Marathon movie reviews

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Not all of February’s big movies are big flops

Kyle Leitch
Contributor

Since this issue will be on stands for two weeks, and since I know everyone gets more enjoyment out of me when I’m intentionally torturing myself, I’ve decided to marathon my reviews this week. What’s a marathon movie review? It’s a trial of patience and money in which I go to see every movie playing in a theatre on a given day. God, help me.

Big Miracle
Notice how one Hollywood movie inevitably spawns half a dozen or so similar ones? Mall cops, zombies, zoos, and now marine life in dire straits. If you thought Dolphin’s Tale was dumb, making the titular fish eight times bigger is not going to make you enjoy this film any more.

Chronicle
If I could have one superpower, it would be to use invisible force to make the world my bitch. Too bad the pseudo-handheld shooting style made the film look like the contents of an airline sickness bag.

Contraband
Finally, Hollywood executives are starting to realize that Mark Wahlberg is a neo-action star. He should not be expected to act; he should just shoot people and blow things up.  Contraband delivers big on both of these fronts: the bad guys in Contraband are squishy blood-filled meat sacks, and the explosions are big enough to burn the ass of God.

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
The Rock is pulling double duty in Hollywood and the WWE, and I feel like it’s 2004 all over again. This prequel/sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth is perpetuating the proud slough of family friendly camp that’s been coming out lately. If Dwayne Johnson doesn’t give a Rock Bottom to a giant ant, then I’m not interested.

Safe House
Here’s another movie that fits into the neo-action genre. Stuff blows up, henchmen get shot like so many clay pigeons, and at the movie’s heart is a dark narrative. Denzel Washington starring made this feel like the direct continuation of Man on Fire. This is, in fact, a good thing.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace 3D
Oh dear. There cannot be a worse time to be a Star Wars fan than right now. George Lucas is bound and determined to run every one of his intellectual properties into the cold, cold ground. Maybe before he kicks off, we’ll see AT-AT Walkers superimposed into THX 1138 and another Indiana Jones sequel.

The Grey
I already did this one, didn’t I?

The Vow
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum star in a horribly done two-hour version of that episode of Arrested Development where Jason Bateman loses his short-term memory in a car accident. A prolonged fart could replace all of the dialogue tracks and no narrative would be lost.

The Woman in Black
An actual horror movie that manages to break through the caked on layers of desensitization to elicit some vestige of an emotional response out of me gets a pass in my book. It’s also interesting to see where Daniel Radcliffe is heading post-Harry Potter.

Underworld: Awakening
Kate Beckinsale leathers up once again to kick the undead asses of the vampire scourge, this time in 3D.  If there was any justice in the world, the next Underworld sequel would pit Selene against Edward and Bella.

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