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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: February 2011

Despite the mixed-to-poor reviews of The Green Hornet, I'd argue it was the best movie released during the month of January in the past ten years (c'mon, it's the first comic book movie that didn't take itself seriously, plus most of the jokes landed and Gondry's choreographed fight scenes were magnetic), but unfortunately I don't think February's going to continue that good luck. And there is only one more proper Oscar bait movie trickling its way into the theaters before the big to-do, so there will likely be no gut-rot-wow-a-thon like Blue Valentine (a beautiful yet challenging combo of the sparse romance of Once and the untethered desperation of Wendy & Lucy). Oh well. At least there will be killers, Nic Cage, and amnesia this month. Here are the month's releases (with "Do I Wanna See It?" percentages in parentheses)...

Feb 4th: It's been a while since we've had a good-old-fashioned adventure flick, so while at first I was convinced Sanctum (54%) was another in a long line of creatures-in-the-darkness horror flicks, I am happy to report it's a James Cameron production in the vein of The Abyss instead, but with deep cave diving. It won't be good, but at least it will be boring in a refreshing way. For Qualler's birfday, much of The Blogulator contingent will be viewing The Roommate (100%) this weekend, half of us ogling Minka Kelly (Friday Night Lights, Parenthood) and Leighton Meester, half of us jumping and shrieking into our significant others' arms, and all of us laughing heartily at the idea of both actresses playing college students, either as victim or obsessive stalker/murderer. Alejandro Inarritu (Babel, Amores Perros) goes back to his roots in the Spanish-language Biutiful (97%), which is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for Javier Bardem, who plays a man with a terminal illness, probably searching for and finding redemption. This is actually one of my least favorite kinds of plots, but even when Inarritu's movie are overwrought (21 Grams), they're still magnetic and unnerving. Nuremberg (21%) is a re-release of the 1946 documentary covering the trial of the same name, as commissioned by the U.S. government, which sounds intriguing in theory, but really don't we want to just watch clips on YouTube on some bored afternoon after reading a bunch of Wikipedia entries?

Feb 11th: Adam Sandler gives up on shtick-oriented comedies and decides to Just Go With It (3%), in which he enlists BFF Jennifer Aniston to act as his treacherous ex-wife so as gain sympathy from a hottie. If it sounds ludicrous, I may point you to the fact that its script was based on someone else's script that was based on a play that was based on a French play - no joke. The animated Gnomeo & Juliet (Gno Thanks!%) is exactly what it sounds like, plus it features the songs of Elton John. Need I say more? I have no idea what The Eagle (14%) is about, but it stars Channing Tatum as some kind of warrior/soldier. You know, my friend Emily in NYC said she saw Channing Tatum on the street, but even though he's been a leading man for a couple years now, he's probably one of the only celebrities I can think of who I know by name but would never be able to recognize in, y'know, the face. Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (1%) is in 3D and is categorized as a documentary, a combination that has Morgan Spurlock already shlockily brainstorming his next project. Landmark Theatres will once again screen the Oscar Nominated Short Films (100%), which is always a delight, and save this particular weekend from being devoid of anything worthwhile, both trashy-good or actually good.

Feb 18th: Director DJ Caruso (Disturbia, Eagle Eye) returns with a non-LaBeouf actioner in I Am Number Four (63%), featuring a teen with superpowers being the impending fourth victim in a line of superhero deaths. Except they're trying their damnedest to not classify the characters of this film as superheros, but instead insisting that this is a sci-fi film, possibly because of the glut of comic book movies this spring. Liam Neeson plays the Taken guy for the umpteenth time in Unknown (91%), which I'm all for, if it means that we get to see him scream unintelligibly and pull off crazily illogical stunts in addition to dealing with amnesia and a conspiracy. Martin Lawrence returns in the epic film saga installment Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son (7%), which is actually kind of sad because the son is played by Brandon T. Jackson, who showed some real comedic chops in Tropic Thunder. Also sad: I haven't watched my Martin DVDs in over a year! Cedar Rapids (88%) reportedly features Ed Helms, the guy who played Clay Davis from The Wire, and said actor making a Wire joke, so that sells me already. It's also about Helms, who I worry doesn't have the gravitas to be a leading man, trying to let loose during a work convention weekend in the eponymous city. The Housemaid (92%) may be the first 2011 film with the potential to be great, as it is a Korean psychological thriller, which sells me enough, but it also received raves from Richard Corliss of Time, who has been pretty picky about movies lately, so his thumbs up piques my interest.

Feb 25th: What else do I have to say besides "Nic Cage" and "cars" to rev your proverbial motor? Oh, a lot? Well then Drive Angry 3D (74%) ain't for you, my friend. Leave it to us classy folk I guess to shell out the big bucks for the big quality. And I'm not talking about a Gone in Sixty Seconds sequel. Or am I? Not sure; didn't even watch the trailer. Hall Pass (65%) curiously features SNL mainstay Jason Sudeikis starring alongside Owen Wilson for a boys club fantasy romp in which the two protagonists' wives allow them to do what or whoever they like for a week, no questions asked. It will likely be by-the-numbers and possibly also borderline-sexist, but while neither is a hoot, I find them both genial and charming compared to some of the oafs that could have been cast here. Shelter (16%) is a Julianne Moore holdover from last year, so you know that if it was shelved for a winter release in the beginning of the calendar year, it must be good. Especially when it's a thriller about a forensic psychologist and multiple personalities. Even the Rain (30%) is a Spanish retelling of the life of Christopher Columbus, which sounds like a snoozefest, but with Gael Garcia Bernal in the role, I can't help but imagine his neurotic and affable portrayal in my head as something mildly noteworthy. The re-release of the Japanese horror classic Kuroneko (79%) may not exactly turn heads of non-film-geeks, but its spooky premise about a ghost of a rape/murder victim seeking revenge on samurai sounds highly abnormal for the 60s, so consider me signed up for class upon its arrival to the arthouses (pushes up glasses)!

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  1. Blogger Papa Thor | 12:21 PM |  

    Haha "boring in a refreshing way" That's sounds like my new pick-up line!

  2. Blogger qualler | 2:32 PM |  

    Can't wait for some Minka/Meester action!

  3. Blogger .molly. | 3:31 PM |  

    Not that excited by the movies coming out lately. I think I've reach some sort of movie-related fatigue. I just can't handle the MEDIOCRITY! Though "The Rooomate" definitely has future TBS weekend classic written all over it.

    Editing Note: Chris, you forgot the two zeros after your "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" %. You can correct it and thank me later.

  4. Blogger chris | 1:56 PM |  

    Thx, editor .molly.!

    Oh and you can change "The Rooomate" to "The Booo!mate" and I'll thank YOU later, because that's totally what I'm going to call it now!

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