'Sonic the Hedgehog,' 'Fantasy Island,' and more movies opening this week in Orlando

'Sonic the Hedgehog,' 'Fantasy Island,' and more movies opening this week in Orlando
Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures and Sega America

Opening this week: Downhill
Valentine's Day is a great time to find out what movie studios think of the American romantic mindset. For example, some muckety-muck at Searchlight Pictures apparently said, "You know what couples would really like to see this year? A remake of a Swedish black comedy about selfishness and betrayal." The black comedy in question would be 2014's Force Majeure, and the stateside remake stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a woman who has to rethink her marriage after her husband (Will Ferrell) prioritizes saving his own skin during a life-threatening avalanche. Advance buzz on the flick is that it's just as half-assed as the average American redo of an international hit. But co-directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash were previously responsible for the delightful The Way Way Back, so I'm holding out hope. See, I can still experience hope. Because I'm not married. (R)

Fantasy Island
The Blumhouse dream of releasing a Get Out or Us that will actually play in Charlottesville gets closer to reality with Fantasy Island, a darker (just not in that way) remake of the 1970s television series. This time, visitors to the island discover the downside to having your dead child resurrected and getting to brutally torture your high school tormentor. (Don't see how that last one could have negatives, honestly.) One important change in the new version: It isn't rich people but contest winners who get to have their most fervent wishes brought to life. Apparently, Blumhouse thinks there isn't enough appetite nowadays for seeing the 1 percent get their comeuppance, and that our societal schadenfreude is more focused on whoever hits the Powerball. What scares me is that they might be right. (PG-13)

First Lady
The most lackadaisically promoted of this week's releases, maybe because its trailer is utterly incomprehensible. Purportedly, the movie is a comedy about the widow of a U.S. president who has to groom his vice president for the office while blocking a challenger whose wife strikes her as trash. But the tagline is "Can a woman not married to the president run for first lady?" So ... yeah, I've got nothing. And apparently, there's a former suitor hanging around who used to be a king but is now in disguise or something. I'm hoping for a big reveal that the would-be first lady is a former Eastern European sex worker. But maybe the moviegoing public isn't ready for that kind of gritty realism. (NR; opens Friday at Regal Waterford Lakes & IMAX)

The Photograph
The elevator pitch: A famous photographer dies, leaving her daughter with conflicted feelings; when a reporter arrives to interview her about it, they bone. Personally, I don't think it's a good idea to sleep with anyone whose very existence in your life reminds you of your lousy childhood. Unless it's some sort of Fifty Shades deal and your sex play consists of punishing them for it. On Fantasy Island. (PG-13)

Sonic the Hedgehog
I hear they put, like, racing stripes on him or some shit. (PG)

This story appears in the Feb. 12, 2020, print issue of Orlando Weekly. Get our top picks for the best events in Orlando every Thursday morning with our weekly Events newsletter.
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