Whether you are living the sweet life at the Sundance Film Festival or like the rest of us have day jobs and are living vicariously through critic’s tweets, January is a busy movie month. Not really for quality cinema per se but advetising of forthcoming titles as it, by way of the festival circuit and Super Bowl commercials, allows us a chance to look ahead to films just over the horizon. Things you hadn’t expected or heard of may now start popping up all over your radar.
Lots of trailers hit the web this week (some immediately following purchase and plans for distribution while at Sundance) and so this catch-all post shines some light on the ones worth noting. A mixed bag of indie, action and all things in between, here’s what’ll soon be playing at a multiplex or art house near you; some titles are really right around the corner.
Have a look and let us know what tickles your cinematic fancy.
The film, set in Mumbai, revolves around a mistaken delivery by the Dabbawalas (lunchbox service) of Mumbai, which leads to a relationship between Saajan, a lonely widower close to retirement, and Ila, an unhappy housewife, as they start exchanging notes through the daily lunchbox. Directed by Ritesh Batraand and starring Irrfan Khan (Life of Pi, The Amazing Spider-Man), The Lunchbox begins its limited release on February 28th, 2014.
RUN AND JUMP
Will Forte keeps his post-SNL success going with this dramatic role in Steph Green’s film Run and Jump. Hot on the heels of his work in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, Forte looks to have quite a lot more to offer than his funny side or parodies like MacGruber. In this IFC Films picture Forte plays an American doctor who travels to Ireland to study the Casey family after 38-year-old Conor suffers a stroke which changes his personality, leaving dynamo wife and mother Vanetia to run the show. Check it out in theaters and VOD on January 24, 2014.
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY
A straight-laced pharmacist’s uneventful life spirals out of control when he starts an affair with a trophy wife customer who takes him on a joyride involving sex, drugs and possibly murder. Better Living Through Chemistry is written and directed first time filmmakers Geoff Moore and David Posamentier and stars Sam Rockwell as the above mentioned pharmacist. It also stars Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta and Jane Fonda and Samuel Goldwyn Films has slated this for a limited release on March 14th, 2014.
Similar to the likes of Fantastic Fest the midnight section at Sundance is where dark, edgy and typically genre films come out to play. Hailing from Australia, The Babadook is a fright-fest about a single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, who battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, then soon discovers a sinister presence all around her. It’s currently only playing at Sundance and awaiting distribution. Boo.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE
Zack Snyder’s 300 is a love it or hate it macho action fest (we’ll skip the gay jokes for now). So as anything that is remotely successful in Hollywood we cinema goers will eventually, whether we want it or not, get a sequel or prequel. Here we have a so-called “in between” movie that is about the Greek general Themistocles who battles an invading army of Persians under the mortal-turned-god, Xerxes. Directed by Noam Murro and starring Sullivan Stapleton, Rodrigo Santoro and Eva Green, Warner Bros have 300: Rise of an Empire slated for wide release (in 3D!) on March 7th, 2014.
CHILD OF GOD
James Franco is everywhere these days whether he’s writing books, scripts, in front of the camera or behind it. In the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name Franco directs/stars this story about a dispossessed, violent man whose life is a disastrous attempt to exist outside the social order. Successively deprived of parents and homes and with few other ties, Ballard descends literally and figuratively to the level of a cave dweller as he falls deeper into crime and degradation. It has the look of a made for TV or A&E film but it was able to wrangle in Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack so let’s see what we get when Franco looks at something through the back of the lens. No release date has been announced so no word on when we can expect to see it.
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 90th Anniversary
Rounding out this post is not really a look ahead but a look back with a trailer for the hits of MGM’s yesteryear. 90 years ago Irving Thalberg and Louis B. Mayer stated a little picture company in Hollywood California. It rose to such extraordinary heights that never before or since has a picture studio had such a sting of hits and A-list stars right in its pocket. Thoroughly researched and presented in the amazing 6 hour documentary “When the Lion Roared” (anyone who owns either Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of OZ on Blur Ray you have this as a “special feature”) Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer was a “dream factory” that gave the world some of the greatest and most enduring film moments. Here are some of them.
I guess this means we can expect MGM 90 re-branding and reissues of their existing BD titles plus some that haven’t made the hi-def jump. What films are you looking forward to in the coming months??