January 2009 Movies, Bride Wars, Underworld 3, Rise of the Lycans, Taken

2009 Winter Movie Preview: January

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Bride Wars (January 9)

Yes, it's a wedding-themed romantic comedy -- the same type of chick-flick truffle rolled out by the studios this time every year. But this one stars Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, two actresses who -- although demonstrably unable to de-crappify a lousy movie -- have enough of the hot sauce to get you through 90 minutes of date-night obligation. Probably not in this case, but hey, we can hope, right?

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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (January 23)

Kate Beckinsale has departed for more critic-friendly pastures, but the "Underworld" franchise lives on in the form of "Rise of the Lycans," a Rhona Mitra-led prequel that investigates the "origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the aristocratic vampires, known as Death Dealers, and the barbaric Lycans (werewolves)." Hokey as hell? You bet, but with plenty of action on tap -- not to mention Mitra in skintight garb -- this "Underworld" might get a rise out of more than the Lycans.

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Taken (January 30)

It has a horribly hackneyed plot (the synopsis sums it up as "A former government operative comes out of retirement and uses on his extensive training to rescue his estranged daughter from a slave trade operation"), but with Luc Besson writing the script and Liam Neeson heading up the cast, we lay even odds on "Taken" being better than most of the generic action-thriller sludge that's usually heaped on theaters in January. On the other hand, it is rated PG-13...

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