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Holiday Movie Preview 2013
Posted By: Sam, on host
Date: Monday, September 9, 2013, at 16:17:55

August is over. You know August, right? It's that quirky summer movie month
where superheroes go back into hiberation, and every day cops and soldiers take
over exploding things. The badguys aren't robots or dinosaurs or irradiated
aliens but more earthly: shadow conspiracies, drug czars, that kind of thing.
It's the last gasp of summer.

September ushers in the awards season. Telluride and Toronto herald the
movies that will compete in the awards race. Things mostly stop exploding,
and for a while -- just a while -- the movie business employs writers, and
actors get to play characters. While everybody's arthousing and generally
feeling proud of themselves over the way movies can make them empathize with
stuff for a couple hours, a few summer refugees sneak in. You gotta have
counterprogramming, right? I mean, some people are already proud of

Here's what's coming up from here till the end of the year, with a couple
extra bonus weeks in early January. In early January, you get two kinds of
movies: awards season moves that previously had a limited release and now
go wide, and popcorn movies so terrible the studios would rather the media
were too busy on the Oscar circuit to cover their failure.

Here's what we've got to look forward to:

September 13 - The Family

Robert De Niro is back to playing mobsters again. But this movie is still
firmly in post-Scorsese territory, where he gets to trade on the image he
built up in those early years. Analyze This did that pretty well: the premise
was interesting having De Niro and his mobster character history in a comedy
was a novelty. The sequel, Analyze That, was terrible for a variety of
reasons, but a big one was that De Niro in a comedy wasn't news any more.

The cards, therefore, might be stacked against The Family, which feels a little
bit like a retread. But a retread of what, exactly? The twist is that it's
the De Niro character who wants to reform, but it's his family that have a
hard time going straight. The screenplay for a premise like that can write
itself, and that's what I'm worried about. But Michelle Pfeiffer, rarely
seen these days, gives me some hope. She's selective about her roles and
can make a lot out of very little.

September 20 - Prisoners

A kid is kidnapped. After the law suffers some early setbacks in tracking the
girl down, the father decides he needs to take matters into his own hands.

Sounds awfully generic, right? It's the details that make or break a movie
like this, because, yeah, it's a workable premise, but it's easier to sell an
idea like that than to actually make it work. But from what hints I can gather,
the screenplay tries to delve into the murky moral areas between justice and
revenge. Could be great if it's done well and a painful slog if it isn't.

September 27 - Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

The first one was enjoyable enough, but I don't know why there should be
a sequel.

September 27 - Rush

Ron Howard's next film is a real-life rivalry in 1970s Formula One racing.
Although Howard has a personal stamp, he likes to take on different kinds of
projects. This, certainly, is ground he's not covered before, at least on
the surface. The early word is pretty positive, and some are expecting it to
be a major awards contender.

October 4 - Gravity

For cineastes, this is one of the most anticipated movies of the season.
Director Alfonso Cuaron returns to science fiction with this space thriller
about an accident that occurs in orbit, leaving a couple people adrift. The
reason people are excited is that Cuaron's previous science fiction film was
Children of Men, emotionally a grim downer, cinematically a glorious and
energizing piece of work. That film made continuing use of long takes for
great visceral impact: it featured not one but three of the most complex
long takes in the history of the cinema (augmented with CG, yes, but seamlessly
so), with breathtaking results.

I think people are too eager to make the comparisons between Children of Men
and Gravity, though. They might both be "science fiction," but so are Minority
Report and Howard the Duck. Anyway, I love long takes, I'm a huge fan of
Cuaron, and the trailers look amazing. Count me in.

October 4 - Runner Runner

Brad Furman directs this crime thriller about a guy who believes he was cheated
in a game of online poker and goes to find the guy who got him. Furman's
last movie was The Lincoln Lawyer, a solid double (but no better) and helped
Matthew McConaughey transition out of sappy romcoms and into the surprisingly
interesting career path he's on now. Perhaps Furman will perform a similar
service for Ben Affleck, who has been consistently amazing behind the camera
but sketchy in front of it. This movie also stars Justin Timberlake and Gemma
Arterton, both of whom are oddly suffering from the same sort of problem:
all three have demonstrated considerably more talent and presence in small,
quirky films than they have in their better known roles.

