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The Playlist

In Theaters: 'The Mechanic,' 'The Rite,' 'Kaboom,' 'Ip Man 2'

  • By Katie Walsh
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  • January 28, 2011 4:54 AM
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Fear not, brave moviegoers, it is the last weekend of January, that black hole of a new release month. We will soon dig our way out of this mess, but we must soldier through another questionable weekend. In old release news, did everyone have a magical Academy Awards nominations morning? Did Oscar bring you everything you hoped and more? At least Oscar hosts Anne Hathaway and Best Actor nominee James Franco are in a rigorous training camp to prepare for their big night, as evidenced by this short promo. Hopefully a fresh shot in the arm will liven things up a bit. Anyway! On to the new releases! The Stath brings his muscle to the remake of the Charles Bronson cult classic, "The Mechanic" with the always enjoyably unhinged Ben Foster in tow; religious horror flick "The Rite" provides the chewable scenery for Anthony Hopkins' insatiable craving (nom nom), and "From Prada to Nada" defiles another Jane Austen novel. In limited release, "Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster" brings the kung fu pain, Greg Araki's latest, "Kaboom," makes its non-festival screen debut, and the documentary "Lemmy" about the legendary Motorhead rocker should be a must-see for film and music fans (which you are, of course).

Review: 'The Rite' Is Demonically Dull

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • January 27, 2011 3:16 AM
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William Friedkin pretty much ruined it for every other director after making "The Exorcist." Juggling a priest questioning his faith, a little girl possessed by the devil, pea soup, spinning heads, people falling down stairs and generally scaring the living shit out of viewers, ever since, films dabbling in the same thematic territory just haven't stacked up. More recent films like "The Last Exorcism" have tried to solve the problem by amping up the jump scares while the opposite tack taken by Paul Schrader's more cerebral approach for "Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist" got him booted off the project, so full credit to director Mikael Håfström ("Derailed," "1408") for attempting something a little bit brainy. Just a shame that the wonky casting (Rutger Hauer? Alice Braga? Who allowed Colin O'Donoghue to lead a movie?) was distracting and the by-the-numbers and plodding script nearly put us to sleep.

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