March 29, 2011 - 8:15pm
BY KAVI PANDEY
It’s the first week of February, and love is in the air. Though Valentine’s Day is still a week away, opening this weekend are two tales of loving relationships — star-crossed lovers in “Dear John” and a bromantic buddy cop duo in “From Paris with Love.”
Pretty people fall in love but are prevented from achieving long-lasting happiness with each other by forces beyond their control. Sound familiar? It’s the plot of pretty much every Nicholas Sparks novel, who wrote the book from which “Dear John” was adapted. In this film, the beautiful girl is blue-eyed blonde Amanda Seyfried, who’s Hollywood stock keeps rising and rising. The handsome man is Channing Tatum, already typecast in his young career as the strong, silent soldier. The two fall in love but Channing has to go to war! To keep in touch, they write letters to each other, because, of course, it’s much more romantic than email or Skype.
It shan’t win any Oscars or be showered with critical acclaim, but “Dear John” will probably make more than a few people sob. And that’s what romantic dramas are supposed to do — evoke strong emotions. That’s why I will avoid any droll comments about its excessive melodrama or wooden performances. Judging from whether you love/hate “The Notebook,” watch/avoid “Dear John.”
“From Paris with Love”
Seriously guys? You couldn’t think of a more inventive title than a blatant rip-off (it’s not a homage) of a classic Bond movie? The film’s setup appears to be equally bankrupt in its creativity, pairing a straight-arrow, way-out-of-his-league government agent (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers) with a rule-breaking, loose cannon agent (John Travolta) to foil a nefarious plot. I can’t be certain, but I have a feeling that the two will set aside their obvious differences and work together to save the day.
Though he’s a protagonist, Travolta looks downright frightening in this film, with a shaven head and full goatee.
Is he supposed to be a good guy? He looks like Marsellus Wallace from “Pulp Fiction.”
All gripes aside, “From Paris with Love” is from the director of “Taken,” so the action here could be quite good despite a “blah” plot. But if you want to watch an action movie with a needlessly reckless hero, you’re probably better of renting “The Hurt Locker.”
As for a glimpse of greener pastures:
“Kick Ass” Trailer Review
I’d like to think of myself as a good enough writer to not say that this film looks kick-ass. But it does! It’s a refreshingly clever spin on the superhero flick — an ordinary teenager decides to fight crime for the hell of it. Drawing upon America’s obsession with viral videos, he creates a group of imitators, some of which are actually capable killers. There’s Big Daddy, played with effortless self-parody by Nicholas Cage, and Hit Girl, a wunderkind assassin who flips, kicks and cuts through endless thugs. Did I mention she is a purple-haired middle-schooler?
The presence of a supremely skilled child assassin probably makes this movie worth seeing alone. The film’ trailer perfectly relays the film’s probable blend of manic energy, brutal violence and in-your-face humor, giving glimpses of incredible action sequences set to the hyperactive sounds of The Hives. It’s never good to have high expectations, but “Kick Ass” is going to rock.