Before we get to this weekend’s new movies, I have to ask: is everyone – or anyone — excited about the Footloose remake? It’s clearly a divisive issue. Or as divisive as any debate can be that’s focused upon the merits of a movie all about banned dancing in a small town. I loved the original and I’m pretty sure everyone else did too. Do we really need to tinker? The question becomes whether a remake is justified because wow, it was so amazing it must live again OR should someone have said it was wonderful, so let’s just leave well enough alone. Except that nobody ever leaves well enough alone in Hollywood. The one thing it does have going for it is that Craig Brewer (who made Hustle & Flow) directed it. He is someone with a very unique vision. Many years ago I interviewed him about that film, and as we got chatting he said that he had this idea about making a movie with Justin Timberlake where a religious man chains a women to a radiator in order to keep her pure and save her soul. The entire notion was shocking to me and I remember thinking this guy is southern and charming but he is completely out of his mind if he thinks that’s a movie that’s ever going to get made in Hollywood – and no way will it star Justin Timberlake. As it turns out I was completely wrong and sure enough a year later Justin Timberlake appeared alongside Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan. My point is if Footloose has to be remade, perhaps Craig Brewer’s a good choice. And I’m sure it will be well made – but will we be as amenable to a hunky outsider who also happens to be a crack hoofer in 2011? What do you think? Zac Efron bailed on the project, although I don’t know if that was a good or a bad idea. What I do know is that Charlie St. Cloud was a bad idea. Anyway, let’s get back to movies playing this weekend.
Will you help make Cars 2 the number one movie in America? Because that’s where it’s headed. The latest features the voices of Owen Wilson, Michael Caine, Eddie Izzard and John Turturro, among others. And of course, Larry the Cable Guy. Now, when his parents gave birth to a son some forty-some odd years ago, do you suppose they knew at the time that their infant would grow up to be a multi-multi millionaire on account of comedy known chiefly for its socio-economic classification? And did they imagine that his professional moniker would forever connect him to the care and maintenance of home electronics? Regardless, everyone expects Cars 2 to be a smash hit.
Speaking of movies in which Justin Timberlake stars, we also have Bad Teacher. Which doesn’t even look – according to its posters – like it’s trying to be tasteful. Clearly that’s the point, and it’s targeted towards the 12-17 year old males who crave those Judd Apatow comedies. Before their beloved raunchfests got hijacked by things like Kristen Wiig and her five best friends. Anyway Bad Teacher is not getting great word of mouth, although this will not deter those who are in it for Cameron Diaz, Timberlake and Jason Segel. And maybe it will be funny. I’m still stunned by the poster, and wonder what those folks who are so intent on boycotting The Playboy Club TV series have to say about it.
Those are the big films in theaters hoping to take on the summer behemoths already playing. My guess is that one of them will overtake the competition swiftly and handily, while the other will fade tastelessly away. But that’s just me.
1) Bad Teacher
2) Cars 2
3) Green Lantern
4) Super 8