2019 is finally here, and it is time to take a look at the films slated to hit the local theaters in the coming months. This list is meant to highlight at least one movie for each week, as well as …
2019 is finally here, and it is time to take a look at the films slated to hit the local theaters in the coming months. This list is meant to highlight at least one movie for each week, as well as some unique films based on the director or cast, and as the year progresses other films will pop up on the radar coming out of film festivals.
Films of note from January to March 2019:
Capitalizing on the surge of cooperative, puzzle-based escape room experiences that have sprung up in the past few years, Escape Room finds six strangers accepting an invite to try their hand at “the most immersive escape room” yet for a chance at winning $1 million. Deborah Ann Woll ("True Blood" and "Daredevil) and Tyler Labine ("Tucker" and "Dale vs. Evil") head up this cast of possible escape room victims. If you liked "Truth or Dare" (2018) or any of the recent horror film revival films, this movie should be on your watch list.
Adapted from from W. Bruce Cameron book, this Sony Pictures release chronicles the adventures of Bella, a dog who after being separate from her owner, makes a 400-mile journey home. The film is directed by Charles Martin Smith and stars Bryce Dallas Howard as the voice of Bella, Ashley Judd, Alexandra Ship, Edward James Olmos and Wes Studi.
• 'Glass' – Jan. 18
Director M. Night Shyamalan rounds out his loose and unexpected trilogy of “Unbreakable” films, begun way back in 2000 with "Unbreakable" and surprisingly continued with 2016’s "Split". This next chapter sets the tone with a believable approach to superhero films, as the viewer learns the extent of powers that David (Bruce Willis) has, contrasted effectively with the intellect of Elijah (Samuel L. Jackson). 2016’s "Split" showcased James McAvoy's acting range as Kevin Wendell, a man plagued by 23 separate personalities. Against the odds, "Glass" sees all three leads together in a mental health facility.
This fantasy film, written and directed by Joe Cornish, features Ashbourne Serkis, Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Taylor, Patrick Stewart and Rhianna Dorris. After finding the mythical Excalibur, the Sword in the Stone, a kid unites with his friends and the legendary wizard Merlin take on Morgana the wicked enchantress. Rated PG.
• 'Lego Movie 2: The Second Part' – Feb. 8
The success of 2014’s "The Lego Movie" spawned "The Lego Batman Movie" and "The Lego Ninjago Movie" with varying degrees of success, but when the main film’s sequel, "The Lego Movie 2: The Main Part," drops on Feb. 8, everything will be awesome again. All the main voice cast is back to pick up right where they left off with LEGO DUPLO invaders from outer space causing chaos in Bricksburg.
• 'Alita: Battle Angel' – Feb. 14
Director Robert Rodriguez ("Desperado" and "Spy Kids" series) and co-writer/producer James Cameron ("Titanic," "Terminator," "Avatar") bring Yukito Kishiro’s “post-apocalyptic science fiction story about an amnesiac cyborg named "Alita” to life on the big screen this Valentine’s Day. If you are a fan of manga, anime, sci-fi, cyber-punk or just a good, fast-paced action ride then check it out.
2017’s moderate hit "Happy Death Day," which put simply is a horror-slasher themed homage to Bill Murray’s "Groundhog Day," places Tree Gelbman, played cleverly by Jessica Rothe, in a time-loop where someone dressed in the school mascot mask is killing her over and over the same day. "Happy Death Day 2U" finds Tree stuck in the loop again, only this time others that are close to her seem to be targeted within the time loop also. Scare your Valentine into your arms with this one.
Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless’ journey as stewards of the relationship between Vikings and dragons comes to a close in the third film installment of the "How to Train Your Dragon" series, based on the book of the same name.
"Chaos Walking" is a film set in “a dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each others' thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.” Tom Holland ("Spider-Man: Homecoming") and Daisy Ridley ("Star Wars: The Last Jedi") star in this action, sci-fi film directed by Doug Liman. Let’s hope that Liman capitalizes on the surprise hit "Edge of Tomorrow" (which he is currently in pre-production of the sequel for) and doesn’t backslide into his "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" ways.
• 'Captain Marvel' – March 8
Marvel and Disney are finally pulling the trigger on a female-led film (franchise?) with Brie Larson ("Room") headlining the cast as Carol Danvers. Maybe Marvel with flip the script when Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe begins with a mostly female Avengers squad led by a new captain, Captain Marvel. This entry in the MCU is set in the past, co-starring a younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Mar-Vell (Jude Law) and Ronan (Lee Pace reprising his role from "Guardians of the Galaxy"). This origin story sets the stage for Captain Marvel’s arrival for "Avengers: Endgame" in April.
• 'Us' – March 15
Any doubts about director Jordan Peele’s ability to successfully helm a serious horror/thriller, following the moderate success of "Mad TV" and "Key & Peele," the sketch comedy series he co-starred in with Keegan-Michael Key, were soundly dispelled with 2017’s break out hit "Get Out." In that film, Peele played up the fear of being accepted into a spouse’s family, and with "Us" he looks to have us turn the mirror on ourselves. The Wilson family, including Academy Award winning actress Lupita Nyong’o, fight off a family of bizarre doppelgängers in an “us or them” scenario in his sophomore directorial effort.
Nearly 80 years after his 1941 animated debut, "Dumbo" will soar onto the big screen in all his live-action glory. Visionary director Tim Burton leads this Disney production about a struggling circus that discovers their newborn baby elephant, Dumbo, can fly.
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