'Ant-Man', 'Coast Guard', 'Slam Dunk', and more February movies to catch

From the latest Marvel superhero movie and Oscar nominated film, to a hit anime and a blockbuster Malaysian action film, there's plenty of variety in the cinemas this month.

Can you believe it's February already? And in case you've had enough of all the Chinese New Year movies in January, fret not, for February is set to be a big month at the cinemas.

There are some major local movies set to hit the big screen, from the late Pitt Hanif's final film, Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (Feb 2) to acclaimed director Nik Amir Mustapha's third feature film, Imaginur (Feb 23). There's also a film about MCO frontliners Returning Heroes (Feb 2), a big screen debut for a local animated hit, Didi & Friends The Movie (Feb 23), and horror flick Harum Malam (Feb 2).

Other notable films to catch this month include Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated The Fabelmans (Feb 9), the Tom Hanks-starring A Man Called Otto (Feb 9), anime hit The First Slam Dunk (Feb 23), Korean star Hyun Bin's The Point Men (Feb 2), screenlife thriller Missing (Feb 23), and Cocaine Bear (Feb 23), which looks utterly bonkers.

If you've watched Avater: The Way Of Water and still haven't had your fill of James Cameron-directed movies, you can always revisit another one of his biggest movies, as Titanic (Feb 9) will be re-released in conjunction with its 25th anniversary (feeling old yet?)

Oh, and there's also this little film called Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (Feb 16). That could be a marvel to watch.

Anyway, here are the eight movies we're looking forward to the most this month.

Coast Guard Malaysia: Ops Helang (Feb 2)
Cast: Adlin Aman Ramlie, Julia Farhana, Sabri Yunus, Saharul Ridzwan
Director: Pitt Hanif

Malaysian Coast Guard officer Hafiz is celebrating his engagement at a beach resort when it is attacked by a group of terrorists who kidnap his fiancee. Hafiz manages to escape, and subsequently leads the Coast Guard on a search-and-rescue mission.

Why you should watch it

Movies revolving around Malaysia's various armed forces seem to be doing pretty well these days, thanks to the explosive action sequences these movies feature, and judging by the trailer, this will be no different. This film also has a poignant side to it – it was director Pitt Hanif's final film before he sadly drowned in a boating accident in Oct 2019.

Returning Home 英雄回家 (Feb 2)
Cast: Chen Puie Heng, Ribbon Ooi, Chazynash, Feon Lai
Director: Don Hoe

Set during the MCOs Malaysia went through during the Covid-19 pandemic, this movie revolves around the unsung heroes of the Civil Defence (APM), St John Ambulance (SJAM), the Lions Clubs, and the Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department (PBS), as they put their lives on the line to save the live of others, while also worrying about their own families and whether they would 'return home' after their shift.

Why you should watch it:

From the armed forces, we now focus on the frontliners of the country. This is a film that would hit hard for many Malaysians who went through the MCO, as it focuses on how the sacrifices these unsung heroes make in order to do their jobs of saving people, while in the midst of a pandemic. Get ready some tissues.

The Fabelmans (Feb 9)
Cast: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Judd Hirsch
Director: Steven Spielberg

A semi-autobiographical story loosely based on director Steven Spielberg's adolescence and first years as a filmmaker. It is told through the tale of Sammy Fabelman, a young aspiring filmmaker who grows up in a dysfunctional family, but discovers the magic of filmmaking.

Why you should watch it:

Loosely based on Spielberg`s childhood, The Fabelmans has been called one of his best movies, and even one of the best of 2022. It has also been nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director for Spielberg, Best Actress (for Michelle Williams), and Best Supporting Actor (Judd Hirsch).

A Man Called Otto (Feb 9)
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mariana Treviño, Rachel Keller, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo
Director: Marc Forster

60-year-old Otto finds himself with little to live for after his wife dies and he is forced to retire from his job of nearly 40 years, so he decides to commit suicide. However, his attempts to do so hit a series of obstacles, especially from a friendly cat and some over-enthusiastic new neighbours and their kids.

Why you should watch it:

Don't let his Razzie nomination for Worst Actor in Disney's live-action Pinocchio movie fool you – Tom Hanks is and will always be one of the best actors ever, and he looks like he is in fine form in this heart-warming tale. From the trailer, this almost passes for a live-action remake of Pixar's Up, minus the flying house on balloons.

Ant-Man And The Wasp: Quantumania (Feb 16)
Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathryn Newton
Director: Peyton Reed

Scott Lang and Hope Van Dyne continue their superhero exploits as Ant-Man and the Wasp. This time, they have Hope`s parents Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, and Scott's daughter Cassie along for the ride as they are sucked into the Quantum Realm. There, they encounter a powerful being called Kang, who gives Scott an offer he may not be able to refuse.

Why you should watch it:

Well, it's part of this thing called the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), so chances are you would have heard of it. Quantumania also kickstarts the MCU's Phase 5, and introduces its next big bad villain, Kang the Conqueror, so Marvel's smallest hero could have the biggest impact on the future of the MCU yet.

The First Slam Dunk (Feb 23)
Voice cast: Shugo Nakamura, Jun Kasama, Subaru Kimura, Kenta Miyake
Director: Takehiko Inoue

Based on the hugely popular and highly acclaimed basketball manga Slam Dunk, this CG-animated movie is told from the perspective of Shokoku High School basketball team's point guard, Ryota Miyagi, as he and his teammates Hanamichi Sakuragi, Takenori Akagi, Hisashi Mitsui and Kaede Rukawa, take on the inter-school basketball champions, Sanno High School.

Why you should watch it:

If you're a fan of the original Slam Dunk manga and anime, you have to watch this. Heck, if you're a fan of basketball or anime in general, you have to watch it. In other words, just go watch it.

Imaginur (Feb 23)
Cast: Beto Kusyairy, Diana Danielle, Nadiya Nisaa, Afdlin Shauki, Rahim Razali, Fatimah Abu Bakar
Director: Nik Amir Mustapha

When Zuhal's life seemingly spirals out of control, he turns to a hypnosist to get it under control, but things get even weirder and more complicated when Nur, the girl from his hypnotic dreams, shows up in his real life.

Why you should watch it:

The latest feature from acclaimed Malaysian director Nik Amir Mustapha was screened at the New York Asian Film Festival last year, and if his previous films KIL and Terbaik Dari Langit are any indication, this will be an entertaining yet though-provoking watch that should give fans of local films something different to watch apart from the usual action and horror flicks.

Didi & Friends The Movie (Feb 23)
Voice cast: Nur Insyeerah, Adam Muqri, Adam Muqri, Awie, Amelia Henderson, Ruminah Sidek
Director: Akmal Aziz Asmawi, Roshfaizal Ariffin

Based on the hit TV animated educational series Didi & Friends by Digital Durian, this feature-length film sees Didi, Nana and Jojo being assigned to organise the annual town concert. Unfortunately, Didi makes a big mistake that forces Horey Town elders Pak Atan and Pak Beruang to travel to Legenda Island in Muzika, but when they get into trouble with a pirate, it is up to Didi and his friends to save their elders before the day of the concert.

Why you should watch it:

Well, the movie will be released during the school holidays, and if you've got children who are fans of this particular local animation character, then this could make for a decent family outing.

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