New Releases: January 15

1.The Book Of Eli (Warner Brothers, 3,111 Theaters, 118 Minutes, Rated R): Here’s something you don’t see everyday–Denzel Washington in a post-apocalyptic thriller.

It’s not like he’s never done sci-fi before. Anybody remember 1995’s Virtuosity? But you hardly see one of this generation’s greatest actors slumming in genre films these days.

The movie focuses on Washington’s character, who wanders the post-apocalyptic Earth carrying a book that will be able to save the Earth. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who want it. Fighting ensues.

I don’t know how good this one will be. It seems like one of those simple concepts that are much too simple? Like, how can a book save the Earth. But with Washington and Gary Oldman in it, at least the acting with should be better than you’d usually find in this genre.

2. The Spy Next Door (Lionsgate, 2,924 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated PG): Ah, the family film, the last resort of the fading action movie star.

Jackie Chan is a former CIA agent assigned with the task of watching his girlfriend’s three kids. Of course, the kids hate him. Of course, one of them “accidentally” downloads top secret information that they shouldn’t possess. Of course, the bad guys want this information and send an operative out to get it back. Of course, this operative has a beef with Chan’s character. And of course, Chan will have to risk his life to protect the kids.

This is one of those  dumbed down kid flicks that parents think would be harmless fun for sons and daughters. Stop thinking that. Your kids deserve better.

3.The Lovely Bones (Paramount, 2,563 Theaters, 135 Minutes, Rated PG-13): When it was announced that Peter Jackson was taking on the task of adapting this best-selling novel, it seemed like it would almost be like he had a license for forging Oscar statues. Now, they only one getting Oscar buzz is Stanley Tucci. What happened?

Could all the delays in releasing film be a sign of poor quality? The book, as I remember it, was less a supernatural murder mystery than a searing look at a family almost destroyed by the murder of a child. The ads for this film make it seem the other way around. And I doubt that it would be as effective that way.

I don’t know and I will probably never find out. As parents of a nine-month old, my wife isn’t too keen to use our rare movie going excursions on a film about a dead child, no matter how good it might be.

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About William Gatevackes 1936 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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