Baby, it’s cold outside! When cabin fever strikes, head out for some indoor fun after reviewing our top flick picks
BY LAURA D.C. KOLNOSKI
BASTARDS JANUARY 27 (RATED R)
“Who’s Our Daddy?” could be the subtitle of this raunchy comedy romp, in which Ed Helms and Owen Wilson play brothers Peter and Kyle Reynolds. After learning their colorful mother (Glenn Close) has been erroneously telling them their revered father die decades ago, the siblings undertake a road trip to meet their very alive prospects for daddy status. Co-starring J.K. Simmons, Terry Bradshaw, Ving Rhames, Bill Irwin, Retta, and Harry Shearer.
FIFTY SHADES DARKER FEBRUARY 10 (RATED R)
They’re baaack, and just in time for Valentine’s Day. Forget the chocolates and teddy bears; break out the masks and old girlfriends as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele struggle to take their, er, relationship to the next level while past flames ignite. Joining Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in this outing are Kim Basinger, Hugh Dancy, Marcia Gay Harden, and Rita Ora. Be forewarned: The third in this fi lm series, based on the wildly popular books of E.L. James, Fifty Shades Freed, is due in 2018.
ROCK DOG FEBRUARY 24 (RATED PG)
Rock and roll adventure with Sam Elliot voicing a character named Fleetwood Yak? Not this cinephile! Warming hearts while setting toes a-tapping, this guard-dog-out-of-pasture movie features a mastiff determined to become a musician. Along for the tune-full adventure are Matt Dillon, Luke Wilson, Kenan Thompson, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, and Eddie Izzard, who voices a very Ozzy-sounding famous rocker.
THE GREAT WALL FEBRUARY 17 (RATED PG-13)
Matt Damon makes like Legolas with a hint of Katniss in a sweeping fantasy/ adventure that looks like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon met Avatar on the way to an epic battle in Lord of the Rings. Cue the grotesque bloodthirsty creatures! It all relates to the Great Wall of China and the mysteries within. Filmed in China and New Zealand, co-starring Willem Dafoe, and directed by Chinese master Yimou Zhang (Hero and House of Flying Daggers).
TABLE 19 MARCH 3 (RATED PG-13)
From the lofty perch of the bridal party dais to the kitchen-adjacent rear table of random wedding guests goes Anna Kendrick, after her character is dumped by the “best” man. To say more than the underdogs rise to the occasion would be to give away this comedy/ drama’s key plot points.
With Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Wyatt Russell, and Stephen Merchant.
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE FEBRUARY 10 (UNRATED)
A galaxy of stars voice characters in this animated action adventure, hoping for the same meteoric success of its predecessor, 2014’s The Lego Movie. Will Arnett’s Batman continues fighting crime while dealing with his adopted son and a new police commissioner (Rosario Dawson), and the mayor is played by no less than Mariah Carey! Zach Galifi anakis is the Joker, while Michael Cera gives voice to Robin.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST MARCH 17 (RATED PG)
The trailer for this live-action adaptation of the classic fairy tale (and 1991 Disney blockbuster) deliberately included shots identical to those in the original animated film. Seamlessly merging live actors with animated ones a’ la last year’s The Jungle Book, the lush production incorporates familiar elements with a kaleidoscope of color, sound, and scenery, right down to Emma Watson’s yellow ball gown. Alan Menken, who scored the 1991 film, also scored this version, which includes new recordings in addition to new songs written by Menken and Tim Rice. Featuring Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Ian McKellen as Cosgworth.