A selection of films you may or may not want to watch this February. There’s quite a few and it’s a varied choice so if you don’t like the sound of some of them there are still plenty more to choose from. 🙂
Chronicle (February 1st)
Ever wonder what it would be like or what you’d do if you developed supernatural-powers? I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve been asked the question “if you could have one (It’s always one) superpower what would it be?” followed by “And Why?” I’ve always gone with read minds, but I also want to fly too.
Chronicle, directed by the fairly unknown Josh Trank, documents –in ‘discovered footage’ style- the lives of three teenage school friends who develop powers after making a mysterious discovery. But unlike other popular superhero movies Chronicle deviates from the Superhero norm and explores what having these new abilities might actually be like in a more realistic and believable setting. These are relatable characters and situations only with a little something extra, and when these three friends start to adapt to their new lives their friendship is tested by the pull of a dark force.
The discovered footage style has been done to death now and is often used as a gimmick. But in Chronicle it’s surprisingly refreshing and perfectly fitting. It’s three boys documenting their live with supernatural powers. That’s believable. It doesn’t make you think “as if” because instead of running round with a camera they should be running for their lives. Chronicle is one of the films I’m most eager to see this year, It’s an exciting new spin on the sci-fi superhero genre that will undoubtedly put Josh Trank and Max Landis (writer) on the map.
Martha Marcy May Marlene (February 3rd)
Does this face look familiar? Remind you of anyone? Elizabeth Olsen is the younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Previously unheard of she is now making a name for herself, forging her own career that will undoubtedly rival and outshine her sisters. This psychological thriller sees Olsen play a troubled girl, who after fleeing a cult tries to re-adjust and settle back into normal life. But she is plagued by paranoia and struggles to re-assimilate with her family, instead haunted by the memories of her unsettling past.
The film has already generated some serious awards buzz, nominated by several associations and awards for best female lead (Elizabeth Olsen), supporting actor (John Hawkes), and best screenplay and film (penned by Sean Durkin), and has already won a handful of awards. I doubt it’s a money-maker but it’s one you won’t forget about in a hurry.
The Innkeepers (February 3rdUSA release date)
Sara Paxton seems trapped in the realm of Horror films. Having played the leading lady in Last House On The Left, Shark Night, Enter Nowhere, The Innkeepers (Which I’m putting down for a February release even though there has only been a US release date) and the yet to be released The Briar Lake Murders. She’s been typecast as the horror girl and looks set to continue her trend in many more scary films. The Innkeepers looks chilling and jumpy. Even with an unimaginative, done to death script the trailer alone has enough scares and shocking moments to interest me. I haven’t seen a decent new horror film in a while, and although I always regret it afterwards –sleeping with the light on and furniture wedged behind the door- I will give most horror films a watch.
Woman In Black (February 3rd)
It could be terrible. And it will require Harry Potter *ahem* I mean Daniel Radcliffe to do more than act like a nervous, awkward wizard, and actually do some real acting. But I’m surprisingly hopeful about it. It’s directed by James Watkins who wrote and directed Eden Lake (an underrated horror starring Michael Fassbender and Thomas Turgoose that’s well worth a watch). So I’m confident in his skills of creating a truly haunting, tense, and gritty piece of cinema. “Good luck Harry!”
Carnage (February 3rd)
In Roman Polanski’s latest feature, two couples –played by John C Reilly, Jodie Foster, Christopher Waltz, and Kate Winslet, come together in a meeting over a playground fight that broke out between their children. It’s a game of “my family’s better than yours” with a witty and smart script, incredible actors and a director responsible for greats like Chinatown, The Pianist, and Rosmary’s baby. It’s great to see John C Reilly back in some Non-Will-Ferelly-Films. He’s one of my favourite actors, underrated but incredibly talented.
Chemical Brothers: Don’t Think (February 3rd)
If you love Chemical Brothers then undoubtedly you’ll love this. If you don’t like them then don’t bother. Its Chemical Brothers headlining Japans Fujirock Festival in a full length live performance experience captured on 20 cameras that immerse you in the concert experience.
Young Adult (February 3rd)
It’s a rare and exciting chance to see Charlize Theron in a comedy. Stepping away from the challenging and often depressing roles she’s become synonymous with; Theron plays Mavis Gary, a recently divorced fiction writer who returns home to small town Minnesota where she’s hell bent on getting with her old high school flame Matt Freehauf (Patrick Wilson). Only problem is he’s happily married with kids. It’s a sharp, witty, and very sarcastic script written by Diablo Cody – responsible for Juno and Jennifer’s Body– teamed with director Jason Reitmen who directed Thank You For Smoking, Up In The Air, and worked previously with Cody on the brilliantly entertaining Juno.
The Muppets (February 10th)
Everybody loves The Muppets. Not much else I need to say really, only that it’s written by Jason Segel, and directed by James Bobin; responsible for the incredible, uproarious comedy that is Flight Of The Conchords.
