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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: February 2009

I was in such a deep and rapturous state of euphoria listening to "Love Story" by Taylor Swift over and over again last week that I totally forgot to bring you this month's set of new releases in the movie department. I apologize profusely. January was time well spent, what with all the Oscar hype movies taking precedent in my viewing habits over the usual claptrap (check in next week when I go through this year's Best Picture noms, as it's the first year I've seen them all before the ceremony), but the streak will end this Friday when a group of us Blogulutioneers treat ourselves to a "double creature" of Friday The 13th and My Bloody Valentine 3D. After that there isn't much hope on the horizon either, even in the indie theaters. Here are your releases (with "Will I See It?" percentages in parentheses) for February Two-Thousand-And-Whine:

Now Playing: This weekend's box office breakthrough He's Just Not That Into You (10%) is sure to be akin to a party with too high a concentration of people you don't like plus one person you really like but is way to pretty for you to talk to, featuring the guy who proves that you don't even have to be famous to host SNL, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Margene from Big Love, and about a million other white celebrities complain about the opposite sex not liking them for 100 minutes. Coraline (77%) also came out, which looks like a nice mixture of palatable and creepy (buttons for eyes!), so I'll probably see that, though I would be surprised if it grabs me like Nightmare Before Christmas did when I was a wee lad. Then there's The Pink Panther 2 (2%), which needs no introduction, body, or conclusion other than saying that its #4 spot opening this weekend just may indicate it'll be the last time we'll have to endure Steve Martin saying "ham-boooger." I would even pay to see Heroes: The Movie, aka Push (48%), very willingly before I even let someone pay me to see Martin's Clouseau abominable approximation. Yes, I would gladly endure an emo Dakota Fanning with pink hair and superpowers, actually. Not that gladly though, hence the 48%. I actually just saw Wendy & Lucy (100%) this weekend and it was by far one of the best movies of 2008, even if it was exactly what you'd expect. The ending is heartwrenching and Michelle Williams proves she's one of the best actresses working today. More details to come in an inevitable "Blogulator Revised Top 10 Movies of 2008" list.

Feb 13th: The musical Were The World Mine (61%) is released this weekend in the Twin Cities, where a young man starts magically turning the rest of the people in his town gay, and while the mix of tragedy, absurd comedy, and whimsy is tempting, its one-week only run during the time I have reserved for slasher movies will unfortunately keep me from it. Such is the life of an idiot. I would hope that if there was one thing I learned from viewing the trailer for Confessions Of A Shopaholic (22%) during every single trip to the multiplex in the past two months it's that I should stay away from it, but I can't help but just envisioning a dreary Monday night where someone, to quote the guy who lives in Liz Lemon's basement - "ahh! girl!!!", convinces me it would be a larf to see Isla Fisher wear bright colors and spout anti-Finnish remarks for the duration of the evening. One movie that it will be totally my fault for seeing will be Tom Twyker's (of Run Lola Run and The Princess And The Warrior fame) The International (65%), whose sure-t0-be bland coalescence of romance and spy humor will so far remove its stylish flourishes from Twyker's past catalog that I will surely leave the theater feeling soulless. Yet, I feel myself already magnetized toward the theater. Friday The 13th (99%) is another open and shut case, barring any unforeseen circumstances on the way to the theater this unlucky weekend eve (ooh, how about a slasher movie where kids get slashed on their way TO a slasher movie? It's meta and redundant!). Finally we have in the indie theaters' version of Shopaholic, aka Two Lovers (21%), whose nauseously meloromantic trailer pervaded Uptown Minneapolis for far too long. Joaquin Phoenix is part lizard, I have determined, and this is why he has little to no sex appeal in a steamy film co-starring Gwyneth Paltrow. When Apple's stick thin mom looks vivacious next to you, you know you shouldn't be in the movie business.

