Valentine’s Day 2018: 6 Movies To Watch In Theaters On Valentine’s Weekend

Valentine’s Day lands on a Wednesday this year, which means those who are celebrating and not in favor of going out on a weeknight will likely settle on a date the weekend before or after Feb. 14. If you’re among those looking to go out with your loved one early or after the holiday has passed, here’s all of the romantic, dramatic and otherwise entertaining new movies out in theaters Feb. 9 through Feb. 16. Releasing Friday, Feb. 9 “Fifty Shades Freed” “Fifty Shades Freed” is just one movie to see in theaters this Valentine’s Day. Photo: Universal Pictures Whether you’re a fan of the E.L. James best-selling novels or just simply looking for a romantic film to watch this Valentine’s Day, “Fifty Shades Freed” is definitely an option. The film is the third of the franchise and follows leads Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) as they marry, welcome a child and find their lives in danger. Watch the trailer above. “The 15:17 to Paris” Clint Eastwood brings the true story of American soldiers who thwarted a lone gunman’s attack aboard a train bound for Paris in 2015 to life. The film follows the three friends’ lives leading up to the attack. The real-life heroes, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, star as themselves on the big screen. “Peter Rabbit” If family movies are more up you and your Valentine date’s alley, consider seeing this animated feature. The Will Gluck-directed movie is an adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale. Watch as the rabbit (voiced by James Corden) fights back against Mr. McGregor (Domhnall Gleeson), who wants Peter and his friends to leave his home garden. Daisy Ridley, Margot Robbie, Sia, Matt Lucas and Elizabeth Debicki also lend their voices to the film. Releasing Friday, Feb. 16 “Blank Panther” After meeting Continue Reading

Snowed in? Top 10 snowstorm-related movies to watch during the epic blizzard

During an epic snowstorm, there are worse ways to spend the hours than snuggling under a blanket with a mug of steaming hot cocoa and watching a thematically appropriate movie on the DVD or Blueray player — at least as long as the power still works. Here is a flurry of our picks for the 10 best films to watch while a nearly apocalyptic blizzard is raging outside the living room window: "The Day After Tomorrow" (2012): If you thought it would be a cold day in hell before you watched director Roland Emmerich's deeply flawed 2004 environmental disaster movie again, you're in luck! The Statue of Liberty may not get buried in snow over the next two days, but New Yorkers may struggle almost as mightily as Jake Gyllenhaal did under 2 feet of the stuff. "Frozen" (2013): After finally getting "Let It Go" out of your head, it's time to revisit the Disney animated classic about a princess (Idina Menzel) whose curse blankets her kingdom in winter and her sister's (Kristen Bell) efforts to save her — especially if there are children in the household snowed out of school. Once those kids are tucked away in bed, however, it's not a bad idea to bust out the 2010 horror flick of the same name, about three skiers trapped on a broken-down chairlift. "The Thing" (1982): As bad as the impending snowstorm may get, at least there isn't a shape-shifting alien rampaging through the New York area as there is in director John Carpenter's remake of the 1951 horror cult classic. Trapped in a remote Antarctic research outpost, a crew of scruffy bearded guys led by Kurt Russell's MacReady descend into paranoia trying to ferret out which one of them is an extraterrestrial creature that's taking the appearance of the people that it's digesting. Probably best not to watch during dinner. "Avalanche" (1978): The similarly themed "Avalanche," starring Rock Hudson and Mia Continue Reading

