January Movie Guide

Ten films to give 2011 a proper kickoff!

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

January Movie Guide


Happy New Year! The theaters are brimming with holiday leftovers at the onset of 2011, with True Grit, Tron: Legacy and even Little Fockers helping us cling to the past. January wipes  the slate clean with some exciting new films, including the latest from Anthony Hopkins, Jason Statham & Nicolas Cage, a new Vince Vaughn bromance and, of course, The Green Hornet. Here’s the run-down on the films to watch out for this month. 


Season of the Witch





Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ron Perlman, Stephen Campbell Moore

Directed By: Dominic Sena

Opening: January 7, 2010


Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage (National Treasure, Ghost Rider) and Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Hellboy II) star in this supernatural action adventure about a heroic Crusader and his fellow soldier who must transport a woman accused of being a witch to a remote monastery. The arduous journey across perilous terrain tests their strength and courage as they discover the girl’s secret and find themselves battling a terrifyingly powerful force that will determine the fate of the world.


CraveOnline’s Call:  What at first seems like a compelling story quickly becomes more Cage-fare as special effects fall on the cheap side and overall atmosphere is sacrificed for shock-and-awe impact. A good flick to catch on video, for sure, but if you hadn’t noticed, movie tickets cost more than their weight in gold these days. It’s important to make the right choices at the ticket booth. 


The Green Hornet




Starring: Seth Rogen, Christoph Waltz, Edward Furlong

Directed By: Michel Gondry

Opening: January 14, 2010


Britt Reid (Seth Rogen), son and heir to Los Angeles’ largest newspaper fortune, is a rich, spoiled playboy who has been happy to maintain a direction-less existence. When his father James Reid (Tom Wilkinson) mysteriously dies, Britt meets an impressive and resourceful company employee, Kato (Jay Chou). They realize that they have the resources to do something worthwhile with their lives and finally step out of James Reid’s shadow. Kato builds the ultimate weapon, The Black Beauty, an indestructible car with every weapon and gadget imaginable and Britt decides that in order to be heroes, they will pose as villains. With the help of Britt’s new secretary, Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz), they learn that the chief criminal in the city is named Benjamin Chudnofsky (Christoph Waltz). He has united all the gangs under his power, and he quickly sees that the Green Hornet is a direct threat to the prosperous criminal underworld he controls. 


CraveOnline’s Call:  Some much-needed changes to the original make The Green Hornet a surprisingly kickass experience, helped in no small part by Gondry’s incredibly unique take on action sequences. We were skeptical at first, but Seth Rogen steps into the Britt role pretty damn well. Make sure you get to this one. 



The Dilemma




Starring: Kevin James, Vince Vaughn, Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly

Directed By: Ron Howard

Opening: January 14, 2010


A man discovers that his best friend’s wife is having an affair, and he’s thrown into a whirlwind of what-ifs and torn principles that, somehow, unfolds in hilarious fashion.


CraveOnline’s Call:  Vince Vaughn plays the rare good guy trying to do the right thing in this Bromantic comedy that asks one of the hardest questions a man can face: if you find out your best friend’s wife is cheating on him, do you tell him? And how do you do it? It’s pretty clear that you get what you pay for with this one, which seems to be a slightly smarter I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, with cheating spouses instead of the gay marriage. If your girlfriend wants to go out a "cute" movie, this one might be safe. 




Every Day




Starring: Live Schreiber, Carla Gugino, Helen Hunt, Eddie Izzard

Directed By: Richard Levine

Opening: January 14, 2010


Schreiber and Hunt play a married couple in turmoil as he plods along as the unsatisfied writer of a semi-pornographic TV show. Gugino play a sexy colleague who propositions him, creating a crisis that strains his marriage to the breaking point.


CraveOnline’s Call:  Are you middle-aged and questioning your life choices? If so, great, because this film is just for you. For everyone else, it’s a reminder of the uncertain hell we have to look forward to when we get older. How’s that $25 popcorn taste now? 



No Strings Attached




Starring: Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline, Greta Gerwig

Directed By: Ivan Reitman

Opening: January 21, 2010


A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it’s not long before they learn that they want something more.


CraveOnline’s Call:  Pairing Natalie Portman with Ashton Kutcher is like…. well Jesus, it’s like pairing Natalie Portman with Ashton Kutcher! How could Hollywood crap the bed like this? Let’s leave the role of "romantic interest" in Kutcher’s bland-ass comedies to girls to post-sorority eye candy, not someone as esteemed and respected as Portman. At least you know what you’re getting with this cookie-cutter romcom. 



