Preview by Flaco Jones

Flaco's Winter Movie Preview

Flaco's Winter Movie Preview

The winter season isn’t usually the most exciting time for movies. The box office is more likely to be dominated by December holdovers like Frozen or The Wolf of Wall Street and other movies pushing for the big awards. That doesn’t mean these winter releases are bad (Dark City, an amazing sci-fi film, was a late February release) it just means the studio may not have had the full confidence to release these movies during the ultra-competitive fall and Christmas seasons. For a lot of these movies, that lack of competition could certainly help get some more viewers.

January 17


Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 





I thought the delay from its original holiday release might have helped this once strong franchise get a decent reboot, but it instead fell to the holdovers and the hit comedy standout “Ride Along”. Still, it’s out there if you want to see Chris Pine’s fill the shoes of Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck before him.

January 21


Knights of Badassdom





It seems like this movie has been teased at comic book conventions forever now (filming began in 2010!) but Joe Lynch’s geek epic finally saw an official release, albeit a limited one. It only launched in about 13 theaters in January but does seem to be hitting on demand video services in February so you can still catch it this winter.

January 24


I, Frankenstein





This may have been a case of casting based on head shape alone, since star Aaron Eckhart has never carried a successful movie on his own, but his large head and jawline certainly fit the part. Since this film was such a colossal failure, if you want to see it in theaters, you better catch it soon because it won’t hang around for much longer.

Also in January… “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” (Jan 2) and “The Legend of Hercules” (Jan 9) were left off the list simply because I didn’t get them added in time for them to still be found in many theaters. Based on their box office, I’m assuming nobody will care.

February 7


The Lego Movie





Lego has been branching out from what we all remember from our childhood. They have a library of successful games and TV shows that proves they are more than just an awesome kid’s toy. Now they’re going to try their hand at movies, and I truly think this is going to be a fun movie and a big hit given the lack of competition.

February 12


RoboCop





Another famous sci-fi remake, though I’m sure the producers of this film hope it fares better than the Total Recall remake from a couple of years ago. They definitely have a good cast in place, so if the plot satisfies, then this could be a hit. The only aspect that could make the hardcore fans cautious is the step down to a PG-13 rating.

February 14


Vampire Academy





Based on the hit young adult novel, this movie enters a crowded Valentine’s Day. There are three other movies debuting as well, all romance genre films. This is the only one with a fantasy angle so it’s the only one worth mentioning here, but if you want to see a movie on Valentine’s Day with your special someone, Hollywood has you more than covered.

February 21


Pompeii





Paul W.S. Anderson, famous for directing and producing the Resident Evil movies takes a shot at the historical disaster flick genre. The trailer has a strong “Gladiator” meets “Volcano” vibe but how much will the gladiator story matter to an audience just waiting for the big mountain to blow up?

The Wind Rises





Conflicting reports have said famed anime director Hayao Miyazaki may retire after his latest Studio Ghibli film, which is getting its US release this winter. I hope this isn’t true as I’d like to see more from Miyazaki and especially something more in the realm of fantasy where his films truly shine. This historical epic gets the usual star-studded US dub that some fans can take or leave, but both versions should be available once the film has a video release.

February 28


Welcome to Yesterday





Another sci-fi, found footage movie in the vein of Cloverfield and Chronicle. This one is made by a Michael Bay production company and involves teenagers and time travel. Of course everything goes horribly wrong for the characters. Hopefully the plot holds together well because coherent time travel stories can be tough to pull off.

Also in February… Liam Neeson does his seemingly annual one-man army thing in “Non-Stop” (Feb 28) and Kevin Costner tries to do the Liam Neeson one-man army thing in “3 Days to Kill” (Feb 21). Plus, George Clooney gets a bunch of his famous friends to star in a heist movie, but it’s not Oceans 14, it’s “The Monuments Men” (Feb 7) and they’re stealing art back from Nazis so it’s probably not as much fun.

That’s it for the major winter movies. I’ll be back next month for the spring preview of the big March/April releases, the calm before the summer movie storm. Be sure to rank these movies below based on how badly you can’t wait to see them and add any comments if I missed a particular release or you just want to discuss the movies on the list.

Flaco Jones is a former film school grad and current professional A/V nerd. You can follow him @flaco_jones on Twitter.

Preview by - 2/7/2014 8:29 AM360 views

Your Ranking

Which of these Winter 2014 movie releases are YOU looking forward to?

Flaco has previewed the Winter 2014 movie releases, now it's your turn to tell us which one(s) are your most anticipated.

Based on 13 Participants

  1. The Lego Movie
    (Average Rank: 2.61)

  2. Knights of Badassdom
    (Average Rank: 3.61)

  3. RoboCop
    (Average Rank: 4.00)

  4. The Wind Rises
    (Average Rank: 4.07)

  5. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
    (Average Rank: 4.30)

  6. Pompeii
    (Average Rank: 5.84)

  7. I, Frankenstein
    (Average Rank: 6.15)

  8. Welcome to Yesterday
    (Average Rank: 6.76)

  9. Vampire Academy
    (Average Rank: 7.61)

Registered Participants can rank these choices, and are eligible to receive Points during the article's first week of publication! Why not sign up and start playing today?

Comments

act_deft
act_deft
2/7/2014 9:57 PM

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Robocop will either be really cool or really stupid.

But the movie I'm looking forward the most is The LEGO Movie. That one looks incredibly funny and it's getting a lot of praise so far. Hopefully I can go watch it soon.

And The Wind Rises is probably one that will be great too, you can never go wrong with Studio Ghibli.
ObiWanJabronE
ObiWanJabronE
2/7/2014 9:49 PM

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I've got high hopes for RoboCop, although I'm not confident with it (like the Total Recall remake). I just hope it has the line "I'll buy that for a dollar", or I'm going to riot.
TigerClaw
TigerClaw
2/9/2014 8:38 AM

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I'm looking forward to the Robocop remake, Even if its PG-13, But it should be entertaining.
LOKI
LOKI
2/10/2014 8:44 AM

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I had not heard about Welcome to Yesterday but that looks pretty sweet. I was a huge fan of Chronicle and this looks very similar in tone and style. Also the Lego Movie is absolutely amazing. I saw it this weekend and it was just brilliant. It was funny and even almost had me in tears at the end. Everyone must go see this movie if you've ever played with Legos as a kid.
TigerClaw
TigerClaw
2/14/2014 12:52 PM

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They just posted some really funny Bloopers from the Lego Movie.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTP9U0oDDKg
Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
2/7/2014 2:36 PM

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I did forget to mention "A Fantastic Fear of Everything" with Simon Pegg but it's more On Demand than theatrical and I already have one of those movies featured this month. Honestly, On Demand services are full of decent options these days unlike straight-to-video of the past.
act_deft
act_deft
2/7/2014 9:59 PM

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I forgot to add, Vampire Academy looks amazingly awful, yet I'm intrigued and compelled to watch it.
Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
2/8/2014 7:15 PM

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They must have switched the date for Vampire Academy since it appears to be out now. I guess Valentines Day was too crowded.
Flaco_Jones
Flaco_Jones
2/10/2014 10:25 AM

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It's pretty cool seeing two limited release movies in the top 3 of the current rankings so far.
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