In January I saw The Greatest Showman, and I've just realized that I never wrote a review for it! Oops. I have a perfect record of reviewing all movies I've seen in theaters since I started reviewing movies, so I definitely can't let that one fall through the cracks. Sadly, we didn't have time for The Death Cure, so that's been pushed into this month's agenda -- top priority.
February has lots to talk about -- good and bad -- so let's get to it! What looks good to you this month?
Feb 9th; PG
Domhnall. Sweetie. What are you doing? Good grief this looks bad. At least all Daisy Ridley and Margot Robbie had to be convinced of was to lend their voices -- and I don't think James Corden needed convincing. But how in the world did they get Domhnall Gleeson to agree to do the live-action portion? They must have paid him a ton. He does look exactly like Mr. McGregor, so maybe they thought it was worth it. Even with this cast, I'll be steering clear. Far, far clear.
The 15:17 to Paris
Feb 9th: PG-13
Okay. First of all, this is an awesome true story. Second of all, it's a really neat idea to cast the real guys as themselves. But -- I still have that reservation on the artistic side that true stories rarely make good movies due to un-cinematic structure. Clint Eastwood is at the helm, and it's clear that a lot of effort was put into the movie, so who knows, maybe this will be the next Apollo 13, or, something close to it anyway. I'm definitely interested just because the attack on the train is supposed to play out exactly how it did in real life, so that would be cool to see. At any rate, reservations or no, this is one to keep an eye on.
The Female Brain
Feb 9th; NR
This movie doesn't look particularly good, but I can, occasionally, have simple tastes, and this has Toby Kebbell in it, so I'm on board.... for whenever its streaming on Amazon or what have you. The differences in the ways male and female brains work is great fodder for comedy, so we'll see if this movie mined the truth in that area, or if they just used tired old stereotypes and worked off the top of their head. That's sadly the more likely option.
Feb 9th; NR
All I'd heard about this movie was that it was a Brie Larson film and it was terrible. And I thought that was pretty strange because how could Brie Larson be in a movie and not make it at least decent by her presence? Then I watched the trailer, and it all made sense. Larson probably does enhance it, but it really looks THAT bad. It's American trying to feel Bollywood by making it a musical romance, but it all feels extremely cheap and weird. I may have to watch it streaming just to confirm. It really doesn't make sense.
Feb 16th; PG-13
This is the big one of the month I guess, but to me it could go either way. The trailer is bursting with style and energy, so if that translates to the actual movie it should be on those points alone a solid flick. And it's Marvel, so you know they have their winning formula for crowd-pleasing movies. But I'm personally getting tired of the formula, and if all the movie is, is cool and stylish action played over a fourmula plot, then I might not be disappointed, but I won't be impressed either. And I want to be impressed. Also, early reviews are doing a lot of praising of what the movie "has to say" and, as you may know from my opinion on Civil War, I hate it when movies preach at you. Preaching does not equal plot or character development. Still, there's a chance here, with a great cast and a lead character I already like, so let's go -- impress me if you can!
Feb 16th; PG
I'm trying to figure out if I'm required to see this, because on one hand, I've fallen in love with stop-motion and have been trying to watch all stop-motion movies I can find. On the other hand this lumpy clay style of making the dolls is my least favorite. And Chicken Run practically traumatized me as a kid. But then, I like the comedy style, and it has a good cast (Tom Hiddleston, Eddie Redmayne!) and a neat plot. The great thing about stop-motion is that it's so hard to do, people don't actually bother to make the movie unless it's a story they care about. So... yeah. I guess I am pretty much required to watch it sometime... but not only that -- I think I want to!
Feb 16th: R
I see Cillian Murphy, and I'm sold. Simple. Beyond that, this one has more potential than the one I'll probably watch only because Toby Kebbell is in it -- this one looks genuinely funny and genuinely dramatic (though it may still prove not to be my cup of tea) and I really, really, like that it's in black and white. Like the appeal level for the B&W is just under Cillain Murphy. And besides him there's quite a few familiar and talented faces. Good praise among the critics, which is a good sign too. I would like to RSVP as "coming."
The Boy Downstairs
Feb 16th; PG-13
Classic -- and I mean CLASSIC indie rom-com-dram. It has all the earmarks. The lead is even a writer. I'd watch it. That's all.
Feb 23rd; R
Well, I don't care for Natalie Portman, but other than her being the lead, this movie has nothing in it that isn't interesting to me. It makes me think of Arrival, except with horror and fantasy-feeling scifi added in. Based on a book, so now I'm gonna have to check that out and see if it's worth a read. I'm always excited to see a big-budged, full-fledged scifi film coming round the bend, and this one looks so cool that the Natalie Portman thing isn't even leaving a dent. Plus there's Oscar Isaac, even if he is probably in a coma most of the film, so that helps a lot. But yeah, I am here for the scifi!
Feb 23rd; R
This trailer is on the verge of being funny. On the verge. It's so close that I want to watch the movie to see if it actually succeeds there. I don't think Rachel McAdams is capable of doing pure comedy. Heck, I don't think Jason Bateman is capable of pure comedy, but he at least has loads more experience. If they put enough drama in the mix it might work, but people like Bill Murray are legends for a reason. I'm not sure about Kyle Chandler, either. Actually, the funniest person in this trailer is the dude from USS Callister and he didn't even say anything. (I'm sure he has a bigger part in the movie.) The premise is really good, and if they go where they seem to want to, making a Clue-type movie, it could be good. But, I don't think they're going to succeed. They don't appear to... have all the pieces.
Feb 23rd; NR
Duncan Jones' new original film is a Netflix release, and I just forgot about all of the above movies. I want to see this so much and I won't even have to leave my house to do it! The trailer is pretty vague and confusing, but I only watched it for this post anyway -- I would would watch anything by Duncan Jones without a trailer. Moon is one of my all-time favorite scifi movies, and Source Code is also great film. Warcraft was pretty bad, but hey, that one wasn't original, so... This one stars Alexander Skarsgård (of the Skarsgård acting family) as a mute guy. And Paul Rudd is in it. The scifi world looks awesome too, but even without all that I'd still be here. Because Duncan Jones.
Feb 2nd; Netflix
Don't get this and the above mixed up -- the trailer covers are laughably similar! If Mute doesn't count as scifi noir, then this one certainly does. Blade Runner vibes everywhere. This one's a Netflix TV series, which has it's own pros and cons. And if I base it solely on the trailer I might not like this one as much even with noir mystery element, but we'll see. Oh yes, we will see. I now officially declare February to be a Month of Science Fiction. I am a very happy camper right now. Even if all the scifi releases disappoint, right now, the anticipation is great.