January is over, which means the new year of film can finally begin to ramp up. The first month of the year is historically a bad time for new releases. The box office is usually dominated by carry-over from the holiday season, leaving January releases as duds the majority of the time. January 2015 was a surprising change of pace with American Sniper’s dominance at the box office (although its release was technically in December). But beyond Clint Eastwood’s war piece, there wasn’t much to be said about January. Now that it’s behind us, we can look ahead to the month in movies.
The Wachowski Brothers haven’t made a truly successful movie since the Matrix trilogy. Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas were both financial flops. The question with Jupiter Ascending is whether or not it can revive the Wachowski’s career. The trailers don’t prove to me that anything special is in store with this film–certainly nothing as groundbreaking as The Matrix. But the Wachowski’s have proven their worth in the world of science fiction cinema. Plus, Jupiter totes a powerful cast that includes Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, and Eddie Redmayne. I would be surprised to see this movie succeed, but it will release to little competition save for the continuing stranglehold that American Sniper has on the market.
Jupiter Ascending opens nationwide on Feb. 6.
I have nothing to say about this movie. It looks pretty dreadful. Maybe it’s that I can’t appreciate sword-and-shield fantasy, but the trailers make this film look like a massive misfire. The film does star Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore, but I have a nagging feeling that they won’t be able to save this sinking ship. I could be wrong, as I’m judging the film on trailer alone, but I can’t imagine this film as a success.
Seventh Son opens nationwide on Feb. 6.
The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
It’s a behemoth of children’s television. I grew up loving it. Spongebob Squarepants is a dominating pop culture icon. That being said, this movie look strange. Not only has Nickolodean attempted to translate the kid’s show to the silver screen before to lackluster results, but this time they are essentially abandoning the show’s standard animation for a Roger Rabbit style. It could be great, possibly bringing some nostalgia to the all-grown-up fans of the show. The first Spongebob film was a box office success, even though the film itself wasn’t anything spectacular. Also, as a quick aside, these parody posters for the new film are hilarious. So, that’s slightly promising.
The Spongebob Movie opens nationwide on Feb. 6.
Kingsman: The Secret Service
The director who brought us Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class is coming into 2015 with another comic book-adapted action joint involving a secret agent who adopts a promising young man as his apprentice in the art of espionage. The trailer makes the film seem cheeky and fun, and the film has its weight of star-power (Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine). It doesn’t look like anything more than a flashy action film, but it seems like it has the potential to be, if nothing else, fun to watch.
Kingsman: The Secret Service opens nationwide on Feb. 13.
Fifty Shades of Grey
I don’t know what to do with this. The only worthwhile aspect of the trailers is the Beyonce track, which is actually a pretty cool rendition of her song “Crazy in Love.” Of course the draw of this film is that it will be titillating and provocative, perhaps even controversial. But in actuality, it isn’t all that novel of a film. Erotic film has existed for a long time. And I can guarantee that there are better films pertaining to BDSM than Fifty Shades. That is, assuming that Fifty Shades won’t blow me away. If Fifty Shades of Grey blows me away, I’ll eat my shoe. I’ll eat your shoe, at that. Watch Secretary if you want a good film with BDSM themes. Heck, Nymphomaniac, Volume II will likely prove to be a better movie than Fifty Shades (I was not a huge fan of that Lars von Trier joint).
Fifty Shades of Grey opens nationwide on Feb. 13.
What We Do in the Shadows
I actually got a chance to see this movie a few months before its U.S. nationwide release, and I loved it. It’s a New Zealand mockumentary comedy following a house full of vampire roommates. And they’re not Stephanie Meyer’s vampires. Or Bela Lugosi’s vampire. Essentially, they’re just dorks. It is written, directed, and stars Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Concords) and Taika Waititi (Eagle vs. Shark). If you want to see a comedy that will likely fly under the radar this year in the U.S., see this movie. It will be well worth your time.
What We Do in the Shadows opens nationwide on Feb. 13.
The Lazarus Effect
Historically, horror films have been hit or miss, often times erring on the side of miss. That being said, I love them. Because of this, The Lazarus Effect is on my radar. Unfortunately, the trailer clearly gives some things away, particularly as it pertains to Donald Glover’s (Community) character. Overall, the film doesn’t look like anything novel. However, the casting seems interesting, so it may be a noteworthy watch.
The Lazarus Effect opens nationwide Feb. 27.
There are clearly other movies coming out in February that I have neglected to comment on, mostly due to the fact that I know very little about them or I otherwise have nothing to say about them. I am interested in David Cronenberg’s new movie Maps to the Stars, but haven’t heard a lot about it. Also, Will Smith’s Focus and Hot Tub Time Machine 2. I don’t have much to say about either of these two. What intrigues me of Hot Tub 2 is the addition of Adam Scott. Having opted out of the first installment, I will have to go back and do some watching before I can see or comment on the sequel.
As always, thanks for reading!
What movies are you looking forward to in February? Let me know in the comments!
–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)