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New in Theaters Feb. 21: Pompeii, 3 Days to Kill

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By Chris Kavan - 02/20/14 at 06:45 AM CT

With no romance film being able to knock down The Lego Movie (over Valentine's Day Weekend no less), it's looking like the animated Juggernaut is going to stay firmly in the first place position probably all the way through March. That means the outlook isn't so rosy for the two films opening this weekend. One looks like the kind of big-budget picture usually reserved for summer, the other looks like another predictable action/crime flick. There is nothing here that should prevent The Lego Movie from repeating as champion once again.

POMPEII Paul W.S. Anderson is a director who is known for the Resident Evil franchise of films, as well as Death Race and AVP: Alien Vs. Predator. Which is why he seems like tapping him to direct Pompeii is a bit strange. From what I have seen, Pompeii is combination of big CGI end-of-the-world action (something that would better suit Roland Emmerich ala 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow) but also looks like it mixes in a bit of Gladiator and even throws in a forbidden romance. That's a lot of genres to tackle in just a 105-minute running time. What that means to me is that Pompeii is going to try to throw a bunch of things at you and, without a clear focus, is probably going to wind up a muddled mess. I'm guessing there wasn't enough faith to put this out over summer (against bigger blockbusters) but February is a strange time to release it. Even March (see the upcoming 300 sequel) is better suited to this kind of big action type of film. We'll see what kind of reaction it gets - so far it's seems to be grounded firmly in the "kitschy, guilty-pleasure" category and could either draw a decent crowd or crash and burn spectacularly.


3 DAYS TO KILL While at least Pompeii clearly has the market on people who enjoy "so-bad-they're-good" films - Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld and Connie Nielsen are stuck in 3 Days to Kill. McG is looking to make Costner into the next Liam Neeson by essentially copying Taken and throwing in a "miracle cure" angle to somewhat differentiate it. But as I recall, copies are never as good as the original, and I have a feeling that this just isn't going to elicit the same response from audiences. This is the kind of film I wait to stream and then kind of shake my head at the over-the-top nature of it all (of course I feel the exact same way about the actual upcoming Neeson film Non-Stop). The problems with all these action/thriller type movies is they all start to feel the same - characters, story - everything, and thus become cliche and predictable.


Two movie looking to a big score - but I think it is still going to be The Lego Movie that will be laughing all the way to the bank once again.

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