Barney’s Version




Starring: Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman, Minnie Driver

Directed By: Richard J. Lewis

Opening: January 14, 2010


Barney Panofsky is a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. A candid confessional, told from Barney’s point of view, the film spans three decades and two continents, taking us through the different "acts" of his unusual history. There is his first wife, Clara, a flame-haired, flagrantly unfaithful free sprit with whom Barney briefly lives "la vie de Boheme" in Rome. The "Second Mrs. P.," is a wealthy Jewish Princess who shops and talks incessantly, barely noticing that Barney is not listening. And it is at their lavish wedding that Barney meets, and starts pursuing, his third wife, the mother of his two children, and his true love. With his father, Izzy as his sidekick, Barney takes us through the many highs, and a few too many lows, of his long and colorful life. 


CraveOnline’s Call:  While it’s never going to be possible to truly buy Dustin Hoffman as Paul Giamatti’s father, there’s a certain magic to both actors that shines in the trailer. This one’s got sleeper-hit potential written all over it. Be there. 



Ong Bak 3



Starring: Tony Jaa, Supakorn Kitsuwon, Dan Chupong

Directed By: Tony Jaa

Opening: January 14, 2010


The legend of Ong Bak 3 begins after Tien (Tony Jaa) has lost his fighting skills and his beloved step-father at the Garuda’s Wing cliff from the raid led by Jom Rachan (Saranyu Wonggrajang). Tien is brought back to life with the help from Pim (Primrata Dechudom) as well as Mhen (Petchai Wongkamlao) and the Kana Khone villagers. Deep into the meditation taught by Phra Bua (Nirutti Sirijanya), Tien finally is able to achieve ‘Nathayut’. His talents are put to the test again when his rivals including the Golden-Armored King’s Guard (Supakorn ‘Tok’ Kijusuwan), the mysterious killers in black, and Bhuti Sangkha (Dan Chupong) return for the final massive showdown.


CraveOnline’s Call:  The epic finale to the intense fighting saga of Ong Bak. If you’re unfamiliar with the franchise, have no fear – the action sequences will leave your jaw on the floor regardless of whether or not you know what the hell is going on. 




The Mechanic




Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase

Directed By: Simon West

Opening: January 28, 2010


Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is a ‘mechanic’ – an elite assassin with a strict code and unique talent for cleanly eliminating targets. It’s a job that requires professional perfection and total detachment, and Bishop is the best in the business. But when his mentor and close friend Harry (Donald Sutherland) is murdered, Bishop is anything but detached. His next assignment is self-imposed – he wants those responsible dead.


CraveOnline’s Call:  Jason Statham could use a bit more range as an actor, but he plays the silent-but-deadly tough guy role so damn well, it’s hard to hold it against him. You know what you’re getting when you sign up for this one, but what’s wrong with going for the maximum action overkill every so often? That’s right, nothing!


The Rite




Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga

Directed By: Mikael Hafstrom

Opening: January 28, 2010


Inspired by true events, The Rite follows skeptical seminary student Michael Kovak (Colin O’Donoghue), who reluctantly attends exorcism school at the Vatican. While he’s in Rome, Michael meets an unorthodox priest, Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins), who introduces him to the darker side of his faith, uncovering the devil’s reach even to one of the holiest places on Earth.


CraveOnline’s Call:  Where Anthony Hopkins goes, we follow. It’s a simple formula – we advise you learn it. 



The Company Men




Starring: Ben Affleck, Thomas Kee, Craig Mathers

Directed By: John Wells

Opening: January 21, 2010


In his feature film directorial debut, John Wells paints a heroic and honest portrait of where our culture is today. The force behind such celebrated shows as ER, The West Wing, Southland and the upcoming Showtime series Shameless, Wells brings his signature combination of nuanced character work and uncompromising drama to this story of a group of co-workers who must rebuild their lives after corporate downsizing. Ben Affleck plays Bobby Walker, a golf-playing marketing and sales exec whose sense of self crumbles when he loses his job. Company founder Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones) tries to fight the good fight against the layoffs, only to discover that he has made himself a target. And older worker Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper) gives in to blind fury as he waits for the inevitable.


CraveOnline’s Call: A film about the struggles of the average good-guy everyman couldn’t be more perfectly timed, with a significant chunk of the country tightening their belts with uncertain future prospects. It’s good to see Tommy Lee Jones back in action, as well as old Coach Craig Mathers. Affleck we could take or leave, but he looks committed here.