M: And we’re back with another monthly movie preview. For those that are new to our previews, we don’t list all the movies that are opening this month, just the ones that are of interest to one or more of us, either because we want to see it or because we want to make fun of it or insult it. It does usually include all the big releases, but especially E will usually throw in a bunch of awards-type movies and we even find the occasional little indie pic to comment on. We also don’t break down the nitty gritty of the films, just give you some of the basics and provide our (hopefully) witty and/or snarky impressions. So, without further ado…
The Woman in Black
E: On the one hand, it’s Daniel Radcliffe looking like Richard Armitage’s little brother (or should I say John Thornton’s little brother) in a cravat. On the other, it’s a horror movie. An incredibly creepy looking Goth ghost story. Eeek!
M: Umm, I’d side more with Gothic, as opposed to Goth. I definitely didn’t spot any dog collars, leather or over use of eyeliner. As for now-adult Harry Potter looking like Richard Armitage, since the only things I’ve seen Armitage in to this point are as a Naboo fighter pilot in The Phantom Menace (not memorable) and the trailer for The Hobbit (memorable, but I’m still distracted by Thorin not being old), I can’t really comment. For the movie itself, it’s not really my cup of tea.
C: Everything about this is my cup of tea – except the ghosts. I can do suspense, even scariness, but not full-out horror. So alas, I think I’ll be sitting this one out fearfully at home.
E: Teens with super powers!
M: When I saw a commercial for this I kept waiting for the announcement that it was either an SNL spoof, an X-Men fan-fiction video, or an ABC Family made-for-TV movie. No such announcement came.
C: Yep, don’t think we’re the target audience for this one.
E: I love well made young adult sci fi. Emphasis on the well made.
M: The strange thing is, since I saw that commercial I’ve been reading that the people, especially geeks like us, seeing advanced screenings of it really like it. So, I’m a bit conflicted, but will likely wait until BluRay.
E: Whales trapped under the arctic ice; John Krasinski, Kristen Bell and Drew Barrymore leading a terrific-looking cast. If there’s any non-Oscar movie I’m going to see in February, I expect it will be taking my kids to see this. After all, they’ve seen the preview at every damn movie I’ve taken them to in the last 6 months.
C: I’m still pretty sure this movie was concocted by a board of producers around a table, after one said “Let’s come up with a list of the stuff people find adorable.”
M: I’m with C, this one looks overdone. I can picture that room of people, one of them saying “hey, what if we had someone say ‘there’s nothing you can do’, and another person blame the soulless politician? everybody hates soulless politicians.” Plus, no save the whales movie will ever top Star Trek 4, so why bother?
E: That was a genius movie for sure. But surely 26 years later someone else can do something on the same topic?
E: No, I will not be going to see Madonna’s Wallis and Edward rehabilitation attempt even though it’s up for the best costume Oscar. It does look very pretty – no surprise, since Madonna’s always been good at image. If this had come out two years ago, back when I too was blindly enamored of that romance, I might have been tempted to go, but not now.
C: Talk about poor timing. As I imagine it is for everyone who saw and loved The King’s Speech last year, for me King George’s bullying brother and his Nazi-sympathizing girlfriend have thoroughly lost their appeal!
E: Nazi-sympathizing unfaithful girlfriend, don’t forget! So not cool…
E: Denzel Washington as a rogue CIA agent, and Ryan Reynolds as the man tasked to take care of him.
C: This boilerplate thriller looks far too familiar in all its elements (though not in this particular combination) for me to be interested. Though I suppose it could possibly surprise.
M: I very rarely feel, when I see a preview for one of his movies, like Denzel is tweeting it in. However, in this case it REALLY looks like he watched back Training Day and said “Hmmm, I won an Oscar for that. I could do that again.”
E: Schmaltz-o-rama starring Rachel McAdams as a newlywed with amnesia, who’s forgotten all about devoted husband Channing Tatum. He needs to make her fall in love with him again. To my complete shock, this Lifetime-like movie is NOT based on a Nicholas Sparks novel; it’s based on the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter.
C: Krickitt? Oof. Anyway, this actually looks sweet to me – treacly sweet, but sometimes one is in the mood for that… or rather like it would be, if it didn’t star the block of wood that is Channing Tatum. How did he get to be a leading man?
