Surrealism, Intrigue & Risk

The Golden Globes, a Blu-ray of Notorious, M. Night Shyamalan’s latest and a bullied kid with Excalibur highlight the month.

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Around Town

The most important film event of January is out of reach for most Oklahomans: The Sundance Film Festival takes place in Park City, Utah.

While Oklahoma doesn’t offer its own film festival this month, January does bring the good old-fashioned entertainment of an absurd awards show. Nobody would confuse the Golden Globe Awards with high culture, but they do have a surrealism that begs to be seen. Run by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, with plenty of inside baseball and intrigue, the show is more circus than somber celebration of the movies, which makes it a refreshing contrast to the self-serious Oscars. The Globes is honest about its nonessential approach.

Spectacle like this is best caught in a crowd, so if you’re in Tulsa, head to Circle Cinema for a watch party at 7 p.m. Jan. 6.

At Home

Alfred Hitchcock is so well known as a master of psychologically disturbing thrillers that people easily forget his fun, exhilarating direction.

Notorious, his 1946 nail-biter starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, shows the lighter side of Hitchcock, relatively speaking, with intrigue, glitz and glamour. A tale of espionage, Notorious is ultimately about false fronts; the underlying mystery pales next to the sheer charisma of Bergman and Grant, not to mention a great supporting turn from Claude Rains.

This month, the Criterion Collection releases a new Blu-ray of this underappreciated gem with the company’s usual lush treatment. A 4K restoration highlights this package – sure to be the best picture quality available for the film – but don’t overlook special features, including several documentaries and a commentary by David Bordwell, a master film scholar.

In Theaters

January film-going is like a box of chocolates, to paraphrase Forrest Gump: You never know what you’ll get.

Traditionally a dumping ground for movies deemed unworthy of critical or commercial consideration, the month can produce a fair share of worthwhile films, whether of the genuinely good or guilty-pleasure variety. Two recommendations might fall into either category.

M. Night Shyamalan’s stock has fallen mightily over the past 10 years, but his last two films have been a welcome return to form. His next, Glass, acts as a sequel to both 2016’s Split and 2000’s Unbreakable, with James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis reprising their roles from those films. Split was trashy fun, with McAvoy chewing scenery left and right, and, with fellow ham Jackson on board, Glass could reach dizzying heights of campy pleasure.

Meanwhile, faith in The Kid Who Would Be King rests squarely on the shoulders of director Joe Cornish, whose Attack the Block was excellent. He tackles a story that looks a bit hackneyed – bullied kid discovers great powers, here through acquiring King Arthur’s sword, Excalibur – but Cornish excels at blending humor with action, as well as accessing the inner lives of kids. Here’s hoping he can do more with the premise than might be expected.

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