Winter Movie Guide: January 2012 – Week 2

Contraband

 

Screenplay by Aaron Guzikowski

Directed by Baltasar Kormakur

Starring Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, and Giovanni Ribisi

“To protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord, a former smuggler heads to Panama to score millions of dollars in counterfeit bills.”

A loose remake of the film Reykjavik-Rotterdam (which I’ll bring you a review of shortly), one of the main actors from the original film has since found success as a director, first with the excellent Jar City, which is in development for an American remake), and then his film Inhale gained favorable notices despite its small release.  Now, he has teamed with Mark Wahlberg who produces the film while acting in it, and it unfortunately looks like a mediocre actioner.   With that said, I bet there is enough to keep you entertained for the run time, you just have to know that this film won’t have a lot of brains, just high style and some violence, which has kind of become Wahlberg’s calling card.

Jeremy already saw the movie, so you can see what he thought of the film right here.


Joyful Noise

Written and Directed by Todd Graff

Starring Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton

“Two choir members have differing opinions on how to win the national choir competition.”

With Glee dominating television ratings and singing competition shows littering the prime time network line-up, it’s no surprise that so many musically-based films are being released.  The latest of those is Joyful Noise starring Queen Latifah, who has gone from rapper to actor to now singer/actor.  The plot pits the two against each other as their choir group prepares for a big competition.  Anything else is remotely useless, you already know if you’ll want to see this movie or not based on the premise alone.  It has a strange mix that caters to distinctly different audiences (old white people for Parton and middle aged black people) but I’m sure it’s friendly enough that everyone will take their grandma to see it on Sunday.  It is what it is, a movie designed to feature singing performances.  If that’s not what you’re looking for, just keep moving along.


IN RE-RELEASE

Beauty and the Beast 3D

Screenplay by Linda Woolverton

Directed by Kirk Wise, Gary Trousdale

“Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast, offers herself instead and discovers her captor to be an enchanted prince.”

If you are unaware of the film, you’re in the minority.  Disney, impressed by their box office numbers from The Lion King 3D re-re-re-release, extended the theatrical engagement of the film, and it was in the box office top 10 for weeks, even on limited screens.  Disney is going back to the thing they know best, exploit the same well until it runs dry, so they’ve post-converted The Beauty and the Beast for a new generation to experience it for the first time, and the older generations that love 3D and enjoy seeing Disney films in the theater.  Until further announced, this will be a two week engagement, so check your local theater.


IN LIMITED RELEASE

Loosies

Written by Peter Facinelli

Directed by Michael Corrente

Starring Peter Facinelli, Jaimie Alexander, and Michael Madsen

“A young pickpocket in the New York subways, living a fast, free, lifestyle is confronted by a woman with whom he had a one night affair.”

I’m working on getting the review of this film up before the weekend is out.  Loosies stars Peter Facinelli, and while the name might not seem familiar, most will recognize him from either the Twilight films, Nurse Jackie, or even Can’t Hardly Wait.  He wrote the script for this film, which also stars Vincent Gallo as a crazy illegal pawnbroker and Michael Madsen as the cop hot on his trail.  Facinelli plays a pick-pocket in New York City, making his living by stealing from others all day.  When an ex-girlfriend tells him that she’s pregnant, his world begins to crumble as the cops close in on him.

Released via IFC, this one is on demand, and will have select theatrical dates in certain cities, so check your local listings.  In the meantime, check out the trailer below.


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