Four-Warned: January 2013


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Every month I’m going to look at every movie on the release schedule and try to assign them a numerical value corresponding to how anxious I am to see it. The lower the number, the more I want to see it. A one means I would walk through hell and high water to see it; a four means there’s no interest whatsoever. The numbers are not arrived at scientifically but they aren’t arbitrary either.

The numbers aren’t a reflection of the artistic merit of any of these films, but merely a reflection of my willingness to go to a movie theater and see it. The top four scores will be gathered as a means of reflecting the movies I’m anticipating the most; you may use that as a guide or not.

Each entry is broken down as follows:

NAME OF FILM (Studio) Genre A brief description of the plot. Release plans: Wide = Everywhere, Limited = In selected markets. RATING A brief comment

Keep in mind that release dates are extremely subject to change, even at this late date.

FOUR TO SEE
1. HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (1.5)
2. GANGSTER SQUAD (1.7)
3. THE LAST STAND (1.8)
4. BROKEN CITY (1.9)

FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. STORAGE 24 (1.4)
2. BAYTOWN OUTLAWS (1.5)
3. ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE (1.8)
4. THE PIROGUE (1.8)

RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see

JANUARY 4, 2013

56 UP (First Run) Genre: Documentary. Michael Apted’s groundbreaking documentary series examines the same group of people from age seven every seven years thereafter 49 years until now. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.8 Sure it’s fascinating but do you really want to know this much about these people?
A DARK TRUTH (Magnolia) Genre: Thriller. An ex-CIA agent turned talk show host investigates the cover-up of a massacre in a South American village. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.4 An impressive cast and a compelling subject matter but trailer looked a little flat.
ALL SUPERHEROES MUST DIE (Image) Genre: Superhero. Four heroes are robbed of their superpowers by an evil supervillain and must navigate a deadly maze as ordinary people, while the lives of a small town hang in the balance. Release Strategy: Limited RATING: 1.7 A very different-looking superhero movie.
CRAWLSPACE (IFC) Genre: Science Fiction. An elite military group enters a research compound to rescue a science team after an experiment goes awry, only to discover that something far more sinister is going on. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.1 Seems to be a throwback to 80s horror movies which isn’t entirely a bad thing.
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D (Lionsgate) Genre: Horror. A young woman brings her friends to the home she recently inherited, not realizing its connection to some gruesome murders committed three decades earlier. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D). RATING: 2.9 Actually a true sequel to the iconic Tobe Hooper horror classic.

JANUARY 11, 2013

A HAUNTED HOUSE (Open Road) Genre: Horror Spoof. Marlon Wayans takes on the Paranormal Activity series as his house and wife appear to be taken over by a mischievous spirit. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.4 Usually these sorts of horror spoofs leave me cold.
FAIRHAVEN (Starz Digital Media) Genre: Drama. A trio of friends in a small New England fishing village reunite for a funeral. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.7 This has kinda been done to death but we’ll see how this one works out.
GANGSTER SQUAD (Warner Brothers) Genre: Crime Drama. The LAPD puts together a small but elite squad to take out mob boss Mickey Cohen – by any means necessary. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.7 A very strong cast made this look interesting; it was deposited into a January slot through no fault of its own.
MATRU KI BIJLEE KA MANDOLA (FIP) Genre: Bollywood. The arranged marriage of the daughter of a wealthy industrialist sends reverberations through the lives of daughter, father and his right-hand man. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.1 Doesn’t look particularly inspiring from the trailer.
MY BEST ENEMY (IFC) Genre: Drama. A pair of best friends in prewar Vienna are set at odds when one joins the Nazi party and attempts to gain a Michelangelo drawing his friend, a Jew, owns. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 1.9 Already an award-winning film in Austria.
OFFICER DOWN (Anchor Bay) Genre: Crime Drama. After a crooked cop is saved by a stranger and given a second chance, he is forced to look into a string of assaults on young woman that he had a hand in initiating. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 The trailer looks kinda ordinary although James Woods is in it.
QUARTET (Weinstein) Genre: Comedy. A benefit concert for a home for retired opera singers is disrupted by the arrival of a diva who refuses to sing for the benefit. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 1.9 Great cast, Dustin Hoffman directing and some very funny British humor; what’s not to like?
STORAGE 24 (Magnet) Genre: Sci-Fi Horror. A couple and their friends are in a storage unit when the lights go out and in the maze of corridors they realize something inhuman is stalking them. Release Strategy: Columbus, OH only. RATING: 1.4 Looks like some pretty awesome creature effects here.
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING (Tribeca) Genre: Comedy. When a high school student is killed by lightning, we get to experience the last couple of weeks of his life through his own eyes. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 Decent cast, a nice idea but looks kinda like a generic high school fish out of water comedy from the trailer.

