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February Movie Reviews

By on February 12, 2013

February brings zombies, aliens, and another love story from Nicholas Sparks. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s new in theaters and on DVD and blu-ray this month.

By Jane Louise Boursaw 



Not yet rated; likely PG-13. In theaters 2/14.

Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels

Lasse Hallstrom (Dear John, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen) directs this romantic drama based on a book by Nicholas Sparks. The story centers on a young woman named Katie (Julianne Hough) whose sudden appearance in the small town of Southport, North Carolina raises questions about her past. She forms relationships with Alex (Josh Duhamel), a widowed storeowner with a kind heart and two kids, and Jo (Cobie Smulders), a no-nonsense neighbor. But Katie struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her. It’s a Nicholas Sparks movie so, of course, there’s a hopeful message: love is the only true safe haven.



Not yet rated; likely PG. In theaters 2/14.

Ok for kids 7+.

Reel Preview: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

The long-delayed Weinstein Company animated film is finally hitting the big screen. The story centers on astronaut Scorch Supernova (voiced by Brendan Fraser), who finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet. Namely ours. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls o­­ff astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy brother, Gary (Rob Corddry), head of mission control at BASA. Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, James Gandolfini and Sarah Jessica Parker also lend their voices to this cute movie directed by Callan Brunker (a storyboard artist on Despicable Me, 9, and other family films).



Rated PG-13 for intense thematic material, disturbing content, and some strong language – all involving kids. On DVD/blu-ray 2/12.

Ok for kids 13+.

Reel Rating: 5 out of 5 Reels

From Sundance Award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch comes this important documentary following five kids and families over the course of a school year. Some of the scenes are hard to watch, like when a family loses a child to suicide because of bullying or when kids take extreme measures against incessant bullying. With an intimate and often shocking glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, this is a powerful and inspiring film that every educator, parent and teenager should see.



Rated G. On DVD/blu-ray 2/19.

Ok for kids 6+.

Reel Rating: 5 out of 5 Reels


Like so many other family movies lately, the Oscar-winning Monsters, Inc. got a new 3D theatrical release in December, and now a new DVD/blu-ray release. John Goodman and Billy Crystal star in this classic Pixar movie about a group of monsters who generate their city’s power by scaring children. But they’re not so courageous when it comes to human kids contaminating their world — which is exactly what happens when little Boo (voiced by Mary Gibbs) disrupts things. Classic, brilliant and evergreen.



Rated PG for thematic elements and some perilous action. On DVD/blu-ray 2/26.

Ok for kids 11+.

Reel Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.


When young Jay Moriarty (Jonny Weston) discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler) to train him to survive it. Gorgeous ocean scenery, cool surfing action, and a great soundtrack highlight this real-life story of optimism, determination and friendship.



Rated G. On DVD 2/26. Ok for kids 5+.

Reel Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Reels.

Comic-Con gets a Scooby makeover when the gang heads to the Mega Mondo Pop Cartoon-a-Con in sunny California. Herculoids Frankenstein Jr. and Space Ghost are just a few of the celebrated comic book characters headlining at the convention, not to mention Scooby-Doo and Shaggy’s all-time favorite super heroes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt starring in a movie premiere. When the gruesome villain Mr. Hyde unleashes monster bats, howling hounds and sinister slime on the festivities, it’s time for Mystery, Inc. to follow the clues and set their monster traps. Like, groovy!



One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.

Jane Boursaw is a syndicated family entertainment writer specializing in movies, TV and celebrities. Visit her at or email

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