Movie Buzz: Low-Concept Fare Takes Over Movie Houses

Metro Spirit | January 12, 2009
The Golden Globe Awards brought multiple accolades to Slumdog Millionaire and Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road, The Reader). Those flicks and other critically lauded ones like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Gran Torino continue their runs at theaters across the country this week, but these cinematic gems are being run out of movie houses by low-concept fare.

Films like Paul Blart: Mall Cop and My Bloody Valentine 3-D won't find their stars on the red carpet at any fancy awards ceremony. All they ask is that you laugh and scream in horror as appropriate and fork over your cash at the box office. After all, not everyone has a need to see Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in a thespian's battle for a shiny statue and some good press.

My Bloody Valentine 3-D is a horror flick that will have viewers dodging sharp objects from the comfort of their padded theater seats. With a typically cheesy thriller plot, tons of gore, and a cast of unknowns, the only thing that makes this flick special is its 3-D capabilities. Don't make the mistake of seeing it in a 2-D theater.

Kevin James hasn't gotten much publicity since his days starring on the TV sitcom The King of Queens, so how he earned a starring role in a big-screen comedy is beyond comprehension. Paul Blart: Mall Cop is a flick that wouldn't be funny even if Jim Carrey or Jack Black played the title character.

Focusing on a bumbling mall security officer who becomes an unlikely hero when thieves take over the mall, this movie packs in every rent-a-cop cliché imaginable. This pathetic laugher from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions was helmed by Steve Carr, whose lackluster resume includes Dr. Doolittle 2 and Daddy Day Care.

Any child who doesn't already want a puppy will beg for one after seeing Hotel for Dogs. This feel-good family entertainer finds a group of animal-loving kids including Nancy Drew star Emma Roberts running an abandoned hotel that houses stray pups and offers creative inventions that feed and clean up after the dogs in addition to amenities like a vending machine filled with old shoes for them to chew on. This flick also shows the softer, cuddlier side of actor Don Cheadle (Crash, Hotel Rwanda).

Over a decade has passed since the rap world lost Christopher Wallace, also known as The Notorious B.I.G. A biopic from Soul Food director George Tillman, Jr., Notorious chronicles the rise and fall of the gangsta rapper whose East Coast versus West Coast battle for pride with Tupac Shakur ended in tragedy.

Having lost a great deal of fanfare after being pushed back from a holiday release to a humdrum January bow, Defiance is based on a true story and is one of the week's most promising prospects. Taking a break from his iconic role as James Bond, Daniel Craig stars with Liev Schreiber as Jewish brothers who escape from Nazi-occupied Poland and start a renegade army to save a group of Jews from Hitler's genocide.

Last Chance Harvey opens in wide release this week with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson proving that people over 50 can find love the old-fashioned way, without relying on Viagra and
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