Horror remake ‘Fright Night’ is short on thrills
Jerry Dandrige stars in “Fright Night.”
- “Fright Night”
★★ (out of four)
2011, Dir. Craig Gillespie, U.S., R
- New films
‘Shark Night 3D’
Director: David R. Ellis.
Starring: Sara Paxton, Dustin Milligan.
The plot: A lake-house retreat on the Louisiana Gulf turns into
a nightmare for a group of vacationers when they are subjected to
an improbably phenomenon: fresh-water shark attacks.
Genre: Horror, thriller.
Director: John Madden.
Starring: Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington.
The plot: In 1965, Mossad agent Rachel Singer was part of a
secret mission to capture and bring to trial a Nazi war criminal.
In her present-day life, when a man claiming to be the killr
surfaces, Singer travels to Eastern Europe to seek out the
Genre: Drama, thriller.
- Film roundup
‘RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES’
★★★ 1⁄2 (out of four)
More morality play than typical summer blockbuster, this “Planet
of the Apes” envisions a not-too-distant future in which human
greed and arrogance lays the groundwork for the primate-run society
first seen in the 1968 film with Charlton Heston. Our primary human
protagonist is medical researcher Will Rodman (James Franco,
looking way too spaced out to be believable as an M.D.), an
altruistic lad who is working tirelessly to find a cure for
Alzheimer’s, the disease that is slowing destroying his father
(John Lithgow). After a lab mishap involving an aggressive ape
leaves him without a prime test subject for his regenerative
“cure,” Will secretly takes home that ape’s offspring, named Caesar
(played by Andy Serkis, king of the blue-screen), to conduct
‘COWBOYS & ALIENS’
I always appreciate it when a film makes an effort to show me
something I haven’t seen before, and I’m willing to forgive a great
many oversights in exchange for that spark of creativity. “Cowboys
& Aliens” (based on the comic book by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg,
but credited to no less than eight screenwriters) offers up an
intriguing blend of the Western, adventure and science-fiction
genres, and that alone is a novel enough concept to pique my
interest. The film has a lot of fun with the madcap mixup and even
includes several blink-and-you’ll-miss-them nods to such genre
staples as “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “The Searchers,” and I can
honestly say that I’ve never seen anything quite like it.
‘HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS: PART
There’s something to be said for a book franchise that has
almost single-handedly instilled a love of reading into a whole
generation of youths, and a movie franchise that has brought
genuine joy to hundreds of millions of people. In the end, the
positive residual effects of Pottermania easily trump the cynicism
and greed that went into its creation. And despite its status as a
studio product, I defy any old-fashioned, entertainment-seeking
moviegoer to see “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” and
come away dissatisfied.
“Horrible Bosses” is a hard-R comedy filled with more than its
share of boundary-pushing humor and, admittedly, lapses in logic
and plausibility. It is not concerned with filmic issues like
editing and cinematography. It has but two goals: to engage you
with its characters and their plight, and to make you laugh. That
it succeeds so thoroughly on both counts leaves one no choice but
to declare it some kind of mini-masterpiece of comic timing and
Posted: Friday, August 26, 2011 8:10 am
We’re back to standard reviews with a largely ambivalent look at
the “Fright Night” remake, which if nothing else has at least
gotten me psyched for the roster of horror and thriller titles
rolling out over the next few weeks.
Next time we’ll look at producer Guillermo del Toro’s update of
the 1970s television horror-movie-of the-week “Don’t Be Afraid of
the Dark” (unless “Our Idiot Brother” pulls me away, but I doubt
it), followed by the “found footage” shocker “Apollo 18.” After
that will be Steven Soderbergh’s bio-apocalypse thriller
“Contagion” (“Warrior” could bump it, but again doubtful), which
will lead us right up to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Cannes honoree
“Drive.” Sounds like good times to me.
Friday, August 26, 2011 8:10 am.