Movie Preview: February 2013

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Everything that’s twisted in the beginning of the month gets ironed out by the end but, as usual, the films out each week seem to follow a train of thought.

February 1: Lotsa “Judgment”
Warm Bodies, a satire that relocates Romeo & Juliet to the post-apocalypse, watches zombie Nicholas Hault fall for warm blooded Teresa Palmer, suggesting there’s still “sex” after “death.” Bullet to the Head follows a Veteran Crook (Stallone) and a super-straight cop (Sung Kang) around post-Katrina New Orleans as they try to avenge the mercenary that killed their respective partners. And Sony Classics (the first official oscarbait documentary of the year) The Gatekeepers explains the Israeli-Palestine conflict, the Shin Bet and “the enemy” in a Post-Zion world.

February 6: Arthouse Notice
A special release via Adopt Films: Caesar Must Die watches inmates stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and dodge the ego mashing that comes with any theatrical production—in this context that stuff if literally life threatening. Prisoners use art to find freedom—there is no metaphor, this what this film is about. Directed by veteran Italian brother-team Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani, this is a rare US import: their work is internationally applauded yet seldom screens stateside.

February 8: Bad Technology
This week, Jason Bateman is a rube and Melissa McCarthy is an Identity Thief in a comedy that unwittingly lampoons America’s economic instability. (Wonder if Obama will see it.) With Side Effects, Steven Soderberg again betrays his retirement announcement, this time for a story about the perils of our modern medicine (specifically the mood-altering kind). Roman Coppola tests my patience and lures fanboys with A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, a high concept peephole into the heavily art directed psychology of a playboy (Charlie Sheen). Also, Top Gun comes out 3D IMAX.

2/14: Ways to go Boom
My Valentine wishes are fulfilled with A Good Day To Die Hard, in which Bruce Willis supposedly hands the torch to Jai Courtney (?). This is counterprogrammed against the newest Nichols Spark movie Safe Haven. (Do the casts for these romances get a little less impressive every time?) And a massive, star-studded cast supports goofy teen-witch drama Beautiful Creatures.

February 15: Arthouse Notice
Abbas Kiarostami’s Cannes-celebrated romance Like Someone in Love hits arthouses. The Iranian autteur had so much success with his “foreign film” Certified Copy (produced in France), he’s made a stilted May-December romance about a hooker and her “grandfather” client in Japan.

February 22: The Graves of “Crapuary”
The first three months of the year are typically bad for movie releases and the two out February 22nd won’t likely get much press and may not even be screened for critics.

Dwayne Johnson goes from criminal to informant to get out of jail time and raise his kid in The Snitch and in Dark Skies Keri Russell tries to save her family from an unidentifiable force that threatens suck her son up into the sky like someone in a song by The National. I love Keri Russell and despite the embarrassment that was August Rush I’m still willing to follow her around—though the marketing materials for this one are dodgy. Just saying.

In indie-r news, Tribeca is releasing Rubberneck and Supporting Characters, a double feature of Alex Karpovsky (HBO’s Girls) comedies so the world might see what he does when he’s not mincing oddly around Lena Dunham.

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