New Movies to Crave: Take the Journey 2 or The Vow, Visit a Safe House, Get Menaced in 3D
By Chris Kavan - 02/10/12 at 10:45 AM CT
It's going to be a busy week for action as Feb. 10, 2012 brings us The Rock trying to save another franchise, Denzel Washington back in control and George Lucas hoping that fans will forgive him and revisit Star Wars in 3D.
Can Dwayne Johnson make Journey 2: The Mysterious Island pop as much as Fast Five? Fro the critical reception, no, not even close. However, for families looking to catch a fun 3D ride, the movie looks to have some great visuals and a tween-friendly cast (including a pre-Hunger Games Josh Hutcherson and a something-other-than High School Musical Vanessa Hudgens). I don't expect the story to be a compelling factor, but at least this should be entertaining. Whether it's enough to warrant another sequel remains to be seen.
Speaking of 3D, Star Wars is headed back to the big screen. Too bad they decided to start with the newest trilogy first. I'm not going to lie, I will be watching this even though I have to sit through Jar-Jar, Jake Lloyd and midichlorian talk. Still, Lucas isn't doing himself any favors with his recent comments. But this is one of the most popular franchises of all time and if Disney has proven anything it's that audiences will return for a quality product, I just hope there's enough interest here to get the first three back up on the big screen at some time, because those are the films I'm truly waiting for.
On the one hand, Safe House features a return to cool for Denzel Washington, who pretty much owns those roles. Yet it also features Ryan Reynolds, who I have yet to be impressed with in pretty much any way, shape or form. Balancing things out is Vera Farmiga, whom I find fascinating and has a good track record for choosing interesting roles. This could go either way, but if you enjoy action/thrillers, I could think of worse way to spend your money.
Finally, as a counter-point to everything listed above, Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum look to corner the romantic market (after the disappointing returns for One for the Money) with The Vow. Supposedly "inspired" by true events, this looks to attract the same crowd who enjoyed The Notebook and Dear John. It probably is totally cliched and unremarkable, but the strength of this film will depend on how McAdams and Tatum work together. That's it - nothing else really matters (as much) in these films as the chemistry between leads. While early reviews seem pretty tepid, the fact this is the only viable option aimed squarely at women means it stands a good chance of performing well.
I'll see back on Sunday to see if the Force is still with Lucas or if The Vow will win in its counter-programming mode.