Weekend Movies: It’s January, So Nothing Promising

Well, folks, it’s that dreaded time of the year: January. Every movie that the studios didn’t have faith in hits the big screen in January. Occasionally, we’re blessed with a ‘Cloverfield‘ or a ‘Zodiac‘, but this sure isn’t shaping up to be one of those years. At least, definitely not this weekend.

Will Hollywood please put these terrible exorcism movies to rest? Yet another opens this weekend, ‘The Devil Inside‘. Beginning with the text, “This is the actual 911 call,” the trailer alone for this movie makes me want to contract food poisoning so I’m too ill to attend the screening. Between the ‘Paranormal Activity‘ movies and last year’s similar ‘The Last Exorcism‘, haven’t we seen enough of these documentary-style horror flicks? Considering that the credits are full of no-names and it’s a January release, watch this at your own risk.

When I saw that ‘Beneath the Darkness‘ was opening, I thought to myself, “What the hell is that?” Then I watched the trailer. Ugh. Dennis Quaid hams it up as a psycho killer who gets caught by a group of teens. It looks like ‘Fright Night‘ without the vampire element or the fun. The action in it looks so laughably bad that part of me wants to get a group of friends together and give it a live Rifftrax treatment of our own. That’s what I did with ‘The Darkest Hour’ last week and it was actually pretty entertaining. The trailer ends with Quaid yelling, “The joke’s on you! Ha! Ha!” If you actually pay to see this movie, the joke is really on you.

The limited releases of the week include ‘Roadie‘, the story of a guy (Ron Eldard from ‘ER’ and ‘Super 8‘) who, after 25 years, is fired from his roadie position with Blue Oyster Cult. (This must be fictional because there’s no way B.O.C. still has die-hard roadies.) When he returns home to Queens, he falls for his childhood sweetheart, now his best friend’s wife. Drama ensues, but it actually looks like the type of drama that’s entertaining. If it was opening near me, I’d give ‘Roadie’ a shot.

I have no idea if there’s any connection between the Beatles song and the film (aside from the song appearing in the trailer), but hot off the festival circuit comes the Japanese romantic drama ‘Norwegian Wood‘. ‘Babel‘ actress Rinko Kikuchi co-stars in this visually appealing film about a young man torn between two lovers – one being the former girlfriend of a now deceased friend. This is another title I’d consider if it was opening near me this weekend. The only good thing to come from January are the small indie hits and the expansions of awards-buzzing films previously only open in Los Angeles and New York, such as …

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy‘ and ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey‘. ‘Blood and Honey’ only expands to seven screens, but ‘Tinker’ moves up to 809. If you see ‘Tinker’ this weekend, chime in on the conversation Aaron Peck and I had about the film in our “Critical Mass” post.

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