This January is the dumping ground for all the movies Hollywood was ashamed it made in 2010. I suppose the conventional wisdom is that audiences, still flying high from the holidays, will be more forgiving when fed leftovers. With awards season in full swing, Hollywood focuses on Oscar jockeying while leaving no one to mind the store. Whenever Oscar is mentioned in regard to a January movie, it usually sounds like this:
"Oscar winner Nicolas Cage, star of The Wicker Man, kicks ass as Behmen in the January release, Season of The Witch. Based on the hit song by Donovan and the 1983 release, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Nine more months 'til Halloween, Silver Shamrock!"
"Oscar winner Gwyneth Paltrow teams up with Sandra Bullock's husband from The Blind Side in Country Strong. Paltrow reminds us that, not only can she sing, but she can be more auto-tuned than T-Pain! See Gwyneth prove that all country singers are alkies! You've seen her mama in Little Fockers, now see her in Country Strong!"
I have this superstition that judges my movie year by the first movie I saw in January (it has to be a new release). If I liked the movie, my year would be filled with bad cinema. If I disliked the movie, then it would be a good year. This sounds like I'm stacking the deck--January is filled with bad moviemaking--until you factor in my love of trashy movies (henceforth known as trash movie humping). You never know what I'm going to enjoy, and therein lies the element of surprise. Sometimes the studios surprise too, by dumping what seems like a major hit into the scheduling slums of the saddest cinematic season. Witness The Green Hornet, which I'm saving for my first official movie of 2011. Honestly, I think I'll hate it.
As Fats Waller used to say: One never knows, do one?