Scheduled to open in area theaters next weekend (Jan. 9) are:
- Inherent Vice: Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (“Magnolia,” “Boogie Nights”) takes on Thomas Pynchon's surreal and seriocomic novel, which follows the film noir investigation of a drugged-out private dick named Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) into the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend's boyfriend, circa 1970 L.A. The impressive supporting cast includes Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston (Sam's daughter), Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, Eric Roberts and Jeannie Berlin.
- Selma: One of the big year-end award contenders goes wide with its dramatization of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery, Ala., voting rights marches led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (David Oyelowo), James Bevel (rapper Common) and others, with an all-star cast that includes Tom Wilkinson (Lyndon B. Johnson), Oprah Winfrey (Annie Lee Cooper), Tim Roth (George Wallace), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Fred Gray), Carmen Ejogo (Coretta Scott King), Giovanni Ribisi, Martin Sheen and Dylan Baker.
- Taken 3: The second sequel of the new year (first honors go to this weekend's “The Woman in Black 2”) returns Liam Neeson to the role of ex-government operative Bryan Mills, lately wrongly accused of a murder and on the run from his trackers while drawing upon the talents that have served him well in “Takens 1 and 2” to finger the real culprits. Forest Whitaker, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott co-star.
- January at the Normal: Following this weekend's run of When Harry Met Sally, the rest of January's offerings include 1964's Disney classic, Mary Poppins, 1/8-11; Spike Lee's 1989 Do the Right Thing, 1/15-16; Dear White People (2014), 1/17-18; Groundhog Day (1993), 1/29-30; and the world premiere of Hoovey" 1/31. The titles for 1/22-25 were still TBA at press-time.
- Exclusive 'Interview': The surprise Galaxy 14 opening of The Interview (see review above) remains the exclusive Twin Cities engagement. The film, which premiered on Christmas Day as originally planned, was announced late in the day on Christmas Eve and became one of a handful of downstate bookings, entering its second week. It can also be seen in Peoria (Willow Knolls 14, Landmark 10), Savoy (Savoy 16) and, starting Friday, the Art Theater Co-op in Champaign.
- Slam-dunk: The roster is growing for the Jan. 31 premiere of Hoovey at the Normal Theater. According to executive producer Jeff Elliott, whose family story the film tells, the red carpet will feature star Cody Linley, the “My Dog Skip” star who plays the title role of Eric Elliott; director Sean McNamara (of “Soul Surfer” fame), producer David Brookwell (also a “Soul Surfer” alum), writer Howie Klausner (“Space Cowboys”), Echolight Studios president Jeff Sheets, cinematographer Bob Hayes (“Pacific Blue”), editor Jeff Canavan (“The Shawshank Redemption”) set designer Dawn Ferry (“Space Warriors”). Elliott also reports that the soundtrack will include Lady Antebellum's “One Day You Will” as an important musical element.
- The big chill: A reminder that the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts turns, temporarily this weekend, into the Bloomington Center for the Cinema Arts, with special screenings of Disney's year-old box office biggie, Frozen, showing at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m.Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $3 for adults and $1 for kids under 13.