Six Picks for the Week of August 15-21

Conan the Barbarian Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 1In a week loaded with sequels, remakes, and reboots, this Friday’s Conan the Barbarian seems like the one with the most untouchable original, with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s breakthrough performance as the hero drawn from Robert E. Howard's 1930s-era stories. But new Conan star Jason Momoa so blew us away as Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones that we’ll have to give him a chance at taking on such an iconic role. The film is directed by Marcus Nispel, who directed the thematically similar Pathfinder as well as the loathsome The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th remakes. The genre-heavy cast includes Avatar’s Stephen Lang, Rose McGowan (who was to play the lead in a Red Sonja reboot at one point), and Ron Perlman.

Swing your sword at the official website.

Fright Night Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 2Remember “You’re so cool, Brewster”? It remains to be seen if the new Fright Night will incorporate the original flick’s haunting coda. Friday's remake, directed by Lars and the Real Girl director Craig Gillespie and written by former Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon, now takes place in the Las Vegas desert suburbs and has vampire Colin Farrell torturing Charley Brewster, the high school senior next door, played by the appealing Anton Yelchin (Star Trek). Christopher Mintz-Plasse plays Charley’s friend “Evil” Ed and former Dr. Who David Tennant appears as a Las Vegas magician who assists in vampire-killing. Hopefully the film will retain the style and charm that made the original a standout.

Las Vegas bites at the official website.

El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron PS3 Reviews 360 Reviews
New PS3/360 game in stores Tuesday

Pick 3August is typically the calm before the fall videogame storm. Enter Tuesday’s El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, a low-profile Japanese import action platformer with fighting elements that’s set against the stunning backdrop of a lush purgatory. The gameplay vibe is a mix of God of War, Bayonetta, and Devil May Cry—fitting, since the game was developed by DMC character designer Takeyasu Sawaki.

Ready, fight at the official website.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 4Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over was doing 3D in 2003, well before Hollywood had widely adopted the format as a way to get more people into theaters. Skip ahead eight years to Friday’s release of Spy Kids: All the Time in the World, and viewers will get a chance to experience a fourth "dimension" in the form of Aromascope, provided via scratch-and-sniff cards handed out with their tickets. The new sequel features Jessica Alba, ever-busy The Soup and Community star Joel McHale (take a break, buddy), Johnny Depp as the villainous Timekeeper, and Ricky Gervais’ voice as Argonaut. Smells intriguing.

Provide your own Aromascope at the official website.

Teen Wolf
Season finale airs Monday at 10p on MTV

Pick 5MTV’s successful reboot of Teen Wolf, which has very little to do with the original 1985 film, ends its first season Monday night with a nail-biting finale. The show that’s a little bit Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a little bit The O.C. is aided by snarky humor (we’re looking at you, Stiles), an intriguing mythology, and a stylized visual palette that’s no doubt influenced by frequent series director Russell Mulcahy, who helmed many iconic videos from MTVs early years, directed the original Highlander, and is again behind the camera for the season finale.

Watch high school get hairy at the official website.

One Day Read Reviews
In theaters Friday

Pick 6Danish film director Lone Scherfig follows up her critically acclaimed 2009 film An Education 85 with an adaptation of David Nicholls’ novel about a couple who spend a night together in 1988 after graduating from Edinburgh University. One Day, opening Friday, traces the relationship of working-class Emma (Anne Hathaway) and wealthy Dexter (Jim Sturgess) as they attempt to meet up with each other every July 15th over the course of 20 years. The travelogue-esque film was shot in Scotland, France, and England.

Perfect your accent at the official website.

Closing the book on last week

#1 Movie Weekend Box Office Champion (Estimated, U.S. only; source: Boxofficemojo.com)
Rise of the Planet of the Apes 68 $27.5 million; 2nd week at #1
#1 Album #1 Album on Billboard 200 (Source: Billboard.com/Nielsen SoundScan)
Adele: 21 76 12th week at #1 (1st consecutive)
Top-Rated TV Show Top-Rated Primetime Broadcast Show (Source: Nielsen)
America's Got Talent (NBC) [Tue] 11.9 million viewers; week of 8/1-8/7

Comments (3)

  • Gus  

    Um... Johnny Depp isn't in Spy Kids. Jeremy Piven plays that role.

  • kevinF75  

    Really? Teen Wolf?

  • robbytruant  

    The video player Metacritic is using now has screwed up volume controls.

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