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New movies this week, Jan. 8

Heath Ledger and Lily Cole star in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a film only Terry Gilliam could pull off, one reviewer says.

Sony Pictures Classics

Heath Ledger and Lily Cole star in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, a film only Terry Gilliam could pull off, one reviewer says.

New movies this week

The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

The gist: Heath's Ledger's final film, in which people go to a magical traveling morality tale to explore the human condition. That sounds much more serious than even EPCOT. PG-13

Starring: Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Tom Waits, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell and Jude Law.

The buzz: If this weren't a Terry Gilliam movie, it wouldn't work. However: "This is an Imaginarium indeed," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert says. "The best approach is to sit there and let it happen to you; see it in the moment and not with long-term memory, which seems to be what Parnassus does."

Youth In Revolt

The gist: How long will Michael Cera play teenagers? And this time he develops an alter ego who's supposed to be rebellious and cool. Kinda like Stefan Urquelle on Family Matters. R

Starring: Cera, Portia Doubleday, Steve Buscemi, Justin Long, Ray Liotta, Jean Smart, Fred Willard and Zach Galifianakis.

The buzz: Seriously, let's see Cera play a prison guard or a truck driver already. Some like it, but not Entertainment Weekly: "Timing is everything. And Youth in Revolt is late — arriving not just at the tail end of the star's sell-by date for this particular kind of character, but more importantly at the tail end of the intended audience's attention span for an inconsequential Sundance-y tale of sexual coming-of-age."

Leap Year

The gist: A woman is longing for a proposal from her boyfriend, but when she's stranded on the wrong side of Ireland as she tries to propose to him on Feb. 29, she has to rely on a manly Irish lad (as if there's another kind, says the Irish capsule writer) to help her get to her indecisive mate. Gee, how's this one gonna end? PG

Starring: Amy Adams, Matthew Goode, Adam Scott and John Lithgow.

The buzz: Yes, you've seen it before. Yes, the Arizona Republic says it's "a by-the-numbers romantic comedy as predictable as it is cloying." Yes, couples will see it anyway.

Daybreakers

The gist: A counterweight for the Twilight crowd, in which humans are stored in blood banks as mankind slowly dies out from a plague that turns them into vampires. Kinda like Blade meets The Omega Man. R

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan, Michael Dorman, Vince Colosimo, Isabel Lucas and Sam Neill.

The buzz: Despite a good cast and a spark of originality, it's about what you'd expect from a Hollywood monster movie, i.e. not the greatest. "Indeed, despite its fantasy trappings ... Daybreakers emerges as a competent but routine chase thriller that lacks attention-getting dialogue, unique characters or memorable setpieces that might make it a genre keeper rather than a polished time-filler," Variety says. We'll rent it eventually.

— Joshua Gillin jgillin@tampabay.com

Upcoming releases

Jan. 15: The Lovely Bones; The Book of Eli; A Single Man; The Spy Next Door

New movies this week, Jan. 8 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 5:54pm]

    

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