This past month was not a particularly good one for Hollywood. Traditionally, February is one of the weaker months, and the releases this month prove it. There were a few with potential, but most failed to live up to their promise. Here are the films that I saw in chronological order.
Best of the Month: Running Scared
Worst of the Month: Date Movie
- When a Stranger Calls. This remake fails to generate any genuine suspense, and the payoff is terribly disappointing. *.5
- Something New. This was a bright spot, a romantic comedy targeting racial boundaries without delving too deeply into stereotypes. It is helped, in no small part by the great chemistry shared by the leads, Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker. ***
- Final Destination 3. Very disappointing. It has a couple of decent kills, but no characters that I cared about and a story that does not add anything to the mythos. **
- Firewall. Largely inoffensive, but hardly spectacular. Harrison Ford has a good screen presence, but he is getting a bit long in the tooth for this sort of thing. I do like Paul Bettany, he is becoming quite the versatile talent. **.5
- The Pink Panther. The long delayed Steve Martin take on the good Inspector. Sadly, it just comes across as tired, dull, and overdone. It seems as through everyone involved was trying too hard. **
- Date Movie. Horrid, horrid, horrid. This was so bad, copying scenes from other films is not funny. There are two good things in this movie, Alyson Hannigan and Tony Cox. Sadly, neither one is really worth going to see this movie. *
- Freedomland. There are bits and pieces of a better movie struggling against all hope, trying to get out. Sadly, there is too much going on, and not enough focus. **
- Eight Below. This is a good movie, touching, dramatic, and thrilling. It was a touch too long, but not too detrimental. Join the adventure of these 8 dogs at the bottom of the world. ***
- Doogal. What a mistake this was. Family movies can be fun for all, but this was just boring for all. Even the kids at my screening were falling asleep. *.5
- Running Scared. This film takes it's story deliriously over the top. This is the best wide release of 2006. I find it ironic that two of the better films to come out this year star non-actor Paul Walker. This takes a simple premise and throws it over the precipice of possibility with intoxicating results.
We can only go up from here. March looks to have a better good to filler ratio. Time will tell if this is true.