“A Good Day to Die Hard”: The fifth entry in the “Die Hard” series, once again following John McClane (Bruce Willis) as he becomes involved in a highly complicated plot that can only be untangled by killing a lot of anonymous henchmen. The once mighty franchise has taken some severe hits in the last few decades. Willis has aged and lowered his stock by appearing in too many limp action vehicles. The last film in the series, 2007’s “Live Free or Die Hard”, had the temerity to be released in a PG-13 cut and was directed by “Underworld” helmer Len Wiseman. That film was a CGI inundated mess that indicated that the action franchise should have ended at three movies. The newest “Die Hard” film, this time headed by terrible but ambitious “Max Payne” director John Moore and includes a supporting performance from Jai Courtney – who was generous enough to let Tom Cruise beat him to death in “Jack Reacher” – as McClane’s son will most likely be another unnecessary addition to an already over extended property but at least its rated R this time. With any luck the film will fail, the rights will get picked by Megan Ellison and John Hyams will direct a “Die Hard” movie so hardcore, it’ll cause stress induced heart attacks across the nation. Also starring Sebastian Koch, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Cole Hauser.
Fun fact: In the potential John Hyams directed “Die Hard” Kiefer Sutherland will play the villain, a former federal agent driven mad by the physical and mental rigors of having to save the U.S. from near non-stop terrorist attacks.
“Beautiful Creatures”: Richard LaGravenese (screenwriter of “The Fisher King”) directs this adaptation of Kami Garia and Margaret Stohl’s young adult fantasy novel of the same time. In the film’s surely coincidentally similar to “Twilight” plot, a young woman (Alice Englert) with a dark and powerful secret moves to a small town and falls for a passionate but geographically stifled everyboy (Alden Ehrenreich). Instead of risking a lawsuit by setting the film somewhere in the fictional Pacific Northwest, “Creatures” is set in fictional South Carolina so LaGravenese was able cast two-time Academy Award nominee Viola Davis as a housekeeper and not some Afro-Caribbean stereotype. This film is just chock full of creatively and progressiveness. Also starring Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum, and Emma Thompson.
Fun fact: English alternative band thenewno2 provides the film’s soundtrack.
“Safe Haven”: This year’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation, a love story about a young woman (Julianne Hough) who moves to a small town to escape from her dark secret but finds her new relationship with widower Josh Duhmel threatened by someone from her past. That’s nothing about a Hough led Sparks factory production but for those who prefer their light-hearted romances with a bit of overwrought tragedy, this movie is directed by gentle sentimentalist Lasse Hallström. Just let the tears come. Also starring Cobie Smulders, David Lyons, and Cullen Moss.
Fun fact: This film is the eighth Sparks novel to be adapted into a film.
“Escape from Planet Earth”: An animated film about a nerdy alien (voiced by Rob Corddry) who must rescue his adventurous alien astronaut brother (Brendan Fraser) from the clutches of an evil alien (William Shatner) who’s trapped the adventurous brother on Earth. If you’re kids find the film’s particular combination of celebrity voiced toyetic cartoon characters appealing and you find yourself watching this film, instead of nodding off you can ponder the fact that two of the film’s producers are suing its distributer The Weinstein Company for meddling with the film’s production process so extensively that it severely devalued their 20% stake in the films adjusted gross profit. Two producers getting out maneuvered on a deal isn’t that interesting but it fascinating to consider that the two producers have claimed that 20% of the film’s adjust gross profit would be around $50 million. The under promoted gem will be lucky if it makes that much in its entire domestic run. Also featuring the voices of Ricky Gervais, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Jessica Alba.
Mario McKellop has written about film on Examiner for the last three years and can be reached directly at email@example.com