Saturday, January 1, 2011

3 For January

This is the first in a new recurring column wherein I discuss the three movies I'm most anticipating in the upcoming month. Should be fun. Let's get things rolling with... the worst month of the movie year! Okay, sure, January is almost always terrible. It's the jumping ground for a score of really bad action movies and award-baiting dramas that didn't quite hit the mark. Still, I'm inclined to blame January, 2011 on the entire year of 2010 because the rest of this year's calendar looks pretty darn good. Call it a Bad Year Hangover but I truly struggled to find a third movie I cared about. But the show must go, begin, I guess, since this is the first in this series. Onward, then!

3. "Rabbit Hole," January 14 - Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart
An assuredly depressing, haunting tale of a married couple who try to overcome the death of their young son. Frankly, I'm not as much excited about the wide release of "Rabbit Hole" as I am compelled to check it out given the influence it is expected to have in the award circuit. Kidman has a great shot at a Best Actress nomination and Eckhart could sneak in with a nod here or there. I'm sure this is difficult to watch but I may need to check it out if I get a chance.

2. "The Company Men," January 21 - Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner
Originally scheduled for a late 2010 release, "Company Men" was shifted to 2011 at the last minute. That's never, ever a good sign, especially given how bad 2010 really was. Clearly it's not the award contender it was intended to be. Still, I've seen some positive reviews for the relevant story of several career business men who suddenly find themselves without jobs in our tough economy. I'm also interested to see what Ben Affleck does with his rejuvenated career and this is the first test. Plus, as I've (quietly) noted before, I have a secret love for virtually all things Kevin Costner and for reasons I don't understand, his presence in a film can still get me to the theater. It's weird, I know.

1. "The Green Hornet," January 14 - Seth Rogen, Jay Chou, Christoph Waltz
Like "The Company Men," my initial reaction to any movie that vacated 2010 is negative. I'm also not a big fan of Rogen and I'm not convinced that the Green Hornet is the most compelling super hero. However, I'm starting to come around to the idea of this being a sleeper hit. Obviously it has NEXT TO NOTHING to compete with for almost a month so it should make a healthy sum of money. More importantly, though, I'm digging the combination of behind-the-scenes crew: a director who specialized in quirky dramatic comedies, screen writers who pen mostly crude slapstick, and a stunt team that delivers some of the best car chase sequences you will ever find. It could all mesh horribly, of course, but the latest trailer looks, for lack of a better term, cool. And, hey, if nothing else, I get to see Waltz play a villain again after her Oscar-winning baddie in "Inglorious Basterds."

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