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Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013

Film Clips: Feb. 14

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Beautiful Creatures PG-13

Adapted from Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's first novel in The Caster Chronicles, this supernatural love story is set in a small Southern town. High school senior Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) is bewitched by intriguing new girl, Lena (Alice Englert), and is thrilled to find that she returns his feelings. However, Lena is a “caster” who will be claimed by either dark or light forces on her 16th birthday. Lena's mother (Emma Thompson) is a powerful dark caster who expects Lena to follow in her footsteps; Lena would rather be normal. Viola Davis’ character oversees the town's mortal and caster libraries, and attempts to help Ethan understand the risks of associating with casters. Though the subject has become familiar to teens, the film's timeless themes and unique mythology may well be enough to ensure that Beautiful Creatures works some magic. (Lisa Miller)

 

Escape from Planet Earth PG

Hailing from a family of intergalactic adventurers residing on the planet Baab, Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser) responds to a mysterious distress signal emanating from the dangerous planet Earth. Along with his young nephew and his sister-in-law Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker), Scorch is lured to Area 51 by the nefarious General Shanker (William Shatner), who plans to hold the trio captive indefinitely. While the blue-headed threesome learn much about our planet from a loveable mouse named Doc, back on Baab, Scorch's nerdy brother Gary (Rob Corddry) prepares for a mission to rescue his wife, his son and of course, Scorch whose misplaced heroics Gary blames for causing the mess. Busy and colorful, couples can let the animated Escape From Planet Earth baby-sit the kids while they escape to anything else playing in another theater at the cineplex. (L.M.)

 

A Good Day to Die Hard R

John McClane (Bruce Willis) takes his "Yippee ki-yay" to Moscow in order to learn why his rebellious son Jack (Jai Courtney) has failed to return to the states. To John's pride and surprise, he discovers that Jack is a highly trained CIA operative attempting to stop a nuclear weapons heist by Russian baddie Komarov (Sebastian Koch). Though Jack is initially ticked off that dear old dad keeps hanging around—it turns out Jack's in way over his head. Though their methods are diametrically opposed, father and son eventually realize their strength as a team, but before they can hope to prevail and save the free world from mayhem, there will be untold explosions, car chases and confrontations between father and son in this fifth installment of the long-lived Die Hard franchise. (L.M.)

 

Safe Haven PG

The latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks romantic drama casts dancer turned lightweight actress, Julianne Hough, at the center of a mystery. After moving to a small town, Katie (Julianne Hough) is romanced by the local hunk, Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widower and the father of two young children who happens to be very good with his hands. The pair fall hopelessly in love, but Alex knows nothing of Katie's past (we glimpse her in flashback fleeing a bloody scene). The question isn't whether Alex loves Katie enough to transcend her secret past, but whether Katie will stick around long enough to let him. Released for Valentine's Day, the story borrows heavily from Sleeping With the Enemy, but this film lacks the impassioned performance that will make us miss Julia Roberts. (L.M.)

 

Side Effects R

Psychiatrist Jonathan Banks (Jude Law) prescribes a new antidepressant to his latest patient Emily (Rooney Mara), a suicidal young woman. Soon after, she commits a murder that is blamed on the drug's side effects, calling Banks' professional judgment into question. He seeks insight from Emily's past psychiatrist Victoria Siebert (Catherine

Zeta-Jones), who may know more than she's telling. With his partners asking him to leave their practice, allegations surface that alienate Banks' wife. Intriguing as the premise is, the scheme Banks uncovers is a difficult pill to swallow. Nevertheless, the movie asks interesting questions and its characterizations are above reproach in Steven Soderbergh’s latest. (L.M.)