OK, so you made it through last week (with nothing more than The Hitcher) without your weekly review roundup, but I'm back from Sundance and just itchin' to get through this newest batch of ... January ... releases. Ugh, I can't even feign excitement with movies this lame. But wait ... is one of 'em actually good? Let's sift through those pros and cons.

Blood and Chocolate (2 positive / 21 negative reviews at RottenTomatoes.com)

Pro: "There's something refreshingly low-tech about (this) werewolf romance." -- John Larsen, LarsenOnFilm.com

Con: "The dialogue ranges from cliches to lines that are so impossibly ridiculous that it must be intentional." -- Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

Pro: "Better than it has any right to be." -- Josh Tyler, CinemaBlend.com

Con: "A neutered Underworld without the vampires, action, and heavy CGI." -- Staci Layne Wilson, Horror.com

Bonus! "At least it's not yet another remake filled with the same old tricks." -- Jeffrey M. Anderson, Cinematical

Catch and Release (17 positive / 60 negative at RT.com)

Pro: "A romantic dramedy that gets it exactly right, gives us people who live and breathe and are as absolutely convincingly real as people you know." -- MaryAnn Johanson, The Flick Filosopher

Con: "The story is essentially ridiculous, and the directing debut of Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant is a crashing failure." -- Bill Muller, The Arizona Republic

Pro: "You laugh and you cry, as the cliche goes. You get involved." -- Bruce Kirkland, Toronto Sun

Con: "The dull script is mostly to blame. We just never get a sense of who these people are." -- Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail

Bonus! "The best thing Catch and Release has going for it is a dialogue-heavy script that Grant obviously labored over." -- Jette Kernion, Cinematical

Epic Movie (Did not screen for press: 0 positive / 8 negative at RT.com)

Pro: NONE!

Con: "Almost nothing sticks. There's barely a laugh in this thing." -- Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel

Pro: NADA!

Con: "A miserably scattershot, heavy-wheezing, comedically-challenged waste of time." -- Brian Orndorf, eFilmCritic.com

Bonus! "If all a movie can give you is a small handful of stray and listless chuckles, well, I don't really think that's a movie worthy of your eight dollars." -- Scott Weinberg, Cinematical em>Seraphim Falls (16 positive / 19 negative at RT.com)

Pro: "A tense, taut, and bloody chase that continues for the duration of the film's 110-minutes." -- Ethan Alter, Premiere Magazine

Con: "The bland photography puts acute pressure on the actors to keep things popping, and most of the actors seem to take their roles with a passive grasp of character." -- Chris Cabin, FilmCritic.com

Pro: "Works as an extravagantly juiced-up remodeling of an old western formula." -- Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion

Con: "A bit too clunky in its literalism." -- Christy Lemire, Associated Press

Bonus! "You could do worse than to put down your two-bits and give the film a shot." -- Ryan Stewart, Cinematical

Smokin' Aces (28 positive / 70 negative at RT.com)

Pro: "Has humor and flash, and there's always something going on." -- Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Con: "Loud, brash, violent, sub-Tarantino outrageousness." -- Eugene Novikov, Film Blather

Pro: "Carnahan invests so much attitude into the film that we can't help but enjoy the ride." -- Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall

Con: "So flaccid that most of the convoluted goings-on play out like clumsy foreplay for a climax that never materializes." -- Nick Schager, Slant Magazine

Bonus! "In the final hour, Smokin' Aces simply tries too hard." -- Jeffrey M. Anderson, Cinematical

Next week: Because I Said So, Factory Girl and The Messengers!
categories Reviews, Cinematical