By Jarett Theberge
The new year is upon us and that has usually meant the worst Hollywood “dump month” of them all. However, recent years have seen better films, both in terms of quality and performance, released in January, including “The Post,” “Split” and even something for the kids in “Moana.”
Of course, blockbusters released in December usually have carrying power well into the new year, as witnessed in 2017 when “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” screened all the way into February at Camana Bay Cinema. 2020 will see the same two movie franchises undoubtedly screen well into the new year, with their much anticipated releases last month.
To go up against these giant sequels, studios have several other remakes, reboots and sequels of previous hit films coming this month. January opens up with a remake of “The Grudge,” starring John Cho of “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle” and “Star Trek” fame, on 3 January. This is the third “Grudge” film as it succeeds the 2004 film of the same name and the original 2002 Japanese film titled “Ju-on: The Grudge.”
On 17 January, we are treated to a long-awaited reunion of Martin Lawrence and Will Smith in “Bad Boys For Life.” The third instalment of this buddy cop action comedy franchise comes 17 years after Bad Boys II and a quarter of a century after the original “Bad Boys” film.
Also on 17 January, Robert Downey Jr. takes his turn talking to animals in another remake of the Dr. Doolittle story in “Doolittle.” This release follows 1967’s “Doctor Doolittle” starring Rex Harrison and 1998’s “Dr. Doolittle” starring Eddie Murphy.
One of the best-reviewed animated films of the 2010s, “How to Train Your Dragon” screens as part of the Saturday morning Kids Club features on 11 January. Hiccup, the son of a Viking chief, befriends a wounded dragon and together they must stop an imminent invasion of nefarious dragons upon the townspeople.
“Charlotte’s Web” plays on 25 January as E.B. White’s cherished children’s novel comes to life. Wilbur is a pig who finds companionship with an unlikely character: a spider named Charlotte. The two convince the farmers and media that Wilbur can spin webs as he becomes a celebrity. Outlandish? Yes. Heartwarming as can be? You bet.
What more could be said about “Gone With the Wind” that hasn’t been said before? This 1939 four-hour epic remains the biggest blockbuster ever as its record for most tickets sold is still untouched. Now it’s your turn to see it during a one-night showing as part of the Classics at the Cinema features on 28 January.
Get your adrenaline fix with “Heat,” starring Al Pacino, Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro, on 14 January. A group of bank robbers pull off the heist of the century — so they think until the police catch on to them.
This article originally appeared in the January 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Sequels and remakes coming in January.”