Historically, February is the time of year when the world of cinema is focused on wrapping up the awards circuit rather than releasing quality films. This month is typically the downtime between Oscar season and the start of the summer blockbuster releases. Films that have incredibly low quality plague the month of February and it’s a time where most film fanatics can take a break. But for some reason this year was different.
Contrary to tradition, there were a handful of quality films to be released this past month that everyone needs to check out if they went under your radar. Three films received highly positive reviews from critics: “The Lego Batman Movie,” “John Wick: Chapter 2” and “Get Out”.
“The Lego Batman Movie” looks to build on the success of its predecessor, “The Lego Movie,” which was a surprise hit with critics and audiences in 2014. This new film’s themes don’t resonant as deep as the original, but with Batman at its focus, it’s a far more enjoyable experience than say “Batman V Superman.”
“John Wick” was one of my favorite action film a few years ago. It was sleek, stylish, classy, and overall, fun as hell. It’s everything you could ever need from a revenge assassin film. If you missed “John Wick” when it came out, do yourself a favor and watch while also getting in line to see “John Wick: Chapter 2.” This film doesn’t try to do anything different; it only focuses on more action, more style and more fun. What more could you ask for? Answer: nothing.
Finally, “Get Out” is a metaphorical horror/thriller from Jordan Peele, famous for his roll on the Comedy Central show “Key and Peele.” Peele is known for being a comedic mind, so when I found out he was going to be directing a horror film that revolved around themes of racial oppression, I thought it was going to be overly preachy and eventually fall short of any substantial quality. Turns out I was wrong. Peele uses his creative satirical mind to enhance this horror film into a more dense and self-aware storyline than most horror films. This continues the American horror film resurgence of recent years alongside films like “It Follows,” “The Babadook,” and “Don’t Breathe.” Hopefully “slasher” films are out and intelligence horror films are here to stay.
Is the February curse over? I’m not sold but I hope these three films can continue to improve cinematic executives’ opinion of a releasing a quality film in this historical lame duck month. We’ll all be better off for it!