REPUBLIBOT WEEKEND MOVIE PREVIEW: Movies Opening 2-12-10

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Hola!! This week on the Republibot Weekend Movie Preview we have some possibly interesting genre offerings at the old movie house. But before we jump in, let’s just get our standard reminder out of the way as quickly as possible so that we are all on the same page: I have not seen any of these movies, nor have I gone out of my way to do any research on any of them. The interesting part for me (and really, it is all about me…) is passing judgment on these films, sight unseen and completely by osmosis. All of the film information in these previews, including the plot summary, has been pulled from the Opening This Week page of IMDb (http://www.imdb.com/nowplaying/). This week we are previewing The Wolfman, Valentine’s Day, Percy Jackson, and My Name Is Khan

And there we go, and here we go…

The Wolfman

Director: Joe Johnston

Stars: Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt

Studio: Universal Pictures

The Plot: Nobleman Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) returns to his ancestral homeland, where his brother has gone missing and villagers are being killed by a nightmarish beast. The search reunites him with his estranged father (Hopkins) and draws him near to his brother's fiancée (Blunt), however, Talbot's lager concern is the discovery of a side to himself which he never could have imagined existed ...

The Republibot Take: I’m not big on the original stable of Universal Monsters – you know: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Invisible Man, the Mummy and Creature from the Black Lagoon (am I missing any?). And even though I do have a soft spot in my heart for Van Helsing (I mean, how can you not like Kate Beckinsale in a tight bustier and bad gypsy accent), I have not enjoyed many of the attempts to re-launch these characters. Mummy didn’t even have a real mummy for Pete’s sake!!

The director, Joe Johnston, has always been kind of an interesting case for me – I will forever give him the benefit of the doubt simply because he directed the Rocketeer, which ranks up in my top Five all time favorite comic book adaptations. He also directed Honey I Shrunk The Kids,  Jurassic Park III, and is gearing up for Captain America: The First Avenger.

Anyway, I am going to see the Wolfman opening night with some former co-workers for our monthly movie night. We get together, we grab something to eat, we bemoan the state of movies, rip on the sad state of each other’s love lives, see a movie and then go our own ways for the next month.

We are changing how I rate the Sci-Fi Quotient again this week, now the score goes from 5, for hard science content to 0, for solid general genre content, down to -5, for lame-o-la or no fantastical, awesome content. That means that Sci-Fi Quotient for this is a very solid 2.25.

Valentine's Day

Director: Garry Marshall

Stars: Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway

Studio: New Line Cinema

The Plot: Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break-up and make-up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day.

The Republibot Take: Pass.

Sci-Fi Quotient, under our new rating system, is - 5.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Director: Chris Columbus

Stars: Logan Lerman, Kevin McKidd, Steve Coogan

Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

The Plot: Life changes in an instant for troubled 12-year-old Percy Jackson (Lerman) when he learns his birth father is the god Poseidon and he's looped in on a cross-country mission to settle a feud between his dad, Zeus, and Hades.

The Republibot Take: Ok, I haven’t read the books here, but I will be honest and say that I was a fan of the Harry Potter books and to a lesser extent the movies. What I liked about the movies is that they were able, to a surprising extent for a huge budget big studio financed major motion picture, imbue a film aimed primarily at a youth audience with a certain amount of timelessness to the production. They ruined the The Dark Is Rising movie by messing this up, and my expectation here, based on the trailers, is that they haven’t pulled that off with this movie. I call it the Bob Newhart effect – remember the old, original Bob Newhart show? I mean the show itself was fine, even funny and great, but man, the fashions just don't hold up – it approaches the point of massive distraction to watch the show now and see those big plaid sports coats and loud super wide neck ties.

Now, having said all of that, I will probably see this, just because I have a soft spot in my heart for youth fantasy films that has been with me since I was a kid and I maintained through my kids’ childhoods by forcing them to watch them as well.

Sci-Fi Quotient, again under our new rules, is hovering around a 1.75 (which would have been a 6.75 under our original system and a 5.5 under our second system).

My Name Is Khan [limited]

Director: Karan Johar

Stars: Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Sheetal Menon

Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures

The Plot: A drama centered on the experiences of Rizwan Khan, a Muslim from Mumbai who emigrates to San Francisco, where he marries Mandira (Kajol), Hindu woman and single mother. When life challenges split up the couple, Rizwan sets off on a unique journey -- sidetracked by a life-changing experience with authorities at Los Angeles International Airport -- in order to win back his wife.

The Republibot Take: I have to be honest here, this looks like it might be interesting, but I hate the way the synopsis is written – it sounds like it can fall into cliché and stereotype pretty quickly, which would be unfortunate. But the fact that I might find it interesting doesn’t help the fact that it doesn’t sound like a very action packed 90 minutes of cinema…

The Sci-Fi Quotient is a -1.5 and most of that is based on the obvious reference to the best Original Cast Star Trek movie.

Well, that was relatively painless, right? Hey, don’t be like that. I am trying, honest. I really do care for you, but I am just scared of getting too close, you know. But you look good in this light. Have you been working out? Really, that is awesome, you can definitely tell. Next week? Yeah, next week be sure to stop by, I will have a little something special for you – oh, and we can preview Shutter Island, and The Ghost Writer, amongst some other new films…

Until then, see you in the comments.

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