If you make a trip to your local movie theater this holiday weekend, you might think you accidentally stepped into some kind of wormhole or vortex that took you back to the 1980s. Three movies open this weekend that are remakes of 1980s “classic” films. The first film came out originally in 1981 (Endless Love) the second in 1986 (About Last Night...) and the third in 1987 (Robocop). There is only one new movie opening this weekend not based on an 80s film and almost none of the films opening are getting good buzz or reviews from critics.
So, with that in mind, here are the movies new to theaters February 14, 2014:
Endless Love - Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Robert Patrick. Another classic tale of doomed young romance. When the original came out in 1981, starring Brooke Shields, the story and depiction of you love, including a love scene, was controversial. These days you can find more controversial things on daytime soaps. It’s the story of a rich girl who moves to a new town and falls in love with a young man with a troubled past. When the reviews are routinely using words like “silly” to describe the film, however, this might be one to avoid. Rated PG-13.
About Last Night - Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall. Kevin Hart is still riding high thanks to his hit Ride Along, and already here’s a new one featuring the comedian. This movie was originally a play by David Mamet entitled Sexual Perversity in Chicago and was story of several young Chicagoans and their various relationship and sexual escapades. The original movie starred newcomers Rob Lowe and Demi Moore in the lead roles. This remake is an all African American cast, but tells the same story of two couples as they try to find love and fulfillment in modern times. Of all of the movies opening this weekend, this one is getting the best reviews and might be the one to see. Rated R.
Robocop - Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton. Falling in the “Why Did We Need A Remake of This” category comes this one. The 1980s version was a biting social satire in addition to being the story of a cop who gets turned into a cyborg to fight crime in Detroit. Mixed in with the action and violence were commentaries on life in the 80s and Reagan-era politics. Strip all of that out, reduce the movie to nothing but action, gut the film, remove the heart and humor and now you have the 2014 remake. Robocop is still a good cop who gets turned into a cyborg, but this time he’s dressed in black, sleeker and faster. The reviews for this one are about as good as you might expect with most critics saying you’d be better served watching the original. Rated PG-13.
Winter’s Tale - Russell Crowe, Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay. A modern fairy tale based on a popular novel and set in both 1916 and modern times. It tells the story of Peter Lake, a thief who ends up falling in love with a woman named Beverly. It turns out Beverly is dying. Lake ends up pursued by the demonic (literally) gangster known as Pearly Soames, and ends up saved by a mystical white horse named Athansor. Somehow Peter finds himself still alive, still searching for Beverly, in modern day America. The critics are savaging this one and say you’d do better to find and read the novel. Rated PG-13.