The unstoppable Lady Gaga and two-time Oscar nominee/winner Octavia Spencer, star of Hidden Figures, are starring in The House of Lies, an action-comedy now in theaters. As the film’s press site puts it, the movie follows the “ritualistic adventures of an unemployed four-letter word-spewing stripper (Spencer) and her accomplice (Gaga) as they craft a borderline racist scheme to scam a foreign company hiring a new boss to run the corporate office.” The multi-talented Spencer plays the “jerk boss” alongside Kristen Bell, Billy Magnussen, Danny DeVito, and more.
Coming to theaters in the first week of March is A Series of Unfortunate Events. Based on the award-winning children’s series of books by Lemony Snicket (a pseudonym for Daniel Handler), a wide-eyed young orphan named Klaus (Lewis MacDougall) becomes orphaned after his parents are murdered. Under the custody of Uncle Monty (Neil Patrick Harris), he and his siblings Violet (Malina Weissman) and Sunny (Presley Smith) find themselves kidnapped by Count Olaf (Malcolm McDowell) and separated from each other, until they are able to reunite years later. The series, first published in 2004, is an updated version of the children’s books that originally spawned a series of TV shows, based on the stage adaptations.
The Daniel Kaluuya film Widows finds ruthless criminals and armored car dealers (and all-around ruffians) determined to steal the proceeds of a heist. After the criminals are killed by the police, a young widow named Veronica (Viola Davis) and a husband-wife duo named Hollis (Lena Waithe) and Harry (Jacki Weaver) take up the fight. The trailer teases a bloody, hard-boiled story about love, betrayal, and sacrifice. The movie comes out in limited release on November 8.
Last year’s box office winners could be ready to shine again in the 2017-2018 Golden Globe winner A Star Is Born. After last year’s debacle of bad sound mixing (imagine poor Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga opening up to each other and having one of their microphones cut), the cast of this long-awaited remake has completely toned down the third act party. The concert at the end looks grand, with beautiful staging and outfits. Then there’s the chemistry between stars Cooper and Gaga. The trailer leads us to believe that this will have the kind of memorable musical numbers we remember from that great Hollywood legend of the late 1970s — Barbra Streisand in What’s Up, Doc? or Kris Kristofferson and Dolly Parton in the much more authentic Jolene.
In what will likely be a R-rated fantasy-action film, Kingsman: The Golden Circle will take a new group of super spies (Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Julianne Moore, Mark Strong) to what appears to be London’s Brixton area, after being rescued by Taylor Kitsch’s undercover American. Turns out they’re not so alone after all.
The Darkest Hour, coming out in March, is a film about Winston Churchill in the tail end of World War II. The British prime minister is played by Gary Oldman, who portrays him as a ebullient leader rallying people to do their duty. Like Emma Stone’s role in La La Land, Oldman is the only actor in the film who can sing. Not only that, but he’s going to be singing in a black wig and costume that even an A-list director like Joe Wright can’t make look that good.
Also coming out in March is Annihilation, which was made by sci-fi great Alex Garland, with a screenplay he co-wrote with Jane Got a Gun director Natalie Portman. It tells the story of biologist (Oscar nominee Natalie Portman) sent into the mysterious Area X to investigate strange events. At the end of the first trailer, Portman says, “What we find may shock us.” With what seems to be a critique of man’s tendency to kill “the other,” who knows what that may be.