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This Month in Movies by Midges Mags & Movies
January 4: You may have heard folks talking about Mao’s Last Dancer after Indie Films Fernie brought it in last September. This biopic about ballet dancer Li Cunxin is spellbinding, as it follows Cunxin’s journey from a small Chinese village to principal dancer for the Houston Ballet. Mao’s Last Dancer is not perfect—some of the performances are too wooden and some of the scenes are too sentimental—but it hits all of the right notes and the dancing is spectacular.
Other releases: Dinner for Schmucks, Machete & Case 39
January 11: For another film based on real events and people, Howl chronicles the titular poem’s obscenity trial, the man who wrote it and the birth of American counterculture. Starring James Franco as Allen Ginsberg, Howl offers insight into Ginsberg’s friendships with Jack Kerouac and insight into the role art plays in reflecting—and shaping—life.
Other releases: Alpha and Omega, The Social Network & Piranha
January 18: It’s a moment that you probably didn’t know you were waiting for—the release of Score: A Hockey Musical. Directed by Michael McGowan, who brought his film One Week to Fernie a couple of years ago, Score is a corny look at our love affair with hockey—featuring cameos by Walter Gretzky and Theo Fleury. Other familiar Canadian faces that add fun to the movie include Nelly Furtado and George Strouboulopoulos.
Other releases: Buried, Stone & The Switch
January 25: Red is, I am hoping, what The Expendables could have and should have been. Is it too much to want a bit of substance to wash down all of the explosions? This action comedy tells the story of retired CIA operative Frank Moses, who reassembles his old team so that he doesn’t get assassinated by the organization that used to sign his paycheque.
Other releases: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, Secretariat & Saw: the Final Chapter