Finally the winds of time have blown us past the mediocre releases of January, throwing us right smack into the mouth of February – the month of Valentine’s Day and a slew of animated releases. Here are the biggest new movies to look forward to this month.
1. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part | 8th February 2019
5 years ago, we were introduced to the catchy tune of “Everything is Awesome!” and an animated movie with surprising layers of social commentary. Essentially, it encourages us to break free from routine and expectations, and not to be fearful of creation and imagination. The sequel might not have the novelty and uniqueness of the first; the new songs might not have the earworm quality of “Everything is Awesome”, but it is still a rollercoaster ride of exuberant colours and fantastic animation. The real world becomes more of a feature in the second movie, with the audience shown how the real life player affects the events that play out in the lego world. It may not be as good as the first movie (which sequel is, am I right?), but it guarantees you an enjoyable trip to the movies, for both kids and adults.
2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World | 22nd February 2019
February seems to be a month of animated films, which is good news for parents and the rest of us who might be stuck babysitting. But of course, you don’t have to be a kid to enjoy the marvels and quality storytelling of an animated movie, which the third movie in the How to Train Your Dragon series has in large doses. Early reviews have lauded it as the perfect ending to the trilogy, achieving the rare feat of being both emotionally and visually stunning. If you are a fan of the relationship between Toothless and Hiccup, this is a must-watch for you.
3. Isn’t It Romantic | 13th February 2019
Every year I look forward to the rom-com feature that blows by for Valentine’s Day. After watching the trailer for Isn’t It Romantic, I have been eagerly awaiting its release, so I can go watch it with a bunch of my girlfriends. Having spent years watching Rebel Wilson play the weird, funny friend to the lead protagonist, it is gratifying to finally see her play the main character in a movie. The film is extremely self-aware, drawing our attention to common tropes we usually see in a romantic comedy, and the hilarity that ensues when Wilson’s character discovers she is stuck in a PG-13 rom-com. The movie also stars the swoon-worthy Liam Hemsworth, who seems to share his brother’s talent for humour as well as acting.
4. Happy Death Day 2U | 13th February 2019
Happy Death Day was a surprise at the movies in 2017. I thought it was going to be a garbage movie, coupled with the badly recycled use of the Groundhog Day motif. However, it ended up being an enjoyable hour or so at the cinema. The lead actress Jessica Roethe actually does humour quite well, and while the movie didn’t manage to scare me all that much, I found myself not really regretting my ticket purchase. Now two years later, we have a sequel that frankly feels a bit unnecessary. It is pretty much the same premise again, with the time Ioop reasserting itself. Still, the first movie was enjoyable enough that people are willing to go see the second one. The trailer does make it seem like it’s going to be one hell of a ride.
5. Cold Pursuit | 8th February 2019
Cold Pursuit sounds exactly like the barrage of action-revenge movies that seems to be in Liam Neeson’s wheelhouse. He does have a particular set of skills, and I am still as eager as ever to watch how he employs them. He’s just so cool, ya know? Which is fitting considering the movie’s title. Neeson plays an upstanding citizen who turns into a cold-blooded vigilante (this is my last pun, I promise) when he goes on a quest for truth after his son dies under mysterious circumstances. The film looks beautiful just from the trailer alone, evoking the same feelings I had from watching Wind River. The movie is actually a remake of Hans Petter Moland’s 2014 Norwegian film In Order of Disappearance, with the director taking on the mantle again for this revisioning. While a lot of remakes can fail because they don’t measure up to the original, Cold Pursuit actually finds a way to distinguish itself, recognising the absurdity of a man killing another with a snowplow and running with it. It doesn’t take itself so seriously and gives us properly fleshed out characters, so if you haven’t seen Liam Neeson in the cinema in awhile, Cold Pursuit might just be the movie to brave the cold for (I mean the cold of the cinema of course).