New Releases: February 14, 2013

a good day to die hard poster 1. A Good Day to Die Hard (Fox, 3,552 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated R): There was 12 years between Die Hard with a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard. There was a little under six years between that one and this one. So, by that count, does that mean Die Hard 6 will hit in 2016?

Well, a sixth volume has been confirmed so why the heck not? So what if Bruce Willis will be in his sixties when it comes out or that the character in that installment will bear little resemblance to the character in this film, let alone the original. The concept is evergreen and adaptable to every type of story. The only thing that needs to happen is that the story needs to get bigger.

This time around, we are introduced to John McClane Jr in, of all places, Russia. Daddy has gone over there to straighten his son out. Turns out that Junior is a government operative investigating the sale of nuclear weapons. Things turn hairy, as they do whenever papa is around, and the two must team up to save the world and bring in the bad guys.

Safe-Haven-poster2. Safe Haven (Relativity, 3,223 Theaters,115 Minutes, Rated PG-13): What is Valentine’s Day with out a romance? And I guess a Nicholas Sparks adaptation meets the barest minimum requirement.

Sparks’ brand of treacly, star-crossed lover starring romance novels have been hitting the big screen since 1999’s Message in the Bottle (bet you didn’t know that was one of his) but really hit the big time with 2004’s The Notebook, which, along with his abs, is the main reason why women find Ryan Gosling so dreamy. The success of that movie has caused producers to scour Sparks’ back catalogue for more weepy romances to bring to the big screen.

This one seems to owe a lot to 1991’s Julia Roberts vehicle, Sleeping With the Enemy. Julianne Hough (see, even the name is similar) plays a woman who relocates to a sleepy North Carolina town. She is constantly looking over her shoulder, waiting for someone to over take her, all the while trying not to make any contact with any of her fellow neighbors and townsfolk. That doesn’t last long as the sensitive and hunky Josh Duhamel breaks down her guard and makes her want to love again. But, unfortunately, her past catches up with here. Here’s where the films diverge–she’s not being stalked by an abusive husband, but and obsessive policeman! See, she might have killed a man in her hometown of Boston. Okay, you know she really didn’t do it, but yet that’s is what she is running from.

What shocking is the shlock is directed by Oscar-nominated Lasse Hallström. What’s even more shocking is that its his second Sparks adaptation! What is the world coming to?

BEAUTIFUL-CREATURES-poster13. Beautiful Creatures (Warner Brothers, 2,950 Theaters, 124 Minutes, Rated PG-13): Oh, look. It’s a gender-reversed Twilight with witches instead of vampires! Only with more Oscar winners/nominees!

I’d imagine that the producers of this film would take umbrage to this comparison if that’s they whole impression they were trying to sell. This film is intended to be the first installment of a franchise based on a successful book franchise (one which was getting a lot of promotion at last year’s New York Comic Con). I’m sure they hope that a lot of Twi-hards become BeaCreaFreaks™ and spend inordinate amounts of cash on Beautiful Creatures merchandise and movie tickets.

This film focuses on a young girl who just happens to belong to a family of witches. Her sixteenth birthday is coming up and that’s when her witchly powers are going to be amped up. But will she become a good witch or a bad witch? The family moves to a small town in the hopes of nudging her to the good side. But a relationship with a muggle…er…non-magical human might tip the balance in the other direction.

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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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