This February isn’t such a hot month for movie-going. When it comes to genuine “must-sees,” there are only two movies on this list which earn that title, and they’re the expected picks. January could have been worse, but this February won’t do 2013 any favors, unless the fifth Die Hard movie ends up blowing everyone’s socks off, and since it’s from the director of Max Payne, how could it not?
In short, this year isn’t off to a good start. We got spoiled with last December, as we usually do, so hopefully we see something genuinely great soon, unless you thought Mama overcame a lackluster script, that Movie 43 wasn’t the Antichrist sent from Satan himself, and if you even remember that movie with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe. The Last Stand isn’t included, because no more than five people saw it.
Hopefully a few of you go out to see these movies and have a fun time, though:
Opens February 1st.
Jonathan Levine’s zombie novel adaptation is his weakest movie yet, but apparently a Levine movie at its weakest happens to be pretty charming, sweet, and clever. Never as tough as All The Boys Love Mandy Lane or as heart-warming as 50/50, Warm Bodies still features the pleasantries we expect from Levine, along with a killer soundtrack and another high mark for Rob Corddry.
Opens February 8th.
Here we are, closing in on Steven Soderbergh’s retirement. Watching Side Effects, it’s obvious why Soderbergh wants to throw in the filmmaking towel. Not because the movie is lazy, but because he makes everything seem so easy. Each shot, scene, and performance couldn’t be handled with more proficiency. Nothing here doesn’t serve a purpose. Of course screenwriter Scott Z. Burns deserves credit there, but Soderbergh doesn’t waste a second of his script. Side Effects is a tightly told, subdued thriller, and it’s a shame we won’t see more like it from the famed director in the years to come.
A Good Day to Die Hard
Opens February 15th.
Bruce Willis is one of the (mild) oldies who’s still got it, and that’s probably because he doesn’t always remind us of how old he is. Live Free or Die Hard – Len Wiseman’s completely serviceable 2007 superhero movie – didn’t sink to that lazy comedic level, and let’s hope director John Moore is smart enough not to as well. Willis is still a man’s man, not an old man.
A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III
Opens February 15th
This choice may come as surprise, particularly in light of of our own Scott Beggs’ thrashing of Roman Coppola’s second film. While I found myself agreeing with most of what Scott had to say, A Glimpse Inside The Mind of Charles Swan III’s created a more endearing quality for me instead of an agitating one. Coppola’s new movie isn’t on level with his debut film, CQ, but roaming around Charles Swan’s mind for 80 minutes can be fun, especially when Jason Schwartzman sings about where’s his pizza.
Honorable Mentions: Identity Thief (Seth Gordon proved himself as a comedy director with Horrible Bosses, a movie that pulled its punches more than it should have) and Snitch (Dwayne Johnson intensely sweating again).