Winter has come.
The Holidays being over, Hollywood now nestles into its burrow to await March, hibernating during the cold winter months. The cinematic highlights of January and February are typically the movies which were “released” in the prior year, but are only trickling out to cineplexes now.
As to NEW releases?
Let’s just say I hope you saved your nuts, my squirrely friends. Remember our “Tossin’ It Out There” thread from a few days back which asked which movies you were looking forward to the most in 2012? Scant few of these were mentioned there.
That’s not to say nothing’s happening! There’s new movies every week… Let’s take a look and see what Hollywood expects to hold us over between now and Spring…
Directed by Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Caleb Landry Jones, Lukas Haas, Diego Luna, J.K. Simmons
Marky Mark brings his unique blend of cheese back into our lives with “Contraband”, a film where he plays a “retired” smuggler who gets sucked back into the mix after someone close to him botches a run.
Which Marky Mark will we get? Boogie Nights/The Departed Marky Mark, or Planet of the Apes/The Happening Marky Mark?
This weekend we find out!!
Directed by Todd Graff
Starring: Queen Latifah, Dolly Parton, Keke Palmer, Jeremy Jordan, Courtney B. Vance, Dexter Darden, Kris Kristofferson
Let the competition for head of the choir begin! Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah star in a music laden comedy revolving around two women vying to be the lead of a competitive church choir. Comedy and catfights ensue.
Be on the lookout for lots of singing numbers and choral pieces as I’m sure the choir transforms from old school to new school. You know, if I had to guess.
Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Gina Carano, Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas, Channing Tatum, Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Michael Douglas
Here’s one that actually did get some mentions from visitors on Tuesday, Steven Soderbergh’s ”Haywire”, an action movie with a female lead featuring a ton of fight scenes (Carano is an MMA fighter and former “American Gladiator” ) and a boatload of superstar supporting actors.
I’ve been worried since Comic-Con that they were trying to cover up for Caranos lack of acting talent (hey, she’s gorgeous AND she kicks ass, you can’t have it all…) but apparently I shouldn’t be worried. Advance reviews are decidedly positive. Hooray!
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Starring: Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrance Howard, Bryan Cranston, Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Tristan Wilds, Cliff Smith, Kevin Phillips, Rick Otto, Lee Tergesen, Andre Royo, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Marcus T. Paulk, Leslie Odom Jr., Michael B. Jordan, Jazmine Sullivan, Edwina Finley, Daniela Ruah, Stacie Davis, Gerald McRaney
Red Tails is based on the story of the Tuskegee airmen, the storied group of WWII pilots who faced racism and segregation prior to being called into service and performing valiantly.
It’s a powerful story, and deserves revisitation. I’m just not certain I trust George Lucas to do it. Reportedly he began attempting to bring this story to the screen as far back as 88. What his troubles were I’m not sure, but two words can sum up my expectations “Broad Strokes”.
Directed by Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, India Eisley, Michael Ealy, Stephen Rea, Theo James, Charles Dance
Would you believe I’ve never seen an “Underworld” movie?
The series just never held any allure, and the buzz was never strong enough for me to feel the need to address the oversight.
But now with the blog, it looks like I’m going in. I may power through the first three in one day to prep up.
Starring: Liam Neeson, Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson, James Badge Dale, Nonso Anozie
Liam Neeson is in a plane crash somewhere cold and he misses his wife and runs through the snow and fights a wolf with his bare hands.
Naw, I’m sure there’s more to it than that, but it is a survival in the snow movie, and the marketing has pretty strongly emphasized the face off against the wolves. Best case scenario in my opinion is “The Edge” with wolves instead of a bear. But hey, I love that movie, so…
Man on a Ledge
Directed by Asger Leth
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Edward Burns, Titus Welliver, Génesis Rodríguez, Kyra Sedgwick
So. Here’s what I can discern without spoiling the movie for myself beyond the trailer/marketing.
A man climbs out on a ledge and creates a media frenzy by claiming he’s going to jump. Meanwhile, the distraction is helping to cover a bank heist. But it’s all going on in order to expose some kind of high level wall street type criminal.
It’s got a very “Inside Man” feel to it, but that movie had Spike Lee, Denzel and Clive Owen. This one doesn’t. So we’ll see how it comes out, kudos to them for attempting something with a bit of a “level of difficulty” to it.
One for the Money
Directed by Julie Anne Robinson
Starring: Katherine Heigl, Jason O’Mara, Daniel Sunjata, John Leguizamo, Debbie Reynolds, Debra Monk
I’m just gonna say it.
This looks… ok, to me.
