We’re finally out of February. I don’t know what it is — the Super Bowl, generally crappy weather, pure vindictiveness — but this month has turned into such a cinematic dumping ground, occasional bright spots like The LEGO Movie notwithstanding. It’s as if the month is so short, the studios figure they can bury their crap in it and the month will be over before people know it.
How bad is it? One of the films being released today is a TV rerun. Son of God is basically The Bible: All the Jesus Stuff. They literally took everything involving Jesus from the History Channel miniseries that aired last year, padded it a bit to feature-length, and released it in time to cash in on Easter. Now, February’s been real good to Jesus in the past; Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ blew the doors off the month back in 2004. But that at least was a version a few million people hadn’t already seen on cable. Still, the faithful do love their go-to story, and it is nearly one of the periods of annual guilt for lapsed Catholics who might see this as their way of getting all right with Jesus without the rigors of having to actually go to church.
Liam Neeson’s officially on the action star career arc now: he’s done his Die Hard on a _______. Non-Stop puts Neeson on a plane, which, when I think about it, hasn’t exactly been a super successful setting for action films of late. People spend enough time actually sitting on planes these days, I can imagine they don’t want to spend two hours of free time watching other people do it. It also seems like a bad marketing decision to title your film Non-Stop, since that’s a daunting bit of expectation to send moviegoers in with. Still, Neeson has actually been rocking it with his rougher tougher side of late, with just the right balance of gruffness and humor (also evidenced by his turn in the aforementioned LEGO Movie). It might not help get my soul into Heaven, but I’ll probably have a better time.
And speaking of good times, let this serve as my announcement that I will once again be live blogging the Oscar ceremony this year. I’ll throw out my predictions and pre-show thoughts tomorrow, then spend Sunday night rambling on and on about a show that rambles on and on. If anything, it’ll be a chance to focus on some movies that are actually worth the time. And that weren’t on TV already.