Thursday, January 03, 2008

Winter 2008 Movie Preview (Part 1)

With the strike by the Writers Guild of America now stretching into weeks, the television options for seeing new episodes are getting noticeably thin.
Such a problem isn’t really striking the movie industry yet, as most films that are hitting theaters completed production months ago. So for audiences seeking to avoid the arriving onslaught of repeats on TV, movie theaters should have plenty of options in the coming months.
Keep in mind, the selections for the next couple of months in theaters will be a decidedly mixed lot, as Oscar material has largely been burned through. But hopefully, there will be a few gems in the rough.
The following is a look at January’s releases, with February to follow soon.

“One Missed Call”

Starring Edward Burns, Shannyn Sossamon, Azura Skye, Ana Claudia Talancon, Ray Wise
Directed by Eric Valette

Another remake of a Japanese horror film has arrived, with this one focusing on mysterious deaths that start occurring after people receive disturbing voice mails on their phone. How many more from this genre can possibly be left to bring to America? (Jan. 4)
Official Web site

“27 Dresses”
Starring Katherine Heigl, James Marsden, Malin Akerman, Judy Greer and Edward Burns
Directed by Anne Fletcher

In this comedy, Heigl plays a 27-time bridesmaid (who would have that many close friends?) who has feelings for her sister’s husband-to-be. After a successful starring role in last summer’s “Knocked Up,” Heigl looks to strengthen her popularity on the big screen. (Jan. 11)
Official Web site

Starring Michael Stahl-David, Mike Vogel, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas
Directed by Matt Reeves

The teaser trailer for this film, produced by J.J. Abrams (“Lost,”
“Alias”) debuted last summer to heavy buzz. The film’s story has
largely remained under wraps, but involves an invasion of New York by
monsters, or something of that nature. Could be a sleeper hit. (Jan. 18)
Official Web site

“Mad Money”
Starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah, Katie Holmes, Ted Danson, Stephen Root, Christopher McDonald, Adam Rothenberg, Roger Cross
Directed by Callie Khouri

Money that is set to be destroyed by the Federal Reserve is targeted
for theft by a trio of janitors (Keaton, Latifah and Holmes) who work
at the facility. If these three can pull off that kind of heist, I’m
guessing Federal Reserve employees aren’t being painted as too
intelligent. (Jan. 18)
Official Web site

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Julie Benz, Paul Schulze, Matthew Marsden, Graham McTavish
Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Having achieved some success with his last chapter of the “Rocky” series, Stallone is back looking for a fitting coda (at least I’d hope it’s the end) to his “Rambo” series. Then again, who was asking for this one? (Jan. 25)
Official Web site

Starring Diane Lane, Billy Burke, Colin Hanks, Joseph Cross, Mary Beth Hurt
Directed by Gregory Hoblit

Lane plays a cop trying to track down a serial killer who posts his crimes over the Internet in this thriller from the director of “Fracture.” The cops chasing a serial killer is a frequent plot of thrillers, but Lane starring gives some hope that this one won’t be so cliché. (Jan. 25)
Official Web site

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