New movies for Aug. 22

New movies

Death Race

The gist: Jason Statham leads a needless remake of the 1975 original about people locked in a crazed contest that pits desperate men in a hopeless contest that is devoured by bloodthirsty fans across the country. These days we call it NASCAR. R

Starring: Statham, Joan Allen, Tyrese Gibson, Ian McShane, Natalie Martinez and Jason Clarke.

The buzz: They've watered down this version so much that it loses relevance and shock value, even with all the blood and guts. "It's a remake toned and dumbed down for modern tastes, or lack thereof," the St. Pete Times ridicules. "The movie amuses but doesn't exactly thrill."

The House Bunny

The gist: A Playboy bunny gets kicked out of the mansion and has to become den mother to a hopeless sorority locked in a battle with a rival gang of idiots. PG-13

Starring: Anna Faris, Colin Hanks, Emma Stone, Kat Dennings, Dana Goodman, Katharine McPhee, Rumer Willis, Christopher McDonald and Beverly D'Angelo.

The buzz: Better than you'd think, given the description. The movie "manages to stand on its own two skyscraper heels thanks to the comic force of nature that is Anna Faris," the Hollywood Reporter says.

The Longshots

The gist: When did Ice Cube pull an Eddie Murphy and become Mr. Family Movie? Here he is in a fact-based yarn about the first female QB in Pop Warner history. PG

Starring: Ice Cube, Asha Smith, Keke Palmer, Jill Marie Jones and Earthquake.

The buzz: The most notable thing? Fred Durst directed. "While The Longshots is by no means an unpleasant experience, it feels like a project carried out by people who began with the best of intentions but weren't quite able to sustain their initial enthusiasm," Variety says.

The Rocker

The gist: A drummer from an '80s hair band joins his nephew's emo-rock-whatever group in order to get people in their late 30s and early 40s to go to the movies. Hilarity ensues. PG-13

Starring: Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Jane Lynch, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis and Howard Hesseman.

The buzz: With a cast like this, you'd expect it to be funnier than it is. "For the most part, The Rocker is content to simply keep the beat, marking time as the summer movie season moves on," the L.A. Times says.

— Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Wednesday: Hamlet 2; Traitor

Aug. 29: Disaster Movie; Babylon A.D.; Tell No One; American Teen

New movies for Aug. 22 08/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 1:33pm]

    

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