Movie Talk,  Previews

Winter/Spring 2024 Movie Preview

Well, I missed January, but there also wasn’t much available. Everything that interested us was a carryover from December or moving into wide release (such as American Fiction). And I’ve already covered Argylle that came out last week (first week of February). Here’s what I’ve got my eye on for the next few months.

Must See Movies

My picks for what we will definitely be seeing, if at all possible.

  • Bob Marley: One Love (Feb 14) – Kingsley Ben-Adir is suddenly EVERYWHERE, and rightfully so. He’s very charismatic and compelling, and his last three projects (this, Marvel’s Secret Invasion, and Barbie) show his hugely versatile range. As far as this movie goes, when I saw the PG-13 rating, I couldn’t help but think of Elton John’s comment about Rocketman having an R rating: “I haven’t lived a PG-13 life.” Pretty sure Marley didn’t either. I hope this film can do him justice.
  • Dune: Part Two (Mar 1) – This is really the next “big movie” I want to see. Dune: Part One somehow managed to live up to its own hype, though I didn’t realize it was literally “we are going to stop right here in the middle of the film” type part 1 until the credits started rolling in the theater. Part Two should have been released in November but was delayed by the SAG/AFTRA strike. Hopefully, it’s worth the wait.
  • Shirley (Mar 22) – Netflix biopic of Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman elected to Congress. All you had to say was “Regina King,” and I’m there. I don’t think this one is getting a theatrical release, but I still very much want to see it.
  • Arthur the King (Mar 15) – As much as I hate to admit it, I generally like Mark Wahlberg, at least in this type of role (see also: Renaissance Man and Instant Family, among others, and he was exceptional in Boogie Nights). Assuming the dog doesn’t die (there’s no reason to think that it will, but I’ll still research that before we go), this looks like it could be a fun and sweet story. Bonus points for also having Simu Liu!
  • Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (Mar 22) – The teaser for this one caused mixed feelings for me. The full trailer gives me a bit more hope, but the March release date still gives me pause (shouldn’t this be a summer release?). I’m afraid all of the good stuff is in the trailer, particularly that character reveal that definitely should have been saved for the film, IMO. We’ll see it anyway, since it’s predecessor was such a lovely surprise for us. Maybe lightning – and ghosts – can indeed strike twice.
  • Civil War (Apr 12) – Just saw the preview for this one recently. Kirsten Dunst plays a news photographer caught on the ground as 19 states secede from the USA. I can’t decide if I want to see it or not. To quote David Fear at Rolling Stone: “It sounds like speculative fiction. We fear it will soon look more like a documentary.” The most unrealistic part of the premise? That California and Texas ever join forces on *anything*!

Probably/Maybe Movies

We do have Regal Unlimited (no affiliation, just a happy customer), so we might catch some of these since we wouldn’t have to pay anything extra for them. Except that last one.

  • Madame Web (Feb 14) – I somehow was not aware of this one until the television commercials started for it. It’s pretty rare for a wide release film to “sneak up on me” like that. I’m ambivalent about the film itself, but I imagine we’ll probably see it.
  • No Way Up (Feb 16) – Someone basically put Jaws and The Poseidon Adventure in a blender and spit this out. It looks so bad, y’all! I’m not convinced it will be bad enough to be good, though. Is it wrong to hope that a movie ends up being bad enough for me to like it?
  • Kung Fu Panda 4 (Mar 8) – Gotta say, I’m skeptical, though I’ve been skeptical of this series previously and been pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t sure I would like the first one, but I did. I didn’t think it was possible for the second one to live up to the first, but it did! The third installment, however, was a huge letdown, and I’m not getting warm fuzzies about this one, especially with the Furious Five seemingly missing. I very much want to be proven wrong.
  • The American Society of Magical Negroes (Mar 22) – Okay, a white person trying to recap the premise of this film is just dangerous, and it will sound completely absurd and patronizing. (Yes, American Fiction has made me a bit self-conscious!) So do yourself a favor and watch the trailer (which I saw in the theater, in front of American Fiction, in fact), then decide for yourself.
  • Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire (Mar 29) – Oof, y’all. You know I’m a sucker for a good monster movie, or even a “so awful it’s good” monster movie. But after the last Godzilla vs Kong film, which was SO BAD (and not in the good way), I’m just not sure if I can.
  • Monkey Man (Apr 5) – I can say with near-absolute certainty that we will NOT be seeing this movie, but it still fascinates me, particularly with Jordan Peele involved (as producer, though, not writer or director). It’s like if India made a kung fu movie (or maybe a John Wick movie, though I haven’t seen one so I can’t say for certain). If you like this level of violence, I don’t think it will disappoint in that department. If I could handle that, I would definitely see this out of sheer curiosity.

Honorable Mentions

These are movies that either I’d like to see if I have an abundance of time or that are popular enough (or obscure but intriguing enough) to warrant being mentioned, in case you might be interested.

  • Lisa Frankenstein (Feb 9) – Diablo Cody is not typically my taste, and this one looks a bit too quirky for me. But if you like her style, this should be right up your alley.
  • The Taste of Things (Feb 9) – French language film with Juliette Binoche, but it looks really good. Might be difficult to find outside of NY and LA, though. I’ll add it to my list of films to watch for via streaming.
  • Altered Reality (Feb 16) – This should be quite the thriller. Look at Lance Henriksen still feeling legitimately threatening at age 83! (That amazing voice – that hasn’t changed a bit in 50+ years – certainly helps.) I’ll need to know more about this one, though, before I decide if it’s okay for me to see.
  • Drive-Away Dolls (Feb 23) – This definitely doesn’t look like my kind of thing, Pedro Pascal notwithstanding. Knowing it is an Ethan Cohen film also doesn’t encourage me further, though I know many people like his style. If that’s you, then go for it!
  • Mad Props (Feb 26) – Now *this* looks like my kind of documentary! It explores the world of film props, their cultural relevance and importance, and their value, both intrinsic and intangible. I see the February 26 release date quoted in multiple places, but I can’t find anything on where it will be released (beyond the expected NY and LA and/or festival circuit). I’m mainly putting it here to remember to keep an eye out for it on streaming later in the year.
  • Cabrini (Mar 8) – Biopic about Francesca Cabrini, and Italian immigrant and Religious Sister who fought for improved conditions for orphaned children in the slums of New York at the turn of the 20th century.
  • Accidental Texan (Mar 8) – This will be one of those fun “fish out of water” type tales with a lot of feel-good heart. I really like Carrie-Anne Moss, and we love Thomas Haden Church! Not sure if this will get a wide release, but it has been added to my “check streaming” list.
  • Untitled M. Night Shyamalan Project (Apr 5) – Um… [checks watch] okay… I mean, it’s a Shymalan, so it’s not necessarily odd that they’re keeping the plot under wraps. But you have a movie coming out in 8 weeks that doesn’t even have a title?! I find that… concerning.
  • The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare (Apr 19) – Sort of a real life WWII Suicide Squad, in a way. Based on a true story, but it’s a Guy Ritchie film. We are very hit and miss with him (more frequently miss), but the premise is fun, and the cast is fascinating. Henry Cavill is nearly unrecognizable in both look (why are you hiding that gorgeous face with a beard?! though in this case, that probably is why) and demeanor (he plays “somewhat unhinged” rather convincingly in the trailer). If it’s PG-13, we’ll probably see it, but if it’s R, I’ll have to do some research before deciding.

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