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Published January 22nd 2018
Panthers, chimpanzees, lady birds, poker chips and a BBQ?
Jane (by Jane Goodall Institute)
There are films for all ages and tastes premiering in Australian theatres this month. From drama and jungle adventures, to superheroes and comedies, start with these top 5 movies in February.
Jane – February 1
Rated E - exempt from classification
Jane has been a household name since taming Tarzan but when Dr Jane Goodall entered the jungles of Tanzania in 1960, a new real-life inspiration became Jane of the Jungle.
Jane has spent decades studying chimpanzees in their natural habitat, transforming our understanding of social and family life, believed to be unique to humanity until she witnessed our closest relatives in the animal kingdom exhibiting "human" emotions and intellectual traits.
In this documentary, we journey with Jane from her first meeting with chimpanzees as they captivated her with their personalities, to the moments of discovery in the Gombe Stream National Park, captured in fascinating 'home movies' by her husband.
Jane is directed by the Oscar-nominated Brett Morgen (On the Ropes, Chicago 10), with music by Philip Glass (The Truman Show).
Molly's Game (by STXfilms)
Molly's Game – February 1
Rated M for mature themes, violence and coarse language
Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane, A Most Violent Year, Zero Dark Thirty, Coriolanus, The Help) is one of Hollywood's star performers with a track record of compelling choices, based on research into the lives of outliers to prepare for challenging roles in films ranging from fantasy and sci-fi, to drama and thrillers.
She begins 2018 with another standout in Molly's Game, based on the true story of Molly Bloom.
Molly is vying for selection in the US Olympic Team as a downhill skier when a chance meeting with Tobey Maguire in the infamous Viper Room led to a sudden career change, replacing skis for poker chips.
She thrives as a host in the lucrative business of high stakes poker, establishing a series of matches featuring some of the world's highest-profile players, including movie stars, politicians, tech entrepreneurs and the odd shady businessman.
When she's arrested during a money laundering sting, the web of secret deals are revealed to her lawyer (Edris Elba - Luther, The Wire, American Gangster) during the high profile racketeering investigation.
In his directorial debut, Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network, A Few Good Men) also wrote the screenplay for Molly's Game, which stars Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, JFK), Michael Cera (Juno, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Chris O'Dowd (The Sapphires, The IT Crowd, St. Vincent, The Program, Calvary) and Jeremy Strong (Selma).
Black Panther – February 15
The Black Panther, the latest superhero in the Marvel Universe to hit the silver screen, was introduced in the highest-grossing film of 2016, Captain America: Civil War.
In this 2018 premiere, the Black Panther's (Chadwick Boseman - 42, Get On Up) story continues after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, the mythical African nation.
As he ascends to the throne, his resolve is immediately tested in a series of Machiavellian challenges, threatening the safety of his tech-savvy society.
The Black Panther melds the drama of the royal court and excitement of explosive battles. The first Marvel blockbuster in Africa gives us hope that Australia will be the next continent to feature in the Marvel film world.
Scenes at Uluru, Federation Square, the Sydney Opera House, Hahndorf, the Fremantle Doctor, the Gabba, and a Tasmanian apple orchard could be the settings for a thrilling adventure.
Black Panther is directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) and also stars Michael B. Jordan (Creed, Fruitvale Station), Lupita Nyong'o (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, 12 Years a Slave, Queen of Katwe), Forest Whitaker (Arrival, The Crying Game, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit), Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock) and Angela Bassett (Contact).
Lady Bird – February 15
Find the funny side of family life in this Golden Globe-winning film from Greta Gerwig (To Rome with Love, Jackie, Frances Ha).
Christine "Lady Bird" McPherson, struggles with coming-of-age dramas amid teen pressures and expectations of Catholic school and university life.
As the behaviour of her comically dysfunctional family becomes more outlandish, she tries to find solace in a series of awkward romances and friendships.
On her eighteenth birthday, she celebrates with a cupcake, cigarette and lottery ticket, hoping to reconcile with her mother, although she'll need plenty of luck to make that happen, with the odds worse than a scratchie win.
Lady Bird has been nominated for dozens of awards, winning best film and actress in a comedy or musical at the Golden Globes.
Lady Bird stars Saoirse Ronan (Loving Vincent, Brooklyn, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Laurie Metcalf (Toy Story 2, Roseanne) and Tracy Letts (The Post, The Big Short).
The BBQ (by Label Distribution)
The BBQ – January 22
Rated PG for mild themes and coarse language
We're in the middle of the barbecue season, as all sorts of foods sizzle on the grill, some cooked perfectly, some charred, some burnt, and others best buried.
Dazza (Shane Jacobson), has put down the portaloo from Kenny and picked up the tongs to become his neighbourhood's best barbecuer.
During a chaotic afternoon, he manages to give his guests a side serve of food poisoning.
To get back his mojo, he's guided by Scotland's Masterchef (Magda Szubanski) in the ultimate culinary reality event, as he cooks to claim the crown in an international barbecue competition.
Directed by Stephen Amis, The BBQ also stars Manu Feildel, Julia Zemiro, Nicholas Hammond and Frederick Simpson.
Which movie tops your list for February? Please let us know with a comment.