Monthly Preview: January 2014

  

I guess it’s a good thing I have all those 2013 movies to catch up on, because this month is BLEAK. Not that that’s anything new; January has been and always will be the barren celluloid wasteland where ill-advised studio schlock goes to die. It takes an effort to really dig through the crap and find anything worth shelling out the cash to sit in a theater and watch something this time of year, but I’ll do it so you don’t have to. My (extremely short) list after the jump:

Big Bad Wolves: Not going to lie, my initial awareness of this movie did come from Tarantino calling it his favorite movie of last year. But regardless of QT’s opinion of it (the dude did list Lone Ranger and Three Musketeers as some of his favorite movies of the last couple of years), this still seems like a movie worth watching. It looks like a combination of this year’s almost-but-not-quite-great Prisoners and the brilliant I Saw The Devil, which is nothing but good news for me. Given it’s release date, and the fact that it’s a foreign film (Israel, in case you were wondering), it’ll probably get buried by the time the year is done, but it looks like it could be something really compelling.

Labor Day: Jason Reitman has had a decent track record so far, but amongst cinephiles he apparently has two speeds: the well-crafted black comedy character dramas (Thank You For Smoking, Up in the Air) and the faux-hipster girl comedies written by Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult). The former movies are definitely the more respected, and the idea of him making something closer to a straight-up drama with Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin, with Diablo Cody nowhere in sight, should seem like a safe bet for a solid movie. And while the reviews from the festival circuit would seem to indicate otherwise (consensus being that it’s too treacly and old-time melodrama-y), Reitman’s made enough good movies to keep me at least a little invested. And there are some surprisingly beautiful shots in that trailer too.

Under normal circumstances, Knights of Badassdom would certainly make the list in full. Between the premise (LARPers unleash an ancient demon) and the cast (Summer Glau! Peter Dinklage!), it’s right up my alley. But after the whole ugly legal situation surrounding its editing, and knowing that the film being released probably doesn’t reflect director Joe Lynch’s vision, makes me only tangentially interested in it at the moment. So instead I’m going to direct you to Lynch’s terrific short film from last year, Truth In Journalism, and let you enjoy that instead (bonus enjoyment if you read comics and have seen Man Bites Dog):

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