What’s Seattle Saying – February 15, 2013

WhatsSeattleSayingLogoEach week, Should I See It will be looking to its left and to its right, collating the thoughts of many of the film reviewers and writers located in and around the Seattle community.

OPENING IN SEATTLE THIS WEEKEND (February 15, 2013):

    • Beautiful Creatures
    • Escape From Planet Earth
    • A Good Day To Die Hard
    • Safe Haven

See what the Seattle critics say about these films…after the cut!

 

BeautifulCreaturesPosterBEAUTIFUL CREATURES
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert
Rating: PG-13 (for violence, scary images and some sexual material.)
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Running Time: 124 Minutes
Director: Richard LaGravenese

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
A supernatural love story set in the South, “Beautiful Creatures” tells the tale of two star-crossed lovers: Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich), a young man longing to escape his small town, and Lena (Alice Englert), a mysterious new girl. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town. – Warner Bros.

 

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Beautiful Creatures?


Check - YesBrian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
“What Beautiful Creatures lacks in originality it outweighs in wit, fun and a terrific cast, led by its two stars.”

Check - YesErik Samdahl, FilmJabber
Beautiful Creatures has a creative edginess to it that, while not remarkable on its own, is a pleasant surprise for this genre.

Check - YesLaremy Legel, Film.com
“…from acting to visual artistry, “Beautiful Creatures” wins by pure knockout against most young adult fiction adaptations.”

X - NoSpencer Fornaciari, The MacGuffin
“Ultimately, the movie ended up feeling a bit bland, but not bland in the way I had originally anticipated.”

Check - YesSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
“…shockingly entertaining, filled with interesting characters and nicely fleshed out scenarios that captured my full attention right from the start.

Check - YesBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“…as far as cinematic diversions are concerned, Beautiful Creatures proves satisfying.”

Moira Macdonald,The Seattle Times
Check - Yes
“…one element remained constant: the charming performances of Ehrenreich and Englert, who demonstrated a funny, believable chemistry.”

Michael Ward, Should I See It
X - No
Beautiful Creatures feels forced, too soon, transparent and obvious, with the film a frustrating mix of some good, some bad, but mostly mind-numbing mediocrity”

Beautiful Creatures played much better for Seattle’s critical community than across the country. Many local hope that the film does strong business to necessitate an adaptation of the second book in The Caster Chronicles, the four book source material from which Creatures was crafted. Nationally, critics are far more polarized with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 45%.

EscapeFromPlanetEarthPosterESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH
Starring the Voices of: Brendan Fraser, Jessica Alba, Ricky Gervais
Rating: PG (for action and some mild rude humor.)
Genre: Family/Animation
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Director: Cal Brunker

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
The 3D animated family comedy catapults moviegoers to planet Baab where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. When BASA’s no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary’s warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (William Shatner) it’s up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip.- The Weinstein Company.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Escape From Planet Earth?

X - NoLaremy Legel, Film.com
“You could ‘Escape from Planet Earth,’ but you’re better off just ignoring it.”

Escape From Planet Earth was not screened for critics locally or nationally and numerous reasons were given as to why. Truth is, the film has all but been relegated to the back of the line for The Weinstein Company as they have their sights set on the pending Oscar race and a certain Silver Linings Playbook. Like with most films not previewed for critics, Escape From Planet Earth is rather underwhelming and disappointing. While we applaud Laremy for seeing it on Friday, the other critics nationally who expensed the tickets to their bosses were vastly disappointed and the film has a TomatoMeter of 25%.

GoodDayToDieHardPosterA GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney
Rating: R (for violence and language.)
Genre: Action
Running Time: 97 Minutes
Director: John Moore

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Iconoclastic, take-no-prisoners cop John McClane, for the first time, finds himself on foreign soil after traveling to Moscow to help his wayward son Jack – unaware that Jack is really a highly trained CIA operative out to stop a nuclear weapons heist. With the Russian underworld in pursuit, and battling a countdown to war, the two McClanes discover their opposing methods make them unstoppable heroes. – Yahoo! Movies

 

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT A Good Die To Day Hard?

X - NoAdam Gehrke, Adamgehrke.com
“…overly sentimental scenes between Willis and Courtney are uncomfortably sappy, and dialogue otherwise is so skull jarringly bad…”

X - NoBrian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio/Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
“Cinematically speaking, I couldn’t be more upset right now…”

X - NoRobert Horton, Everett Herald
“The film doesn’t even know how to end — it just keeps dribbling on until it finally stops in a random freezeframe.”