“Uhm… Excuse me, is this where you go to turn in your man card? Oh, down that hall there? Ok…”
Directed by Ken Kwapis
Starring: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell, Tim Blake Nelson, Dermot Mulroney, Ted Danson
Where are the nuclear wessles?
No, seriously, I saw this movie already and this is how it goes:
Drew Barrymore: Those whales are trapped! They’re going to DIE if we can’t help them!
143 Other People: We can’t! We’re sorry…
Drew Barrymore: But we HAVE TO!
143 Other People: Oh… Ok…
Directed by Josh Trank
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, Alex Russell, Michael Kelly
Is the term “Found Footage” starting to make everyone cringe? I know it is for me.
Anyways, three dudes gain super-powers by finding a mysterious object or some such. After a short time of enjoying their newfound abilities, one literally “let’s his power go to his head” and turns evil.
I smell “X-Men: First Class” meets the CW for some reason…
The Woman in Black
Directed by James Watkins
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Liz White, Alisa Khazanova, Tim McMullan, Roger Allam, Daniel Cerqueira, Shaun Dooley, Mary Stockley, Cathy Sara, David Burke, Victor McGuire, Lucy May Barker
I think it speaks poorly to me as a person that there’s a part of me that really would like it if the “Harry Potter” kids turned into the cast of “Diff’rent Strokes” pt. 2. I keep rooting to hear to hear they’re on drugs or are secretly arming themselves against the “New World Order”… So far they’re disappointingly well-behaved.
Here, Radcliffe plays an outsider/investigator who goes to a small town in Olde England and discovers it’s being haunted. Has potential.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Directed by Brad Peyton
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Michael Caine, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman, Kristen Davis
I suppose it’s for kids though, right?
Directed by Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, Sam Shepard, Robert Patrick, Liam Cunningham, Brendon Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, Fares Fares, Nora Arnezeder, Joel Kinnaman, Ruben Blades
So. Here’s what I can gather. Denzel’s an ex CIA badass captured by the CIA. The “Safe House” he’s in is attacked, and Ryan Reynolds has to move him. Denzel promptly begins to mind $&#% Reynolds into letting him go.
I can see that. I’m in.
Directed by Michael Sucsy
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Channing Tatum, Scott Speedman, Jessica Lange, Sam Neill
The title of this film SHOULD be “The 2012 Annual Valentine’s Day Weekend Chick Flick”.
The high concept is that a woman loses her memory in a car crash, so that her husband has to make her fall in love with him all over again.
My standard quip is something to the effect of “This HAD to be written by a woman”, but in this case I think it was actually written by a committee of Hallmark, Russell Stovers and 1-800-Flowers marketing execs.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
Directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor
Nicolas Cage, Idris Elba, Fergus Riordan, Ciarán Hinds, Violante Placido,
I expect marginal improvement over the disappointing original based on the involvement of batshit crazy directors Neveldine and Taylor.
They put on a panel at this year’s NYCC and the footage they brought, plus their enthusiasm, had me hoping we’d get a worthy flick for this character.
Unfortunately, that feeling was dispelled upon finally seeing the first trailer. Eesh.
This Means War
Directed by McG
Tom Hardy, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Chelsea Handler, Til Schweiger, Abigail Spencer
This movie looks to be an action/romance/comedy, with the emphasis on the comedy. Two spies both simultaneously fall for the same girl – Reese Witherspoon. They both then promptly abuse their spy clearances in order to engage in battle over her.
Comedy ensues. And you know? It looks as though some comedy might actually ensue… so… ok.
Act of Valor
Directed by “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh
Starring: Active Duty Navy SEALs, Roselyn Sánchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle, Nester Serrano
I’m mildly disturbed by the concept of this movie. It seems way too close to a recruiting tool for me. Not that there’s anything wrong with recruiting tools, but they should be labeled as such and kept away from regular movies.
And if it’s not a recruitment tool, don’t our “Active Duty Navy SEALs” have more important things to do than be making movies?
All that aside, it has the potential to be a very accurate movie, so the potential is there for it to be to movies what “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” is to video games.
Directed by Heitor Dhalia
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, Emily Wickersham, Wes Bentley, Erin Carufel, Socratis Otto
Amanda Seyfried stars in a movie about a girl who believes a serial killer has returned years after the fact in order to finish what he started… killing her.
As far as thriller premises go, it’s pretty threadbare. But hey, Amanda Seyfried is in it. So, tickets sold already = one.
So there you have it folks! All the big movies coming out between now and mini-summer… March! What do you think? Any of these you’re excited to see? Can’t wait til the ground thaws and Hollywood brings us back the big ticket movies again? Let us know!