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January movies, January films

Bullz-Eye Winter Movie Preview: January
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JANUARY: The suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.

Any movie that the studios thought about rolling out for awards season, then thought better of when they realized they wouldn’t survive the fierce competition, is here, in all its unspectacular glory. On the plus side, now you have time to read all of those books you got for Christmas. See you in April.

The New World (New Line, January 13)
Actors: Colin Farrell, Christian Bale, Christopher Plummer, Wes Studi, David Thewlis, Q’Orianka Kilcher
Director: Terrence Malick
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: Malick graces us with his presence for the second time in 10 years to write a story about explorer John Smith and the clashes between English settlers and Native American Indians.
The Buzz: This is at least the second, and possibly third, time we’ve put this movie in a seasonal preview, and that alone should tell you everything you need to know. That they decided January 13 was the “right” time to release a historical epic screams “dump job.”
Trailer Highlight: The eerie shot of Pocahontas (newcomer Kilcher) looking out over the bay, and seeing the English ships arriving.
Bottom Line: You can only dangle a movie out there for so long before we simply stop caring.
Official Web Site: http://www.thenewworldmovie.com/

Tristan & Isolde (20th Century Fox, January 13)
Actors: James Franco, Sophia Myles, Rufus Sewell, David O’Hara
Director: Kevin Reynolds
Rating: PG-13

The Pitch: An English knight (Franco) is in love with an Irish princess (Myles), and the future of England hangs in the balance.
The Buzz: This has been a pet project of Ridley Scott’s for years (he put it aside to direct this little flick called “Alien”), but in the end he and brother Tony executive produce, and in the director’s chair is….Kevin Reynolds, the infamous director of “Waterworld.” Ridley surely produced with a strong hand, and this will be more “Kingdom of Heaven” than bloated Kevin Costner vanity project. Still, that doesn’t mean it will be very good.
Trailer Highlight: Is there anything funnier than a medieval romance put to the music of Evanescence?
Bottom Line: This might be the one to kill the whole swords-and-sandals thing for a good ten years.
Official Web Site: http://www.tristanandisoldemovie.com/

Glory Road (Buena Vista, January 13)
Actors: Josh Lucas, Derek Luke, Jon Voight, Emily Deschanel
Director: James Gartner
Rating: PG
Read our review

The Pitch: Based on the true story of Dan Haskins, the man who took a job at Texas Western University, assembled the first all-black NCAA basketball team, and won the title in 1966.
The Buzz: Quiet at this point. Maybe everyone else is as gobsmacked by the movie’s title as we are. Forgive our filthy minds, but that title is one word away from being a porn flick. You would think Disney, of all parent companies, would be sensitive about that sort of thing.
Trailer Highlight: The one student’s mother attending class, to make sure her son’s grades are high enough to keep playing ball.
Bottom Line: Disney had a good thing going with these sports movies, but they just didn’t know when to quit.
Official Web Site: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/gloryroad/

The Queen, it seems, is dead.

Last Holiday (Paramount, January 13)
Actors: Queen Latifah, LL Cool J, Timothy Hutton, Giancarlo Esposito
Director: Wayne Wang
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A woman (Latifah) discovers that she is terminally ill, so she decides to take an extravagant vacation during her final days.
The Buzz: Nonexistent. We’ve seen the trailer once in the theaters, and as you can imagine, we’re at the movies a lot. We love Queen, but this just looks pointless.
Trailer Highlight: When the person at the bank asks her what she’s going to do with the money she’s borrowing: “I’m just gonna blow it!”
Bottom Line: The only way this movie will be worth seeing is if she actually dies at the end. And you all know that ain’t gonna happen.
Official Web Site: http://www.lastholidaymovie.com/

Hoodwinked (Weinstein Co. January 13)
Actors: voices of Anne Hathaway, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, Anthony Anderson, Andy Dick, Chazz Palminteri, Sally Struthers, Xzibit
Director: Cory Edwards & Todd Edwards
Rating: PG

The Pitch: The animal kingdom conducts an investigation of the events that took place at Grandma’s house.
The Buzz: “Little Red Riding Shrek,” anyone? Still, look at that cast. No, not Warburton, Close and Hathaway. Andy Dick? Sally freaking Struthers? Chazz Palminteri, as a sheep, no less? Gold, baby.
Trailer Highlight: Tough to say. If they’re sitting on something really funny, we’d never know it. A snowboarding grandmother? Oooooh, how edgy.
Bottom Line: The people we know who’ve seen it like it. We just wish that were enough to convince us.
Official Web Site: http://www.hoodwinkedthemovie.com/

Transamerica (IFC, January 20)
Actors: Felicity Huffman, Kevin Zegers, Graham Greene, Elizabeth Peńa, Burt Young
Director: Duncan Tucker
Rating: R

The Pitch: A post-operative transsexual (Huffman) discovers that she fathered a child 17 years ago (Zegers), and must deal with her newfound son and the complications of becoming the woman she always wanted to be.
The Buzz: Huffman’s getting raves for her performance here, though the movie overall is falling somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Trailer Highlight: Son: Dude this is great! Huffman: I wish you wouldn’t call me ‘dude.’
Bottom Line: We’re seeing it for Huffman alone. Anything else that dazzles us will be a bonus.
Official Web Site: http://www.transamerica-movie.com/

More leather, less talk, please.

