Action, romance, comedy, animation -- yes, it's truly a weekend that brings a little of everything to second-run theaters locally.
The action comes in both the gritty and fantastical varieties, neither one a cinematic knockout. Safe House casts Ryan Reynolds as a young CIA operative who winds up chasing down a one-time top agent (Denzel Washington) gone rogue; it's one of those movies that plows along on blasts of chasing and violence, then tries to pretend there's an emotional undercurrent to it all. Still, that's more than Journey 2: The Mysterious Island has going for it. Brendan Fraser stays home for this sequel in which Josh Hutcherson and his new stepdad Dwayne Johnson seek out the location of another legendary location from a Jules Verne story. And they find plenty of special effects, overacting and poop jokes.
A couple of films that had blink-and-you-missed-'em first-run appearances are definitely worth a second look. Wanderlust is a scattershot but often terrifically funny comedy about an urban married couple (Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston) who try out life on a commune, with a terrific cast of supporting players helping out. And The Secret World of Arrietty finds Japans' Studio Ghibli delivering a charming, fanciful, marvelously detailed adaptation of Mary Norton's kid-lit classic The Borrowers.
Finally, there are tears jerked a-plenty in The Vow (unseen by yours truly). Whether that happens during the movie, or after you realize even bargain-theater prices weren't worth it, remains to be seen.