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January Movie Preview, or "Burial Ground: The Movies"

January 7th, 2003

In Hollywood, January is known as the dumping ground, the time when studios throw out projects they lacked faith in during the broader times of summer and fall. Of course, January also sees the widened releases of Oscar-worthy December openers, but those not interested in watching Meryl Streep in The Hours, or Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt, will have plenty to choose from in the first month of 2003.

January 10 will bring Just Married, starring semi-celebs Ashton Kutcher (That 70s Show) and Brittany Murphy (8 Mile) as a young couple just - yup - married and having one heck of a crappy honeymoon. And yet another movie aimed at teens will debut on January 17, (Almost Famous) and Julia Stiles (The Bourne Identity) who have what appears to be a one-night stand during the night of Lee's bachelor party. Distributor MGM pulled it from its initial fall release due to competition from another Lee comedy, Stealing Harvard, which flunked out.

More giggles abound in National Security, with Martin Lawrence, and the kiddie flick, Kangaroo Jack, featuring an all-CGI kangaroo (oh, brother!). Both hit theaters on Jan. 17.

If teeny-bopper comedies and cop/buddy flicks isn't your thing, you might want to check out Sony's spooky-looking Darkness Falls. The low-budget flick, which was supposed to have opened on December 6, concerns a haunted lighthouse and a creature called the Tooth Fairy. As reported earlier, Darkness will now fall on January 24.

Also opening on Jan. 24 is the Gwyneth Paltrow comedy, A View from the Top, co-starring Mike Myers. Rumor has it Top was also inline to open sometime last year, and judging from the trailer, this airline-themed baffoonery could crash on site.

January 31 sees the arrival of three wide releases. The one with the most potential to make a big splash is the Al Pacino thriller, The Recruit. He plays a CIA-recruiter who enlists the aid of Colin Farrell (Minority Report) to catch a mole in the training academy. Farrell will also be featured in Phone Booth later this spring, a film that was taken out of last November's schedule due to the gruesome sniper shootings in and around the Washington, D.C. area.

Final Destination 2 hopes to scare up as much business as its predecessor, but, unlike the Scream films, the premise for Destination was intriguing only one time around. The preview is cheap and unflinching, a bad sign. And last up, there's Biker Boyz, starring Laurence Fishburne as a suit-and-tie business man who trades in his briefcase for wheels at night. (Dates are always subject to change. Please check local listings.)

Matthew Dalton

Source: Get more info on all January releases in our Movie Release schedule

Filed under: Monthly Preview, Just Married, The Recruit, Final Destination 2, National Security, Darkness Falls, Biker Boyz, View from the Top