Flashforward: February’s Most Anticipated Films

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Release date: February 13, 2015

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Starring: Colin Firth, Samuel L. Jackson, Mark Strong, Taron Egerton, Michael Caine

Melding old school spy action, modern Britishisms, origin story exposition, and Samuel L Jackson one-liners, Kingsman fills in as an early favorite in the year. Ask the 2010 version of myself if the post-Inglourious Basterds Sam Jackson and post-The King’s Speech Colin Firth would ever star in a movie together and I likely would have bet a great deal against the pairing. But one should never bet against Sam Jackson starring with any other actor, no matter how improbable the coupling.

Jupiter Ascending

Release date: February 6, 2015

Director: The Wachowskis

Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Sean Bean

I hear Eddie Redmayne stars as a hyper-intelligent alien who possesses a beautiful singing voice that kills his enemies. Unfortunately he unwittingly possesses the body of a human afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Also, Sean Bean dies in the first half of the movie. Originally he was intended to survive the final battle but he requested a rewrite. This is all hearsay.

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Release date: February 20, 2015

Director: Steve Pink

Starring: Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke, Adam Scott, Chevy Chase

While I did not enjoy the first time traveling hot tub adventure as much as many, I do recognize the thinning of the comedy herd in recent years. It might be a recall bias but I remember a time when not one but several successful comedies hit theaters every summer but recently the hits are harder to find. Of course smaller comedies fill the less crowded theater times but the major hits like 40 Year Old VirginOld SchoolThe Hangover, and Anchorman pop up less often. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will not break any records or sweep the nation with laughter but many will enjoy its humor and the people involved.

The Lazarus Effect

Release date: February 27, 2015

Director: David Gelb

Starring: Evan Peters, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Mark Duplass, Donald Glover

Admittedly, The Babadook and even The Purge: Anarchy restored some of my faith in horror movies. Sadly, films like Paranormal Activity, Insidious and waves of mass marketed rubbish dulled my appreciation for the genre. The Lazarus Effect features a strong cast of known commodities unlike the typical fresh faces asked to scream and cry in exorcism flicks. Evening the playing field with a bigger budget, stronger cast and imaginative story-line may help the film save face for horror and maintain the public trust that The Babadook earned.

The Voices

Release date: February 6, 2015

Director: Marjane Satrapi

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Anna Kendrick, Gemma Arterton, Jacki Weaver, Gulliver McGrath

Released over a year ago at Sundance, The Voices received lukewarm reviews and a staggered release; February for the US and April for Germany. Likely to go down as a footnote in the pages covering the career of Ryan Reynolds and the genre of horror comedy, The Voices fits my personal humor better than Hot Tub Time Machine 2.

Seventh Son

Release date: February 6, 2015

Director: Sergei Bodrov

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Olivia Williams, Antje Traue, Djimon Hounsou, Julianne Moore


McFarland, USA

Release date: February 20, 2015

Director: Niki Caro

Starring: Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, Morgan Saylor

The next film in Disney’s yearly feel-good-by-breaking-down-racial-boundaries-through-the-magic-of-sports film series, joining Million Dollar ArmRemember the Titans, Pride (2007), etc.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Release date: February 13, 2015

Director: Sam Taylor-Johnson

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eloise Mumford, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Dylan Neal, Callum Keith Rennie, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden

TV talk shows are going to explode on February 13, 2015.


Release date: February 27, 2015

Director: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa

Starring: Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro.

2015 Overall List:

Most Anticipated Film of 2015: Kingsman: The Secret Service

Least Anticipated Film of 2015: McFarland, USA


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