1. Friday the 13th (Warner Brothers/New Line/Paramount, 3,105 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated R): Ah, nothing reminds you of the fraility of love more than when Valentine’s Day falls on a Saturday. Because sometimes you get something like this.
If there was ever a horror franchise less in need yet also more in need of a remake, it would be the Jason films. By the end, they have pretty much gone so far away from the original concept that the last movie in the line only resembled the first movie in the fact that both featured hockey-mask wearing psychos named Jason.
Yet, the original Friday the 13th film revolutionized movie horror for an entire generation. For better or worse, it left its mark on cinema forever. Nothing is sacrosanct these days, and the first film was anything but a classic, but do we really think the original can be improved upon?
2. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Touchstone, 2,507 Theaters, 112 Minutes, Rated PG): Isla Fisher built up a lot of good will with me after Wedding Crashers. Here role as the slight crazed “stage five clinger” in that movie was a real breakout role, and she showed the potential of being a great comedy star.
Of course, she really didn’t capitalize on that major buzz all that much, and she quickly became an actress American audiences would easily confuse with Amy Adams.
Finally, this weeks she gets a major starring role with a lot of things working in her favor. The cast in this film is spectacular, featuring such great actors as Joan Cusack, John Goodman, Kristen Scott Thomas and John Lithgow–among others. And it is directed by PJ Hogan, he of Muriel’s Wedding and My Best Friend’s Wedding fame.
Depending on how many people on Valentine’s day dates reject Jason for something more light and up lifting, this could be the film that finally cashes in on that potential she showed in Wedding Crashers.
3. The International (Sony/Columbia, 2,364 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): It appears the movie gods are against this film. According to IMDB, this film was originally scheduled for a summer 2008 release, but test screenings didn’t come back well. As usually happens in these cases, reshots were done, delaying the release date.
Now, it’s finally ready to go, during a full-scale, international banking crisis. Which is a good thing because a lot of people will be more than willing to see a major international bank as a villain, but a bad thing because it’s hard to believe such an organization would have as much power as they do in this movie when most of these real-life institutions are begging for their own survival.
However, for audiences whose idea of a great date movie is an international conspiracy thriller and not a horror flick or a romantic comedy, this film provides an alternative in this week’s releases.