Movie Buzz: 2-17

17 Feb

This week The Vow took number one at the box office bringing in $41.2 million.  It was followed by Safe House ($40.2M) and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island ($27.3M).  This Means War also opened this last Tuesday (Valentine’s Day, perfect timing).    Let’s see how they did and if they are worth the money!

Note: We only review films in wide release.  

The Vow—PG-13 What’s the Buzz? This film is about a newlywed husband trying to win his wife’s heart again after she suffers memory loss from a car accident.  The Los Angeles Times felt that the movie left the audience wanting more: to care more, cry more, love more.[1]  It was easily forgotten when you left the theater, so to speak.  Consumers thought it wasn’t completely horrible, but the ending was awkward and the direction was terrible.

So is it worth the money? Mmmmmmm…maaaaaybe

  • Box office rank: #1
  • Film Critics Say: Metacritic- 43
  • rottentomatoes: 30% (Trash days on Tuesdays…)
  •  Consumers Say: Metacritic- 5.6
  • rottentomatoes: 71%  (perhaps wait for Red Box) 

Safe House—R – What’s the Buzz? A dangerous renegade from the CIA comes back after being off the radar for decades. A tie between the critics, USA Today felt the action was excellent, only made better by the two leads (Denzel and Reynolds)[2].  However Hollywood Reporter felt the repetitive nature of the action was “grinding”.[3]  Consumers were just as split on the action story line.

So is it worth the money? Yes

  • Box office rank: #2
  • Film Critics Say: Metacritic- 52
  • rottentomatoes: 53% (a few good apples in the barrel)
  • Consumers Say: Metacritic- 6.7
  • rottentomatoes: 73% (freash-er)

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island—PG—What’s the buzz?  Not so good.  The Washington Post recognized the homage being paid to the likes of Jules Verne, but felt the film was too contaminated with different motivations to make it appealing.[4]  Others felt it was as mindless as the first film. Consumers didn’t fair much better in their reviews stating that some sequels should never be made.

So is it worth the money? Nooooooo!

  • Box office rank: #3
  • Film Critics Say: Metacritic- 41
  • rottentomatoes: 42% (I see fruit flies)
  • Consumers Say: Metacritic- 5.4
  • rottentomatoes: 53% (Yep, definitely fruit flies)

This Means War—PG—What’s the buzz?  Two “dangerous” CIA agents fighting for the same girl. The majority of critics hated this movie.  The New York Daily News calls the film, “The kind of rom-com that insults its primary audience and panders to their dates.”[5] Most consumers said it was predictable and unrealistic, but the dialogue and Chelsea Handler alone, make it hilarious to watch.  A great date movie!

So is it worth the money? Yes! 

  •  Box office rank: NA
  • Film Critics Say: Metacritic- NA
  • rottentomatoes: 26% (ouch!)
  • Consumers Say: Metacritic- NA
  • rottentomatoes: 71% (Go see!)

(Author’s note: I saw it Valentine’s Day and the theater was sold out. When I first saw the trailer I thought, “Gosh no that looks so stupid and beneath Tom hardy.”  Oh my gosh.  I laughed so hard my ribs hurt.)

What’s opening in theaters this weekend?

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (latest review results—NA)

The Secret World of Arrietty (latest review results—94% rottentomatoes)

Michael (latest review results: 78% rottentomatoes)

8 Responses to “Movie Buzz: 2-17”

  1. Francesa February 17, 2012 at 3:58 PM #

    This is the first time in along time that I really have no desire to see any of the new releases. The Vow just did not interest me, Safe House looks like a revival of Denzel’s character in Training Day. Though I do like Reese Witherspoon and Chelsea Handler does make me laugh on occassion I think I will just wait for the DVD.

    • Littlebells February 17, 2012 at 6:08 PM #

      This time of year has been pretty bleak, Francesa. I agree. I’ve only been going to the theater because we’ve been getting free tickets. 🙂

      • Open Book February 18, 2012 at 6:34 AM #


        What about “This Means War” u liked? Can u elaborate a bit more?

        • littlebells February 18, 2012 at 10:13 AM #

          I liked the humor but the story line and the action was not great and completely unrealistic. Seeing it in a theater with friends is probably another reason I enjoyed it. I can see waiting or the dvd though. I think I went in with low expectations so I was shocked to hear myself laughing.

          • Open Book February 18, 2012 at 11:07 PM #

            Ahh! Gotcha. My mind started to wander half-way into the film. I kept checking my phone. It was bad!! There were a few funny bits. Then it just went cold, or I got cold, I can’t remember. It’s too bad because I really liked the cast.

            ITA wait for DVD.

  2. Open Book February 18, 2012 at 6:17 AM #

    Hi Francesa & LB-

    I would say wait for the DVD for pretty much all these films. All Except “The Secret World of Arrietty” AKA “The Borrower.” I saw “Safe House” for an action film it failed to hold my interest. Denzel & Chris Pine had better chemistry IMO. The ending was yet again PREDICTABLE. “The Vow” WHY? This really should be on Lifetime TV. I left 3/4 of the way through. “This Means War” sorta funny but I would wait for the DVD.

  3. Littlebells February 18, 2012 at 10:24 AM #

    EL&IC was very good. Sorry it’s taken me so long to write a review. I thought the story line was a good idea and I got choked up a lot when the son was listening to the last voice mails his dad would leave and then watching the footage from 9/11. However, there wasn’t enough character development for me. I didn’t connect with the boy and Hanks and Bullock’s characters weren’t fleshed out enough to get an emotional connection. Sometimes I felt the director/writers couldn’t figure out exactly what to focus on. The relationship with the boy and his grandfather? The relationship with the son and mom? Finding what the “key” belonged to? I think they had some great ideas that needed to be narrowed down

    Saying that, the ending was very tender seeing how the mom did know where her son was when he was off galavanting and the boy having one last and important moment with his dad.

    Ok, Don’t get me started on the Vow. I agree it’s more of a Lifetime movie, but then again, look how lifetime is going to be airing The Client List, soooo…I’m confused. Here’s my question: What kind of actor is Channing Tatum focusing on? Action? Comedy? Romance? Serious? I’m not buying any of it at the moment and am scratching my head as to what direction his team is going.

    • Open Book February 18, 2012 at 11:00 PM #


      Thanks for the review. The Vow? I don’t get it? Channing Tatum I guess he’s the new Mark Wahlberg? He looks pretty formulaic……No authentic material here…. Yawn!!

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: