Ghoulies, Ghosts, Goblins, Farrellys …

Remember how last weekend, I said this year’s January studio fare was a little better than usual? Yeah, well, about that …

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters: It’s all in the title — though that’s all there is to it. I’d be very curious to see what this looked like before they cut it to ribbons; Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton both seem very close to having fun at various intervals. Let’s see what that Blu-ray brings. (My review will be up on the NOW site later this afternoon, but that’s the gist of it.)

A Haunted House: I laughed exactly once at Marlon Wayans’ puerile parody of the Paranormal Activity movies — when Essence Atkins says the name of the perfume she’s worn to bed to attract the attention of sexy spirits. (It’s “Entity”.) Sadly, there isn’t another moment that comes close to being as halfway clever as that gag.

Italy: Love It or Leave It: In which two documentarians embark on a road trip to find the real Italy, warts and all. Sounds pretty unfocused, but it’s all worth it because it lets Susan refer to Silvio Berlusconi as “the bunga bunga guy”.

Knife Fight: Rob Lowe drives around San Francisco spouting canned observations that are meant to lay bare the cynical heart of modern politics, but actually indicate that the filmmakers are just jaw-droppingly naive. (And since one of them’s a documentarian and the other one apparently worked for Bill Clinton back in the day, that’s just insulting.)

Krivina: Igor Drljaca, who’s made some very good short films, delivers his first feature — a drama about a Bosnian refugee who returns home to search for a missing friend. Phil finds it less than the sum of its parts.

Movie 43: The Farrelly brothers do the Kentucky Fried Movie thing, producing a comic anthology with lots of famous names. And if it was any good, they’d have surely screened for review. I mean, they let us see Hall Pass.

Parker: Jason Statham as Donald Westlake’s implacable American antihero? What could possibly go wrong? Oh, they let Taylor Hackford direct it. John explains.

Stag: Brett Heard’s bachelor-party comedy looks like every other generic jerkbag picture, but Glenn finds plenty to like in the supporting cast, particularly Toronto comics Pat Thornton and Jon Dore.

Tatsumi: Eric Khoo, who directed the very worst film I saw at Cannes that time, changes gears for this animated adaptation of Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s life and work as a graphic novelist. Jose finds it just as ugly as Khoo’s usual work.

And there you have it! Unless there’s something else I missed, which is entirely possible. I’ve been kinda busy catching up to everything.

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