By Kristen Lopez | The Playlist February 3, 2014 at 12:19PM
“The Pretty One”
Synopsis: Laurel and Audrey (both played by Zoe Kazan) are twins, but Audrey is generally considered “the pretty one” by her friends and family. When Audrey is killed in an accident, Laurel assumes her identity. Unfortunately, the distinctions between the two are painfully revealed and Laurel starts to wonder if people like her for who she truly is.
What You Need to Know: Actress Zoe Kazan burst onto the scene as the bubbly figment of a writer’s imagination in the 2012 romantic comedy “Ruby Sparks.” Since then, the indie darling is preparing several projects, and “The Pretty One” has become as equally intriguing as her previous film. Kazan pulls double duty as twins who realize they’re not treated as equally as they’ve assumed, and first-time feature-length director Jenee LaMarque tells a story that’s “much more affecting and genuinely melancholy than you’d expect.” Our own Rodrigo Perez enjoyed the movie back at Tribeca, giving it a “B,” declaring it “a sweet little feature."
Release Date: February 7th in limited release
Synopsis: Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman) is a good cop punching his clock everyday in the futuristic world of 2028 where robot technology is a way of life. When Alex is severely wounded, an organization called OmniCorp utilizes their advancement in robotics to turn Alex into a new breed of crime fighter.
What You Need to Know: Director Paul Verhoeven brought his blend of violence and camp to 1987’s “RoboCop,” but a lot has changed since then in the world of science-fiction and remakes, with new forays into both genres coming out at least once a month. Compared to others in the genre, the cast for “RoboCop” looks interesting with a mix of veteran actors (Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton) and rising up-and-comers (star Kinnaman). It isn’t a surefire recipe for success, as evidenced by the lack of heat associated with a previous Verhoeven remake, last year’s “Total Recall,” and Verhoeven himself is ambivalent about the potential success of “RoboCop” in light the failure of 'Recall.' “RoboCop” also suffered from release date shuffling, being pushed to this February to give director Jose Padhila more time to complete it. Thankfully, its direct competition at the time, “Need for Speed,” vacated the date in favor of a later one, and with “RoboCop” being one of the few action films out this time of year, it could see an uptick from adrenaline junkies. However, its PG-13 rating could force some to stay home and wait for the eventual unrated DVD.
Release Date: February 12th
Synopsis: A thief (Colin Farrell) falls in love for a woman (Jessica Findlay-Brown) suffering from a terminal illness. Through a series of events he ends up traveling through time in order to reunite with her.
What You Need to Know: This is not an adaptation of the William Shakespeare play, in case you were confused like I was when I heard the title “Winter’s Tale.” Instead of being based on the Bard’s work, this is an adaptation of the 1983 novel by Mark Helprin, a work presumed to be unfilmable for decades. Well, filmable it is, with an all-star cast including Farrell, Jennifer Connolly and Russell Crowe. The movie was forced to shave a few million dollars off its budget, which could be beneficial to the story or proof of director Akiva Goldsman‘s emphasis on CGI. Regardless, the Valentine’s Day release date and the general dreaminess of Mr. Colin Farrell should get women into the theater opening day.
Release Date: February 14th
Synopsis: A wealthy architect in Bucharest (Luminita Gheorghiu) will do whatever it takes to keep her son out of jail for his part in a deadly car crash.
What You Need to Know: Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer’s third feature “Child’s Pose” gained a boost of critical acclaim after winning the coveted Golden Bear award at last year's Berlin International Film Festival. The story of a desperate woman willing to use her wealth to secure favors for her son could strikes a chord for U.S. audiences adhering to the belief that the wealthy can get away with anything. Our own Jessica Kiang was pleased with the film during its Berlin run, giving the movie a “B" in her original review. She found the movie a touch dull at times, but felt the climax “manages to make sense of every directorial decision that has come before.”
Release Date: February 19th in New York