1. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Sony/Columbia, 3,074 Theaters, 106 Minutes, Rated R): Usually I cringe when I see the word “remake” in any film description, but it really doesn’t bother me this time. Maybe because enough time has passed between the 1974 version starring Walter Matthau and Martin Balsam and the 1998 TV version starring Edward James Olmos. Or it’s because this cast features Denzel Washington, John Turturro, James Gandolfini, and John Travolta’s mustache.
Yes, if I had to pick one weak spot from the trailers, it would be Travolta. His character in this film seems like a rehash of his one from Face/Off with a goofy hairstyle and mustache. I don’t know if he’s that hammy throughout the movie or, if he is, that his performance will take away from the other actors. But it just rubs me the wrong way.
Anyway, the film is about a kidnapping on a subway car, a ransom demand, and the Transit Authority employee dragged into it.
2. Imagine That (Paramount/Nick Films, 3, 008 Theaters, 107 Minutes, Rated PG): I remember as a kid being made to turn off a Eddie Murphy concert because his routine was inappropriate for someone my age. Now, all he seems to do is kid friendly flicks. Quite the road his career has travelled on, eh?
Murphy plays a financial analyst whose career takes an upturn when his daughter’s imaginary friend starts giving can’t miss stock tips. In the process, he realizes that family is more valuable than money.
This seems like one of those films that tries to appeal to parents and kids yet really appeals to neither. I could be wrong, but judging on Eddie Murphy’s track record, there’s a good chance I’m not.