Going to the cinema this weekend? Check out our Cineast film previews to help you decide what to go see.
About Last Night
This Valentine’s Day, you’re going to want to look at the calendar to confirm for yourself that you haven’t been secretly transported back in time. The first sign that you might be reliving the ’80s is the release of About Last Night, which is a remake of 1986’s About Last Night, which was a somewhat tame, if not lame, film based on David Mamet’s play Sexual Perversity in Chicago. 2014’s About Last Night takes the 1986 film, which was basically a Mamet-inflected sex comedy set among white urban professionals, and reimagines it among contemporary black professionals. In the process, it loses the characteristic, Mamet-style dialogue (where nobody ever finishes a sentence, a device that many people won’t miss) and replaces it with Kevin Hart. Hart, who is best known for his stand-up comedy, motormouths his way through the film like Eddie Murphy on speed.
In another disconcerting sign that we may have entered a time warp, movie theaters will begin screening a film called Endless Love today. It was 1981 when Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt starred as the star-crossed lovers Jade and David in a film called Endless Love that today is perhaps best remembered for its Lionel Richie-Diana Ross duet theme song, the soft-rock radio standard “Endless Love.” The 1981 film was much hyped at the time for its handling of the touchy subject of teen sex, a topic made all the more titillating by the relative youth of its stars. In 2014, it’s hard to imagine the storyline generating quite that much of a stir—a reality reflected by the fact that while the original film was saddled with an R rating, the 2014 remake is rated PG-13. The theme song for the 2014 remake? Skylar Grey covering Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love.”
A RoboCop remake? Now it’s definitely time to freak out. The third remake of an 80s film to get released this weekend—what’s going on? Those of us with fond memories of the original Robocop, an action film that exuded a somewhat surprising anti-establishment spirit and quirky humor, are right to feel wary, given contemporary Hollywood’s tendency to treat action heroes with a stolid reverence. On the other hand, the new Robocop has Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton—all deft performers who know how to deliver heavy dialog with a wink and a nudge, so this RoboCop stands a chance of being as light on its feet at the original. The film is set, like the original, in Detroit, and comes just at about the right time for the unveiling of a new RoboCop statue in that hard luck city. I’m not making that up.