In Theaters This Weekend: A Charles Bronson remake, and Hollywood’s obsession with possession

28 Jan

The Mechanic and The RiteWe’ve been moaning for weeks about the dragging January movie season: traditionally the first month of the new year is always the place for Hollywood to pile up their leftovers higher than a Boston snow bank. And why should this year be any different? We’ve already had a Nicolas Cage “period piece” and a Gwyneth Paltrow groaner that just plain sucked, period. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, as the month is almost over, however there is still one weekend left, and Hollywood is still doing some winter cleaning.

First up is The Mechanic, a Jason Statham remake of Charles Bronson’s 1972 B-movie about assassins that takes the original and pumps it full of street-grade crank. Statham plays a gunman who befriends a beautifully bearded Donald Sutherland, but after the Donald is murdered, he finds out someone has betrayed them, and reluctantly takes on Sutherland’s son (Ben Foster) to exact vengeance on those responsible. Statham, who was great in both Guy Ritchie’s Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, has made a name for himself for his B-movie shoot ‘em ups (a modern day Bronson?), and while The Transporter and Crank movies were less than legendary, you can’t say he wasn’t the most enjoyable thing about them. Adding Ben Foster to the mix only increases the strength of this film, as Foster has been known to steal the scenes he’s in. So yes, this is a going to be another one of those fast paced action movies on speed, but with a couple of good actors and some potentially bendy plot twists, this ‘Mechanic’ remake might’ve put enough parts together to take us for a quick ride.

The Rite, however, is a remake that’s not a remake, but seriously, it really is. Starring Anthony Hopkins, it’s the story of an older priest well versed in the ways of exorcism, working with a younger, more skeptical priest, when a young girl gets overtaken by supernatural forces. Sound familiar? It should if you’ve seen any exorcist movie in the past 30 years, starting with The Exorcist in 1973. Sure, the stuffy old hard bound bibles have been traded in for a fancy new eReaders, but the story is pretty much the same, as Hopkins adds his name to a growing list of A-List actors who slum it in low-grade horror movies for a big-time payout. The original Exorcist was an amazing movie that frightened a generation of millions, but every sequel and “possession” movie since has treaded familiar territory, and diluted that formula in one way or another. Hopkins is a screen legend, but here surrounded by a supporting cast of relative newcomers (aside from a surprising Rutger Hauer sighting), it seems like ‘Hannibal Lector’ is more concerned with making a money grab than he is with making a good movie.

In limited release: From Prada to Nada is being billed as a Latino version of Sense and Sensibility, where after the death of their father, two young fashionistas lose it all and have to move from Beverly Hills to “someplace called ‘East L.A.’” – I wouldn’t worry about it too much.

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2 Responses to “In Theaters This Weekend: A Charles Bronson remake, and Hollywood’s obsession with possession”

  1. Holley Scaiano October 10, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Anthony hopkins is definetely one of the best actors these days, this guy is very talented. ::”:`

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  1. In Theaters This Weekend: Summer Movie Season is Over, Part II « Will It Suck? - August 24, 2011

    […] corpses of rotten movies on us, and much like the rubbish we got just after New Year’s (does Nicolas Cage ring a bell?), the end of summer is always signaled by studios giving up, and giving us trash […]

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