October 11 - Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks plays the title character in this recount of the 2009 Somali pirate
hijacking. Paul Greengrass directs, which suggests the kind of nauseating
shaky camera work I tend to hate, but it was used to incredible effect in
United 93, one of the best films of the last decade. Greengrass also directed
The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum. For some reason, the camerawork
ruined Supremacy for me but was oddly appropriate in Ultimatum. That's 2 for
3, so I'm looking forward to seeing what Greengrass manages to pull off here.

October 11 - Machete Kills

Robert Rodriguez returns to grindhouse nostalgia for the third time in this
sequel to Machete. Unlike Tarantino, whose Death Proof was better than its
inspiration, Rodriguez's efforts in this area have largely been worse. Planet
Terror was limp and forgettable -- a feat of underachievement, given that it
featured Rosario Dawson killing people with her machine gun leg -- and Machete
was downright wretched. Why would a sequel be any better?

Machete is an object lesson in restraint and timing: as a fake movie trailer
buried in the middle of Grindhouse, it was a terrific idea. That exact same
idea as a full-length movie, not so much. Expanding the idea further into a
second film can only be a further disaster. I don't get what Rodriguez is
doing here. What do these films do that the fake movie trailer didn't already

October 11 - The Fifth Estate

Bill Condon is an uneven director, but you can't say he repeats himself. Well,
unless you count directing The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn, Part 2 right after
The Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn, Part 1. His other work includes Dreamgirls,
Kinsey, and Gods and Monsters, so the next natural project for him to tackle
is the story of Wikileaks, right?

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Julian Assange, which is an interesting casting
choice. If Condon can make the political tensions palpable (much like Fincher
turned the inherently uncinematic story of Facebook into a riveting film like
The Social Network), this could be terrific. My expectations are considerably
lower, however. People are hyped about this *because* they remember The Social
Network. What they don't remember is Takedown (the Kevin Mitnick movie),
Antitrust, and various other computing chronicles. It takes a brilliant
director to make dry material like this work, however relevant it might be to
the concerns of the day, and Bill Condon is no David Fincher.

October 11 - Romeo and Juliet

Hilarious (in that laugh-that-you-do-not-cry sort of way) that people are
calling this movie out for a lack of originality. Look, stories aren't always
about finding out what happens. Even when Shakespeare was writing, everybody
knew the stories he was telling. That said, I sort of sympathize: why do we
need another film version of Romeo and Juliet when there are so many better
Shakespearean plays (albeit very few that are neglected)? Romeo and Juliet are
two of the master's worst protagonists: not thinkers or brooders, not heroes
at odds with society or their own consciences. They're just a couple of stupid

Some day somebody's going to make an adaptation that knows just how stupid and
superficial these characters are, but until then we just get movies that insist
on portraying them as tragic romantic heroes. There is at least one juicy bit
of casting here: Hailee Steinfeld, who was terrific in the Coen Brothers'
remake of True Grit, plays Juliet. But unless the reviews are amazing, I
don't think this is for me.

October 18 - Carrie

Also not for me is this retread of Carrie. The remake is trading on good will
over the 1976 Brian De Palma version, but the original wasn't actually a great
movie in the first place. The movie might get a little mileage in updating the
story to include cyberbullying, rather than merely the traditional kind, but
the distinction is all window dressing on the heart of the story, which I
believe to be fundamentally flawed in the final act.

October 18 - Escape Plan

There is probably very little chance this will be an actually good movie, but
even after back-to-back Expendables disappointments and the disposable The Last
Stand, I can't help but hold out the hope that Stallone and Schwarzenegger will
still be able to deliver another one. This time around, the pair teams up to
break out of a high-tech prison that Stallone himself designed. I'll want it
to be good, it won't be, and then I'll still want to see the next one.

October 18 - 12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen (not the Bullitt actor, the British director) takes on American
slavery as the topic of his third film. All evidence suggests this is going to
be tough to watch, as befitting the subject matter. What I don't know is
whether it'll be rewarding to slog through it. I mean, we already know slavery
is bad, right?

October 25 - The Counselor

Cormac McCarthy, whose novels have been the source material for a number of
recent films including the brilliant No Country For Old Men, tries his hand at
a movie screenplay with The Counselor. Ridley Scott directs, which means the
potential for (but not the guarantee of) greatness.

