Movies to Begin 2009

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Recent trips to the movies garnered a few new trailers to look forward to. I mentioned a few of the last few movies I’ve seen in my last post: BoltAustralia and Seven Pounds. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve also seen Transporter 3 (good fight scenes and Jason Statham), and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (and I forgot to write down the trailers before Button – darn!). Button was excellent, although a mite long. It’s a quiet study of a man living his life as best he can in unusual and stressful circumstances. Brad Pitt is excellent as Benjamin, and Cate Blanchett as his one true love. If nothing else, see it for the special makeup effects; it’s pretty amazing what they can do these days.

Here are a few of the January releases that I’m looking forward to.

Defiance: A World War II tale, based on a true story, of three brothers saving other Jews from the Holocaust. Starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell, this film has my historical side more than a little curious and interested. Opens January 16.

Inkheart: Anything starring Brendan Fraser is worth a look, in my opinion, and Inkheart has the added advantage of being a fantasy about books. Bookworms, unite! Opens January 23.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: OK, I confess, I liked the first Underworld (Underworld: Evolution, not so much). Rise of the Lycans takes the franchise back to the beginning, to when the war between vampires and werewolves began and the love story of Lucian (Michael Sheen) and Sonja (Rhona Mitra) takes place. Opens January 23.

Taken: Looks interesting and Liam Neeson is always good. I read about this just yesterday, as I was researching the movies on the way in 2009, and then I saw a trailer on television last night. Excellent timing, I’d say. It seems this movie was released quite a while ago in Europe and Asia; so, no spoilers, please! Opens January 30.

New in Town: Hopefully, this romantic comedy will be a win for Renee Zellwegger. It co-stars Harry Connick Jr. and Nathan Fillion as the romantic interests, and features a lot of Minnesota snow (at least in the trailers). Opens January 30.

A few of the interesting trailers I’ve noted include Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson (opens January 16), The Ugly Truth with Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler (opens April 3), The International with Clive Owen and Naomi Watts opens February 13, and, drumroll please, Star Trek! I may barely survive until the J.J. Abrams’ helmed Star Trek arrives in theaters May 8.

By the way, these official movie sites are awesome!

These days, I’ve found an excellent way to keep track of current and upcoming movies: blogs. I visit, daily, The Movie Blog, critic Roger Ebert’s review page and blog and Cinematical. For what’s to be released down the road, I like to visit Internet Movie DatabaseYahoo! MoviesRotten Tomatoes and Fandango. Any other suggestions?

So what do you think of these films, folks? And what do you say I make this a regular feature? Every month I’ll list the movies I’m looking forward to in the next few weeks, and then I’ll review one or two of them. I’d love to hear what you think of the movies I didn’t get to see; love those comments!

See ya at the movies!