Opening in January

Opening in January
“It’s easy to kill a movie – just move it to January”. This is what the infinitely wise Dr. Evil preached in his visit to SNL a few weeks ago, and judging from our line-up, he may not be entirely wrong. January is pretty much the time where we all know which Awards darlings have made the cut, and which have been long discarded, and the studios act accordingly. So whether you choose to checkout that indie movie you’ve heard so much about, or the latest big studio release, don’t forget to click on the movie title below to view the trailer. We want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you head to the theatre.

– Lottie Abrahams

January 2

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death

Director: Tom Harper

Stars: Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine

Synopsis: Taking place 40 years after the events of the first film, a small group of children, evacuated in the midst of WW1 and with no relatives to take them in, are taken to Eel Marsh House. They inadvertently awake the Manors deadliest inhabitant, giving them no safe shelter from the war around them.

Two Cents: Who is actually going to watch this without Daniel Radcliffe?

January 9

Taken 3

Director: Oliver Megaton

Stars: Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Synopsis: Liam Neeson returns for what hopefully will be a final time in the Taken franchise, as ex-assassin Bryan Mills. Following the brutal murder of his wife, Mills must track down the people responsible while avoiding the clutches of FBI agent Forrest Whittaker, all the while protecting his daughter – the only one he has left.

Two Cents: Someone needs to let Liam Neeson in on the joke.

Predestination (Limited)

Director: Michael and Peter Spierig

Stars: Ethan Hawke, Noah Taylor

Synopsis: Ethan Hawke stars as a Temporal Agent, a time-travelling policemen who prevents crime before it begins. However, as he retirement nears, the one criminal that has always eluded him may just do so forever. However, with a new agent having been recruited,

Two Cents: This looks rather brilliant – 2015’s Looper?

January 16

Blackhat

BlackhatDirector: Michael Mann

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Wei Tang

Synopsis: Chris Hemsworth stars as an extraordinary computer expert who must catch a cyber-terrorist as a condition of his release from prison. Little does he know, however, that he may have met his match.

Two Cents: He looks like a Norse God with a brain like Bill Gates – what’s not to believe?

Paddington

PaddingtonDirector: Paul King

Stars: Ben Whishaw, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Hugh Bonneville, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman

Synopsis: A young bear journeys from a great forest to find a home, and finds himself in the centre of London. He is taken in by a reluctant family who must fight and struggle not only to protect him from villainous collectors, but also to accept him as one of their own.

Two Cents:  I would stick with the books if I were you.

The Wedding Ringer

The-Wedding-Ringer-1Director: Jeremy Garelick

Stars: Josh Gad, Kevin Hart, Kaley Cuoco.

Synopsis: Kevin Hart stars as Jimmy, a man who owns a company that specialises in providing men with a best man and bachelor party. However, he has his work cut out for him when he meets Doug (Josh Gad), who has absolutely no friends, and no-one to participate in his wedding. Having lied to his wife-to-be (Kaley Cuoco), Jimmy must come up with 9 groomsmen that fit Doug’s fantasy buddies, and he is completely out of his depth.

Two Cents: A totally harmless comedy.

Son of a Gun (Limited)

Son of a GunDirector: Julius Avery

Stars: Brendan Thwaites, Ewan McGregor, Nash Edgerton

Synopsis: Ewan McGregor and Brendan Thwaites star as a crime mentor-mentoree partnership that quickly sours with the involvement of gangs and warlord. Not only is their friendship put to the test when one of their biggest scores goes missing, but placing their lives in each others hands is not longer a viable option.

Two Cents: Doesn’t the title say it all?

Vice (Limited)

ViceDirector: Brian A Miller

Stars: Bruce Willis, Thomas Jane, Ambyr Childers

Synopsis: In the future, there exists a building in which you can enact your fantasies without consequence. The facility is run by robots who simulate human behaviour, to maximise the experience. They are undressed, drugged and even killed for our pleasure. However, when one of the robots begins to experience flashbacks and escapes the facility, she must evade those trying to capture her and find a way to survive.

Two Cents: Is Bruce Willis even still alive?

January 23 (Sundance FF)

Black Sea

black seaDirector: Kevin Macdonald

Stars: Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Karl Davies, Konstantin Khabensky

Synopsis: Jude Law stars as Captain Robinson, a recently-fired submarine operator. That is, until he gets wind that one of Hitlers U-Boats lies at the bottom of the Black Sea filled with gold. Under the financing of a wealthy Russian (of course), Robinson takes a team down into the dark depths as each one begins to realise that with less men, there is more gold to take home for each man who remains.

Two Cents: One can never tell with Jude Law, but this film looks rather good.

The Boy Next Door

The Boy Next DoorDirector: Rob Cohen

Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Ryan Guzman, Kristin Chenoweth

Synopsis: When a woman seduces one of her son’s much younger friends, she is riddled with guilt over her marriage and her reputation. What she doesn’t count on, however, is how he will respond once she ends their affair.

Two Cents: I never liked JLo as an actress, and now that she is taking on a sexy pseudo-dramatic role I have a feeling that I’m going to like her even less.

