Movies This Weekend: ‘Fright Night’ Rises Again

Sparkly Edward. Aristocratic Bill Compton. And now… Colin Farrell?

That’s right. The Irish troublemaker joins the ever-growing club of pop culture vampires by starring as Jerry, everyone’s favorite vampire-next-door, in a remake of the classic comedy-horror classic, “Fright Night,” which opens in wide release this weekend.

The plot of the 1985 cult classic follows a typical boy-meets-neighbor, neighbor-turns-out-to-be-vampire, nobody-believes-the-boy-so-he-must-destroy-the-vampire-himself story arc. But unlike so many film remakes, the new “Fright Night” not only stands up to the legacy of its predecessor, but, many critics say, surpasses it.

Film reviewer Mark Dujsik calls the film a “superior reassembling” of the original – a sentiment echoed by the Washington Post’s Sean O’Connell, who says, “It improves on the premise it has been handed, producing a modernized version of a decades-old story that’s superior to its predecessor in virtually every aspect.”

Will you spend a few bucks this weekend to see the film critics are calling “sharp-tounged” and “refreshingly straightforward and self-deprecating?” Or would you rather pop in the old VHS tape and press rewind?

Also opening this weekend:

» “Conan the Barbarian” : Another remake of a classic film, but one that isn’t going over so well with critics, who are calling it a “ham-handed adventure flick in eye-deadening, wallet-draining 3-D” that’s the “very definition of the dumb summer flick.” Opening in wide release.

» “One Day” : Not a remake, but a book-to-film adaptation – one that critics aren’t buying. Called “flat, excruciatingly predictable… and melodramatic,” reviewers warn, “Long before the credits roll, you may find yourself wishing your life could flash before your eyes, to end the monotony of this relentless turning of calendar pages.” Opening in wide release.

For more news on what’s lighting up – and dimming down – theater screens this weekend, follow Trove’s Horror Films, Film Reviews, and Movie Box Office channels.

TV: ‘True Blood’ Bears Its Fangs Again

In the last few years, vampires have been popping up out of their coffins everywhere — on tween t-shirts declaring allegiance to “Team Jacob,” on Teen Choice Award surfboards, on the covers of young adult “paranormal romance” novels — but none are as wickedly dark and cunning as the vampiric residents of Bon Temps, featured in HBO’s “True Blood.”

This Sunday, after sunset, the bloodthirsty, motley crew of vampires, shape-shifters, witches, faeries, and were-panthers slink into a fourth season of the acclaimed series that is loosely based on Charlaine Harris’ “The Southern Vampire Mysteries" novels.

“True Blood,” which follows protagonist Sookie Stackhouse as she navigates her way through a rocky relationship with southern gentleman-slash-Civil War veteran-slash-vampire Bill Compton and an exceptionally stressful waitressing job, has been embraced by critics and viewers alike. TV Guide’s Matt Roush called the series “graphically sexy and scary, and often wildly funny,” while Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald categorized it as an “irresistible mixture of pungent political satire, observant pop sociology and lurid drive-in thrills.”

The new season promises to serve up everything audiences have come to expect: “More fetishes, more lust, more evil, more startling ways for bodies to change and transmogrify … and more love gone wrong, which is something Bon Temps never runs out of,” according to Rolling Stone’s Rob Sheffield.

Fangbangers” can tune in to HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern on Sunday to watch the premiere.

Also premiering this week:

» “Suits”: A new USA series that follows “a high-powered, smug attorney who hires a con man with a photographic memory to serve as his protege at his law firm.” Tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern on USA.

» “Weeds”: The dark comedy series about a widow who begins selling marijuana to support her family and becomes entangled in a slew of illegal activities returns for a seventh season. Monday at 10 p.m. Eastern on Showtime.

For more, follow Trove’s True Blood, Vampires, and Television channels.

Troving Reporter: None of the Above

One of the main elements on Trove’s home page is the Channel Finder, a module programmed by our editors that serves up new and (we hope) interesting channels for you, the reading audience.

The module dispenses channels in pairs, with options to add one, both or none of what’s available. The most common answer, of course, is “neither.” That’s no surprise; if I had to pick between Caving and Needlecraft, I might take a pass, too. I have some nichey hobbies, but those aren’t on the list.

But who says only the most popular channels should get all the attention? Needlecraft could be your needle in a haystack, right?

So here for your enjoyment (and potential channel-adding pleasure?) are some of the most-neithered channel pairs of the past two weeks. They’ve dealt with some rejection, but we still love them:

» Jersey Shore and Beach Volleyball
» Cam Newton and Carolina Panthers
» David Bowie and Mars Exploration
» Frugal Travel and High-Speed Rail
» Human Rights and Human Genome
» NFL Draft and Beer
» Zombies and Vampires

Photo by Reuters