Three New Movies: Chick Flick, Thriller, Horror Film

This week, writer Mark Jordan Legan has Slate.com's Summary Judgment on three new films: the chick flick Confessions of a Shopaholic, the thriller The International starring Clive Owen and Naomi Watts and the remake of the horror film Friday the 13th.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

This is Day to Day from NPR News. I'm Madeleine Brand. A horror remake, a romantic comedy and a thriller are just some of the new releases at the movies this week. Here to tell you what the critics think of them is Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's Summary Judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: Yes, it's Friday the 13th, so what better day to release the remake of the horror film "Friday the 13th"? I'm sorry, did I say remake? The studio calls it a "reimagining," which probably means the killing machine, Jason Voorhees, now has timely back story. He's killing all these teenagers because of his lousy subprime mortgage he got for Camp Crystal Lake.

(Soundbite of movie "Friday the 13th")

Unidentified Man #1: I wanted to ask you, maybe you've seen somebody? My sister. She's gone missing.

Unidentified Woman #2: She ain't missing. She's dead.

Unidentified Man #1: What?

Unidentified Woman #2: People go missing around here, they're gone for good.

LEGAN: Critics wish this film was gone for good, but I bet quite a few teenagers are going to line up to watch sexier versions of themselves be sliced and diced by a guy in a hockey mask with mother issues. The Miami Herald musters, a surprisingly straightforward romp in slasher-flick clich├ęs. USA Today shrugs, delivers what you expect and nothing more. And the Los Angeles Times moans, "Friday the 13th" is not fun, louder than it is scary, and not even all that gory. Well, if it's gore you want, then sit back and take in the horror of a young girl ruining her credit rating in "Confessions of a Shopaholic." This romantic comedy stars Isla Fisher as an ambitious fashion writer-wannabe with a shopping addiction.

(Soundbite of movie "Confessions of a Shopaholic")

Mr. HUGH DANCY: (As Luke Brandon) I remember from your resume that you speak Finish. There's someone very excited to meet you. Jani.

Mr. TUOMAS HILTUNEN: (As Jan Virtanen) Oh, hey, hey.

Ms. ISLA FISHER: (As Rebecca Bloomwood) Hey, hey, hey.

(Soundbite of Finnish being spoken)

(Soundbite of slap)

Ms. FISHER: (As Rebecca Bloomwood) Men like you are the reason I left Finland.

LEGAN: Great. Now, we're going to go to war with Finland. The critics themselves are battling that out. Some like it, some don't, but many praise the lead performance. Rolling Stone says, a painless time killer, but the beguiling Fisher is well worth the investment. The Washington Post promises, Fisher definitely owns the movie. But the Hollywood Reporter sighs, surprisingly charmless.

LEGAN: And if it's a thriller you're after, then maybe "The International" is for you. From the director of "Run Lola Run," Clive Owen and Naomi Watts star as two investigators determined to bring justice to one of the world's most powerful banks, which they are convinced is behind some vicious, illegal activities. Yes, that's right - probably doing away with free checking

(Soundbite of movie "The International")

Ms. NAOMI WATTS: (As Eleanor Whitman) We can use everything. We'll blow this whole thing wide open.

Mr. CLIVE OWEN: (As Louis Salinger) I don't think so.

Ms. WATTS: (As Eleanor Whitman) Why not?

Mr. OWEN: (As Louis Salinger) Because I've been here before and I'm not going to make the same mistake twice.

Ms. WATTS: (As Eleanor Whitman) I can protect him, Louis.

Mr. OWEN: (As Louis Salinger): No, you can't. They'll get to him. If they can't get to him, they'll get to you. If they can't get to you, they'll get your family.

LEGAN: The reviews are mixed, but more liked it than not, even though the Philadelphia Inquirer complains, the film seems to forever be stopping in its own tracks. The Washington Post, cheers a sleek, stylish thriller. And the Hollywood Reporter calls "The International," a spectacular looking film with an unsettling intensity. Oh, those evil banks make me so mad. I was just in one yesterday. There was a long line, and they refused to open another window. But I'm sure this will all be covered in the sequel - "The International 2: When Agnes Takes a Long Lunch."

BRAND: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer standing in line at a bank somewhere in Los Angeles.

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