February movie recap

By Kevin Bartelt

Film has been on quite the roller coaster ride in the last two weeks. Let’s analyze the lows and highs.

“Safe Haven” came out on Valentine’s Day. According to IMDB.com, “A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina, where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.” The movie stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel.

So a romance that came out on Valentine’s Day must be really good, right? Wrong. Not even a little bit right. RottenTomatoes.com gave this movie a 12 percent on the tomatometer, calling it, “Schmaltzy, predictable and melodramatic.” Don’t waste your money or your time on this one. Read the book instead so you can at least create a better scene in your head. Between “Safe Haven” and “The Vow,” I think romance needs an intervention.

Although Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy are promising actors, “Identity Thief” did not live up to its standards. Bateman and McCarthy have some great one-liners, but the plot dragged on. I think this movie would have done better if it was a 30-minute film rather than a Hollywood blockbuster.

I don’t understand why people put millions of dollars into these modern comedies when only a half hour of the movie is enjoyable. Just Youtube “Best Scenes in ‘Identify Thief’” to save yourself some time. Wait until Bateman makes his reappearance on “Arrested Development” and then you’ll get a good laugh.

I’m definitely ending on a positive note. “Side Effects” is the movie of the year. This movie unveils craziness in the pharmaceutical world.

Almost all critics are saying this movie is wonderful. Peter Travers, a Rolling Stone movie critic, said, “It’s a hell of a thriller, twisty, terrific and packed with surprises you don’t see coming.”

Director Steven Soderbergh received a great cast for “Side Effects”–first, Rooney Mara from “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” I could give this long description about how great of an actress Mara is, but simply put, she’s a badass. Jude Law plays a shrink who intended on treating anxiety but did not prepare for any side effects.

“[The movie] deals with acute sadness, so, clinically, depression,” said Law in an interview with Travers on ABC. “It also deals with the complexity of how we mask truths. I found it incredible working across from you [Mara] because I found it hard to read her…. As an actor, that kept me on my toes.”

On a side note, Channing Tatum is also in “Side Effects.” Maybe he took my advice about that intervention.