Features
Movies Not to Miss: February 2016


Date Posted: 31 January 2016


Which of these are you going to watch?

With Chinese New Year, Valentine's and the Oscar season all happening within the month of February, you can bet that this month's releases are all attuned to one of these themes or the other.

Chinese New Year has traditionally been the time when the best of local Chinese movies are out to make their mark for the rest of the year, but as usual, they would be facing strong competitions from movies from other Mandarin or Cantonese-speaking regions. As "Ola Bola" would still be showing when the firecrackers have started cracking, the competition for this year is fierce, to say the least.

Thankfully, there's plenty of reprieve from all the movies about reunion dinners, family, money, and crass silliness. Especially for the lovebirds who want to celebrate their love in the cinema.

With the Oscar season for this year coming to a close this month, we are sad to say that Malaysian audiences won't be able to catch all the Best Picture nominees on the big screen, but we aren't really talking about this year's Oscars. There are a few selected gems among this month's releases that are bound to get a few awards buzz in this early part of the year, so you will want to watch out for those for next year (never hurts to be prepared this early)

With lots of movies ahead of us in this short February, here are the movies not to miss this month!

The Revenant

Adapted from Michael Punke's novel and inspired off the experience of an American frontiersman, Hugh Glass is a man left for dead and seeks for revenge on the men who left him. Between him and those who abandoned him, Glass would have to survive the cruel wilderness of the Montana forest, not just its fierce nature but also the native Indians who are unwelcoming to those that trespass on their territory.

Delayed time and time again since scheduled release in December, it has become imperil to watch the latest outing from director Alejandro G. Iñárritu who is once again on the road for Oscar gold, after garnering the most nominations at the Oscars, including the ever more prized Best Picture. Despite being said numerous times, the chances of Leonardo DiCaprio liberating himself from the endless Oscar memes is real this time, especially since he doesn't have to contend with co-star Tom Hardy for his guttural appearance in rival "Mad Max: Fury Road". Still, that shouldn't be all the reason to watch "The Revenant", the technical and performance achievements reached here is one that makes it worthy to be named as the Best Picture.

General Release Date: 4 February

Let's Eat

Shot and set mostly in Malaysia, "Let's Eat" not only has the odd distinction of being a regional collaboration of actors from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, but it is also the directorial debut of Hong Kong funnyman Chapman To. Much like last year's "Kung Fu Taboo", "Let's Eat" is still set up with gags and jokes that wouldn't be out of place for a Hong Kong audience, with Aimee Chan and Chapman To still starring in the lead, and just how far it can go to pull tug heartstrings after a belly full of laughs, would show To's directing prowess.

General Release Date: 4 February

From Vegas to Macau 3

Since the return of Chow Yun Fatt to the gambling table where one of his iconic characters reign supreme, this third installment of the "From Vegas to Macau" series is not shy to catch up to its shameless parodies of not just the classical Hong Kong gambling movies of the 80s to 90s, but even more recent blockbuster fares that were out last year. Pushing in all the chips this time around would also be Andy Lau, reprising one of his best gambling roles, and also Chow Yun Fatt, again, reprising his role in this series, and also another from his gambling days.

General Release Date
: 5 February

The Monkey King 2

The Year of the Monkey is most appropriately welcomed by a sequel of "The Monkey King" series. Although director Cheang Pou Soi and action choreographer Sammo Hung are back to collaborate on merging the extravagant 3D effects with elaborate stunt works, the cast has seen an odd reshuffling. Aaron Kwok who stood as the villain against Donnie Yen's mischievous Monkey King in the prequel, would now be up to his own antics as the titular character. The new entrant to this series is Gong Li, whose appearance here pretty much affirms her mainstream comeback after a few serious outings in the past years.

General Release Date: 5 February

The Mermaid

After making a tremendous directorial comeback with "Journey to the West", director Stephen Chow firmly sits on his director's chair to bring us another entertaining Chinese New Year comedy. Already having us laughing at Chow's brand of nonsense comedy as shown in the trailer, our lack of clarity on its plot is probably working to our favour that we don't need to think too hard to enjoy "The Mermaid".

General Release Date: 8 February

Huat the Fish

"The Mermaid" surely isn't the only fish in the sea, as local filmmakers are out to bait Malaysian audiences hook, line and sinker with a Chinese New Year movie of our own. Without his security uniform and ridiculous plot of going overseas, Jack Lim and director Silver set out to make a darker and heavier Chinese New Year that will guilt trip anyone who left home to make a bigger fortune, reminding us to enjoy the simple pleasures of the simple life.

