The months of January, February and March are tough for me. And it’s not because I have the specter of unfulfilled New Years resolutions of the past haunting me, or another Valentine’s Day to remind me it’s the worst holiday that we as a society give credence to, or another Saint Patrick’s to shine light on the fact that I’m of Irish decent and don’t drink. While all of these prove that the struggle truly is real, nothing proves to be more depressing to me than the winter move slump.
You see, what we have here is a case of confusing cause and effect. Less people go to the movie theaters during these months, which means studios typically release the films they don’t expect to do well in this time period and save their big budget or quality films (or bruisers as I like to call them) for the summer. But on the flip side, one could just as easily say the reason less people see movies during these months is because studios don’t release anything worth watching.
Now I realize this analysis is a generalization (albeit not far off from the truth) and some good movies do get released during these months with “Silence of the Lambs” being the most notable exception. So I cross my fingers every year that studios will get us out of this slump and give us some quality films to look forward too. So without further ado, here are the films that I think could be gems in an otherwise desolate time for movies.
Blackhat (January 16)
I’ll be honest and say on the surface this movie doesn’t really grab my attention. I mean, I like Chris Hemsworth and all, but if you’re going to release a globetrotting, cyber warfare action movie these days it had better stand out, and the trailer just isn’t that good. But Michael Mann is the director and that does change my perspective a bit. Mann directed such hits as “The Last of the Mohicans,” “Heat,” “Ali,” and, a personal favorite of mine, “Collateral.” This doesn’t guarantee a quality film, but it does earn the benefit of the doubt and possibly my money.
Jupiter Ascending (February 6)
The newest film from the Wachowskis, “Jupiter Ascending” was originally planned for release back in summer 2014 but got moved back to February due to reshoots and extra work on the special effects (which from the looks of it could put the “Star Wars” prequels to shame in terms of how much CGI it looks to incorporate). While the heavy reliance on effects might deter some, I for one am excited to see a new film that’s not a sequel, reboot or based on a YA novel that gets a large budget. Now let’s just hope it’s good.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (February 13)
Easily my most anticipated film during the winter slump is “Kingsman: The Secret Service.” A bit of a mouth full as far as titles goes, but it is directed by Matthew Vaughn who directed such gems as “Kick-Ass” and “X-Men: First Class.” Plus, just watch the trailer, because it looks like a fun time – like James Bond before his movies became super serious.
“’71” (February 27)
Here’s a film that I had never heard about until I read an early review for it a couple months back. It’s an action/thriller that tells the story of a British soldier who gets separated from his unit during the Belfast riots of 1971, and it’s supposed to be great. Supposed to, anyway. My fear is that although we might get a quality movie here, it’s coming from out of nowhere. You probably hadn’t even heard of it until I listed it, which means less people will likely see it upon release. But here’s hoping.
Chappie (March 6)
Director Neill Blomkamp has had one really big hit with “District 9” and one hit and miss with “Elysium.” I’m hopeful that his newest film, which was originally announced as a sci-fi comedy but slowly morphed into more of a drama about a robot who is given artificial intelligence, will lean more toward “District 9” quality. Visually the cinematography looks to please, so here’s hoping the story, acting and script all stand on their own adorable robotic legs as well.