God Dammit, what a fucking pitiful month December was. "The Spirit" seems to be fulfilling all my worst ideas about it and "Quantum of Solace" wasn't nearly good enough to go see again (ever, for any reason). The theaters were a barren wasteland of holiday comedies and other such saccharine drivel. Doesn't look like next month is going to improve matters much, but let's look anyway.
January 2 brings us nothing. Really. Not a single major release that I can find is coming out on Friday ("Defiance" is getting a limited release to make the Oscar deadline. I'll get to that in a bit).
January 9 gives us something worse than nothing in the form of "Bride Wars," starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway as brides competing with each other for some dumbfuck reason or other.
Also opening is "The Unborn," a horror film from David S. Goyer. The preview has some creepy elements to it, but it looks like a pretty standard J-horror retread. You'll notice they're marketing it as "from the co-writer of 'The Dark Knight'" rather than as "from the director of 'The Invisible'" even though the latter credit seems more relevant.
January 16 brings us the above mentioned "Defiance," a story of courage, honor, Jews, WWII and other Oscar-ready topics. Stars Daniel Craig and some Nazis.
Also opening is "My Bloody Valentine 3-D," which looks about as good as something this completely and utterly pointless can look. The reason this is coming out a month before Valentine's Day is that the "Friday the 13th" remake already took the February 13 slot. It's kind of like watching one retarded elephant get knocked down by another, larger, retarded elephant. You feel a little bad for the smaller one, then you get over it when you remember that they're just a bunch of retarded elephants.
January 23 births another "Underworld" sequel screaming and wet into this world, something I need like a lead pipe to the cranium. Also opening is "Killshot," an Elmore Leonard novel adapted into a total Weinstein Bros.' clusterfuck. The film was directed by John Madden and produced by Quentin Tarantino, so by all rights it should be shitting money right into Harvey Weinstein's wallet, but apparently the film came out as such as turd that it's had its release date moved back five times and is now nearly three years old.
Top Ten at the Box Office:
1. "Marley & Me." If there is one thing in this world that bores me more than football movies, it's dog movies. I feel sticky and weird just looking at the posters for them, like my skin has just be rubbed with cane sugar. I have a low tolerance for heartwarming tales of companionship, and I personally don't like owning pets (I have a rule not to own anything that will die if I leave my apartment locked and unattended for three weeks). A more appropriate tagline: "The story of an adorable pet that can be replaced at least five times in the average human lifespan".
2. "Bedtime Stories." Jesus, people must be ill this time of year if this is the kind of crap that's at the top of this list. Adam Sandler and Disney, working together with some gimmicky kid's comedy that exhausted its novelty about three seconds into the preview.
3. "The Curious Case of How People Have Been Fooled Into Believing David Fincher Has Any Real Ideas." He also apparently doesn't have an editor, since this adaptation of an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story has been pumped to a solid 159 minutes, I guess to give that fabled Brad Pitt thespian talent some room to breath.
4. "Valkyrie." This is the tale of a plot by some Nazis to assassinate Hitler during WWII. Gee, wonder how that turned out? So is it like "The Lost Stories of World War II" month or something? I am fucking sick to death of that war. Why not a good World War One story? Maybe something about the Battle of the Somme, that one where 1.5 million people were killed over the course of four months (including 57,000 British casualties during the first day alone). Fuck all this "no moral ambiguity, good guys v. bad guys" crap. I want rivers of blood and years of rotting, screaming horror. That's a war, people.
But I digress. The real point of "Valkyrie" is to revive Tom Cruise's public image from the shit-filled gutter it's been squatting in for the last few years. Too bad he never got that "acting" thing down right.
5. "The Yes Man." Christ, this is getting painful. Did Jim Carrey's cash jacuzzi need a refill, or has he just been tossing piles of money into a large wood fire oven so as to give his homemade pizza that "pitiful waste of riches" zing it was missing? This is so fucking unnecessary I'm surprised I can even focus on it for long enough to write this. Surprised, but not pleased.
6. "Seven Pounds." I care less about movies the more Will Smith is in them. And I mean that in a general sense, not a specific one. I actually become less of a fan of cinema the larger a star Will Smith becomes. I think his continued desire to make movies actually ruins movies with which he has no connection. If he continues on this upward trend, within the next few years I'll probably feel the same way about "Casablanca" as I do about drinking warm spittle.
7. "The Tale of Despereaux." CGI mouse, knightly adventures, no real interest. Gotcha.
8. "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Sometimes I worry that mediocrity is winning the war for our culture. Then I remember that mediocrity is the norm, not the exception. And I cry.
9. "The Spirit." I had such high hopes after the first preview. Should have seen it coming. With every other second of this film that got revealed over the following months, the anticipation I felt withered and eventually died, like an old woman who led a grand, exciting life only to be taken down in a long and painful battle with the diseases that resulted from her decades of debauchery and hedonism.
10. "Doubt." This looks pretty good.