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Hello again, everyone, and welcome back!

Well, we have once again officially entered Oscar season with this week’s announcement of the nominees.  And, as is also tradition, the MovieDruid is dissatisfied with the nominees and has begun is yearly railing against the Academy.  I won’t get myself started again, though, so if you want to hear my rant check out yesterday’s edition of the Jungle Gym.

Instead, let’s concentrate on the here and now and take a look at this week’s releases.

“From Paris With Love”

Trailer

Synopsis: A low-ranking intelligence operative working in the office of the U.S. Ambassador in France takes on more than he bargained for when he partners with a wisecracking, fast-shooting, high-ranking U.S. agent who’s been sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack.

MovieDruid’s Comments: Fresh from his success with the thriller “Taken,” director Pierre Morel is coming back with “From Paris With Love.”  And, as should be the case with any film released in February prior to the 14th, this one has something for everyone.  For the guys, we have explosions, car chases, and lots of action.  We get to see Travolta play the hardcase role again that we did so well in “The Taking of Pelham 123” and “Swordfish” (And before you groan and give me a hard time about “Swordfish,” I know the movie’s plot was a bit of a mess, but it was good solid popcorn fun.)  And so guys, how do you convince your significant others to join you.  Just say these three words to them: Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  These days every reference I hear to the man, particularly in relation to his role on “The Tudors,” is followed by female swooning.  See?  Like I said, something for everyone.

“Dear John” – MovieDruid Pick of the Week

Trailer

Synopsis: “Dear John” tells story of John Tyree, a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis, the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by John’s increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas — correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.

MovieDruid’s Comments: This is definitely the season for romantic movies with Valentine’s Day only a little over a week away.  (That was a reminder for all my male readers, take advantage of it.)  I am not a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks, but his novels seem to translate well onto the big screen.  They seem to have just enough romantic sensibilities without become saccharine sweet or sappy.  In other words, unlike the stereotypical “chick-flick” they are actually watchable without having to buy into ridiculousness. As a bonus here, the director, Lasse Hallstrom, directed at least three movies that are among my favorites: “An Unfinished Life,” “The Cider House Rules,” and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?” .  With him in the director’s chair and young stars who have great potential, I think this may be a solid film for everyone, not just “chicks.”

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