What's New at the Cineplex: Movies You'll Love and Loathe

By Christa A. Banister | senior editor, www.watchgmctv.com
Posted: Thu, 02/23/2012 - 11:09

If the groundhog’s recent prediction is actually right, it looks like there’s six more weeks of winter in store. And while everyone’s waiting for spring to show up sooner rather than later, a movie (or perhaps, even a double feature) is always a great diversion in the meantime.

But if you’re like me and you find yourself wondering if you’ve already seen a new movie’s best scenes in the trailer, here’s our take on recent movies you’ll either love or loathe.

The Contender: Good Deeds
Release Date: February 24
The One-Two Punch: With no Madea in sight, Tyler Perry’s latest movie is a love story with some added depth.
The Premise: A by-the-books businessman learns his life isn’t all it's cracked up to be when he meets a lovely single mother who's a part of the cleaning crew for his office building.
The Verdict: After a couple of heavier movies and yet another Madea movie, it’s nice to see Perry lighten the mood a little with Good Deeds, a slightly predictable story that’s still all heart.

The Contender: The Vow, starring Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams
Release Date: February 10
The One-Two Punch: It’s based on a true story and packs a serious emotional punch. Add two co-stars who aren’t exactly hard on the eyes, and you’ve got a winner, right?
The Premise: Channing Tatum joins Rachel McAdams in a tear-jerker of a story about a woman who loses a very selective part of her memory, namely any recollection that she was ever married to Tatum’s character.
The Verdict: In the interest of full disclosure, I was fully prepared for The Vow to be nothing short of sentimental shlock that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day viewing. But watching Tatum’s character go to such great lengths to win back the heart of his bride was unexpectedly moving.

The Contender: Safe House, starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds
Release Date: February 10
The One-Two Punch: Box office favorites Washington and Reynolds team up in a Bourne-esque story of a CIA agent who’s gone rogue.
The Premise: Reynolds’ character, Matt Weston, has a pretty boring desk assignment as a young CIA agent. Naturally, that all changes when he’s assigned to watch over a very dangerous former CIA employee, Tobin Frost, played perfectly by Washington.
The Verdict: If you’ve seen the “Bourne” trilogy, you’ll immediately feel like you’ve seen this hyper-violent storyline before, right down to the shaky camerawork. While the leading men do the best with what they’ve got, there isn’t much that’s compelling about this story of misplaced allegiances and how the government can’t always be trusted.

The Contender: This Means War, starring Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy
Release Date: February 17
The One-Two Punch: Everyone’s favorite rom-com queen, Reese Witherspoon, is back with a story that’s equal parts action and romance.
The Premise: Two CIA agents, who just happen to be BFFs, fall for the same girl, Lauren (Witherspoon).
The Verdict: If you thought the trailer looked lackluster, then you have an excellent idea of how the actual movie plays out. While the cast is charming enough, the story is just plain creepy as two men attempt to stalk their way into one lady’s heart. Didn’t Sting write a cautionary tale through song about this very thing?

The Contender: Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, starring Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine
Release Date: February 10
The One-Two Punch: Loosely based on a Jules Verne novel, the sequel to 2008’s Journey to the Center of the Earth has some neat 3-D tricks.
The Premise: On the search for his grandfather, Sean (Josh Hutcherson from the upcoming Hunger Games movie) bonds with his new stepfather on a journey to beautiful mythical island.
The Verdict: While it’s a relief that Brendan Fraser, who looked utterly bored in its predecessor, didn’t sign up for this one, Journey 2 looks great but falls pretty flat when it comes to storytelling. A much better option is to simply read the book that inspired the story in the first place.

The Contender: Act of Valor, starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano
Release Date: February 24
The One-Two Punch: Inspired by true events, Act of Valor is a story about the bravery of an active duty group of Navy Seals.
The Premise: When a group of these elite fighters uncover a terrorist threat against the United States, we’re shown how these men balance their commitment to serving their country with a stalwart love of family back home, not to mention their fellow soldiers.
The Verdict: Not shying away from the grittier realities of what it means to serve your country in expertly edited battle sequences (note the R rating for violence), the story of these Navy Seals in Act of Valor is both intriguing and inspiring.

Copyright 2012, www.watchgmctv.com. For permission to repost or reprint, click here.


About the Writer

After graduating with a B.S. in Journalism from North Central University in 1998, Christa Banister moved from Minneapolis to Nashville, Tenn. and eventually started working at CCM Magazine/Salem Publishing in various editorial capacities as an editor, columnist and website guru for five and a half years. After that, she launched her own Dallas-based freelance writing company and writes for numerous clients including Salem Publishing, Crosswalk.com (she reviews movies for them each week), Christian Single, Christianity Today, Threads Media, Songs4Worship.com, PassAlong.com and also helped kickstart the first Christian music blog for MTV. In addition, she also writes bios for professional recording artists and authors and penned her first two novels, Around the World in 80 Dates and Blessed Are the Meddlers for NavPress.

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