New Releases: January 8

1.Daybreakers (Lionsgate, 2,523 Theaters, 98 Minutes, Rated R): Vampires are all the rage these days, but only the ones that sparkle and pitch woo to bad actresses. Let see how a more aggressive vampire does at the box office.

This film takes place in 2019 and vampires are the dominant species on Earth. The humans that remain are food. And food is getting scarce. Now, two sets of vampires aim to preserve the human race. One because it is the right thing to do, the other, to keep the food supply coming.

This film has the possibility to be satiric and biting (no pun intended). However, the trailers seem to indicate that they are going for more of a straightforward horror.  Satire would be fun to see, but hey, what do I know?

2.Leap Year (Universal, 2,511 Theaters, 97 Minutes, Rated PG): Wow. Great cast, goofy concept.

Frankly, this kind of wacky romantic travelogue comedy seems to be beneath a two-time Oscar-nominee such as Amy Adams.

She plays and American woman who flies to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend. Of course, getting to her boyfriend isn’t that easy as she experiences setbacks along the way. She is helped in her quest by an Irish man played by Matthew Goode, who tries to help her reunite with her boyfriend in order to propose. Naturally, they fall in love along the way, causing a dilemma for her when she finally meets up with her boyfriend.

Yeah, the “trying to get to my mate, paired with a complete opposite for the trip, finds more in common with travelling companion that mate” plot has been done before. The actors are good, so maybe they’ll rise above the material, but still. Shouldn’t they be holding out for something more?

3.Youth In Revolt (The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films, 1,873 Theaters, 90 Minutes, Rated R): I just want to point something out to everyone out there. Michael Cera is 21 years old. Which means that he is going on four years past his teenage years. Remember all the jokes they used to make about the cast of Beverly Hills 90210? I’m going to start making them about Cera very soon.

Cera plays a nerdy teen who falls in love with a free spirit. The only way he could ever compete for her affections is to develop a suave alter ego named Francois. Of course, doing this causes chaos and destruction in his small town

I do admire bring a dose of weirdness to the typical sex comedy, but this might be just a little bit too obscure. It might have worked in the original novel, but seems kind of cramped in a film format.

4. The Imaginarium Of Dr. Parnassus (Sony Pictures Classics, 400 Theaters, 122 Minutes, rated Pg-13): I usually only cover films that are in 1,000 theaters or more in this column, and this film is only expanding to 400, but it is one of my editor’s favorites. I wouldn’t dare cut the film from this week’s list. He knows where I live and knows how to get here.

Obviously, the biggest story about this film is that it is Heath Ledger’s last film role, as he died before shooting completed. It took three no-name actors—I think their names were Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell. I’m not sure because their not, like, international superstars or anything—to replace him. Luckily, the plot allowed these actors to step in and it make sense.

The film involves a carnival owner making deals with the devil for immortality and youth. The deal made gives Mr. Nick his first born daughter on the the day she turns 16. He is trying to avoid this at all cost, but the only way to avoid condemning his daughter is to win one last wager with Mr. Nick.

Terry Gilliam is an acquired taste, but even those who don’t list him as a favorite must recognize that he does handle fantastic themes very well. This film appears to be right in his ball park.

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About William Gatevackes 1933 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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