Opening This Weekend: John Travolta Sends His Regards to Paris, Amanda Seyfried Writes Channing Tatum Some Letters

Perhaps seeing Avatar for a ninth time isn’t such a bad idea after all. In honor of the Super Bowl—a weekend that Hollywood routinely punts—only two films are opening across the country today and one looks worse than the other. As we do every Friday, here’s a handy guide to the new releases.

From Paris With Love

What’s the story: Fun fact: While you may have thought last weekend’s Edge of Darkness was the follow-up film from Taken director Pierre Morel, it wasn’t! Instead the Luc Besson protégé returns this weekend with From Paris With Love. If it feels like this movie was produced back at a time when co-star Jonathan Rhys Meyers was on the cusp of acting greatness, that’s probably because it was: The first trailer for From Paris With Love appeared online back in December of 2008, when memories of Match Point were still fresh. Oh well. Regardless, action junkies should line up for the mix of explosions, violence, car chases and a completely absurd-looking John Travolta, who goes all Broken Arrow in his role as a rogue C.I.A. agent. The reviews for From Paris With Love have been arsenic, though, so more refined palettes might want to stay home.

Who should see it: Nicolas Sarkozy.

Dear John

What’s the story: Nope, not a big screen adaptation of the Judd Hirsch sit-com. This Dear John is actually an adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name. Channing Tatum (channeling his inner Josh Hartnett) stars as John, a soldier who falls in love with a small town girl (the always-on-the-cusp Amanda Seyfried) while on leave from the Army. Needless to say, letters are written and love is gained, lost, gained and … well, like we said, it’s an adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel. You know what to expect. Here’s a hint: lots of tears.

Who should see it: Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. (There’s still hope for them!)

Also opening: The best movie of the weekend? Try Frozen. The Open Water–meets–Okemo Mountain horror flick about three skiers trapped overnight on a chairlift has gotten rave reviews (Rex Reed called Frozen a “must-see”). Just when you thought it was safe to go back on the slopes …