February is a traditional dumping ground for movies the studios aren’t sure what to do with. Two of my films landed there in the chilly midst of winter — dang it! But the facts are these: There are few really big hits that launch in Feburary, which, like August, is a time of year fewer folks head to the cineplex.

So is it unfair of me to pick on two upcoming February films?

Failure to Launch. You know it’s a Paramount romantic comedy when we see a poster of two people leaning against each other. The body launguage, I guess, says that the co-stars are thinking about it, but not quite committed to a full-on embrace. Often the woman will be leaning with her back to the man while holding his tie which is draped over his shoulder. O-kay.

But my peeve is much more worrisome re: this Mathew McConeghy – Sarah Jessica Parker lean-fest.

1. Is it a good idea to have the word “failure” in your title?


And 2. What exactly is this premise?

Only after I saw the trailer did I understand any of it. And when I did, I wondered more. We have to buy 1. That Mathew is in his 30s and still lives with his parents and 2. That there exists such a person as the one Sarah Jessica plays — a sort of therapist/sex surrogate/U-Haul advisor.

Will this play?

Firewall. Maybe the oddest poster I’ve seen in a while. What is it about that color wash/photorealistic image of Harrison Ford that feels — off? In the ads for this, I see Harrison is dealing with kidnappers ala Ransom and is emoting a lot — good, good — but it made ME think of a movie that might do better abroad.

When I see ads like this on TV it makes me wonder about the business model Hollywood has been using. How much longer will this work? The idea that you can sell a movie with wall-to-firewall commercials may be an old one. It makes me long for… you know… a GOOD movie. See, in my personal opinion, Hollywood is great! The power and the possibilites of creating a really exciting, brand new film we all can’t wait to see is there. I just think we aren’t being as daring as we could be.

But I will give one award to the best poster line so far this year: It’s the one for the Curious George movie.

“Show me the monkey!”

I laughed. I don’t know if I’ll see the movie. But that one line made me think about it.

February. Brrrrrrrrr.