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Movies to See this Weekend, In Theaters on DVD

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Angels & Demons this WeekendSummer hasn’t even officially started yet, but it feels like we’re in the heart of it. The third blockbuster arrives this weekend, but other than that, there aren’t many options for those of you already caught up.

In theaters, there’s Angels & Demons, the sequel/prequel to The Da Vinci Code. To call it anticipated may be a bit of an overstatement, as the first one – also directed by Ron Howard – was just not good. I really liked the book, but the movie was slow, plodding and, worst of all, uninteresting. However, early interviews with Howard and producers indicated that they are aware of what went wrong and have promised to rectify things; while you can never trust these people when in marketing mode, their acknowledgment of the problem is a good sign.

Angels & Demons is actually better suited for a movie adaptation, and one can’t expect Tom Hanks and Ron Howard to falter too many times. With a strong supporting cast that includes Ewan McGregor, this one has the potential to be big – but just how big remains to be seen.

And that’s it for theatrical releases. Nothing else is opening wide nationwide, so that’s what you get.

Unless you decide to stay in, avoid the swine flu and rent something on DVD. In which case… there’s not much.

Except… and I apologize for all the setup… Taken, a kick-ass action movie starring Liam Neeson as a former assassin who goes on a rampage after his daughter is kidnapped in Europe. The PG-13 action flick plays a lot like a lesser version of The Bourne Identity, but it’s still an exciting and entertaining adrenaline rush.

Another option is Passengers, an Anne Hathaway thriller that is completely forgettable and not even remotely worth it. Heard of it? Yeah, that’s what I thought. There’s also Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, a moderately entertaining action flick that will appeal to fans of the franchise but not anyone else. Lacking Kate Beckinsale, the film is by far the worst of the three – and that’s not a good thing.

My recommendations for the movie buff: On Friday night, go see Angels & Demons at 7:30. You’ll be home by ten, good enough to watch Taken and finish before midnight. On Saturday, make it out to Star Trek, even if you’ve already seen it. It’s that good. And on Sunday, catch a matinee of State of Play, the Russell Crowe thriller that, if the box office revenues are any indication, you probably haven’t seen.

By Erik Samdahl
Related categories: Movies
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