This Week’s Theatrical Releases.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and I guess the movie studios believe that going to the movies ranks highly on the list of activities on that day, because they are bumping up their new releases one day early. Are all the movies date fodder? Let’s see:

1. The Spiderwick Chronicles (3,847 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated PG): I guess if this would be dating fodder if you were a pre-teen. Or dating a pre-teen.

Some movies are like a runaway train. You spend so much energy getting the train up to speed that when you see all the other trains similar to you crashed up ahead, you are going to fast to stop. You just gun it and try to make it through the carnage safely.

What I mean by that utterly confusing analogy is that the success of Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter gave birth to a whole bunch of movies based on children’s literature. But some of these movies (Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Golden Compass, and The Seeker: The Dark is Rising) did not do well at the box office. But since this movie, which also comes from a kid-lit series, is so CGI intensive, millions probably were spend on it before the above movies crashed. So they just have to barrel through.

The story revolves around a young boy who finds a book that reveals all the magical creatures around him. Said creatures want the book. Dark, threatening scenes ensue.

Will this movie break that trend of poor performances? Possibly but unlikely.

2. Jumper (3,402 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated PG-13): I get the feeling a lot of guys will have this movie as part of their “dinner and a movie” plans tomorrow and be unpleasantly surprised by the chilly reaction they get from their ladies. Because even though the flick has a “girlfriend in danger” subplot, this is anything but romantic.

It involves a group of mutants who have the ability to teleport (yes, teleport) and the secret society that really, really wants to kill them. See? Where’s the romance in that?

The plot seems sort of lacking, but the film is directed by Doug Liman. After what I’ve seen of his work on The Bourne Identity and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, he can probably put the phone book up on screen and make it exciting.

And this is the cinematic reuniting of Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker, only this time, presumably, on different sides of the good/evil scale. Star Wars completists will have to make this a must see.

3. Step Up 2 the Streets (2,470 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG-13): And then there’s this one. The homogeneous dance movie.

I really am struggling for something to say here. I need at least three paragraphs to make it past the movie poster on the left, so I have to come up with something.

Something.

Anything.

How about this? Let’s start a conspiracy theory. Hollywood has been putting us on for the last several years. They only made one dance movie, and have been re-releasing it under different names every year.

I mean, it could happen, right? All these kind of movies have similar plots, right? You can totally get someone to believe that.

Spread that at your next cocktail party. If it comes back to me, I’ll be a very happy man.

4. Definitely, Maybe (2,203 Theaters, 105 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Finally! A romantic comedy! On the most romantic day of the year! About time!

This movie has a fairly interesting cast. It is a mix of actors known for their Oscar nominated and/or winning roles (Rachel Weisz, Kevin Kline, Abigail Breslin) and the goofy comedy veterans (Ryan Reynolds, Elizabeth Banks, Isla Fisher). The film seems to be a bit closer to the serious comedy than wacky comedy.

Reynolds plays a man who is trying explain his romantic history to his 10 year old daughter, played by Abigail Breslin. He is about to be divorced, and the girl is find him happiness. He, of course, is being very vague in telling his story, and Breslin has to figure out who he is referring to in order to save the relationship.

The three loves of his life are played by Banks, Weisz and Fisher. This makes Reynolds a very lucky man. Or unlucky since it appears he is beyond hope with two of them, and needs a 10 year old to help him hold on to the third.

This brings us to the predictions, which I really don’t know why I bother, because I suck at them. This is what I thought last week’s top 5 would look like:

  1. Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
  2. Fool’s Gold
  3. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
  4. 27 Dresses
  5. The Eye

And this is how it really turned out.

  1. Fool’s Gold
  2. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
  3. Hannah Montana/ Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
  4. The Eye
  5. Juno

I hate the Cyruses. I really do. Thanks to them, I went 0 for 5 this week, making me 48 for 130 after 26 weeks, and my average is now 36%.

This week is another tough week, so expect that average to go down even lower. This is what I predict:

  1. Jumper
  2. Fool’s Gold
  3. Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins
  4. The Spiderwick Chronicles
  5. Juno

What do you think?

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About William Gatevackes 1932 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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