I, Frankenstein sure was something, eh? Why that movie wasn’t a bigger hit is beyond comprehension, but like most works of unheralded beauty, it will stand the test of time. January 2014 will forever be known as the month that didn’t recognize a good thing when it was sitting there in a cineplex the whole damn time. The same might be said for this February, with Jason Reitman’s Labor Day tanking alongside its Frankensteinian brethren.
Which is a shame. Reitman’s movie is actually rather memorable. The film, albeit quite flawed, is refreshingly sincere, romantic, and is without any irony. While the last day of January didn’t do it any favors with poor reviews and a low audience turnout, make sure to see its beautiful cinematography and Josh Brolin’s performance before it leaves theaters.
And after you finally get around to Labor Day, make sure to checkout these five February releases as well:
Now available on VOD.
Film critic Todd Gilchrist said it best, comparing this thriller to the likes of Hitchcock and De Palma. High praise indeed, but it’s well-deserved. Director Eugenio Mira’s thriller has a sense of style, terror, and laughs that all contain echoes of the old masters.
Elijah Wood stars as a snobby piano player under heaps of pressure, mostly coming from a mystery man voiced by John Cusack. If the piano player hits one false note, he’s dead. It’s an intriguing set up that the film lives up to with a tight script, Mira’s taught direction, and Wood and Cusack’s performances.
The LEGO Movie
Opens February 7th.
A 90 minute advertisement for LEGOs is not The LEGO Movie. Or at least it’s much more than that. Based on early reviews, it is a heartfelt, funny, wonderful animated surprise from directors who are no strangers to exceeding expectations, having made 21 Jump Street and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs real surprise hits.
It’s a joy to hear Chris Lord and Philip Miller’s LEGO epic, following an unsatisfied builder voiced by Chris Pratt, is a winner.
Opens February 14th.
Akiva Goldsman’s directorial debut may have one of the worst taglines in recent memory – “This is not a true story. It is a love story” – but an eye-rolling tagline can’t stop Winter’s Tale from being a promising start for the writer-turned-director. Yes, as all uptight nerds are fond of pointing out, Goldman did write Joel Schumacher’s Batman pictures, but he also wrote A Beautiful Mind, A Time to Kill, Cinderella Man, and The Client.
He’s at his best with character-driven stories, and this adaptation falls firmly into that camp. Goldsman has Colin Farrell, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, and Russell Crowe starring in this love story shrouded in mystery, so all the first-time director needed to do was match the talent in front of his camera to make a worthy introduction.
3 Days to Kill
Opens February 21st.
2014 is another notable year for Kevin Costner. He did fine work in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, gives a very assured performance in Ivan Reitman’s Draft Day, and, before we see Reitman’s picture, he has 3 Days to Kill. Costner stars in McG’s film as a dying spy who has to take on “one last job” for a cure, so he can spend more time with his family and, of course, keep living.
From what I’ve been told, McG’s movie, penned by Luc Besson, is an entertaining action movie with Costner, once again, reminding us why he’s one of the most reliable actors working today.
Opens February 28th.
Here’s another February movie that has Hitchcock’s DNA all over it. That’s no surprise, as Jaume Collet-Serra’s last film, Unknown, was an obvious riff on Hitchcock, and a pretty darn good one at that.
Non-Stop features Liam Neeson racing against the clock to solve a mystery, and while the trailer seems to show far too much of that race, it also promises a fun, slickly produced thriller.
What February flicks are you looking forward to the most?