This month of course, I'm going to have to actually review something from 2015. Since I pretty much wrote off January, I am now finally caught up, more or less. February is the true start of the year for Planet Blue. We have a nice selection of delayed blockbusters, blockbusters the studio had no faith in, and sleazy Valentine's Day SnM porn for women. But even so, there is still unfinished January business to begin the month with: "Song of the Sea", "Predestination", and one film that has surprised me, the embarrassingly awful "The Loft". "The Loft" has put back gender relations so far that humans now reproduce asexually. Other business will be a Superbowl review, a list of the Worst Romantic Movies to watch on Valentine's Day, and I might even manage to get a video game or anime post out this month, who knows?
Anyway, let's now Look Ahead at the movies and video games of February 2014. (Video games back by reader demand. ...One comment, but that's a lot of demand for me.)
"Jupiter Ascending" (February 6th) - Mila Kunis is an Earth girl. Channing Tatum is an elf from Jupiter. They are going to bang in space for freedom. Just while Eddie Redmayne is trying to win the Oscar for Best Stephen Hawking he is now hamming it up as the Emperor of Space, or something. You can count on a huge visual spectacle, you can count on the film being a tad pretentious since the Wachoswki Siblings are making it. And Sean Bean's character is going to die for the sin of being played by Sean Bean. Lasers, spaceships, sexy White girls, all of it inevitably to be overshadowed and forgotten by later bigger releases in 2015.
--Chances to be Good: 50%. This film was supposed to be a July 2014 release, and was pulled back to fight for an easy weekend in February. Not a great sign. A silly space opera always catches my eye though.
"The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water" (February 6th) - A children's series never really dies, it just fades away. That is until some marketer brings it back. "Spongebob Squarepants" has not had a new episode in years, in what was probably a well-timed hiatus. But now the show is back in an all-new adventure. They're leaving the sea, to visit a beach town! (Am I insane or wasn't that the plot of the first Spongebob movie?) But just in case you think this sponge is a bit stale and dry, they're turning into... (groan) superheroes. All aboard the Marvel train... choo... choo...
--Chances to be Good: 30%. CG animation, a loud Antonio Banderas, and stupid-looking superhero crap. I'm going to get dragged to this movie by my little brother. Hopefully he'll like it.
"Fifty Shades of Grey" (February 13th) - As the Twilight generation ages, they need more adult thrills. So imagine Bella and Edward all grown up, and instead of being vampires, they're into really kinky sadomasochism. Tragically with only an R-rating this will not be a Hollywood experiment with porn like I hoped. Nor will Paul Verhoeven* be directing so we will not get the candy-coated joy of a great bad movie like "Showgirls". Still, there might be nudity. Expect millions of ladies to attend the theater in trenchcoats and sunglasses, sitting alone in the backrow. Just make sure not to sit in any wet seats.
--Chances to be Good: 20%. I'm just hoping for a great bad movie versus anything of quality.
|Tinker, Tailor, Samuel L. Jackson, Spy|
--Chances to be Good: 80%. This is my favorite-looking release for February. Great time to be single.
"Hot Tub Time Machine 2" (February 20th) - Thanks to time travel paradoxes, John Cusack has apparently been phased out of existence. Either that or he realized his career did not need another Apatow wanna-be comedy. So he will not appear in this sequel to a very disappointing comedy from half a decade ago. Now the surviving members of the crew will travel through time, pick up Adam Scott, and do... funny stuff, I guess.
--Chances to be Good: 5%. I love the 1980s, so "Hot Tub Time Machine" was a movie I was very excited for back in the day. It sucked, this will suck too.
"McFarland, USA" (February 20th) - Kevin Costner's second film about race relations in as many months. Now that he's done raising a Black granddaughter in "Black and White" he's going to raise an entire generation of Latinos to beat rich kids in a track race. Blah blah blah race relations.
--Chances to be Good: 15%. White heroes leading minorities to sports victories is a trope I thought burned out some decades ago. Disney is really into these touchy-feely ethnic dramas lately.
|HAHA! Get it?? Focus? Get it??|
--Chances to be Good: 40%. It would be great to see Will Smith pull off a really good roll considering the losing streak he's been on for basically as long as this blog has existed. Unfortunately this movie has been bouncing around Hollywood for years, with plenty of people turning down the leads. It was filmed two years ago and has been sitting on the shelf ever since.
