New Releases: February 17, 2012

1. This Means War (FOX, 3,189 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated PG-13): The casting for this film is unique. Not so much for Chris Pine. He’s done action, he done romantic comedies, so being in a romantic action/comedy isn’t that unique. But Tom Hardy has been building a reputation for being in serious action films. And lest we forget, Reese Witherspoon is an Oscar winner, and here she is playing the object of Hardy’s and Pine’s affections. I’d call that a step down.

Yes, Pine and Hardy play C.I.A. agents who find out they are dating the same woman–Witherspoon. Each man uses the government agency’s equipment and resources to spy on the other and sabotage their dates whenever they can. Now you know why it took so long to find Bin Laden.

It is a unique take on the romantic comedy. Still a step down for Witherspoon, but it could be fun.

2. Ghost Rider: Spirit Of Vengeance (Sony/Columbia, 3,174 Theaters, 95 Minutes, Rated PG-13): And now, a sequel that no one asked for and the original film doesn’t deserve.

Just so it be known that as a comic book fan I can be objective about comic book movies, the first Ghost Rider was awful. It did transport most of the great elements of the comic book character to the screen, but it inserted them in a plot that was incredibly stupid and nonsensical.

Considering the most memorable part about this film’s trailer is the fact that Ghost Rider pisses fire, I can’t say┬áI have much hope that this will be all that better. The action moves to Europe (why? probably because it was cheaper to shoot there) and finds Nicolas Cage returning to play Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider. He is ine Eastern Europe trying to stop the devil from taking a human form. This must be a different devil that made him Ghost Rider in the last film, who form looked like a human–Peter Fonda to be exact.

I’ll be seeing this film tomorrow so check back here for my review of it.

3. The Secret World Of Arrietty (Disney, 1,522 Theaters, 94 Minutes, Rated G): If the plot, a bunch of little people who share a house with humans find their existence threatened when they are discovered by the much larger humans, it probably because you experienced The Borrowers in one of it’s many forms, be it books, BBC TV series, or even film versions.

However, this time the story is not being told with an Anglo-centric point of view. It is being directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who has worked as an animator on a number of films helmed by “Japan’s Walt Disney,” Hayao Miyazaki, including Spirited Away and Princess Monoke.

This should be a fresh take on a time-honored favorite and a change of pace from a lot of other kiddie fare out there. .

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About William Gatevackes 1931 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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