http://chud.com/nextraimages/rodstrickland.jpgSo there’s now three remakes of The Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with the second called Body Snatchers, and the latest called The Invasion. If they do a fourth, will it be called Of?

I’ll be here all week (or at least Thursdays and Sundays)

THE MOST INTERESTING MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Andy Samberg. The jury’s still out.

So, I’m guessing I’m like everyone who saw the first appearances of Samberg – and for that matter Bill Hader – on Saturday Night Live and was more than skeptical. Hader did nothing but impressions (making him look like the new Darrell Hammond), and Samberg seemed to be the new Jimmy Fallon. Fallon was poised by Lorne Michaels to be the new Sandler, but always came across as the generic version. Not that they didn’t try. And by try, I mean have Fallon do Xeroxed copies of Sandler’s bits (remember when he’d bring a guitar on to Weekend Update during the dark days?) I mean literally, he was the department store version. Cinema rejected him (and I’ve seen Taxi, which should be labeled a hate crime against comedy), though he still seems to have a shot through late night TV. Damn it.

Thankfully, Hader has broken out due to his connection with/work for the Apatow crew, while Samberg had the digital shorts (be it "Laser Cats," "Lazy Sunday," or "Dick in a Box") that made him an internet sensation – and let’s not play that being internet famous is like being Ghetto Fabulous, being internet famous is good fame these days, even if your company is Perez Hilton and Kim Kardashian. The shorts were done with his Lazy Sunday crew, who all got on SNL due to their Internet shorts and sketches. Those partners are Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone, and the three are the minds behind Hot Rod (along with South Park writer Pam Brady, which is worth something as well).

The film is supposed to be worth watching. Funny. Absurd. All good things, all reminiscent of early Adam Sandler (the only truly inspired of the Sandler home-team films were Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore). It would easy to be a hater of the newer SNL crew, but like Kristen Wiig, sometimes the show doesn’t always bring out the best for a season or two and it’s not fair to hold the show against its performers. And Hot Rod also features Hader (hey, along with Isla Fischer, Chris Parnell and Will Arnett, all good things), who supposedly delivers.

But even more than that, let’s celebrate the arrival and coronation of Danny R. McBride.

That deserves its own paragraph. Let me say right now, there is no comic performer who deserves to have an eye kept on more than McBride. With his turns in the yet unreleased The Fist Foot Way and The Pineapple Express (both of which I have seen), this is someone who is arriving sui generis. 2008 will be his year, with those two, Drilbit Taylor and Tropic Thunder coming then, and will be presaged by Hot Rod and an appearance in The Heartbreak Kid in 2007. The reason for this sudden ascendancy into the comic pantheon is due to The Foot Fist Way, which started screening in 2006. From what I’ve heard it’s going to come from Paramount Vantage under the presentation of Adam McKay and Will Ferrell, and it’s easy to see why they would put their name on it. Keep your eye out for it, won’t you?

Honestly, considering how quickly the internet processes bite-sized cleverness, I’m ecstatic to have experienced the film before The Fist Foot Way hits a saturation point, but people will be quoting McBride’s Fred Simmons for years to come. I watched it with a cabal of film people (including Chud’s own Jeremy Smith) and we had to stop the film at a number of points to either pause so people could stop laughing or rewind the film to watch something so fucking funny again and again and again. And there’s a scene I won’t spoil that is quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen in a movie since Steve Carrell whipped out a trident in Anchorman (which made me laugh so hard the first time I saw it I had to put my head between my knees and couldn’t stop myself from drooling because I couldn’t hold my mouth shut).

The other day – and yes I went to the test screening of Pineapple Express with Devin and Jeremy – I was thinking about McBride’s character in Express baking a cake for his dead cat’s birthday and I could not stop laughing at the concept and delivery (the film’s a year out so hopefully the year will erase your memories of me spoiling said joke). But that’s how great he appears to be. I’m chuckling about his scenes as I’m writing this.

The Danny McBride fan club line starts behind me. Trust me, it’s worth it.

THE MOST INTERESTING INDEPENDENT OF THE WEEK

I loved Wet Hot American Summer, and it seems a couple of you caught up with it on DVD after it’s somewhat disastrous theatrical run. I caught it twice theatrically, the first time at an exhibitor screening – where I was not only the sole member of the audience, but laughed myself silly in the process – the second time when it played Portland after it had been out for a while and had been chumped. So I have high hopes for The Ten.

PREDICTIONS ARE A SMALL PART OF A MAN’S SOUL AND APPENDIX

Honestly, I can’t wait to see The Bourne Ultimatum. I have loved the series so far, and all advanced word for the third film sounds promising. Everyone delivers, and I love the autonomy it gives both Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass. Word is it should blow up (literally).

Underdog should also do better than tracking suggests, if only because it’s a kids film. Do they advertise it during My Name is Earl reruns? Hot Rod should open respectfully considering it’s a toss off.

I hate Bratz in theory and in practice. I hope it dies. While El Cantante might get open due to its Latin Power, even on limited screens, though at best it will only crack the bottom half of the top ten. But The Simpsons should hold strong, and stay on to second place, while Hairspray should finally beat Chuck and Larry this weekend.

1. The Bourne Ultimatum - $62.1 Million
2. The Simpsons Movie - $32.7 Million
3. Underdog - $10.3 Million
4. Hairspray - – $8.4 Million
5. Chuck and Larry Buttsexin’ – $8.2 Million
6. Harry Potter and NOT ENOUGH FUCKIN’ THEWLIS - $7 Million
7. Hot Rod – $7 Million
8. Bratz - $6 Million
9. No Reservation - $5.5 Million
10. Transformers - $5 Million

See you Sunday.