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New Movies to Crave: The Woman in Black, Chonicle & Big Miracle Fight for Top Spot

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By Chris Kavan - 02/03/12 at 10:58 AM CT

It's a weekend of taking chances as a big name steps out of a familiar role and a familiar genre takes on a new challenge.

First the big name - Daniel Radcliffe, better known to legion of raving fans as Harry Potter, takes on a much different role as a lawyer who encounters The Woman in Black. Will the one-time wizard be able to cast a spell on the horror genre? While reviews aren't through the roof, the aren't terrible either. I'm sure there will be plenty of horror cliches thrown about, but if I know one thing, it's that Radcliffe can act (not just Potter - his stage work speaks for itself). This may not rewrite the genre, but I have a feeling it will do it justice.

Speaking of rewriting genres, Chronicle takes the old, familiar found-footage route, but instead of trying to catch ghosts and demons on camera, instead it follows a group of teens as they examine a mysterious object and gain super-human powers. At first all is good fun, but then one of them takes things too far and suddenly it's super teen vs. super teen. It's an interesting concept, and I can see this appealing to the younger age market, but it's whether this genre is played out or if it still has enough bite to bring in the crowds.

If you're into feel-good films, it doesn't get much better than Big Miracle. You get a bit of inspiration, a bit of politics, a bit of activism, a bit of media - all wrapped up in one tidy package about saving a group of grey whales about to be trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle. I don't usually go for these type of films, but if Soul Surfer proved anything, it's that movies with heart often perform much better than their premises would have you think. It might not open huge, but I bet this one sticks around longer than a lot of other films.

Finally, The Innkeepers, filmed on location at the Yankee Pedlar Inn, shows the waning days of a proud establishment, and what happens when some very special guests decide to return for the big sendoff. It looks like another typical ghost story - don't really know what sets this apart (aside from filming at the actual place, which is kind of cool, I guess). If you're finding yourself having Paranormal Activity withdrawal, this might be a good choice, otherwise I see Woman in Black taking the horror crown for the week.

With the Super Bowl looming, it looks to be a slower weekend than usual. On Monday I'll be back to report if Hollywood will continue its winning streak for 2012.


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