We did it — We made it to 2020 and past the terrible first week of entertainment of the year, so let’s look at what’s on the horizon!
After a year dominated by big Disney superhero finales and remakes, it will be interesting to see movies at the theater come back down to Earth a little bit (there still will be Marvel’s “Black Widows” and “Inhumans,” as well as a remake of “Mulan”). As for music, it’s always a grab bag.
For this preview, we’ll cover up to this summer.
“The Invisible Man” (Feb. 28) — Very loosely based on the H.G. Wells sci-fi classic, this takes the “Hollow Man” route of wondering “What if the invisible man was an abusive creep?” Starring the always-reliable Elisabeth Moss, this mid-budget horror movie, written and directed by “Insidious” scribe Leigh Whannell, looks to be a terrifying, claustrophobic trip.
“A Quiet Place: Part II” (March 20) — Director and actor John Krasinski surprised me with the 2018 self-contained, inventive horror film “A Quiet Place.” It was tense and well acted, even if the story kind of falls apart under close inspection. The real test is whether or not its thin plot has enough meat on the bones for a second go-round. At the very least, Emily Blunt is always fantastic.
“The Lovebirds” (April 3) — Re-teaming “The Big Sick” director Michael Showalter with star Kumail Nanjiani, as well as talented comic actors like Issa Rae and Anna Camp, this “Game Night”-like rom-com takes a troubled couple and puts them through a murder-mystery. Hey, if this, like “Knives Out,” helps make a case for a full murder-mystery revival, I’m all for it.
“Promising Young Woman” (April 17) — Seemingly absent from the spotlight, Carrie Mulligan returns with a psychological revenge thriller about a woman with a mysterious past who pretends to be drunk to hunt down creeps who prey on inebriated women. A mixture of “Hard Candy” and “Gone Girl,” it looks delightfully unhinged.
Petals For Armor “TBD” (Jan. 22) — Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has been noticeably absent from making music for three years. Wrapped up in mystery, this solo project is expected to be a different turn from her pop-punk roots, which she already had moved away from. I can’t wait to see what she has to show.
Kesha “High Road” (Jan. 31) — Ever since the former boozy pop superstar was put through the wringer with a sexual assault case, she changed her tone from party girl to an artist encouraging empowerment. On her previous album, 2017’s “Rainbow,” she did it while still maintaining her playful side. On this album, she’s bringing back her happier side with a lineup of killer special guests, including Sturgill Simpson, Brian Wilson and Big Freedia. “Raising Hell” is a solid arena pop jam, while “Resentment” is a top-notch country ballad.
Green Day “Father of All ...” (Feb. 7) — Judging by the first two singles off the pop-punk godfather’s 13th album, this is going to be something different. The eponymous single and “Fire, Ready, Aim” sound closer to a band like Portugal. The Man and The Hives, rather than the band’s usual sound. It’s not something I’m particularly into, but I’m interested to see what they do with this direction.
The 1975 “Notes on a Conditional Form” (Feb. 21) — The way I feel about the new Green Day songs is the same as the initial tracks (the electronic ballad “Frail State of Mind,” the screechy punk “People”) released from Brit alt-rockers The 1975: they’re different, but not in a great way. With that said, the band’s last album, “A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships,” was a clever mishmash of genres and sounds that ended up working out. Maybe this will be the same thing.
— Andrew Gaug | St. Joe Live