A Look at This Week's New and Specialty Film Releases Around Town.

Zero Dark Thirty.
Director:
Kathryn Bigelow.
Writer: Mark Boal.
Condensed Cast: Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Mark Strong.
Where's It Playing? Opens at AMC NorthPark and Cinemark West Plano today. Goes wide on Friday, January 11.
Who would have thought that finding Osama bin Laden would be as easy as flocking to your local theater? From Kathryn Bigelow — the Academy Award-winning director who brought us the intense war drama The Hurt Locker and also the buddy-cop surfer heist drama Point Break — comes the based-on-true-events tale of “history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man.” The film topped many a critic's “Best Of” list from last year (read: last week) and has received so much awards buzz that Bigelow might need a cave of her own to store her little gold statues. In other words, this is a must-see.

Texas Chainsaw 3D.
Director:
John Luessenhop.
Writer: Kim Henkel.
Studio: Lionsgate.
Condensed Cast: Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz.
Where's It Playing? Everywhere!
Leatherface comes sawing his way back into theaters this weekend — and in 3-D, no less! The seventh film in the franchise, this one picks up where Tobe Hooper's 1974 classic left off, though with all of the sequels stitching the Leatherface lore together like a human skin mask, it's hard to tell just where we're at nowadays. There's been a reboot starring Jessica Biel's butt. There's been The Next Generation. There's been The Beginning. So, don't be surprised if next year we get a Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Muppet Babies Edition.

Promised Land.
Director:
Gus Van Sant.
Writer: John Krasinski.
Studio: Focus Features.
Condensed Cast: Matt Damon, John Krasinski, Frances McDormand.
Where's It Playing? Only at the Angelika Dallas & Plano.
A big city corporate company man (Damon) goes head to head with a small town granola school teacher (Krasinski) in the teach's town, in which the sales ace wants to drill baby drill. It's like Erin Brockovich, but with less boobs and more bros. Directed by Maaaaatt Daaaaamon's Good Will Hunting collaborator Gus Van Sant and written by The Office star, this is the second of three releases this week that should be on your Oscar radar.

The Impossible.
Director:
Juan Antonio Bayona.
Writer: Sergio G. Sanchez.
Studio: Summit Entertainment.
Condensed Cast: Ewan McGregor, Naomi Watts, Tom Holland.
Where's It Playing? Only at the Angelika Dallas & Plano.
The Impossible tells the harrowing true-life story of a family separated when they picked the wrong year to vacation in Thailand, during the 2004 tsunami that killed thousands and destroyed parts of that coastal region. Remember how I just said that three releases this week should be on your Oscar radar? Well, this is number three! What, you're surprised I wasn't referring to Texas Chainsaw?

The Comedy.
Director:
Rick Alverson
Writer: Rick Alverson
Studio: Unknown.
Condensed Cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Kate Lyn Sheil.
Where's It Playing? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Texas Theatre.
In anticipation of the appearance of Tim Heidecker (of Tim and Eric Awesome Show) with Neil Hamburger at the Texas Theatre on Friday, January 11, the theatre is showing Heidecker's recent dramatic turn in 2012's The Comedy, a film that's described as “a scathing look at the white male on the verge of collapse” and “a cautionary fable for the autumn of the American Era.” So, despite the title and the funny man's previous work, don't expect Dance Floor Dale or a woman's bouncing bub-bubs.

Flash Gordon (1980) in 35MM.
Director:
Mike Hodges.
Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Studio: Universal Pictures.
Condensed Cast: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Chaim Topol.
Where's It Playing? Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the Texas Theatre
A New-York-Jets-football player-turned-intergalactic-warrior versus an evil space emperor named Ming the Merciless hellbent on destroying Earth via natural disasters? What more do you need? Oh, did I mention the rockin' soundtrack by Queen? On Friday only, DJ duo Ghosr Daddies will be spinning in the lobby following the film. Space headdresses, capes, Fu Manchus and alien costumes are strongly encouraged.

Blazing Saddles (1974).
Director:
Mel Brooks.
Writer: Mel Brooks.
Studio: Warner Bros Pictures.
Condensed Cast: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Burton Gilliam.
Where's It Playing? Friday & Saturday at midnight only at The Inwood.
Hey, remember in my Django Unchained review when I said that there may not be a better double-feature in existence than Tarantino's latest and Mel Brooks' greatest? Well, The Inwood is giving you your chance! It's twue, it's twue! Unfortunately, you won't technically be able to do a proper double-feature, as in you'll have to go see Django at the Magnolia (or a theater of your choosing) and then head over to The Inwood for Blazing Saddles. Butm hey, it beats watching it at home by yourself where the only one to hear you quote along with “Where the white women at?” is your cat.

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