February movie guide: Dune sequel, May December and spy-thriller Argylle

Film buffs say 28-year-oldTimothée Chalamet brings charisma and existential beauty to the role of Paul Atreides.

Film buffs say 28-year-oldTimothée Chalamet brings charisma and existential beauty to the role of Paul Atreides. Photo: Warner Brothers

Put the date in your calendar!

The 2024 Academy Awards are on March 11 (red carpet kicks off from 8am AEDT) which means there is a month to get to a cinema and watch some of the best movies around.

Force of Nature: The Dry 2 (starring Eric Bana) is in cinemas.

Director Robert Connolly tells The New Daily that when The Dry was released in 2021, “cinemas were pretty much closed and there was a feeling they’d never re-open”.

“I’m excited that over [this] Christmas it has been really successful, there’s about 12 films that people are seeing … and it’s not the blockbusters like Avatar that people are seeing, we’re going to the movies to see lots of films.

“It’s great to be a part of that,” he said, this week.

Oscar nominated films which are still in cinemas (check your guides) include Poor Things (starring Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo), The Colour Purple, Oppenheimer, Anatomy of a Fall and The Holdovers.

On Tuesdays, Cinebuzz members at independent chain Event Cinemas get 50 per cent off full-price tickets while the Palace chain offers $10-$12.50 tickets.

Nova has discounted Monday tickets and is the cheapest in Melbourne, with a regular ticket costing just $7 for sessions before 4pm, and $10 for sessions after 4pm.

The RACV in Victoria is offering discounted movie tickets – up to 40 per cent off – for HOYTS, Village, IMAX and Moonlight.

And Hoyts offers a $13 ticket on Tuesdays (you can also join the VIP club) while Village offers considerable discounts if you’re a Vrewards member (free to join).

Argylle: February 1

There’s a lot to enjoy about Argylle, not least that it is vaguely reminiscent of the 1984 hit flick Romancing the Stone.

There were rumours that it was penned under a pseudonym by Taylor Swift because of the cat factor. But that’s a story for another day.

From the twisted mind of Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise, Kick-Ass), this spy thriller with a budget of $US200 million stars Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World franchise), Henry Cavill (Superman), Dua Lipa and John Cena, while Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston plays the villain.

May December: February 1

The love affair between Gracie (Julianne Moore, 63) and Joe (played by adult Charles Melton) is the controversy at the film’s core, which began when she was aged 36 and he was 13.

It eventually landed her in prison due to their age difference — though after her release, the two married and had a family together.

Fast forward 20 years after their notorious tabloid romance gripped the nation, the couple buckle under the pressure when an actress (Natalie Portman) arrives to do research for a film.

Starring Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman and Charles Melton, the film received four Golden Globe nominations in January and is up for best original screenplay at the Academy Awards.

The Chosen: February 1

Based on the life of Jesus, this historical drama is about “clashing Kingdoms and rival rulers”. “The enemies of Jesus are closing in while His followers are struggling to keep up, leaving Him to carry the burden alone”, reads the official log line.

Peppa’s cinema party: February 9

If you’re wondering what to do with the toddlers now the summer holidays are over, there’s always a 20th anniversary celebration with Peppa Pig and her family.

Featuring the voices of Katy Perry as Ms Leopard and Orlando Bloom as Mr Raccoon in an episode of the three-part Wedding Party story, the whole family can enjoy 10 never-before-seen Peppa Pig episodes!

There’s also five new songs, as well as 11 interactive entertainment shorts with Peppa and her friends playing, dancing and singing in the real world.

Madame Web: February 14

Madame Web tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel publishing’s most enigmatic heroines.

Dakota Johnson stars as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities, as she is forced to confront revelations about her past while she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures.

Bob Marley: One Love: February 14

The powerful story of Bob Marley overcoming adversity and the journey behind his revolutionary music was produced in partnership with his family, and it’s on big screens for the first time. It stars Kingsley Ben-Adir as the legendary musician and Lashana Lynch as his wife Rita.


Dune: Part Two: February 29

The highly anticipated Denis Villeneuve directed sequel starring Austin Butler (Elvis), Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya and Florence Pugh, has finally arrived, delayed by four months due to strikes last year by US writers and actors.

“Duke Paul Atreides [Chalamet] joins the Fremen and begins a spiritual and martial journey to become Muad’dib, while trying to prevent the horrible but inevitable future he has witnessed: A holy war in his name, spreading throughout the known universe,” reads the official synopsis.

When Dune premiered in October, 2021, it was a massive success and earned $US402 million in box office revenue.

Esquire’s film critic Chris Nashawaty described the Dune as “the best sci-fi movie of the decade”.

Driveaway Dolls: February 22

Written by Ethan Coen and Tricia Cooke, this comedy caper follows Jamie, an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian who desperately needs to loosen up.

In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals.

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