The 2014 Film Release Calendar: February

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for that year. Not all of them do, of course, and it gets a bit crazy every year in terms of changes, but basically the point of it all is to know what’s coming out, know what to get excited for, know what to start bracing myself for, and, selfishly, guess what I’m going to think about all the movies to see how accurate I was at the end of the year. And also see which movies surprised me, for better and for worse.

It’s gotten to be a whole great thing. Since at first it was just what Wikipedia’s year in film article said, plus a few others that weren’t scheduled that I just knew about. And then the year after that it was a few more films. And last year it was like, 200 or something. And now, it’s probably like 200 or something, plus all the ones from last year that I’m continuing to track. Eventually it’ll be to the point where really the only ones I haven’t heard about or previewed at some point are either foreign films, documentaries, and like 5% of those movies that just come out of nowhere.

What I’m doing is going over everything as it’s currently scheduled. I’m doing the first six months now, then taking a ten day break in between to go over some other stuff (Oscar nominations are going to be announced, the Golden Globes will happen — big stuff), plus allow for the later months of the year to maybe become more solidified, and maybe let a few changes happen, since I’ve discovered that a lot of things do get moved this time of year, often right as I’m putting the articles together. So it works twofold. I get to talk about other stuff and let the dust settle as much as possible so as not to make everything that much crazier come December.

Here’s February:

February

The Lego Movie

So this is happening.

I have no idea what to make of this.

An ordinary LEGO minifigure, mistakenly thought to be the extraordinary MasterBuilder, is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil LEGO tyrant from gluing the universe together.

I’m actually pretty high on this one, all things considered. It sounded like a horrible idea at the outset, but honestly — why wouldn’t this work? And the guys behind it are the 21 Jump Street guys, which gives me a little bit of hope. (Not a lot. Since it’s not a track record, just one good film. But a little is enough.)

Here’s a cast, just for fun:

Chris Pratt, I believe, is the main guy. Will Ferrell is playing the President. Channing Tatum is Superman. Elizabeth Banks is Wyldstyle (?), Jonah Hill is Green Lantern, Cobie Smulders is Wonder Woman, Liam Neeson is “Bad Cop/Good Cop,” which I’m assuming will be a similar gag to the Mayor in Nightmare on Elm Street, Morgan Freeman is Vitruvius (I’m assuming he’s Captain Exposition), Alison Brie is Uni-Kitty, Will Arnett is Batman, and then Nick Offerman and Charlie Day are also in it. I like this cast. And it’s designed to look like it was entirely made out of Legos, which means I’ll be visually interested in it as well.

3 stars. I’m not gonna guess higher. That seems most likely. If this can be 3.5, I’ll be a happy guy. 2.5 is possible, but probably unlikely. I’m expecting three here.

The Monuments Men

Bumped from December because it wasn’t finished in time. I’m slightly worried about quality now, but not so much.

Based on this cast, and Clooney being director, I’m saying this will still be pretty good.

Maybe this is amazing, and we’re looking at a Best Picture nominee that just happens to come out really early. You never know.

I’m gonna guess 4 stars. I want this to be four stars. Clooney, Damon, Murray, Goodman, Dujardin, Balaban — these people have earned it. And Blanchett is there too. So let’s say 4 stars, 3.5 might happen because of the bump. If it’s 3 stars, I’ll be disappointed. But based on Clooney’s filmography, there’s really nothing less than 3.5 stars there. So let’s stick with 4. When he has a story he wants to tell, it’s usually good.

RoboCop

You’d think this was a horrible idea, but that Dredd remake actually worked out. Though I think that one was one of those scenarios where they ended up campy the first time and it maybe wasn’t meant to be. Whereas the original RoboCop is meant to be satire, and I’m not sure this one… I get a little worried when people see something meant as satire and take it literally. (Case in point: the reaction to The Wolf of Wall Street.)

But… I’ll give this a shot. It’ll probably just be a generic and possibly moderately entertaining action movie.

Gary Oldman’s here, Michael Keaton, Michael K. Williams, Jackie Earle Haley, Abbie Cornish, Jennifer Ehle, Jay Baruchel, Samuel L. Jackson, Miguel Ferrer (I love that he’s in both versions) — I like the cast.

I highly doubt this can go any higher than 3 stars. 2.5 seems most likely, but fuck it, I’m in a giving mood. I can’t see this being so bad it drops to 2. So it’s either gonna be 2.5 or 3. 3.5 would shock me, and quite frankly, I can’t see that happening. 2.5 or 3, and let’s be optimistic.

About Last Night

So, an 80s remake with an all black cast?

Sure.

Why is Kevin Hart in all these movies all of a sudden?

