Film Friday: ‘The Unborn’ & ‘Bride Wars’

by W. Andrew Powell

Bride Wars

Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars

Happy New Year, movie fans. With the first Film Friday of the year we’re going to take a look at the two grisly new releases, plus take a chance to dream of better days, with a glimpse of some of the films coming this month.

New this week…

The Unborn
Writer and director David Goyer, who wrote Batman Begins and directed The Invisible, debuts his supernatural thriller about a young woman (Odette Yustman) who is being tormented by a dark spirit. With the help of the spiritualist Sendak (Gary Oldman), the two discover a family curse that dates back to Nazi Germany, and an unborn soul with dark intentions.

Goyer gets my respect for penning The Dark Knight, and Dark City, but it’s hard to ignore that he also wrote the screenplays for Jumper, and Blade: Trinity. With those films in mind, I’m sure The Unborn will perform as a decent thriller, and offer a few scares, but it otherwise bears the pedigree of a horrific flop.

As Nick Pinkerton of the Village Voice put it, “The Unborn is one of those movies evidently conceived by digging a Dungeons & Dragons Fiend Folio out of storage to find, resurrect, and rebrand some long-forgotten bugaboo.”

Rafer Guzman of Newsday on the other hand, has another take.

“If the use of Nazi atrocities as a MacGuffin for cheap thrills offends you,” Guzman wrote, “the Unborn isn’t your movie. If, however, you appreciate the sight of a half-naked beauty being terrorized by potato bugs, look no further.”

Bride Wars
Speaking of silly flops, how will the girly romance film Bride Wars fare among audiences?

The film stars two legitimate actresses, Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, as “bridezillas” planning their weddings on the same day. The two friends, or perhaps former friends, will do whatever it takes to upstage the other, no matter what the consequences.

Bride Wars is, not surprisingly, getting spectacularly bad reviews. Considering Hathaway’s career to date, the film is a definite low-point. Hudson, on the other hand, has had a rocky road through Hollywood, so I’m not sure this film really stands out, especially when you look at her last movie, Fool’s Gold.

“Predictable, lazy and as overprocessed as Kate Hudson’s hair,” Ann Hornaday wrote in the Washington Post, “this thoroughly joyless movie also possesses a deep nasty streak, making it loathsome when it might have been merely annoying.”

Coming soon…

If you can make it through this week, there is some hope coming to theatres in the form of a hand full of interesting films. Chief among those being Notorious, about the life of wrapped Notorious B.I.G., and for action fans, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans.

Even further down the road, the year promises some huge films, but the majority of the good stuff doesn’t come through until May. The graphic novel adaptation of Watchmen is scheduled to come out March 6, but that’s only if the film manages to dodge all the legal turmoil between movie studios Fox and Warner, who both have a stake in the film, according to a judge’s recent ruling.

Beyond that, things don’t start getting exciting until X-Men Origins: Wolverine debuts on May 1, followed by Star Trek on May 8.

January 16
My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Hotel for Dogs

January 23
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans

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