1. RoboCop (Opened Wednesday, Sony/Columbia, 3,372 Theaters, 108 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Typically, the Valentine’s Day weekend is not the type of holiday where opening a film on the Wednesday before will do a film a lot of good. But when there’s not one, not two, but THREE remakes being released on the same weekend (Sign of the Apocalypse #665), it makes sense to give your remake a little breathing room.
Especially when your remake is one of the most useless remakes of all time. The original RoboCop was a classic. It stood as awesome, cyberpunk action film and also a comment the action films of the day. It was also a commentary on Reagan’s America, the commercialization of American society, the march of technology replacing humans in the workforce, the mindless pap of Television and a whole bunch of other stuff. If you look hard enough, you could see a new thing the film was satirizing every day.
It would be hard to replicate all of that in a remake, and it looks like they didn’t even bother trying. The fact that this version is rated PG-13 shows the producer cared nothing other than making a cheap ripoff of the original. I mean, any film that stars Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton can be bad, but there will be entertaining parts in it. But I don’t expect much from this film.
2. Winter’s Tale (Warner Brothers, 2,965 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated PG-13): You can’t have a Valentine’s Day weekend and not have a romance or two (or three). If you like your romances quasi-original, you only have one choice–this film.
This is the weekends only non-remake, but it is an adaptation. However, supposedly the film stays from the book quite a bit, hence the quasi-original nomenclature.
The novel is brought to the big screen by Akiva Goldsmith, who competes with Nicolas Cage for the title of Oscar winner with the most embarrassing entries on his resume. He won the award for writing A Beautiful Mind, but also has stinkers like Batman & Robin and Lost in Space on there too. This marks his debut as a feature director, so there is a lot at risk here.
The film deals with a robber who falls in love with a doomed woman who lives in the house that he robs. When the burglar discovers he has powers of reincarnation and rebirth, he decides to save the woman.
3. Endless Love (Universal, 2,893 Theaters, 103 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The original Endless Love was primarily known for three things: 1. a minor controversy over a 14-year-old Brooke Shields being cast in an R-Rated, sexually explicit film, 2. being the film debut of Tom Cruise (and Ian Ziering and Jami Gertz, but those debuts don’t get as much play) and 3. the cheeserrific Diana Ross/Lionel Ritchie song that the film had spawned. None of those three things will be in play this time around.
What we have left is the tale of two, star-crossed lovers from opposite sides of the tracks whose love brings them together despite their families efforts to keep them apart.
This marks the second remake in a row for Gabriella Wilde, who starred as Sue Snell in last year’s Carrie. She’d better watch out or else she’ll be typecast.
4. About Last Night (Sony/Screen Gems, 2,253 Theaters,100 Minutes, Rated R): If this remake has one thing going for it, its the fact that it has retained the R Rating of the original. No dialing back the premise to get some more kids in the audience. That might not make it a great film, but at least it’s a truer one (Although it is 13 minutes shorter. Wonder how that plays).
This is a remake of the Demi Moore/Rob Lowe adaptation of David Mamet’s play, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. It details the path two couples take from nightclub hook-up to serious relationship. Only this time around, it is with an all-black cast.
The actors are talented and the subject matter still as timely. But, unfortunately, it might get swamped by the other films opening this weekend.