AceShowbiz - New year always brings something new. Like in any kinds of business, projects are long planned and developed before they are ready to be executed and unleashed in the months to come. In movie industry alone, a bunch of new titles have been prepped and set to be released, with some being heavily promoted and promised to be greater entertainment than others.
While summer is still months away, the first three months are not in any shortage of potential blockbuster movies. Talking of highly-anticipated films that are likely to dominate the chart, moviegoers cannot miss a Marvel superhero flick, Disney's live-action remake of its classic animation and sequels to box office hits among other things.
To prepare movie lovers for what's to come 2019, AceShowbiz presents a guide to Must-Watch Movies in the First Quarter of 2019 that compiles some of what may be the biggest hits from early of the year until March.
Release Date: January 18
M. Night Shyamalan redeemed himself after several bombed movies with 2016's "Split", which turns out to be related to one of his finest works in the past, "Unbreakable" (2000). Now, he brings together characters from his two best narratives, David Dunn (Bruce Willis), Elijah Price/Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson) and Kevin Wendell Crumb/The Horde (James McAvoy), for "Glass". While it's obvious that Glass will be the mastermind of the wicked things executed by The Horde and David has to stop it, the already-released sneak peeks keep fans curious about Dr. Ellie Staple's (Sarah Paulson) role in the psychological evolution of Kevin and his relationship with his former potential victim, Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Joy). Those mysteries and the epic battle between David and Kevin sound like enough material to keep the suspense alive throughout the movie.
Release Date: February 08
The long-in-the-making sequel to 2014's "The Lego Movie" is finally here. Set five years after the events in the first movie, "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part" sees the Lego Universe becoming a post-apocalyptic wasteland after Finn's father let his younger sister to play with the bricks. In the Lego world, Emmet (Chris Pratt) has to save his girlfriend Lucy's (Elizabeth Banks) who is suddenly kidnapped by a shape-shifting alien queen. Emmet seeks help from a new character, Rex Dangervest, whose professions sum up Pratt's characters in previous movies. Still written by Phil Lord and Chris Miller who wrote and directed the first movie, "The Lego Movie 2" brings back more familiar characters and the star-studded voice cast while promising an adventure to the place "where no brick has gone before."
Release Date: February 14
Based on Yukito Kishiro's manga "Gunnm", "Alita: Battle Angel" is billed as an epic adventure movie set in the future. Centering on the titular cyborg heroine who discovers her skills while learning of her extraordinary past, the movie relies heavily on CGI to bring Alita to life. It is made on a reported $200 million budget, showing 20th Century Fox's vote of confidence and how big its scale is. The sci-fi flick is put on the capable hands of director Robert Rodriguez, whose best works include "Spy Kids" and "Sin City", to make sure that the action and battle scenes are delivered in accordance to fans' expectations. Though the appearance of Alita initially drew mixed response, particularly because of her giant, unnatural eyeballs, James Cameron as producer has suggested a nice fix that makes the eyes look less creepy in the new trailer.
Release Date: February 14
"Happy Death Day" was a sleeper hit when it was released in 2017. It received mostly positive reviews, with some critics describing it as "Groundhog Day" meets "Scream". Attempting to repeat the success, Blumhouse makes the sequel, "Happy Death Day 2U", which sees Tree (Jessica Rothe) reentering the same time loop and being hunted by the masked killer. But instead of retreading the original, the upcoming movie "elevates everything" with more lives at stakes as Tree must save not just herself, but also her friends from the new killer. Those who feel like there are some loose ends in the first movie will get answers to things that didn't get explained before since director Christopher Landon promised that "Happy Death Day 2U" would reveal why Tree went into a time loop.
Release Date: February 22
Before Daenerys and Drogon on "Game of Thrones", there are Hiccup and Toothless of "How to Train Your Dragon". The story of their friendship and adventure will come to an end with the third and final instalment of the trilogy. In "How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World", the peaceful dragon utopia built by Hiccup is threatened by the presence of a new enemy. Forced to leave their home, the duo discovers a hidden world thought to only exist in myth. As Toothless is getting a potential mate, his friendship with Hiccup will be tested. Not only Hiccup and Toothless are potentially parting ways, but also audiences are saying goodbye to Dreamworks Animation's arguably best franchise ever. "Like all great endings, there's bittersweet aspects to it," said producer Brad Lewis, while cast member Jay Baruchel added that the ending would leave fans feeling "simultaneously sad and satisfied."
