You know how January is. It’s a time of quiet contemplation and naked Oscar-baiting, when a Kevin James movie can lay waste to the box-office like the Cloverfield monster. And “Wendy and Lucy” just got bumped again, dammit.
So what’s opening? Not a hell of a lot.
“New in Town”: Efficiency expert Renee Zellweger gets all Northern Exposure-y when she’s dispatched to deepest Minnesota to close down a branch, or something. Neither Susan nor Kate Carraway are particularly impressed.
“Taken”: In a nice twist on the Givemebackmyfamily!!! popularized by Harrison Ford and Mel Gibson back in the ’90s, former covert operative Liam Neeson goes on a rampage through Paris when his daughter is abducted. Neeson’s blunt, potent competence, aided by a straightforward script and efficient direction from Pierre Morel, makes for a much better actioner than the ad campaign would have you believe. Barrett thinks so, too.
“The Uninvited”: David Straithairn and Elizabeth Banks in an American remake of “A Tale of Two Sisters” that turns Kim Jee-Woon’s fragmented Korean nightmare into a linear horror film with a really big twist at the end? Um, okay. Didn’t see it, but word coming out of the preview screening has not been good.
Also opening this week: Lee Demarbre’s documentary “Vampiro: Angel, Devil, Hero” screens tonight and tomorrow at the Royal , and Terence Davies’ Liverpool oratorio “Of Time and the City” rolls into the Bloor on Sunday after its limited Cinematheque engagement. You know, if you’re into the whole reality thing.