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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: January

It’s January, which means it’s preview time up here at B+ Movie Blog.

I don’t really peruse other places, but if I were to guess, I would say I’m the only person that goes this deep on their preview coverage for a year. I go month to month based on what’s scheduled to come out, preview like 200 extra movies that you probably have never even heard about as of now, and then bring back all the stuff from last year and previous years that I’ve been tracking that hasn’t come out yet. I’m not the kind of person who just goes, “Oh my god, Avengers! Wrinkle in Time! (Insert other movies the studios are paying us to talk up to fit the narrative to get us more clicks)!” If you ever see a slideshow from me, then you know I’ve given up.

The reason I do this is purely for me, though I imagine anyone stumbling on this will get something out of it to. What I try to do is preview everything so I’m aware of it when it comes out, and, to make it interesting for myself, try to guess what I’m gonna think of it when I do see it. That way, I can see what films surprised me or disappointed me from every angle (before, during and after).

We begin with January, because the Romans.

January

Insidious: The Last Key

Parapsychologist Dr. Elise Rainier faces her most fearsome and personal haunting yet – in her own family home.

Do not care. Will not see. Not even sure what number in the franchise this is. I still haven’t seen the first one.

Blame

A drama teacher’s taboo relationship with an unstable student strikes a nerve in her jealous classmate, sparking a vengeful chain of events within their suburban high school that draws parallels to ‘The Crucible’.

Written and directed by a girl who is 22. Which is really what interests me about this.

3 stars. Let’s hope it’s okay.

The Commuter

A businessman is caught up in a criminal conspiracy during his daily commute home.

Liam Neeson action movie. Automatic 3 stars. Looks interesting, but it’s coming out in January, so as much as I’d want to convince myself it can be really good, it’s gonna be more action than Hitchcock. Also directed by the guy who did Non-Stop and Run All Night and The Shallows. 3 stars seems pretty much assured.

Paddington 2

Paddington, now happily settled with the Brown family and a popular member of the local community, picks up a series of odd jobs to buy the perfect present for his Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, only for the gift to be stolen.

The first one I didn’t particularly care for. I’m sure this will be standard kid fare. 2.5 stars. Will be perfectly fine, just not for me.

Proud Mary

Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hitwoman working for an organized crime family in Boston. Mary’s life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes awry.

Taraji P. Henson is doing the Pam Grier thing. Works for me.

3 stars.

The Polka King

Local Pennsylvania polka legend Jan Lewan develops a plan to get rich that shocks his fans and lands him in jail.

Jack Black picks interesting material nowadays, especially when it’s indie. The directors also made Infinitely Polar Bear, which I quite liked. The trailer looks fun, and the cast is awesome.

Netflix is usually 3 stars, but I’m gonna go 3.5 stars. There’s enough here to think I’m gonna like this more than the average Netflix movie. And worst case, I’m getting 3 stars out of this no matter what.

Acts of Violence

When his fiancee is kidnapped by human traffickers, Roman (Ashton Holmes) and his ex-military brothers set out to track her down and save her before it is too late. Along the way, Roman teams up with Avery (Bruce Willis), a cop investigating human trafficking and fighting the corrupted bureaucracy that has harmful intentions.

Bruce Willis paycheck movie. This is becoming tradition now.

Trailer doesn’t look great.

We’re getting either 2.5 stars or 3 stars. I’m gonna say 2.5 stars on this one. Something tells me I just won’t care and it’ll be too generic and badly made to get up to 3.

Abe & Phil’s Last Poker Game

Dr. Abe Mandelbaum has just moved into a new manor with his ailing wife. After forming an unlikely friendship with a womanizing gambler, their relationship is tested when they each try to convince a mysterious nurse that they are her long-lost father.

It’s Martin Landau’s last movie. Enough for me to see it.

2.5 stars. I don’t necessarily think I’ll like it, but I’ll see it for shits and giggles.

