There’s a lot coming out this week folks… and none of it looks particularly good. We’ve got some limited release movies from last year making their way to screens, an awards bait film that’s coming out way too early in the year and another beautifully shot nature documentary that is once again narrated by… Jim from the office? Just another case of an unqualified white man taking over a job vacated by a charismatic black man.
Is scorned ex-lover a movie genre? With the amount of movies that have centered on two women fighting over, in this case some dude that was like in 20 episodes of 7th Heaven, I can’t imagine that the world was clamoring for another one of these films. Add in the fact that this is clearly an attempt by Katherine Heigl to reinvigorate her career by embracing aspects of her personality that people seem to loathe her for and I can only guess that every review for this movie will probably proclaim how the movie is totally forgettable.
Born in China
Born in China is a live action prequel to the Kung Fu Panda trilogy… is what this would need to be for me to think about seeing it in theaters. I’m not trying to cry in a movie theater filled with a bunch of kids laughing at pandas and monkeys playing with each other in glorious high definition. I’ll save all my tears for Disney’s animated features. An interesting aspect to this movie is the collaboration with the Chinese government which begs the question: how long before Disney buys China?
Yet another found footage horror movie looking to turn a small budget into a huge return, Phoenix Forgotten does take a turn from unrealistic occult phenomena towards the much more scientifically sound alien invasion genre. This film has the backing of Ridley Scott and borrows a lot from the Blair Witch but at an overall runtime of 80 minutes and a relatively unknown cast might make for a new take on an old formula.
I remember seeing the trailer for this a while back and thinking that it looked so ridiculous, I just had to see it. And then I forgot that it even existed. So imagine my surprise when I see it’s getting a limited release, giving me a chance to make good on a promise to myself. This movie has a cast that, when read out loud, sounds impressive but I can see being bloated and a detriment to the overall feel. But the idea of throwing all these actors into a warehouse where a weapons deal goes south and having a free for all to get out alive does still sound interesting. And believe it or not, I’ll still watch anything with Sharlto Copely in it.
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
I’m a little weary of biopics these days because they rarely set out to give you an unbiased view of the person being documented. I just watched one on Joe Cocker and I was convinced for about an entire day that he was the best singer to ever sing a song! But this film not only sets out to tell the story of Jeremiah Tower but the rise of the chef as a multimedia star and how that paved way for the celebrity chefs we see all around today. So you can thank this dude for Guy Fieri is what I’m saying.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki
This, my friends, is the Finnish boxing biography movie you’ve all been waiting for! A great mix between the Fighter and Inspector Palmu’s Error, Happiest Day delves into the life of Finnish legend Olli Maki seemingly having a perfect life where his biggest problem is deciding between being totally in love or being the best Finnish boxer. May we all have this tragedy. Something tells me he’s going to end up finding a way to struggle through this great terror, otherwise it would be the saddest day.
Here’s your Oscar bait, which just so happens to star Oscar Isaac and “very likely to yell a lot during every movie” Christian Bale. Set during the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Promise is a love triangle story set during genocidal destruction with the idea that love will save us all. What’s interesting from the trailer is that it kind of seems like one of those stories where the jilted lover and the new lothario end up being best buds so I guess this movie has that going for it.
Listen, this is a kids film that’s part Anastasia, part the Prince and the Pauper and all cheese but I would be remiss if I buried the lead any further than this: Carly Rae Jepsen does a voice in this movie. That’s right! Call Me Maybe voices Odette in this movie. If having an exclamation point at the end of its title wasn’t enough to sell me on this film, casting the Jeps locked me in!
Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Ignoring the glaringly obvious homage to one of “the greatest movies of all time” Citizen Jane is all about an old white lady fighting the against gentrification, a real underdog’s tale. In all seriousness, documenting Jane Jacobs’ fight against Robert Moses does seem like fertile ground for a documentary, just don’t know if any of the people who were actually marginalized by the development of New York City in the ‘60s and ‘70s will care that much about this movie. At least it wins points for the G.I. Jane reference.