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Movie News & Reviews
Opening this weekend
Safe Haven features Duhamel, Hough; Willis reprises iconic role in A Good Day to Die Hard
Article published on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013
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[Image]
Photo by FRANK MASI/MSPSP & TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX
From left, Jack McClane (Jai Courtney) and his dad John McClane (Bruce Willis) prepare for battle – old-school style in “A Good Day to Die Hard.”
A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:

Safe Haven
Genre: Drama
Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, David Lyons and Cobie Smulders
Director: Lasse Hallström
Rated: PG-13

A mysterious young woman arrives in a small North Carolina town and reluctantly finds new love with a lonely widower in “Safe Haven,” a deeply moving romantic thriller from Nicholas Sparks, the best-selling author whose novels inspired the beloved films “The Notebook” and “Dear John.”

Katie Feldman (Julianne Hough) arrives in the tiny coastal town of Southport, N.C., looking to make a new, quiet life for herself. She rents a rundown cabin and takes a job waiting on tables in the local café, hoping to keep a low profile. But despite the almost impenetrable emotional walls she has built to protect herself, she is drawn in by the genuine warmth and caring of the tight-knit community, especially the town’s grocery-store owner, Alex (Josh Duhamel), and his two young children.

As Katie gradually learns to trust again, Alex and his little brood teach her to experience the joys of love once more. But nothing is as simple as it seems and her newfound happiness is threatened by the terrifying secrets that still haunt her. When a mysterious stranger arrives in town asking questions about Katie, her past threatens to reclaim her. Although every instinct tells her to run, Katie decides to do whatever she must to protect her new life, as she rediscovers the meaning of sacrifice and commitment in a gripping and suspenseful story of hope, survival, and the power of true love.

A Good Day to Die Hard
Genre: Action and adventure
Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yulia Snigir, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Megalyn Echikunwoke and Anne Vyalitsyna
Director: John Moore
Rated: R

Bruce Willis reprises his iconic role as police detective John McClane in “A Good Day to Die Hard,” set against the backdrop of deadly corruption and political vendetta in Russia.

McClane arrives in Moscow to track down his estranged son, Jack, (Jai Courtney), and is stunned to discover he’s working undercover to protect a government whistleblower, Komarov. With their own necks on the line, the McClanes are forced to overcome their differences in order to get Komarov to safety and thwart a potentially disastrous crime in the most desolate place on Earth – Chernobyl.

When McClane learns the truth about his son’s profession, he calls him the “007 of Plainfield, New Jersey.” But it’s a long way from Plainfield to Moscow, and John and Jack are about to have a family reunion they will never forget.

It is now 25 years since “Die Hard” exploded into theaters, launching a new cinematic hero, John McClane, and changing the paradigm of action movies. Identifiable and relatable, McClane is an ordinary man forced by circumstances to attempt an extraordinary task. That is what separates him from the comic book heroes of most action movies, and has made McClane one of the most popular characters in film history.

Beautiful Creatures
Genre: Drama
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Emmy Rossum, Thomas Mann and Emma Thompson
Director: Richard LaGravenese
Rated: PG-13

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), 17, has had the same recurring dream for months.

A mysterious young girl is waiting for him on a Civil War battlefield. Ethan desperately wants to be with her, but there is an unknown danger – and each time a lightning bolt cracks like a gunshot, killing Ethan before he ever reaches the girl.

The danger of this strange dream world, however, is preferable to Ethan's waking existence in Gatlin, S.C., a small, conservative Southern town that hasn't caught up to the 21st century, where nothing ever changes and nothing ever happens. Trapped at home with a father who has completely withdrawn since the sudden death of Ethan's mother, Ethan yearns for a life he can only read about in books.

But Ethan's mundane world is shaken up with the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the beautiful and enigmatic niece of Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), the reclusive owner of gothic Ravenwood Manor. Ethan finds himself immediately drawn to Lena, even though destruction seems to inexplicably follow her and it becomes apparent that she is a Caster, with powers beyond her control. The town, led by conservative Mrs. Lincoln (Emma Thompson), wants her banished. Even Gatlin's all-knowing librarian, Amma (Viola Davis), is afraid history may repeat itself – a history of family secrets and a curse that looms for Lena as she approaches her 16th birthday. It is that time when a Caster is chosen by the forces of either the Light or the Dark.

But Lena's fate may already be sealed by the curse that draws both her and Ethan into a tangled web of spells and peril from which there may be no escape.

Escape from Planet Earth
Genre: Animation, comedy, family and science fiction
Cast: Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, George Lopez, Sofia Vergara, Steve Zahn, Chris Parnell, Jonath Morgan Heit, James Corden, Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker and William Shatner
Director: Cal Brunker
Rated: PG

This 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 following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

Like Someone in Love
Genre: Romance
Cast: Ryo Kase, Rin Takanashi, Denden
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Not rated

An old man and a young woman meet in Tokyo.

She knows nothing about him, he thinks he knows her. He welcomes her into his home, she offers him her body. But the web that is woven between them in the space of 24 hours bears no relation to the circumstances of their encounter.

No
Genre: Drama
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antónia Zegers, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana, Jaime Vadell and Pascal Montero
Director: Pablo Larraín
Rated: R

In 1988, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, due to international pressure, is forced to call a plebiscite on his presidency.

The country will vote YES or NO to Pinochet extending his rule for another eight years. Opposition leaders for the NO persuade a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal), to spearhead their campaign. Against all odds, with scant resources and under scrutiny by the despot’s minions, Saavedra and his team devise an audacious plan to win the election and set Chile free.
Article published on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013
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