(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)
The coming of February means that Oscar fever is back upon us, but with this being Singapore, we won’t get to see most of the movies that’s nominated (Cathay is bringing back 4 of them. Read our Oscar feature) until after the fact.
In spite of that, February also sees a slew of big ticket releases that are definitely worth your ten bucks. From the third sequel of the Underworld series, a special 3D release of Star Wars and biopics to spy thrillers and actioners.
Let’s check out this month’s releases.
Week of February 2
The Stars: Dane DeHaan, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly
The Story: The film ‘chronicles’ three high school students who make an incredible discovery, leading to their developing uncanny powers beyond their understanding, but they instead use their newfound abilities for their own selfish reasons rather than to help others or to fight crime
inSing.com says: If you’re a fan of movies like “Blair Witch Project”, “Cloverfield” and “Paranormal Activity”, then you will surely love the upcoming sci-fi flick Chronicle.
Using the same ‘low-budget’ first-person handheld-camera style, “Chronicle” is directed by Josh Trank who is best known for creating TV series “The Kill Point”, “Chronicle” tracks the life of a socially awkward kid Andrew (Dane DeHaan), who one day decides to film everything he does in a day and then edit it later on his computer.
The movie reminds us of British series “Misfits” (about a bunch of...umm, misfits gaining supernatural powers after a storm) and although the style is similar to previous found footage flicks, “Chronicle’s” plot seems quite original.
In an interview with Collider, Trank revealed that Chronicle was at least partially inspired by Katsuhiro Otomo's classic manga series “Akira”. Will we get something in the vein of an updated Blade Runner-slash-Akira flick or an overhyped Gen Y sci-fi movie such as “I Am Number 4” or “Jumper”? We just have to wait and see.
Also Opening: It seems that this first week of February will see a bumper crop of some really high profile flicks vying for your dollar. First up is the sequel to “Underworld: Awakening” where we will see the gorgeous Kate Beckinsale back in her ultra-tight catsuit. The story this time around acts as both a sequel and perhaps a mini-reboot—Selene (Beckinsale) awakens 12 years in the future after being held captive in stasis, only to find that the tables have turned on the world stage.
Also opening is the Arctic thriller “The Grey” starring Liam Neeson. He does what he does best—saving the day almost singlehandedly, this time against a pack of wolves. Keira Knightley and Michael Fassbender stars in “A Dangerous Method”, a movie about Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud and a very beautiful patient. David Cronenberg directs.
Week of February 9
The Stars: Armie Hammer, Josh Lucas, Judi Dench, Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts
The Story: “J. Edgar” charts the FBI boss’s rise from idealistic law student to one of the most enigmatic figures of the 20th century. Based on an original screenplay by Oscar-winning writer Dustin Lance Black, “J. Edgar” promises to be a biopic like no other.
inSing.com says: 2012 seems to be the year of biopics. “J. Edgar” joins “The Iron Lady”, “The Lady” and “My Week With Marilyn”, all biopics based on personalities past and present. Clint Eastwood directs this rather heavy portrait of one of the most influential men in America. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the titular J. Edgar Hoover throughout his lengthy career, starting with his early days at the Justice Department.
Charged with tracking down "alien subversives", Hoover witnessed the aftermath of an anarchist bomb attack on the home of his boss, the Attorney General. This event propelled Hoover on a missionary path that led to his creation of the FBI and his 50-year tenure as its director through eight presidencies and three wars.
DiCaprio has already snagged a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nominations for his portrayal of the almost tyrannical Hoover but the movie was snubbed at the Oscars.
Also Opening: Recently nominated for Best Lead Actor in this year’s Oscar race is Gary Oldman who stars in the period spy thriller "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy". Also opening this week is "Safe House", an actioner starring Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Relive the magic of the Force, this time in 3D with "Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D". George Lucas brings his first prequel back to theatres with a brand new digital format.
Week of February 16
The Stars: Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba, Nicolas Cage
The Story: Nicholas Cage (and his freaky stare) returns in this sequel to Marvel’s supernatural superhero. “Ghost Rider: The Spirit of Vengeance” sees skull face battling the Devil and his minions (again), and at the same time save a boy from being the new human form for the Lord of Darkness.
inSing.com says: So before we dive into the mega epic that is “The Avengers” in the Summer, we have to contend with Nic Cage as Ghost Rider. Back as Johnny Blaze as our favourite flame-headed anti-hero in “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, the film sees Blaze, hiding out in remote Eastern Europe and struggling to repress his curse. Blaze is recruited by a sect to take on the devil (Ciaran Hinds), who wants to take over his mortal son's body on the kid's birthday.
This particular comic book flick is firstly an adrenaline-fueled thrill ride that will be big on the gritty action and destruction but judging be previous experiences involving skull face—it might be small in the storyline department. Although that might change with directors Brian Neveldine and Mark Taylor, the duo behind the “Crank “films who have promised to bring their dark and gritty vision to the “Ghost Rider “franchise. We just have to wait and see.
Also Opening: Meryl Streep gives a riveting performance as Britain’s former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”. Reese Witherspoon, Chris Pine and Tom Hardy star in upcoming spy comedy “This Means War”. Directed by McG, the movie revolves around two top CIA operatives who wage an epic battle against one another after they discover they are dating the same woman.
Week of February 23
The Stars: Alex Veadov, Nestor Serrano, Rosalyn Sanchez
The Story: Written by Kurt Johnstad and starring Alex Veadov, Rosalyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano, Emilio Rivera and actual active duty U.S. Navy SEALs, "Act Of Valor" follows a Navy SEAL squad who goes on a covert operation to rescue a kidnapped CIA Officer, while also taking down terrorists who aim to strike America.
inSing.com says: Watching the trailer, “Act of Valor” reminds us of military-oriented video games such as “Call of Duty” or even “Battlefield” with its ‘first-person shooter POV’ footage and mission-driven storyline. One interesting fact about “Act of Valor” is that the Navy SEALS in the film are played by actual active-duty SEALS.
The movie is loosely based on previously conducted Navy SEAL missions, and SEALS advised on all the tactics and action sequences. Although it looks like a documentary, we assure you that it’s not; but the film, directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, actually started out as a training video for Navy SEALS. The Navy liked what they saw so much that they decided to turn it into a documentary. And now it’s a full-fledged feature.
Also Opening: Don’t miss “Soul Of Bread”, a Taiwanese flick about a love triangle between a handsome young baker and a local bread maker. Also do check out “George Harrison: Living In A Material World”. Inter-cut with archive material, friends, family and associates of the musician tell the story of his life and how spirituality became such a major part of it.