In Theaters This Weekend: The Groundhog predicts an early spring, but Hollywood’s cold streak continues

4 Feb

Sanctum and The RoommateJanuary is classically the slowest month for movies, and February is generally when Hollywood gets back to work releasing things that people actually want to see. However, much like the freak snow storms that have hit the nation, Hollywood’s got a lot of crap to dig out from, as this year has been especially harsh when it comes to the post Oscar-bid garbage dump. Unloading the equivalent of two feet of junk this year so far, the forecast doesn’t look so good, as Hollywood continues its “Blizzard of 2011” with a Single White Female knockoff, and another overwrought thriller from the always obnoxious James Cameron.

First up is The Roommate, the story of two college….er, roommates, who get to know each other and become the best of friends. Played by “Gossip Girl” Leighton Meester and “Sexiest Woman AliveMinka Kelly, the two girls become inseparable, until one of them gets off their meds and goes all “Single White Female.” You see – it’s such a well-known movie that it’s spawned its own pop-culture reference. But we won’t dismiss this as a complete rip-off; I mean, in this one the girls are in college. And instead of getting a cute little puppy together, they get a baby kitten. But that’s probably where the differences end. The Roommate is most likely an excuse to capitalize on the so hot right now Meester and Kelly, so why waste anything new or creative on the venture? Hollywood always steals from itself, but this one seems a bit too blatant. My apologies to the CW crowd, but this roommate needs to be evicted.

Also opening this weekend is Sanctum, a tale of man vs. man vs. the elements, as a group of cave divers get trapped and need to fight Mother Nature, while fighting amongst themselves. Brought to you by producer James Cameron, the film has his fingerprints all over it. Ever since The Abyss, Cameron has forced his fascination with nature upon us, and through his many trips to the bottom of the ocean with his Titanic documentaries, and 2009’s gloriously heavy-handed Avatar, he’s rivaling Al Gore for the title of “World’s Most Annoying Corporate Hippie.” To be fair, Cameron offers up stunning visuals, but what’s the point when all the good shots here just remind me of The Abyss, and the ridiculously trite dialogue and characters make me want to hit the mute button? Would I normally want to see a movie like Sanctum? No, probably not, but knowing that James Cameron has his signature on it only makes it that much more unappealing.

In Limited Release: Originally slated for release in 2009, The Other Woman stars Natalie Portman as a woman who marries an older man and must deal with a difficult relationship with her new step son. While there is a subplot involving the sudden death of her own young child which allows Portman to stretch her acting chops, anytime a movie is filmed and then put on the shelf for two years, is a clear sign that something went wrong. Proceed with caution.

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