"Youth in Revolt" is, in so many ways, a typical January release. Movies in the first month of the year are always like leftover holiday candy - a bit stale, but hey, this is the only food we have left in the house, so why not?
Hollywood's 2009 campaign to pull us away from shopping and egg nog and into theaters doesn't offer as many new releases as last year. But several fine films already playing or finally coming to our area should make this another strong holiday movie season.
"Invictus" teams director Clint Eastwood and actors Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon in a film about Nelson Mandela, one of the most inspiring figures of the 20th century. That combination should be monumental - literally, a monument to heroism and courage.
"The Princess and the Frog" marks a return to the lush, hand-drawn fairy tales that once defined Walt Disney pictures. All the elements are there: beautiful animation, a princess, wishing on a star, endearing secondary characters and a journey that leads to an epiphany.
Characters in Wes Anderson's movies ("Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums") constantly ponder their circumstances in existential terms. They relate the failure or success of the moment to their identity and often speak as if they know precisely where they are in the story we're watching.
Unless you've been in a sensory deprivation chamber for the past month, you've heard there's some horror movie named "Paranormal Activity" ruling the box office. It was made for, like, $10 and has grossed $1 billion or something.