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Slim Pickings This Weekend, from Remakes 'RoboCop' and 'About Last Night' to Panned 'Winter's Tale,' Plus Indies 'Jimmy P.' and 'Adult World'

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by Beth Hanna
February 13, 2014 3:19 PM
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Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay in 'Winter's Tale'

As the Olympics churn on, it's slim pickings in the world of new releases this weekend, with the "RoboCop" remake, starring Joel Kinnaman, getting respectable if not remarkable reviews, and big-budget fantasy romance "Winter's Tale," starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Brown Findlay, sitting with a not-so-respectable 4% Rotten on the Tomatometer. Farrell's future as a bankable leading man is in jeopardy. 

'RoboCop'

"About Last Night," has the best aggregated reviews of the weekend, a Valentine's Day vehicle starring box-office sure-thing Kevin Hart that, like "RoboCop," is a remake of an '80s film (that would be Ed Zwick's 1986 film of the same title, albeit not nearly as memorable as the original Paul Verhoeven "RoboCop").

In the indie sphere, Cannes entry "Jimmy P." from French auteur Arnaud Desplechin is sitting with mixed reviews, as it did out of the French fest, though it certainly has its supporters, with trades Variety and THR both liking it. The film stars Benicio Del Toro and Mathieu Amalric as a Native American war veteran labeled as schizophrenic, and the French anthropologist brought in to work on his case.

"Adult World," starring John Cusack and Emma Roberts, isn't impressing critics, though Lou Lumenick of The New York Post has praise for Cusack's performance. The film follows a post-grad would-be poet (Roberts) who takes a job in a sex shop to pay the bills, while hounding an aging reclusive writer (Cusack) for mentorship.

Winter's Tale Dir. Akiva Goldsman, US | Warner Bros. | Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe, Will Smith, William Hurt | 4% Rotten | The Hollywood Reporter: "Aspiring transcendent love stories don't come much more claptrappy and unconvincing than Winter's Tale."

Adult World Dir. Scott Coffey, US | IFC Films | Cast: John Cusack, Emma Roberts, Cloris Leachman, Evan Peters | 31% Rotten | Time Out New York: "The story beats are as familiar as they come, and there are a few halfhearted stabs at redeeming Roberts’s clueless character when it would have been better to push her feeble-mindedness to Anna Faris–esque extremes."

Benecio del Toro, Mathieu Amalric in 'Jimmy P.'

Robocop Dir. Jose Padilha, US | Columbia Pictures | Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman, Jackie Earl Haley, Michael K. Williams, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson | 48% Rotten | New York Times: "A nicely cast, respectable remake."

Jimmy P. Dir. Arnaud Desplechin, France | IFC Films | Cast: Benicio Del Toro, Mathieu Amalric | 44 % Rotten | Village Voice: "Amalric's impish dexterity and Del Toro's mild catatonia make for a memorable mismatch, but Jimmy P.'s profound slow burn might be too clinical for some to consider dramatic."

About Last Night Dir. Steve Pink, US | Screen Gems | Cast: Kevin Hart, Joy Bryant, Joe Lo Truglio, Paula Patton | 70% Fresh | Variety: "Few may remember “About Last Night … ,” Edward Zwick’s 1986 screen adaptation of David Mamet’s play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” but this serviceable remake of the same name (sans ellipsis) is clearly aimed at broader sensibilities. As Michael Ealy and Joy Bryant traverse the cliched trials and tribulations of romantic entanglement, director Steve Pink balances the main story with the more flippant hijinks of comedian Kevin Hart (“Ride Along”), matched by a playfully bombastic Regina Hall. The jokes are hit-or-miss..."

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