To those who looked forward to some random movie news and thoughts courtesy of this once-frequently-updated column, accept my apologies. Before the "Top 8 in ‘08” list I put together, my last post here came about two or three months ago, and that's being somewhat self-forgiving. I'm not one for excuses, but here goes my obligatory explanation: between starting my own little blog outside of the great, reading a good ten or so books, and succumbing to the crack-fix that is Netflix (super-late to that game, I am), my headspace was somewhere between La-La Land and The Twilight Zone.

The extended intermission is over, though, and I'm back in the zone. Look for regular Real To Reel updates from this point forward. 2009 is looking to be an exciting one, and I'm taking it as my self-righteous mission to keep the readership as up to date with the cinema scene as possible—not just what'll be posting major weekend figure at the box office, but international buzz-receivers and other film obscurities, to boot.

Now, on to the current matters. As far as this weekend goes, I'm betting that the majority has already scheduled their respective Notorious showtimes for this weekend. Well, I'm happy to report, you're in for a very entertaining, albeit still heavily flawed and too apologetic, biopic. Go for the nostalgia and solid acting, but don't expect a truly double-sided portrayal. The hands involved in making Notorious were all too close for comfort when Biggie was alive, and it shows. All too forgiving of what little faults of his the film shows, and at times feels like it's rushing to cover all of Biggie's Wikipedia's talking points. The film's never boring, however, and is ably-executed enough to never tarnish the man's legacy. And—thankfully—our current covergirl, Naturi Naughton, shows that she has quite-convincing acting chops. Oh, and she pretty much shows her "full monty,” and to say that her upper body (i.e., the twins) is a sight to behold is one hell of an understatement.

Myself, however…I'm all about My Bloody Valentine 3D. Sorry, Biggie's ghost. I'm a known horror groupie, but I'll spare readers the geek-onslaught. Just know that Valentine is a remake (**sigh**) of a better-than-given-credit-for 1980s slasher film from Canada, which itself was little more than a Halloween/Friday the 13th knockoff (and was just released on Special Edition DVD, if you want to play catch-up).

Aside from Valentine itself, I'm also curious to see how the trailer for yet another remake, Last House on the Left, plays with audiences (its debuting this weekend in front of Valentine). Here's a case where the film being made-over is a legitimate genre classic, the 1972 debut from now-legendary filmmaker Wes Craven. Back in ‘72, it pissed off censors and even caused weak-stomached filmgoers to vomit and/or exit stage left early. There's an extended setpiece in the flick that's basically the raping and subsequent murdering of two innocent teenage girls at the hands of three sadistic ex-cons. Guts are spilled, heads are blown off, and sexual perversion runs rampant. The film's infamous tagline says it all: "To avoid fainting, keep repeating: It's only a movie…It's only a movie…It's only a movie…It's only…”

As the story typically goes for modern Hollywood-backed horror, Last House on the Left has been given the bigger-budget/prettier faces treatment, but thankfully this case feels a bit more promising than past travesties (Prom Night and April Fools Day, I see you). For starters, the Greece-born director, Dennis Iliadis, proved himself to be one sick puppy with his 2004 prostitutes-gone-wild thriller Hardcore. And then there's the hard-R-rating, which at the least shows that this one isn't going the easy-buck-earning way of PG-13.

The following trailer is pretty well done, I must admit. Sufficiently moody and bleak, it gives the impression that this could be even more intense than Wes Craven's original, which mixed in pointless comic relief amidst the carnage. My one issue with the trailer, though: it's basically the entire film condensed down into two-and-a-half minutes. Let's hope they're not giving away all the goodies here.

Nonetheless, consider me both intrigued and amped. What says y'all?

Check the trailer for The Last House on the Left's remake here, which comes out on March 13: