If January 2008 movies are lousy, you’ll hear about it from me

You may recall that last year (well, technically still “this year”) I took January off from reviewing new movies. I thought at the time that it might become a tradition, but this year (well, technically still “next year”) I don’t feel compelled to put myself on hiatus. Maybe I’ve seen enough great movies lately that I’m not feeling burnt out.

There’s also the fact that, for the first time maybe ever, there are January releases on the docket that look intriguing and that might actually be good! “Cloverfield,” the annoyingly hyped but admittedly cool-looking monster movie from producer J.J. Abrams, opens Jan. 18. The next week we get the fourth Rambo movie, apparently just called “Rambo,” which may not be good but which at least warrants some attention. Most January movies are altogether ignorable.

(Sidetrack: How can they just call it “Rambo”? Wasn’t the first one called “Rambo”? No sir. The first one was called “First Blood” and featured the character of Rambo. The sequel was called “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” and then came “Rambo III” and now what should be called “Rambo IV” is being called just “Rambo.” For a while they were calling it “John Rambo,” which would have provided a nice symmetry with Stallone’s recent “Rocky Balboa.” Then for a few minutes it was being called “Rambo: To Hell and Back” — really — and I’m glad they changed their minds about that.)

So it will be business as usual this January! Already I am looking forward to (links go to trailers) “27 Dresses,” “One Missed Call,” “Untraceable,” “First Sunday,” “Mad Money,” and wow, maybe I should rethink this.