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This Means War -vs- How Do You Know

This Means War (2012) -vs- How Do You Know (2010)

Seriously, why do studios think that men are standing in line to fight over Reese Witherspoon’s affections?

Do the greenlights come from male executives who have a thing for Reese, or do they come from female executives who just think men have a thing for Reese? We’re not really sure (meaning we don’t have the time or energy to truly investigate this beyond its rhetorical boundaries); we just know that somebody thinks so.

Otherwise, following the box-office bomb that 2010’s How Do You Know turned out to be with Reese in the middle of it all, nobody in their right mind would have greenlit This Means War a year and change later. But they did. And it’s in theaters now. Sure, Reese is cute and all, and she’s done some great work, occasionally even in movies that were worth seeing. But if this is how she’s trying to make us forget Water for Elephants, she really needn’t have bothered. Most of us have already forgotten.

@ Movie Smackdown

This Means War

THE HIGH CONCEPT:  Two top CIA operatives (played by Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.

It looks to us like if you’ve seen this trailer you pretty much know what the movie is about. The film actually did pretty well in nationwide sneak previews for Valentine’s Day audiences. But will they return for opening weekend?

We think if you really want to see a good CIA movie, you should go check out Safe House with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds, an incredibly good action thriller where the agency dudes actually look like they should be on the front lines saving America rather than the guys who see counter-intelligence as a chance to hit on women.

How Do You Know

THE HIGH CONCEPT:  After being cut from the USA softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa (Reese) finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis (Paul Rudd) competes with her current, baseball-playing beau (Owen Wilson).

According to the people who saw this film, its alternative title should really have been Why Should You Care? 

Despite the fact that it had Jack Nicholson in it and came from writer/director James L. Brooks, it was like throwing a party that nobody came to. It was shamed at the box office.

What Do You Think?

As we said, we ran through the roster of Movie Smackdown critics, and while some may have been willing re-arrange their schedules to go see This Means War, no one could be bothered to watch or re-watch How Do You Know, and so we are left with a lot of great artwork and no conclusions.

We leave it up to you. How well does Reese walk the line between these two triangle films? Which one wins your election? Let us know and we’ll alert the media.

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