NIHF Complete Guide to February 2022
A Moonfall, a Massacre, and multiple Aquamen!
February is a strange time for entertainment. The holidays are in the rearview, so there’s a significant drop-off in video games. The movie and television release dates are too close to Awards Season for anything traditionally “great” to come out. But it’s also too early in the year for the “big blockbuster” events of the summer season —including major comic book events. Despite this, the traditional idea of February as a “dumping ground” is entirely unfair. There are some hidden gems throughout the month for anyone willing to look for them. Let’s get digging.
Moonfall | February 4
In theaters February 4
Roland Emmerich loves destroying the Earth. And the director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow is back with another big-budget movie in which he plans to smash our sweet blue marble into tiny pieces. This time: By crashing the moon into it. But before you jump up to start collecting masks to save the day, you should know that Halle Berry and Patrick Wilson are already on the case. Which is great because it means the rest of us can sit back and enjoy.
Death on the Nile
In theaters February 11
One of the movies that I’m most eager to see all year, Death on the Nile, is the follow-up to Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Kenneth Branagh is back to start and direct, which sounds perfect. His take on Agatha Christie’s detective in Orient Express was a delightful combination of dogged and distracted. Early looks at Nile suggest he’s swapped out his color pallet, refreshed his all-star cast, and started the whole machine back up. Why fix what’s not broken?
In theaters February 18
After going through seven directors over 11 years, it was up for debate whether Uncharted would ever actually see the light of day. But here we are, living in 2022, with Tom Holland playing Nathan Drake. The movie is an adaptation of the popular video game series and promises to bring the same swash-buckling spirit and roguish charm. Whether Uncharted can manage to avoid the classic video game movie curse remains to be seen. But it’s backed by a high-end budget to deliver on a triumphant spectacle worthy of the big screen.
Pam & Tommy
New episodes premiere weekly on Hulu starting February 2
Pam & Tommy — the prestige miniseries premiering this month on Hulu — is based on a 2014 Rolling Stone article that told the full story of the couple’s infamous sex tape. Lily James (Cinderella, Mama Mia: Here We Go Again) and Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Hot Tub Time Machine) star in the titular roles, directed by Craig Gillespie (I, Tonya, Cruella). While the miniseries’ subject matter may seem like a nostalgic throwback, the questions at the heart of the story still haunt internet users today. Tune in to realize how frustratingly little has changed since 1995.
The Cuphead Show!
On Netflix February 18
Upon its release in 2017, fans and video game critics praised Cuphead for its unique gameplay, clever storytelling, and — above all — its style. The game took inspiration from the rubber horse style of Animation’s Golden Age. That helped the game stand out against the background of graphics-heavy, first-person titles. Now Netflix is taking the classic style and adapting the game into an animated series: The Cuphead Show!. Starring Tru Valentino and Frank T. Todaro as Cuphead and Mugman, the show’s likely to provide even more entertainment for fans of classic animation.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
On Netflix February 18
There are only three things I need for a Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie to succeed.
As long as Netflix delivers on those three things, I’ll be happy.
Dying Light 2: Stay Human
Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation, and Xbox February 4
The first Dying Light was a zombie survival-horror RPG that got pretty decent reviews from critics and overwhelmingly positive reviews from players. So game studio Techland did what any reasonable game studio would do. They doubled down, hard. Dying Light 2: Stay Human is going to be gigantic. The map is four times larger than the original game. The arsenal of tools available to the player character has expanded. And the studio programed 3,000 special parkour moves depending on what type of building your character might be leaping between. That’s dedication. Of course, much like its predecessor, Dying Light 2 will offer cooperative multiplayer. Because you don’t have to be faster than the zombies as long as you’re faster than your friends.
Horizon: Forbidden West
PlayStation February 18
In a pop culture landscape that has been overrun by sameness, the far future world of Horizon is unique. And the latest installment in this much-beloved franchise promises to make everything bigger. Humanity fights the dual threats of environmental catastrophe and robotic terror in the newest installment, Horizon Forbidden West. Colossal new monsters tower over the player amidst the majestic vistas of Forbidden West’s open world. Players will explore the world for clues that will unwrap a mystery from Horizon’s ancient past and change Aloy’s life forever.
Windows PC, PlayStation, and Xbox February 25
If I had to guess, I would say that this is the video game most likely to be 2022’s Game of the Year. Elden Ring was written by legendary video game director Hidetaka Miyazaki and famed Tolkien-fan-fiction writer George R.R. Martin. Elden Ring will present players with a playstyle similar to Miyazaki’s previous work on the Souls games and a narrative that’s familiar to Martin’s work. Players will explore The Lands Between, a map made up of six main areas, all including castles, fortresses, and catacombs for the player to explore. Elden Ring has won Most Anticipated Game two years running at The Game Awards. All that’s left to do is play it and see if it lives up to the hype.
Manor Black: Fire in the Blood #1
Dark Horse Comics February 2
Manor Black is one of the best, most original stories of horror comics in recent years. The four-issue miniseries ran from July to October 2019 and was universally praised. Now the creative team of Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt, and Tyler Crook are reuniting for a new miniseries, Manor Black: Fire in the Blood. The series will likely dive deeper into the strange magical world introduced in the original series, so new readers should catch up quickly! Curious if you’ll like it? Read the first issue now and find out.
Iron Fist #1
Marvel Comics February 16
After the backlash against Finn Jones’ role as Danny Rand in the Netflix Iron Fist, Marvel has finally decided to reimagine the character. There’s a new Iron Fist in town! And fans will get to meet him over the course of a five-issue miniseries kicking off February 16.
“The first issue is a dynamic, action-packed, eerie and…if I do say, charming comic. You’ll get the origin of this new Iron Fist but there are many cool mysteries that’ll unravel over the course of the series. Things even the most ardent Marvel fan would never expect!”
— Mark Paniccia, Editor, Iron Fist
Whether you loved Netflix’s Iron Fist and want more or wished the show was more representative, this comic is for anyone who wants more Iron Fist in their life. Fans of Dragon Heart Punches unite.
DC Comics February 22
It is a truly wild and exciting time to be an Aquaman fan. Jackson Hyde’s character has been an unparalleled addition to the comic. While the shadow of his father, Black Manta, still looms over him, he’s learned to define himself as his own man. His own Aquaman, no less! Now the writers of Black Manta and Aquaman: The Becoming are teaming up to author the new series, Aquamen. Jackson Hyde and Arthur Currey team up to investigate an Atlantean terror cell attacking Middle America. The arc should be an excellent chance for Jackson to learn from his mentor. That is… until Death of the Justice League this Summer when 9 out of 10 Justice Leaguers will die. Better study fast, Jackson!