JANUARY 18, 2013

THE BAYTOWN OUTLAWS (Phase 4) Genre: Action. A woman .whose ex-husband shot her three times in the gut and kidnaps her godson hires three redneck outlaws to set things to rights. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.5 Looks like all kinds of fun.
BROKEN CITY (20th Century Fox) Genre: Thriller. A cop gets set up by a corrupt mayor who doesn’t realize how far the cop will go to clear his name. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.9 Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg are two of my favorite stars at the moment.
THE LAST STAND (Lionsgate) Genre: Action. A Mexican drug lord with a heavily armed escort is broken out of prison and making a run for the border, with a small Texas town and it’s sheriff standing in his way. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.8 Schwarzenegger is back!
LUV (Indomina) Genre: Drama. An 11-year-old boy spends a day with a beloved uncle, discovering that being a man isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 An all-star cast that includes Common, Danny Glover, Dennis Haysbert and Charles Dutton and a gritty-looking drama makes this one to seek out.
MAMA (Universal) Genre: Horror. Two little girls who disappeared five years earlier are found in a rural cabin and brought to their uncle’s home to be raised, but they brought something else with them. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.8 Looks genuinely creepy.

JANUARY 23, 2013

THE PIROGUE (Artmattan) Genre: Drama. A group of 30 Senegalese men (and a female stowaway) embark on a perilous (and illegal) 7-day journey to Spain in a Pirogue, an oversized dinghy. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 1.8 Could be a very interesting drama; the trailer is awfully intriguing.

JANUARY 25, 2013

HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (Paramount) Genre: Fantasy. 15 years after nearly being cooked to death by a witch, the siblings have become renowned witch hunters who are up against their nastiest opponent yet. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, 3D, IMAX). RATING: 1.5 Jeremy Renner is big-time hot and it looks like it could be a hoot if it works.
JOHN DIES AT THE END (Magnet) Genre: Sci-Fi Horror. A new designer drug sends users on an out-of-body experience, only to have aliens inhabit their physical forms leaving a couple of slackers left to save humanity. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 From horror legend Don Coscarelli, this one played the 2012 Florida Film Festival.
MOVIE 43 (Relativity) Genre: Comedy. A dozen directors and some of the biggest-name actors in Hollywood create an ensemble piece with raunchy, intertwined stories. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.1 Hard to tell from the trailer but did leave it on the “to-do list”.
NOOBZ (Big Air) Genre: Comedy. Four gamer friends head to L.A. for a major gaming championship tournament despite their lives being in flux when they go. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Looks kind of like standard Hollywood slacker comedy fare.
PARKER (FilmDistrict) Genre: Action. A professional thief, betrayed by his teammates, goes on a vendetta to get what’s his. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.1 Jason Statham in the title role looks cooler than cool.
SUPPORTING CHARACTERS (Tribeca) Genre: Comedy. A pair of friends who are film editors are hired to salvage a botched comedy even as their love lives are turning their heads inside out. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 For those who love indie comedies, this one has all the indie vibe you can stand.
YOSSI (Strand) Genre: Drama. An Israeli doctor whose lover died tragically ten years earlier struggles to get out of the shell he’s built around himself. Strategy: New York City (opening in Los Angeles Feb. 1). RATING: 2.4 Looks very melancholy.

SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
Gangster Squad, Broken City, The Last Stand, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Movie 43, Parker