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Movie Beat: Help braving the movie theater wilds
by Jenniffer Wardell | Clipper Staff Writer
Jan 12, 2012 | 1038 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JENNIFFER WARDELL
JENNIFFER WARDELL
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It’s embarrassing but true. When someone asks me for a movie recommendation, I freeze up like a shy teenager in a romantic comedy.

Given the amount of movies I see in an average month, I know I should be able to answer the question without the slightest hint of trouble.

But what may be the perfect movie for one person or mood might be completely disappointing for another one, and the simple question of what a person should go see leads to several more about who they’ll be seeing the movie with, what other movies they like, and what they’re looking for out of the experience.

If you’re looking for a little action

After three movies of varying quality, “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol” has finally proven that the series has the potential to be completely awesome.

Director Brad Bird (previously known for movies like “The Incredibles” and “The Iron Giant”) has created a genuinely nail-biting movie that literally left even this action-movie expert breathless more than once.

Even better, it’s actually surprisingly funny, full of a subtle humor that transcends the average one-liner. If you like action movies at all, do yourself a favor and experience this “Mission Impossible.”

Note: I’ve heard several people hesitate over watching the movie because they’ve developed a deep dislike for Tom Cruise over the last few years. While I can’t exactly fault them for their dislike (“Rock of Ages” is a study in terrible casting) I can promise that he’s actually really good in this one.

If you’re looking for something to take the kids to

Now that the crush of the holiday movie crowd has finally thinned, it’s a great time to go introduce your kids to “The Muppets.”

After years of increasingly thin and pointless specials, the movie finally gives the beloved characters an appropriate venue where they can play (and, naturally, regularly break into song). The results are light, silly, earnest, and ultimately wonderful.

If you’ve already seen “The Muppets”

The answer to this depends on whether you want to take a bit of a risk or not. Out of the crop of offbeat but interesting-looking kids movies to have come out over the last month, “The Adventures of Tintin” is the most reliable entertainment for a mix of ages. Though those who already love Tintin have had some trouble with it (a common problem with adaptations) for the rest of us it’s an animated Indiana Jones-style adventure that won’t cause parents to have to answer awkward questions.

If you’re looking for something a little more familiar, however, “Beauty and the Beast in 3-D” is also hitting theaters. While I wouldn’t expect the 3-D to make a great deal of difference in the experience of watching it – except during sequences like “Be Our Guest,” you might not even notice – the chance to see it on the big screen again makes it worth the money.

If you’re looking for a little romance

Honestly, this isn’t a great week for that. Probably your best bet for some high-quality romance is to go hit “Beauty and the Beast in 3-D.” Sure, it’s technically meant for kids, but it’s still a better love story than any of the grown-up attempts that have come out in the last month.

If you’re desperate for something new, there’s a teenage romance in “Joyful Noise.” Since most of the focus will be on battling choir directors Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton, however, the romance part will end up being relatively minor no matter how good the actors are.

jwardell@davisclipper.com
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