Movies in Theaters This Friday, January 11, 2013: A Haunted House, Gangster Squad, Struck By Lightning, and More
After a few down weeks, we’ll finally get a substantial increase in movie releases.
One of the wide releases is the horror parody A Haunted House that looks to piggy-back on the success of such films as the found-footage horror series Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside.
The other wide release is the crime film Gangster Squad. This originally had a September 2012 release, but due to the tragic Aurora shooting, the filmmakers decided to reshoot a key scene that bumped it back. It stars Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, and more and comes to you from the director of Zombieland and 30 Minutes or Less (Ruben Fleischer).
As for limited releases, Struck by Lightning hits theaters after some time on Video On Demand services. I found the film enjoyable and would suggest catching it if you get a chance. You can read the review here.
Also, The Baytown Outlaws, Fairhaven, and Quartet hit theaters limitedly. The last one is directed by Dustin Hoffman.
The options don’t stop there, though, as the fabulous Zero Dark Thirty expands to most major markets. You can read my sterling review here.
Below are trailers and synopses for each of the new releases mentioned. Enjoy whichever choice you make.
Marlon Wayans, the comic genius creator of Scary Movie and White Chicks, delivers another hilarious spoof, this time taking aim at the found footage horror phenomenon.
When overactive man-child Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) takes the plunge and lets girlfriend Keisha (Essence Atkins) move into his house, he quickly senses they’re no longer alone. Videotaping a series of paranormal events, Malcolm is shocked to discover the love of his life carries more than your average relationship baggage: she’s demonically possessed by an evil spirit. Malcolm enlists the help of priest/ex-convict Father Williams (Cedric the Entertainer) to exorcise the demon from his girlfriend before it ruins his relationship… AND his sex life.
Marlon Wayans and Cedric the Entertainer deliver riotous performances in a raunchy supernatural comedy that pokes no holds barred fun at our deepest fears. A HAUNTED HOUSE is demonically good fun.
Los Angeles, 1949. Ruthless, Brooklyn-born mob king Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) runs the show in this town, reaping the ill-gotten gains from the drugs, the guns, the prostitutes and—if he has his way—every wire bet placed west of Chicago. And he does it all with the protection of not only his own paid goons, but also the police and the politicians who are under his control. It’s enough to intimidate even the bravest, street-hardened cop…except, perhaps, for the small, secret crew of LAPD outsiders led by Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling), who come together to try to tear Cohen’s world apart.
Under the direction of Ruben Fleischer (“Zombieland”), “Gangster Squad” is a colorful retelling of events surrounding the LAPD’s efforts to take back their nascent city from one of the most dangerous mafia bosses of all time. The film stars Oscar® nominees Josh Brolin (“Milk,” “True Grit”) and Ryan Gosling (“Half Nelson,” “Drive”) as the LAPD’s Sgt. John O’Mara and Jerry Wooters, and Academy Award® winner Sean Penn (“Milk,” “Mystic River”) as real-life mobster Mickey Cohen. The film also stars Oscar® nominee Nick Nolte (“Warrior,” “Affliction”) as LAPD Chief “Whiskey Bill” Parker, and Emma Stone as Grace Faraday, Cohen’s moll and the object of Wooters’ attention.
The movie also stars Anthony Mackie (“The Adjustment Bureau”) as Coleman Harris, a switchblade-wielding cop who proudly patrols one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city; Giovanni Ribisi (“Avatar”) as the force’s Conwell Keeler, an electronics expert who takes as much pleasure in fixing his son’s bike as he does tinkering with experimental, military-grade equipment; Robert Patrick (“Flags of Our Fathers”) as Officer Max Kennard, a deadly cop who patrols the Olvera Street beat; Michael Peña (“Battle Los Angeles”) as Kennard’s over-eager sidekick, Navidad Ramirez; and Mireille Enos as O’Mara’s wife, Connie.
After her ex-husband Carlos shoots Celeste three times in the gut, it’s time to play dirty. In the fight for her godson, Rob, she hires three outlawed and redneck brothers to bring him back to her. But nothing can be that simple in the South. What begins as a small rescue mission rises to a southern battle royale. This odd team must shoot their way through gorgeous female assassins, Native American hunters, Federal agents, and a whole lotta metal coming after them, while protecting Celeste’s innocent child.
A former high school football star and one time college athlete, Jon has landed back in the place of his youth – Fairhaven – a small fishing village on the Massachusetts coast. Now in his mid thirties, and with the promise of younger days seemingly washed ashore, Jon’s vague feelings of dissatisfaction are crystallized by a television interview with his football hero Tom Brady, who proclaims that, even after three super bowl wins, “There’s got to be something more than this.”
Jon recounts his epiphany to Sam, old friend and schoolmate who married early, fathered early, divorced early and never left town. Sam made his own peace with small town life years ago, and is happy enough just to provide a stable home for his loving daughter, Cara, while secretly still pining for his beautiful ex-wife Kate.
Together, Jon and Sam anticipate the return of Dave, the third member of their once-indomitable trio. Having left town seven years ago and never looked back, Dave is finally returning to Fairhaven on the occasion of his estranged father’s death. As tonic to Jon’s soulful self-inquiry and Sam’s stoic loneliness, Dave is determined to inject some heavy-duty, Vegas-style fun into the funeral weekend. But when old dreams and simmering resentments come to the beer & tequila-soaked surface of their reunion, not even Dave can fend off a healthy dose of reality.
The directorial debut of Dustin Hoffman, Quartet is a high-drama comedy about temperamental divas and old grudges, passion and pride, romance and Rigoletto, starring Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins as four retired opera singers
High school senior Carson Phillips (Chris Colfer, “Glee”) was destined for bigger things than his close-minded small town could ever offer. He was on a path to greatness, but destiny had a different plan when he was suddenly killed by a bolt of lightning in his school parking lot.
Demonstrating that life is what happens while you’re busy planning your future, Carson recounts the last few weeks of his life via witty, insightful flashbacks, including a blackmail scheme targeting the popular kids in school that he concocts with his best friend (Rebel Wilson, Pitch Perfect) and a home life that includes a mother (Allison Janney, Juno, “The West Wing”) who’s more interested in the bottle than her son’s future and an estranged father (Dermot Mulroney, My Best Friend’s Wedding) who suddenly appears with a pregnant fiancée (Christina Hendricks, “Mad Men”).
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