The Movie Watcher’s Guide To February 2011

We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know.

Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of January combing through Wikileaks, calling Cleo, and building balsa wood trailers to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in February.

You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

February 4th

The Roommate

Who did it? Directed by Christian E. Christiansen; Written by Sonny Mallhi; Starring Leighton Meester, Minka Kelly, Cam Gigandet, and Billy Crazy Eyes Zane

What is it? A PG-13 remake of Single White Female… which means no sloppy blowjob followed by a high-heeled shoe murder.

Why should we care? The concept of a wacko glomming onto someone with a violent obsession is pretty well worn territory, so it would take something special for this film to stand apart from the rest. But that “something special” seems entirely absent judging by the trailer. Sure the girls are cute, but this looks to be lightweight thrills for the CW crowd only.

Watch the trailer:


Who did it? Directed by Alister Grierson; Written by John Garvin, Andrew Wight; Starring Richard Roxburgh, Ioan Gruffudd and Alice Parkinson

What is it? People go deep, deep, deep down into a cave only to realize that they aren’t in Abyss.

Why should we care? James Cameron. His name as executive producer has been all over the marketing for this thing – almost as if they don’t trust the movie to sell itself based on its own merits. The trailer sort of confirms that because it looks like a bunch of people yelling at each other inside a cave for two hours. Plot!

Watch the trailer:

The Other Woman

Who did it? Directed and written by Don Roos; Starring Natalie Portman, Lisa Kudrow, and Lauren Ambrose

What is it? A drama about the hardships of being a cheating ho-bag… starring Academy Award nominee Natalie Portman as the ho.

Why should we care? Portman’s presence is clearly the biggest draw for this reportedly humorous drama about a woman forced to move from mistress to mother figure, but there may be a reason this 2009 film has been sitting on the shelf for over a year. The trailer seems harmless enough, but it reminds too much of the abysmal Julia Roberts film Stepmom. The one area of interest aside from Portman may be a curiosity as to how they turn a character who intentionally broke up a marriage into someone the audience can root for and like.

Watch the trailer:

What (Chinese) Women Want

Who did it? Directed and written by Daming Chen; Starring Osric Chau, Li Gong, Kelly Hu, and Andy Lau

What is it? A remake of What Women Want done in Mandarin.

Why should we care? It’s a remake of What Women Want done in Mandarin.

Will there eventually be a good February movie? Continue on to find out…


February 11th

The Eagle

Who did it? Directed by Kevin MacDonald; Written by Jeremy Brock; Starring Channing Tatum and Jamie Bell

What is it? Yet another take on the tale of the Roman legion that disappeared in Northern England… but this time made with a thirst for mediocrity.

Why should we care? Neil Marshall’s Centurion should have probably been the final word on the story of a missing Roman legion and the English barbarians who swallowed them whole, but if that action romp isn’t your speed there’s also Colin Firth’s The Last Legion which touches on some similar elements (albeit with far less CGI bloodletting). So why go watch this new film? Having seen it recently I can’t think of very many reasons…

Watch the trailer:

Gnomeo & Juliet

Who did it? Directed by Kelly Asbury; Written by Kelly Asbury, Mark Burton, Kevin Cecil, Emily Cook, Kathy Greenberg, Andy Riley, Steve Hamilton Shaw, and William Shakespeare; starring the vocal talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt and Michael Caine

What is it? An animated re-telling of the Bard’s classic tale which garden gnomes.

Why should we care? I’m really struggling here. It sounds completely schlocky, but maybe it’s heartwarming? On second thought, it should be thrilling to see the gnomes stab each other to death with swords. That’s probably not going to happen, right?

Watch the trailer:

Just Go With It

Who did it? Directed by Dennis Dugan; Written by Timothy Dowling, I.A.L. Diamond; Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Brooklyn Decker, and Nick Swardson

What is it? A guy who picks up chicks by pretending he’s married needs his best friend to play the role of his wife and begins to realize he may have feelings for her… ohmygod how’s it going to end?!?

