February may be 2013’s shortest month but there’s plenty of cinematic treats for all you film buffs. Let’s not forget that the 85th Academy Awards ceremony happens on 24 February, honouring the best and brightest movies (at least most of the times) of the past year.
February is also the month of love, but those looking for a date movie will be disappointed at the dearth of romantic films (‘Upside Down’, ‘Safe Haven’) releasing on 14 Feb.
The bulk of the month is occupied by tough guys (‘Parker’, ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’, ‘The Last Stand’), historical biopics (‘Lincoln’, ‘Hitchcock’) and a sprinkling of comedies (‘This Is 40’, ‘Movie 43’) vying for your attention.
Week of 7 Feb
The Stars: Bruce Willis, Cole Hauser, Jai Courtney, Sebastian Koch, Yuliya Snigir
The Story: Directed by John Moore (‘May Payne’, ‘The Omen’), The new film sees McClane (Willis) out of his comfort zone and in good old Mother Russia, where he finds his estranged son, Jack (Courtney) up to his neck in dealings with some very nasty people indeed. Needless to say, it isn’t long before father and son are teaming up to take out the trash.
The Buzz: Our favourite yippee ki-yay butt-kicker John McClane returns for the fifth and possibly final instalment of the ‘Die Hard’ franchise.
inSing.com says: When it comes to the ‘Die Hard’ franchise, there seems to be two camps of fans: one who believes that McClane high-octane exploits have run their course and the other that just want the ageing action hero to kick villainy in the ass while saying “Yippe Ki-yay” – we belong in the latter, of course. And speaking of ageing action stars, Willis seems to be fitting in that persona better than his peers and most of his recent outings (‘Red’, ‘Looper’, ‘The Expendables 2’) were well received.
Also Opening: Krysten Ritter and Alicia Silverstone play socialite vampires in ‘Vamps’. Think ‘Clueless’ and ‘Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion’ meets ‘Twilight’. Matt Damon stars in ‘Promised Land’, Gus Van Sant’s latest environmental drama.
Week of 14 Feb
The Stars: Clifton Collins Jr., Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte
The Story: Based on the late Donald B. Westlake character of the same name, ‘Parker’ stars The Stath (Jason Statham, for you noobs) in the role of the titular master thief with a specific set of rules – he doesn’t steal from the underprivileged and refuses to harm the innocent. The movie sees parker doubled-crossed and left for dead by his crew after a lucrative job, with the duplicitous Melander (Chiklis) leading the charge. Parker tracks his ex-partners down to Palm Beach, where he finds out they’re planning the heist of a lifetime. However, in order to hijack the score and take sweet revenge, Parker ends up having to join forces with a sexy insider, Leslie (Lopez).
The Buzz: J Lo stripping to her skivvies in one scene. Hell yeah.
inSing.com says: It’s like a blend of ‘Out of Sight’ and ‘The Transporter’, but the thing about ‘Parker’ is that adapting material from one medium to another is never easy. Tom Cruise almost got it wrong (about 30cm and 40kg wrong) with ‘Jack Reacher’ but it turned out alright due to the chemistry between Cruise and co-star Rosamund Pike. We do not doubt The Stath in what could be the start of another action franchise -- rather, his bootylicious co-star. J Lo’s last and perhaps better performance was in 1998’s ‘Out of Sight’ and since then the singer has largely been concentrating on her singing career and the odd role in movies. Will The Stath be able to carry the whole movie on his own? We just have to wait till 14 February to find out.
Also Opening: Jim Sturgess and Kirsten Dunst star in romantic fantasy film ‘Upside Down’, about about two lovers whose worlds prevent them from being together. Based on the book 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho' by Stephen Rebello, Hitchcock sees Anthony Hopkins as one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century.
Week of 21 Feb
The Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Gulliver McGrath, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones
The Story: ‘Lincoln’ offers a detailed account of how recently re-elected president Abraham Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) worked tirelessly to pass the 13th constitutional amendment— the emancipation of the slaves — through Congress and end the Civil War.
The Buzz: Already nominated for a boatload of awards – 12 Oscar nominations including best picture, best actor for Daniel Day-Lewis best supporting actress (Sally Field), best supporting actor (Tommy Lee Jones) and best adapted screenplay (Tony Kushner), as well as Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guilds statues for lead actor Day-Lewis.
inSing.com says: With a towering performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in what could possibly be Steven Spielberg’s best and bravest film to date, ‘Lincoln’ has the word Oscar written all over it – 12 times over. The movie is based on a portion of Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book ‘Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln’ and that’s basically why Spielberg opted to focus on the gritty details of the final months of the Lincoln’s life rather than a general overview, resulting in a rather complex and compelling portrait of the great American leader.
Also Opening: Another Oscar contender that’s opening this week isRobert Zemeckis’ ‘Flight’, starring Dezel Washington. The premise of the movie is enticing enough: A-listers (Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Elizabeth Banks) behaving badly in a comedy but is Peter Farelly’s ‘Movie 43’ a sure-fire hit? Its US opening box office receipts don’t look too promising but maybe audiences here have an easily ticked funny-bone.
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)