This is also directed by the guy who wrote Grosse Pointe Blank, High Fidelity and directed Accepted and Hot Tub Time Machine. So there’s that.

I’m not really expecting to ever see this, but on the off chance that I do, we’ll say 2.5 stars. But I’m still expecting to not see it. If I do see this, it’s either because it (somehow) got really good reviews (doubtful), or I’m trying to pad my numbers for the year.

Endless Love

Have you see the trailer for this? It’s creepy as shit.

What kind of movie are they trying to market?

Oh, but yeah, this is a remake of the 1981 movie (directed by Zeffirelli, of all people).

I… will probably see this out of sheer intrigue as to how close to the trailer it is. It looks like shit, personally.

2 stars. Let’s let it not be shit.

Vampire Academy

I can’t really be objective about this one. I work for one of the companies that’s producing this. So I’ve been around this thing from script to shooting to editing to now. I’ve seen it already. So I already know what I’m rating it and I already know what I think about it.

I’m not gonna divulge that now. I’ll save it for December.

But I will say — it’s a young adult vampire movie made by the guy who wrote Heathers and the guy who directed Mean Girls. There’s gonna be a sense of humor to this. You’re not gonna get an Oscar nominee, but this definitely isn’t going to be the piece of shit you’d think it would be at the outset, for those of you who, like myself, get nervous at the sight of any movie made from a series of young adult novels. If you’re expectations aren’t very high, you may end up being surprised by this.

Winter’s Tale

I was all over this last year. I was very excited.

Then the trailer — it looks magical. This is exactly the kind of film I go for.

I’m sticking with 4 stars.

3 stars would be disappointing, 3.5 would be most likely, but I’m going for 4. I want this to be good. (I probably should stick with 3.5, the more I think about it, but whatever. Maybe this February can actually be good. He said, already knowing how it’s going to turn out.)

Pompeii

A slave turned gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts, he must fight to save his beloved as Pompeii crumbles around him.

It’s Paul W.S. Anderson making his own version of Gladiator.

I want to be excited for this in a sick way, but honestly — how can this not be shit?

I will admit to being a fan of his Three Musketeers movie, but this doesn’t seem like it’s gonna have that fun, adventure feel to it. This is gonna be serious, and all the dialogue is going to have that sick smell of conviction to it. I can feel it now.

I want to say 3 stars here, but I’m going 2.5 stars. Something tells me this will be generic. If I’m gonna put my faith in one of these historical epics to be good, I’m gonna go with the one that’s coming out next month.

3 Days to Kill

A dying Secret Service Agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.

Written by Luc Besson. Those usually end well.

Directed by McG. Those do not.

Kevin Costner is starring, and I like him. He’s on a bit of a revival lately. He disappeared a lot over the past decade. Pretty much since Open Range, he hasn’t done much. Small part in The Upside of Anger, then Rumor Has ItThe Guardian, Mr. Brooks, Swing Vote, something called The New Daughter, and then The Company Men. Then he made Hatfields and McCoys, and since then, he’s been back. Was in Man of Steel, now is gonna be in Jack Ryan, and this, and has Draft Day set up for April. And then two more later this year. I’m guessing his disappearance was mostly self-imposed. Since he was always great. But it’s exciting to see him again.

Anyway, he’s the agent, and Amber Heard is his daughter. And she’s never the bearer of a good movie. Her choices have been mediocre at best. Hailee Steinfeld is in this, so that’s decent.

I’ll give Besson and Costner the benefit of the doubt. McG can be competent sometimes (maybe). 3 stars. I’m expecting maybe 2.5, but let’s say 3. I want this to be entertaining. I want Costner back in movies. I’ve missed him.

Welcome to Yesterday

A group of teens discover secret plans of a time machine, and construct one. However, things start to get out of control.

Sounds like a low budget, Chronicle type film.

Let’s assume this won’t be good, and at best, will be something I’m indifferent about.

2 stars is most likely, but let’s say 2.5 stars. Just because — because I don’t want to be negative. Chronicle could have made 2.5 from me if it wasn’t found footage. So, if this is found footage, my actual guess is 2 stars. If it’s a narrative, I expect it’s more likely to end up 2.5 than 2, unless it’s real shit. Either way — not expecting much out of this.

Non-Stop

An air marshall must spring into action aboard an international flight.

Liam Neeson.

That’s it. Liam Neeson.

3 stars.

I’m assuming it takes place almost entirely on the plane. Generally these movies end up 2.5s or 3s. Don’t think it’ll go 3.5, but a better than expected Liam Neeson movie (see: The Grey) is always welcome. I’ll stick with 3. That seems most likely.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow, we’re previewing March.

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One response

  1. I’m excited for “The Lego Movie”, “Non-Stop”, and “Winter’s Tale” mostly.

    January 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

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