New movies for Aug. 19

New movies

Fright Night

The gist: One of the best comedy-horror movies ever made gets resurrected, but this time the high-schooler who thinks his neighbor is a vampire (spoiler alert: he actually is a vampire) is popular, yet somehow can't convince anyone about the truth of Jerry Dandridge. We wonder if Evil Ed still turns into an awesome wolfboy after getting staked by Peter Vincent. That was awesome. R

The cast: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Imogen Poots.

The buzz: We hate to say it about this movie, but the remake is looking pretty good. "A cleverly balanced mix of scares and laughs that is funnier and more terrifying than the 1985 original on which it's based," Variety lauds. If only William Ragsdale made a cameo …

One Day

The gist: A rich boy and a working-class girl graduate from college together as friends, but their education wasn't good enough to prevent them from taking two decades to realize they're perfect for each other. PG-13

The cast: Anne Hathaway, Jim Sturgess, Tom Mison, Tim Key, Rafe Spall and Jodie Whittaker.

The buzz: The gimmick is that the movie is set on successive July 15ths over the years. Why has it been released in August, then? "When a movie inflates the importance of a love story that is predominantly comic in tone, even with a fair share of grief and loss built into the plot, that love story takes on more than it can handle," the Chicago Tribune says.

Conan the Barbarian

The gist: It's apparently '80s remake weekend, with everyone's favorite Cimmerian getting rebooted, with a whole lot more CGI and a whole lot less Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bad tradeoff. R

The cast: Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Land, Rose McGowan and Said Taghmaoui.

The buzz: It may be truer to Robert E. Howard's original character, but it's nowhere near as fun as John Milius' version in 1982. "Here's a movie that's simultaneously lavishly violent and numbing, visually ornate and undistinguished, epic and shallow, relentlessly noisy and tone-deaf, workmanlike and unfilling," Entertainment Weekly groans.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D

The gist: A quickie sequel in Robert Rodriguez's legacy franchise, which has something to do with Jessica Alba squeezing in some work before her second pregnancy (resulting in a new daughter born a few days ago) began to show. Oh, and spies and kids, or something. PG

The cast: Alba, Joel McHale, Jeremy Piven, Alexa Varga, Daryl Sabara and Rowan Blanchard.

The buzz: Seriously? McHale is married to Alba in this? Man. Hardly anyone previewed this, ostensibly because of the Smellovision.

Another Earth

The gist: An MIT student and a successful composer with a loving family are transported to a parallel Earth, on which they must deal with leaving their old lives behind and start over with each other. Then one gets the chance to go back. That should end well. PG-13

The cast: Brit Marling, Matthew-Lee Erlbach, D.J. Flava, William Mapother, Meggan Lennon and A.J. Diana.

The buzz: Sci-fi is hard to do on an indie budget, but this one works fairly well. "The wildly improbable set-up is merely the jumping off point for an exploration of grief, guilt and redemption that plays out almost entirely between two people thrown together by circumstance," the Orlando Sentinel says.

Sarah's Key

The gist: A journalist in Paris discovers while researching an article that the house her husband's family owns was taken after its Jewish owners were rounded up by Nazis in 1942. There's more to it, but we don't want to spoil it for you. PG-13

The cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Niels Arestrup, Melusine Mayance, Frederic Pierrot, Michel Duchaussoy and Dominique Frot.

The buzz: It's a faithful translation of the book, which fans will enjoy. "Based on a popular novel by Tatiana De Rosnay, Sarah's Key has perhaps a few too many coincidences and complications, but its impact is undeniable. The scars of war never truly heal," the Detroit News says.

— Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Aug. 26: Colombiana; Don't Be Afraid of the Dark; Our Idiot Brother; Redemption Road

Aug. 31: The Debt

New movies for Aug. 19 08/18/11 [Last modified: Thursday, August 18, 2011 6:50pm]

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