M: Oddly enough, I’m with C again. The concept, which was just done *spoiler alert* for the Chuck series finale, unfortunately, seems really sweet in this context. This seems like the kind of Valentines Day chick flick that I wouldn’t mind seeing. Not sure it will turn out that way, but it could, that’s all I’m saying.
E: You two astound me sometimes.
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: 3D
E: M, maybe we should take the boys to see this. I’m not really enthusiastic, though – it’s such a money grab.
C: Come on, you don’t get revved at the thought of the pod race in 3D??!
M: Oh, I get revved up at the thought of the pod race in 3D, it’s just the thought of Jar Jar in 3D, and the thought of contributing to George Lucas’ continual bastardization of his original product that I am not excited about. That said, I’ll probably go.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
E: Could this movie look any worse, really?
C: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, an uncharted island…
M: Don’t forget Josh Hutcherson just over a month before he’s set to appear as Peeta Mellark.
C: …all we need is a guarantee that dinosaurs will eat all the characters, and this could be watchable.
Chico and Rita
E: Cartoon sex in Cuba in 1948. Nominated for an Oscar. Honest to God.
C: Yeah, um… ew.
M: E, where do you even find this crap?
This Means War
E: Reese Witherspoon, you can’t do better this? Lo, how the mighty have fallen. And Tom Hardy, your star is on the rise. Surely you could do better than this very silly looking spy-versus-spy comedy.
M: All three of them, Witherspoon who’s won a Best Actress Oscar, Pine who was Captain Kirk in the highly successful JJ Abrams Star Trek movie, and Hardy, who is in such an array of recent or forthcoming things as the main villain in The Dark Knight Rises and opposite Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Come on!
C: Two spy guys (the other is Chris Pine) fight over a civilian girl. Oh bliss. By these standards Mr. and Mrs. Smith was progressive.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
E: Ghost Rider was so successful, they just had to make a sequel?
M: Actually, it was.
The Secret World of Arietty
E: The Borrowers! Miyazaki! I’m thrilled and terrified at once.
C: I was never into the book series as you were, so I’m just delighted. Miyazaki almost never missteps and the trailer for this movie about tiny people living in our world is lovely.
M: I think I only read one or two of the books, and remember very little, but I do remember that I liked them. As C said, the trailer is so stunningly beautiful and well put together, this looks like a potential classic. Not sure about the name change, though.
E: Is it fair that this Greg Kinnear comedy makes me think Fargo immediately? There’s nothing wrong with the Midwest winter setting in a film; why does this feel derivative? Bodies, wacky characters, regular folks feeling defeated by life…
On the Ice
E: I’m just putting this one in because the names are so similar. It’s an indie drama about guilt and friendships.
C: Set in Alaska!
E: Jennifer Aniston decides to skip out on life in Manhattan.
C: With Paul Rudd, who plays her husband. And I do love Paul Rudd. But this movie about big city folks reevaluating their lives in a small community of “colorful characters” is giving me flashbacks of that old Tim Allen/Kirstie Alley movie with the Amish people. Not good ones.
M: And it apparently involves them delving into a nudist colony, drug use and that staple of movie magic… protesting Walmart. Ummm, I’ve seen the people that protest Walmart. None of them look like Jennifer Aniston or Paul Rudd. Even the version of him from Our Idiot Brother. Seriously.
E: Amanda Seyfried must rescue her sister from a serial killer.
C: Good job her. I’ll give it a pass.
Tyler Perry’s Good Deeds
E: Tyler Perry’s perfect CEO life gets turned upside when he meets a tough (but gorgeous, no doubt wise and golden-hearted) single mother who cleans his office. I will admit, my first thought is that Perry was waaaaay too old for fiance Gabrielle Union and cleaning lady Thandie Newton, but it turns out they’re both 39 to his 42. Huh. That makes them older, and him younger, than I thought.
C: Gabrielle Union is 39? Mind. Blown. She must have been quite old playing a teen in Ten Things, then!
M: I’m with C, I never would have guessed she was 39. As for the movie, I noticed something interesting (to me at least). Rebecca Romijn is listed as one of the main characters, marking a new high water mark in racial diversity for a Tyler Perry movie!