- “Hail, Caesar”
- “The Choice”
- “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies”
- “4th Man Out”
- “Eisenstein In Guanajuato”
- “Somm: Into The Bottle”
|THE CHOICE || Another February, another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, this time bringing “The Choice” to the big screen. Now with Teresa Palmer as the leading lady, you have me sold already. Benjamin Walker does not feel like huge leading man material, but for the most part this romantic, heart-tugging drama is right in line with all the rest of Sparks’ adaptations and for that, these always have a cheesy place in my heart. My guilty pleasure, if you will.
|HAIL, CAESAR! || The Coen Brothers return with a look at 1950s cinema, as Josh Brolin plays producer and fix-it guy, running around the studio putting out fires. The biggest of these fires is that the lead in the Biblical epic, played by George Clooney, has been kidnapped. The film also stars Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, and Jonah Hill. Although not critically praised, this is likely right up the Coen Brothers alley.
|MISCONDUCT || Without the cast that “Misconduct” has in place, it would likely feel tired. But with Josh Duhamel playing a young lawyer caught in the middle of a case between Academy Award winners Al Pacino and Anthony Hopkins, this gets the star-powered elevation that it needs. Add to that an amazing female supporting cast in Alice Eve, Julia Stiles, and Malin Akerman looking stronger than she’s ever looked before, this corruption/mystery thriller grabs you right where it needs to.
|PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES || The 19th century England gets zombiefied in “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” with the star of “Cinderella” Lily James teaming with Sam Riley (“Maleficient”) and “Game Of Thrones” stars Lena Headey and Charles Dance, as the women get courted for marriage and trained for the battle against the undead. The period nature of the film looks great, everything looks very well-produced, and overall, as far as science fiction period pieces go, this looks like it rests at the top of the pile.
|4TH MAN OUT || Had “4th Man Out” been released a decade or more ago, it might have felt new and refreshing. Instead, it feels tired and under-produced, with a weak coming-out-of-the-closet story-line with a group of guys that are no names and hard to watch at that. Writing and chemistry would be the key elements to get this Indie dramedy off the ground, but rather it’s those elements that stick out so horribly that even after a few times seeing the trailer, it started to make drilling into teeth seem like a better idea.
|EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO || Following his 1925 classic “Battleship Potemkin” and a hand full of other films, Soviet filmmaker and father of the montage Sergei Eisenstein, received a traveling visa to work on a film in Mexico entitled “¡Que viva México!” There, we would focus more on his own experience over completing the work he was sent for, and when pressures from the Soviet Union called for his return, his production was halted and his film was ordered to be cut as in as he made is return. The film “Eisenstein In Guanajuato” depicts a fictionalized version of this, while exploring the life of one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
|RAMS || Iceland’s official entry into this year’s Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language feature, “Rams” ultimately didn’t make the final nominations, but it does see its theatrical release. Raising sheep with a lineage that goes back generations, two brother who have not spoken to each other for over four decades must come together to help keep their legacy alive when said sheep are infected and the townspeople and authorities become involved, wanting to put an end to the disease. A dark, dry comedy, this simply does not go far enough to make it feel original.
|SOMM: INTO THE BOTTLE || As brought up in the trailer for “Somm: Into The Bottle,” there is a mystery about wine that is produced by it having been so elevated in class, that no one really asks the questions; how a wine ages, what happens in a cellar and what exactly does oak in wine mean? Through interviews with prestigious winemakers and sommeliers (wine experts) these questions and more are answered, providing viewers full access in every step of the process.
|SOUTHBOUND || From the guys behind the “V/H/S” Trilogy comes another horror anthology that follows several separate people/groups who are intertwined by a stretch of highway where they are forced to face their greatest fears. “Two men on the run from their past, a band on their way to the next gig, a man struggling to get home, a brother in search of his long-lost sister and a family on vacation,” all of these are combined to create some really exceptional horror sequences that thankfully abandon the found footage genre.
|TUMBLEDOWN || For years, Jason Sudeikis was just that comedic actor that led films like “Horrible Bosses” and “We’re The Millers” but now he’s making a case for being the go-to dark comedy actor as he jumps into the drama, “Tumbledown,” about a widow (Rebecca Hall), who is approached by Sudeikis, who is an author wanting to write about her late husband. Like any type of romantic comedy, the two eventually start falling for one another, but Sudeikis’ unique brand of dry humor laces this perfectly. Blythe Danner, Joe Manganiello, and Dianna Agron also star.