We’re still in some hazy territory in the month of February, but the new decade looks to give this month some much needed energy. Fueled by two movies originally scheduled for release in 2009, I might actually drop a good amount of change at the movies in February (not just on repeat viewings of Oscar nominees).
Put “The Notebook” in front of anything and you are guaranteed a flock of screaming girls coming with boyfriends in tow. Put wildly popular model/actor Channing Tatum in the poster and you can add some more girls aside from the hopeless romantics. ”Dear John” has just that: a super sweet story from author Nicholas Sparks and girl eye candy Tatum. Thankfully for the guys, the filmmakers cast Amanda Seyfried (“Jennifer’s Body”), who isn’t so bad on the eyes either.
I’m a little weary to endorse “From Paris with Love,” another John Travolta villain movie. He’s only good at playing subtle ones (“Pulp Fiction”) with the exception of “Face/Off.” 2009′s “The Taking of Pelham 123″ was a disaster mainly because of Travolta and his villainy established only by constantly dropping the F-bomb. Potential redemption here? I’ll need positive word of mouth before I watch Travolta go evil again.
“Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” is the name given to the film adaptation of Rick Riordan’s kids novel “The Lightning Thief.” Clearly Fox is setting up a franchise with the title, and they picked the right place to stake the claim. I read the book in seventh grade, and it is the real deal. I even got a chance to have lunch with the author, Riordan, who is one of the neatest people I have ever met. Whether they ruin it or not is yet to be known, but the movie is being helmed by Chris Columbus, the man who got the “Harry Potter” series flying. That has to count for something.
If Pierce Brosnan isn’t a big enough star to draw you to the aforementioned movie, you should find solace in “Valentine’s Day,” which features just about every romantic comedy actor ever. Literally, I can’t even list all of the stars of the movie here. The post would just be too darn big. Garry Marshall, director of “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” is in charge here, so I find some comfort in that. But if the movie flops, this will be a high-profile disappointment.
Sorry girls, the werewolf in “The Wolfman” is not played by Taylor Lautner. Academy Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro metamorphasizes in Victorian England into the hairy beast when the moon is ripe. This werewolf is not based on cheeky teen lit but on the 1941 horror classic. And this adaptation is rated R for “bloody horror violence and gore.” Get ready for some intense clawing.
A big winner at Cannes and a contender for the Best Foreign Film at this year’s Academy Awards, “A Prophet” is a foreign film that may be worth a look.
The only major release this week is all we need. ”Shutter Island” had me at Martin Scorsese, and it only gets better. With a cast of Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kinglsey, Michelle Williams, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Patricia Clarkson, and Max Von Sydow, this could be one of the earliest that one of my favorite movies is released in the year.
Director Kevin Smith (“Clerks”) is never one to shy away from controversy, but working for a studio like Warner Bros. changes things. His cop buddy comedy starring Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis was originally titled “A Couple of Dicks.” After some negative buzz around the title, the studio changed the title to “Cop Out.” Let’s just hope they didn’t get to touch the movie.
Also opening this week is “The Crazies,” a horror remake where something really is in the water. An entire Pennsylvania town goes crazy after drinking it.
So, what are your thoughts? Are you as insanely stoked for “Shutter Island” as I am? Girls, are you stocking up on tissues for “Dear John?” If you aren’t going to comment, will you at least take the poll?