Feb 13, 2009

VALENTINE'S DAY/PRESIDENT'S DAY AT THE MOVIES...Jason hacks up his Isla's credit card

Talk about opposites attracting at the box office this weekend. Not only is there the Valentine's day Romantic Comedy CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC, but it's also Friday the 13th today, and that means another trip to Camp Crystal lake in the franchise reboot FRIDAY THE 13TH.

Warner Bros.' new FRIDAY THE 13TH movie, although it is technically a remake, looks just like another extension of the now 12 movie franchise (I count FREDDY VS. JASON as both FRIDAY THE 13TH XI and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET VIII). First off, Jason himself looks exactly like he always has -- big, nasty with an old school hockey mask (luckily the filmmakers were wise enough to not put him in the new all-encompassing Fiberglass masks that the NHL Goalies wear today. How boring would that be!). Expect a high teenage body count.

I am guessing from what I am hearing from friends and associates that this movie could be pretty big. Probably the horrors of this job-killing recession is inspiring people to shut off and go see an old-fashioned hack-and-slash movie. A nice change from the "torture horror" from the SAW series. SAW of course taking their lead from the multi-film 13th franchise as SAW VI is on the way this year.

There is also A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET remake in the works, however Robert Englund will not be returning to the role of Freddy Krueger -- which leaves me a little cold. Watch for that movie to get super-fast tracked if the gross of FRIDAY THE 13TH is high (which it should be).

From New Line via Warner Bros., rated R (thank goodness), and directed by Marcus Nispel who also directed the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake -- which I thought was pretty good as well giving me high hopes for this movie.

For the Valentine's day crowd there is CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC which has Isla Fisher (who practically stole the show in THE WEDDING CRASHERS) trying to curb her nasty spending habits. Many critics have pondered whether or not in this economic climate audiences will want to see a movie about a spendaholic. I say, look at Isla as a large investment firm who chased too many sub-prime loans and now has to recover before falling into financial ruin and you have a perfect metaphor for the current crisis.

PJ Hogan who directed MY BEST FRIEND'S WEDDING also directed this and with John Lithgow, Joan Cusack and Kristin Scott Thomas rounding out the cast, this could be pretty good and should score with audiences as well. Unless of course their credit cards are maxed out and they can't buy a ticket. Rated PG from Touchstone pictures.

Bringing up the rear, figuratively and most likely literally is the Clive Owen thriller THE INTERNATIONAL. With banks being the big bad guys in the news these days, it's not surprising to have a movie where Clive Owen is doing battle with one. Instead of sub-prime loans, this one funds terrorist activities.

Although the trailers have been around for a while, I feel the other two bigger titles listed above still have the advantage. Tyler Tykwer also directed RUN LOLA RUN which was great so who knows, this could be better than it looks. Still, I think the box office on this will be limited. Rated R from Columbia.

There are a few limited run movies also rounding out this long weekend. POLANSKI UNAUTHORIZED opens only here in Los Angeles, TWO LOVERS with Joaquin Phoenix (wait, isn't he a hip-hop artist now?) and Gwyneth Paltrow from Magnolia, GOMORRA is from IFC Films opens in Los Angeles and New York and an IMAX film UNDER THE SEA 3-D also comes out.

Plenty to see this long weekend.