The trailer is terrific. I have a small reservation about it, as it seems like
the greatness of the trailer might be all its own, rather than the borrowed
greatness of the actual film. But there's no denying how electric the cast
is: we've got Javier Bardem turning in a performance that feels paradoxically
like both a unique performance and a signature performance. We've got the
familiar Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz not looking quite like they've ever looked
before. And then there is Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, John Leguizamo,
and Rosie Perez, all of whom are eminently watchable.

I miss the days when Ridley Scott's name was enough to get me interested in a
film, but this could well be a return to form.

November 1 - Ender's Game

No surprise there's lots of anticipation here and probably some trepidation,
too. It's a well-loved book, and nobody wants to see it messed up. The
director is Gavin Hood, one of many foreign directors who's struggled to match
the quality of his early work after moving to Hollywood. I can see this going
either way, but I think a disappointment is a little more likely than a success.

November 1 - About Time

Let's just call Rachel McAdams the queen of time-travelling romantic comedies,
shall we? First we had the surprisingly good The Time Traveler's Wife. Then
we had Midnight In Paris, and although she wasn't the romantic lead in that
let's go ahead and credit it to her anyway. Now we get About Time, the latest
from Richard Curtis, the one maker of romcoms that regularly gets a pass from
people who are normally down on the genre. One thing that distinguishes
Curtis' romantic comedies from the run of the mill is that the characters tend
to have other relationships in their lives that matter besides the budding
romance. Here, there's a father-son relationship that the trailer suggests is
the real center of the film. Curtis' films generally work for me, so I'm
looking forward to this.

November 1 - Free Birds

Speaking of time travel, this animated film is about turkeys that travel back
in time to change Thanksgiving traditions before they get started. I don't see
any reason to think this will be better than the usual slapstick talking animal
movie. How come all the upstart animation studios try to mimic the DreamWorks
model, anyway, instead of the Pixar one? Easier to pull it off, I suppose.

November 1 - Las Vegas

Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline spend a night
on the town. Star power + Hangover callback = greenlight. I like this bit
from the IMDb preview commentary: "The most surprising thing about Jon
Turteltaub's latest is to realize that Kevin Kline is officially old."

It's an easy cast to watch, but as to whether the movie will have anything to
offer besides charisma, well, a look back at Turteltaub's recent filmography
is disheartening. I did like his two National Treasure movies as the low-rent
Indiana Jones adventures they are, but you have to go back to Phenomenon from
1996 to get to the last solid work.

November 8 - Thor: The Dark World

The original Thor was a cacophonous clash of styles, somber Shakespearean
costume tragedy one moment and broad comedy the next. The core problem was its
failure to make Asgard feel like a real place. Point of comparison: remember
Mos Eisley from the original Star Wars? Sure looked like people lived actual
lives there, roaming around the streets, socializing in the cantina, and so on.
In Asgard, there's no sign that anybody actually lives -- people just stand
around looking somber in empty sets.

So I'm not exactly anticipating the sequel with any kind of enthusiasm. That
said, there's no reason not to keep an open mind. I'm intrigued about the
director, a guy who is new to feature films but has a long career in prestigious
television work behind him, including episodes of Game of Thrones, Mad Men,
Boardwalk Empire, Deadwood, Lost, Homicide, and The Sopranos.

November 15 - The Wolf of Wall Street

Martin Scorsese's next has Leonardo DiCaprio living the high life as a
successful stockbroker. This is not normally my kind of thing, although there
are individual titles in this subgenre I like. But the trailer is dazzling --
it's between this and Gravity for the best trailer of the season. One thing
that's interesting about the trailer is what it doesn't show us: it doesn't
show us the main character suffering the inevitable breakdown in the second or
third act, but as this is a Scorsese movie it's a near certainty there will be
one. That, ultimately, is what will distinguish Scorsese's take on this
material from others'. This won't be vicarious naughtiness with a quick moral
resolution at the end. Villain though Gordon Gecko might have been intended
to be, Oliver Stone made him a hero to many. But you don't come out of
Goodfellas wanting to be Henry Hill, or The Aviator wanting to be Howard

November 22 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I saw the first movie almost immediately after finishing the book. The books
are outstanding and, like Harry Potter, are more important to experience
fresh than the movies are, so read them first. But I thought the first movie
did a terrific job, and Jennifer Lawrence was an inspired casting choice,
especially as the choice was made before Lawrence's popularity exploded.

