Weekend Movies: Two Cult Remakes, a Kids’ Sequel and a Quiet Romantic Drama

I don’t know how much longer major film studios will be pushing prequels, sequels and remakes, but the return to original creativity can’t come quickly enough for me. I’m not saying that every prequel, sequel or remake is a bad idea, but our oversaturated market is in dire need of a change. Thank heavens for the independent film scene.

The only of the four new films opening this weekend that was screened in my region was ‘Fright Night‘, Disney’s remake of the 1985 cult vampire flick. Being R-rated, the remake appears under Disney’s Touchstone label.

The new ‘Fright Night’ stars Anton Yelchin as the high school teen who discovers that his new night-owl neighbor (Colin Farrell) is really a blood-thirsty vampire with set on draining the kid’s cougar-ish mom (Toni Collette) and his hot girlfriend (Imogen Poots). When things get out of control, he employs the help of a famous vampire hunter (David Tennant).

‘Fright Night’ is especially fun because it returns the vampire genre to its roots – and it constantly reminds you of that with jabs at ‘Twilight’ and other terrible ‘tween vampire fiction. It never takes itself seriously, and almost falls into the same category as Sam Raimi’s comedic horror films like ‘Evil Dead 2’, ‘Army of Darkness’ and ‘Drag Me to Hell’. Despite the new tricks of the trade, ‘Fright Night’ is reminiscent of a fun ’80s movie.

A remake of the fantasy action adventure ‘Conan the Barbarian‘ also opens this weekend. Jason Momoa replaces Arnold Schwarzenegger as Conan, a barbarian on a quest to avenge his dead father and slaughtered village people.

I remember watching old the ‘Conan’ movies as a kid, but nothing good remains in my memories. Reading early reviews for the new ‘Conan’, it appears that the remake is more of the same. I won’t go out of my way to see ‘Conan the Barbarian’ – but I’m not a fan of the originals. I look forward to reading what all of you ‘Conan’ fans think of the barbarian’s return.

How in the hell is it possible that the guy who gave us ‘Sin City’ can keep pumping out these terrible ‘Spy Kids’ movies? I’m not a kid, but when I was, we sure had better movies made for us than these. I know that Robert Rodriguez makes these for and with his own children, but since he can make these movies all by himself, why can’t they just be home movies instead of nationwide releases? As my children get older, they won’t be watching ‘Spy Kids’. They’ll be watching good kid adventure movies like ‘The Goonies’ or ‘Super 8’. The studio’s failure to screen ‘Spy Kids: All the Time in the World‘ for critics saves me from the agony that comes with watching every other Rodriguez kid flick – especially the ones in 3D.

When I first saw the trailer for Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess’ new indie romantic drama ‘One Day‘, it looked really good until the second minute of the preview. As you would expect, the first half sets up the characters and story, but instead of using the second half to tease where the film goes, the trailer shows what has to be the end of the movie. Sure, you can buy the book that it’s based on and know the ending before you see the movie, but would the studio show so much in a preview that’s supposed to entice you to see the full film? No, I haven’t seen the movie, but I sure feel like I have.


  1. Jane Morgan

    Robert Rodriguez’s ‘Spy Kids’ movies all cost about $35M to make, and they all gross around $150M-$200M worldwide. Add in DVD, TV, and other rights, and you’ve got a cash-sucking franchise that just won’t die.

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