Beautiful Creatures vs A Good Day to Die Hard vs Safe Haven

Kenny D February 14, 2013 0

chick flicks

It’s Valentine’s Day and apparently this “big” movie weekend is going to be tradition now. Last year we had The Vow and This Means War to satisfy the ladies. So all that needs to be done is have Nicholas Sparks keep writing books and we can keep this tradition going. There’s just one problem with having big holiday releases for Valentine’s weekend… It’s the middle of February and very few good movies are ever released this early in the year. This weekend we have two unapologetic chick flicks going against the 5th iteration of the Die Hard series.

Beautiful Creatures

beautiful creatures

We can all thank our lucky stars that the Twilight “Saga” is dead and buried. We still have 3 more movies to go with its teen fiction successor, The Hunger Games. But this year we will see plenty of wannabe heirs to the supernatural romance throne. Beautiful Creatures is the first of a planned four book series of novels. If this movie does well, we can expect to see 5 movies in total, because Hollywood always has to cut the final book into 2 movies. But is it good enough to warrant even one sequel?

Creatures is mostly seen from Ethan’s (Alden Ehrenreich) perspective. He has lived in a small swampy southern town his entire life. He is bored of his monotonous life and wants to escape, until the new girl Lena (Alice Englert) moves in to town to stay with her mysterious shut-in uncle (Jeremy Irons). Ethan wastes no time trying to date the reluctant Lena. Everyone else in town shuns her family and says that they are witches. Turns out the townspeople are right.

According to witch legend, you are claimed by the dark side or the force on your 16th birthday. Lena’s birthday happens to take place during “The Most Powerful Winter Solstice in 5000 Years!!!” Sorry, everything had to be capitalized for added effect. Jeremy Irons tries to keep her away from Ethan, because apparently falling for a human can make it easier to go to the dark side.

It all doesn’t seem very threatening. In fact, they even say that Iron’s character is a dark witch manwich warlock who just chose, at his leisure, to be good. So they pretty much remove the threat right there.

beautiful creatures

Just another day at Hunger Games’ Capitol

I hate to say this, but the worst part of the movie has to do with Iron’s trying to pull off a southern accent. Sorry Scar, it’s just seems forced, y’all. Emma Thompson is having a great time chewing the scenery as a religious zealot/dark witch. She and Emmy Rossum are the best parts about this entirely forgettable movie.

I couldn’t pick the girl who played Alice out of a crowd. I’m not saying she was terrible, but her face isn’t memorable at all. Ethan (long last name) does a good job. It’s refreshing to see a teen fiction from an interesting guy’s perspective. But after 20 minutes, the movie bounces in and out of his narration with no rhyme or reason.

There is nothing to hate in this movie (except for spontaneous combustion during make out scenes). I didn’t cringe the way I do while watching the Twilight flicks. But sadly, there is nothing to love either. Everything about it was just vanilla. It runs at over 2 hours and drags through it. Because this movie is so mediocre, I can’t recommend anyone to see it. I would personally skip it. Though if you’re trying to do something nice for the lady this weekend, just practice sleeping while sitting up. This is the equivalent of cinematic roofies.

A Good Day to Die Hard

die hardJohn McClane is back and this time he is trying to save his son in Russia. When did he have a son? Oh well. Let’s just roll with it.

There is no feasible way I can explain any plot here. It doesn’t make sense, nor do I think it’s supposed to.

Bruce Willis flies to Russia because he wants to save/talk to his estranged son who is on trial for an assassination. As Willis stands outside the courtroom with no plan for rescue, there is a huge explosion in the courtroom and John McClane Jr (let’s just call him Junior from now on) extradites a Russian informant across Moscow in a car chase.

This is the first ten minutes, and while that may sound fun to action movie fans, it’s not. Yes, there is car-nage (see what I did there), but as John McClane chases the Russian baddies who are chasing Junior, he doesn’t mind destroying half of the city to do it. I couldn’t help but count the number of cars he personally ran over, wisecracking all the way, in his pursuit to save his son. Willis’s only line in this poorly-edited chase was “I’m supposed to be on vacation!” He says this about 13 times in the movie. And that ladies and gentlemen is your comic relief.

I want to apologize to Die Hard 4. I gave it flack for being PG-13 and not feeling like a Die Hard movie. Compared to this movie, it is an intellectual action classic. Something has changed in the series and it’s not a good change. The reason Die Hard was so great is because John McClane was a regular guy in the wrong place and the wrong time. He was an everyman who managed to beat incredible odds. Now, he is Superman. He can roll his car over 37 times and walk out with a scratch on his arm. He can land in radioactive water and start gurgling because nothing hurts him. It’s hard to root for a hero who has nothing to lose and is a shadow of his Die Hard 1 self.

This should be the end of the series. Bruce Willis can get away with making pretty lousy action movies (and occasionally good ones like Looper) but this random plot-twist mess should not have the “Die Hard” attached to it.

I’m sorry to all the guys who were excited about an action movie on Valentine’s Day. Sorry, this series need to die….harder.

Safe Haven

safe havenWe end this Valentine’s review with the genre that I despise most of all. Sappy romantic drama.

Safe Haven stars Julianne Hough as Erin/Kate, who is shown in the first scene fleeing the scene of a crime. She escapes and wants to start over in a small town. No witches here sorry. She changes her name and tries to live a quiet life. She catches the eye of the shop owner/widower Josh Duhamel. They spend an hour of the movie getting over their issues and fall in love.

But wait….there’s more. Her past starts to come back to haunt her as a vigilante cop won’t give up until he finds her.

Will their love survive the deception once the truth comes out? Will they fall in love due to a syrupy music montage? Will someone die? (Yes, this is Nicholas Sparks after all. How else does he create false drama?)

Okay, I’m a little biased. Let’s go over the good. Hough and Duhamel have great chemistry. I did feel that their connection was realistic. There are also jaw dropping moments for people who have never seen Fight Club/any ghost movie. Film fans will see plot devices coming from a mile away. But I did enjoy hearing many women in the audience gasp at certain reveals.

This is a harmless movie. It’s a Lifetime movie with two likable leads. If you want to get some action this weekend, this is your choice. As far as actual quality goes, it’s a C. If you don’t have to see this, don’t.

Wow, what a bad week for movies. Do you want to know the worst part? Die Hard is probably your worst option. That makes me depressed.

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