Sunday, February 6, 2011

February Movie Preview

After a dismal month for new releases in January (in terms of quality), Hollywood looks to rebound in February. Usually, one would expect an onslaught of romantic comedies to hit a theater near you in the month of love. However, it seems as if the movies releasing this month are intent upon making you forget about wine and roses. Instead, the focus seems to be back on action as Hollywood relies on the time tested genre to produce some financial successes. Whether the film is based in a contemporary setting or a historical one, features a high name actor, or involves aliens, it’s all about the action this February. Which ones will be worth spending money on?


Releases February 4th

The first weekend of February starts off with Sanctuary, a film based of a true story about the experiences of a cave diving team that underwent a crisis as they attempted to explore the least accessible cave system in the world. The only things this movie has going for it is that James Cameron’s (Avatar) name is attached to it as an executive producer and it has 3D. After that, it’s all downhill as early reviews for the film indicate that while the film has excellent visuals, it suffers from the dreaded combination of bad writing and terrible acting.

The Eagle

Releases February 11th

Directed by Oscar winner Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), The Eagle tells the story of a Roman soldier Marcus Aquila (Channing Tatum) attempting to regain his family’s honor by retrieving the Golden Eagle (emblem of Rome) of the Ninth Legion. Twenty years ago, Marcus’ father, Flavius Aquila, was the commander of the 5,000-strong Ninth Legion. It was under the elder Aquila’s command that the legion, along with the Eagle of the Ninth, completely vanished. Years later, the Eagle has been sighted in the rebellious tribes of Caledonia (modern day Scotland) and it’s up to the Aquila heir to recover the Eagle of the Ninth and his family’s honor. Accompanying him on his perilous journey through the savage highlands is a slave, Esca (Jamie Bell), whose hidden loyalties and past maybe connected to the very answers that Marcus seeks. In addition to the the expected sword fighting, the film hints at a pretty strong theme of a clash between cultures, which marks The Eagle as more than standard fare.

I Am Number Four

Releases February 18

Based on the novel by Pittacus Lore (pen name for two authors), I Am Number Four is a science fiction flick intended for the teenage audience. The protagonist, John Smith (Alex Pettyfer) is an extraordinary (read = superpowers) teenager, who has been on the run for most of his life from a dangerous enemy. John’s fugitive status is due to the fact that he was one of nine infant aliens who escaped from their home planet due to a conquering species. Each of the nine aliens was assigned a number and a guardian, who will help them harness their unique talents. As John and his guardian (Timothy Olyphant) move to another new town (Paradise, Ohio), the aloof teenager experiences his first love. Just as he is on the verge of settling down, news comes that Numbers 1, 2, and 3 have been killed by Commander (Kevin Durand), an alien leading the hunt for the escaped aliens. I Am Number Four is one of those rare movies which can appeal to several different demographics with it’s blend of action, romance and science fiction. Combine it with the fact that Michael Bay and Steven Spielberg served as executive producers, and I Am Number Four maybe a surprise hit.


Releases February 18th

Audiences across the world have been waiting for this ever since 2009. After all, that was the last time, they got to see Liam Neeson kill half of Europe (without any police interference!) in Taken. Not one to keep his audiences waiting for too long, Neeson returns for another film, which will feature him being a one man army as he battles identity theft and assassins. The premise of the film sees an ordinary man (Dr. Martin Harris) wake up after a car accident in Berlin only to discover that his wife suddenly no longer recognizes. As if that wasn’t bad enough for Dr. Harris’ ego, he also learns that another man has taken on his identity. Ignored by the skeptical authorities, Harris finds himself thrown into a deadly mystery that forces to him to question his very sanity. After his success with Taken, audiences should flock to see Neeson in another action thriller.

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