Alright, now this is more like the January I’ve come to know and love. As opposed to the relatively well-reviewed releases of last week, two sorta crappy-looking movies are hitting theaters this Friday. These are the sorts of films that usually debut in January. Movies have typically opened poorly in January, as it’s somewhat of a box office dead zone after the huge numbers of November and December. Because box office results are often bad, studios release some of their worst movies in January, and because movie quality is bad, the box office stays in the toilet. Do you see how that cycle perpetuates itself? Well, with a confusing apocalyptic thriller and a fish-out-of-water family comedy that, despite some solid star power, each look pretty poor, the third weekend of January should continue the tradition sub-par quality. Poor box office, however? That’s another story, as both of these new releases have a shot at some moderate success. Keep on reading for an over view of this week’s new releases, as well as some news about Star Trek 2, Green Lantern, a sequel to Twister, and James Cameron’s latest move.
This movie looks downright confusing. Somehow, Denzel Washington is a super-violent, Bible-thumping, warrior in a post-apocalyptic world. Maybe it’s a sequel to 2012? Maybe to The Road? Denzel is supposed to be a sort of righteous fighter, with Mila Kunis as his apprentice, and as they journey over a barren landscape, they kill a lot of people. This movie’s advertising seems to be avoiding associating itself too much with the Bible, though it seems like a key plot point. Thus, the ads have left me scratching my head, and when audiences don’t have any clue what movie is about, it’s never good for business. Denzel will bring in audiences for sure, but I don’t see this taking down Avatar.
This looks almost exactly the same as Disney’s 2003 Vin Diesel vehcile, The Pacifier. Jackie Chan plays a former spy ready who’s asked to babysit a neighbor’s three children, who find themselves in a heap of trouble when one of them downloads an top secret code. Keeping these kids in line and winning their approval proves to be harder than he would have thought, and hijinks ensue. Blah. How can I tell this movie is a stinker. First off, it’s an uncreative premise. Second, it’s debuting in January. Third, it’s starring Billy Ray Cyrus.
I mentioned it last week that Star Trek 2 (I’m sure the title will be something more along the lines of Star Trek: The Rise Of The Blah-Blah-Blah) would begin shooting in Late 2010. Now, BoxOfficeMojo reports that the Paramount sci-fi film will release on June 29th, 2012. That means we’ve got 2 years, 5 months, and 18 days to buzz anxiously about it!
The Avatar director has optioned yet another film that he may possibly make. Instead of a sci-fi epic like Battle Angel or The Fantastic Voyage, though, this one would be an adaptation of the upcoming book, The Last Train To Hiroshima, which chronicles the eyewitness accounts of Japanese civilians and American pilots who watched the atomic bombs go off. Is this really the right movie for Cameron to direct? I know he loves big special effects, but we don’t really want to turn Hiroshima and Nagasaki into entertaining spectacle, do we?
Who needs new ideas when we’ve got so many old ones? Despite the fact that Twister, which earned $241 million at the box office, is now a whopping fourteen years old, Bill Paxton is hoping to move forward with production on a sequel. At least he’s honest about why he’s doing it, though: “The only reason I’d like to revisit that ground is because I realize we’re living in a time where big movies cost so much to make that the town is looking for built-in audiences…” The bad news about this: they want to shoot it in 3D. Ugh.
Female castings in superhero movies are always some of the most buzzed about movie news on the web, and that’s certainly been the case with Blake Lively’s recent casting as Ryan Reynolds’ love interest in The Green Lantern. I think she’s a great actress, and she’ll probably do a good job, but to me, her voice is a bit too deep to be a screaming damsel in distress! Is that too judgmental?