Going forward, I’ll be previewing notable movies to be released within the next 30 days at the beginning of each month. I’ve always found it to be a bit of a hassle to keep track of movies that I’d like to see and when they actually get released, so hopefully this will be a helpful tool for everyone. My “intrigue” rating is on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being a hard pass and 10 being a must-see.
Miss Bala – February 1st
A remake of director Gerardo Naranjo’s 2011 Mexican film of the same title, and as with most remakes these days – it looks like it could be a little rough. The story itself revolves around a woman entangled in organized crime in/around Mexico, and while that sounds interesting on the surface – the trailer unfortunately looks extremely basic and I question how well Gina Rodriguez (Annihilation, Deepwater Horizon) will perform in a lead role rather than supporting.
Cold Pursuit – February 8th
You won’t believe this, but Liam Neeson is back as a dad hellbent on revenge – this time as a snow plow driver looking to avenge his son. Based on a similar Norwegian film (that stars Stellan Skarsgard), LN looks to fill another role loosely derived from the character he brilliantly portrayed in the Taken movies. Add in Laura Dern (who also happens to be in the midst of a late-career resurgence) and the obvious self-awareness in the trailer and it’s hard to not be a little giddy for this, even if it winds up being a dud.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part – February 8th
It’s been nearly 5 years since we last saw Emmet (Chris Pratt) and company singing Everything is Awesome in the initial LEGO movie hit. There’ve been a couple of highly entertaining spin-offs in the last couple of years but I’m glad we’re finally getting back to the original cast. Tiffany Haddish and Stephanie Beatriz (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) are a pair of new voices in this latest installment that features LEGO: DUPLO invaders and looks like it’ll be a blast even under new direction. February 8th can’t get here soon enough.
The Prodigy – February 8th
The first truly notable horror flick of 2019. Follows a mother (Taylor Schilling – Argo) and her search to figure out what’s wrong with her son. Strong similarities to The Babadook but no ties that I’m aware of. The trailer looks creepy as hell, so that’s a good thing. Hopefully all the best pieces weren’t revealed in there, though.
What Men Want – February 8th
Yet *another* movie in the remake vein, this time of What Women Want (2000). Taraji P. Henson (Empire) stars as a businesswoman in a male-dominated industry who one day magically acquires the ability to hear men’s thoughts and I must say, she seems perfectly suited for this role. Plenty of avenues for quality comedy, especially with a supporting cast that includes Tracy Morgan, Max Greenfield, Brian Bosworth, Aldis Hodge, and Pete Davidson. Director Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Rock of Ages) should bring a steady comedic hand as well.
Isn’t It Romantic – February 13th
2019’s premiere Valentine’s Day release. Rebel Wilson plays a NYC architect who is knocked out and awakens to find herself trapped inside a world of rom-coms where she’s the star. I personally find Wilson hilarious but usually only in moderate doses. Hopefully she’ll surprise me, and she should get some help from co-stars Adam Devine (Workaholics, Pitch Perfect) and Liam Hemsworth. The concept is unique at least so there’s definitely intrigue here.
Alita: Battle Angel – February 14th
The trailer is a visual feast, portraying a bleak future where man and machine live together. Rosa Salazar plays the role of the title character, a cyborg who is revived by a doctor to a world that she has no memory of while possessing something that the powers that be desperately desire. There is a lot of potential here – both with the story and the visuals – and seasoned talent like Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, True Detective), and Jennifer Connelly (Requiem for a Dream). Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, From Dusk ‘Til Dawn) is a talented director that hasn’t been particularly active in recent years, but hopefully this signals his return to quality filmmaking.
Fighting with My Family – February 14th
I’d heard very little about this before but after seeing the hilarious trailer, I’m totally in. Essentially a love letter to the WWE, it follows a pair of siblings trying to make their way into the renowned professional wrestling league. A supporting cast of Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), Vince Vaughn, and The Rock (who also co-produced) cements this as a must-see early year comedy.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – February 22nd
Top 3 most anticipated movie of the year for me. The first two installments were some of Dreamworks’ very best work (and rather surprisingly so). Marks the final adventure for Hiccup and Toothless, and while it’s sad to see them go hopefully it’ll be with a bang. Do yourselves a favor and catch this in the theater.