So much for the backlash (see below post). The Help, the Civil Rights era comic drama adapted from the Kathryn Stockett novel of the same name, picked up more than $5.5 million at the box office on opening day, Wednesday.
The film, directed by Tate Taylor and starring Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis, has received generally positive reviews, with a few raves. It notched a 64 metascore at Metacritic, and a 73% Tomatometer rating at Rotten Tomatoes.
“Laughter, which is ladled on thick as gravy, proves to be the secret ingredient – turning what should be a feel-bad movie about those troubled times into a heart-warming surprise,” Betsy Sharkey wrote in the Los Angeles Times. Andrew O’Hehir, in his Salon review, said “The Help definitely worked on me as a consummate tear-jerker with a terrific cast, and it’s pretty much the summer’s only decent Hollywood drama.”
Opening this weekend:
The International – Global banking and murder make natural bedfellows in Tom Tykwer’s thriller, with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts. Read my review.
Friday the 13th – The long-running horror franchise gets a reboot, in a slasher flick directed by Marcus Nispel (2006’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake). See my blog post on horror remakes. Nathan Lee (NY Times) writes, “Fun? Granted, most people’s notion of entertainment doesn’t involve watching sexed-up, beer-guzzling morons impaled, decapitated or burnt alive. But there’s an itch for this kind of material, and here it is scratched — to the bone.”
Confessions of a Shopaholic – A chick-flick antidote to the recession blues? Stars Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers). Writes Betsy Sharkey, in the L.A. Times: “If you’re looking for a serious examination of the staggering credit-card debt so many in this nation carry and the families and lives destroyed by it, watch the nightly news . . . don’t look here. But if a knockabout farce of a thousand ways to outwit that persistent, pesky and downright unpleasant debt collector, played by a decidedly annoying Robert Stanton, while falling in love might amuse you, then feel free to indulge.”
Under the Sea – Jim Carrey narrates an IMAX documentary on ocean critters.
I’ve Loved You So Long – The French drama stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein as sisters reunited afte 15 years apart. Tampa Theatre only, through Thursday, Feb. 19.
Hell Walks the Earth – The off-brand zombie movie was directed by Terrence Muncy III, who recently relocated to Pinellas Park from Indiana, according to a story by St. Pete Times film critic Steve Persall. The Southeastern premiere of the movie, to be presented by Muncy, plays the Beach Theatre in St. Pete Beach on Friday, Feb. 13 at 11 p.m. For more information, check out the theater’s web site.