This lovely weekend, three remakes will go head-to-head, each aiming for a different demographic. Like usual, the Valentine’s Day release that looks best is the non-romantic counter-programming.
Debuting on the most screens, including IMAX, is the new ‘RoboCop‘. Joel Kinnaman, co-star of the twice-canceled ‘The Killing‘, takes on the role as cyborg police officer Alex Murphy. Brazilian ‘Elite Squad’ director José Padilha has come at the ’80s cult classic with a remake/reboot approach. The story is similar – an honorable cop is fatally wounded and chosen to live on through robotic enhancements and technology – but there’s a little twist. This time, Murphy (unless drugged up) retains his old personality and memories, unlike the old movies that turned him into a robot who occasionally saw flashbacks and gained a sense of his previous life. Sure, the fans want a gritty, foul-mouthed and violent remake, but with plenty of violence and a dark tone, this PG-13 effort isn’t half bad.
Based on a notorious old Brooke Shields movie that was nominated for seven Razzies back in 1981, ‘Endless Love‘ aims for the teen market with a fresh young cast and CW-style drama. The story follows a rich and proper girl who upsets her family by slumming with a poor yet charismatic boy from the other side of the tracks. For never was a story of more woe, than this seeming rip-off of Juliet and Romeo.
Next, let me tell you ‘About Last Night‘. This remake of Edward Zwick’s 1986 rom-com targets black audiences – and if it’s anything like ‘Best Man Holiday’, it should have a fantastic weekend. Hot off the success of inexplicable blockbuster ‘Ride Along’, Kevin Hart shares the screen with Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant. While I wouldn’t typically put any stock into the remake of a movie that’s simply okay in my book, the fact that this was directed by Steve Pink (writer of ‘Grosse Pointe Blank‘ and ‘High Fidelity‘) has me interested.
Speaking of ‘Grosse Pointe’ and ‘High Fidelity’, John Cusack has an indie film in limited release this weekend. ‘Adult World‘ stars Emma Roberts as an innocent aspiring poet. With her career going nowhere, she takes the only job available to her – at a sex shop – while trying to mentor with a renowned poet (Cusack). Roberts co-stars alongside her real-life boyfriend, Evan Peters.
Finally, terrible screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (‘Batman and Robin’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’) makes his directorial debut with ‘Winter’s Tale‘. With a completely out-there storyline and starring “that sweet Grantham girl from ‘Downton Abbey‘ who chose love over wealth and died for it,” the movie hopes to win over older, more forgiving audiences. It’s hard to provide a synopsis because you have to wait 90 minutes before figuring out what the hell has been going on in this thing. Russell Crowe is a… demon?… who wants revenge on Colin Farrell for… something that’s never explained. While trying to flee the demon’s turf (yes, Crowe literally can’t leave his gang’s land), a magical white horse (might it be the same one that stands in trees from that awful ‘Lone Ranger‘ movie?) takes him to the dying girl of his dreams. Time travel may or may not be involved, but nothing makes any sense or is ever explained. The only thing that people will talk about is a surprise cameo that only shows how far one of Hollywood’s former stars has fallen.