Weekend Preview (1.8.10)


The first major weekend of 2010 is upon us, but does it matter? Audiences across the country are still all up in Avatar‘s business. It’s going to be hard for these early January films to become surprise winter hits until the buzz wears off and America wakes up to find a man or woman (your pick) clad in Na’vi make up sprawled naked on the bed. You know how it is. That’s how all these James Cameron movie love affairs end. In other words, let’s be real, people, you don’t have to pretend to think Avatar was the best movie ever just to be cool.

The cool thing is being able to tell your friends what the next cool movie to see will be — and I’ve got you covered. From vampire action horror to teen rebel comedy to Dublin, there are plenty of interesting choices for films dated “2010.”

Now Playing


Written and Directed by: Michael and Peter Spirig
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Sam Neill


The Word: Raise your hand if you’re tired of all the vampires. The reality is, it’s not enough of you. But the Spirig brothers (Undead) are not interested in vampire romance, but rather  vampire science fiction horror. It takes place 10 years from now when (clearly) all humans will be endangered and vampires will inhabit our planet. Naturally, that would leave them short on human blood, and the solution to that problem is where the story comes in. Hawke plays a vampire who sympathizes with humans (the guys with the crossbows, as Willem Dafoe notes) and joins their bloody resistance.

My Thoughts: It seems to be a clever, unique and incredibly well-imagined vampire premise and it interested talents such as Hawke, Dafoe and Neill, so it has my attention. High on my winter films list, there appears to be some promising action for genre lovers and enough to make an unoriginal plot of “one the many aiding the resistance of the few” come through for some good entertainment. Rotten Tomatoes has it at about 62%.

Recommendation: To be honest, this film lands somewhere between worth admission and worth renting later. The answer lies in how much you enjoy the genre because if you don’t like the idea of blending these genres, you shouldn’t go.

Leap Year

Directed by: Anand Tucker
Written by: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont
Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode (Watchmen), Adam Scott (Step Brothers)


The Word: The impossible-to-dislike-even-slightly Amy Adams stars with handsome Brit Matthew Goode in a film about a girl who travels to Ireland because on Feb. 29 every year leap year, women are encouraged to propose to their boyfriends and Adams’ character is anxious to tie the knot. Why she doesn’t realize her beaux (Adam Scott) is a dick and why this film didn’t come out a little closer to Valentines Day (or on a leap year) is still up in the air.

My Thoughts: Rarely does a Rom Com choose two fresher talents in Adams and Goode instead of actors who guarantee more dollars (although you can make a case Adams is totally ready). That alone makes me feel like there are worse romantic comedies to see than this one, but the plot is just so ridiculous. Anything for an excuse to film a love story overseas these days …

Recommendation: Worth dismissin’, but if you’re a Rom Com softie, there could be worse things to rent early this coming summer.

Youth in Revolt

Directed by: Miguel Arteta
Written by: Gustin Nash, C.D Payne (book)
Starring: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday


The Word: Michael Cera starring in an indie-style romantic comedy where he plays a loser trying to get a really cute girl will probably get most movie fans to role their eyes. This again? But “Revolt” looks to be different. Cera plays Nick Twisp, but he invents an alter-ego for himself named Francois Dillinger to give him the confidence to make advances on local trailer park cutie Sheeni Saunders (newcomer Portia Doubleday). In supporting roles are Ray Liotta, Zach Galifianakis, Justin Long and Steve Buscemi.Charlie Bartlett screenwriter Gustin Nash adapted the cult-fav book by C.D Payne.

My Thoughts: I’m very confident Cera can prove that he’s more than just the nerdy, quiet, weird-looking, virginal character and reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are giving him enough credit at least (and some praise for Doubleday) with a 70%. Complaints in most reviews have been that it’s not very original and a bit too preposterous. Having never read the book, I’m excited to not have any expectations ruined and I think overall it will be a solid start to comedy in 2010, even if it was originally meant for release last October.

Recommendation: Worth admission. This movie has a lot going for it, and you don’t need to see Avatar for the third time.

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

Directed by: Terry Gilliam
Written by: Terry Gilliam, Charles McKeown
Starring: Christoper Plummer, Heath Ledger, Lily Cole


The Word: This was originally in my Holiday Movie Preview, but the Christmas limited release meant it wouldn’t get in many theaters until after the New Year. It becomes of no lesser importance, however. Terry Gilliam’s mind-bending fantasy about a traveling troupe led by Dr. Parnassus (Plummer), a man who’s made a couple deals with the devil and now he’s come to collect his young daughter (Cole). This is the legendary last film of Heath Ledger that was completed with the help of Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell.

My Thoughts: Terry Gilliam has supposedly resurged as the surrealist force he once was though I’m sure it might be a bit too wacky for some tastes. “Parnassus” ought to be a pretty mesmerizing film full of visual spectacle and impressive performances from Plummer as well as Heath and the other boys. If you’re looking for a something imaginative and a little odd this weekend, “Parnasssus” could be your ticket

Recommendation: Worth admission. I’m all for creative fantasy. Although I didn’t enjoy Fear and Loathing as much, the fact that this Gilliam film is not grounded in reality makes it a must a la 12 Monkeys and Brazil.

Box Office Predictions

It’s hard to predict the box office when you have a one-of-a-kind force like Avatar and its all-too-rarely talked about second fiddle Sherlock Holmes still in the mix. This was the biggest Christmas weekend ever and theaters are still feeling the aftershock. As a result, I’ve chosen not to mess with those money-sucking cinematic vortexes and have predicted rather modestly for the new releases. Besides, there hasn’t been a film released on this weekend maybe ever that’s made more than approx. $22 million.

So that mean Avatar will show up No. 1 again (much like Titanic did in its fourth week back in 1998) only Avatar will make more money. I’m expecting it to fall to $40 million, far and away enough for first place. In second, Sherlock Holmes ought to be able to hold the No. 2 fort with around $20 million.

Then it gets a little tougher trying to guess where the new films will end up. I’m going to give Daybreakers this slot because horror-ish genres tend to do well in these kinds of months. It would win the box office in a more boring year, but it’ll hold its own with $18 million. It should edge out Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, which I think will fall about 50 percent this weekend because of bad word of mouth and kids being back in school. I’m thinking $16 million.

For that coveted fifth spot, I think we have to finally say goodbye to The Blind Side because even though it will still make good money and drop off fairly little, it won’t be enough to fend off the new guys and the Christmas crop. In my opinion, it’s neck and neck between one new romantic comedy and one old and I’ve got to give the upper hand to Meryl Streep. It’s Complicated will hold surprisingly well because of its audience and positive word of mouth, earning about $12 or so, just out-gaining Leap Year. If you want to know, Youth in Revolt will fall just short too with $10 million, mostly because it’s getting a relatively small circulation.

  1. Avatar
  2. Sherlock Holmes
  3. Daybreakers
  4. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel
  5. It’s Complicated


  1. Where have you got this much info on your blog from?? And could i take the initiave to take the feeds from your site for my streaming movies

  2. Steven says:

    sure thing

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