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‘Barefoot’ is sweet-natured and ‘Pompeii’ is an absolute blast

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Among the new movies that were released Friday, Feb. 21 are a romantic dramedy about a perpetual screw-up who falls in love with a mental patient and an action adventure about one of the most well-known volcanic eruptions of all time.

Barefoot

Scott Speedman plays the “black sheep” son of a wealthy family who meets a young psychiatric patient (Evan Rachel Wood) who has been raised in isolation her entire life and takes the naive young woman home for his brother's wedding. (PG-13 - 90 minutes)

Barefoot” may only be the cinematic equivalent of a dog doing its best big eyes expression at the dinner table and, as such, is just as inconsequential but by golly is it just as cute, too. The new film’s flaws become more apparent as the story progresses into the second half, which tries to add more weight to the relationship that develops between its characters that it deserves. However, the flick’s first half is so funny and those aforementioned characters are portrayed with so much enigmatic charm by stars Scott Speedman and Evan Rachel Wood that you simply succumb to its sweet-naturedness. (Thumbs Up!)

Pompeii

Kit Harington plays a slave-turned-gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him. (PG-13 - 102 minutes)

Forgive the pun but “Pompeii” an absolute blast. That is to say that the new action adventure flick about the ancient city that was swallowed by ash and pumice during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius is a little silly but a lot of fun, entertaining viewers first with engrossing melodrama before eventually having all hell break loose upon it. Granted, historically accurate it is not, but what it lacks in significance it more than makes up for in spectacle. Bravo to both Emily Browning for being so gosh darn gorgeous and Kiefer Sutherland for being the very best villain imaginable. (Thumbs Up!)

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