After the December onslaught of Oscar-hopefuls and arthouse faire, two star-powered crowd-pleasers open this week: "Contraband" and "Joyful Noise." The latter sees the big-screen return of Dolly Parton after a decade, and the former promises big-budget CGI thrills from Mark Wahlberg. But whether or not the year's first popcorn flicks deliver on their excitement and laughter remains to be seen.
Rafer Guzman is film critic for Newsday, and co-host of the Takeaway’s Movie Date Podcast. Kristen Meinzer is culture producer for the Takeaway and also co-hosts the Movie Date podcast.
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