gunning for reigning box office champ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and aims to keep the summer box office revival going.
The latest sci-fi actioner to offer a twist on Logan’s Run, The Island stars Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson as inhabitants of an idyllic society who take it on the lam when they realize they are merely clones harvested for body parts. Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi and Michael Clark Duncan round out the main cast. Visual effects were created by Industrial Light & Magic.
Both The Island and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory face tough competition from Bad News Bears, director Richard Linklater’s (School of Rock, Before Sunrise) remake of the 1976 comedy favorite. Billy Bob Thornton takes over the Walter Matthau role, playing an aging, boozing baseball player who tries to turn a team of young misfits into Little League champs.
Where Linklater set out to capture the spirit and success of a ’70s comedy, rocker-turned-filmmaker Rob Zombie channels ’70s grindhouse horror flicks such as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with The Devil’s Rejects, a sequel of sorts to his 2003 directorial debut, House of 1000 Corpses. Rejects also opens in wide release today.