Mortdecai

MortdecaiDirector: David Koepp

Stars: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn

Synopsis: Johnny Depp plays Charles Mortdecai, a flamboyantly British art dealer with a ridiculous moustache and complimentary shenanigans who attempts to retrieve a stolen painting, linked to a bank account of Nazi gold.

Two Cents: Johnny Depp has officially signed his own professional death warrant.

Strange Magic

Strange MagicDirector: Gary Rydstrom

Stars: Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley, Kristin Chenoweth

Synopsis: An animated film where the two sides of the natural kingdom must fight it out to find out who is ruler of both.

Two Cents:Written by George Lucas, I’m pretty sure this could be a real well-developed and complex story – despite the obvious tomfoolery in the trailer.

The Loft (Limited)

The LoftDirector: Erik Van Looy

Stars: Wentworth Miller, James Marsden, Karl Urban, Eric Stonestreet

Synopsis: Five married men buy a loft together where they can take their mistresses without records. However, when a dead women is found in the bed of the loft, the friends must confront the idea that one of them killed her, all the while stopping the authorities and their wives from finding out. Pursued and taunted by a mystery figure, the thriller is told completely through flashback.

Two Cents:Misguided I may be, but I might just pay to see this movie.

Mommy (Limited)

MommyDirector: Xavier Dolan

Stars: Anne Dorval, Suzanne Clément, Antoine-Olivier Pilon

Synopsis: A widowed women is struggling to raise her increasingly violent son, and after losing her job, seeks the help of the mysterious neighbour Kyla.

Two Cents: I have just a feeling that the trailer does not do the film justice – see it.

R100 (Limited)

r100-sundanceDirector: Hitoshi Matsumoto

Stars: Mao Daichi, Lindsay Kay Hayward

Synopsis: A man who, in all other respects, in entirely normal decides to join a mysterious club to which he has been invited. The club opens up an entire world of possibilities and pleasure, but their one rule – no cancellation under any circumstances – tests him beyond his limits.

Two Cents: It’s original log line has me stymied.

Red Army (Limited)

Red ArmyDirector: Gabe Polsky

Stars: Scotty Bowman, Vyachelsav Fetisov, Anatoli Karpov

Synopsis: A documentary feature about the USSR and the rise of the best hockey team in the world. The film tells the story of the Red Army Hockey Team and the ruthless rule they were subjected to as tools of propaganda, and how the sport mirrored huge cultural and political change.

Two Cents: This is widely considered to be the best documentary feature of the year, so it is well worth a watch.

Song One (Limited)

Song oneDirector: Kate Barker-Froyland

Stars: Anne Hathaway, Mary Steenburgen, Johnny Flynn

Synopsis: Anne Hathaway plays Franny, who is forced to return home after her brother Henry is hit by a car. Hoping to bring him out of his coma, she reads his journal and records sounds of places he visited, and i doing so meets her brother’s favourite singer. The two begin a romantic relationship.

Two Cents: It has a coma, a British musician, and Anne Hathaway – what more could you want from a pseudo-sentimental Rom-com?

January 30

Black or White

Black and whiteDirector: Mike Binder

Stars: Kevin Costner, Gillian Jacobs, Jennifer Ehle, Octavie Spencer, Bill Burr

Synopsis: Kevin Costner plays Elliot, a man who has recently lost his wife in a car crash – the only person left in his life since the death of their daughter. As a result, he becomes the single parental figure to his granddaughter, whom both his wife and he had been raising since their daughter passed away. However, the childs paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) appears and demands that custody be given to her drug-addicted son – whom Elliot blames for the death of his daughter. He finds himself in the midst of a bloody custody battle and will stop and nothing to prevent his abhorrent and irresponsible son-in-law from gaining custody of the only thing he has left.

Two Cents:  I can’t be the only person who wants more Octavia Spencer in her life.

Project Almanac

project almanacDirector: Dean Israelite

Stars: Amy Landecker, Sofia Black-D’Elia, Virginia Gardner

Synopsis: A group of teenagers uncover plans for a time machine hidden in one of their parents worksheds, and decide to build it. What is initially a fun game of winning the lottery and travelling to the most interesting parts of history quickly becomes a matter of life and death when their time travelling causes disastrous ripple to be felt throughout history and into the future.

Two Cents:  About three films of the same longline and age-range were released last year alone, so I don’t expect anything unique in this film.

Wild Card (Limited)

Wild_Card_MoviePosterDirector: Simon West

Stars: Jason Statham, Stanley Tucci, Sofia Vergara, Milo Ventimiglia

Synopsis: Jason Statham stars yet again in another action film where he wears leather jackets and beats up the bad guys, but this time, it’s set in Vegas! Portraying Nick Wild, he is a man addicted, and looks to gambling as a source of income. When someone he loves is attacked, he seeks out the men who hurt her, only to find they are one step ahead.

Two Cents:  Written by the man responsible for The Princess Bride, so, I mean, it’s not like we have a choice

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