Monday, February 1, 2016

A Reel Preview: The Year in Film 2016: Episode II

The bad news about this time of year is that we’re stuck in the middle of Movie Siberia; where low-expectation films and cast-offs are sent to die. The good news is we’re also in the midst of the fun of Awards Season, and there are also some long-expected releases with some big names attached. Here are the upcoming notable releases for the month of February…

THE OSCAR NOMINATED SHORT FILMS; ANIMATED AND LIVE-ACTION – Get a jump on your Oscar Pool by screening the nominated short films in the Live-Action and Animated categories. Ranging from indie-productions, arthouse, and big-studio efforts such as Pixar, this limited release is always a treat to take in.

HAIL, CAESAR! – The acclaimed directing team of the Coen Brothers (FARGO, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN) dip back into their comedy roots with this little mystery about a 1950’s movie star (played by George Clooney) who vanishes. Stars Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlet Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Christopher Lambert, and Dolph Lundgren.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES – This comedy-horror is based on the popular novel of the same name, which mashes the classic Pride and Prejudice with a zombie invasion. Stars Lily James, Charles Dance, Lena Headey, and Matt Smith. Directed by Burr Steers (IGBY GOES DOWN).

DEADPOOL – Officially part of the X-MEN series of films, the popular Marvel comics character known for his twisted sense of humor finally gets his R-rated big-screen adventure. Ryan Reynolds (THE GREEN LANTERN) plays the title role, and he is joined by Morena Baccarin (SERENITY).

ZOOLANDER 2 – Ben Stiller directs and stars in the sequel to his 2001 hit. Co-stars Owen Wilson, Will Ferrell, Penelope Cruz, Kristen Wiig, Milla Jovovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kanye West, and Kim Kardashian.

HOW TO BE SINGLE – The popular book of the same name arrives just in time for Valentine’s Day as a romantic comedy. Stars Dakota Johnson (50 SHADES OF GREY), Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, and Damon Wayans, Jr.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT – Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore (BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE), returns with a jaunt across the world in which he explores other countries’ methods of dealing with social and economic problems.

GLASSLAND – This drama has Jack Reynor (TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION) playing a young man trying to help his mother (played by Toni Collette) with her alcoholism. Directed by Gerard Barrett (PILGRIM HILL).

REMEMBER – Screen legends Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau star as two friends who set out on a cross-country journey to find the Nazi’s responsible for their families’ deaths. Directed by Atom Yeghoyan, who has two Oscar nominations under his belt.

RISEN – In this historical drama, Joseph Fiennes plays a Roman Centurion who is sent by Pontius Pilate to investigate the rumors of the risen Christ. Directed by Kevin Reynolds (ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES).

THE WITCH – Beware of horror movies not good enough to be released in October. This Robert Eggers film involves a Puritan family encountering evil forces in a nearby woods.

GODS OF EGYPT – In this fantasy, the Egyptian god of darkness takes over the throne of Egypt. Stars Brenton Thwaites and Gerard Butler (300). Directed by Alex Proyas (THE CROW, DARK CITY).

EDDIE THE EAGLE – This biopic tells the true story of Eddie Edwards; a British skier who in 1988 became the first ski-jumper to represent Great Britain in the Olympics. Taron Egerton (KINGSMAN), stars as Eddie, and Hugh Jackman (WOLVERINE), stars as his trainer.

RACE - Speaking of the Olympics, Stephan James plays Jesse Owens in this sports drama; centering around his historic performance at the 1936 Games.

TRIPLE 9 – John Hillcoat (THE ROAD, LAWLESS) directs this crime thriller about Russian gangsters and corrupt cops. Stars Casey Affleck, Chiwetel Ojiofor (12 YEARS A SLAVE), Anthony Mackie, Aaron Paul (TV’s BREAKING BAD), Norman Reedus (TV’s THE WALKING DEAD), Woody Harrelson, Kate Winslet, and Gal Godot.


Next month, Episode III previews the month of March.


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