Network television in 1990 couldn't do justice to It, so an R-rated, no-clowns-barred adaptation of Stephen King's novel is long overdue.
It floats into theaters this weekend, reintroducing Pennywise, the child killer haunting sewers beneath Derry, Maine. Bill Skarsgard (Atomic Blonde) adopts the greasepaint leer of Tim Curry's other signature role, a template for countless killer clowns since.
Actually, half of King's novel is still overdue for an R-rated makeover. Like the CBS miniseries, It is expected to be divided into two movies, the childhood and adult versions of seven friends haunted by Pennywise.
New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. have taken a wait-and-see approach. If early box office predictions are correct, It 2 should be greenlighted soon.
Nearly all of the young actors have previous experience in supernatural conditions. Two notables are Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things) and Jaeden Lieberher (alien child in Midnight Special). Perhaps one of them will grow up to be Seth Green, who played Wolfhard's role on the miniseries.
Viewers won't wait long to see the difference between last-century TV standards and Hollywood now. King's story begins with Pennywise luring a boy named Georgie into the sewer. Director Andres Muschietti has promised Georgie's fate will be gruesome.
Sometimes in Hollywood, it's not what you know but who your parents are. Ask Hallie Meyers-Shyer, making her directing and screenwriting debut with Home Again (PG-13), a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen and Candice Bergen. Not bad for a start.
Meyers-Shyer's parents are Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer, whose writing/directing credits include both Father of the Bride flicks, Private Benjamin, What Women Want, Something's Gotta Give, Baby Boom and other cable TV staples.
Meyers showed good friend Witherspoon her daughter's first script. That's what moms are for.
Home Again casts the Oscar winner as Alice Kinney, a divorced mother making ends meet in Los Angeles by renting rooms to three brothers, aspiring filmmakers half her age. Alice romances the sensitive one (Pico Alexander), continuing the Meyers-Shyer family tradition of what women want. Her ex-husband (Sheen) and mother (Bergen) will have plenty to say cleverly about that.
A review of Home Again will be published at tampabay.com/movies.
Former homicide detective Thomas Marchese brings an experienced eye to Fallen (not rated), a documentary about police officers killed in the line of duty. Narrated by Michael Chiklis, Fallen "looks past the divisive politics and focuses on the humanity behind statistics," according to production notes.
Fallen opens at Regency 20 in Brandon on Friday, same day as home video on demand.
Based on a true story, Crown Heights (not rated) was originally presented on NPR's This American Life. In 1980, teenager Colin Warner was wrongly convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. His friend on the outside, Carl King, spent years proving Warner's innocence, becoming a legal courier to learn the system.
Lakeith Stanfield (Get Out) stars as Warner while former NFL All-Pro Nnamdi Asomugha plays King. Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, Crown Heights opens Friday at several Tampa Bay theaters.
in theaters: our Top 5
Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:
1 Good Time: Robert Pattinson eclipses Twilight in a crackling crime thriller.
2 Dunkirk: Christopher Nolan's WWII masterpiece will be chased all awards season.
3 Logan Lucky: Channing Tatum and Adam Driver play dumber than two bags of hammers.
4 Patti Cake$: Hairspray meets 8 Mile making a hip-hop Cinderella of Danielle Macdonald, pictured above.
5 Wind River: Wildlife tracker (Jeremy Renner) hunts a killer on a Wyoming reservation.
(Dates subject to change)
Sept. 15: American Assassin; Brad's Status; Mother!; All I See Is You
Sept. 22: Kingsmen: The Golden Circle; Battle of the Sexes; The Lego Ninjago Movie; Stronger; The Trip to Spain
Sept. 29: American Made; Flatliners; Lucky
Oct. 6: Blade Runner: 2049; The Florida Project; My Little Pony: The Movie
Oct. 13: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Friday the 13th; Breathe; The Foreigner