Was anyone really clamoring for a remake of Judge Dredd, the 1995 Sylvester Stallone vehicle? No. No one was. I think we all agreed that the mid-'90s were what might charitably be termed a fallow period in Stallone's career, and probably mixed up Judge Dredd with Demolition Man anyway. ("Wasn't Judge Dredd the one where it's the future and the only restaurant is Taco Bell?" No. That's the other one.)
But as SyFy's Battlestar Galactica amply proved, it is possible to make a good remake out of bad source material. I mean, in this case, I'm using the word "good" pretty loosely. It's still a violent action movie set in the future; its having been overlooked by the Academy yesterday is not an accident. But it stars Star Trek's Karl Urban, Game of Thrones's Lena Headey, and independent starlet Olivia Thirlby, who are all pretty respectable and must have thought it would be an enjoyable lark — or, at least, that they could improve upon the unloved original. Get some Taco Bell and give it a shot.
New and Notable
Hit & Run
Silver Linings Playbook Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper stars as a dreadlocked bad guy in this action comedy, also starring real-life couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell.
House at the End of the Street
Silver Linings Playbook Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence stars in this unremarkable-looking horror flick.
Tim Burton revisits his own story (originally a black-and-white short film from the '80s), about a kid who reanimates his dead pet.
A Liar's Autobiography
Monty Python's Graham Chapman wrote A Liar's Autobiography, the not-especially-accurate story of his life; this film was based on his jokey book.
A fast-food restaurant manager (Ann Dowd), on instructions from some guy on the phone who says he's a cop, subjects one of her employees to various kinds of torture.
Chow Yun-Fat stars in this story of power struggles in imperial China.
If your only experience of The Inbetweeners is the terrible and swiftly canceled MTV remake, get on Netflix and watch the original, hilarious British show. This is a film spin-off from that show, and is as amazingly filthy and great as the show that spawned it.
Seal Team Six
Zero Dark Thirty may be the Oscar-nominated version of the story of Osama Bin Laden's assassination, but NatGeo had its own take, which aired last November and is now available on demand.
Tales of the Night
This animated feature looks very handsome, very French, and like the kind of thing that would probably really bore kids.
The creators of the 1992 film Baraka took five years to create this documentary, made up of slices of life from 25 countries.
Yet another entry into the "girl's dad dies so she goes to live with some lady whose boyfriend raises horses and the girl ends up becoming a harness racer" genre.
Opportunistic Backlist Revival Themes of the Week: Gangsters/Parodies
Gangster Squad has finally made its way to theaters, giving Time Warner the excuse to bust out its collection of gangster movies yet again: Miller's Crossing, Scarface, Casino, The Untouchables, and a whole bunch of others. Goodfellas is still the greatest, so if you don't own it on Blu-ray, you can rent it this weekend.
The theatrical release of the Wayans brothers film A Haunted House, which parodies movies like Paranormal Activity, has inspired the assembly of this collection of sketch-based film parodies like several of the Scary Movie films, Hot Shots, Meet the Spartans, Epic Movie, Dance Flick, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Superhero Movie, and what is still the best of the film parody genre: Airplane.
"In Theaters" VOD Picks
This documentary about celebrity "journalism" features stars like Jennifer Aniston, Elton John, and Sarah Jessica Parker discussing why they are not the paparazzi's biggest fans.
My Best Enemy
A Nazi and a Jew who were friends before WWII get involved in a sticky situation when the Jew puts on his friend's uniform and ends up impersonating him, while trying to keep his friend (who's posing as him, a concentration camp prisoner) alive.
Weird Indie of the Week
Before Memento, Christopher Nolan's very first film was Following, in which a weirdo who likes to follow random people on the street gets involved with one of his marks.
Early VOD Premiere of the Week
It's easy to get excited about Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray co-starring in another movie. Rushmore reunion, right? Unfortunately, Charlie Sheen is the lead in this film that comes not from Wes Anderson but from Roman "CQ" Coppola.
A Dangerous Place
A pharmaceutical company starts a tuberculosis outbreak, thus creating demand for one of its drugs and driving up its stock price. Amateur acting abounds.