It's the first weekend of the new movie year and it's starting with a bang: drug addiction, a disintegrating marriage, and Nic Cage and his hair starring in another weird supernatural thriller. Can we just skip right to 2012?
A witch hunt sparks an epic battle in "Season of the Witch." Nicolas Cage plays a legendary hero transporting a suspected witch to her death sentence. But as they discover more of her secrets, Cage and his men also realize powerful forces are at play and a treacherous journey turns into an all-out war over the fate of the world.
The Reel Deal: Come on Nic, if they keep paying you to make the same bad movie, why not? It's a paycheck, I get that, and apparently you've got a tomb to pay for. But seriously, more "Kick-Ass" and less "Season of the Witch" might be a good career move at this point. I'm out.
Gwyneth Paltrow belts it out in "Country Strong." Paltrow's character is a country superstar straight out of rehab and on the road to a career resurrection, led by her manager-husband (played by Tim McGraw). But romantic entanglements and rivalry nearly derail everything she's worked for.
The film also stars Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester.
The Reel Deal: Why is it all singers want to be actors and all actors want to be singers? I like the music, but this is a country-fried melodrama that's heavy on the gravy. Gwyneth Paltrow is OK, but the bottom line is "Country Strong" is pretty weak. I'm out.
In limited release last week and now going nationwide, it's "Blue Valentine." Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling star in a movie about a disintegrating marriage. Their love story is told through flashes of the past and the present, as the couple figures out whether there's anything to salvage from the ashes of their relationship.
The Reel Deal: Sounds like good times doesn't it? Nothing makes you want to gobble up some popcorn and Raisinets like watching a marriage crumble right before your eyes. But great performances from Gosling and Williams might make "Blue Valentine" the feel-bad movie of the year. I'm in.
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