‘Fences,’ ‘Assassin’s Creed’ among films to see

For movie lovers, the holidays can certainly be the most wonderful time of the year.With precious few days left in 2016, all of the studios are rolling out their Oscar contenders and blockbusters-to-be, hoping to score a few of your Christmas weekend hours in the process. And while this time of the year always has a few strong contenders, 2016 is positively stacked with viewing options.So, assuming we’ve all seen “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” by now (a safe assumption, judging by that film’s box office haul), here is a look at eight movies to catch over Christmas weekend. (Unless otherwise noted, all films listed are currently playing in wide release.)1. “Assassin’s Creed”: Yes, we’re aware that the bar for films inspired by video games has been set fairly low over the years, but when we say that “Assassin’s Creed” has the potential to be the best cinematic video game adaptation that’s not faint praise.Australian director Justin Kurzel showed a keen eye for rendering striking imagery with his “Macbeth” last year, and this translation of the time-tripping action franchise reunites him with the stars of that Shakespeare film, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. REVIEW: "Rogue One" a gritty "Star Wars" revelation2. “Live by Night” (opening Sunday, Dec. 25 in select theaters, playing everywhere Jan. 13): While opinions remain mixed on his first outing under the cape and cowl, most film fans can agree that Ben Affleck knows how to deliver the goods when he’s directing slick Hollywood thrillers (and he has the Best Picture Oscar for “Argo” in 2012 to prove it).Accordingly, we can’t wait for “Live by Night,” Affleck’s highly anticipated Prohibition-era gangster drama.3. “Fences” (opening Sunday, Dec. 25): The appeal of “Fences” should be self-explanatory — after all, it’s Denzel Washington, Continue Reading

Kevin Spacey discusses new film, ‘Now’

It’s good to be Kevin Spacey.The two time Oscar-winning South Orange native has been garnering major buzz thanks to his leading role on the Netflix series “House of Cards,” which recently wrapped up its second season.But Spacey, a former student at the Juilliard School in New York City and a 1991 Tony Award winner for his work in “Lost in Yonkers,” has never strayed far from his theatrical roots.In 2011, Spacey reunited with his “American Beauty” (1999) director Sam Mendes for a production of William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” that spent 10 months touring the world from Istanbul to Brooklyn.“I’ve been really fortunate to be able to have one (medium) really complement the other and to have things that I’m able to learn and experience and grow from in terms of my theater experience,” said Spacey, 54. “What it’s like, the sort of athleticism that it takes to get up and do a play every night, the amount of growth and change and shifting that both an individual performance and a play can go through from the time it’s in rehearsal all the way to the end of a run. Obviously, ‘Richard’ was a longer run than most. Most plays I’ve done have run for 12 weeks, 16 weeks, something like that.“But then, to be able to sort of complement that with some of the other work that I’ve been able to do — certainly in the last two years with ‘House of Cards’ — I take the experience from one and bring it to the other and vice versa. I’m just at an incredibly fortunate moment where I’m finding these wonderful parts.”Filmmaker Jeremy Whelehandocumented Spacey’s 12-city “Richard III” world tour, and the result is “Now: In the Wings on a World Stage.”Currently playing in select theaters, “Now” is available to purchase for streaming and downloading through and Continue Reading

Argentine singer León Gieco brings the disabled onstage in new film

When legendary Argentine singer/songwriter León Gieco performs live, he often invites audience members to come onstage and jam with him.Beginning about 15 years ago, some of the musicians who took up Gieco's offer were physically and mentally disabled. Among them were a man with no arms and legs who played harmonica and sang in a rock band; tango dancers with Down syndrome; a blind singer and a wheelchair-bound dancer.Gieco, who performs in New York tomorrow night at Queens Theatre in the Park as part of the Latino Cultural Festival (, was initially unsure how to feel about these non-traditional artists."I wasn't used to playing with the handicapped, so I didn't know how to approach it," he says over the phone from Buenos Aires. "But now when I'm on tour I miss them, and I miss their camaraderie."The 58-year-old Gieco went on a wildly successful national tour with a number of them, all of which is documented in "Mundo Alas" ("World Wings"), a film opening Friday at the AMC Empire 25 Theater, 234 W. 42nd St.Gieco, who has recorded more than 30 albums and is known for songs that deal with social and political issues, will also give 7:45 p.m. "mini-concerts" at the theater this Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the 8:15 screening of the film.The tour, which played the provinces and ended up at Buenos Aires' massive Luna Park stadium, came about because Pancho Chévez, the man without arms and legs, happened to meet Néstor Kirchner, then president of Argentina, and expressed his desire to play in Casa Rosada, the country's version of the White House.Knowing of Gieco's collaborations with the disabled, Kirchner suggested the singer put together the concert â%88%92 which was broadcast on national TV, and then went on the road, where it was filmed."They thought it was a great idea, and great for their careers," says Gieco, a performer who mixes Argentine folk styles with rock."There might be some people who might not want to watch, Continue Reading

