Opening This Weekend: Spike Jonze Gets Wild, Gerard Butler Breaks the Law and Dan Humphrey Hits the Big Screen

2009 the stepfather 001 Opening This Weekend: Spike Jonze Gets Wild, Gerard Butler Breaks the Law and Dan Humphrey Hits the Big Screen

If you’re apartment building is like ours—the December temperatures in October are a problem when the heat isn’t on yet—then you’re going to need someplace warm to hide this weekend. How about the movie theater? In addition to the further expansion of Paranormal Activity, five films hit screens today and, as usual, there is something for everyone. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.

Where the Wild Things Are

What’s the story: Kids movies: They aren’t just for the little ones anymore! Where the Wild Things Are is the first of this fall’s kiddie-films-for-adults (another, Wes Anderson’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox, lands in November), and we’re not ashamed to say we’ll be there tonight with paper crowns on. Spike Jonze—behind the camera for the first time since 2002’s Adaptation—directs the long-awaited adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 children’s classic, which has been expanded for the screen (by Dave Eggers, natch) from just 10 sentences to 100 minutes. The reviews have been very strong—though The Observer’s Sara Vilkomerson was lukewarm on the effort—and while we’re excited, we have to wonder: Will kids today actually care about something that came out more than 40 years ago? Now excuse us while we go bang our heads into a wall for using the term “kids today.”

Who should see it: Falcon Heene.

Law Abiding Citizen

What’s the story: This movie seemed a whole lot more interesting when Frank Darabont was attached to direct. Once he dropped off, though—presumably to film his cameo in Entourage—and was replaced by journeyman director F. Gary Gray, everything got kind of meh. Gerard Butler stars as a man who takes justice into his own hands after his family is murdered (spoiler alert?), and the killers cut a plea deal with the ambitious district attorney (Jamie Foxx). Apparently the violence here is pitched at Saw-like levels, so if the rote premise wasn’t enough to keep you away, perhaps that will.

Who should see it: Charles Bronson.

The Stepfather

What’s the story: Dan Humphrey, movie star? Lonely Boy himself, Penn Badgley, becomes the latest Gossip Girl cast member to make his way to the big screen in this remake of the ’80s horror film that featured Terry O’Quinn (better known as John Locke) back when he still had hair. Dylan Walsh steps (pun!) in this time around, as the charming stepfather who is actually a sociopath. Fun times! Normally we hate these types of movies, but, honestly, the trailer for The Stepfather looks surprisingly fun. Get thee to our Netflix queue!

Who should see it: Blake Lively.

Also opening this weekend: Stars aplenty appear in the underwhelming anthology, New York, I Love You and Black Dynamite makes a mockery of ’70s blaxploitation flicks.