Opening: 01/22/10

With the Sundance Film Festival occupying the attention of the independent film world, only one new arthouse release opens in Dallas this weekend, and none of the wide releases sounds essential. I’m leaning toward the sure-to-be-cheesy Legion and maybe catching up with Daybreakers. Angels and vampires, oh my!

I am pleased to welcome Steve Norwood as a new contributor to Dallas Film Now. To start, we’re reprinting (with permission) three of his reviews from Movie Geek Feed. Look for more original content coming soon from both Steve and myself.

What’s new at local theaters?

Check Dallas showtimes (via Google).

* Critics’ Choices *

'The Hurt Locker'The Hurt Locker
Taut, tense, and terrific character-based thriller returns to the big screen. (Angelika Plano)

Broken Embraces
Pedro Almodovar’s mesmerizing melodrama brims over with bittersweet, tragic romance. Penelope Cruz is scary good.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnussus
Terry Gilliam’s latest fantasy is a glorious, lovable mess.  — > Read the review by Steve Norwood.

* New In Limited Release *

35 Shots of Rum
Not previewed. Claire Denis directed this drama about what happens to the relationship between a father and his daughter after a handsome young man enters the picture.

* Opening Wide *

Extraordinary Measures
Glossy, glamorous, gussied-up, and thoroughly fictionalized version of a true medical story is entirely ordinary.

Not previewed: Legion (religious-themed horror), Tooth Fairy (family comedy), To Save a Life (religious-themed drama).

* Still Playing *

'Avatar'Avatar
James Cameron’s ambitious, atmospheric adventure looks splendid visually; if only the story measured up dramatically. –> Read the review by Steve Norwood.

The Blind Side
The emotions are earned honestly, and Sandra Bullock delivers an affecting portrayal of a self-aware woman of substance.

The Book of Eli
The Hughes Brothers don’t offer any new turns, but the post-apocalyptic flick delivers swiftly and efficiently.

Crazy Heart
Jeff Bridges is a convincing, pitiable wreck grasping at his last straw, elevating the wearily familiar material.

Invictus
Clint Eastwood has made the best film of the year … about rugby. (Review at Cinematical.)

It’s Complicated
Alec Baldwin is genius, Meryl Streep is all tics and Steve Martin disappears in Nancy Meyers’ soggy romantic fantasy.

Leap Year
Creaky, entirely predictable comedy – and not in a good way. Amy Adams salvages several scenes, but otherwise entirely missable.

The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson can’t help himself, beclouding the strengths of what should be an ethereal police procedural.

'Ninja AssassinNinja Assassin
Totally ridiculous and incredibly bloody, thanks in part to CGI and in part to a wicked sense of play.

Sherlock Holmes
Oddly uneven and forced, as Guy Ritchie struggles with the scope and tone. Robert Downey Jr. is amusing as always. –> Read the review by Steve Norwood.

The Spy Next Door
Jackie Chan’s solo star vehicle makes surprisingly good use of his increasingly limited talents. It’s Uncle Buck redux.

Up in the Air
Oppressively traditional, Jason Reitman’s character drama is intent on discovery through self-flaggellation.

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