It’s all about the remakes this weekend, folks. No Oscar contenders, but one film should be intriguing enough regardless:
Craig Brewer of Hustle & Flow decides to remake Footloose, because…well, why not? Sure, it doesn’t have Kevin Bacon, or (to my knowledge) that iconic song from Kenny Loggins, or John Lithgow, or seemingly anything that made the admittedly stupid original film such a guilty pleasure. You know the drill: spirited teen from the city moves into a small town and rebels against its strict ban on dancing and rock music. Then again, we might be looking at another shamelessly corny yet undeniably entertaining dance flick, as that is what a lot of critics are describing this film as. No matter how it holds up to the original, Footloose should repeat its predecessor’s opening weekend success. Online buzz is very strong and indicates a $17-22 million opening.
I’m not even sure if The Thing is a remake, prequel, or reboot. Either way, it’s not playing well with critics, who are calling it a lifeless, pale imitation of the original film. Its success at the box office will largely depend on the anticipation for Paranormal Activity 3. Horror junkies will either save their money for next weekend’s scarefest or are sick of the pseudo-documentary approach to the genre and propel The Thing to relative success. I’m betting the former: $6-11 million.
The Big Year stars Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as three friends embarking on a bird-watching competition to get away from the problems they’re facing in their personal lives. The presence of those three actors plus director David Frankel of Marley & Me and The Devil Wears Prada would suggest a box office hit. Then again, each actor has experienced their fair share of box office duds and The Big Year has been marketed very poorly. The lack of enthusiastic reviews doesn’t exactly alleviate my doubts. Plus, birding just isn’t a big draw for mainstream audiences, so I’m predicting a disappointing $5-10 million.
The most promising limited release this week is, of course, Pedro Almodóvar’s kinky thriller The Skin I Live In. Antonio Banderas, collaborating with the director for the first time in over twenty years, stars as a mad scientist obsessed with creating an invulnerable type of human skin. Critics seem to be mostly impressed with this one, calling it an effectively unsettling and provocative experience with a knockout twist. Some, however, contend that the overall effect just doesn’t come together as well as it should. Almodóvar has always had an odd relationship with Oscar. Sometimes his films do extremely well considering the strangeness of his oeuvre, including a Best Original Screenplay win for the sublime Talk to Her. Sometimes his films are passed over entirely despite critical acclaim. His latest will probably be ignored. Not only is its premise just a little too “out there” for the Academy’s tastes, but Spain chose not to submit it as their Best Foreign Language Feature entry (opting instead for Black Bread).
Jessica Chastain continues her goal of being in every other film released in 2011 with Texas Killing Fields, based on a series of real unsolved murders in a small town in, well, you get the idea. Mixed reviews suggest a police procedural that is decent enough, but not a “must-see.”
Finally, Joel Schumacher torments Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage in Trespass, a psychological thriller about an affluent family taken hostage by that really scary guy from Animal Kingdom. Critics applaud the valiant efforts of the film’s actors but say that its plot twists and dialogue reach near-parodic levels of absurdity.
As always, we love to read the opinions of our readers. So head on over to the forum and let us know your thoughts on these films when you get a chance to see them!
Tags: Antonio Banderas, Ben Mendelsohn, Footloose, Jack Black, Jessica Chastain, Nicolas Cage, nicole kidman, Owen Wilson, Pedro Almodóvar, remake, Steve Martin, Texas Killing Fields, The Big Year, The Skin I Live In, The Thing, Trespass, Weekend Openings