12 Strong

12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down the Taliban.

This is the exact kind of movie that doesn’t appeal to me. These pro-military action movies. Since 13 Hours, one of these seems to be landing in January every year, with diminishing returns.

I really don’t think I’m gonna care, but with Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Taylor Sheridan and William Fichtner, I’ll probably get 3 stars out of this purely because of them.

Den of Thieves

A gritty crime saga which follows the lives of an elite unit of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept. and the state’s most successful bank robbery crew as the outlaws plan a seemingly impossible heist on the Federal Reserve Bank.

Trailer looked generic, but these movies always seem to get 3 stars out of me. So we’ll guess that. Worst case, 2.5. It’s one or the other. That’s what makes January so easy.

Step Sisters

Jamilah has her whole life figured out. She’s the president of her black sorority, captain of their champion step dance crew, is student liaison to the college dean, and her next move is on to Harvard Law School. She’s got it all, right? But when the hard-partying white girls from Sigma Beta Beta embarrass the school, Jamilah is ordered to come to the rescue. Her mission is to not only teach the rhythmically-challenged girls how to step dance, but to win the Steptacular, the most competitive of dance competitions. With the SBBs reputations and charter on the line, and Jamilah’s dream of attending Harvard in jeopardy, these outcast screw-ups and their unlikely teacher stumble through one hilarious misstep after another. Cultures clash, romance blossoms, and sisterhood prevails as everyone steps out of their comfort zones.

Yeesh. That trailer was not good. It is from the director of Drumline and Mr. 3000, but does that mean anything?

2 stars.

This is everything I hate, and knowing it’s Netflix, I almost know exactly what I’m getting here.

Like Me

A young woman sets out on a crime spree that she broadcasts on social media.

This sounds fun. And it stars Addison Timlin, who I like and who hasn’t broken out the way she should have as of yet.

3 stars.

The Open House

A teenager (Dylan Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house.

Netflix thriller about supernatural shit happening in a house. Well… this’ll be easy.

It’s either 2 or 2.5 stars. Let’s see what the trailer has to say.

Yup. 2 stars.

I’ll get 2.5 if it’s a non-supernatural element that’s marginally okay. Otherwise, I doubt I’ll like this at all.

Mom and Dad

A teenage girl and her little brother must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.

Starring Nicolas Cage.

This used to be automatically 3 stars, but lately he seems to not be trying. So we have to consider making 2.5 stars the blanket.

But since this is about parents murdering their kids, and Cage looks completely unhinged — I’m going 3 stars. Plus it was written and directed by one of the Crank guys (who also did the second Ghost Rider), so that’s enough to make me think it’ll be fine.

Bring it the fuck on.

Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Young hero Thomas embarks on a mission to find a cure for a deadly disease known as the “Flare”.

How the hell are there three Maze Runner movies already?

2.5 stars. I don’t even remember the second one. Not gonna give a shit about this one.

A Futile and Stupid Gesture

In the 1970s and ’80s, National Lampoon’s success and influence creates a new media empire overseen in part by the brilliant and troubled Doug Kenney.

David Wain is directing, which is a good sign. Trailer looks fun. 3.5 stars. Gotta trust Wain at this point.

Please Stand By

A young autistic woman runs away from her caregiver in an attempt to submit her manuscript to a “Star Trek” writing competition.

Wait, that’s what this is about? Okay.

This is by the guy who did The Sessions, though. So that’s a sign in the right direction.

Trailer looks fine. 3 stars. Hope I can get more, but since they held this over so long and are dumping it in January, I can’t assume more than 3. But I prefer the sappy shit to the horror/generic thriller stuff, so there’s a chance I could get 3.5 out of this.

The Clapper

15 minutes of fame destroys the life of a man who works as a clapper in television.

This looks fun. The setup is something I haven’t seen before, and I think it can be a nice little movie.

3 stars.

Dito tends to make worthwhile movies.

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