Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to February


Who: Joel Kinnaman, Abbie Cornish, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton
What: When Detroit cop Alex Murphy is critically injured in the line of duty, OmniCorp transforms him into a part-man, part-robot police officer.
When: February 12th
Why: You can go ahead and add this remake of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 classic to the list of movies that fans didn’t want to see happen. But whether or not you’re a fan of the original, Jose Padilha’s update does have a few things going for it – namely, its amazing cast. It’s not every day that you see Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Samuel L. Jackson in the same film together (even Quentin Tarantino and Oliver Stone could only get two out of the three), and “The Killing” star Joel Kinnaman is one of the more promising up-and-comers around. Though the brutally violent commentary of Verhoeven’s version is suspiciously absent (no doubt in a ploy to earn its PG-13 rating), it’s probably better to reserve judgment until you actually see it.


Who: Colin Farrell, Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Jessica Brown Findlay
What: A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.
When: February 14th
Why: Based on the novel by Mark Helprin, “Winter’s Tale” sounds like classic Valentine’s Day fare. But while the film’s trailer plays like a veritable checklist of genre conventions, what separates “Winter’s Tale” from the countless others just like it is the talent involved. Colin Farrell and Jennifer Connelly aside, did anyone ever expect Russell Crowe to make another movie like this after “A Good Year”? In fact, just like his relationship with Ridley Scott, it’s hard to imagine Crowe would even consider doing a schmaltzy romance were it not for writer/director Akiva Goldsman, who he worked with previously on “Cinderella Man” and “A Beautiful Mind.” There’s also an obvious fantasy element to the story that, although it reportedly isn’t as strong as the stuff in the book, could make this a lot more interesting than it looks.


Who: Kit Harrington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning and Kiefer Sutherland
What: A slave turned gladiator finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, who has been betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator.
When: February 21st
Why: Taking a cue from master of destruction Roland Emmerich, director Paul W.S. Anderson’s historical epic – which focuses on one of the biggest natural disasters of our time – promises that plenty of shit will be blown up. Though this marks the second sword-and-sandals movie in as many months, nothing can be as bad as “The Legend of Hercules.” Kit Harrintgon has proven with “Game of Thrones” that he’s a capable leading man, while the supporting cast is also comprised of dependable actors like Emily Browning and Kiefer Sutherland. The wild card, of course, is Anderson himself, who hasn’t made a good movie in over a decade. While it’s a bit surprising that he didn’t manage to find a role for his muse/wife Milla Jovovich, that could be a sign that he’s actually taking his one a little more seriously.

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