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New movies for Jan. 16

New movies

Defiance

The gist: Manly man Daniel Craig and a band of Jews hiding in a forest during World War II are on a quest for survival and revenge against the Nazis. Based on a true story. R

Starring: Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Allan Corduner and Mark Feuerstein.

The buzz: It's not perfect, but it's still entertaining. "For all the film's flaws, this is a war story told with passion about a band of brothers that still has the power to inspire," Rolling Stone says.

Notorious

The gist: Hip-hoppers will be so busy rejoicing at the biopic of their fallen savior, played by a rapper named Gravy, that they'll once again forget to notice he only made a couple of albums. R

Starring: Jamal Woolard, Angela Bassett, Derek Luke, Anthony Mackie, Antonique Smith, Naturi Naughton, Dennis White and Julia Pace Mitchell.

The buzz: That doesn't keep it from being a good movie, though. "A rock-solid biopic with a foolproof rise-and-fall storyline and a warmly nuanced performance by Jamal Woolard," Variety says.

Last Chance Harvey

The gist: A man coasting to his twilight years is rejected by his daughter, misses an important flight, loses his job and finds a soul mate all in the same weekend. Probably not for the My Bloody Valentine crowd. PG-13

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Kathy Baker, James Brolin, Eileen Atkins, Richard Schiff and Liane Balaban.

The buzz: Small on plot, long on talent. "Small and surprisingly hopeful film, with beautifully attenuated performances," the L.A. Times says.

Hotel for Dogs

The gist: Mindless kiddie flick about two people who open a doggie day care or something. Thrilling. PG

Starring: Emma Roberts, Jake T. Austin, Kyla Pratt, Lisa Kudrow, Kevin Dillon and Don Cheadle.

The buzz: We said mindless, not magical. But Entertainment Weekly promises: "There are still cuddly pups and piddle jokes aplenty."

Paul Blart: Mall Cop

The gist: Oh, Kevin James, this is the kind of ridiculous physical comedy we expected of you when King of Queens went toes up. PG

Starring: James, Jayma Mays, Keir O'Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, Stephen Rannazzisi and Shirley Knight.

The buzz: Surprisingly, some folks, like Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, enjoyed it: "It's as slam-bang preposterous as any R-rated comedy you can name."

My Bloody Valentine 3-D

The gist: For weeks we were trying to figure out why this 3-D slasher flick looked familiar. Then we remembered we already saw it in 1981. It was scary then. Now? Probably not so much. R

Starring: Jensen Ackles, Jaime King, Kerr Smith, Betsey Rue, Edi Gathegi, Tom Atkins, Kevin Tighe and Megan Boone.

The buzz: Nobody's previewed it yet, so we guess we're supposed to be awed by their fancy 1950s gimmickry.

Chandni Chowk to China

The gist: Too bad this one will likely get overlooked, because a Bollywood kung fu action comedy sounds like a rare treat. NR

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Mithun Chakraborty and Chia Hui Liu.

The buzz: No previews for this either, which we would have readily volunteered to see. At least it's not another remake. — Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Jan. 23: The Wrestler; Inkheart; Possession; Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

New movies for Jan. 16 01/15/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 15, 2009 6:07pm]

    

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