Here is a break down of each new release because with the ludicrous ticket prices one must choose wisely.
Robocop (Rated PG-13, 108 minutes)
Genre: These days remakes should be classified as its own particular genre. But if one wants to classify this film, it would also be considered a sci-fi action film.
Director: Jose Padilha is making his American directorial debut. I have seen a few of his films: Elite Squad, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within, and the documentary Bus 174. All are above average films that deal with the poverty problem in Brazil; will this mean that Robocop has smart social commentary? Probably not, but at least the studio picked an interesting director.
Plot: When Alex Murphy, a Detroit cop, is critically injured in a bombing,
Cyberdyne Umbrella Weyland-Utani OmniCorp decides to make him the first part-man, part-machine cop.
Cast: Joel Kinnaman is playing Alex Murphy or Robocop; people who watch The Killing say he is a good actor, however, Robocop does not need to be played by a Shakespearean actor. People always say that Peter Weller was fantastic in the original; in reality, he moved and talked like a robot. With that said, the cast is rounded out with Gary Oldman, Abbie Cornish, Michael Keaton, Jackie Earle Haley, and Jay Baruchel. This is a pretty good cast and if it were any other film people would not have any reservations toward it.
Trailer: This trailer does a good job with setting up the film. Alex Murphy is a good cop, and then an accident happens to him. What is the next logical stop; putting his bodily remains inside a machine. However, the trailer neglects to show any action: well at least, any good action.
Metacritic Score: Out of thirty-nine reviews the film has an average score of 52 out of 100. This is actually quite surprising because I did not expect the film to score this high; I expected the score to be in the forties.
Should You See It: Most fans of the Robocop property are in staunch opposition of this remake. However, if one wants to get away from the impending doom of Valentine’s Day this may be his or her film. This is an action film being released during a time period that lacks these so-called machismo movies.
Endless Love (Rated PG-13, 103 minutes)
Genre: The sappy romantic film that makes way too much money this time of year.
Director: This is Shana Feste’s third film: the previous two were The Greatest and Country Strong. I did not see either film, so I cannot comment on the quality of her directing.
Plot: This reimagining of Scott Spencer’s novel is seeing its second big screen adaption: the first was in 1981 with Brooke Shields. The movie finds a privileged girl and mysterious boy falling in love, but her parents try to keep them apart. Yes, that is the actual plot of the film; somehow this talking cliché has been made into a film.
Cast: The two leads of the film are Alex Pettyfer and Gabriella Wilde. While the girl is fairly new, the audience may remember Alex Pettyfer from Magic Mike, Beastly, and I Am Number Four. Besides Magic Mike, most of his films have bombed, and to be honest people were not seeing the stripper movie for him.
Trailer: Unfortunately the trailer is a bit of a mess. Besides showing too much of the plot, it also swerves into melodramatic and soap opera territory. However, this is a trailer made for a specific demographic.
Metacritic Score: Based on twenty-seven reviews the film has garnered a 31 out of 100. While not a Nicholas Sparks film this movie could be categorized as one and Sparks’s film on average score a 39 out of 100.
Should You See It: This is really simple; do you like films like The Notebook, Dear John, A Walk to Remember, The Lucky One? If so this ‘Sparks-like’ film will suit you.
About Last Night (Rated R, 100 minutes)
Genre: This is your basic romantic comedy.
Director: I had no idea the director of this film was Steve Pink. While he is not a household name, he is a fairly competent director in the comedy genre. That may sound like I am underselling him, but it is really hard to find a competent director in that genre. His last two films were Accepted and Hot Tub Time Machine, but he got his start writing John Cusack comedies like Grosse Point Blank and High Fidelity.
Plot: To be honest I cannot tell from the trailer. Is it a one-night stand comedy? Is it a comedy about two couples? The IMDB synopsis says “new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world.”
Cast: The two couples are actually very funny actors and actresses. Both Kevin Hart and Michael Ealy can be funny if they are in the right film. Meanwhile, Regina Hall is an underrated comedian that has taken too many bad roles. Last is Joy Bryant who has mostly played supporting roles but could be a star.
Trailer: The trailer seemed like the average romantic comedy. I chuckled a few times but it did not seem like anything special.
Metacritic Score: I was quite surprised that out of twenty-one critics the film has garnered a score of 62 out of 100. I expected the score to be in the forties, not in the positive sixties.
Should You See It: The trailers for this movie did not look that funny; however, with the semi-positive reviews I have to give the film a second thought. If you do not want to see an action or a sappy romance film, than this might be the movie for you.
Winter’s Tale (Rated PG-13, 118 minutes)
Genre: This is a fantasy film that contains elements of drama and schmaltzy romance.
Plot: Again, the trailer of this film did not help me with the plot; there were so many moving pieces in the trailer that I was left utterly confused. The IMDB synopsis is “a burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.” Yeah, I get that reincarnation is hard to explain in a trailer but the preview is a mess void of any explanation. Also, is he reincarnated or is he just immortal? Whatever, I just utterly confused myself.
Director: The director of this film is the longtime producer and writer, Akiva Goldsman. He won an Oscar for writing A Beautiful Mind and wrote above average films like Cinderella Man, A Time to Kill, and I Am Legend. However, he also wrote a lot of crap: The Da Vinci Code, Lost in Space, and the ultimate bad film Batman & Robin.
Cast: This movie has such a large cast, but I am only going to talk about the main players. Our leading man is Colin Farrell; though I seem to be the only person in the world that likes him, it is getting hard to defend him after Dead Man Down and Total Recall. Our leading lady is Jessica Brown Findlay who got famous because of Downton Abbey, however, I have not see that show nor have I seen her in anything else. Last is Russell Crowe and hopefully I do not have to explain what he has done.
Metacritic Score: At the moment, Winter’s Tale has an average of 32 out of 100. I did not expect it to be this bad, but even the positive reviews call this film a failure.
Should You See It: To be honest, even with the muddled trailer I wanted to see this. However, between the bad word of mouth and the atrocious reviews this is looking like a real stinker. Winter’s Tale seems like a date night movie, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day; however, the bad press for the film might kill its box office. Yes, this looks better than the other schmaltzy romance movie, Endless Love, but that is not saying much. On a side note, can Colin Farrell please make a positively reviewed film; it is getting quite hard to stick up for him these days.
Prediction of Box Office Winner: About Last Night