Following an impressive start to the year with films like Silence and La La Land, 2017 is on track to be an amazing year for films. Entering February, there is undoubtedly a greater focus on the releases on some larger blockbusters as opposed to the variety of awards season contenders released in January in the UK. That’s not a bad thing at all, as there are some awesome films that I am really looking forward to this month. Once again, it is almost certain that I won’t be able to see all of these films in the cinema, but I eventually see all of them in the future. I still have a few reviews to catch up on as well from January with Lion, T2 Trainspotting and Sing, so hopefully they will be up soon. I hope you enjoy my list of what I’m anticipating in February 2017 (Fifty Shades Darker is not going to be on this list)
Rings (3rd February 2017)
Horror films are generally a mixed bag for me. They can either be extremely effective, such as The Conjuring films, yet most of the horror films that I have seen are just reliant on jump scares with usually terrible acting as well as boring characters. Also, a horror franchise has the risk of a premise working effectively the first time, yet ends up running out of steam as the films progress (such as the found footage format of the Paranormal Activity series). With low budgets and generally high box office profits, there is a fear that horror films released today are done for a quick cash grab. Despite this, I am looking forward to Rings. And to be honest, I’m not sure why due to the factors I have just mentioned. There’s just something about the premise of watching something that will haunt you, which intensifies the experience of watching a horror film. There’s been a long gap of 12 years since the poorly received The Ring Two, and I feel that there is still room for effective and successful instalments within this franchise.
The Lego Batman Movie (10th February 2017)
So here we are nearing Valentine’s Day. If you want to go to the cinema with your partner, please don’t give Fifty Shades Darker your money. Instead, I would suggest The Lego Batman Movie. The Lego Movie was funny, exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now we get to see a feature film once again featuring The World’s Greatest Detective, but in plastic Will Arnett form. This will not be the super serious Batman found in Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, but a hilarious take on The Caped Crusader. Looking to feature a whole host of DC Comics characters with an incredible voice cast with the likes of Ralph Fiennes and Michael Cera, we may be looking at the best DC film since The Dark Knight. The trailers feature incredible animation and are filled with genuinely funny jokes. Let’s just hope that the marketing department at Warner Bros haven’t showed all the best bits.
Fences (10th February 2017)
In all honesty, I don’t know much about this film. However, with four Academy Award nominations, and the Directing and acting talent of Denzel Washington, it’s difficult not to be interested in this drama about the struggles of a working class family in the 1950s. From the one trailer that I have seen, Washington looks to deliver yet another electrifying performance in his filmography, with some genuine tension and complex dynamics between the characters in the narrative. With Viola Davis present as Denzel’s character’s wife, there looks to be a plethora of talent involved in this film, as Davis is easily one of the best parts of the films she appears in (even films that received negatively such as Suicide Squad). I’m not so much excited about this film, but more intrigued, which I still believe counts as anticipation, so it deserves a place on the list.
John Wick Chapter 2 (17th February 2017)
John Wick was such a pleasant surprise. Containing a story with genuine thrills and emotion, it was an amazing experience to watch. Keanu Reeves is such an iconic action icon, and the first film really was something special. The director is returning, cast members are returning, it truly seems as if we’re in for a thrill ride on the same level as the first chapter, possibly even more so. The trailer looked like the action was just as slick and stylish as the previous film, which to be honest is the biggest attraction for me when discussing this film. In an era filled with poorly directed action films such as the Taken sequels and The Expendables sequels, hopefully the John Wick sequel won’t disappoint. There is some heavy and formidable competition that John Wick Chapter 2 is facing, yet hopefully the following that the first film has gained since 2014 will be a significant aid at the worldwide box office. This is easily near the top of my list for this month.
The Founder (17th February 2017)
I do enjoy biopics, given that I’m interested in the subject. And I love McDonalds. So It’s no surprise that I’m looking forward to this film, telling the story of how Ray Kroc helped the MacDonald brothers found arguably the most successful fast food chain in history. Michael Keaton looks incredible in the role, hinting at a ruthless businessman styled performance which I would say fits the role perfectly. With the inclusion of incredible performers such as Laura Dern in the film, there looks to be some masterful talent on display. It’s also great in my opinion for a film to possibly introduce and maybe even teach audiences about the nature of business, dealing with a brand that audiences will certainly know and most probably enjoy. This is definitely one that I want to see in cinemas.
Moonlight (17th February 2017)
Looking to be La La Land’s main competition in relation to the best Picture award at the Oscars this year, Moonlight was a certainty to make my list. Telling the story of the main protagonist Chiron through three stages of his life (Child, Teenager and Young Adult), Moonlight looks to be an emotionally gripping and incredible coming of age story. The term coming of age seems to be over used in my opinion, yet here it seems to apply perfectly. Even though this is nowhere near the same story of Boyhood in 2014, it does remind me of it slightly in terms of the theme of growing up and the challenges it brings. There looks to be some intense elements to Moonlight, dealing with the vulnerability of individuals in a dangerous society and how they are supposed to find their place. Guaranteed to strengthen its awards chances when released in the UK, I’m excited to observe how Moonlight stacks up against other incredible films going for the awards this year.
Patriot’s Day (23rd February 2017)
Adapting tragic events into a film is certainly a challenge. There is an enormous responsibility that lays with the director of the film, as well as the entire crew involved. What’s even more challenging is tackling such an event not long after it has occurred. Patriot’s Day tells the story of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings, a devastating event that will no doubt be a difficult watch for many. What gives me confidence in this film however is the positive criticism that it has received following its release in America, as well as the crew involved. Director Peter Berg has dealt with tragic stories in a successful manner before, with films such as Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, collaborating effectively with Mark Wahlberg who looks to give a gripping lead performance. The supporting cast is also promising, with John Goodman and Kevin Bacon highlighting the talent involved. Whilst Patriot’s Day won’t be enjoyable, I’m sure the quality will be high and therefore the film deserves a place on this list.
A Cure for Wellness (24th February 2017)
I have no idea what to expect from A Cure for Wellness, other than it will be surreal and extremely creepy. Directed by Gore Verbinski, A Cure for Wellness tells the story of a young businessman who is sent to collect the CEO of his company from a ‘wellness centre’ but finds that when he gets there, he discovers that he is now involved in a dangerous and terrifying situation. That’s literally all I know about this film. I’ve seen one trailer that involved some horrifying imagery and an eerie atmosphere. That’s all I really want to know before watching this film. It’s a story like this that seems to be more effective when you watch it knowing almost nothing going into it. Dane DeHann is the lead role in the film, and has proven in the past to bring complex characters to life, and this film looks to be no exception. With actors such as Jason Isaacs and Celia Imrie involved, A Cure for Wellness looks to be an intense sitting with a layered plot with three dimensional characters, and some horrific situations. I can’t wait.
So overall, February looks to be yet another exciting month for films. The films listed above are my anticipated list, and that’s not to say that I’m not at least interested to see other films released, yet these are the most noteworthy ones in my opinion (A film like The Great Wall looks fun and interesting, but I’m not particularly anticipating it). I do know that my friends want to see Fifty Shades Darker, so who knows, there may be a review for that coming later this month (I hope not, but it is a possibility). Thanks for reading