A Dangerous Method (February 10th)
Directed by David Cronenberg A Dangerous Method looks provocative in a fascinating story of two ‘well respected men, psychiatrist Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and his mentor neurologist Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen). The two men are torn apart when Jung takes on a patient; a young Russian woman (Keira Knightly) who becomes romantically involved with Jung causing a rift between a man and his mentor.
Cronenberg and Mortensen are not unfamiliar with one another, having worked previously together on A History Of Violence and Eastern Promises in another successful Director/Actor partnership. Vincent Casell –another familiar face to Cronenberg- also stars, as Otto Gross an early disciple of Freud’s. However there are some fresh faces. Michael Fassbender and Keira Knightly are both first time’s for Cronenberg. However, while I commend his choice to cast man of the moment and the incredible talent that is Michael Fassbender as Carl Jung, I was far less impressed by his decision to cast Keira Knightly as A RUSSIAN WOMAN!!! If anything ruins this film it’ll be her horrendous attempt at a Russian accent. From the trailer alone she darts from English, American, to a rough resemblance of a generic Russian accent. I’m sure there were a handful of Russian actresses who could speak English or even English, American, Australian……anywhere else actors who could do a better job that her. “Cronenberg, why?”
The Vow (February 10th)
Undoubtedly not every film on this list will interest you, and if you’re a guy then this most certainly wont. But I’m a woman, I’m single, and it’s February. The release of The Vow comes days before Valentines Day. There has to be at least one cheesy romance on the list. I like to spend the week watching sappy romances, where I can indulge on and live vicariously through these sickly sweet and unrealistically romantic characters.
And this is definitely one of those films.
Loved up married couple Leo (Channing Tatum) and Paige (Rachel McAdams) are the picture of a perfect, fun, and blissful relationship. They are madly in love and nothing will tear them apart. Until …dun ..dun…duuuuun…..a car accident wipes out Paige’s memory. When she wakes from a coma with Leo at her side she has no idea who he is so for the rest of the film he tries desperately to win her back and have her fall in love with him all over again. Will they end up together again? Who knows? You’ll have to watch and find out. Who am I kidding; we all know how it ends.
Still, it’s a decent cast, I have a wee little crush on Tatum, and I love Jessica Lang (Especially as the bitch in American Horror Story). No doubt it will make you, and I, laugh and cry and almost vomit on the sickly sweetness of it. And I can’t wait.
Big Miracle (February 10th)
I love John Krasinski, I love Drew Barrymore, I love whales, and I love Alaska. It didn’t take much for Big Miracle to excite me. But what really sold it to me is that it’s based on a true story. I’m a sucker for Biopics and films based on true events.
When a family of whales are trapped under the ice in Barrow, Alaska the locals, with the help of news reporter Adam (Krasinski) and his ex-girlfriend and Greenpeace volunteer Rachel (Barrymore), pull together to save them. This is probably the one only family film on the list. One everyone can enjoy and no doubt cry over.
Rampart (February 24th)
Academy Award Nominee Woody Harrelson is in fighting form with an incredible performance to reignite his career. Set in 1999 Los Angeles, police Veteran Dave Brown (Harrelson), a dirty renegade cop, and perfect target finds himself at the centre of the Rampart scandal.
This is Harrelson’s second film with Director Oren Moverman, cast alongside an impressive calibre of actors that include Steve Buscemi, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Robin Wright, and Nedd Beatty. It’s an intelligent, gritty film that should not be missed. Maybe this could be the film that wins Woody his Oscar.
Safe House (February 24th)
This is the only film on the list with some serious action in it, and with Denzel Washington in the lead, who’s previous work includes the sharp and explosive Training Day, Man On Fire and American Gangster it will undoubtedly be a great performance from him if not a great film all round.
When a fresh-faced CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) is tasked with looking after a fugitive (Washington) they are forced on the run when the safe house comes under attack.
They say you’re only as good as your last work, so for Washington its plain sailing, and luckily for Reynolds The Green Lantern was a few films ago so I’ll look past this abomination of a film. And to his credit he has been in some pretty decent films like Buried and ….and……and …..well he’s not in the most thought-provoking or memorable films but he’s great in Rom/coms and I loved him in Amityville Horror. Safe House should be an entertaining and explosive watch at the very least.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (February 24th)
Based on the novel by Deborah Moggach The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of retirees to India to the Marigold Hotel, where they are promised a beautifully restored hotel. But on arrival they quickly discover it’s neither inviting nor luxurious and in fact it’s run down, and neglected. But as the expression goes “it’s not the place but the people”, and the characters who are all heart-warming, and endearingly funny are entertaining in their efforts to make a bad situation work. And in time this Palace begins to charm and win over its residents. It’s a cast of British acting royalty that includes Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Judie Dench, and Tom Wilkinson.
It might not be for everyone, especially a younger audience but its one I’m excited to see. No doubt I’ll watch it with my Nan.