my week at the movies: ‘The Unborn,’ ‘Bride Wars,’ ‘Hotel for Dogs,’ ‘Notorious,’ ‘Yonkers Joe’

And so another movie year begins, and it’s time to get back on the hamster wheel of screenings.

I was all set to say, “You know, maybe The Unborn (opens wide in the U.S. on January 9, and in the U.K. on February 27) ain’t gonna be so bad after all. Yeah, it looks rather tragically like the recent slew of PG-13 ‘horror’ flicks — that is, not very scary at all — but the fact is that Rogue Pictures is screening it for critics at a time when not screening horror movies for critics has become the norm.” And then I saw this poster, which is one of the most hilariously blatant panders to the hormonal-teenage-boy crowd I’ve ever seen in a movie poster. Don’t come for the scares: come for the chick in her underwear! As for the critics’ screenings… well, perhaps Rogue figures we’re tired of all those quality arthouse awards contenders we’ve been watching over the past few weeks and are ready for a change of pace.

I’ve already noted some potential objections to Bride Wars (opens wide in the U.S. and in the U.K. on January 9). I expect to renew them.

Oh my word, Don Cheadle is in this Hotel for Dogs (opens wide in the U.S. on January 23, and in the U.K. on February 13) nonsense. I hope he’s not going the Cuba Gooding Jr.-in-Snow Dogs route.

Notorious! No, not the Hitchcock flick. No, not the Duran Duran tune. It’s the life story of the gangsta rapper Notorious B.I.G.. Apparently former preteen drug dealers who feud with fellow musicians to the point where guns are fired are worthy of cinematic approbation. Go know. (opens wide in the U.S. on January 16 and in the U.K. on February 13)

I missed Yonkers Joe (opens in the U.S. on January 9; no U.K. release date has been announced) at the Tribeca Film Festival this past spring. I knew Chazz Palminteri is in this con-man tale. I did not know until just now that one of my boyfriends, Linus Roache, is also in it. Yum.

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