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Ranking the Trailers for the 9 Must-Miss Movies of January

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 2, 2013 | Comments ()


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As we ring out a fairly fantastic year of movies, we will usher in the January dregs, the month in which most new movies are ignored in favor of catching up on the Oscar nominees or the awards contenders, like Zero Dark Thirty and The Promised Land that roll out to us plebes outside of NYC and Los Angeles.

It's not a completely wasted month, however. Every year, it seems, one or two movies break through the crap and put up huge box-office numbers, often simply because it's the best alternative to everything else, whether it be Cloverfield, Taken, The Devil Inside, or Book of Eli. Hollywood knows what works in January, and often they create movies that echo successful movies of Januarys past.

Here are the 9 wide releases we can not look forward to, ranked from least appealing to the most.

9. Texas Chainsaw 3D -- There's always a few horror films in January, and this one -- the 47th variation on the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise -- opens the new year on January 4th hoping to capture the same success of My Bloody Valentine 3D ($21 million opening weekend) back in 2009.

8. A Haunted House -- Not officially a Scary Movie movie, one wonders if Marlon Wayans is trying to kill the buzz of his old franchise ahead of Scary Movie 5, which neither he nor Keenan Ivory Wayans seem to have anything to do with. Not so coincidentally, the Scary Movie movies haven't been good since The Wayan brothers left; maybe A Haunted House can recapture the magic, although I'm guessing that all of the funny gags are already in the trailer.

7. Mama -- Guillermo Del Toro puts his name on every other horror movie that's released these days, but it's not necessarily a sign of quality (see Don't Be Afraid of the Dark). I'm not sure what to think of Mama -- about a couple left to raise nieces who were left alone in the woods for five years -- but it does star Jessica Chastain. My guess is that, like other January releases -- The Unborn or The Devil Inside -- it will put up $20 million on its opening weekend and quickly be forgotten.

6. The Last Stand -- The Last Stand is this year's attempt to revive the career of a Hollywood relic, in this case Arnold Schwarzennegar, by putting him in the position to deliver a lot of overwrought lines and kick a lot of ass. See also: Taken. I don't think, however, that audiences are really all that jazzed about the return of Schwarzennegar, so I wouldn't expect The Last Stand to be the break-out hit of January.

5. Parker -- Another one of Jason Statham's biannual Statham movies, Parker will probably be remembered as the Statham Movie in which he wears a cowboy hat and Jennifer Lopez walks around in her underwear. Honestly, that's a big enough selling point for most Statham fans, but like all of his movies, this one will probably tap out at around $35 million.

4. Broken City -- Mark Wahlberg found some success last year with Contraband ($24 million), so I guess he's trying to become the Will Smith of January. This one, like Contrabad, looks like a moderately entertaining but ultimately forgettable January diversion.

3. Movie 43 -- I have no idea what to think of Movie 43, which basically stars EVERBODY in what must be the largest ensemble comedy of all time. It's basically a series of comedy vignettes featuring mostly people we love, directed by people we mostly love (and Brett Ratner). It was shot in 2010, and it's only now arriving in theaters, but the trailer looks, well, hit and miss. Could it be this generation's Kentucky Fried Movie?

2. Gangster Squad -- Ganster Squad was moved from last fall to January because of the Dark Knight Rising shooting, but it actually has the feel of a January movie. Yes, it stars Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin, and Sean Penn, and it comes from Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), but I just can't tell from the trailer if it will be great or a great big mess. Getting bumped into January, however, is not the kiss of death. Seth Rogen's Green Hornet got pushed back a couple of years ago, and managed to make $98 million at the box office.

1. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters -- Hansel and Gretel looks ape shit stacked on top of bat shit, but that may be to its credit. The Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton re-imagined fairy tale will either be the worst movie of the year, or the best worst movie of the year, and I couldn't tell you which from the trailers. I am, however, kind of stoked for it.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • TheOriginalMRod

    I want to see H&G it does look like total camp. But I do like Renner and I have a girl crush on Arterton.