That first movie was directed by Gary Ross, whose work I usually admire. Here,
however, Francis Lawrence is at the helm. Lawrence did a decent job with Water
For Elephants and presumably I Am Legend (which I've not seen), but he seems to
be more of a craftsman than an artist. Then again, with the look and tone of
the series already mapped out in the original, maybe a solid craftsman is all
the sequel needs. The trailer looks good.

November 22 - Nebraska

Alexander Payne clicks with you or he doesn't. He generally does for me: his
past work includes The Descendants, Sideways, About Schmidt, and Election.
The IMDb preview commentary reports, "The word from the Cannes Film Festival
indicates this is a quiet, elegant triumph." That sounds about right: for me,
his best film is About Schmidt, one of his least known films, and "quiet,
elegant triumph" is exactly how I would describe that. There's nothing flashy
about it, even with Nicholson in the lead: it's a gentle character piece
that builds up its power so slowly and subtly that you don't realize until the
end how invested you've become.

That movie sold me on Payne, and while his films since have never struck me
quite as effectively, I do treasure them and look forward to whatever Payne
comes up with in the future.

The other thing that'll be interesting to watch is that Bruce Dern, a great
character actor who started his career back the 60s, has the lead role here
and is being bandied about as a likely Best Actor nominee.

November 29 - Frozen

Disney animation gets back to fairy tales, this one an adaptation of a Hans
Christian Anderson story. Disney animation has unfortunately become hit or
miss lately -- sometimes you get Wreck-It Ralph; other times you get Mars Needs
Moms. This will probably fall somewhere in between (well, it would have to,
right?), and unfortunately I'm going to have to guess it'll be on the low side.
It really seems like a missed opportunity to do something sincere -- something
like The Princess and the Frog or Tangled, both of which were outstanding --
but the trailer only has yet another animated sequence of superficial slapstick
to show off.

November 29 - Oldboy

The original film is celebrated for how dark and taboo it got. I hated it,
not because it went there but because it went there without a compelling reason
to do so. Can Spike Lee, in remaking the film, give the story something
to justify it? I just don't know what that something could be. It is not
reassuring that reportedly Lee's film dwells more on the main character's
lengthy imprisonment at the start of the story, which seems altogether beside
the point.

November 29 - Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

I love Idris Elba, but is he right for the title role here? I don't see it,
but then again I don't feel like we've seen everything Elba can do yet. He's
a fine actor, as is Naomie Harris, who plays Winnie Mandela.

November 29 - Grace of Monaco

Grace Kelly's movie career was short, but in just a few years she made an
indelible impression, most notably in such Hitchcock classics as Rear Window
and Dial M For Murder, and also in the Bing Crosby musical High Society. And
she won an Oscar for a dramatic role in The Country Girl. But she retired
in 1956 when she married Prince Rainier of Monaco. It is this remarkable turn
of events, perhaps, that helps keep both her legacy and the magical fairy tale
dream of Hollywood alive.

But her presence on camera speaks for itself: there was simply no one like
her, and my biggest worry about this film about her is that I don't know if I
could ever accept another actress playing her. I guess if someone has to,
you can do no better than Nicole Kidman, one of the few modern stars with an
old-fashioned movie star allure.

I should clarify that the film is not a broad biography but focuses on a
specific political incident with France in the early 1960s, well after her
departure from the film industry. It's an interesting if unexpected basis
for a film.

December 6 - Dallas Buyers Club

One glance at the trailer and it seems self-evident that Matthew McConaughey
will secure an Oscar nomination, perhaps even a win, for his role in this film.
Real guy: check. Disease with a grim prognosis: check. One man fighting the
system: check. Roughed up physical appearance: check. Oh, and if the
trailers are any indication, his performance is pretty good too.

December 6 - Inside Llewyn Davis

A new Coen Brothers film is always something to look forward to. This is a
small departure from their usual fare, however: although it revels in
Americana the way only Coen films can, there isn't really a crime component
to the story. It's "a week in the life of a young singer as he navigates the
Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961." Is it the "Sweet and Lowdown" entry in
their filmography?

December 13 - The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit trilogy is shaping up to be noticeably inferior to the Lord of the
Rings one, but I'm still a sucker for this stuff. Bring on the dragon!

