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New Movies to Crave: Ghostrider Returns, This Means War Attacks, Secret Worlds are Revealed

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By Chris Kavan - 02/17/12 at 12:05 PM CT

After a great start to the movie season, will the films coming out on Feb. 17, 2012 be able to continue the box office winning streak? If Nicolas Cage, Tom Hardy, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Studio Ghibli are all hoping for the best.

1) I honestly have no idea why Ghost Rider deserves a sequel, but Cage (who may or may not be a vampire) decided to come back for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. From what I can see, they're going right out the window with plausibility and going for all-out action. I don't see where else you're going to find "death by flaming urine" in any other film - now or the future - only Cage can make that happen.

2) After the surprisingly good opening of The Vow, I bet McG and 20th Century Fox are hoping for just as good of returns for This Means War. If early critical response is any indication, things aren't looking as good, but bad reviews haven't stopped movies from making a ton of money in the past. It all depends on whether and action/romance hybrid will win out over a straight-up romance option. The stars have proven they have what it takes in the past, but if they don't have any chemistry, expect this to fail.

3) My personal pick for the week goes to The Secret World of Arietty. Studio Ghibli has proven to me time and time again that hand-drawn animation can still trump CGI and every time I watch one of their films, I always walk away happy. I guarantee it won't make a lot of money, but for sheer enjoyment, I can't imagine a much better choice for the weekend.

So, anyone going to brave the new releases this week? I might just catch The Artist before the big awards show myself. I know, I know, I'm still playing catch up, but it's bound to be a lot better than Ghost Rider.

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