Welcome to February, wherein the studios roll out plenty of movies to help up forget that Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was ever a thing. Here are the ones rolling out today.
Bullet to the Head: Sylvester Stallone runs around shooting people in Walter Hill’s first feature film since 2002’s Undisputed. It wasn’t screened for critics, which is usually a very bad sign, but studios have been mismarketing Walter Hill movies since The Driver, so I’m going this afternoon with an open mind. Pray for me, would you? Thanks, you’re the best.
A Royal Affair: Having bounced around the release schedule since playing TIFF, Nikolaj Arcel’s period drama — starring Mads Mikkelsen as a Danish royal physician who administers more than the occasional tincture to his Queen — arrives with an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language film. Rad is not terribly impressed, though.
Sound City: Dave Grohl’s ode to the majesty of a legendary California recording studio is kind of charming, until it lurches into a movie about Dave Grohl buying a mixing board and jamming with his pals in his garage. Dude, just release an album.
Stand Up Guys: Fisher Stevens’ warmed-over Tarantino knockoff offers not a single surprise, but it does let Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Alan Arkin do what they do best — which is to say, be Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Alan Arkin in a moderately budgeted motion picture. I’ve certainly seen them in worse.
Warm Bodies: Dead boy Nicholas Hoult falls for live girl Teresa Palmer in Jonathan Levine’s post-apocalyptic reworking of Romeo and Juliet. Few movies with on-screen brain eating can be described as “delightful”. This is one of them.
West of Memphis: After three Paradise Lost films and the liberation of the West Memphis Three, can Amy Berg’s documentary offer any new insight into the shameful Arkansas murder case? (Spoiler: Kinda, and it’s well worth seeing.)
Also, the Lightbox is doing its Oscar Shorts thing again this year — just the Animated and Live-Action nominees, but still. I wrote a thing about that, too. And Cineplex is starting up its Great Digital Film Festival again, which I cover in today’s web column. (I’ll link that as soon as possible.) So don’t go telling me there’s nothing to see this week, okay?