In Theaters: '80s Night At The Multiplex With 'Footloose' & 'The Thing'

by Katie Walsh
October 14, 2011 7:34 AM
1 Comment
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Kick off your Sunday shoes, dear readers, this weekend it's time to cut loose with "Footloose." And what's that? It's a remake-tastic weekend with "The Thing" also in theaters, if you enjoy your '80s nostalgia with body inhabiting aliens instead of nubile dancing teens. Also, Señor Almodóvar's latest, "The Skin I Live In," and the funnymen trio of Martin, Wilson and Black in "The Big Year."

I can't even try to be biased about "Footloose." It's become a joke around Playlist HQ that anytime someone mentions "Footloose," I lose my mind, blackout and come to singing "never, never, NEVER, NEVER hide your heart!" What can I say? I saw the original at a young and impressionable age, and it left me with permanent "Footloose"-loving brain damage. The remake is a very good remake, and Kenny Wormald is so cute. Though it sounds like he's doing a Mark Wahlberg impression the whole time. But apparently the accent is auténtico, so there you have it. Also, Wormald? Shoulda gone with the middle name last name, Ken. Our reviewer, Gabe Toro loved it too, in case you didn't trust my opinion. He says the movie is "alive and vital," and that it "captures exactly what MTV used to represent, before the laws of capitalism swallowed the network whole." Directed by Craig Brewer (of the very good and underrated films "Hustle and Flow" and "Black Snake Moan") with Julianne Hough and her midriff costarring. Rotten Tomatoes: 73% Metacritic: 59


Why remake "The Thing"? The original is pretty damn perfect. And even though I appreciate some Joel Edgerton, no one touches Kurt Russell in the '80s. Not in his wildly inappropriate Antarctica cowboy hat. Not in anything. But, sigh, this is what they do now, and it's ostensibly labeled as a "prequel," so how's the flick starring everyone's crush, Mary Elizabeth Winstead? Our review says the "weird juxtaposition of bowing down to Carpenter’s movie while trying to remain a brand new chapter hobbles 'The Thing' nearly every step of the way." Hmm, okay, well you can't win them all in the remake game. RT: 31% MC: 49

Our favorite Spanish auteur is just going by Almodóvar now (according to this trailer), and I think he's entirely deserving of the one name moniker. His latest, "The Skin I Live In," departs from his usual milieu and brings us into the world of Antonio Banderas' disturbed and grieving plastic surgeon, experimenting on Elena Anaya. Our review from Cannes says the "film may seem thin at first glance, but it’s exactly as thin as the skin we wear between the outer world and the blood in our bodies—and just as uniquely beautiful and distinctively imperfect." Don't forget to check out our Pedro Almodóvar retrospective today! RT: 82% MC: 70

Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson star in the competitive bird-watching (yes, apparently that is a thing) comedy "The Big Year," directed by David Frankel ("Devil Wears Prada," "Marley & Me"). Our review says it's a "slight and trivial movie that wastes its entire setting, its three stars, its huge supporting cast and every possibility in the name of agreeable mediocrity." RT: 42% MC: 54

Ryan Reynolds stars as a writer dealing with a turbulent relationship with his parents Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe in the wake of his mother's death in "Fireflies in the Garden" from writer-director Dennis Lee. Our review says the "film isn’t telling a bad story, but it’s using bad storytelling, specifically by aiming for slice-of-life realism, constructing it out of theatrical scenarios, and then undercutting their intensity with a wish-fulfillment finale." With Emily Mortimer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Hayden Panetierre. RT: 20% MC: 34

Michael Mann's progeny, Ami Canaan Mann, brings us her second feature, "Texas Killing Fields," starring Sam Worthington and Jeffery Dean Morgan as a Texas detective and the NYC cop trying to solve a series of murders. Co-starring Jessica Chastain and Chloë Grace Moretz. Our review says it's "a dark, intense and psychologically bruising picture" that exhibit her technical filmmaking prowess, but "as a whole, it’s deeply flawed, rather predictable police procedural that says absolutely nothing novel about killers, prey or law men." RT: 40% MC: 45

Cage's Festival of Wigs (TM) is back! And this time he is wearing kooky glasses. God bless and keep you, Nic Cage! "Trespass" hits theaters this weekend with Nicole Kidman (lol whut?), Ben Mendelsohn (guy's gotta break into the U.S. somehow) and Cam Gigandet (the beef snack from "Twilight," "Burlesque," etc). Even better, it's directed by Joel Schumacher, the king of crap films. He must have some nude pix of Kidman or something from Batman, because why oh why is she in this movie? Anyway, blah blah home invasion thriller, our review says it's "a total direct-to-video junk heap" and that "not even Nicolas Cage’s jolts of weirdness can save this thing from being a totally predictable mess." Sounds fun! You bring the wine! Lots of it. RT: 15% MC: 39

Also in theaters:

Documentary "America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments" from director Darryl Roberts explores America's dangerous obsession with dieting. RT: 40%

Felicity Jones and Ed Westwick star in light skiing rom com "Chalet Girl" RT: 79% MC: 41

Feral lady horror film "The Woman." Scary! RT: 80% MC: 50

Kevin Spacey, Virgina Madsen, Camilla Belle and Heather Graham in "Father of Invention" about a disgraced infomercial king. RT: 0%

"Oka!" is the adaptation of the true-life tale of an ethnomusicologist immersing himself in the world of the Bayaka people in Africa. RT: 80%

Music video director Alma Har'el's first feature, the doc "Bombay Beach," tells the story of American ghost town the Salton Sea, with music from Bob Dylan and Beirut's Zach Condon. RT: 60%

Documentary "To Be Heard" chronicles the life-changing powers of poetry in three South Bronx teens. RT: 83% MC: 83

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1 Comment

  • Kimberley Walsh | October 14, 2011 8:10 AMReply

    It is unfortunate that ‘Chalet Girl’, ‘Father of Invention’, 'Fireflies in the Garden', ‘Texas Killing Fields’, ‘The Skin I Live In’ and ‘Trespass’ are only getting a limited release. They all have interesting casts. It would have been interesting to see how they would have done commercially if released nationwide and they deserve better than to go unnoticed by the public now.

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