Well, we are mid-awards season—an underwhelming awards season at that—and we’re finally through January, notoriously the worst month of the year for movies. It’s gray outside and grim in the cineplex. Nevertheless, refusing to give up on a Hollywood that seems to have done nothing but disappoint over the past year, we look to the future. We cling to the hope that when the new buds appear, so will a new crop of movies--a bountiful harvest of action, comedy, drama and suspense. So, renew your Netflix account and Hulu Plus for the next couple of weeks, and then get excited to go to the movies.
With a handful of Oscar nominations between them, Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson must really like the script of an action thriller to sign on. Clearly, that’s the case here. Neeson plays an air marshal on an international flight who is being manipulated by an anonymous villain. Moore is the one passenger who believes he is not the terrorist.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
And now, for something completely different…Wes Anderson delivers his signature off-beat style to this quirky post-war comedy about an enterprising hotel manager, his complicit bellman and a nefarious art theft. Stars Ralph Fiennes and Edward Norton.
Years after a disastrous performance, a piano virtuoso decides to return to the stage, but he soon discovers a death threat scrawled on his score. John Cusack stars.
Need for Speed
I wouldn’t mention it, normally, as it looks to be made up of deleted scenes from Gone in 60 Seconds and Fast & Furious. But it is nice to see the Breaking Bad actors continuing to get work. Here, Aaron Paul plays a getaway driver, or an ex-con, or a nice guy dragged into a crime--something to link the car chases.
Fans of the cult classic TV show about a youthful sleuth (say that 10 times fast) have been waiting for years, undeterred, as writers, directors and studios have come and gone. Finally, Kristen Bell has brought the title character to the big screen. On a side note, I have never met, seen or heard of above-mentioned fans, but I am told they exist.
The Art of the Steal
Matt Dillon and Kurt Russell star in this heist film about a wanna-be motorcycle daredevil and a reformed(ish) burglar who team up for one last job. The casting would indicate it’s a complex but playful retro heist film. Here’s hoping...
Jake Gyllenhaal plays a glum history teacher leading a dull existence when he spots his exact double in a movie. He decides to track the man down; and, well, see if you can guess what happens next...If you said any scenario that has the phrase ‘mistaken identity’ in it, I think you nailed it.
Shailene Woodley stars as an exceptional girl in a dystopian future who finds herself the target of elimination. We get it. You’re different, so society rejects you when it should be embracing and learning from you. Who knew prom rejections could spawn so many screen plays?
A limo driver, desperate to pay off a life-threatening debt, decides to indulge the dark needs of his passenger, a reclusive billionaire. I was anticipating Eyes Wide Shut meets Collateral, until I found out it’s a comedy. Pity.
Yes, that Noah. Russell Crowe stars.
After 12 years in prison, an arrogant safe-cracker returns to his cronies for his share of an old take. Jude Law stars.
Early rumblings about an award-worthy performance by Kevin Costner are giving this movie a lot of traction. Costner stars as the general manager of the Cleveland Browns who is tasked with choosing the No. 1 draft pick for his struggling team. It’s Any Given Sunday meets Moneyball.
It’s Arnold, DEA agents, drug cartels, moles, double-crosses and revenge. What more do you need? Hey, if he keeps making them, I’ll keep watching them.