"Little Boy" (February 27th) - I am not really sure what to make of this one. The trailer begins like some kind of silly coming of age period piece, with a little boy going on pretend fantasy adventures with his dead, Michael Rapaport. Then the dad is going to World War II, so we have drama issues. But next thing I know Kevin James is a magician teaching the boy to be a Jedi, Tom Wilkinson is babbling about faith, and now the kid is the moving mountains and fighting Zero Fighters with his mind. So is this a comedy, a drama, or some kind of weird fantasy epic? What am I even looking at?
--Chances to be Good: 0%. "From the the producers of 'Son of God'". Oh, it's a Christian film. Oh well then. At least it looks like a real movie for once.
"The Lazarus Effect" (February 27th) - Mark Duplass ditches his mumblecore cred in order to star in a horror film about an undead Olivia Wilde. Together they were harmlessly bringing dogs back to life with science, until they meddled in God's domain, meaning everybody now has to die. Let us all fear the wrath of angry Dr. 13 with black eyes.
--Chances to be Good: 60%. It looks like fun. The plot is derivative and predictable, but so what? Did you see that dude getting crushed in the metal cabinet? Reminds me of the best parts of "Prom Night 2".
Now for vidya games:
|Evangelicals prefer to call this game "Intelligent Design".|
--Chances to be Good: 50%. "Evolve" feels like a single type of gimmicky match made into an entire game. I don't really see how that is not going to run stale after awhile. Doesn't seem to be much variety in gameplay or even locations. It's all one dark alien forest.
"The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D" (February 13th, 3DS) - It's a remake of the classic N64 game, "The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask". So mostly you know the deal already: Link falls into the land of Termina, where he has to relive three days over and over again to stop an angry Moon from destroying the world by wearing masks. This game was weird, dark, and endlessly creative.
--Chances to be Good: 100%. I reviewed the original awhile back. Read that to know why.
"The Order: 1886" (February 20th, PS4) - Sony has been shilling this game with all their might for quite a long time now. I remember two E3s back "The Order: 1886" was released with no gameplay, no explanation, no sense of what genre it was. That was a terrible trailer, and I've been annoyed with this title since. What am I supposed to want a game just because it's Steampunk and has horror elements? Later we learned it was a third-person action adventure game, with undead monsters to fight with lightning bolts. Not terrible looking. "The Order" is the first major narrative-driven game of 2015 on my radar. There is a chance it can manage to make an interesting story with intense gameplay.
--Chances to be Good: 50%. But I have my doubts. Plenty of gameplay trailers I have seen were peppered with ATBs and intrusive cutscenes. "The Order" was brought us all snores at the Sony Conference. The story does not seem to have the same kind of personal pedigree of great games like "The Last of Us". Hopefully it is more than just dumb action justified by a meager storyline, as I fear it will be.
|KIRBY NO SCOPE 360, TAKE THAT NEWB MOTHERFUCKERS.|
--Chances to be Good: 80%. It's a nice little happy diverse game. Should be lovely. Do all games need to be so violent?
"Dragon Ball XenoVerse" (February 27th, PS3, PS4, 360 XBONE, PC) - When I was a kid, I loved "DragonBall Z". Naturally when you're eleven and you love something, you start imagining fan fics and awful self-insert storylines. And as embarrassing as it is, yes, I did write a few chapters of this sort of garbage. No, you will never get a chance to read any of that**. There are some things that just should remain buried. Now eleven year olds won't even need to go through that much trouble. There's a whole video game for their self-insert fics right here! Your time-traveling mute self-designed hero will join up in fights and keep the DBZ story moving forward despite the manipulations of a blue alien chick whose boobs are mostly exposed. The gameplay is a 3D fighting game, with some overworld action to stitch together the major fight scenes.
--Chances to be Good: 40%. I can't help but shake a small feeling of sloppiness in this game. Time travel storylines are dumb enough. Plus they used the new Frieza voice actor. Unforgivable.
* Please, Paul Verhoeven, wherever you are, come back to us. We need you.
** ...Okay, I'll give you a summary. My character was Blue, a blue-haired saiyan who came along with Krillin and Gohan to Namek. He was consistently too weak to defeat any major villains and basically just jobbed out so the heroes looked better. I was always tempted to let him go Super Saiyan 5 and defeat Cell or something, but it always felt wrong to me. There was nobody to ship him with either, so he wound up in an affair with Bad Launch of all people. Blue the Saiyan was finally killed off by Android 17, and I never bothered to revive him.