Waving farewell to January, and its weekly Best Picture films, February gets us started with a bang. In the form of three remakes, an Icelandic film about sheep, and a teensy British film that even the critics don’t seem to have heard of. Still, it isn’t as bad as it all might seem at first glance. The remakes are largely decent, and definitely probably fun, the sheep film is supposed to be really very good, and I didn’t even mention the historical drama about the dad from Malcolm in the Middle doing battle with fascists, or being a Soviet sleeper-agent, or something. Read on, for all this and more.
First up this week is a remake of the ’68-’77 sitcom Dad’s Army. From director Oliver Parker (St. Trinians, Dorian Grey), and starring Toby Jones, Bill Nighy, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Michael Gambon, the film is set in 1944, after the events of the TV show. The Home Guard are in low spirits, until a glamourous reporter is sent to write a piece on them, at the same time as MI5 discover evidence of a German spy operating in the area. The film has received mixed reviews, and is released this Friday.
Next we have American horror-comedy Goosebumps, based on the book series of the same name by R.L. Stine. Starring Jack Black, the film tells the story of the Goosebumps manuscripts being found locked away, and when opened, unleashing all the monsters contained in the stories. The film has received generally positive reviews, and almost doubled its budget at the U.S. box office. It might not be the best film you’ll see all year (or even this month), but it’ll probably be fun. The film is released on Friday.
Another remake next – this time of action-thriller Point Break. Disclaimer – this version does not contain Keanu Reeves. The film tells the story of a young FBI agent tasked with infiltrating a criminal gang who use their experience as extreme sports athletes to commit extravagant heists. The film is directed by Ericson Core (Invincible) and written by Kurt Wimmer (Law Abiding Citizen, The Thomas Crown Affair) – so by all accounts it should be a decent action flick. It does have 9% on rotten Tomatoes though. But has also grossed over $100 million in the U.S. – I don’t know what to think anymore. The film is released on Friday.
The first original film of the week is Icelandic drama Rams. The film follows two estranged brothers forced to work together to save their sheep. Not the most thrilling of premises, I’m sure, but the film has received some weighty praise. It was selected for the Un Certain Regarde section at Cannes 2015, where it came first, and it also screened at the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film receives limited release on Friday.
Next up is British comedy-drama Taking Stock. The film, inspired by the 1967 classic Bonnie and Clyde, follows a shop assistant who deals with being made redundant by making plans to rob a bank. Starring Kelly Brook (Piranha 3D), Georgia Groome (Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging), and Scot Williams (The Crew). The film hasn’t really had much attention from critics, so I have no idea what you should expect going in, but it’s released this Friday, so by all means go ahead.
Wrapping things up is American drama Trumbo. Directed by Jay Roach (Austin Powers, The Campaign), and starring Bryan Cranston (of Malcolm in the Middle and y’know, Breaking Bad fame) alongside Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning, Louis C.K., and John Goodman, Trumbo is the biographical account of the life of Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Specifically, the film looks at the effects of the Cold War, McCarthyism, and strong anti-Communist sentiment on Hollywood in the 1950s. Landing Cranston an Oscar nomination for Leading Male Actor, alongside largely positive praise from critics, the film marks pretty much the end of the Oscar films this year (last year, really). It is released on Friday.