Jack and Jill/ Young Adults/ The Woman in Black

Up first this month is Jack and Jill (February 3), starring Adam Sandler and er, Adam Sandler as titular twins Jack and Jill.

The story is opens with Jack (Sandler) dreading the annual visit of his needy and passive-aggressive twin Jill (more Sandler). Don’t worry – you can tell them apart by the dreadful wig and speech impediment that is the staple of all Adam Sandler’s “comedic” creations. Anyway, after their mother’s death, a lonesome Jill goes to stay with twinsensitive brother Jack for some extended family time. 

But – uh, oh – Jack actually hates Jill (no doubt a meta-commentary about how Sandler secretly hates part of himself. The part that made this movie, I’m guessing.) Cue lots of toilet humour, a baffling cameo from Al Pacino, and a big ‘meh’ from the audience.

For me, the only thing worse than a movie starring two Adam Sandlers, is movie starring two Adam Sandlers and Katie Holmes. However, Jack and Jill’s weaknesses – its lazy, sophomoric jokes, clichéd premise and all-round awfulness – are also its strengths; children and undiscerning adults won’t care, and some will no doubt enjoy Sandler’s performances. 

Still, Jack and Jill isn’t twin-credible; it’s twin-tolerable. 

Next up this month is Young Adults (February 3), starring the exquisite Charlize Theron as Mavis, a dysfunctional writer in a state of arrested development.

After seeing pictures of her former high school sweetheart Buddy (Watchmen’s Patrick Wilson) and his new baby on t’interweb, Mavis decides to return to her hometown and reclaim the life that should have been hers. Written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman (son of Ivan ‘80s Movies’ Reitman), Young Adults is basically, ‘Juno II: Juno Got Hot’, slightly bleaker perhaps but with the same razor-sharp, pithy dialogue, snappy pacing and adequate performances as 2007’s break-out hit.

Finally this month, new Hammer horror The Woman in Black (February 10) starring the very grown-up Daniel Radcliffe as Victorian solicitor Arthur Kipps (a name as English as steak ‘n’ kidney pie, guv’nor!)

Kipp leaves his wife and infant son and heads off down the country to eerie Eel Marsh House to settle the affairs of a recently deceased (OR IS SHE?) distant relative. Upon arriving, Harry Arthur discovers that the village is being menaced by a terrifying septic spectre, whose appearance is said to signal iminent death. Spooky!

A slick, atmospheric effort with passable performance by Radcliffe and the supporting cast and more jumps than a ‘Frogs with ADHD’ convention. See it!