The Grudge: The new year kicks off by rebooting the Grudge franchise that started in 2004, which itself was a remake of a Japanese film in the Ju-On series. This new movie in the Grudge series not only serves as a reboot of the earlier series, but also as a continuation of it, taking place in the same continuity of the earlier movies and serving as the fourth installment in the series proper. (If you don’t remember, The Grudge 3 was released direct to DVD in 2009.) Given that the Grudge movies are also a part of the larger Ju-On franchise itself, that makes this the first movie in the new, rebooted Grudge franchise, but also the fourth movie in the Grudge franchise overall, and the 13th movie in the entire Ju-On series.
Underwater: Expect to see a lot of horror movies being released this month. January is always an odd month when it comes to movie releases. The big family movies that were released over Christmas are all still playing, and the movies that are vying for Oscars are getting wide releases as well. Plus, people tend to go to the movies less in January, and most studios don’t want to waste their potential big money makers on such an unpredictable month. To combat that, January gets a lot of horror movies (some years, there are more horror movies released in January than October) because horror is one of the most reliable genres when it comes to making a prophet. They’re cheap to make and will usually pull in a fair amount of money. Which is why Underwater is the next horror movie on the list. This looks like it’s going to be a standard “monsters in the woods” formula where something scary and just off camera is tearing through the cast, only this time the entire movie is set in a laboratory located entirely, you guessed it, underwater.
Like a Boss: Since her breakout role in Girls Trip in 2017, Tiffany Haddish has been nonstop. She starred in four movies in 2018, and then five in 2019. In addition to that, she was a lead in two different TV shows in 2019, released a stand-up special on Netflix, and hosted the revival of Kids Say the Darndest Things. Like a Boss is likely the first of what will be multiple Tiffany Haddish projects in 2020, and is about two women (Tiffany Haddish and costar Rose Byrne) who start a beauty company together only to have control of their company stolen from them by a cosmetic mogul played by Salma Hayek. This one looks like it’s going for loud, crass, over the top comedy, with costar Billy Porter as perhaps the most memorable part of the trailer. Also, WWE superstar, Seth Rollins is among the cast list in this movie, although it’s unclear if he’s playing himself or a character.
Dolittle: After playing Iron Man for over a decade, this is going to be Robert Downey Jr.’s first movie post Marvel. Playing the famous Doctor who can talk to animals, Downey Jr.’s version of the character marks the third film adaptation of the character after the Rex Harrison movie in the 1960s and the Eddie Murphy version in the 1990s (the latter of which actually spawned its own franchise with four sequels). This version like the 1960s version of the story, is set in Victorian England though the movie doesn’t appear to be a musical this time around. Dolittle was originally scheduled to come out in May of last year but was moved to April, before then being moved to January of this year. A move from summer blockbuster season, to a January release date is usually a bad sign that the studio doesn’t have much faith in a film and wants to release it when there’s less competition at the box office, but maybe Robert Downey Jr.’s undeniable movie star charm can help the movie recoup it’s estimated $175 million budget.
Bad Boys For Life: Since Bad Boys II came out over fifteen years ago, we’ve been hearing rumors of a third Bad Boys movie trying to come together. It would seem like every time there was a hint that this movie was about to go into production, it would come out that someone wasn’t happy with the script, or the schedules of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence couldn’t quite line up right, and we were back to square one. Finally, the third movie is complete with the two original actors back though Michael Bay who directed the first two movies opted to sit this round out. Because this movie takes place a quarter of a century after the first movie, the two young, wild cops from Bad Boys are now on the brink of retirement with one last major mob case standing in the way. A cast of younger actors including Vanessa Hudgens has been brought in to be the film’s new generation of hotshot cops.
The Gentlemen: Released on January 1st in the UK, this movie is scheduled to hit American screens on the 24th. Matthew McConaughey stars in the latest movie written and directed by Guy Ritchie about an American businessman with a profitable London based drug empire that he’s trying to cash in and get out of. After directing big budget IP based movies for over a decade (Sherlock Holmes, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., King Arthur, Aladdin) The Gentlemen is a return to Guy Richie’s earlier type of movies, existing in the same vein as his lower budgeted, gritty British crime movies like Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.
The Turning: Based on the 1898 ghost story The Turn of the Screw, The Turning is our next January horror release. Supposedly, the idea for this movie came from Steven Spielberg who is serving as executive producer on the movie. Spielberg was reportedly interested in working on a horror movie again, and this was something of a passion project for him. The film also stars Finn Wolfhard from other horror projects Stranger Things and IT, though he may seem slightly younger in this movie than in his role in Ghostbusters later this year. The Turning was actually filmed in early 2018 for a February 2019 release but the release date was pushed back almost a year for unknown reasons.
The Rhythm Section: Based on the book of the same name, The Rhythm Section is another movie that was originally supposed to be released in February 2019, before being pushed back to November 2019, and then moved a third time to it’s current release date. This spy thriller stars Blake Lively who is seeking vengeance after learning that the plane crash that killed her family three years ago was not an accident. It’s interesting to note that the production company for the movie is EON Productions the british studio best known for the James Bond franchise. They’ve clearly had success in the spy genre in the past, and might be hoping for similar success with this project. Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown also star in the film.
Gretel and Hansel: In our last horror release of the month, we have Gretel and Hansel, a movie obviously based on the Grimm fairy tale of two children who are left in the woods, and encounter a witch that tries to eat them. Based on the marketing material for the movie, this version seems to keep the broad strokes of the story with the cast being made up of Gretel, Hansel, the Witch and a Hunter. The biggest departure from the source material seems to be the age of Gretel. In this version Gretel is 16 years old (played by Sophia Lillis from the IT movies) while Hansel is still her eight year old brother. The movie is obviously hoping to cash in on the recognition of Lillis from her breakout work in earlier horror movies.
Tags: Bad Boys, Bad Boys III, dolittle, Gretel and Hansel, like a boss, movies, Preview, The Gentlemen, the grudge, The Rhythm Section, The Turning, theatrical release, underwater