Weekend Preview – February 14, 2013

It’s an early weekend for movies as the studios take advantage of movie date nights on Valentine’s Day.  Three out of the four major releases hit theaters on Thursday – a teen romance, a romance for a slightly older crowd, and some action-oriented counter programming for the guys.  Friday sees the release of the first new kids’ movie since Rise of the Guardians made an immense belly flop of an appearance way back in November.

 Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures Poster

Trailer

Hot on the heels of Twilight, Beautiful Creatures is chomping at the bit to become the next hot young adult supernatural romance. Like Twilight, it is an adaptation of a novel – the first in a series. It tells the story of a forward-thinking high school student stuck in a middle of nowhere southern town, and how he becomes mixed up in all manner of magic, danger, and romance when the new girl turns out to be no ordinary mortal.

In the end, aside from moral and dogmatic quandaries (which you can read more about in my full review), this is a nearly halfway decent movie, almost exclusively due the the characters and actors, as they skillfully maneuver through an undercooked plot with no surprises.  If you are a fan of Twilight, you will probably enjoy this one.

Safe Haven

Safe Haven Poster

Trailer:

Safe Haven marks the 8th Nicholas Sparks novel to be gussied up for the big screen and by now everyone knows exactly what to expect.  It will be heartwarming, tearful, and romantic.  Someone will probably die, which will somehow be even more romantic.  And there will be a touching scene in the rain.

Nicholas Sparks movies are to Valentine’s Day what Saw movies are to Halloween.  You can expect one pretty much like clockwork and despite what critics and your friends say, people must go to see them because they keep making them.  If you like Nicholas Sparks movies, I have no doubt you will like this one as well.  If not, then it’s a no-brainer to stay away.  At least this one, starring Julianne Hough as Katie Feldman, Josh Duhamel, and Robin Scherbatsky Cobie Smulders looks like it has something in the guise of a dramatic twist, though from what I hear, it’s pretty out there.

 

A Good Day to Die Hard

A Good Day to Die Hard Poster

Trailer:

In my list of most anticipated sequels, the fifth installment of Die Hard explodes into theaters as an alternative programming this Valentine’s Day.  Bruce Willis is back as the NYC cop who’s always in the wrong place (or is it the right place?) at the wrong time.  This time, that place is Russia and John McClane is off to help out his estranged son we didn’t know he had.  Turns out “Jack” is mixed in pretty thoroughly with some sort of terrorist activity.  Oops.

If the past movies and the trailers are any indication, expect explosions and action galore, sprinkled liberally with witty one-liners during crucial moments.  It has every reason to be a great movie – returning to R-rated Die Hard form – but if early reviews are to be listened to, it’s a pretty dismal failure.  I’ll still watch it though – how can you say no to Bruce Willis?  You can’t – at least not if you want to walk away with all limbs still attached.

Escape from Planet Earth Poster

Trailer:

Scorch Supernova (Brenden Fraser) is the blue alien equivalent of Metro Man or Captain Hammer, pulling off daring deeds of heroics to the adoration of his entire planet.  Caught up in the showmanship and results of his life-threatening missions, though, he seems to forget about the people behind the scenes who help make everything he does possible.  Most notable is his “little” brother, Gary (Rob Corddry) who works in mission control.

Feeling under-appreciated, Gary quits (or is he fired?) just as Scorch gets ready to respond to a distress call coming from The Dark Planet, which from the title of the movie, I’m sure you can guess is Earth.  No aliens who have tried to make contact with The Dark Planet have ever been heard from again, and without Gary there to help him out, when things go wrong it looks like Scorch may be the latest victim.  It’s up to Gary to rescue his brother, and perhaps even save the universe in the process, in this movie that’s ultimately about family.

Read my full review here.