Normally January is the dead zone. This is the month where Hollywood studios put the movies that they just aren’t sure what they should be doing with. These are the movies that started out as potential big deals, and when the final product was shown to the Hollywood big wigs, they got worried, felt they needed to release them anyway, and then dump them in the beginning of the year.
The big movie season starts in spring. However, this year, in 2014, there is a bit of a difference. Perhaps there were so many movies during the 2013 holidays that the studios felt that some of these movies were going to get their best chance by being released during the first quarter of the year. Although there are certainly some movies here that the studios know are dogs, there are a couple that are generating some buzz already.
Here are the most anticipated movies of January 2014:
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (January 3, 2014) - The demonic entity from the prior Paranormal Activity movies comes back, but attacks a whole new group of people. This movie is more “found footage” and is being described as a “cousin” of the prior films. This one follows a group of Latino stars. The buzz on this one is virtually non-existent. Rated R.
The Legend of Hercules (January 10) - If you know the story of the myth of Hercules, then you already know the plot of this one. The god Zeus ends up having a half-human son who has godlike abilities. Hercules knows nothing of his origin, and wants only the love of the woman Hebe. However, when that woman he loves his promised to his brother, and then he learns he is a demigod, he must choose to either run away with the woman he loves, or fulfill his destiny. Rated PG-13.
Lone Survivor (January 10) - Mark Wahlberg stars as a real-life Navy SEAL who end up in absolute danger in the middle of a cover mission in Afghanistan. When the insurgents begin picking off members of the team, one-by-one, the lone survivor has to bring about desperate measures to bring himself back home. This one has some buzz around it and the performance of Wahlberg is already being praised. Rated R.
Her (January 10) - Technically this one already came out in limited release in 2013, but now opens nationwide. Joaquin Phoenix stars as a lonely man who falls in love with a computer operating system named Samantha, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. This one has garnered some huge buzz and there has even been talk that Johansson, although she is only in the movie as a voice, should get an award for her performance. Rated R.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (January 17) - Tom Clancy’s famous character, Jack Ryan, comes back to the big screen in yet another reboot attempt. Chris Pine takes over the role this time around. This tells a kind of origin story of Ryan, as we follow him through 9/11 and then a tour in Afghanistan. Then we follow him into the Financial Intelligence Unit where he becomes one of the CIA’s most celebrated analysts. Then, when Ryan believes he might have uncovered a Russian plot to destroy the U.S. economy, he ends up much deeper in the action than he ever thought he would be. Rated PG-13.
Devil’s Due (January 17) - Yet another horror film in the “found footage” genre, because the world needs more of those! This time it follows a couple who are about to have their first child, who may just also happen to be the Anti-Christ. Rated R.
The Nut Job (January 17) - This is one for your with kids and who are getting just a bit of cabin fever from being stuck inside due to the cold and snow. A group of squirrels stage a daring heist of a large assortment of nuts after one of them gets banished from his park and has to make a living in the big city. Rated PG.
Ride Along (January 17) - Kevin Hart and Ice Cube star in this buddy comedy. Hart plays a security guard who intends to marry Ice Cube’s sister. Ice Cube is a hard-edged cop who decides that he needs to take Hart along with him on the job one night to see if he is worthy of marrying his sister. Hilarity ensues. Rated PG-13.
I. Frankenstein (January 24) - Frankenstein’s monster is still alive, and now he fights the forces of demonic evil to try and save the world. In this movie he ends up holding the key that could save all of mankind from a horrible evil. Rated PG-13.
Labor Day (January 31) - Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet star in this intense period drama. Brolin is a man escaped from prison who ends up hiding out with a very lonely woman (Winslet) and her son. Instead of inspiring fear, a bond begins to form between the mother and the man who has been accused of murder. The family ends up running away with the man as the law closes in. This one is also generating some big buzz. Rated PG-13.