From Matt Damon to Tina Fey: The top 10 New Yorkers to watch on the big screen this season

Big Apple dwellers dominate the big screen this season.1: Matt Damon, "Hereafter" (out Friday)Manhattan resident and Oscar nominee — who just turned 40, believe it or not — plays a clairvoyant in Clint Eastwood's new drama, and in "True Grit," out at Christmastime, he plays a Texas Ranger who's searching for a murderer along with drunken U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges).2: Mary-Louise Parker, "Red" (Friday)Showtime's "Weeds" matches wits and weap¬ons with a phalanx of former spies played by Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and Helen Mirren. If any¬one can hold her own, it's MLP.3: Peter Gallagher, "Conviction" (Friday)Sex, Lies and Videotape") and stage ("Guys and Dolls"), Gallagher, 55, lends street cred to this drama as New York attorney Barry Scheck, whose acclaimed group Innocence Project helps a woman (Hilary Swank) prove her brother (Sam Rockwell) didn't commit the murder for which he's serving a life sentence.4: Melissa Leo, "Welcome to the Rileys" (Oct. 29) NYC and L.A., Leo, 50, is an in-demand character actress who can be seen as a crooked cop in "Conviction" and in "Rileys," a drama in which she and James Gandol¬fini play parents ripped apart by the death of their daughter.5: Michelle Monaghan, "Due Date" (Nov. 5) Mission: Impossible III," Monaghan, 34, went on to gripping turns in "Gone Baby Gone" and the indie drama "Trucker." But she can do the big stuff — in "Due Date," she plays Robert Downey Jr.'s pregnant wife, whose demand that he get to her side ASAP puts Downey on the road from Atlanta to L.A. with wild man Zach Galifianakis. Tina Fey, Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell lend their voices to 'Megamind.'6: Kerry Washington, "For Colored Girls" (Nov. 5)Tyler Perry's new film from Ntozake Shange's 1975 play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" boasts a terrific cast, including Anika Noni Rose, Whoopi Goldberg and Janet Jackson, but Bronx-born Washington, 33, is seriously one to Continue Reading

Looking for a holiday trip to the movies? Here are flicks to watch – and ones to avoid

This holiday weekend provides a feast of movie selections, with the latest films offering everything from a newly minted princess to some Oscar-winning actors up to their old tricks. There's redemption, depression and hope, sometimes all in the same movie. And of course, there are vampires. "Twilight"-obsessed teens (and their moms) will feel fully at home from the opening scenes of "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," which establish the movie's primary priorities: swooning romance, PG-13 thrills and respectful loyalty to the second installment in Stephenie Meyer's young-adult series. The movie had a supernatural kickoff last weekend, sucking up $140 million at the U.S. box office. The complicated plot begins when high-school student Bella (Kristen Stewart) is deserted by her vampire love, Edward (Robert Pattinson). She's consoled by old friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who's hiding a dangerous secret of his own. Before long they're drawn together, leading to a triangle that puts everyone at risk. Director Chris Weitz isn't interested in fancy filmmaking, but he doesn't need to be. He's got a franchise to keep running, and he does that with workmanlike precision and minimal intrusion. Which, box-office totals suggest, is just how fans like it. If you like pop in your apocalypse, look to "2012." But if you're seeking a thoughtful film experience about the late, great Planet Earth, there's "The Road," director John Hillcoat's adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. This intense drama is one of the toughest trips to the movies to be had this year, but earns every minute that it remains rattling around inside your head. Mortensen gives a raw-boned performance full of postapocalyptic fatherly fierceness; as his son, Kodi Smit-McPhee avoids the "feral child" clichés, and Charlize Theron, as Mortensen's wife, looks haunted in flashbacks. It may be rough going, but "The Road" has a unique, near-total bleakness that's worthy of admiration. Continue Reading

