Out This Week: 14 February 2019

Lots to pick for your Valentine's date night!

This weekend coincides with Valentine’s Day, and that means a romantic dinner and a movie might be just what we need. So let’s see if there is something worth your while playing at a multiplex near you:

Alita: Battle Angel

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez
With: Rosa Salazar, Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, and Ed Skrein
What is it about? A deactivated female cyborg is revived, but cannot remember anything of her past life and goes on a quest to find out who she is.
Heads Up? This screen adaptation of  a beloved manga series Gunnm is directed by Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Spy KidsFrom Dusk Till Dawn) and produced by James Cameron (Terminator, Titanic, Avatar). Reviews are middling, praising the action and vision but criticizing the story and direction. But given its pedigree and reported budget of $200M, I expected to be dazzled more than the trailer would suggest. I am gonna sit and wait for the word of mouth before seeing it.

Stan & Ollie

Directed by: Jon S. Baird
With:  Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson, and Nina Arianda
What is it about? Laurel and Hardy, the world’s most famous comedy duo, attempt to reignite their film careers as they embark on what becomes their swan song – a grueling theater tour of post-war Britain.
Heads Up? This biography of a duo of comedians who were larger than life in the 30s and 40s, yet virtually unknown by the new generation, and even myself, a child of the 80s, only knew them through cartoons and that was it. The film has excellent reviews, so I am all in for this one.

Happy Death Day 2U

Directed by: Christopher Landon
With: Jessica Rothe, Ruby Modine, and Israel Broussard
What is it about? Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.
Heads Up? Two years ago Happy Death Day surprised all of us at Filmphoria of how charming and enjoyable it was, which is why this jumped ahead on my most anticipated films of February even before I saw the fun and funny trailer. I say go for it!

Gully Boy

Directed by: Zoya Akhtar
With:  Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, and Siddhant Chaturvedi
What is it about? The journey of a 22 year old Muslim kid from a ghetto in Bombay from realizing his love for rap, to chasing his dream, and to inadvertently transcending his class.
Heads Up? Director Zoya Akhtar has a few beloved movies under her belt Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, Luck by Chance, and Dil Dhadakne Do. This one has two very charismatic leads, and the trailer piqued my attention. This is the first Bollywood film of 2019 that I feel the urge to watch, and I will not miss it.

The Vanishing

Directed by: Kristoffer Nyholm
With: Gerard Butler, Peter Mullan, and Connor Swindells
What is it about? Three lighthouse keepers on the remote Flannan Isles find a hidden trunk of gold, leading to their mysterious disappearance.
Heads Up? This British thriller, set in Scotland, looks atmospheric and interesting. The reviews are very good, but the film is already out on VOD platforms. I am interested, but I don’t see the need to watch it on the big screen.

Time Freak

Directed by: Andrew Bowler
With: Asa Butterfield, Sophie Turner, and Skyler Gisondo
What is it about? A genius teenage boy is in love with a girl who breaks up after a year. He invents a time-machine and tries to fix the break-up repeatedly. He finally goes a year back with his friend/advisor to fix the bad days.
Heads Up? Director Andrew Bowler took his 2012 Oscar nominated short film with the same title and turned it into a full length sci-fi rom-com. Since it is Valentine Week, and because the trailer is kinda cute, I think this one would be a good date night movie.

The Quake

Directed by: John Andreas Andersen
With: Kristoffer Joner, Kathrine Thorborg Johansen, and Ane Dahl Torp
What is it about? In 1904 an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Oslo, with an epicenter in the “Oslo Graben” which runs under the Norwegian capital. There are now signs that indicate that we can expect a major future earthquake in Oslo.
Heads Up? The critics consensus on this Norwegian disaster thriller is that it is a “satisfyingly smart action thriller that delivers plenty of nail-biting tension without sacrificing character development or common sense“. I’d say why not.

About Abdullah Y

Abdullah Y is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He is an avid consumer of everything Pop Culture; movies, TV, music, photography, podcasts, and social media. He loves to travel and to share his experiences.