January 2014 Movie Preview

Sorry for the lateness, but I’m again looking forward to the coming month of movie releases in the UK. Are there any films you’re excited about in the coming month where you live? By all means, let me know! What have I missed? (Maybe it’s not coming out this month in the UK, but I’d still be keen to know about it.)


Leo looking unfazed by his working environment in The Wolf of Wall Street.
Leo looking unfazed by his working environment in The Wolf of Wall Street.

I’m Excited About…

  • 12 Years a Slave (10 January). A lot of really positive things have been said about this film, which was at the London Film Festival and has been released elsewhere in the world. A lot of the talent, like the director and lead actor, are British, and it tells a story that should be fascinating — even if it smacks a bit of worthiness. Still, it seems like it avoids the obvious traps from what I’ve read.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (17 January). A new film from Marty Scorsese and it looks like a romp. I am properly excited to see this.

I’m Not Sure About…

  • The Missing Picture (3 January). It’s a sort-of documentary about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, from someone who lived through it. Artfully done it seems, and sounds intriguing. A lot of good things were said about last year’s The Act of Killing, a film about which I feel ambivalent (though I recognise I should probably see it to be sure).
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (24 January). All the hipsters like a new Coen brothers film, and this has all the hallmarks of the kind of thing they do well (period setting, John Goodman, musical focus). Sometimes they do great stuff, sometimes they’re just a bit condescending, but I’m hopeful from what I’ve heard that this will be one of the good ones.
  • Grudge Match (24 January). A new Stallone drama, with De Niro, some kind of Raging Bull redux? I’ve no idea, but who knows, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt for now.
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (24 January). I’ve no particular love for the late Tom Clancy or his secret agent or his politics, but this says it’s directed by Ken Branagh, who did a good job with Thor, and, who knows, maybe it’ll be fun? I’m holding out for fun.
  • Out of the Furnace (29 January). Some kind of dark-hued serious drama with Christian Bale and Woody Harrelson, and again I’m not sure whether it’ll be worth seeing, but I’ve seen some good advance word.

I’m Not So Excited About…

  • Last Vegas (3 January). This really really does look weak. Bunch of grizzled old veteran actors get together for a bachelor party in Las Vegas and much humour is mined from them being old. So yeah.
  • Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (3 January). It’s not that I think this will be bad, and I certainly do like Idris Elba and Naomie Harris, but I think it will be worthy. Worthy and rather dull.
  • The Delivery Man (10 January). There are a few actors whose presence in a film tends to indicate they’ll be well worth missing. Robert De Niro, sadly, is one these days and he’s in Last Vegas, Adam Sandler’s another, and here we have a vehicle for Vince Vaughn. I’m tending towards believing this won’t be the film that redeems him.
  • The Railway Man (10 January). Another film that just sounds like some kind of awards-baiting worthy slog, this time with Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth and some kind of SE Asian post-WW2 setting.
  • August: Osage County (24 January). Wow, this really is the season for turgid well-meaning rubbish. Another production that comes pre-approved by success in other media (Pulitzer Prize-winning play, I believe) with an all-star cast (Meryl! Ewan! Julia! the ubiquitous Benedict Cumberbatch), and it just looks dreadful from the trailer.
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7 thoughts on “January 2014 Movie Preview

  1. Good stuff, with which I mostly agree. I definitely am with you about August: Osage County, it just doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest.

  2. I can’t wait to see August: Osage County, heard great things about the play a few years back. Probably a little biased with how much I love Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts too.

    I will be seeing 12 Years A Slave on Tuesday night at a preview screening.

    1. Yes I shall probably go along to the Tuesday preview screening as well. As for August: Osage County, I suppose I am just being grumpy because I’m not a huge Meryl fan (also I just really didn’t like the trailer!).

  3. I haven’t seen The Railway Man yet. It is out here though and I am intending to see it over the next week or two. I agree with you that it does not sounds particularly fantastic on paper.But I am seeing it because of the director Jonathan Teplitzky. His last film Burning Man was an utterly incredible drama. So hopefully he can bring something to this one as well.

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