It's a good thing February is a short month. The movies coming our way over the next four weekends are not only not Oscar-quality, there aren't too many of them that are even call-a-friend, bored-on-a-Sunday-afternoon, got-nothing-better-to-do quality.
Here's a take on some picks to check out, to avoid, and one to just marvel at.
Yes, it looks a little like "Fargo." We can only dream it'll be as good, but the trailer, with Greg Kinnear as a broke insurance salesman who pays Billy Crudup to help him steal a pricey violin, looks promising, and it's not just the snowy Minnesota-standing-in-for-Wisconsin setting. (Feb. 17)
Denzel Washington just commands any room he's in, even when he's supposedly the captive. In "Safe House," he's a CIA agent turned killer who's being protected (and waterboarded?) in an agency safe house when it's attacked, and he must go on the run with young agent Ryan Reynolds. Come on, movie, live up to Denzel. (Feb. 10)
"Secret World of Arrietty"
Whether or not you (or your child) loved "The Borrowers" books, you should look into "Arrietty." She's a young Borrower, who lives under floorboards and comes out at night to collect food and supplies. But when she befriends a full-size human boy, her family's whole way of life could be destroyed. This looks like the best kid movie of the month -- sorry, "Big Miracle" and "Journey 2." (Feb. 17)
Oh man. "Gone" really wants to be a crime movie on the Lifetime channel. Amanda Seyfried plays a woman who was kidnapped by a serial killer and kept in a deep pit full of body parts. NOT MAKING THIS UP. She somehow escaped and of course no one believes her. Now her sister's been taken by the same creep and guess what, no one believes her again. We don't believe we'll see it. (Feb. 24)
Usually, movies shove all their best scenes into the trailer. Not sure, then, why "Wanderlust," in which stressed-out New Yorkers Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd go live on a southern commune, features trailer scenes where Rudd's sitting on a toilet and Aniston's given a sexual-innuendo-filled goat-milking lesson. These are the best scenes? What are the worst? Also, why is Alan Alda in this? (Feb. 24)
"Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance"
Nicolas Cage is back as "Ghost Rider" in a really unnecessary sequel. Rumors are this is even worse than the poorly reviewed 2007 first film, which IGN called the worst comic book film of the decade.
"Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" in 3-D
People didn't really like this movie all that much in 2-D. The Darth Maul double lightsaber might look kinda cool in an extra dimension, but we don't need Jar-Jar Binks jumping into our laps. (Feb. 10)
Which February movies look good (or bad) to you? Will you see "Phantom Menace" in 3-D? Tell us on Facebook.
More from movies: