Weekend Movies: New Year’s Weak End

Now that the congested holiday and awards season is over, it’s time for the January drought to begin. Since Paramount decided to make room for ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ in December, January may have at least one potentially worthy release (‘Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit’), but that doesn’t open for another couple weeks. In the meantime, it’s time to hunker down at home or play the catch-up game with some of last month’s movies.

The only new wide release this weekend is ‘Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones‘. This spin-off follows a group of Latino characters living in Southern California. When a woman dies in the apartment below theirs, they decide to break in once the police leave and see what happened. Of course, something is in there, a demonic spirit that takes possession of one of them. I’m burned out on shaky-cam POV horror movies, but ‘The Marked Ones’ looks like it could be the most entertaining since ‘Chronicle’.

IFC films is distributing ‘The Best Offer‘, an indie crime drama from ‘Cinema Paradiso’ director Guiseppe Tornatore. Following an auctioneer who becomes obsessed with a wealthy young art collector, the film stars Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland.

On just a few screens is ‘Interior. Leather Bar.‘. The controversial movie by James Franco and Travis Mathews envisions what the missing 40 minutes from William Friedkin’s ‘Cruising’ might have been had the studio and MPAA not forced the director to trim so much of the homosexual content. At the very least, you’ve got to give it up to Franco for being so uniquely experimental.

The indie release that I most look forward to is Tribeca Films’ ‘Open Grave‘. Sharlto Copley stars as an amnesiac who wakes up in a pit filled with dead bodies. He has no recollection as to how he got there, but whittles it down to two options: either the killer is one of the rescuers who helped him out of the pit, or he, himself, is the murderer. Count me in!

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