New movies this week
The Taking of Pelham 123
The gist: A remake of the 1974 original (which was already remade as a TV movie 11 years ago) in which a transit dispatcher has to deal with a gang of thugs who highjack a subway train and demand a ransom for the passengers. R
Starring: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro, Luis Guzman, Michael Rispoli and James Gandolfini.
The buzz: Believe it or not, the carpet-bombing marketing campaign delivers a decent movie. "More than anything, a fascinating portrait of how much New York has changed in 35 years, the film delivers the goods in excitement and big-star charisma," Variety raves.
The gist: A financial exec who doesn't have time for his daughter finds that he should make some as her imaginary world begins to help his career, which is crumbling (imagine that). PG
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Yara Shahidi, Nicole Ari Parker, Ronny Cox and Martin Sheen.
The buzz: It's a decent ride, but only because of the principals involved. "(It) is a much more playable film than recent efforts, though Murphy will have to share the applause with young Yara Shahidi," the Hollywood Reporter says.
Valentino: The Last Emperor
The gist: A documentary about the closing years of fashion icon Valentino Garavani's life, including his relationship with business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti. Not rated
Starring: Garavani, Giammetti, Giorgio Armani, Jeannie Becker, Alessandra Facchinetti, Tom Ford, Gwyneth Paltrow and Claudia Schiffer.
The buzz: Pretty good, if you're into that sort of thing. "Lively and affectionate, Matt Tyrnauer's documentary is made for those who believe, as he does, that the work of fashion designer Valentino is worthy of the most respectful chronicle," the New York Daily News says.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]