With February 14th mere days away, let these weekend movies serve as a refreshing bit of counter-programming: not a single romantic comedy in the lot! You’re very, very welcome.
Suck it, McConaughey.
Love to Kill – Friday, Feb 8, 8pm ET
Death Race – Friday, Feb 8, 10pm, plus Saturday, Feb 9, 2:30am ET
Mission Impossible II – Saturday, Feb 9, 12am and 12:30pm ET
Live Free or Die Hard – Saturday, Feb 9, 3pm, plus Sunday, Feb 10, 12am and 12pm ET
Seattle Superstorm – Saturday, Feb 9, 6pm ET
Behemoth – Saturday, Feb 9, 8pm ET
Clash of the Titans – Saturday, Feb 9, 10pm, plus Sunday, Feb 10, 3am ET
The Island – Sunday, Feb 10, 3pm ET
Aladdin and the Death Lamp – Sunday, Feb 10, 6pm ET
Love to Kill
The cast: Blanchard Ryan, Rick Ravanello, Sonja Bennett
The Showcase synopsis: “Frances Sweete is an attractive young woman with a nasty propensity to murder her husbands – all lonely millionaires.”
Look, we all have our vices. Some days it’s hard for me to resist a double scoop of Baskin-Robbins Peanut Butter ‘N Chocolate Ice Cream. An old college buddy of mine used to regularly blow off classes to play Mario Kart. And I once dated a girl who’d refuse to miss even the crappiest episode of Coronation Street (spoiler: they’re all crappy).
Frances Sweete’s situation is not unlike the above examples; only instead of indulging in sweets, Nintendo, and excruciating British soaps, she likes to marry rich dudes and then violently murder them. In her defense, I don’t think there’s a 12-step program for that.
“A TRULY supportive husband wouldn’t have tried to change my murdering ways.”
Mission: Impossible II
The cast: Tom Cruise, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton
The Showcase synopsis: “A secret agent is sent to Sydney to find and destroy a genetically modified disease called ‘Chimera.’
It’s Ethan Hunt! And he’s back! Fighting off nasty viruses down under! By this I mean everyone’s favourite IMF point man has traveled to Australia to prevent a global pandemic; he’s not spending the movie in a bathrobe battling a case of the sniffles. Not that there wouldn’t be a market for that: European audiences go nuts for that whole slice of life ‘cinéma vérité’ crap. Fortunately, the Mission: Impossible franchise ain’t sellin’ what these pompous overseas moviegoers wanna buy. MI:2 is about explosions, chases, and high-stakes clandestine operations, just as the box office gods ordained.
Above: the iconic scene where Tom Cruise has to outrun the Earth’s sun.
Live Free or Die Hard
The cast: Bruce Willis, Timothy Olyphant, Justin Long
The Showcase synopsis: “John McClane takes on an Internet-based terrorist organization that is systematically shutting down the United States.”
A Good Day To Die Hard – a.k.a. the fifth in the long-running John McLane franchise – hits theatres this weekend. And naturally, the completionist (shut up spell-check, it is SO a word) in you wants to go back and watch all the previous flicks again. Hey, it’s only human nature. And brother, you can do a lot worse than Life Free or Die Hard. On the awesomeness scale, it surpasses Die Hard with a Vengeance (great flick), comes close to the original Die Hard (classic!), and trounces the living heck out of Die Harder (a middling entry, let’s be honest). To paraphrase John McClane himself, "Yippee-ki-yay, Mother Hubbard!"
That car lived the way it died: hard.
The cast: Esai Morales, Ona Grauer, Jared Abrahamson
The Showcase synopsis: "When a UFO crashes into Seattle's Puget Sound, it triggers deadly weather patterns. A scientist and soldier must come together to stop this superstorm before it spreads further and annihilates the planet."
It’s going to take more than some wimpy low-pressure systems to bring Seattle down – that city’s already renowned for its less-than-ideal (read: gross) climate. No sir, to truly nip at its Achilles’ heel, you need to bring alien-induced weather into the mix. The kind of weather so big and alieny, it’ll wreak serious havoc on your homeowner’s insurance. Not to mention your weekend plans. Every try hitting a dance club the night after an extraterrestrial superstorm? Yeah, best of luck, Disco Stu.
“Superstorm’s a brewin, ma – I can feel it in mah knee.”
Clash of the Titans
The cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
The Showcase synopsis: “Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering the Earth and the heavens.”
Not to be confused with Rash of the Titans, a very poorly-received adult film.
Is Sam Worthington yelling at a Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian pillar? The answer may surprise you.
The cast: Scarlett Johansson, Ewan McGregor, Djimon Hounsou
The Showcase synopsis: “A man goes on the run after discovering he is a ‘harvestable being’ kept as a source of replacement parts.”
Nobody wants to be used for spare parts – it’s a demeaning turn of events that only leads physical discomfort and administrative nightmares (especially if your tax forms claim that kidney of yours as a ‘dependant’). So watch this film and let it serve as a cautionary tale: peer pressure or not, having all your organs harvested is never a good idea. Unless you’re already dead, in which case it’s very generous. Here’s a little ditty to help you avoid confusion: “I give consent to eviscerate, but not until my expiration date!” (sung to the tune of Lucky Star by Madonna, naturally.)
In the dystopian future, people run a lot and are attractive.