2019 In Film – A Preview – February

Jacob’s Ladder

As is often the case with these remakes, my foremost reaction is ‘why?’ Jacob’s Ladder is one of the most unique movies of the nineties and I can’t see anyone remaking this while retaining that level of weirdness. I can only assume it’s going to be generic horror with expensive generic visuals to compensate for the lack of true oddity. I don’t care about any of the cast and I don’t care about the director. Why?

Miss Bala

Another remake, another ‘why’. The original is good, this looks like a much glossier version which panders to the white audience while still featuring a mainly Latino cast. Still, it should have a bunch of guns and stuff blowing up.

Arctic

Similar to how I have spoken about siege movies, I enjoy movies in limited settings or with a limited cast. There’s something about setting limitations which allows creativity to flourish. This stars Mads Mikkelsen as a man stranded in the Arctic…. and that’s about it. Mikkelsen is great, but the fact that it’s the debut movie by a Youtuber has me worried. That’s not to say it can’t be great, but still…

Cold Pursuit

It’s Liam Neeson’s latest revenge thriller. That’s all you need to know, right? They’re always pretty rubbish but always entertaining. It’s another remake, but at least it’s being directed by the same guy.

The Lego Movie 2

I still haven’t seen the first one – to be honest I thought there had already been a second one. I’m sure I’ll get to this at some point.

The Prodigy

It’s ‘not The Exorcist’. No-0ne in the cast excites me, I enjoyed director Nicholas McCarthy’s The Pact but haven’t seen his follow up. This is his third.

What Men Want

So this is What Women Want, but with the sex and race flipped. I’m not a fan of romantic comedies at all as I never find them funny and rarely find them charming or sweet or worthwhile in the slightest. That said, I love Taraji P Henson and the cast has some interesting choices and while I’m sure the director is a great guy, he hasn’t directed a single movie I would ever choose to watch.

Everybody Knows

It’s Penelope Cruze, Javier Bardem, and Asghar Farhadi which should be enough for any movie fan. His films never sound like something I want to watch, but they’re always good.

Lords Of Chaos

This should be right up my ally, given that I’m a huge horror fan, an outre fan, and a metal fan. I know a lot of the music and performers which the story talks about (the birth of Norwegian Black Metal) and if you’re not familiar with the true details of what happened I’d encourage you read. It’s all true life horrific stuff and not for the faint-hearted. The problem with all of this is that almost everyone involved is a total bag of dicks – quite a few of them are murderers, most of them are hate-filled racists, homophobes, and xenophobes,  and… well that’s really all that needs to be said.

Under The Eiffel Tower

Looks like one of those mid-life crisis Romantic Dramas, so you can guess I’m already out unless the cast has some surprises….. nope. Guess that’s a no all round then.

Isn’t It Romantic

Billed as a fantasy comedy, this is is just another romantic comedy in time for Hallmark Money Day. I’m conflicted though, because there is talent involved – I can’t stand Rebel Wilson, but Liam Hemsworth is there along with Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Saunders. The writers haven’t done anything which has really excited me, but director Todd Strauss- Schulson made The Final Girls which I loved. This sounds that it will pretty meta and invert a lot of tropes like The Final Girls did, so it could be a surprise hit for me.

Birds Of Passage

On the surface this looks like another crime saga, but the directors did Embrace Of The Serpent which was certainly unique and this has so far been picking up a lot of positive reviews so I have no doubt this will offer something different in the usual rise and fall of organised crime stories.

Alita Battle Angel

Speaking of sagas, this one has been on a bit of a journey. No need to cover old ground – all you need to say to get me in the chair is that James Cameron was involved. Or that Robert Rodriguez is directing. Sure, both of those guys appear to be past their best, but you always hold out hope for one more hit. I’m not yet a big fan of the whole CG human CG world thing, and I’m far more invested in a film if it has a good story and characters – how it looks is the icing on the cake. I don’t know anything about the story or the manga but those generally follow similar ideas. Some decent names in the cast too, with Jennifer Connelly, Christoph Waltz, Mahershala Ali, Jackie Earle Hayley, Michelle Rodriguez, and Casper Van Dien – props to crafting a diverse cast.

Fighting With My Family

It’s another one I’m conflicted by – wasn’t this meant to come out last year? I’ve seen it advertised for almost a year it seems like. Wrestling origin stories are something almost never explored on the big screen, though I can think of a hundred other wrestling bios I’d want to see before Paige’s. One the plus side, the cast is pretty good with The Rock as himself, Florence Pugh, Nick Frost, Lena Headey, and Vince Vaughn, but on the downside it’s directed by Stephen Merchant and I haven’t liked a single thing he has written or directed yet.

Happy Death Day 2U

I haven’t seen the first one yet – I will – and heard mixed reports about it. I’ve no idea if this is a direct sequel, a spin off, or a new story with new characters, but usually sequels of surprise hits are bad. Still, it’s horror so I’ll get more out of it than the usual comic book adaptations and big name dramas.

How To Train Your Dragon The Hidden World

I haven’t seen a single entry of this series yet, so no idea what this is about. Presumably there are dragons.

The Rhythm Section

This one could be interesting, though likely not. It’s being produced by the Bond team which is what has me interested – not necessarily in seeing it, just in how it came about. Was it a cancelled Bond story? It’s about a spy. More likely they’re trying to cash in on the Bond audience. It stars Blake Lively and is directed by a woman known for her work as Cinematographer on a bunch of movies and shows – some I’ve seen, some I haven’t, but those I have seen have been decent. Jude Law is also there, I can take or leave him. Sounds like it could be a VOD action mess or underground hit.

The Turning

This one has had a long history too… not sure why when it’s just another Adaptation of The Turn Of The Screw which I have read. It’s directed by Floria Sigismondi who I know more for her stylish music videos rather than her TV or Film work. It was originally meant to be made by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo, whose work I am familiar with and love. I can’t imagine this being anything we haven’t seen before though the cast is strong enough to warrant a watch.

Styx

A German drama set mainly on the ocean (sea?) about a sailor encountering a boat of refugees? That’s unique enough to get me on board.

The Informer

Sounds like a straight forward enough action crime movie, continuing Rosamund Pike’s trend to becoming an action heroine. Clive Owen and Joel Kinnaman also star – cool, and it’s directed by actor Andrea Di Stefano. This could go either way.

Which films of February are you keen on seeing? Let us know in the comments!

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