8.19-21.2011: What To Watch – ‘Re’ Theater Edition

Friday, August 19th, 2011 is officially a “re-” movie premiere day.  Conan the Barbarian and Fright Night are reimagining and remaking 80’s movies, and sticking with the same names, all with good intentions.  Will Jason Momoa outmuscle Arnold Schwarzenegger?  And will Colin Farrell’s bite suck more or less than Chris Sarandon’s?

Conan the Barbarian  Starring Jason Momoa (TV’s Game of Thrones & Stargate: Atlantis), Rachel Nichols (TV’s Alias), Stephen Lang (Avatar), Rose McGowan (TV’s Charmed), Saïd Taghmaoui (TV’s Lost), Leo Howard (G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra), Bob Sapp (Elektra) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy I & II).  Written by Thomas Dean Donnelly (Dylan Dog: Dead of Night), Joshua Oppenheimer (Dylan Dog: Dead of Night) and Sean Hood (Halloween: Resurrection).  Directed by Marcus Nispel (Friday the 13th [2009]).

“I live, I love, I slay…I am content.”  2011’s Conan the Barbarian is no Conan the Barbarian of 1982, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.  The reinterpetation, with no relation to the 1982 movie, is faithful to the Conan mythology of writer Robert Erwin Howard’s 1930’s stories in the Weird Tales, and one and only Conan novel, The Hour of the Dragon.  Though the movie is being released 28 years after the “original” (and 26 years after the sequel Conan the Destroyer), the character and story of Conan was and is always present in one property or another like comics (Dark Horse’s Conan: Road of Kings), games (MMORPG Age of Conan) and television (the animated series Conan the Adventurer).  In the 90’s, a second Conan sequel was even talked about but the 2003 election of Schwarzenegger as California’s governator shuttered the project.  The development of the current Conan started at Warner Bros. and in 2008, ended up in North American distribution at Lionsgate.  There is one link between the two Conan films as director Marcus Nispel sought the advice of 1982’s Conan the Barbarian director, John Milius, in casting the title role.  Milius suggested searching overseas like in Iraq but Nispel eventually found Momoa in his own backyard of California.

Synopsis:  A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan (Momoa) realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.

R / 112 mins / RealD 3D

Website:  http://www.conanthebarbarianin3d.com/index2.html

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ConanTheBarbarian#!/ConanTheBarbarian?sk=info

Twitter:  @lionsgatemovies

Fright Night  Starring Anton Yelchin (Terminator Salvation), Colin Farrell (Horrible Bosses), Toni Collette (TV’s United States of Tara), Imogen Poots (Centurion), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (Kick-Ass) and David Tennant (TV’s Doctor Who [2005-2010]).  Story by Tom Holland (Child’s Play, Fright Night [1985]).  Written by Marti Noxon (TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer).  Directed by Craig Gillespie (TV’s United States of Tara).

Fright Night is not a reimagination but a remake of writer/director Tom Holland’s 1985 Fright Night with Chris Sarandon (appearing as Jay Dee in the 2011 version), Amanda Bearse (TV’s Married with Children) and Roddy McDowall (TV’s Planet of the Apes).  The original surprise horror hit, one that actor Colin Farrell watched repeatedly growing up, was well-received with critics and won three Saturn Awards (Best Writing – Holland, Supporting Actor – McDowall and Horror Film).  It was even turned into a 22-issue Now Comics comic book series and video game.  With a successful original, why would studio Dreamworks SKG remake Fright Night?  Simply, the script by Marti Noxon, who has plenty of vampire experience as writer/co-executive producer/director with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  It worked on Farrell so much that he was “highly pissed off that [he] liked it as much as [he] did.”  Good thing it did, as no one makes a vampire look so good, having so much fun.

Synopsis:  Senior Charley Brewster (Yelchin) finally has it all – he’s running with the popular crowd and dating Amy (Poots), the hottest girl in high school.  In fact, he’s so cool he’s even dissing his best friend Ed (Mintz-Plasse).  But trouble arrives when intriguing stranger Jerry (Farrell) moves in next door.  He seems like a great guy at first, but there’s something not quite right – yet no one, including Charley’s mom, Jane (Collette), seems to notice!  After witnessing some very unusual activity, Charley comes to an unmistakable conclusion: Jerry is a vampire preying on his neighborhood.  Unable to convince anyone that he’s telling the truth, Charley has to find a way to get rid of the monster himself.

R /101 mins / RealD 3D

Website:  http://www.welcometofrightnight.com/

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/frightnightmovie#!/frightnightmovie?sk=info

Twitter:  @FrightNight2011

Feed me at sharon@horrorhaven.com

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