It's weekend two for Endgame, which means the rest of the movie industry has to answer the question first posed to Ralph Macchio in Crossroads: Who's gonna step up and get their head cut? In addition to Long Shot (reviewed on page 27), the other major sacrificial lamb is a picture that carried the working title Motivated Seller, but is now known as ...
Opening this week:
The Intruder In his analysis of the original Amityville Horror, Stephen King said it was the undercurrent of economic uncertainty that made the story work. In tough times, see, even a haunted house is hard to give up. That's probably even truer now than it was then, so I'm a little bit surprised more modern horror and suspense films don't take the hell of American real estate as their foundation. Into that comparative void steps The Intruder, in which a young couple buys a home from Dennis Quaid and then discovers he might not be about to let it go after all. A house that's haunted by its previous owner might be the scariest of all (and not just when that owner is Dennis Quaid): The market being what it is, every buyer's fear is that that dream property she's tumbled to comes with some serious strings attached. Although it is interesting to see how far we've come in the 29 years since Pacific Heights, when the Renter From Hell was considered every moviegoer's nightmare. Remember when Hollywood thought we could actually relate to people with enough money to maintain properties they didn't actually live in? I'm just waiting for some studio exec to figure out that healthcare is the public's No. 1 bugaboo, because Pre-Existing Condition is a series I can see going to seven installments, minimum. (PG-13)
Sunset Filmmaker László Nemes reunites with Juli Jakab, the star of his Oscar-winning Holocaust drama Son of Saul, this time casting her as a woman searching the streets of Budapest for the brother she never knew she had. Will she find him before World War I arrives and puts the kibosh on the whole deal? Given the comparisons to Kubrick the film is drawing, I don't know if I'd expect a clear-cut answer. (R; opens Friday at Regal Winter Park Village Stadium 20 & RPX)
Ugly Dolls When it comes to synergy between the multiplex and the toy box, one rule stands true: For every Lego Movie, there are 100 Bratzes. So you pays your money and you takes your chances with Ugly Dolls, in which the popular cuddly homelies discover a land of toys that are striving for perfection in the hopes of being adopted. I don't know, man: That sounds awfully reminiscent of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, just kind of sideways, sorta. The question now is whether there are enough kids out there who have never heard of the Island of Misfit Toys for this picture to eke out a reasonable profit until Detective Pikachu shows up next week to kick its cloth-covered little ass. (PG)