1. Where The Wild Things Are (Warner Brothers, 3,735 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated PG): There are certain stories that touch the hearts of a generation. Maurice Sendak’s book that this film was adapted from is one of them. It is so beloved that there are some that might say that book is so sacrosanct that any to adapt it would be akin to blasphemy.
Spike Jonze seem to realize this. He took his time making this film. Filming began in 2005 on the movie, and it missed both a May 2008 and October 2008 release date.
Jonze and co-writer Dave Eggers were in constant contact with Sendak, which would lead you to be the adaptation will be a successful one. But it remains to be seen how the creators were able to expand a 10-page storybook into a 94 minute film. Because if they falter along the way, there will be a whole generation that will hold them responsible.
2. Law Abiding Citizen (Overture Films, 2,889 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated R): A plea bargain sets a group of killers free. The man who lost his family to the murderers decides to take the law into his own hands. But his revenge isn’t meted out solely on the killers but on the members of the legal system itself. Vengeance shall be his, and not even jail can stop him.
What you have here is a a basic Hollywood formula–the revenge flick. Sure some twists and turns are thrown in, but that’s what it is.
What I want to know is, are we supposed to root for Gerard Butler’s character or not? There are ads that present him as a hero of sorts, others as a crazed terrorist. Or maybe they want the film to be a think piece where morality is put to the test.
And you’ve got to be impressed with Gerard Butler. He is quickly becoming a modern day Michael Caine, at least as it comes to film per year ratio. What is this, his 20 picture this year?
3. The Stepfather (Sony/Screen Gems, 2,734 Theaters, 101 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I would use this time to state my wish that they would finally come to the end of 1980s horror films to adapt, buy I really know its of no use. If they ran out of films to remake, they’d just go back to the top of the list and start all over again.
This film is a remake of the 1987 movie of the same name, which starred a pre-Lost Terry O’Quinn. That film was in turn loosely taken from the true life story of John List, a man who killed his family and got away with it for over a decade and a half. It was one of the TV show America’s Most Wanted most famous success stories as it led to his capture.
The basic premise is that a young man comes back from military school and find his mother remarried to almost the perfect man. Almost except for his pronounced homicidal tendencies.
Of course, the question we have to as is, did the original really need to be remade? It was a cut above the rest of the psychological horror of the day, and Dylan Walsh will have to go a long way to match up with O’Quinn’s performance. And something is bound to be lost in going from an R rating to a PG-13.