Winter Movie Guide: February 2012 – Week 2

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island


Based on the novel by Jules Verne

Screenplay by Brian & Mark Gunn

Directed by Brad Peyton

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, & Michael Caine

“Sean Anderson partners with his mom’s boyfriend on a mission to find his grandfather, who is thought to be missing on a mythical island.”

In the sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth, Sean (Josh Hutcherson) gets his mom’s boyfriend Hank (Dwayne Johnson) to take him on another spectacular journey, this time to find his grandfather Alexander (Michael Caine) who is thought to be lost on a mythical island.  After their trip to the center of the Earth, Sean is ready for anything, and this time they’ll get it.  After hitching a ride to the mysterious island, they are confronted with dinosaurs, strange plants, and even stranger happenings.

Aimed at families, but with a wider net meant to rope in parents, teens, and even adults.  With the casting of Dwayne Johnson it opens the audience quite a bit, and Michael Caine is there for the adults and parents to enjoy.  Anyone walking into this film has to know exactly what they’re getting into, a PG actioner with heavy visual f/x work.  It will make some decent money I’m sure, but I’m not sure why they’re releasing in February, this one would benefit greatly from a May release to catch the fresh-out-of-school crowd.

See what Wilson thought of the movie right here.

Rated PG, releasing from New Line Cinema in wide release.

Safe House Written by David Guggenheim Directed by Daniel Espinosa Starring Ryan Reynolds & Denzel Washington “A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge.” David Guggenheim’s black list script is finally coming to theaters starring Ryan Reynolds as a CIA agent who is housing the world’s most dangerous terrorist (Denzel Washington).  Everything goes nuts when the safe house is attacked,  and Matt Weston (Ryan Reynolds) must protect the man he despises, Tobin Frost (Washington).  The only problem is, Frost may be the reason the safe house is attacked, and he may have orchestrated everything, leaving Weston to fend for himself against known and unknown enemies. The script got great reviews that led to a greenlit film, with an A-list cast.  The troubling news is this one is being released in February, often the dumping ground of films that wouldn’t be box office competition later in the year.  Reynolds is a bona-fide star at this point, and Washington is a draw himself.  The teaming of the two is a nice pairing, but it will all come down to how people respond to the film, especially the ending.   Jeremy saw the film already, you can read his review right here. The film is rated R, and it comes out in wide release from Universal Pictures. The Vow Screenplay by Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, & Michael Sucsy Directed by Michael Sucsy Starring Channing Tatum & Rachel McAdams “A car accident puts Paige (McAdams) in a coma, and when she wakes up with severe memory loss, her husband Leo (Tatum) works to win her heart again.” The Vow is the latest in the non-series series of films involving romance, Channing Tatum, and Rachel McAdams.  Surprisingly, it’s not a Nicholas Sparks based story, but the romance movie conventions are all here, and the stars are Sparks veterans.  The sappy story is designed to tug the heart strings of women, who will inevitably drag their men to see it, especially with Valentine’s Day just a few short days after the release of the film.  Oddly enough, it’s really the only Valentine’s Day release besides This Means War, so it will have at least one day of really good business, and of course, it will do well on video when it gets watched over and over by romance fans. Channing Tatum has taken the long way to where he currently is, but he can’t be upset with his career.  He gets big studio actioners, these romance films, and then every once in a while he’ll do a small, personal film like The Son of No One or A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, keeping up appearances on all sides, for all audiences.  Rachel McAdams has become a box office favorite, with many of her films doing quite well at the box office, often extending beyond their main demographic.  This one hasn’t had the promotional push of the Nicholas Sparks based films, but it won’t need it on Monday when women see the poster.   This one releases wide from Screen Gems and is rated PG-13.


Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace 3D

Written & Directed by George Lucas

Starring Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, & Frank Oz

“Two Jedi Knights uncover a wider conflict when they are sent as emissaries to the blockaded planet Naboo.”

Yes, it was inevitable.  I think this is the 3rd official re-release of a film that came out less than 15 years ago.  It just goes to show that Star Wars is Star Wars, and people don’t even have to like the film in order to go pay to see it again.  That will be the case when Episode I: The Phantom Menace is re-released in post-converted 3D.  The trouble is, no one liked this film, yet it’s still one of the highest grossers of all time.  Despite the fact that in the past few years, the hate for it has become quite vehement, I still expect it to do quite well at the box office, just like Dinsey’s recent 3D re-releases.

When it comes to franchises, this is the biggest one of all time, and I think it will at least do well enough that Lucas will justify doing the rest in post-converted 3D.  Some people might get mad to see their favorite childhood franchise mined for cash in such a way, but anyone that has been following Star Wars has had their heart broken too much in the past 10 years to really be further affected by this release.  “Hey, want to see the worst Star Wars at premium 3D prices?”  Whomever answers yes, please just send me your money right now, it’s the wiser choice.

Releasing from 20th Century Fox and LucasFilm, rated PG-13.

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