December 13 - American Hustle

This guy is living proof of that old saying, "You're only as good as your last
picture." Three Kings, the man's a genius. Huckabee's, the man's a weird
disappointment. The Fighter, the man's the #1 A-List Oscar Auteur Director
Supreme of all time. Even being cognizant of this and suspicious of the
fickleness of the media and public, I can't kept but be a little jazzed up for
this. Stylistically, at least, it looks electric, and I'm still very much on
the Jennifer Lawrence high that Winter's Bone put me on.

The IMDb preview commentary sums up the look of the trailer pretty well:
"70s-set true-crime drama with period styling that looks more outrageous
than Argo's." That's all good for me: I love it when a movie can make a
time or a place an inextricable part of its atmosphere. Or maybe I'm just
tired of every movie looking like modern day Los Angeles.

December 20 - Anchorman: The Legend Continues

Everybody says the same thing about this one: why did it take them this long
to make a sequel? I guess part of it is that the original, while successful
straight away, continued to accumulate good will over time, almost like a cult
movie does. So this sequel is pretty hotly anticipated. My question: why?
We've been here before: hugely popular movie gets belated sequel. Sequel...IS
EVEN MORE AWESOME? What, like Blues Brothers 2000? Clerks 2? Caddyshack 2?
Dirty Dancing 2? Look, the sequel is always disappointing and quickly

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. But it's basically insane to presume I'm

December 20 - The Monuments Men

Although Clooney's track record as a director is uneven, this WWII heist movie
sure looks like fun. It helps that it's got a great, Ocean's-calibre cast,
including Bill Murray, John Goodman, Matt Damon, and Cate Blanchett, alongside
Clooney himself.

December 20 - Saving Mr. Banks

Greatly looking forward to this, which chronicles the meeting of Walt Disney
(played by Tom Hanks, an inspired decision) and Mary Poppins author P. L.
Travers (played by Emma Thompson, another inspired decision). The meeting
between these two is already steeped in movie lore. The film subscribes to
the "print the legend" school of true story adaptations, which seems like the
only way to play this one.

December 20 - Her

Around the turn of the millenium, director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie
Kaufman teamed up to make a pair of inspired weird movies, Being John Malkovich
and Adaptation. Afterwards, Kaufman went on to make Eternal Sunshine of the
Spotless Mind (my favorite film from either of them) and Synecdoche, New York
(right behind it). Jonze, meanwhile, went on to make the clunky Where the
Wild Things Are. But the trailer for Her suggests that was just a bump in the
road, because Her looks unmistakably like the kind of thing Kaufman might have

In a nutshell, it's about this guy with a phone. The phone has a new operating
system configured to suit his exact needs. It has a voice that sounds an awful
lot like Scarlet Johansson, and, uh, the guy ends up falling in love with it.
Yeah, weird -- but what a great way to explore the inherent weirdness of
technological gadgets slowly taking control of our social lives? I've wanted
a great film exploring the way what we do with computers can toy with how
the human psyche is wired for a long time. I thought I was going to get it
way back when Andrew Niccol was making the movie Simone, but that turned out
not to get the job done. I'm optimistic that Jonze will nail it.

December 27 - The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I was afraid that Ben Stiller (both director and star here) was going to turn
this great story into a broad comedy, but if anything the trailer suggests its
even less of one than the classic Danny Kaye version. Stiller looks to be
appropriately reserved, and the film looks like it focuses more on the fantasy
than the comedy. That's the right way to play it.

December 27 - 47 Ronin

Keanu Reeves plays a samurai who has to face down a shogun on a matter of
vengeance and honor. Well, The Last Samurai wasn't any more ridiculous, and
that turned out to be pretty good. But that film beat some long odds. Doesn't
mean you bet on the same premise a second time, especially with a first-time
director rather than Edward Zwick, Reeves instead of Cruise, and an emphasis on
spooky fantasy monsters instead of a grounded character arc. Don't get me
wrong. You can have spooky fantasy monsters AND a grounded character arc, but
watch the trailer and see how many of these two things you can spot.

