First up this month, tense aeronautic adventure in Flight (February 1), the story of a party-loving pilot, Willian ‘Whip’ Whitaker (Denzel Washington) who becomes a celebrity after landing his aircraft with minimal loss of life following a serious mechanical malfunction.
After the crash, Whip is taken to hospital and lauded by the media as a hero. However, when a routine toxicology report reveals that drugs and alcohol were present in Whip’s system at the time of the crash, the pilot becomes a pariah and suddenly finds himself facing manslaughter charges and the fury of the public. A tense, twisty drama filled with surprisingly powerful performances and a rather satisfying conclusion.
Next up is Warm Bodies (February 8), starring Skins‘ Nicholas Hoult (bet you forgot he was in that).
Narrated by undead ‘R’ (Hoult’s character, who cannot remember his name except that it once began with an ‘R’), Warm Bodies is set in a world where a mysterious plague has killed off most of humanity. The humans that remain are cloistered in giagantic sporting arenas, while hordes of zombies and their evil overlords, the ‘Bonies’, shuffle around town feasting on the brains of the unwary. Fun fact: when a zombie munches a human’s brain, they absorb all the memories and emotions of said brain.
So, one day while out foraging for brains, R attacks a gang of teens and consumes the brain of teen, Perry, which causes him to fall in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer), Perry’s girlfriend. R saves Julie and they bond over their shared love of brains – her love of having an intact one, his love of them as a pizza topping etc – and before you know it, the power of love starts to de-zombiefy R. Awww!
Can R and Julie reach the safety of the Dome and beat the Bonies? There’s only one way to find out!
Release on the same day is Hitchcock (February 8), starring Anthony Hopkins as Hitch and Helen Mirren as his long-suffering, but utterly devoted, wife Alma.
The film centres on the relationship between Alfred and Alma during the making of Psycho, one of the greatest horror movies of all time, and Hitchcock’s most commercially successful film. Hitchcock takes a warm – some might say sanitised – look at the often lecherous, always curmudgeonly Hitch and focuses on the importance of Alma’s contributions to his artistic output and ultimately, his success.
Brilliant performances all round, but does Hopkins do a better Hitchcock than Toby Jones in HBO’s The Girl? Pop along and find out.