Attractions: Welcome to January, Now Go Home
Welcome back to Movieline Attractions, your regular guide to everything new, noteworthy and/or ignominiously dumped at the multiplex. This week, Hollywood delivers your genre fix, Michael Cera overcomes and a one-man Rambo remake finally reaches viewers. There's hope for January moviegoing yet! And we explore it after the jump.
WHAT'S NEW: Let's not to dwell too much on Leap Year, which places Amy Adams and Matthew Goode -- two of the most talented if misused actors working in movies today -- in rom-com jail for 97 minutes. Or make that gaol, I guess, a picturesque Irish gaol to which Adams has fled to take advantage of the custom allowing women to propose marriage to a man every four years on Feb. 29. The doctor (Adam Scott) she loves won't do it for her himself, yet everything happens for a reason: Irish driver Declan (Goode) is there to usurp her interest and chauffeur her to life happily ever after. Universal has offered you visitation with this pair of short-timers on 2,500 screens, setting it up for an opening around $12.5 million and maybe more if It's Complicated can't sustain older viewers' interest in its third week.
Lionsgate, meanwhile, offers you Daybreakers, featuring Ethan Hawke as a vampire scientist (!) searching for a hemoglobin substitute that will save the few remaining humans left on Earth from a bloodsucker buffet. Word on this isn't bad (it stirred up the Midnight section at last year's Toronto Film Festival), and it should deliver a horror rush for genre fans who've had virtually nothing to take advantage of for a month. In any case it should definitely top Leap Year with a little more than $18 million (and they'll both look skyward to the enduring first-place monolith Avatar).
Michael Cera's fine new comedy Youth in Revolt features the actor in a dual role as meek teen Nick Twisp and his wild-eyed alter-ego Francois, the latter urging the former to delinquency for the sake of winning beautiful Sheeni's (Portia Doubleday) heart. It's quite funny, quite sweet, and a potential cult classic depending on what kind of reception/word-of-mouth the Weinsteins can find for it on almost 1,900 screens. I think it'll be good-but-not-that-good, probably around $6.7 million and maybe a couple weeks in the Top 10.
Also opening: Matthew Broderick's indie effort Wonderful World (complete with pot-smoking, Senegalese roommates in diabetic comas, and children's songs); the scary Evangelical-apocalypse documentary Waiting for Armageddon; the girlfight-exploitation throwback Bitch Slap; and the acclaimed Montana sheepherder doc Sweetgrass.
THE BIG LOSER: I have a bad feeling about Tim Allen's directorial debut Crazy on the Outside, which opens tiny thanks to self-service distributor Freestyle Releasing. Apparently the story deals with an ex-con (Allen) who returns home to his nutso family and the pursuit of his old flame -- which may be just fine, if anybody knew about it. It's not a bad cast -- Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta, Jeanne Tripplehorne, J.K. Simmons and Kelsey Grammer all co-star with Allen -- but it does seem to fly far enough below the radar that you might see 72 very sparsely populated theaters for this one over the weekend.
THE UNDERDOG: OK, so here's the thing about this week's art-house pick: Zachary Oberzan's film Flooding With Love For the Kid has been sitting on top of my to-watch stack of DVD's for a while, because come on: How can you say no to a guy who remade Sylvester Stallone's action classic First Blood on a $96 budget in his 220-square-foot studio apartment in Manhattan? Oberzan played all the roles here, up to and reportedly including a cop peeing on aggrieved, jailed Vietnam vet John Rambo. So if you're in New York, let's make a deal: I'll finally get a look at Flooding With Love, you check it out at Anthology Film Archives, and we'll compare notes on Monday. I mean, $96? That's just awesome.
FOR SHUT-INS: This week's new DVD's include the carnage spectacular The Final Destination, the delightful and almost adult-oriented animated comedy Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, a special edition of 10 Things I Hate About You, the Dardenne brothers' latest austere cinematic purgatory Lorna's Silence, and, also awesomely (in a totally different way), the complete first season of Kendra.