Why should we care? I have a hard time finding a reason to care about this one. Sandler gave up trying to actually act or be funny a while ago. Aniston showed fantastic comedic timing on Friends but has yet to choose a role to take advantage of it. And Dugan? Well a quick look at his recent output says it all really… Grown Ups, You Don’t Mess With the Zohan, The Benchwarmers, Saving Silverman, etc.

Watch the trailer:

Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Who did it? Directed by Jon Chu; Written by Fate; Starring Justin Bieber and Boys II Men as Themselves

What is it? A documentary about a little boy who is famous and far wealthier than you are.

Why should we care? Bieber has a wide fanbase that ranges all the way from 12-year-old girls to 13-year-old-girls. Still, it’s the title that’s the hook. Never say never? Hopefully this film will prove that if you’re testicles haven’t descended yet, that if you dream real hard for something, you’ll achieve it by the time your voice starts to crack. In 3D!

Watch the trailer:


Who did it? Directed by Pablo Trapero; Written by Alejandro Fadel, Martin Mauregui; Starring Ricardo Darin

What is it? Ricardo Darin plays an utter sleazeball who creates accidents and injuries for a profit… the only question is will Jeff Hall still respect him in the morning?

Why should we care? It’s rare to find a film that dares to feature a truly unlikeable protagonist, but this Argentinian thriller does just that and Darin plays him to perfection. The story revolves around his morally bankrupt ambulance chaser who gets caught up in criminal schemes that result in injury and death. A few of us say this at last year’s Fantastic Fest and found it to be quite good.

Watch the trailer:

Cedar Rapids

Who did it? Directed by Miguel Arteta ; Written by Phil Johnston ; Starring Ed Helms, John C. Reilly and Anne Heche

What is it? A sheltered insurance salesman goes out of town for the first time for a conference and falls under the influence of a detestable party enthusiast and the wiles of sugary alcohol.

Why should we care? It’s about time Ed Helms got a chance to star in a movie, and this comedy looks like the perfect shot for him to make us all laugh. Plus, those laughs should be multiplied by a drunken John C. Reilly wearing a trash can lid. There’s nothing innovative-seeming from the trailer, but it looks like it could be a very funny film, and that’s sometimes all that matters.

Watch the trailer:

Orgasm, Inc

Who did it? Directed by Elizabeth Canner; Starring real people looking to score

What is it? That’s a question better suited for your parents… or you could just ask Cole Abaius as he just recently went searching for the answer too.

Why should we care? We should all care about the female orgasm. The gift of giving one comes more naturally to some of us than to others, but that inability doesn’t make people like Abaius and Robert Fure bad or worthless. It just makes them people in need. This documentary looks at the billion dollar industry trying to help those less fortunate by creating the female Viagra… a pill that will help lead women to the promised land. Of course it wouldn’t be a doc about an American corporation if it didn’t feature corporate greed at the expense of the consumer.

Watch the trailer:

That’s a bit better. See if things keep looking up…


February 18th

Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son

Who did it? Directed by John Whitesell; Written by Matthew Fogel; Starring Martin Lawrence and Brandon T. Jackson

What is it? Fat suits and cross-dressing.

Why should we care? Did you know that Big Momma’s House was a June release back in 2000? It was a summer hit! It made over $170 million worldwide. That was a decade ago. The fat suit should have been hung up long ago.

Watch the trailer:

I Am Number Four

Who did it? Directed by DJ Caruso; Written by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar; Starring Timothy Olyphant, Alex Pettyfer, Teresa Palmer, and Kevin Durand

What is it? A remake of Jumper but with alien teens being hunted and killed instead of The Tomorrow People… and as bad as you may feel for Number Four just imagine what life is like being Number Two.

Why should we care? The novel this flick is based upon is co-written by James Frey of A Million Little Pieces fame, so right away we know the story isn’t true. If that isn’t enough to turn you away then prepare to be at least mildly entertained by the first of what threatens to be a franchise. Caruso shows little personality behind the camera, but he is more than capable of making fun action movies that score low in the smarts department. The trailer highlights some cool looking effects and set pieces, and you can never go wrong with Olyphant or Palmer.

