Welcome to the Winter Doldrums

The stretch of time from October through the holidays is just long enough to fool a regular movie-goer that this is the way movies are all the time.

Then January arrives, and Hollywood takes a big dump on us.

How else do you explain the wildly miserable reviews for Norm Of The North and The Forest ? At least one in 10 likes the latter, but the disdain for that polar bear movie is universal.

I wish I could say some of the movies opening soon looked more promising.

How about the trailer for The Finest Hours? It’s like someone from Drunk History and a Disney studio head rewrote The Perfect Storm. The heavy wave CGI looks awful by any reasonable standard, and a pasty Chris Pine yelling, “I’m not giving up on him! Not on my watch!” isn’t encouraging.

There’s more abysmal-looking product heading towards us this month. The 5th Wave is another teen post-apocalyptic picture. If I was being optimistic, I’d say this might turn out to be a cross between The Road, War Of The Worlds and Red Dawn,  but since it’s selling itself as The Hunger Game Of Divergent Maze Runners, I’m finding optimism tough to muster.

There’s also Dirty Grandpa—a spring break movie in January, which never bodes well—with Robert DeNiro continuing to explore his comedy mojo, this time with Zac Efron and his abs. (They all need a new agent.) The presence of Aubrey Plaza gives me just a smidgen of hope.

We’ll also be getting The Masked Saint, which might be the burgeoning Christian film industry’s effort to get into the superhero game… via wrestling. I don’t know about you, but I love it when characters in movies get cheerily didactic with biblical verse.

Let’s face it, it’s all pretty grim until the Coen Brothers show up in early February with Hail, Caesar! Even if the film is another Ladykillers or Intolerable Cruelty rather than a Big Lebowski or Raising Arizona, it’ll be welcome.

A heads up for Cineplex Scene Card holders: Today (Monday, January 18) only, 500 Scene Points will get you a free movie rather than the usual 1000. Go see something from this list or catch up with the Oscar nominees, a decent group this year.

We’ll get through this, somehow.

About the author


Carsten Knox is a massive, cheese-eating nerd. In the day he works as a journalist in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At night he stares out at the rain-slick streets, watches movies, and writes about what he's seeing.