Robin Hood in France – HSX Today

Fergie helped me continue a strong month when her IPO popped up nearly 2% on opening day.  Few performers are double or triple threats live, in recording studios and on film.  Jamie Foxx and Will Smith pull it off.  Some chick named Streisand thinks she can, but hasn’t been able to do so on film in a couple of decades.  Right now, Foxx and Hugh Jackman may be the most relevant, bankable stars who can sing and act.

The live-action Marmaduke will be Fergie’s first vehicle since going IPO on HSX.  Marmaduke, which reminds me of a latter day Harry and the Hendersons, opens during the brutal holiday season this year.   Emma Stone is in the cast, and the big doggie will be Amanda Seyfried’s fourth release in 18 months.

Yesterday’s other IPO I took a shot on was The Concert, a period piece from The Weinsteins this summer.   I liked the plot line, and if director / screenwriter Radu Mihaileanu executes well, the film has all the makings of a breakout drama.  (Important tangent:  how cool is it movie geeks to learn that the Weinstein brothers are close to a deal to buy back Miramax?  I think it’s awesome).

After some housekeeping–a perfect $10K on the questions, thankyouverymuch–it’s off to look at my short options.   John Carpenter and Nicolas Cage doing Scared Straight still isn’t out of development and continues tanking. The film is down nearly 70% this year.  A Kenny Chesney concert film that should have moved straight to 3D moved down low enough to pay its fees and a little more.  With a release date this week, it’s time to dump that puppy.  Newly released other film that should’ve gone to DVD, or even VHS, is something with Joan Rivers.  I shorted it on principle, that was the right call, and now I’m out of it.  There is no reason to stick around until mid-June to pick up another $40K or so.

Iron Man 2, which Sue may not see since Robert Downey Jr’s body is encased in a suit, came really close to pushing through the $400 barrier before dropping a little yesterday. The film opens May 7.  There’s not much point in continuing to hold a long position for two weeks.   The IPO, which came hot on the heels of the first movie’s success, was price around $100 but still paid handsomely for anyone who held it.  Iron Man 2 is likely the most anticipated sequel of 2010, and in some quarters, the most anticipated release.  And since we’re telling the truth here, I didn’t care very much for the first one.

The more interesting slide in my opinion is Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood.  I’ve had doubts about this one for months, even if it is screening at Cannes.   HSXers dumped it nearly 4% yesterday on the heels of a trailer.  I love the cast, I love Ridley Scott, I love the story, but I’m not sure why Universal doesn’t cede the first two weekends to Iron Man 2.

Crowe and Robin Hood lead me to think of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. My short thoughts on that film:  I liked the mysticism, Morgan Freeman played one of his best roles, American audiences came to love Alan Rickman and Costner was tolerable.  Plus my wife and I fell for the theme song and considered it our for a while.    Since Field of Dreams remains my go-to movie, I have a hard time not liking Costner.

That said, he scares me when he directs himself.  Don’t tell me about history.  Dances with Wolves was 20 years ago.   And Costner gave himself far too much screen time in that film too.  Playing a 55 year old action sheriff in a World War II setting?  I’m not loving this idea.

But do you remember Kevin Reynolds and Fandango? Kevin Costner does.  Reynolds cast Costner in Fandango 25 years ago, even before American Flyers.    Since then, they’ve drowned in Waterworld together and had a smash with Robin Hood. Reynolds likes Costner on screen too much, but not as much as Costner likes Costner on screen.   Their fourth film together is Learning Italian, sort of The Bucket List for undercover spies.   If Reynolds brings out Costner’s light comedy, Learning Italian can hit.  I like it as a $15 long position.

Among the IPOs that I’m picking up today are a $35 million call on the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot.  Jackie Earl Haley’s return, yes even with Human Target on his resume, is nearly complete.    The StarBonds fund also just cashed out at $1 million and is back for another launch.  At $200K in the door, you just buy these things and let mrbinns quadruple your money in a few months.  It’s really not hard.

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