Although February is usually the slow time of year for films, there are still some great films opening. I am particularly looking forward to all the horror films, including the amazing reboot of “The Invisible Man” opening this month. It is also a great time to catch up on the films you have missed, particularly the ones that have won awards. Here’s what to see.
Birds Of Prey
Badass villain Harley Quinn gets her own film. It’s way better than “Suicide Squad” and far more comedic film than the recent “Joker” film with kickass action and a hilarious script. I LOVED it for its awesome grrrl power! It was great to see Rosie Perez again as she has been underutilized in recent years. And Margot Robbie is always great in every single thing she does. In fact, she is one of our most versatile actresses and a true Hollywood star.
This film was what I call a “FUS” – a f**ked up situation film! More disturbing than scary, it’s a cross between “The Visit” and 70’s cult classic, “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death.” The one hole is that I questioned the father’s logic in allowing his kids to be alone with a woman that had been the sole survivor of a suicide cult. Would anyone really do that??
Sonic The Hedgehog
Based on the Sega video game and featuring James Marsden, Jim Carey and Ben Schwartz as the voice of Sonic the Hedgehog, this is fun for the whole family.
The concept for this remake is ingenious. A horror version of the classic TV show, this is a February must-see. I loved it for its goofy cheesiness.
Coupling Will Ferrell with Julia Dreyfuss in a film from “The Descendants” director Alexander Payne offers both great comedy and poignant drama.
An instant classic love story about a couple going through the nightmare of cancer. Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville have wonderfully believable chemistry. Bring tissue.
Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield sizzle in this Valentine’s Day romance. I am so happy to see black people in love portrayed properly. Initially, I wanted it to do more. But after I thought about it, it is the perfect slice of life in early love film. Lakeith is new on my to-do list.
Zoey Deutch shines in this comedy about a hometown hustler, who becomes a debt collector to take on the local loan shark.
The Call Of The Wild
I prefer animals to most people. So this was very tough for me to watch. I forgot how much brutality and abuse Buck and the other dogs suffer. At one point I, and a little gal behind me, were crying out eyes out. I literally had to run out of the theater at a scene where numerous dogs are beat and die. Harrison Ford is great and the CGI for Buck is realistic. However, it is a tough one for true animal lovers.
No matter how many times this story gets cinematically retold, I love every single version. Anya Taylor-Joy and Bill Nighy are perfectly cast in this witty, delicious take on the Jane Austen novel. I loved this one and consider it one of my favorite versions now.
Brahms: The Boy ll
The first film was cheesy, great horror fun. The filmmakers have elevated the series by casting Katie Holmes in the sequel. There were no press screenings, which always bodes badly. But I will slip in and see it at some point.
The Invisible Man
One of the best films of 2020 so far, the Invisible Man is perfect. The story is believable with only a couple holes – didn’t buy her not taking the dog – and the cast is excellent. Elizabeth Moss is wonderful and Oscar-worthy (I hope they remember her next year) and elevates the movie through pitch-perfect acting. Aldis Hodge is hot but also not Hollywood annoyingly so, as the cop, who takes her in. And so wonderful to see little Storm Reid growing into a great actress…and that Benjamin Wallfisch score! I loved everything about this one and you will too.
The winner of the Sundance Audience Award, Burden is a true story of how God’s Love works through a Black pastor and a young woman to transform the life of a hate-filled young klansmen. While uplifting, it is also a sad commentary on the US. Because it is not set in the 50’s, it is set in 1996! Maybe it is because I lived in Europe then have been in NYC since that time. But I had zero idea that thirty years after civil rights, the klan was still terrorizing the black community to the degree that they were, and likely, still are. That this story is this recent explains were white supremacist Trump is pulling his support from and there are several allusions to this in the film. All of the acting is wonderful including Whitaker, Heglund, Riseborough, and Wilkinson.
Daniel Ratcliffe in an action-packed thrill ride about a video developer who inadvertently becomes the next participant in a real-life deathmatch that streams online. There were no screenings of this one either. But the concept sounds interesting and I like Daniel so will likely see it.