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Opening this week

A Good Day to Die Hard, Beautiful Creatures, Escape From Planet Earth and Safe Haven



A Good Day to Die Hard No matter your definition of love, Hollywood has something to offer you this Valentine's Day. Emotionally inaccessible self-styled he-men and their offspring will flock to the latest horse corpse of a Die Hard adventure, in which John McClane takes on half of Russia to aid his estranged son (whom we haven't seen hide nor hair of since the very first DH flick back in '88). The affection here is of the resolutely stiff, hands-off variety favored by guys who worry that hugging even their own kid is too gay. (R)

Beautiful Creatures Then again, maybe we should be happy that any adult is on the screen this weekend, given how many studio execs now believe that the only romance worth caring about happens to young people whose DNA makes them want to bite everybody else's face off. Into the blessed void left by the culmination of the Twilight series steps this supernatural YA adaptation, the tale of a Southern fella who discovers that his new crush is kind of a witch. Hopefully, its target audience of mopey tweens and teens won't discover that writer-director Richard LaGravenese is an old fart who once adapted that other literary masterpiece, The Bridges of Madison County (making his filmmaking résumé sort of a grave-to-the-cradle story, if you really think about it). (PG-13)

Escape From Planet Earth Meanwhile, if your kids are still young enough that you harbor genuinely positive feelings toward them, you can take them to this animated sci-fi adventure starring every voice actor in the known world. (Brendan Fraser? Check! Jane Lynch? Check! Sofia Vergara? Sure, why not?) The average tot should find something to strike his fancy in the story of an alien hero sent on a dangerous mission to our own planet. And if your little one is truly something special – an overachiever whose every new triumph cries out to be immortalized on a bumper sticker – you can make a real day of it by staying home and watching Monsters vs. Aliens instead. (PG)

Safe Haven OK, so we've taken care of the easily bored kids, the sullen adolescents and the distant dads. Doesn't that leave somebody unaccounted for? What about the women over 18? You know, the beloved moms, sisters and spinster cousins who make the VD holiday the bonanza of commercial exploitation it truly is? Let's see what Safe Haven has to offer: Direction by Lasse Hallstrom. Source material by Nicholas Sparks. Yeah, that ought to hold the weepy twits for another year. (PG-13)

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