Feb 20th: This weekend's releases are going to be described and forgotten before you can say "Tyler Perry, you've ruined our lives again." Let's start with the minorly positive - Azur & Asmar (53%) looks like a majestically bold animated affair, but its quest-themed plot sounds like the ultimate snoozefest. Like an artsier and less obnoxious Kung Fu Panda. Madea Goes To Jail (4%) really doesn't realize its relation to Ernest Goes To Jail, no matter how many letters I write to Perry. And every time I see another trailer for his mind-numbing family dramedies, I just escape into a world where Tracy Morgan learns and then immediately dismisses the offensive inferences of dressing a black man in drag for entertainment purposes. Just like real life! Fired Up (10%) features that pretty blue-eyed kid from Rocket Science and numerous other forgettable coming-of-age films trying to get laid by becoming a male cheerleader with his buddy in order to get to all the fine female cheerleaders the world has to offer..."honies" I believe they're called. What's sadder than that logline? Philip Baker Hall, that's right - the heartbreaking game show host from Magnolia, turning up as their coach.

Feb 27th: Female Liberian freedom fighters bring us this month's only truly promising release (other than Wendy & Lucy, which I urge you to see if you haven't figure that out already) in the documentary Pray The Devil Back To Hell (81%). Yes, it has the potential to be boring, but judging by the trailer I saw before W&L this weekend, it will also be magnetizing and tear-inducing at moments. I like the idea of Crossing Over (70%), which purportedly chronicles various immigrants trying to attain legal status in Los Angeles, but here's where that plot rundown loses credibility: the film's two stars are Harrison Ford and Ray Liotta. How in the world will this movie be about what it claims to be about when its protagonists are the white cops probably dealing with their own demons or some crap. Nevertheless, while it's gotten mixed reviews, it has more potential than...Jonas Brothers: The 3D Experience (5%), in which Lady Amy squees with joy and hums "Lovebug" to herself while cuddling with her poster of "the cute one" and trying to convince someone, anyone, to go see this with her. Hey, 3D is 3D, so if you really can't find anyone, I'll dress as a teenage girl and go with you. Which brings us to our obligatory early-in-the-year video game adaptation. And this time, it's not some gun-toting game I've never heard of, it's effing Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun-Li (7%). I don't know how many, if any, of the characters I remember will be in this wastebucket-on-celluloid, but I do know this: Raul Julia is still dead. So unless you've resurrected him to bring M. Bison back in the ring, or you've got a killer Blanka scene...wait, even if you do either of those things, I don't think I can do it. Sorry, but my Sega Genesis died with my dignity back in 1997. Who is Chun Li anyway?

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  1. Blogger qualler | 9:58 AM |  

    Wow, I COMPLETELY forgot there was already a Street Fighter movie, and now I vaguely remember renting it on VHS from the library. So is this a "reboot" movie or a sequel?

    Chun-Li is one of the street fighters you can choose, right? I always preferred to use the sumo wrestler guy with the move-his-fists-really-fast move myself. I used him to win a Street Fighter II tournament at a sleepover once. It was a highlight of my childhood.

  2. Blogger DoktorPeace | 10:06 AM |  

    That Streetfighter movie is gonna bomb hard. The video game community has mocked it from the beginning. Kristen Kruek (Smallville) plays Chun Li, but while her cuteness prevails, there is literally no reason to expect anything out of this, and it doesn't even seem to connect to the franchise or the upcoming release of StreetFighter IV.

  3. Blogger chris | 11:58 AM |  

    I have no idea which it is, Qualler. I'm going to go with "doesn't matter" as my answer.

    It's interesting how as a child I never thought to pick a female avatar, but nowadays that's all I pick in Rock Band.

  4. Blogger Adam | 9:46 AM |  

    Chris, please don't go see The International. Think of your dignity!

  5. Blogger qualler | 11:13 AM |  

    I cannot WAIT for The International / Knowing double creature (Knowing comes out March 20, 2009). A movie like The Int'l with a trailer that shows an ATM with options like "Murder", "Treason", etc. And "Knowing", the trailer is even more outrageous...Nic Cage telling his son that he will "never let his son die." Amazing. Is Nic Cage God? Can I order a murder on my ATM? I'll find out on March 20.

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