NEW YORK – Ahhh, January. Hollywood's toxic waste dumping ground for films.
First up this weekend is "Along Came Polly" with Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston. The new Ben and Jen. USA Today says "Polly parrots other gag fests." The New York Post gives it two stars and basically agrees saying, "Polly wants a plot."
There are lots of strained toilet jokes and a blind ferret that's got animal rights groups up in paws, which spells mostly disaster for this romantic comedy. Box Office Guru says look for the film to make $18 million over the long holiday weekend.
Next, "Torque" looks like a video game and wants to be considered another "Easy Rider." Right. The high revvin', low rent "Mad Max" is set mostly in something that looks like California so critic Mike Clark says "you keep hoping that Gov. Schwarzenegger will show up. Not to kick their behinds, which, of course, he could, but to tax them for fuel consumption." New York Post calls it a speed bump. Box Office Guru predicts that it'll make low octane $15 million.
Finally, a bright 'Spot' for families. It's "Teacher's Pet" about a dog named Spot who thinks he's a boy and sounds an awful lot like Nathan Lane. Kelsey Grammer is the mad scientist. And the big news is Disney has made a cartoon that works and isn't from Pixtar. USA Today says this Pinocchio-style story is "more fun than you'd expect." In January, that's a rave. Guru says 'Pet' will probably only fetch 9 million bones. I predict it does a little better with kids out of school on Monday.