Features

Movies Not to Miss: February 2016

Writer: Casey Lee


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.

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, 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!

Long Long Time Ago

Finally to end the month, we have one more movie for the festivities from across the strait. After an overly patriotic tribute to the young Singaporean conscripts from his "Boys to Men" series, director Jack Neo is still laying off the quick laughs and sarcastic jabs for another heartfelt tribute to Singapore's development. Paying his attention to a piece that is unique to Singapore's history, shortly after it was ejected from the Federation of Malaysia, this is another nostalgic trip down the memory lane of Singapore during its early years and the hardships its people had to endure before it became what it is today.

General Release Date: 4 February

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

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

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: 11 February

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

Cinema Online, 31 January 2016


Related Movies:
The Revenant (04 Feb 2016)
Let's Eat (Mandarin) (05 Feb 2016)
From Vegas To Macau 3 (Mandarin) (05 Feb 2016)
The Monkey King 2 (Mandarin) (05 Feb 2016)
The Mermaid (Mandarin) (08 Feb 2016)
Pride And Prejudice And Zombies (11 Feb 2016)
Zootopia (25 Feb 2016)
Long Long Time Ago (Mandarin) (04 Feb 2016)

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