Watch this clip from the film:


Who did it? Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra; Written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell; Starring Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger

What is it? After a crash leaves their cab in the river and Dr. Martin Harris in a coma, he wakes up to find all of his memories are either wrong or someone is playing a cruel trick on him.

Why should we care? This flick has all the right ingredients to be that special brand of intrigue where conspiracy or madness are the only two options. It feels a bit like The Game and The Fugutive (which are two great movies), but can the director of House of Wax and Orphan live up to that legacy? Who knows. No matter what, Liam Neeson is going to kick any ass that gets in his way or that asks him for his AARP card.

Watch the trailer:

Vanishing On 7th Street

Who did it? Directed by Brad Anderson; Written by Anthony Jaswinski; starring Hayden Christensen, Thandie Newton, and John Leguizamo

What is it? An episode of The Twilight Zone… if The Twilight Zone was still around and ran ninety minutes instead of twenty-two.

Why should we care? Anderson’s Session 9 is a solidly creepy film, and while his followups have been good they have yet to capture that same degree of quiet menace. The story here, about a group of strangers who awaken to an otherwise abandoned city with terrible things happening in the dark, feels reminiscent of old Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episodes (not to mention the recent UK indie The Last Seven), but hopefully it can sustain its mystery beyond the point of revelation.

Watch the trailer:

Finish strong…


February 25th

Drive Angry

Who did it? Directed by Patrick Lussier; Written by Patrick Lussier and Todd Farmer; Starring Nic Cage, Amber Heard, William Fichtner, and Billy Burke

What is it? A man escapes from Hell in order to avenge his daughter’s death and to rescue the baby a Satanic cult plans on using for its world-ending ritual.

Why should we care? There is nothing more serious than a father’s love, especially when it comes delivered with a gun that can blow a man across a parking lot. Having already seen the film, I can say confidently that it’s nothing but fun and ridiculousness wrapped in a greasy rag, set on fire, and then thrown at the audience. The 3D is used to its gimmicky best, Todd Farmer (of course) gets naked, and Amber Heard gets rough. For some reason, the marketing campaign didn’t go with the, “Nicolas Cage fucks a girl while killing a bunch of people,” quote that I submitted. Weird. Plus, the entire movie is made by William Fichtner’s performance as Hell’s number cruncher.

Watch the trailer:

Hall Pass

Who did it? Directed by Bobby and Peter Farrelly; Written by Pete “Project Greenlight” Jones and Peter Farrelly; Starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, Alyssa Milano, Jenna Fischer, Christina Applegate, Stephen Merchant

What is it? An unofficial Hollywood remake of The Freebie… but with more laughs, less indie drama, and absolutely no Dax Shepard.

Why should we care? The presence of the Farrelly brothers combined with Wilson is a high poop hurdle to overcome, but there’s hope to be found in the supporting cast. Sudeikis remains one of the funnier SNL players in recent years, and both Fisher and Merchant bring more than a little charm to everything they touch. The trailer manages a few laughs so hopefully this marks the return of quality comedy from the Farrellys.

Watch the trailer:


Who did it? Directed by Mårlind & Stein; Written by Michael Cooney; Starring Julianne Moore and Jonathan Rhys Meyers

What is it? A psychiatrist stumbles upon a few multiple personalities that happen to be murder victims, which of course puts her in grave danger.

Why should we care? The oddly-named duo of Mårlind & Stein also co-directed the great fantasy thriller Storm a few years ago, and it’s pretty surprising to see them opening in the United States. That’s what Moore can do for you. The cast looks solid, the premise is intriguing, and it was written by Identity writer Michael Cooney so it has a shot at being 90% fun and only 10% convoluted.

Watch the trailer:

What are you watching in February?

The FSR Staff is an author similar to Hydra. Its articles have many authors. It has many heads. Please don't cut off any of its heads, we're trying to work here.

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