This month will see Oscar contenders and great independent films kick start the year
Not sure what to watch in January? Keep reading – there’ll definitely be something for you within this line-up. A lot of these films have had minimal promotion as of yet so make sure you read our list and then boast your knowledge to your friends before they do the same to you!
Han Solo’s played him, so has Daredevil and even that smart talking guy from 30 Rock had a go. Now it’s Captain Kirk’s turn, or rather Chris Pine who takes the role of Jack Ryan, a patriotic government agent. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit will become the action heroes fifth feature film outing and with none of the previous films being terrible we’ve no reason to think this should be either. This will be Pine’s first action film that he’s not shared a main role with so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs.
12 Years a Slave is the third feature film from acclaimed director Steve McQueen. So far he’s tackled a hunger strike in a Northern Irish prison in Hunger, sex addiction in Shame, and this time he’s taking on slavery in the United States’ southern states. The film sees a continued alliance with Michael Fassbender, but this time he takes a back seat as a malevolent slave owner while Chiwetel Ejiofor plays the protagonist. The films looks similar in its pace to McQueen’s previous films being slow, thoughtful and highly provocative, but film fans who want an easy and simple watch may want to give this a miss.
Comedy seems a little short this month with That Awkward Moment seemingly being the only clear cut option. Nevertheless the trailer shows Zac Efron and pals having a great time after making a pledge to stay single for one of their broken hearted friends. Zac Efron has been hit-and-miss in recent years, but this could be well worth checking out. On the other hand, Sebastián Silva’s Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus, looks set to be a great alternative comedy. Michael Cera stars as an adventurer with two friends, but when a woman, Crystal Fairy, joins their group things turn a little more crazy. This indie film is shot beautifully, and almost appears like a documentary with them laughing, drinking and generally messing about while travelling through Chile. If you don’t mind taking a risk, this could be an absolute gem.
One of our personal favourites this month is I, Frankenstein that is produced by the same people as Underworld. The film’s trailer depicts similar gothic and mythical world but with Frankenstein’s monster surviving to fight another day. Interestingly Aaron Eckhart stars and will see him in a rare role as an action star. He was excellent in Battle Los Angeles but he’s more of a superhero in I, Frankenstein, with his acting chops adding more weight to the franchise. One to look out for.
Big box office hits look set to be high quality dramas this month with The Railway Man taking a strong position. Trailers have pushed this as an indirect follow up to The Kings Speech, with Colin Firth in the humble lead of the wartime film. With Nicole Kidman playing the wife of Firth, this could be a major draw for film lovers especially with little in the way of serious competition being released in the same week. Another contender could easily be Mandela, with the recent death of Nelson Madela in December, audiences interest in the politician and philanthropist has risen higher and higher.
Documentary lovers have two decent choices this January with Generation Iron And The Armstrong Lie. Generation Iron is from director Vlad Yutin and follows top body builders in their struggles to obtain the much sought after title of Mr Olympia. As an ex-bodybuilder, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance with Mickey Rourke directing and the film looks set to be an eye opening watch. On the other hand, The Armstrong Lie takes place during 2009 and is a study on cycling legend/fraudster Lance Armstrong. Alex Gibney directs the film in which Armstrong continually lies about his continual doping with a final interview held after the revelations. For sports fans this could be a great watch, but the film also promises an insight into a person who holds so much power within a sport; an angle that certainly seems interesting enough for most fans of factual film.
We hope you have fun at the cinema this month. Here’s a list of the upcoming movies being released. Let us know what you’re excited about in the comments below.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Michael Kohlhass: Age of Uprising
La Belle et le Bête
12 Years a Slave
The Railway Man
Kiss the Water
Maddened by His Absence
The Wolf of Wall Street
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
August: Osage County
Inside Llewyn Davies
Out of the Furnace
That Awkward Moment
The Armstrong Lie
Journal de France