Kevin Smith likes to watch

Stop the presses - Kevin Smith loves to watch porn. The director of the upcoming film "Zack and Miri Make a Porno" told the Associated Press that he's a "morning porn peruser" simply because he finds the subject "interesting." "Just when you see the most outlandish clip you could ever see, somebody introduces something new, Smith said. "I just check in periodically just to see how far porn has gone in my absence." Smith's new movie features Elizabeth Banks and Seth Rogen as two roommates who make a porn film to pay the bills. "The Zack and Mimi" director said that this film had something in common with "Clerks," his first movie. "Basically, it's a dressed-up version of making your first film," Smith said. "It just happens to be a porn film." Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


IN THE TRAILER for Oliver Stone's "World Trade Center," Nicolas Cage races to the smoking twin towers, muttering, "We're prepared for everything - but not this. " But as the trailer makes its theatrical debut tomorrow, the question is whether New Yorkers are prepared for it. The trailer for the Aug. 9 release debuted yesterday on the film's Web site, wtcmovie. com, and will appear in theaters tomorrow before screenings of "The Da Vinci Code. " Bill Doyle, who lost his son Joseph in the WTC attacks, said he thought the trailer "was done tastefully because they don't show the plane crashing into the towers. They just show the fires. " Still, Doyle, who maintains an extensive e-mail list of 9/11 family members, said he's working with the organization Tuesday's Children to make sure relatives don't "get blindsided by this. " Sharron Clemons, 50, who broke her back, leg and ankle on 9/11, said, "I liked it. It looks like it's going to be a really well-made movie. " As Clemons put it, "9/11 itself is disturbing. But the thing is, what helps people go forward is the humanity, the way people reacted and helped each other. And from what I've seen from the trailer, that's what [Stone's] going to portray. " The trailer shows three Port Authority cops stepping forward to help Cage, who plays former PA Sgt. John McLoughlin, evacuate the towers. But the men get no higher than the underground concourse when a sudden blizzard of dust and steel signals the building's collapse and traps them as they try to flee. "World Trade Center," whose tagline is "A True Story of Courage and Survival," will focus on McLoughlin and former PA Officer Will Jimeno - the last two people rescued alive. According to Michael Shamberg, one of the producers, the trailer only hints at the second half of the film - the anguish of the cops' waiting families and the dangerous rescue of the two men. "You'll see the towers from the outside, as the men saw them," Shamberg told Continue Reading

Connie Shulman — Yoga Jones from ‘Orange is the New Black’ — opens up about friend’s dementia in new film

Why wait until "Orange is the New Black" to return for season three in June when you can get a little fix of Yoga Jones on Tuesday night? Connie Shulman, who plays the prison yoga instructor on the hit Netflix show, used the hiatus between seasons to work on a documentary that follows a close friend's quick descent into dementia. "Looks Like Laury, Sounds Like Laury" is the story of one woman's fight against the disease that robbed her of the prime years of her life — frontotemporal dementia. Patients with frontotemporal dementia lose cells in the brain's frontal or temporal lobes — the areas that control planning, judgment, emotions, speech and some movement. Patients may start behaving strangely, show less emotional restraint, and have balance problems. Once considered rare, scientists now believe up to 15% of all dementia cases are frontotemporal. The film's subject, Laury Sacks, was a 45-year-old playwright and a new mom when she began having trouble stringing words together. The movie chronicles a year with Sacks as the condition hinders her ability to speak and live independently. Sacks' family eventually moves her to a nursing home, where she dies. "It was a really odd sensation (to watch) a woman so highly intelligent, so witty and clever, (be) reduced to a child," she said. In their three years of friendship, Shulman said she always knew something was slightly off with Sacks, but wasn’t sure what. "I didn't know whether there was something neurologic wrong or she wasn't interested in our friendship developing," she said. But once she did learn her diagnosis, Shulman and Sacks' family thought the best way to capture Laury's story and spirit would be via film. "We had talked about a writing project but at that point in her life that was impossible," she said. "My husband came up with the idea and said, 'Laury is a storyteller. Why don't you document what's going on with her?'" The final product took nine Continue Reading