Thursday, January 12, 2012

January 2012 Movie Preview

Being the start of the new year, I had a plan to look forward and give an early preview of all the big movies coming out this year. It would be a following up to my look back at 2011 with my Top 10 movie list of 2011. However, I also have an idea to preview all the movies coming out on a monthly basis and since January is already a full weekend in with what technically counts as January releases (the weekend of Dec 30 to Jan 1 was counted as the last weekend of 2011 even though in included the first day of 2012), I have decided to do my look on January first before I do my overview of 2012. But I still will do the 2012 preview, so stay tuned for that some time in the near future. January is typically a slower month for movies as the Holiday season has come to an end, but it does have some intriguing releases, so lets take a look. And keep in mind I am typically going to focus on the nationwide releases and not on the limited releases.

January 6th- 
This weekend, in case you were in a deep sleep for the last month and missed the memo, has already happened. With a busy holiday season for movies, the December holdovers were going pretty strong as people made an effort to catch up on the movies they missed over the holidays. Mission Impossible has been on a mission to pass the other 3 Missions in the Box Office and going in to its 4th weekend of release, 3rd as a nationwide release, it looks as if it will accomplish that mission and most thought it would make a 3rd week in a row at number 1. Meanwhile, Sherlock Holmes has been closing the gap on the first one and while it most likely won't hit that mark, its of note that it has been holding better than the first one. The Devil Inside was the only new nationwide release for this past weekend and on an initial look, one would think that it would get lost in the crowd with all the December hangovers going strong, but it did quite the opposite. Mission Impossible was dethroned as the king of the Box Office as The Devil Inside opened up to a strong 34M, which was close to a January record, behind only Cloverfield and the Star Wars Special Edition release. The Devil Inside is a horror film that looks rather creepy and reminds me a bit of the Exorcism. Not my cup of tea, but if you like that genre, then check it out. As a quick note, this past weekend had Mission Impossible come close to topping the original's 180M, Sherlock Holmes passing 150M, and the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo pass 75M as all three of those held quite well. This past weekend also saw the expansion of Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy to an official nationwide release with 809 theaters. It is an R rated thriller starring Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, and Tom Hardy that has some Oscar buzz with it.

January 13th-
Now that the past weekend is behind us, we can look forward to the upcoming weeks and stay true to my title of "preview" with having accomplished the one week of "review". This upcoming weekend has three major releases: Beauty in the Beast in 3D, Contraband, and Joyful Noise. First up, Beauty in the Beast. Now Disney has always been very good at milking money out of it's popular animated movies and last September it figured out a new tactic to do so with re-releasing Lion King in 3D. With Lion King earning a surprising 90M and breaking the top 10 all time domestic box office, Disney's reaction was probably like giving a little kid a king size candy bar. Shortly after Lion King's success, Disney quickly planned a whole slew of its classics to be re-released in 3D and Beauty and the Best this upcoming weekend is next in line. Contraband brings Mark Wahlberg to the big screen again in what looks like an intense action packed thrill ride. The premise of the movie is that Mark Wahlberg's character is forced to go back to his former smuggling life to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills in order to protect his brother-in-law. The movie also is the first of Kate Beckinsale's two January releases. Thirdly, there is the music drama, Joyful Noise, starring Queen Latifa and Dolly Parton. And this week also has another Oscar-buzzed movie, the Iron Lady hit an expansion to 800 theaters.

January 20th- 
This weekend brings another fairly crowded weekend. One of the more intriguing titles is Red Tails. Red Tails is a George Lucas film, one that Lucas says he has wanted to do for quite a long time and is the first film he's worked on in a long time that does not have Star Wars or Indiana Jones in the title and it will be interesting to see how he does. It's a true story about a crew of African American pilots in World War II. The second release of the weekend is Haywire. Haywire is the second R-rated action film to be released in January. Gina Carano is the lead as she plays a black ops super soldier that is seeking revenge after being betrayed and set up on a mission. She has quite the lineup around her for a cast with Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Channing Tatum, and Antonio Banderes among others. The third film of the weekend is another addition to the Underworld series, this one entitled Underworld Awakening. It stars Kate Beckinsale, making it her second film released in two weeks and enters yet another addition to the Hollywood vampire craze. Last, but certainly not least, comes the nationwide expansion of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. Now it was released late in December on a limited basis so that it could officially have its name submitted in the Oscar race of 2011. It stars Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock and is a drama that is centered around September 11th. Specifically, the lead kid had his father die in the world trade center on September and he is searching for the lock that matches the mysterious key that his father left behind.

January 27th-
The final weekend of January might be the quietest weekend, but it features Liam Neeson's most recent film, The Grey. The Grey is a survival movie. An oil team gets stranded in the wild after a plane crash and a pack of wolves sees them as intruders. It recently got slapped with an R rating because of violence and disturbing content including some bloody images and language, so from that I conclude it might be quite gory and graphic, which if that appeals to you then be my guest. Maybe you'll get to watch some wolves have some humans for dinner. The second movie coming out this weekend is initially an odd idea when I look at it. Now watching the trailers and commercials for it, it looks like it may have more depth than it appears but it is called Man on a Ledge. One of those movies where the story line of a movie is in the title. I'm assuming its about a man on a ledge, but maybe I'm wrong. Lastly, we get Janet Evanovich's best selling novel One for the Money get released as a movie. It stars Katherine Heigl as the lead role of Stephanie Plum, who, being unemployed and recently divorced lands a job at her cousin's bail bond business which puts her on the trail of a wanted local cop from her romantic past on her first assignment.

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