Release Date: February 22
After Charlize Theron in "Atomic Blonde" and Jennifer Garner in "Peppermint", Blake Lively will be the next femme fatale. "The Rhythm Section" which is based on Mark Burnell's novel of the same name follows a woman who seeks to uncover the truth behind a plane crash that killed her family while she escaped the accident as she missed the flight. After she discovers that the crash was not accidental, she embarks on a mission to track down those responsible by assuming the identity of an assassin. The tough girl role required the actress' fitness and commitment, which she apparently showed as she performed some of her own stunts, leading her to injuring her hand on the set. While it's not often that the "Gossip Girl" alum took a role with big physical demand, her talent is not one to be questioned about, with her having received praises for her performance in "The Age of Adaline" and "The Shallows". Jude Law and Sterling K. Brown support the spy thriller, though their roles are still kept under wraps.
Release Date: March 01
After almost two decades and ten movies, Tyler Perry is finally ready to retire his character Madea in the upcoming eleventh and final installment, giving fans at least one reason to tune into "Tyler Perry's a Madea Family Funeral". True to the title, a death is what brings the family together this time, though Perry promised that he would not kill off Madea. Look forward to unfiltered jokes which are the signature of the "Madea" franchise, with the director himself reprising his role as the feisty, foul-mouthed grandma. Hilarity is set to unspool as Madea is in charge of arranging the funeral for a beloved family member. According to the official logline, "sordid family secrets" are threatened to be revealed, but looking from the franchise's history, this conflict will likely make the family more solid in the end.
Release Date: March 08
There have been a bunch of superhero movies, but as the first MCU film centering on a female superhero, "Captain Marvel" is surely not to be missed. Taking the lead role as Carol Danvers is Brie Larson, who won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in 2015's "Room". Joining her in the cast is another talented actor, Jude Law, whose role is still open for speculation as to whether he's a bad guy or Carol's ally. While many clues directed to a straight answer that he's playing Mar-Vell a.k.a. Carol's mentor, it's safe to assume that such big name like Law is hired for a big role in the movie. Set in 1995, the film features familiar faces like Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury and Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson in their younger days. With longtime collaborators Anna Boden and Ryan K. Fleck, who are known for their works in "Half Nelson" (2006) and "Sugar" (2008), serving as directors, "Captain Marvel" is poised to rival DC's hit "Wonder Woman".
Release Date: March 15
Jordan Peele surprised everyone in a good way when he presented "Get Out" (2017), a horror film that touched on racial issue with fictional narrative in a way no one had ever thought before. Following up his acclaimed directorial debut, he makes "Us" which still puts black people in the spotlight. With Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o leading the cast, the movie follows a family of four who must outsmart their evil doppelgangers to save themselves during a vacation. "I think the main idea that went into writing this film is that we're our own worst enemy, and that idea created this monster, The Tethered," Peele explained the premise. "I wanted to forge this new mythology that explored our duality and the duality of the characters." As seen in the first trailer, gruesome murders and creepy villains will make enough scares needed for a hair-rising movie.
Release Date: March 29
It's never a question that Disney's movies always feature inspirational messages in their stories. And as a part of their mission to bring back their beloved tales in live-action format, "Dumbo" is following in the footsteps of "Beauty and the Beast (2017)", "The Jungle Book" and others to get the same treatment. Judging from the trailers, the crew did a great job in making the titular elephant more realistic and convincing, yet not losing his magical and fantasy aspects. Dumbo's interactions with the Farrier children are adorable and sweet, while Dumbo's story with his mother will affect audiences emotionally in a different way. Friendship, self-confidence and anti-bullying are among things to be learned when parents take their kids to watch the movie starring awards-winning actor Colin Farrell and directed by visionary filmmaker Tim Burton.