Scheduled to open next weekend (Feb. 14) in area theaters are:
- About Last Night: In a record weekend for remakes of ’80s hits opening simultaneously, at least this redo of the 1986 Demi Moore-Rob Lowe-James Belushi hit, based on a David Mamet play, strives for one note of originality: it switches the milieu from Chicago’s upscale white twentysomethings of the ’80s to their African-American counterparts of century 21. As before, the narrative follows the new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom and are eventually put to the test in the real world. Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Christopher McDonald and Paula Patton star.
- Endless Love: OK, the weekend’s second remake technically came out in 1979, but its Lionel Ritchie theme song was all over the airwaves into ’80 and beyond. The film itself, with Brooke Shields in one of her famously steamy teen roles, was, despite the hit theme song, a resounding critical and box office flop. So here we go again, fingers crossed, with Alex Pettyfer (late of "Magic Mike") and Gabriella Wilde (late of "The Three Musketeers" redo) in the teary saga of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. Robert Patrick, Bruce Greenwood and Joely Richardson co-star.
- Winter’s Tale: The lone non-remake for the Valentine’s weekend is the long-overdue film version of Mark Helprin’s much-loved 1983 novel, set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century via a pastiche of miracles, crossed destinies and the eternal battle between good and evil. Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint and Russell Crowe co-star.
Scheduled to open early next week, on Wednesday (Feb. 12), is:
RoboCop: The third of the weekend’s remakes adds all of the digital F/X spit-and-polish unavailable to the makers of the analogue 1987 original. This time around, the year is 2028, and once again Detroit’s multinational conglomerate OmniCorp is at the center of robot technology, with their drones winning American wars around the globe. Now they want to bring this technology to the home front — just like Amazon wants to do in 2014. Joel Kinnaman takes over from Peter Weller as the human cop critically injured in the line of duty and reborn as half-man/half-robot through the miracle of OmniCorp technology. Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley and Marianne Jean-Baptiste co-star.
- Freebies: Two gratis offerings this weekend, beginning at 7 p.m. Friday in Illinois Wesleyan University’s Hansen Student Center, where The Hunger Games: Catching Fire will be screened at 7 p.m. Friday. For the younger set, LeRoy’s Princess Theater is offering Despicable Me 2 at 11 a.m. Saturday, sans admission charge.
- Moonlighting: Bloomington’s Galaxy 14 is offering first looks tonight at the weekend’s new arrivals, LEGO: The Movie and The Monuments Men.
- Rock the Box: Taking over the D-Box auditorium at the Stadium 14 in Normal, effective Friday, is the new movie with a leg up on all the kid-movie competition this weekend. Need we say more?