X - No Brian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
A Good Day to Die Hard has never heard of the idea less is more, taking the Michael Bay idiom to heart that if one explosion is good, ten is great.”

X - NoErik Samdahl, FilmJabber
“If screenwriter Skip Woods had watched a Die Hard movie in the past, he sure as hell doesn’t show it. Director John Moore should have taken a few more notes, too.

X - NoLaremy Legel, Film.com
“The film barely makes it 85 seconds before it’s already in deep trouble.”

X - NoSpencer Fornaciari, The MacGuffin
“…never allowed to settle and breathe, the pace is so hectic to get from one action beat to the next.”

X - NoSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
The most abhorrent part of all of this is that A Good Day to Die Hard has me questioning my undying love of John McClane and the previous Die Hard films…”

X - NoTim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
“At least we’ll always have that night at the Nakatomi Towers when the Christmas party got out of hand. Those were the days.”

X - NoBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“…you have some of the dumbest scenes put on film in a long, long time.”

X - NoSoren Andersen, The Seattle Times
“The previous entries in the immensely popular series…have been tenuously tethered to something vaguely resembling reality. But this one? Pfff! We’re off to Cloud Cuckooland.”

X - NoIan Dinsmore, Seattleite
“How do I put this lightly, A Good Day to Die Hard is a stunning abomination.”

X - NoMichael Ward, Should I See It
“In the year of the 25th anniversary of the classic Die Hard arriving in theaters, A Good Day To Die Hard pretty much murders the franchise right before our ever-watching eyes.”

The hatred is strong with this one. It is not that our entire panel disliked the film, although that is significant. The vitriol levied upon A Good Day To Die Hard is what is notable here, with many reviewers proclaiming the film as among the worst films of 2013 and the effective end to the storied Die Hard franchise.

SafeHavenPosterSAFE HAVEN
Starring: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders
Rating: PG-13 (for thematic material involving threatening behavior, and for violence and sexuality.)
Genre: Drama/Romance
Running Time: 115 Minutes
Director: Lasse Hallstrom

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
An affirming and suspenseful story about a young woman’s struggle to love again, Safe Haven is based on the novel from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author behind the hit films The Notebook and Dear John. When a mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town, her reluctance to join the tight knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller. – Relativity Media.

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Safe Haven?

Check - YesAdam Gehrke, Adamgehrke.com
“…to the credit of director Lasse Hallstrom, heartstrings are indeed tugged “just right” as evidenced by the piles of tissues being swept up by ushers in the theatre as this critic was leaving”

X - NoRobert Horton, Everett Herald
“The easy mood of the film’s middle gives way to an increasingly preposterous series of plot turns, and Sparks has a real lulu saved up for the postscript.”

X - NoBrian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
“There’s a good hour in Safe Haven, it’s just all before the last act.”

X - NoLaremy Legel, Film.com
“…it becomes apparent that director Lasse Hallstrom will stop at nothing to grab your interest, even if that grabbing involves actively insulting your intelligence.

X - NoAllan Almachar, The MacGuffin
“…dull, sappy, and manipulative to the point of being offensive.”

X - NoBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“Seriously, this film is nuts!”

X - NoMoira Macdonald,The Seattle Times
“Very little in this movie makes any sense, even as glossy Valentine’s Day fare.”

Safe Haven seemed to connect with just one member of our panel and the pans escalate in severity from bad to worse. The eighth Nicholas Sparks adaptation to make it to the big screen, Safe Haven may be the worst one yet, as nationally critics fall right in line with our Seattle panel. Currently, Safe Haven has a tepid 12% Rotten Tomatoes score.

FINAL CONSENSUS
Valentine’s Day weekend 2013 brings four new offerings to the box office. Best among the selections is Beautiful Creatures which received a strong thumbs up from our critical community, but both Safe Haven and A Good Day To Die Hard proved to be dreadful and aggravating to our panel. Lastly, animated family film Escape From Planet Earth was not screened for local or national critics and those who saw it on Friday with the ticket buying public were less than thrilled. Frankly, with all nine Best Picture nominees still in local theaters, perhaps the time would be better spent completing your Oscar Bucket List.

EXPECTED OPENINGS IN SEATTLE NEXT WEEK:

  • Bless Me Ultima
  • Dark Skies
  • Snitch

What’s Seattle Saying surveyed critics include:

Adam Gehrke, AdamGehrke.com
Brian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio/Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
Robert Horton, Everett Herald
Brian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
Erik Samdahl, FilmJabber
Laremy Legel, Film.com/Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The MacGuffin
Sara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Tim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
Brad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The Seattle Times
Ian Dinsmore, Seattleite
Michael Ward, Should I See It

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