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Expect cold returns on winter movies

Some pretty lame movies slated for release in coming months

House Party, starring Tosin Cole, left, and Jacob Latimore, hits theaters on Jan. 13, but ScreenTime’s Greg W. Locke is not looking forward to the LeBron James-produced reboot.

Greg W. Locke

Whatzup Features Writer

Published January 11, 2023

In last week’s column, I wrote about some of the more exciting films we know are coming out over the course of 2023. For a less slanted perspective, I decided to skim a list of release dates for the next couple of months and woof woof, things are not looking so good this winter.

This past weekend saw the wide release of two films: the horror movie M3GAN and A Man Called Otto, starring Tom Hanks. Both look extremely ho-hum and neither set the box office on fire. 

So that’s what we’ve got so far in 2023. Here are some of the others to dread/look forward to.

House Party (Jan. 13)

I can’t believe this is happening. Like the attempted Space Jam reboot, this LeBron James-produced movie takes dead aim at the nostalgic hearts of people between the ages of 35 and 45 (and, of course, their kids). Growing up, there was little my crew liked more on a Friday or Saturday night than pizza, pop, and the first two House Party films starring Kid ’n Play. Two of my most-watched movies ever. Now, here we have the concept presented for a new generation. Does House Party look like fan service? Not really. It looks like a whole new thing for a whole new generation. Will it sell? Maybe, but I wouldn’t get on the “LeBron Becomes a Movie Mogul” bandwagon.

Plane (Jan. 13)

Another action-thriller starring Gerard Butler, and what a great title, to boot. It almost feels as if Butler is trying to become the next Nicolas Cage or something. Maybe he’s just bad with money? Either way, the trailer for Plane looks about as good as the trailers for the last 10 or so Butler films. 

MISSING (Jan. 20)

Name one great film that has a title in all caps. Just kidding. This Nia Long flick is the latest in a seemingly never-ending COVID-era production that relies very much on people using their phones. These low-cost horror films pretty much always make their money back, be it in theaters or, more commonly, via streaming services.

The Son (Jan. 20)

Florian Zeller’s follow-up to 2020’s The Father didn’t receive nearly as warm of a reception when it previewed in New York City in the early winter. Looks good to me. It’s probably even our best bet for a wide release drama this time of year. The Son stars Hugh Jackman, Anthony Hopkins (who won an Oscar for his performance in The Father), Laura Dern, and Vanessa Kirby. I don’t think I’ll be rushing out to the theater for this one, but it’s one I will definitely watch.

80 for Brady (Feb. 3)

A comedy about four older women, all obsessed with Tom Brady, who go on a road trip to see their hero play in the Super Bowl. This one stars Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Rita Moreno, and Lily Tomlin and, nope, it’s not a joke. It’s a real movie. Not sure who the audience is for this one. Seems pretty niche.

Mostly, I think people are going to be watching already-released Oscar-nominated titles at home over the next couple of months and, of course, whatever the streaming services are throwing at them. Here are a few more titles of things coming out soon, none of which I think are worth looking into, but do as you will: 

Skinamarink (Jan. 13), a horror film in which two children wake up to find their father missing and all the doors and windows gone. 

Close (Jan. 27), a film about friendship and responsibility after two 13-year-olds have a falling out.

Maybe I Do (Jan. 27), a comedy with a star-studded cast of Emma Roberts, Diane Keaton, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, and William H. Macy. 

Fear (Jan. 27), a horror movie in which a contagious airbourne threat ruins a celebration weekend.

Distant (Jan. 27), a sci-fi/comedy about an asteroid miner’s journey after crash landing on an alien planet.

Wow. Did Beavis and Butt-head come up with all these brilliant titles? Really something to look forward to, here. Thanks, Hollywood!

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