2018 has arrived! January is always a bit of a strange time in the movie business. Obviously the industry hopes the new year starts out on a strong step, and the awards season is upon us. But with the Golden Globes completed and many of the Oscar nominees already out, there’s a bit of divided focus between the new releases that aren’t in contention for anything but a big box office and the award-hopefuls.
Last week, a pair of movies were released that highlight the two categories of movies this time of year. Another installment of the horror franchise Insidious: The Last Key hit screens nationwide. This PG-13 offering isn’t vying for any big awards, but the franchise certainly has struck it big in terms of fans through the turnstiles. This fourth film returns Lin Shaye as Dr. Elise Rainier as a parapsychologist investigating her family home. The other release has been included in award-buzz: Molly’s Game tells the true story of Molly Bloom, an Olympic-level skier who eventually ended up running some of the highest stakes underground poker games in the world. The players in her games included Hollywood superstars, athletes, business moguls, and – eventually – Russian Mob figures. The leads are played by two undeniable stars: Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba as her lawyer. The excellent Michael Cera also co-stars.
This weekend brings the biggest batch of nationwide releases with five. The Post is the royalty movie among the nationwide films – a Steven Spielberg directed movie starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. It’s the true story of the release of The Pentagon Papers in the early 1970s and the Nixon Administration’s attempt to silence the free press about the Vietnam-related information revealed in the papers. Daniel Ellsberg was the era’s Edward Snowden in this political suspense offering that culminates with a Supreme Court case to decide the issue. The Commuter stars Liam Neeson in his late-career emergence as an action star. He plays an unwitting commuter who is put into the middle of a do-or-die quandary. Proud Mary is another thriller action piece with Taraji P. Henson in the title role. She is a mob hit woman who is trying to break free of the trappings of her dangerous profession.
Next, there’s a light-hearted family film for those who don’t want or need any assassins or political intrigue. Paddington the Bear returns in a sequel to the 2014 film which grossed nearly $300 million dollars worldwide. Paddington and the Brown family are back for fun and adventure at Windsor Gardens. And rounding out the week’s national releases, we have an interesting musical called Saturday Church about a young black man as he must become the man of the family at the tender age of fourteen after the untimely loss of his father. At the same time, he is struggling with his gender identity. He pursues his passion to dance and finds acceptance in the LGBT community as he simultaneously loses the support of some family members and former friends. The film has been critically acclaimed, and the performance of Luka Kain in the lead role is said to be excellent.
Friday, January 19th presents three more coast-to-coast film releases. Forever My Girl is a romance about a country music star played by Alex Roe who tries to win back the woman he left (Jessica Rothe) on the altar to pursue his passion for music. The second movie, 12 Strong, is based on the book Horse Soldiers. It follows the true story of soldiers in Afghanistan soon after the 9-11 attacks. Chris Hemsworth has the lead role as Special Forces Captain Mitch Nelson. Not only is it a war story, it also shows the difficulties of overcoming serious cultural divides to meet mutual objectives – a process we certainly can learn from today. The third and final release is Den of Thieves. This is a heist caper where the target is $120 million dollars from a Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Los Angeles. Gerard Butler leads the ensemble den of actors.
The last week of the month brings the finale of the Maze Runner trilogy. This one is called Maze Runner: The Death Cure and follows Thomas with his band of fugitive Gladers on one more harrowing adventure.
The month is heavy on action-thrillers, so the year should start off with a jolt! As always, Steven James loves to tell stories about the narratives on the silver screen, and we’d certainly love to help tell the tale of your company or agency! Contact us today and let’s talk possibilities for 2018!