  • Jezzer

    Mama looks fantastically creepy, has a kickass trailer, is based on a pretty decent short film, and has a good cast, so naturally Pajiba will take every opportunity to shit on it before it even comes out and pronounce it a cinematic turd. But there is NOTHING in that trailer to account for the level of cynical eye-rolling this movie has gotten.

    It might very well be a cinematic turd, or it might be pretty awesome. We won't know until it comes out. If it were a fucking Wes Anderson movie, every goddamn one of you would be starting your letter-writing campaign to give it ALL THE AWARDS before it hit its first ironically-named, Pabst-sponsored filmfest.

  • Buck Forty

    Movie 43 - looks potentially so-bad-it's-good, but since it sat on the shelf for 2 years maybe it's not - so I'll wait for the DVD. And I'm guessing most others will too.

    Russell Crowe - why do I get the feeling he has a minimum base rate for appearing in a movie and if the studio want more they have to pay for it. It looks like the makers of Broken City could only afford the base rate ie no trainer, no hairdresser, and no script read through prior to turning up on set.

  • Kolby

    I'm already picturing my dad lining up to see The Last Stand. This is not a compliment to either my dad or the movie.

    And I can't watch the trailer without imagining bits of Arnold's face flaking off, like bits of ancient paper. So crinkly.

  • Jeremy Carrier

    "the Statham Movie in which he wears a cowboy hat and Jennifer Lopez walks around in her underwear. Honestly, that’s a big enough selling point for most Statham fans"

    You goddamn right, Rowles

  • apsutter

    To be fair, "My Bloody Valentine" only made that much money because it was one of the first movies with the new 3-D. I know this because my boyfriend and I were excited to see it and of course it was a big bloody mess!

  • Horror shorts are some of my favorite things ever. When I heard that Mama is based on one, I immediately looked it up and discovered that I had already seen and enjoyed it. Then I posted it in the comments section on this site, which I am going to do again, because it does an admirable job of building the mood in less than three minutes.

    Now with unnecessary intro from Guillermo del Toro. Film actually starts at 0:51:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

  • You forgot to mention that The Last Stand is the English film debut for South Korean director Jee-woon Kim. I am hoping he makes it something special.

  • fribbley

    So far Movie 43 doesn't look to be as good as Amazon Women on the Moon.

  • BWeaves

    As far as January movie viewing is concerned, I'm still trying to decide if I want to bother seeing The Hobbit in 48 FPS 3-D. I saw it over Christmas in 2-D and was very underwhelmed. I finally figured out why. Unlike LOTR, which always leaves me wanting more; Jackson's Hobbit left me wanting LESS. I wanted a shorter movie, with less stuff happening on screen, and less Gandalf suddenly deus ex machina-ing scenes where he doesn't belong, and less Bilbo being an action hero when he was supposed to be a behind the scenes, stealth burglar. Oh Jackson, why didn't you just STICK TO THE PLOT OF THE DAMN BOOK?

  • BierceAmbrose

    Is it just me, or was that Gangster Squad trailer 100% bad noir / gangster / cop movie cliches, visual and audible, without the balls to be deliberately self-aware? I mean, Big Trouble in Little China was one cliche after another, on purpose, but you went with it. This, not so much.

  • Quatermain

    I'll go see Jeremy Renner be ridiculous and awesome, sure. Same goes for Statham and Shwarzenegger.

    That Broken City trailer reminds me of one of my all time favorite Cracked photoshops. The idea was to (I think) mix rock lyrics with movie taglines and the winner used the Broken City poster and wrote "We broke this city. We broke this city with Mark and Crowe."

  • TheAggroCraig

    Hansel and Gretel looks gloriously ridiculous. That Statham movie looks like a Statham movie.. Gangster Squad looks terrible.

  • Arran

    If all the "funny" gags are in the trailer of A Haunted House, then that movie is REALLY in trouble.

    I had the misfortune of being shown the trailer for that AND Scary Movie 5 before Django yesterday. Hooray, TWO films parodying Paranormal Activity. Way to nail the zeitgeist, film makers.

  • seanx40

    Does else anyone want to get really drunk/high and see Hansel? That is the only way to get thru that one I think

  • L.O.V.E.

