Movie Maniac

Midwinter movie preview: What’s in store until spring

Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must protect a new mutant (Dafne Keen) being pursued by dark forces in “Logan.”
Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) must protect a new mutant (Dafne Keen) being pursued by dark forces in “Logan.” Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

I know it hasn’t always felt like winter lately, but it is just February and we still have a ways to go before the next big spring movie season.

But there are some pretty hotly anticipated titles on our way until then. Here’s a look (release dates subject to change):

“The LEGO Batman Movie” – Yep, a Caped Crusader made out of the colorful brick toys fights the criminals of Gotham City while also looking after a boy he adopted. (Opening Feb. 10)

“Fifty Shades Darker” – The next installment in the kinkfest that is based on the ridiculously popular novels finds a reunion between Christian (Jamie Dornan) and Ana (Dakota Johnson) threatened by a shady character from his past. What? A shady past? Him? (Feb. 10)

“John Wick: Chapter 2” – Sure, we didn’t need a sequel to the surprisingly successful original about a hitman coming out of retirement (why are they always retired?), but it’s just cool to see everybody’s favorite dude Keanu Reeves kick some assassin butt. (Feb. 10)

“A Cure for Wellness” – Dane DeHaan plays a young executive who is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from a luxurious Swiss spa but soon realizes the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. (Feb. 17)

“The Great Wall” – Matt Damon stars in this fictionalized account of why the Great Wall was built – to keep out monstrous creatures. Oh, who needs historically accurate movies, anyway? (Feb. 17)

“Fist Fight” – A meek high school English teacher (perennially flustered Charlie Day) inadvertently gets another teacher (perennially grouchy Ice Cube) fired and is challenged to an after-school fight in this comedy. (Feb. 17)

“Rock Dog” – This animated comedy follows a wide-eyed Tibetan mastiff who leaves home to fulfill his dream of becoming a musician when a radio falls from the sky. With the voices of J.K. Simmons, Luke Wilson and Eddie Izzard. (Feb. 24)

“Get Out” – This horror thriller from Blumhouse (producers of “The Visit” and the “Insidious” series) follows a young African-American man who visits the country home of his white girlfriend and becomes ensnared in the sinister real reason he was invited. (Feb. 24)

“Logan” – There’s much speculation about where this installment takes place in the X-Men universe, but apparently much later than any of the other films, because this has a wearier-than-usual Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) caring for an ailing Professor X (Patrick Stewart) in a hideout on the Mexican border. But their peace is upended when a new mutant arrives. (March 3)

“T2: Trainspotting” – A sequel to the 1996 original that introduced us to a little-known actor by the name of Ewan McGregor. Danny Boyle again directs with Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle also returning to play their original characters. (March 3)

“The Shack” – A man (Sam Worthington) questions his faith after a tragedy until he’s mysteriously summoned to a mysterious shelter in the wilds of Oregon. Also starring Octavia Spencer. (March 3)

“Kong: Skull Island” – More like: “Kong: Here We Go Again,” with this umpteenth take on the big ape epic. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson and John C. Reilly. (March 10)

Rod Pocowatchit: 316-268-6638, @rawd

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