Friday movie roundup – Feb. 5

Howdy, y’all! I say that because I’m in Oxford, Miss., which is in the South, and “howdy y’all” is a thing that people in the South say. Let me know if I’m over-explaining myself.

I’m here (for the third year!) for the Oxford Film Festival, serving as a juror in the short-film competition. I am a rural juror. The people here are incredibly nice, and the food — my goodness, the food. At SOME film festivals the only place to eat is Burger King. At Oxford, most of your food needs are taken care of by the festival-sponsored parties, where there is an abundance of meats and cheeses and spreads and sauces and dips and crackers and breads and desserts, all fresh-made by local artisans and caterers in enchanted kitchens and served on magical platters by fairy elves. The number one cause of death in Oxford is food coma.

Anyway, this week’s movies. Whatever. “From Paris with Love” (review at Cinematical) is an enjoyably insane action caper starring an unhinged John Travolta and a (for some reason) whiny-American-accented Jonathan Rhys Meyers as spies going after drug dealers in France. It was directed by the guy who made “District B13” and “Taken,” and produced by Luc Besson, the crazy French guy who makes crazy French things.

“Frozen” (review at Cinematical) played at Sundance and is now opening on about a hundred screens nationwide, including many in Utah, where it was filmed. It’s about a trio of skiers who get stuck on the chair lift after closing time, whereupon many terrible events befall them.

The other new wide release is “Dear John,” based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks. The screening was the same time as “From Paris with Love,” and I made an executive decision not to see “Dear John.”

There is some chance that I will still catch “Dear John,” along with last week’s “Edge of Darkness” and “When in Rome.” I did see “Legion” right after Sundance, but haven’t had time to write my review yet due to other pressing matters (i.e., the ones that pay money). Either I will review those films, or I won’t. I can promise that.

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