SJ January Cine-Selects

The new year is here, and it is time for the story of 2019 to be told!  As storytellers and filmmakers ourselves at Steven James, we love to explore what’s coming in the world of film, television, literature, music, marketing and pop trends.  Sharing our findings and predictions with you is even more fun.  Here are a few feature films coming to theaters in January that we have a sneaking suspicion will be interesting and entertaining.  We understand that different people gravitate to certain movies for their own reasons – some for escape, some for hard-hitting realism, some to entertain the kids, some to feed a deep passion for the complex cinematic experience – so we’ll throw a few suggestions out with those various reasons in mind.



The movie Upside may not sound like a blockbuster – a true story about a quadriplegic rich man and his caretaker – but it seems to hold the promise of films that touch on sweeping themes told through individual lives (Six Degrees of Separation; Driving Miss Daisy; Hacksaw Ridge come to mind).  Brian Cranston – arguably one his generation’s finest actors – plays the role of the paralyzed aristocrat, and Kevin Hart is the young man he selects to be his aide.  Of course there will be a mix of comedy amidst a tragic circumstance, but the chance to explore questions of race, aging, and socio-economic divides in our growing Haves and Have-Nots society is here.  Nicole Kidman (who appears later in this blog) has a major supporting role.  Upside is set for nationwide release on January 11th.



A thriller that delves into serious questions of justice in a time when the strength of our country’s institutions – including the judiciary – is on many people’s minds, American Hangman is a microcosm of many tangents related to lawfulness.  A judge played by the timeless genius of Donald Sutherland is put on personal trial by a man who believes the judge was instrumental in a miscarriage of justice.  Using social media to air his grievances publicly, the vigilante conducts his own trial to the horror and fascination of the nation.  The film will open in select theaters on January 4th.




Tall Tales is an animated feature set for a limited January 11th release.  Apollo is a cricket who is a roaming performer.  He finds himself in the village of Funny Little Bugs and unwittingly becomes a pawn in a plot to usurp the Queen’s power.  It has a great look (somewhat reminiscent of the surprise hit Ants from many years back) and promises an engaging story to entertain a wide age-range of kids.  The suspenseful nature may be a touch too much for the very young – below five – but besides that it should be a good one to enjoy with the brood.




A film that might fascinate audiences is Destroyer.  Warning here, it isn’t a film for the faint of heart.  Director Karyn Kusama continues her streak of intense psychological thrillers (The Invitation, Jennifer’s Body).  Nicole Kidman is almost unrecognizable in the lead role, and her performance is garnering raves from some critics who are claiming she has never done any work this forceful.  Kidman is a LAPD detective who had a brutal undercover assignment early in her career that placed her with a gang that was almost a cult in the California desert.  Circumstances loop back and she finds herself dealing with the leader of the gang once more as she battles the vicious inner torment that almost consumed her in the past and threatens to again.  After a limited Christmas release in LA and NYC, Destroyer is scheduled for an expansion release on a TBD January date.


There are many more movies hitting the screen in January.  Pick a story that suits you, and when it’s time to tell the story of your business, agency, or organization, be sure to contact us!




I’m Paul, and I’m most content when I’m creating content. I also have a penchant for words that are spelled the same but have different meanings and pronunciations. Vincent Van Gogh allegedly said the best way to know God is to love many things. I try to do that – I love books, movies, sports, music, people, furry critters that don’t bite me, and a lot in between – oh, and I almost forgot long walks on the beach under moonlit skies while listening to Wu-Tang Clan!

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