Underworld: Evolultion (Screen Gems, January 20)
Actors: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy, Shane Brolly, Michael Sheen
Director: Len Wiseman
Rating: R
Read our review

The Pitch: Leather-clad vampire Selene (Beckinsale) and werewolf hybrid (Speedman) try to unearth the origins of both species in an attempt to save mankind, and uncover a being that’s responsible for the origin of both vampire and Lychen.
The Buzz: My, does Beckinsale look nice in leather. If only she could write dialogue, because the first “Underworld” was insufferable to listen to, and only slightly less insufferable to watch.
Trailer Highlight: Every shot – and there are a lot of them – of Beckinsale looking up from the ground with her piercing blue vampire eyes, and black bangs hanging in her eyes.
Bottom Line: It has to be better than the first one….doesn’t it?
Official Web Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/underworldevolution/

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (Warner Independent, January 20)
Actors: Albert Brooks, John Carroll Lynch, Sheetal Sheth, Jon Tenney, Amy Ryan, Fred Thompson, Penny Marshall
Director: Albert Brooks
Rating: PG-13

The Pitch: The White House recruits Brooks to go abroad (India and Pakistan) to learn what makes them Muslim people laugh.
The Buzz: So why, exactly, did they send him to a Hindu nation to learn about Muslims? And does it seem strange that they’d send a Jew to do this kind of reconnaissance? Seriously, there is nothing about this that makes sense to us.
Trailer Highlight: “You’re not a Jew, are you?” “Not….this minute.”
Bottom Line: We love Albert Brooks, but this has bad idea written all over it.
Official Web Site: http://wip.warnerbros.com/lookingforcomedy/LFC_content.html

Annapolis (Buena Vista, January 27)
Actors: James Franco, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Donnie Wahlberg, Chi McBride
Director: Justin Lin
Rating: PG-13
Read our review

The Pitch: A young, rebellious cadet (Franco) runs afoul of a strong willed superior (Gibson).
The Buzz: Okay, fess up: who asked for a remake of “An Officer and a Gentleman”? Anyone? Didn’t think so. So why on earth did they feel the need to spend what looks like big bank on a movie that no one asked for? Was this greenlighted back in the post-9/11 days, and the studios thought that a bunch of military movies would make the world feel like a safer place? Oh, brother.
Trailer Highlight: When Franco discovers that the girl he bragged to at the bar about being a cadet at Annapolis was one of his commanding officers.
Bottom Line: We’re not fans of Richard Gere, but at least someone won an Oscar in that movie. In “Annapolis,” no one wins.
Official Web Site: http://annapolis.movies.com/

Big Momma’s House 2 (20th Century Fox, January 27)
Actors: Martin Lawrence, Emily Procter, Nia Long, Michelle Parylak, Mark Moses
Director: John Whitesell
Rating: PG-13

The Pitch: Martin Lawrence reprises his role as a very undercover cop trying to crack a crime syndicate hell bent on undermining US security, or something.
The Buzz: This was originally supposed to square off against “King Kong.” Wisely, the studio thought better of it, and moved it to battle against….”Annapolis.” Whatever. No matter when it opens, it’s going to suck.
Trailer Highlight: The babes in the spa. But don’t even try to tell us that they think Lawrence is a woman.
Bottom Line: This will probably take a lot of people’s money, and make a lot of people dumber at the same time.
Official Web Site: http://www.bigmommashouse2.com/

Bubble (Magnolia Pictures, January 27)
Actors: Dustin James Ashley, Debbie Doebereiner
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Rating: R

The Pitch: A murder takes place at a toy factory in a small Ohio town, and the residents try to put the pieces together.
The Buzz: The most buzz-worthy aspect of this movie is that it’s being released in the theaters, on cable and on DVD on the same day, and while we would love to see this experiment become a smashing success, this is not the movie that should launch the concept.
Trailer Highlight: Talk about saying nothing but telling you everything. The trailer is nothing but a bunch of shots of doll parts, scored not to Hole’s “Doll Parts,” but what sounds like an Elfman-esque score. So why, exactly, are we supposed to get excited about this movie?
Bottom Line: They could put this movie on as a play in our lunch room, and we’re still not going to watch it.
Official Web Site: No official site that we can find. Hey, type the word ‘Bubble’ into Google, see what you find. I’m sure it’s out there somewhere, we just didn’t care enough to spend too much effort on it.





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