Friday movie roundup – Jan. 30

The interesting thing about Renee Zellweger is that even though I can’t stand her, I often like her films. So it’s nice to see her starring in “New in Town,” which is every bit as awful as a Renee Zellweger movie ought to be. This is where you belong, Renee — not in good movies like “Chicago” and “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” but in shockingly lazy cliché compilations like “New in Town.” Welcome home!

In better news, “Taken” is a fun bit of action fluff starring Liam Neeson as an ex-CIA agent trying to save his daughter from bad guys. Think “24,” but crammed into 90 minutes. My review is at Cinematical.

The third wide release this weekend is “The Uninvited,” an Asian horror remake about two teenagers who think their dad’s new girlfriend might be up to no good. Also, since it’s an Asian horror remake, it has ghosts. Not a bad film, actually, at least overall. My feelings are somewhat conflicted. Read the review for more.

I also caught up with “My Bloody Valentine” (in 3D!) last weekend, and found it good enough. I watched “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” too, but haven’t had time to write a review yet. It’s no better than the last two “Underworld” movies, though, and possibly a bit worse.

Finally, I’ve decided to discontinue the weekly “In the Dark” podcast, effective immediately. The amount of work involved has always outweighed the amount of fun involved, and listenership has never been high enough to justify it. Moreover, I’ve realized that most movie podcasts that are popular aren’t just one guy talking about movies, but two or more people having a conversation. I could do that with mine, but the logistics and technology involved would make it even more time-consuming and labor-intensive than it already is — and it still wouldn’t guarantee an increase in my web traffic (which is ultimately the point, of course). Basically, to make the podcast a viable, useful, effective tool, I would need to put a lot more time, effort, and money into it than I’m prepared to do right now. There are other, more productive things I want to focus on, like widening my crystal meth operation. (We’re working on new flavors!)

To those of you who have been regular listeners of the podcast, I thank you. If you really want to hear me talk about movies, you can always call me on the phone, provided you have my number and that I answer when I see it’s you.

To sign up for the “In the Dark” e-zine, which brings you all the new movie reviews, DVD releases, and other pertinent info in one handy weekly e-mail, visit this page.