New movies for Jan. 23

One bonus for Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler: He never had to cake on the makeup to look like he spent 30 years under a heatlamp at the local BK.

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One bonus for Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler: He never had to cake on the makeup to look like he spent 30 years under a heatlamp at the local BK.

New movies

The Wrestler

The gist: Mickey Rourke's comeback bid as an ugly, washed-up, worn out has-been who hangs on for one more big show. Wait, this is fiction, right? R

Starring: Rourke, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.

The buzz: They don't call it a comeback without reason. "Rourke creates a galvanizing, humorous, deeply moving portrait that instantly takes its place among the great, iconic screen performances," Variety swoons. "An elemental story simply and brilliantly told, Darren Aronofsky's fourth feature is a winner from every possible angle."

Inkheart

The gist: A dad and his daughter can bring fictional characters to life, but end up banishing the kid's mom to fantasyland. Then all sorts of bad stuff that seems too dark for kids happens. PG

Starring: Brendan Fraser, Paul Bettany, Helen Mirren, Jim Broadbent, Andy Serkis, Sienna Guillory, Eliza Hope Bennett and Rafi Gavron.

The buzz: Inkheart goes crazy with fairy tale characters popping in and out, all sorts of fantastical creatures materializing and so many rescues one loses count. Yet the movie fails to involve the key constituent: the audience," the Hollywood Reporter complains.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

The gist: Hottie Kate Beckinsale gets replaced by one-time Lara Croft stand-in Rhona Mitra (as a different character) in a really unwanted tale about why vampires hate werewolves. Let us guess: The vampires hit all the good sales at leather shops first? R

Starring: Mitra, Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Steven Mackintosh and Kevin Grevioux.

The buzz: No reviews, which bodes poorly for this disaster on wheels. But all the actors who were killed in the first one no doubt liked coming back.

Outlander

The gist: The guy who played Jesus is now an alien whose spaceship crashes in ancient Norway with another alien on board who just so happens to like to eat Vikings. Kind of like Beowulf with astronauts. R

Starring: James Caviezel, John Hurt, Ron Perlman and Sophia Myles.

The buzz: This one has TNT Saturday afternoon flick written all over it. "Outlander is interesting as a collision of genres: the monster movie meets the Viking saga. You have to give it credit for carrying that premise to its ultimate (if not logical) conclusion," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says.

Possession

The gist: Sarah Michelle Gellar once again stars in a remake of an Asian horror film (this time South Korea's Jungdok) as a woman who is in a car accident with her husband and his brother. The brother wakes up from a coma acting and talking like her hubby. Ooooh, creepy. PG-13

Starring: Gellar, Michael Landes and Lee Pace.

The buzz: No reviews, but really, she should be trying another genre, don't you think?

— Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Jan. 30: New in Town; Taken; The Uninvited

New movies for Jan. 23 01/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, January 22, 2009 6:22pm]

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