Movies: Liam Neeson vs. Alex Pettyfer vs. Martin Lawrence

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How excited are you by the prospect of a long holiday weekend? Which means that if you’re not relaxing, and you’re not catching up on TV, or if you have and you’re done, and you need a worthwhile escape from the perils of said long holiday weekend, I’m here to tell you about your options at the local cineplex. That is, in addition to current box office champs Just Go With It and The Roommate. (Plus, the Oscars are Sunday after next so that’s something else to consider). Playing now, here goes.

First up we have a gritty revenge mystery called Unknown. It’s Liam Neeson in what looks like a thriller custom-made for him. You know, it probably was custom-made just for him.  As a matter of fact, those less kind (curiously, not me, although I would certainly indulge if I wasn’t actually a big Liam fan) are saying that this film pretty much looks a lot like all his other films of late. Like Taken. The hitch here is that a) it’s a pretty good formula to begin with and b) it also stars January Jones, from Mad Men, on a major roll right now. Plus it’s got c) Diane Kruger, who’s also quite popular these days.  Basically, it’s one of those stories where someone winds up in a catastrophic accident and then the wife/life/career they thought they had no longer exists. Up in smoke. Which leads our hero (Neeson) to decide that somehow there are larger – more sinister – forces at work. Which he must somehow uncover/eliminate or else he will die /and/or be responsible for a major global holocaust. I think it looks predictable but I also think people who depend on this style of entertainment will get their money’s worth and then some.

Next up we have the movie that will likely triumph this weekend, probably knocking Adam Sandler, Gnomeo, Juliet and Justin off the box office throne. It’s called I Am Number Four and it’s a futuristic mystery thriller where everyone has something in common but you never quite know what. Young Brit Alex Pettyfer (whom I suspect they’ll start calling Alex Prettyfer) stars as a guy who’s somehow marked but he’s not sure how. Until it becomes clear that he’s the one who’s actually Number Four because Numbers One, Two, and Three have all been dispensed with by that Old Creepy Other Worldly Force Thing. Glee’s Dianna Agron stars along with the wildly talented (and now, thanks to Justified, getting his due) Timothy Olyphant. This movie will probably trump the others at the box office, make lots of money up front, taper off quick and become a culty DVD hit. It may also put Pettyfer on the map big time. Finally, in funnier fare Martin Lawrence is back in Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son, which is the latest in the extremely successful comedy franchise.  This one involves Lawrence going undercover in an all-girls performing arts school.  Expect this one to be big, broad, funny and popular.

There you have it. Diversionary movies to while away the hours until Oscar time. And then, it’ll just be a matter of weeks before that which looks to me like winter’s most charming film: Rango. For some reason I am beyond excited to catch that. Stay tuned and have a great holiday.

Today’s poll:

Voice your choice in today’s featured poll and tell us which of these weekend movies you’re most excited about:

1)   Unknown

2)   I Am Number Four

3)   Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son

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