December 27 - Jack Ryan: Shadow One

This is the fifth in the "sort of" series of films based on Tom Clancy's Jack
Ryan character. It's tough to define exactly which of the sequels were reboots
and which were simple recasts, but suffice it to say that four lead actors in
five films doesn't convey much of an impression of continuity. This time it's
Chris Pine in the lead role, which I guess makes him something of a specialist
in franchise reboots. Director Kenneth Branagh, a favorite of mine in the
90s, hasn't made a movie I've liked in a couple of decades.

December 27 - Grudge Match

Here's another one I can't quite bank on being any good, but how can I resist
the premise? It stars Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone as rival boxers
who step into the ring for one last fight 50 years after their last match.
Get it yet? These actors made stars of themselves in Rocky and Raging Bull,
which came out around the same time. That wasn't quite 50 years ago, but what
film buff doesn't want to see a Rocky Balboa vs. Jake LaMotta match?

It's a comedy, though, which feels like the wrong way to set this up. With a
drama, there would be a real risk people would laugh at it anyway, so all the
more pressure to make it good. In the case of Grudge Match, I don't know if
the casting or the script came first, but with this casting the movie has a lot
to live up to. De Niro already screwed up one of his own film legacies by
doing the awful Righteous Kill: better that his only work with Al Pacino
had remained that one great pivotal scene in Heat.

Unfortunately, the writers on this film don't have many commendable entries in
their filmographies, and the director has more misses than hits.

December 27 - August: Osage County

Clumsy title, but it's got huge awards buzz. It's a seemingly heavy drama about
the women in a family who are reunited in the wake of a crisis. The buzz is,
so far, primarily focused on the cast: Meryl Streep seems to have once again
turned the heads of early viewers, but we're used to that, right? What we're
not so used to, Erin Brokovich notwithstanding, is Julia Roberts being spoken
of has having turned in a revelatory performance.

Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Chris
Cooper, Sam Shepard, and Juliette Lewis round out the cast. It's the kind of
roster that speaks more of serious acting chops than superstardom. Watching
this is probably not going to be boring. My concern, however, is that it's
the sort of movie that seems great in the moment but isn't so much fun and is
thus quickly forgotten afterward. There is always one big awards season movie
that looks like it'll dominate and then vanishes after people will see it.
I don't know if that will be this film this year, but August: Osage County is
my best guess.

December 27 - Lone Survivor

Where Zero Dark Thirty chronicled the course of a successful mission against
the Taliban, this one harkens back to a failed mission, Operation Red Wings.
It's hard to imagine this one going over as well with Oscar voters, and star
Mark Wahlberg is hit or miss. Peter Berg is a good director, Battleship
notwithstanding, but he's never done an awards contender before.

January 3 - The Amityville Horror: The Lost Tapes

And so we transition from December into January, and immediately the ambition
of the films on the release schedule nosedive. This makes the, I dunno, tenth
or so Amityville film, which is a lot of screen time for such a vague premise.
Anyway, this is the "found footage" pass through the formula. There have been
a couple of good found footage movies, but by and large this is already a tired

January 3 - Paranormal Activity 5

Hey, speaking of found footage horror movies, here's another one. What is it
about horror movies that they always seem to grind through countless sequels
like this? They're cheap to make, sure, but any of these long running horror
series gets even a single good sequel, it's doing better than average.

January 24 - Sabotage

The IMDb synopsis: "Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being
taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house."

Some have already likened this to Agatha Christie's Ten Little Indians, one of
her greatest stories, but "people die one by one" is too broad to credit her
every time out. My guess is the film will owe much more to its star, Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who has a January movie for the second year in a row. January
is a terrible staging area for a career revival. Is there a reason to think
Sabotage will fare any better than The Last Stand did last year? Maybe one:
director David Ayer won some critical acclaim for his last film, End of Watch,
a hyperreal cop flick. But other than admiring some of how that film was shot,
I didn't like it very much.

Sometime Soon Maybe - Under the Skin

It doesn't have a release date yet, but I couldn't leave this off the list.
The ostensible premise is that it's about an alien who adopts human form and
travels through Scotland. Scotland! Scotland is pretty cool.

That might sound a bit gimmicky, but see the teaser trailer online somewhere.
It's weird in a way that evokes David Lynch and Spike Jonze without quite
channeling either. I haven't seen such a head-trip trailer in a long time --
or at least since last year, when Shane Carruth's Upstream Color was everything
I did not expect him to do with his follow-up to Primer.

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