Ok, boys and girls. The Holiday Season is over… and the Spring Season, full of mini Blockbusters, is still months away.
Between now and then lies Hollywood’s dumping ground. The Hollywood fields lie fallow in the winter, bearing little quality product. It’s the two months of the year we need to “Get through”. While January typically offers some limited releases from the prior year going wide, there’s typically little else to get excited over.
Will this year be different? Are there any movies to get excited about these next two months? Let’s take a look at the release slate and see what we’ve got!
“Texas Chainsaw 3D”
Directed By: John Luessenhop
Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde
Take classic horror property. Update with unknowns. Repeat.
“A Haunted House”
Directed by: Michael Tiddes
Starring: Marlon Wayans, Nick Swardson, David Koechner, Essence Atkins, Cedric the Entertainer, Alanna Ubach, Jamie Noel
Marlon Wayans (screenplay) strikes again! Once again he’s mining his Scary Movie/Parody movie comfort zone, this time with a more Afro-centric perspective. I know that it’s a comedy, but I’m actually a little frightened of the fact that this movie prominently features Nick Swardson.
Directed By: Ruben Fleischer
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Nick Nolte, Wade Williams, Mireille Enos
I know that the cast is loaded. I know that this was originally slated for a September release and not January (pushed back due to the Aurora shootings). I know that it’s a cop/mob movie. But something here is severely setting off my “Stinker Alarm”. I hope I’m wrong, I really do… I definitely like the cast, but I’ve got to call it like I see it, and my money’s on “Disappointment”.
Directed by: Allen Hughes
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler
Wahlberg and Crowe squaring off? Sure, that sounds good to me! This flick strikes me as a cross between “City Hall” and “Unfaithful”… Whether it’s half as good as either of those is yet to be seen.
“The Last Stand”
Directed by: Kim Jee-Woon
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Forest Whitaker, Peter Stormare, Jaimie Alexander, Rodrigo Santoro, Zach Gilford, Johnny Knoxville, Harry Dean Stanton, Luis Guzmán, Génesis Rodríguez
Is Schwarzenegger too old? We’ll see, in this January shoot-em-up. At least they acknowledge he’s getting old via a joke or two.
Directed by: Andres Muschietti
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
You know what has me hoping this might be good (aside from the involvement Jessica Chastain)? It’s produced by Guillermo del Toro. In Guillermo I trust.
“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters”
Directed by: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Zoe Bell, Famke Janssen, Peter Stormare, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Thomas Mann
This movie has a chance at the “Dumb Fun” route to success. My worry is, it will take itself too seriously and just wind up “Dumb”. I’m not encouraged by the fact that this movie was bumped by its March 2012 release date, that’s not a sign of studio confidence.
Directed by: Patrik Forsberg, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, Jonathan van Tulleken
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Emma Stone, Gerald Butler, Chloe Grace Moretz, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Kate Winslet, Josh Duhamel, Richard Gere, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, Patrick Warburton, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Jason Sudeikis, Kate Bosworth, Bobby Cannavale, Justin Long, J.B. Smoove, Kieran Culkin, Leslie Bibb, Terrence Howard, Jack McBrayer, Tony Shalhoub
No, you’re not seeing things. That’s 12 directorial credits. 12. That’s not a confidence builder, right there. The fact that the movie is able to boast such big names amongst the massive cast is mildly reassuring, but there’s a strong possibility that this movie has nothing going for it beyond its shock value.
Director: Taylor Hackford
Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Bobby Cannavale, Clifton Collins, Jr., Wendell Pierce, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Sala Baker
You know? I’d actually like this movie to be good. I like Statham, J Lo was great a long time ago in “Out of Sight” and The Shield and The Wire represent. The trailer looks slick, let’s hope there’s a cool crime caper here to be had!
“Bullet to the Head”
Directed by: Walter Hill
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Christian Slater, Jason Mamoa, Jon Seda, Brian Van Holt
Nothing is over!!
Is Stallone too old? We’ll see, in this February shoot-em-up. At least they acknowledge he’s getting old via a joke or two.
“Stand Up Guys”
Directed by: Fisher Stevens
Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Alan Arkin, Bill Burr
Hell yes! LOL. The combination of Walken, Pacino and Arkin is enough to pique my interest! Old mob guys? Those guys? You betcha! Of course, it’s only batting 50% on Rotten Tomatoes right now… Dammit!!
Directed by: Jonathan Levine
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Rob Corddry, John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton, Dave Franco, Cory Hardrict
Ok, this just looks dumb. Seriously. I already have it penciled in as a nominee for the 2013 MAJOR Awards “Worst Movie” category.
“A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III”
Directed by: Roman Coppola
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Bill Murray, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jason Schwartzman, Aubrey Plaza, Patricia Arquette, Katheryn Winnick
Ok. If there’s one movie on this list that I’m really hoping lives up to its potential here, it’s this one. Could it wind up a hot mess? Of course it could. But it could also turn out to be a batshit crazy funny movie. Hopes are high for the latter.
Directed by: Seth Gordon
Starring: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Peet, John Cho, Clark Duke, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Mary-Charles Jones, Jon Favreau, Génesis Rodríguez
Bateman is funny. McCarthy is funny. The second trailer seems funny. We’ll see if they can put a cohesive flick together… I’m already suspicious about the gangster debt seeming subplot they allude to in the trailer. When you get your guard up over a subplot just during the trailer? That’s not a good sign.
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh
Starring: Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vinessa Shaw, David Costabile
There’s certainly some talent attached here, between Soderbergh and the cast. I’m not overly enthused for some reason, but hopefully it will be (at the least) a decent enough movie along the lines of Soderbergh’s last couple.
Directed by: Richard LaGravenese
Starring: Viola Davis, Alice Englert, Emma Thompson, Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Irons, Alden Ehrenreich, Thomas Mann, Kyle Gallner
Twilight lite! LOL
“A Good Day to Die Hard”
Directed by: John Moore
Starring: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir, Cole Hauser, Amaury Nolasco, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Anne Vyalitsyna, Mary Elizabeth Winstead
“Live Free or Die Hard” was a June release that grossed $134 million domestically and $330+ mil worldwide. That was just over five years ago. Now they’ve targeted Valentines Day. Can you say “Lowered Expectations”?
“Escape from Planet Earth”
Directed by: Cal Brunker
Starring: (The voices of) Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba, William Shatner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jane Lynch, Paul Reubens, Sofia Vergara, George Lopez, Craig Robinson
Wow. That animation looks bland as hell. LOL. Doesn’t look that promising, to me.
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, David Lyons, Cobie Smulders, Mimi Kirkland, Noah Lomax, Mike Pniewski
Just how prolific is Nicholas Sparks, anyways? Are we gonna get an adaptation of his syrupy gobbledy-goop every year?
Directed by: Scott Stewart
Starring: Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, J.K. Simmons
This strikes me as “Paranormal Activity” with Aliens, minus the found footage conceit. J.K. Simmons makes any movie better, Hell, I even like his Farmer’s Market insurance commercials. But will he be enough?
Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Benjamin Bratt, Barry Pepper
You know what? At least we get to see the Rock fighting people. None of this lame-ass family movie dreck he’s spent the last five to ten years or so on. Punch some people Rock, will ya?! Fer godssakes…
Well, there it is people. The lineup from now until March.
Are there any amongst this bunch that you’re looking forward to? A jewel in the rough? Which of these really set off YOUR stinker alarm?
Lets hear it! What are your thoughts about the 2013 Winter Season??