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Weekend Preview – January 18, 2012

January is notorious for being chock full of a bunch of nothing when it comes to movies.  The lineup often consists of genre films that are not going to appeal to the masses, and films which have sat around or been pushed back – relegated to a time of year where they might be the best thing playing, even if they aren’t that great.  From where I stand, this weekend doesn’t look to break that mold.

There are three wide releases this weekend and while one or two look like they could be fun, nothing really stands out.


Mama Movie Poster










With Guillermo del Toro and recent Golden Globe winner Jessica Chastain‘s names plastered all over this horror film’s marketing, it’s crying out for your attention.  Buyer beware though – if you’re a fan of del Toro’s amazing directorial work, you should take note that he is the producer of this scary movie, not the director.  The trailer is genuinely haunting and creepy, and looks to be at least a step above a lot of the mass produced horror dreck.

The story revolves around a pair of sisters who disappear, only to be found five years later living, feral, alone(?) in a cabin. In bringing them back to civilization, it looks like they may have brought some unknown and evil force along with them.  Reviews so far have been split down the middle.  If you’re a horror fan, it might be worth checking out.


The Last Stand
The Last Stand poster








Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes that Arnold), and Johnny Knoxville (yes, that Jackass), this marks the Governator’s first starring role since leaving office.  That alone might make it worth seeing this for some people.  It doesn’t hurt that it sounds like he’s picked up some more English since he last headlined a film also.

With an escaped drug lord hurtling towards the Mexican border, one sleepy town stands between him and freedom.  That sleepy town happens to have one badass sheriff though – Arnold.  Forest Whitaker and Luis Guzmán also star.  It looks predictable, but could be a fun popcorn muncher if you’re in the mood for some big guns.


Broken City
Broken City Poster








I haven’t seen anything about this movie, have you?  From the trailer, which I’ve only now seen for the first time, it look like this could easily be titled “Crime Thriller Movie,” and shelved alongside the likes of Superhero Movie and Date Movie.  Mark Wahlberg and Russel Crowe star in what looks like one of the most generic movies ever.  The official synopsis reads

“In a city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure: Mayor Nicholas Hostetler.”

Trade out the character names and I’m sure you could come up with a dozen other movies that could this plot.  The few reviews that are in so far are almost all negative – I feel pretty safe in saying you can skip this one without much worry.


In addition, Silver Linings Playbook from 810 to 2,500 theaters.

Silver Linings Playbook Poster









This critical darling has been steadily adding awards and nominations to it’s repertoire, along with theaters.  This weekend though, probably due to the extra attention it received at the Golden Globes, it is jumping to a full on national release.  If you haven’t seen it yet, you shouldn’t have a problem finding it playing at a theater near you.

Rising superstar, Jennifer Lawrence, is quickly racking up the accolades for this performance, along with the rest of the exceptional cast.  Bradley Cooper costars.  Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver have both been nominated for their supporting roles.  Chris Tucker and Julia Stiles both have memorable scenes as well.

Based on the novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, this is the story of Pat (Cooper), a bipolar man recently released from court appointed rehab after an incident.  Returning home to his parents, he tries to pick up his life, but despite his best efforts things seem to fall apart even before he touches them.  Then he gets to know Tiffany (Lawrence), who might be even more emotionally damaged then he.

This is a bit of a romantic comedy, with drama and real life thrown about liberally, along with a healthy helping of the absurd.  It’s a tale of mental illness, family, friendship, dancing, football, and love.  It has those quirks that most indie films seem to have, but it plays well to the mainstream audience as well.  It’s not my favorite movie in the world, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.  Out of the four, this would be my recommendation to see this weekend.

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