Share Article:
Cinema Releases – January 22, 2009

Cinema Releases – January 22, 2009

A short look at the films being released into cinemas this week.
Jan 21, 2009

Opening this week in cinemas across Australia:

Valkyrie - A WW2 thriller that sees Tom Cruise attempt to assassinate Nazi German Führer, Adolf Hitler.

Revolutionary Road – Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCarprio battle suburban blues in this drama from acclaimed director Sam Mendes.

Gran Torino – Clint Eastwood directs and stars in a film about Bigoted Korean War Vet who tries to reform his Hmong teenage neighbour.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – An origin story centred on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their onetime slaves, the Lycans.

Continue reading for a full preview and recommendation for each film!

2890049665 bbf0c2a1291 135x200 custom Cinema Releases January 22, 2009

Valkyrie (M)

Bryan Singer
Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy

Plot: Based on actual events, a plot to assassinate Hitler is unfurled during the height of WWII.

Recommended if you’re looking for a light thrill; nothing too profound.

My opinion: WhilstValkyrie features solid direction and sporadic thrills, it’s ultimately let down by uninspired performances and the pre existing knowldege that the plan obviously fails. Review is on the way.

2968374208 5e769947a61 135x201 custom Cinema Releases January 22, 2009

Gran Torino (M)

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood, Christopher Carley

Plot: Disgruntled Korean War vet Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbour, a young Hmong teenager, who tried to steal Kowalski’s prized possession: his 1972 Gran Torino.

Recommended if you’re fond of Eastwood’s previous dramas, or if you too are a disgruntled neighbour.

My opinion: Verdict from my review: 3/5 stars

Gran Torino ends with an odd ballad performed by Eastwood himself, almost as if it’s his Swan Song for starring in his own films. I can’t help but see this as a good thing, as Eastwood stretched himself too thin here; his strong comic performance is undone by a misguided story and poor casting. It’s enjoyable, yet despite desperately trying,  it falls short of being anything more.”

2869537333 4867bd76401 135x201 custom Cinema Releases January 22, 2009

Revolutionary Road (M)

Sam Mendes

Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kathy Bates

Plot: A young couple living in a Connecticut suburb during the mid-1950s struggle to come to terms with their personal problems while trying to raise their two children. Based on a novel by Richard Yates.

Recommended if… you enjoyed American Beauty, or simply want to see two great actors at the top of their game.

My opinion: verdict from my review: 3.5/5 stars

“Even with the impeccable cast and production, it’s hard to shake the feeling that Revolutionary Road is merely a lesser rehash of Mendes’ more accomplished film American Beauty. By failing to truly distinguish itself from the aforementioned film, direct comparisons are inevitably drawn, and without a story as fresh or dynamic as its characters, Revolutionary Road ultimately comes up short.”

underworld rise of the lycans1 135x202 custom Cinema Releases January 22, 2009

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (MA 15+)

Patrick Tatopoulos

Michael Sheen, Bill Nighy, Rohna Mitra

Plot: An origins story centred on the centuries-old feud between the race of aristocratic vampires and their one-time slaves, the Lycans.

Recommended if you’re still actually interested by this franchise, or simply want to see Werewolves and Vampires go at it.

My opinion: Without the backing of Kate Beckinsale, this second sequel to the cult hit film might not have the selling power of its predecessors. Yet as long as this film captures the style and excitement of the original, and forget the first sequel ever happened, it might prove to be the first good action and horror film of the year.

Genre Best

Our recommendations for films currently out in cinemas from different genres:

Comedy - Role Models
Drama - Doubt
Romance –
Revolutionary Road
– Valkyrie
Horror – Underworld Rise of the Lycans
Family – Bolt

Follow the author Anders Wotzke on Twitter.

Category: Opening films
Date Published: January 21st, 2009
Get daily updates in your inbox!

View by star rating:

13 Assassins
"Spectacular samurai epic"
- Tom Clift
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (MIFF Review)
POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Life in a Day (MIFF Review)
Life in a Day
Green Lantern (Video Review)
Green Lantern
Melancholia (MIFF Review)
▶▶ More movie reviews ◀◀