Weekend Movie Preview: January 11, 2013

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Our latest Weekend Movie Preview showcases three wide releases to theaters. One (Gangster Squad), was supposed to be released months earlier, the other has enjoyed critical success in limited release (Zero Dark Thirty) and the last one finds Marlon Wayans poking fun at those Paranormal Activity movies in A Haunted House.

Zero Dark Thirty: Kathryn Bigelow returns to war as her film, that had only opened in select cities, finally gets a wide release. After making quite a dent with the Oscar nominations, Zero Dark Thirty is now available for the masses to take in this stunning achievement. As stated in our Zero Dark Thirty review, it is one of the best movies of 2012 and its Best Picture nomination proves that even further. The way that Bigelow lays out the ten-year search for Osama bin Laden is an ever-building tense thriller that somehow manages to pull back the curtain on one super-secret story.

Gangster Squad: The real life story of how a group of LAPD officers brought down notorious gangster MIckey Cohen is a fun ride, albeit a little bumpy. For fans of the gangster movie genre, and movies set in 1940's Los Angeles, the super star cast delivers something for everyone. There is romance, action, thrills and pure gangster glory. The Gangster Squad review revealed that although Sean Penn overdoes it a little bit as Cohen, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pena and Anthony Mackie all deliver.

A Haunted House: Marlon Wayans took a page from his brothers' collective comedy spoofing in films such as Scary Movie and applied it to the found footage horror movies that are all the rage. A Haunted House heavily lampoons the Paranormal Activity movies, as well as a few scenes that are ripped right from The Devil Inside. Wayans is as talented as a comedian as his brothers, but misses the mark at times in this film by not knowing when to let a scene fade to black instead of pushing the comedy as far as he can. As reported in our A Haunted House review, fans of those parody films will adore this movie. Everyone else can just catch it on home video.

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