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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: February

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).

Today is February, the second most boring movie month of the year.

February

Winchester

Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.

I mean, sure. Stars Helen Mirren and Jason Clarke. The idea is nice. I don’t want it to be straight horror. I hope it’s more of a mindfuck than anything. Or a fantasy. But the movie’s doing that generic horror shit. And that means I can’t take it seriously.

2.5 stars. Maybe I get 3. Highly doubt it.

The 15:17 to Paris

American soldiers discover a terrorist plot on a Paris-bound train.

Clint Eastwood completing his ‘heroes’ trilogy. That seems to be all he does now, make movies about real life people.

American Sniper was solid, Sully was surprisingly good. I assume this will just be okay.

3 stars, though I know I should go 3.5. But it’s February. Why didn’t this come out sooner? I’m gonna take the 3 and see if this can go 3.5.

Fifty Shades Freed

Who gives a shit what it’s about.

The first one was unwatchable, the second one approached watchable. I assume, since James Foley shot this one too, that it will also be approaching watchable.

2.5 stars.

I’m just ready to be done with this, just like the rest of the public and just like its stars, who were ready to be done with this from the first movie.

Peter Rabbit

Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.

Well this looks terrible.

2.5 stars. I’m gonna assume indifference here.

Permission

A woman on the brink of a marriage proposal is told by a friend that she should date other men before spending the rest of her life with her boyfriend

Stars Rebecca Hall, Dan Stevens, Jason Sudeikis and Gina Gershon.

Looks okay. 3 stars. That trailer might have made me go 2.5, but I like Rebecca Hall, so I’ll stick with 3.

Black Panther

T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Trailer doesn’t look good at all. Way too much CGI. But it’s Marvel. 3.5 stars is the automatic guess. 4 if it’s fun and actually a decent movie, and 3 if it’s bad. That’s how these things work. 3.5 seems pretty likely. Love all the actors, and Ryan Coogler is gonna show if he can make a movie that stands out on its own or if he was just ‘filmmaker for hire’ designed to get good will.

They also just announced that Kendrick Lamar is curating a soundtrack for this, which sounds like it could be like one of those awesome soundtracks from the 90s with crazy hip hop songs from top to bottom. (That Street Fighter soundtrack is dope, though.)

Early Man

Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.

It’s Nick Park, so I’m sure it’ll be fine. Saw a trailer some months back. Seems cute.

3 stars. I generally don’t fall in love with these. 3.5 would be a big deal for me. I think I’ll get 3 out of this.

Samson

After losing the love of his life to a cruel Philistine prince, a young Hebrew with Supernatural strength defends his people, sacrificing everything to avenge his love, his people, and his God.

Yeesh.

2 stars.

If I get 2.5 stars out of Pure Flix, that would be pretty surprising.

Nostalgia

A mosaic of stories about love and loss, ‘Nostalgia’ explores our relationships to the objects, artifacts, and memories that shape our lives.

So that’s a terrible synopsis.

Trailer — on the nose. But this is the guy who did The Last Word. So that makes sense.

Ellen Burstyn, Bruce Dern, Jon Hamm, John Ortiz, Catherine Keener, Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt, Amber Tamblyn — how did they get this cast?

2.5 stars. Even with the cast. It’s got a lot to overcome after that trailer. I’d rather be wrong if it’s 3.

The Party

Janet hosts a party to celebrate her new promotion, but once the guests arrive it becomes clear that not everything is going to go down as smoothly as the red wine.

Well this looks nice and twisted.

3 stars.

Cast is nice. Could get 3.5 out of this. Kinda hope I do.

Mad to Be Normal

During the 1960s, a renegade Scottish psychiatrist courts controversy within his profession for his approach to the field, and for the unique community he creates for his patients to inhabit.

David Tennant, Elisabeth Moss, Michael Gambon, Gabriel Byrne. Cool, cool.

Director hasn’t done anything I’ve heard of. But I think this is about a guy who used LSD with patients, so that might be cool.

3 stars.

Annihilation

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don’t apply.

Trailer is weird as fuck, but it’s Alex Garland, coming off Ex Machina, with a solid cast. Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Benedict Wong — no reason to think this won’t be solid.

3.5 stars. Not gonna overdo it, but 3.5 seems like the baseline for this.

Every Day

A shy teenager falls for someone who transforms into another person every day.

Good concept. Figuring we get 3 stars out of this. Could be too cheesy, but even if it is, I know I can get 3 out of this. I just hope they don’t cop out on the ending (they will).

Game Night

A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery.

Well this seems nuts. And it could be fun. Cast is nice, trailer looks good. 3 stars. Can’t assume more than 3 with a comedy. But hey, at least it doesn’t look like a total piece of shit like most of them do.

The War with Grandpa

Upset that he has to share the room he loves with his grandfather, Peter decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back.

Yeah… so Robert De Niro is the grandfather. Christopher Walken is also in this. As are JAne Seymour and Uma Thurman.

Here’s the deal — if it’s going for a family tone, it’s 3 stars. If it’s going for raunch and shit, 2.5 stars. I’m sticking with 3 because I just don’t know, and I’d feel bad if I guessed anything less than 3 on a De Niro/Walken movie.

God, I hope this isn’t offensively bad.

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