General Release Date: 11 February

Deadpool

If comic book fans haven't already tricked their loved ones to go see this cancer-stricken love tragedy, then the only tragedy left is they would be seeing it alone with other comic book fans. With a marketing campaign that matches up to the snark and wits of the character, all it needs to do is to deliver the movie that the Merc with the Mouth deserves to be one of the most memorable, if not the best thing, to come out of Fox's still holding onto the rights of the X-Men.

General Release Date: 11 February

Joy

The David O Russell train may have run out of steam after working with the same cast since "Silver Linings Playbook", but it's not hard to see why Jennifer Lawrence would pin her hopes of getting her second leading Oscar with the director who gave her her first. Still, it's hard to deny how profound her performance is, despite it being the only nomination it earned for "Joy", which makes this all the more for Lawrence to lose. This is truly a role that deserves to be carried by one as transformative as Lawrence, and let her show you why she deserves to be in the 2015 race for Best Actress.

General Release Date: 18 February

Hail, Caesar!

Since 2010, the Coens have been on a drama streak but have kept this project in development since 2004. Now their anticipated comedy is ready to face the world with the subtle (and dark) humour that comes out from the subtle writing and even more dazzling filmmaking. Anything with the Coens on it is sure to attract some Oscar buzz for next year, especially for their clever writing, and with the roll call of stars that it already has, starting with George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, and Jonah Hill, there are going to need a lot more nominations to throw around.

General Release Date: 18 February

Pride And Prejudice And Zombies

Not all love stories have to be about sweet nothings and acts of passion, unless said acts is a good slaying of zombies dressed in pompous dresses and wearing top hats. Love can sometimes be found in the oddest of places, saying in the zombie apocalypse of 19th century England and few things could certainly get the heart pumping after dealing with a horde of them. Adapted and directed by Burr Steers from the parody novel of the Jane Austen classic with a zombie twist, this is certainly a romance story for the action fans, and after seeing Lily James personify as the most famous Disney princess of them all, it's a good change of pace to see that she doesn't need a prince charming to have her own happily ever after.

General Release Date: 18 February

The Choice

Admit it, it won't be Valentine's without a Nicholas Sparks' movie. Saving you from re-watching "The Notebook" for the umpteenth time, comes "The Choice", and we're not just excited to see Benjamin Walker and Teresa Palmer play a cute Southern couple, but the return of our favourite TV Superman, Tom Welling, who by the looks of the trailer, has aged really, really well! Anyway, be well prepared for the waterworks and some really sappy moments which would surely fit in well with your Valentine's Day plan!

General Release Date: 18 Feb

Zootopia

Just as Pixar released two feature animations in 2015, the revived Walt Disney Animation Studio would be doing the same for 2016. The first of this is "Zootopia". Don't let the premise of fluffy animals living in the city fool you, as directors Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Jared Bush have even managed to put an animal's take on the neo-noir and buddy cop tropes to make a wholesome mystery adventure (with a message for the kids). Not to mention the range of voices from Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, to Octavia Spencer (and one special appearance from "Frozen"), to start off what animation has to offer this year.


General Release Date:
25 February

My Love Story

Alright, it's time to get serious for the sappy ones. February really has movies for the couples that are assured to win some brownie points from the girls, if you take her to watch another Nicholas Sparks adaptation, "The Choice" (bonus points if you brought tissues). But anime fans who watched one of the sweetest couples of 2015 would want to melt their hearts with the live-action adaptation of "My Love Story".

General Release Date:
25 February

 

Gods of Egypt

Since Gerard Butler's role in "300" was so iconic and unforgettable, can he replicate that effect for another epic movie, "Gods of Egypt"? Of course, we don't have Butler playing an antihero in this one, interestingly he'll be playing the Egyptian God of Darkness, Set, who has taken over the empire. "The Giver's" Brenton Thwaites is our young hero, Bek, a mere mortal who with the aid of Horus, played by "Game of Thrones'" Nikolaj Coster-Waldau aims to take down Set. With additional names like, Rufus Sewell and Geoffrey Rush, it's hard to give this epic CGI fest a pass.

General Release Date: 25 February

 

Writer: Casey Lee



Related Movies
The Revenant (04 Feb 2016)
From Vegas To Macau 3 (Cantonese) (05 Feb 2016)
Let's Eat (Cantonese) (04 Feb 2016)
The Monkey King 2 (Cantonese) (05 Feb 2016)
The Mermaid (Cantonese) (08 Feb 2016)
Huat The Fish (Cantonese) (11 Feb 2016)
Joy (18 Feb 2016)
Hail, Caesar! (18 Feb 2016)
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (18 Feb 2016)
Zootopia (25 Feb 2016)
My Love Story (JFF) (Japanese) (08 Sep 2016)
Long Long Time Ago (Mandarin) (31 Mar 2016)
Gods Of Egypt (25 Feb 2016)
The Choice (18 Feb 2016)


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