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New in Theaters January 18: The Last Stand, Mama, Broken City

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By Chris Kavan - 01/17/13 at 06:01 PM CT

Last week Zero Dark Thirty brought a bit o drama and awards-season buzz to the box office. This weekend, we're going to be dialing things down a notch - well, a few notches. One serious crime drama, an over-the-top action flick and another example of the "January-is-the-new-October" horror entry. Considering how random the top movies have been (Texas Chainsaw 3D, A Haunted House... almost). I have no idea what the movie-going public is thinking, but people have clearly gone slightly insane - must be post-holiday stress relief or something. Anyway, on to the new movies.

THE LAST STAND After giving up his title as the governator, it seems Arnold Schwarzenegger didn't waste any time getting back into the Hollywood game (probably to distract from his crippling personal life). Regardless, the man is an action icon legend. Now I'm not saying The Last Stand is going to measure up to The Terminator or Predator, but it looks like it will be a lot of fun. Whether audiences are in the mood to watch an aging action star proclaim how old he is while he teams up with Johnny Knoxville and a Gatling gun, well, it could either draw in a crowd or languish in mediocrity. I'll rent it at some point.

MAMA I didn't really have much hope for this movie, but considering how well both Texas Chainsaw 3D and A Haunted House have done (at least in their initial openings) I don't see why Mama shouldn't do better. I mean, it stars a hot actress (Jessica Chastain - currently winning awards for Zero Dark Thirty), and Guillermo del Toro served as executive producer. Whether either of those names bring in a decent audience, I can't say. But I can say I would watch this before either of the other two films because this looks like it has atmosphere and gives off a seriously creepy vibe (much how I felt about Sinister - even though I never got to watch that one... yet). If this doesn't do any better, I will be perplexed but not necessarily surprised.

BROKEN CITY Normally I would put a film with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe on the top of the movie releases, but honestly, I've heard next to nothing about this film. Some is wronged. Injustice in the city. Corruption of power. It pretty much sounds like a hundred other films and that's why I can't see this doing well. Despite the obvious talent involved, it's just too generic for its own good. It might be worth a rental, but out of all the films this week, it actually holds the least interest for me.

The box office has held quite a few surprises this year and I don't see why this weekend would be an exception. Could another horror film take the top spot? A classic action hero? Or a crime drama with some big names? All will be revealed this Sunday.


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