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In Theaters: Make 'The Vow' To Stay Inside The 'Safe House' & Avoid The 'Journey 2' 'The Phantom Menace'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | katiewalshwrites.com February 10, 2012 at 4:58PM

Happy Friday all, another week has gone by and another weekend is here with new releases for your eyeballs and eardrums (cause cinema is both audio and visual... get it..). There's a nice little salad bar of items to choose from, so just make sure you choose the right one and not a re-release of a bad movie in 3D. That's never the right choice.
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The Vow Safe House Journey 2 Phantom Menace

Happy Friday all, another week has gone by and another weekend is here with new releases for your eyeballs and eardrums (cause cinema is both audio and visual... get it.). There's a nice little salad bar of items to choose from, so just make sure you choose the right one and not a re-release of a bad movie in 3D. That's never the right choice.

Regular readers (no one) know that I am morally opposed to the rerelease of old films in 3D. What is the point!?!? 3D makes it WORSE. Ouch, my eyes. But...at least we all LIKED "Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast" and "Titanic" when they actually came out (yo, "Titanic" is legit a good movie and I will defend it), but no one even liked "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" when it came out! Who wants to see JarJar Binks in 3D? No one, that's who. And, remember when Oscar winner Natalie Portman was literally THE WORST actress? Here is a friendly reminder. Whyyyy do you torment us, George Lucas?? Whyyy? Anyway, that's out this weekend, nerds. RT: 58% MC: 51

The Vow Channing Tatum Rachel McAdams

Oh dear, Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams star in  romantic amnesia drama "The Vow." Remember when I said "Big Miracle" sounded like a joke movie trailer last week? No? Well this sounds even more like a joke movie trailer. What parallel universe are we in that the joke movies are actually the ones getting made?! Did we flash-sideways like in "Lost"? Where are we that Channing Tatum stars with Rachel McAdams in a romantic drama about fucking amnesia and we have to watch "The Phantom Menace" AGAIN only more annoying this time?! Our review says the film "isn’t a failure because it will appeal to women who adore these types of movies, particularly those who drag their significant others to it as a Valentine’s Day date/punishment for being forced to watch the Super Bowl. However, those who expect to love it as much as “The Notebook” are better off staying home and watching their DVDs with a box of tissues and waterproof mascara." One bright spot: McAdams sports a crazy festival of wigs. RT: 29% MC: 45

Denzel Washington stars as a crazy, rogue CIA operative in "Safe House" with Ryan Reynolds. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, the film co-stars Brendan Gleeson (<3 u always), Sam Shepard, Vera Farmiga and Robert Patrick. Our review says the film has a "conventional, by-the-numbers dynamic and story, but a crackling, intense momentum and execution," and it "splits the difference between comfortably traditional and genuinely thrilling, leaving for an entertaining, but frequently overly familiar experience." This seems like one of your best bets for a wide release movie this week. RT: 53% MC: 52

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson continues his quest to take over every failing franchise in the movies by starring in "Journey 2: The Mysterious Island." The Rock's pecs are supported by a pre-"Hunger Games" Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman, and SWEET JESUS WHAT IS MICHAEL CAINE DOING IN THIS? Um, they travel to a mysterious island. Or something. Our review says, "its creators' many attempts to pander to the lowest common denominator and attract as many potential viewers as possible has made 'Journey 2' look like it was assembled by a creatively challenged brain trust." That seems to be about all you need to know. RT: 44% MC: 40

Poland's Oscar nominated Foreign Language film "In Darkness" hits theaters this weekend, telling the story of a Polish sewer worker who risks his life to help Jewish refugees hiding from Nazis in the sewer system of Lvov during the Holocaust. Directed by Agnieszka Holland and starring Robert Wieckiewicz as the worker, our review says the film "film is extraordinarily generous with its characters in ways that take the story beyond being a historical fable of altruism and endurance," and it "doesn't let those on screen fall into easy divisions of savior and saved -- it allows its Jewish characters to be complex and imperfect, and clears plenty of space for its protagonist to grow and change without shunting aside the sometime terrible costs of his actions." RT: 88% MC: 69

"Return"
"Return"
Linda Cardellini stars in Liza Johnson's debut feature "Return," as a National Guardswoman returning home from a tour of duty in the Middle East and attempting to reacclimate to her life and family (Michael Shannon co-stars as her husband). Our review says the film "is most intriguing in how it deals, in small ways, with how Kelli's gender shapes her experiences coming home, expressed mainly through her own expectations of herself." RT: 67% MC: 64

Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr's latest (and possibly last?) effort "Turin Horse," opens this weekend. Concerning the story of the bleak and despairing lives of a man, his daughter, their horse, and a windstorm, our review says, "it's without a doubt a haunting picture that'll burn into your conscious. Quite unforgettable, whether you fancy it or not." RT: 84% MC: 76

Woody Harrelson in "Rampart."
Millennium Films Woody Harrelson in "Rampart."
Oren Moverman's gritty LAPD drama "Rampart" opens wide this week with Woody Harrelson as a troubled cop. Our review says the film "is really two portraits: one of the grimy Los Angeles that we don't see very often in the usual steel-and-glass depictions, and another of a cop slowly losing his sanity as he tries to keep a balance between a complicated home life and a career that is unraveling before his eyes," and "it's a wildly ambitious slow burn that succeeds immensely, powered by one of the best performances of Woody Harrelson's career." RT: 75% MC: 70
 

Greta Gerwig stars in director Alison Bagnall's "The Dish and the Spoon," as a woman struggling with her relationship and finding solace in an unlikely comrade (Olly Alexander). Our review says it's "quite uneven; the craziness of its protagonist has a decent energy which is occasionally squandered when the narrative decides to meander. Still, it's an unoffensive film and has a few bright spots within." RT: 44% MC: 72

Oscar nominated animated feature "Chico and Rita" opens wide this week, offering up an adult-oriented animated tale about a Cuban man reflecting on his long lost love. Our review says the film is "a mere trifle of a movie, sugary and enjoyable to be sure, and we recommend it overall as such. But with so much potential squandered we can’t help but feel there’s a better film in there somewhere." RT: 95% MC: 79

This article is related to: The Vow, Safe House, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace, The Turin Horse, Return, In Darkness, Rampart, Chico & Rita, The Dish And The Spoon


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