Hitting the cinemas hard this weekend come Dear John, From Paris With Love, and Red Riding: 1974. We’ll watch the trailer, give our initial impressions, and decide whether these films needs be seen on the big screen or if we can give it a pass ’round DVD, or if it’s unwatchable at all. Get your popcorn buttered and pop your feet up, we’re taking you Around the Multiplex!
- First up on the trailer block is Dear John, starring Channing Tatum (G.I. Joe, Step Up) and Amanda Seyfried (Jennifer’s Body, Mean Girls). This seems to be a typical run-of-the-mill chick-flick about the power of love, despite adversity. Tatum plays a Special Forces operative who meets Seyfried on a two-week leave wherein they start a relationship that gets strained by his commitment to being a soldier – hooah! From the author who brought you Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, and The Notebook, I’m lucky that I don’t think my girlfriend has heard of Dear John, so I’m safe from catching it in theaters but once it rolls around to disc, we’ll probably give it a once over. Let’s take a look at the trailer.
Okay, it’s sappy, but it doesn’t look super-bad, just normal, gag-me bad. Channing Tatum’s not getting an Oscar anytime soon, but at least he has a greater acting range than Chris Klein. I’m not totally adverse to seeing this on DVD: I give the movie one tissue up on seeing it out of theaters.
- Second on the block is the god-awful looking From Paris With Love. I can’t stand John Travolta very much to begin with, but how can I take this movie seriously when you shave his head and cast him as a spy? A fat, bald John Travolta would stand out in a French crowd as bad as Yves Saint Laurent would have in Shreveport, LA. Or a Higgs boson in a party of electrons. Anyway, co-starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors, Mission: Impossible III), From Paris With Love is a action-adventure about an aide to the U.S. ambassador to France named Reece, who’s also a low-level CIA agent that gets assigned a senior-level mission along with Charlie Wax (Travolta). While I believe that action films belong in a category all their own (they get some narrative leeway, like Shoot ‘Em Up! and Wanted: great action, wicked stupid story), From Paris with Love at least appears to be trying to have it all, and it frankly doesn’t work. Here’s the trailer:
I think the film’s subtitle should be: Men with Stupid Facial Hair. This one gets two bald John Travoltas up for never having to watch the trailer again, and one rocket launcher up for watching it on TBS in three years when nothing else is on.
- Last on our list is Red Riding: 1974, the first film in a trilogy, releasing in a limited run, brought to you by IFC Films. Based on the true events of the Yorkshire Ripper murders that occurred in England between the 1970’s and 1980’s. The killer, Peter Sutcliffe, was arrested and has been held since 1981, so it’s certainly interesting that the next two films are Red Riding: 1980 and Red Riding: 1983. The trailer seen below covers the whole trilogy, a gritty and suspenseful look at the murders from the perspective of a journalist (Andrew Garfield) investigating the case. It certainly seems a worthwhile four hours and fifty-five minutes in all, particularly considering Sean Bean (The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, and the impending HBO series, Game of Thrones) is in the first and last one. Get a gander at this trailer for this new noir flick quick.
Certainly seems like a compelling story, with some poignant acting, and an actual history lesson to boot. Anyone who liked Zodiac and Summer of Sam should be sure and try and see this in theaters. As for me, suspense thrillers have never been my (“Earl Grey – hot!”) cup of tea, but I do have significant interest of watching this when it makes its way to IFC. I rate it two bloody ball-peen hammers for seeing it on TV.