January and February are always the dumping ground for the worst Hollywood has to offer. For some reason or another, a movie has been condemned to the death that is a January/February release and the public is often tricked into thinking these movies might be anything other than deplorable. There are, however, some movies that make it out of the fray and end up being halfway decent. This year has a few movies with the potential to be good, including another team-up of Martin Scorcese and Leonardo DiCaprio. Seeing those two together in February is like watching dogs wear suits and walk on two legs. So, without further ado, here are some of the best this February has to offer (ordered by release date):
From Paris With Love (Feb. 5) – From the director of Taken, (if you liked Taken, you’ll love Pierre Morel’s District B13) this would appear to be an action thrill ride starring John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Meyers plays an employee in the office of the US Ambassador who meets up with a spy (Travolta) in Paris to stop a terrorist attack on the city. Though the lines in the trailer make this seem almost laughable, I’m fairly certain Travolta will be playing a character like this tongue-in-cheek. And, at this point, I have to trust Morel will do a good job making this a worthy action film.
The Wolfman (Feb. 12) – It will be interesting to see how this classic movie monster once again comes to life on screen. At the very least, the cast looks great, and while this will naturally spur the “did we really need a remake of this?” talk, this is the kind of movie that could benefit from updated special effects. The world needs to become familiar with Emily Blunt’s talents, so if nothing else, go to see her.
Shutter Island (Feb. 19) – This really feels like the cream of the February crop, for obvious reasons. What have we done to get a Martin Scorcese – Leonardo DiCaprio pairing…in February?! Despite the dreaded concern over it being pushed back from a release date in the fall of 2009, Shutter Island still looks like a psychological thrill ride and something absolutely worth seeing. DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo star as a pair of US Marshals that are sent to a mental institution on Shutter Island in order to find a psychotic killer (Emily Mortimer) who has disappeared.
The Crazies (Feb. 26) – Am I really falling for this? Normally, you’d be better off flushing your money down the toilet than seeing any horror movies released at this point of the year. Naturally, I’ve included two of them on this list. The Crazies, starring Timothy Olyphant as the sheriff of a town in which all its residents are turning into violent psychopaths. No, this isn’t about New York City. A remake of the 1973 film of the same name (and directed by George A. Romero), this actually looks like a creepy, violent movie that should satisfy the urges of those looking for a bloody fix.
Cop Out (Feb. 26) - What’s most noteworthy about Cop Out is that this is the first film Kevin Smith has directed in which he has also not written the screenplay for it. I was incredibly excited to see the first trailer to this, eager to get a glimpse at what this could be, which, as it turns out, is awful. The trailer to this is quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen. Nevertheless, I can’t help wanting to see this no matter what, because the combination of Tracy Morgan-Bruce Willis-Kevin Smith just seems too good to pass up and hey, they don’t always put the funniest stuff in the trailers…right?
Honorable Mention: The Ghost Writer
See at your own risk: Dear John, Valentine’s Day, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief