Weekend Movies: It’ll Take More Than a ‘Miracle’ to Get Audiences Out This Weekend

Although the worst movie month of the year is over, the first weekend of February still feels like it belongs back in January. This weekend’s releases consist of one bad movie, one fluffy movie, and one slightly above par. Once again, this might be a great weekend to catch up on those Oscar nominated films you’ve missed.

Feel-good, family-friendly, nature-centric ‘Big Miracle‘ stars John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore in the big screen portrayal of the real story of three whales trapped behind five miles of ice preventing them from migrating to the shores of Mexico for winter. No, Krasinski and Barrymore do not play the whales. Instead, they respectively play the reporter who turns the story into worldwide news and the head of Greenpeace. As corny as the movie may seem/sound/be, know that it’s a lot more factual than you’d think.

The fictional “found footage” film ‘Chronicle‘ documents three teenage boys who inherit super powers after coming in contact with an alien crystal. Even though the film replicates the look of a hand-held amateur video, don’t be afraid that the whole movie will be as shaky as ‘Cloverfield‘. As the kids learn to better use their powers, the aspiring filmmaker of the bunch starts to use his telekinesis to make the camera float around and follow them on their exercises.

In his first film since finishing the ‘Harry Potter‘ series, Daniel Radcliffe stars in ‘The Woman in Black‘ – not to be confused with ‘The Lady in White’. In it, Radcliffe plays a young lawyer sent to a small village in rural England to clean and sell a home with a haunted past. After he sees a woman in black wandering around the property, kids in the village start dying. It’s not a bad idea for a scary movie, but like most other PG-13 horrors, it lacks everything that makes the genre worth watching.

Indie horror movie ‘The Innkeepers‘ opens on a few screens this weekend too. When the owners of an inn decide that it’s time to close up shop for good, they spend their last few nights researching the possible hauntings that have taken place there in the past – which only invites new guests that check-in for good.

If you saw last year’s ‘Contagion‘, then you already saw a too-easy-to-solve, less dramatic version of ‘Perfect Sense‘. Starring Ewan McGregor and Eva Green, ‘Perfect Sense’ follows two people during an odd pandemic that plagues the whole world. One by one, infected people begin losing senses – smell, taste, touch, hearing and ultimately sight. ‘Perfect Sense’ never shows the CDC side of the event, tracking down and curing the disease with ease. Instead, it shows the personal side of the pandemic, what it would be like for you and I should this really take place.

Madonna’s ‘W.E.‘ is listed as opening this weekend even though it already had a limited release last year. This romantic drama simultaneously tells the stories of two couples in different times (one being the scandalous affair of England’s King Edward VIII and divorcee Wallis Simpson, which led to Edward abdicating his throne – a subplot also covered in ‘The King’s Speech‘). Some critics have raved about the film, some have bashed it. If you see it, be sure to let us know what you think. I’m intrigued.


  1. EM

    I finally got to see The Artist this past week—twice!

    Despite Luke’s pan, I may end up seeing The Woman in Black with a friend next week. Reviews have been fairly mixed; I’m hoping we’ll enjoy the movie (if we go) much more than Luke did.

    The plan’s not set in stone, but this weekend I may be attending a screening of a vintage silent with live orchestral accompaniment. That would be a first for me—I’ve seen some silents with live organ, but never with an orchestra.

    And next week I’m attending a screening of the Oscar nominees for best animated short. That should be fun!

      • EM

        1922 Danish production of David Copperfield. Tomorrow night’s showing is in fact the world premiere of this score, which was specially commissioned in honor of the bicentennial of Charles Dickens’ birth (actually on Tuesday, February 7). The venue is the Indiana University Cinema, and I think the orchestra would consist entirely of students from IU’s School of Music. The composer is also an IU music student.

        Tickets have been on sale for over a month, but I don’t have one. I won’t be able to get one until the box office opens up half an hour before the show—if they’re not yet sold out by then, of course. If tomorrow’s show is sold out, perhaps I can still attend Sunday’s matinee. If that’s sold out too, then I’ll have missed it. That’s OK—I’m more of a Phantom of the OperaMetropolisLost WorldGold Rush kind of guy anyway. 🙂

      • EM

        Tonight’s showing was sold out, but I was able to get a ticket for tomorrow’s matinee. Alas, that means I won’t actually be attending the world premiere of the score—but on the plus side, the orchestra will be a little more practiced. 🙂

        The IU Cinema is showing a few other silent movies in honor of the Dickens bicentennial. In three weeks I’ll be attending a screening of a 1922 version of Oliver Twist, starring Jackie Coogan in the title role and Lon Chaney as Fagin. With casting like that, I expect it should be pretty good. No orchestra, but there will be live piano.

      • EM

        The movie was good, and I very much enjoyed the score, which was varied and full. The orchestra was small—just 18 musicians—but it sounded big. Composer Ari Fisher attended; I managed to shake his hand and congratulate him. In his comments to me and other well-wishers, he was very humble and gracious and, I think, grateful for the opportunity this project has afforded him. The film and the score are set to go on a nationwide (and perhaps international) tour, as the David Copperfield Project.

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