Nick Leshi

Nick Leshi
Bronx, New York, United States of America
December 13
Writer, actor, media professional, fan of entertainment, pop culture, and speculative fiction. Contact for more info.


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JANUARY 2, 2014 10:58PM

Movies in January and February 2014

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Every couple of months, I've been previewing upcoming movies, and it's been greeted positively, sparking some good feedback, so I'll continue doing it. It's also been interesting to go back and revisit what I wrote before, seeing (in hindsight) which films were a success and which flopped.  January and February are the slowest months for cinema, but some gems can hide among the rough coal. Here's what's coming up.


Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (January 3, 2014) -- Can you believe this will be the fifth motion picture in the low-budget supernatural horror series? It's been such a hit that you'll only have to wait until the end of the year for part six. The "found footage" style might not be to everyone's taste, but overall the films have been met by decent critical reaction and extremely positive audience response. Will this latest chapter continue the trend?

The Legend of Hercules (January 10, 2014) -- This isn't the upcoming Hercules movie starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and other all-stars, it's a smaller scale origin story directed by Renny Harlin. The cast is lesser known, but hopefully no less enthusiastic to bring the mythic tale to life.

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (January 17, 2014) -- Based on the successful character created by Tom Clancy, this new thriller gives us Chris Pine in the role made famous by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck. Will it live up to those films (The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears) and the novels?

I, Frankenstein (January 24, 2014) -- Mary Shelley's science fiction creation has sparked many adaptations. Here's the latest, based on a graphic novel version. It stars Aaron Eckhart, Yvonne Strahovski, and Bill Nighy.

Labor Day (January 31, 2014) -- Based on a novel by Joyce Maynard about a depressed single mom and her son who offer an escaped convict a ride and become tangled up in his volatile situation. The cast includes Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin. Jason Reitman, who also gave us Diablo Cody's Juno, directs.


The Nut Job -- Animated movies are hot right now, even ones that folks have barely heard of seem to do well at the box office.  Here's one about a squirrel from a park who tries to survive in the big city. The voice talent includes Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Stephen Lang, and Maya Rudolph.

Ride Along -- Kevin Hart stars as a security guard who tags along with a cop, played by Ice Cube, on a 24-hour patrol in Atlanta to prove that he's worthy to marry the police officer's sister.

That Awkward Moment -- Zac Ephron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller star in a comedy romance about best friends with relationship issues.


The Monuments Men (February 7, 2014) -- Who can predict if this will do well financially, but from a storytelling perspective it should be pretty interesting.  Based on a true event, a World War II platoon attempts to rescue priceless art stolen by Nazis. Co-writer, director, and star George Clooney is joined by Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, and Jean Dujardin.

RoboCop (February 14, 2014) -- Did we really need a reboot of the 1987 Peter Weller sci-fi flick that spawned two movie sequels and a short-lived TV series?  I'm not sold, but we shall see.

The Wind Rises (February 21, 2014) -- This is allegedly the final film from brilliant animator Hayao Miyazaki. It looks like a personal project of love, telling the tale of a man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.  The characters in the English version are dubbed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Elijah Wood, Stanley Tucci, Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Mandy Patinkin, Martin Short, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog, and others.  Not bad!

Son of God (February 28, 2014) -- Can this noble experiment succeed? The hit television mini-series The Bible has been re-edited into a two hour film about the life of Jesus. We'll see if lightning can strike twice.


3 Days to Kill -- McG directs a script co-written by Luc Besson about a dying Secret Service Agent, played by Kevin Costner, trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter. He's given an experimental drug and recruited to complete a final assignment.

The Lego Movie -- I appreciate the toys, but never quite understood the fascination with the Lego brand animated video games. Now, the cartoon version of the toys come to the big screen in an epic adventure.

Non-Stop -- As an action star, Liam Neeson can do no wrong.  Here he stars as an air marshall trying to save lives aboard an international flight. Julianne Moore also stars.

Pompeii -- Watch Mount Vesuvius explode before your eyes. That's really all you need to know. (If you need more, it's also directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and stars Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinuoye-Agbaje, Kiefer Sutherland, and others.)

Vampire Academy -- Those blood suckers refuse to release their grip on popular culture. Based on the bestselling paranormal romance novels by Richelle Read, here we go again.

Welcome to Yesterday -- I'm always rooting for an unassuming sci-fi story to become a sleeper hit. This contender deals with a group of teens who build a time machine.

Winter's Tale -- Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe star in a tale of reincarnation, based on the novel by Mark Helprin. Writer Akiva Goldsman makes his directorial debut.


Here are the rest, some of which might be in limited release.

About Last Night
The Best Offer
Beyond Outrage
Devil's Due
Endless Love
Interior. Leather Bar
One Chance
Open Grave

Which one's (if any) do you want to see? 

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The only one I am interested in is 'Labor Day' but thanks for the list. No 'August, Osage County' or was that released in December?
That was released already in NY and L.A. Not sure how wide it will go. Will depend on its award nominations.