    The movie doesn't come out for a month and its clear you are already drunk and/or high.

    Carry on.

  • Jezzer

    But he mentioned *drugs*. That's SO EDGY. :O

  • googergieger

    Last Stand should be more about Kim Jee Woon's Hollywood debut, if anything. Sucks for him the original cast bowed out and he got stuck with this one. I mean it might be entertaining, but I reckon his debut is going to be an Expendables type of affair.

    Anyways, I'm still waiting for Stoker. Everything before that is just filler.

  • Blake

    I disagree on the Last Stand only because it is directed by Jee-woon Kim (The Good, the Bad, the Weird, I Saw the Devil and A Bittersweet Life). A movie with both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville would definitely be a must pass under any other director.

    Gangster Squad was one of the movies I was most looking forward to last year but Sean Penn killed it for me.

    *Additional: I know Jeremy Renner is a Pajiba untouchable but he has done nothing for the amount of love this site shows him.

    He was the weakest link in the Avengers (an impressive feat considering how much Loki and Black Widow sucked) and The Bourne Legacy was terrible.

  • Jezzer

    Also, he has smoosh face. WHY WILL PEOPLE NOT ADMIT HE HAS SMOOSH FACE?

  • DeistBrawler

    Gangster Squad? Really? I have a feeling that movie is going to be full on awesome.

    Look! It's Jason Statham in a Jason Statham movie! I really wish he would do more films like Blitz...

  • Mitchell Hundred

    Presumably the Hansel and Gretel movie will feature them repairing the rift in reality that allows crossbows and dirndls to exist in the same continuum as machine/Gatling/shotguns and skintight catsuits.

  • Maguita NYC

    So it would be the hungry poor man's version of the amazing Van Helsing?

  • Carlito

    And Van Helsing is the nardless people's version of The Monster Squad.

  • DeistBrawler

    Did you just say Van Helsing is amazing?

  • Maguita NYC

    One - I readily admit to freely using amazing when not sober.
    Two - you owe me a beer for firstly making the Van Helsing comparison.

  • Lotney

    Are you kidding me? Hansel and Gretel looks awesome! I love some unpretentious clusterfuck ever now and then.

  • DeistBrawler

    You do realize Hansel and Gretel is going to be Van Helsing right?

  • BierceAmbrose

    In the spirit of hope (and change) for the new year, I'm choosing to believe that Hansel and Gretel will be what Van Helsing should have been, meaning unabashedly batshit, good campy fun with attractive leads. Also shot in not pitch black.

  • Jezzer

    I'm going with Hansel and Gretel being the new Brothers Grimm, i.e. "not as bad as Van Helsing, but Lord, not good."

  • John G.

    BUZZER! PENALTY! you used "you do realize" after that phrase has been retired from the internet. Go back ten spaces.

  • KV

    So Parker is the dumb people's version of Payback....

  • Rotwang

    And Payback is the dumb people's version of Point Blank.

  • DeistBrawler

    Well...Point Blank and Payback are both based on the novel "The Hunter" by Donald E. Westlake. Parker is based on his novel "Flashfire."

  • Carlito

    Google "double-crossed and left for dead." It's a veritable dumb people's version orgy.

  • Maguita NYC

    Hansel and Gretel looks wonderfully campy, and the right amount of crazy to warm-up my usually depressive January. I will definitely give my favorite teacup boyfriend a shot!

    As for Del Toro, he deserves our attention. Always. Like most amazing Directors, he puts out there some shitty products (the man's gotta eat), only to lift us up again with chef-d'oeuvres. We should forgive the sometime crappy first courses he serves.

  • alannaofdoom

    "Teacup boyfriend" = I am going to steal that at the first possible opportunity.

  • Maguita NYC

    As it is mine to give, and it is the Holiday Season, I will give and give freely. Please use and abuse at any and every possible occasion, for teacup boyfriend could never belong to neither one woman nor one man, but belongs to the collective fantasy-laden fandom...

    Well. I'm not pretending to be sober, at all. So Happy New Year in advance to all of Pajiba!

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