Hello chickadees, once again we have another weekend of random January releases so that we may have some time to catch up on our awards contenders. Time is running out! The Golden Globes are THIS VERY WEEKEND. Who will be the drunkest?? Probably some country singer with a best song nominee (never forget, T-Bone Burnett). So the studios are throwing us a bone and not releasing anything worth our time and effort. I will be liveblogging the Globes action, so won’t you please come back on Sunday night and join our party?
Another cash grab release from Disney, “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D. It’s not that I don’t like “Beauty and the Beast” (love that French candelabra) but that I am morally opposed to rereleasing films in 3D. So just deal with it, this information is not new to anyone who reads this column. But maybe you can take your kids, nieces, nephews, siblings or little children you may know to show them, THIS is how we used to make animated movies! With Angela Motherfucking Lansbury. WHUT. (Drops mic). Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Ohhhh Mark Wahlberg in some kind of heist movie I still can’t figure out even though I’ve seen the trailer roughly 5 times. I’m going to assume “Contraband” will be just like Season 2 of “The Wire” simply because I saw shipping containers in the trailer. Yeah, that’s it. Co-starring Kate Beckinsale, Lukas Haas, Ben Foster, and Giovanni Ribisi, Wahlberg looks to be doing his best “say hello to yah motha fah me” (do we like him any other way? Really?) in this remake of an Icelandic film directed by the producer/star of the original Baltasar Kormakur. Our review says, “you can shoot all the action in the world, but it won’t matter a lick if you don’t care about people. Kormakur mostly blows it by the constant strategy of beginning scenes with establishing shots before immediately shifting to ugly mid-range close-ups. With this technique, Kormakur is cutting off hands and legs, losing the body language that defines the tenuous relationships between these tough guys, reducing them all to the same action movie figurines.” RT: 48% MC: 52
I saw Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton on the poster for “Joyful Noise” and I was sold. I don’t even know what this movie is about, but I’m so there opening night. DOLLY! LATIFAH! Done and done. Oh look, our review says it’s about a small town choir competing in a nationwide gospel competition. And what’s that? Kris Kristofferson? Even more there. I’m already at the theater. Our review says the film “will surely find its easily-pleased audience among other full-screen DVDs in a Walmart bargain bin someday. We simply wish that it didn’t confuse righteousness with self-righteousness and reinforce the recurring notion that a film boasting wholesome values must sacrifice wit, sincerity and baseline competence in the process.” Directed by “Bandslam” auteur Todd Graff. RT: 39% MC: 44
We need to talk about how we’re so excited for the EXCELLENT Lynne Ramsey who FINALLY returns with “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” starring Tilda Swinton, Ezra Miller and John C. Reilly, in the story of a mother grappling with the acts of her sociopathic son, Kevin. Our review says the film is “fascinating, and chilling, and a welcome return for a director who shouldn’t have had to be away for as long as she was; Ramsay’s look at guilt, loss and shame is the kind of hard, unflinching stuff that gives off sparks of insight and truth each time it strikes hard at your brain and heart.” RT: 83% MC: 70
Ingenue-of-the-moment Felicity Jones and “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay star in “Albatross,” about two friends navigating some of life’s more complicated moments, like oh, one of them sleeping with the other one’s dad. Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated? Our review says the film, “just becomes mired in feel-bad cliches” and “never truly catches fire the way you might hope.” With Julia Ormond and Sebastian Koch. RT: 47% MC: 42
Also in theaters: “The Iron Lady” opens in wide release; apocalyptic thriller “The Divide” RT: 9% MC: 24; Harry Belafonte documentary “Sing Your Song,” RT: 93% MC: 86; French drama “Domaine” RT: 100%; Vincent D’Onofrio‘s horror/musical thing “Don’t Go In The Woods” RT: 17% MC: 30; wrestling documentary “Fake It So Real” RT: 80%