E: Here’s a list of what’s opening this month, with the usual commentary. And yes, it’s essentially going to convince you that you should just go see The Hunger Games again.
C: Or for the first time, if you’re late to the party like one of us… *ducks and covers*
E: James Cameron is hoping that his money-making opportunities go on and on…
M: There is a growing trend of 3D-ing movies, then re-releasing them on the big screen. Lion King, Phantom Menace and now Titanic. I’m sure there’ll be more. I’ll be avoiding them, at least until something worth seeing on the big screen. Like the original Star Wars, maybe.
C: And Beauty and the Beast, which I went to see. Honestly, the 3D didn’t add anything for me. But maybe having Rose and Jack pop out of the screen at me would rekindle the romance I had with this film as a young teen? Seems unlikely…
E: I kind of feel like this movie was too 1997, and it won’t have the same impact now. But I could be wrong.
M: One thing I have been enjoying with this is commenting on the commercials and trailers in MST3K style:
Rose: When this boat docks, I’m getting off with you!
Me: No, you’re not.
Leo (or whatever his sappy character’s name was): We’re gonna make it!
Me: Nope, you’re going to freeze, then drown.
Rose: I’ll never let go!
Me: Wait for it……. you let go.
E: For people who have seen the other movies in this series, obviously. Which would not be any of us.
M: Well, I’ve seen the original, and it was pretty good for what it was (raunchy, stupid comedy). The sequels? No thanks. This one, which seems to not even have a single funny moment that they can splice into a TV spot? Hell no.
C: The one thing I appreciate about this, based on the commercials, is that “band camp” dweeb Alyson Hannigan is now the smoking-hottest of the actors. Probably with the best career as well.
M: I don’t think there’s any “probably” about it, it’s really no contest.
E: Josh Hutcherson’s third movie of 2012.
M: Which makes him what… this year’s Jennifer Lawrence? 😉
M: As for the movie… we’re supposed to buy Mr. E’s classmate Dane Cook as a high school principal? Our comments about The Sitter and putting Jonah Hill in charge of children seem appropriate once again.
C: Okay, can I just draw your attention to the IMDb summary of this film? “As a killer named Cinderhella stalks the student body at the high school in Grizzly Lake, a group of co-eds band together to survive while they’re all serving detention.” Detention. At a lake. Cinderhella. Is this Michael Scott’s next film?
M: An Aussie movie with a strange premise, Willem Dafoe (last I checked, not an Aussie, btw) hunting the last Tasman Tiger for some strange monolithic corporation. Sam Neill is in it, so I can’t help but be a little bit interested.
E: Um, no. Sam Neill is awesome but no guarantee of quality.
C: For proof, the Jurassic Park sequels…
Damsels in Distress
M: Will this somehow manage to pull Adam Brody out of the exile he’s been seemingly (not actually) banished to since the end of The O.C.? Seriously, when that show ended would anyone have thought that he’d be as or possibly more anonymous than uber-diva Mischa Barton?
E: The world waits, holding its breath for the answer to that one.
C: Who’s Adam Brody? Is he or is he not exiled? I haven’t heard of him.
E: The kid from The O.C. – the dorky cute one. M’s right, pretty much everyone else from that show works.
M: Even the delinquent older brother of the main guy, who’s in the upcoming summer blockbuster Prometheus.
The Cabin in the Woods
M: The online ads for this have been everywhere, and it looks like a mash-up of the typical horror movie where people are trapped in the woods, or a house or somewhere remote, with some sort of sci fi/technology horror. I don’t think it looks good, but it at least looks a little different.
E: With Joss Whedon at the helm, how could it not be? Even if it sat on the shelf for a few years due to the MGM bankruptcy. I don’t like slasher flicks, no matter how clever, but the cast (Bradley Whitford, Richard Jenkins, Chris Hemsworth, Amy Acker, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams) is killer.
M: Ok, I’ve heard of two of those people, and am totally not ready to put Chris Hemsworth in the “killer cast” category yet. I think you’re stretching.
The Three Stooges
E: Really? Really?
M: Really. This one has been in the works for a long time, with the Farrelly brothers attached forever. Casting went through a lot of rumored iterations, with at one point Benicio Del Toro of all people attached to play Moe. I love Del Toro, but I can’t see that at all. What I can see is Will Sasso as Curly, that seems like a perfect fit to me. And for some reason Larry David as a nun works, too. I still don’t know if I want to see it — likely I’ll Redbox it in a few months — but as a longtime Stooges fan I’m at least curious.
E: Ugh. Some things, you should know better than to try to duplicate.
C: Agreed, but I have mixed feelings about whether this is one of those things. I mean, the Stooges were classic in their own way, but their schtick seems eminently replicable…
E: Well, Guy Pearce is a good actor, but (let me say it again) he is no guarantee of quality.
M: Maggie Grace is in it, too.
E: Who is a guarantee of quality?
C: You mean Shannon from LOST? Where did I see her the other day? Oh yeah, the latest Twilight movie.
M: Look, I didn’t say she was a guarantee of quality. But she was good in Taken. Or, at least, Liam Neeson was good in hunting down the Eurotrash that kidnapped her, and that counts for something, right? Plus there’s the always-plausible “wrongfully convicted prisoner enlisted by the government to free the daughter of the President who’s being held captive on an outer-space prison” plotline, so it’s got that going for it, too. Ummmm…
C: Yeah. Tickets all around.
E: Kurt Russell stars with Melanie Lynskey and Marc Blucas in an inspirational football story.
C: With a name that conveys the gentle sensation of an inappropriate pat from a stranger.
M: Oh, my poor sports illiterate sisters.
E: Hello, sister! I know what a touchback is – and C didn’t say she didn’t, for that matter. But don’t let that stop you from lecturing us.
M: Thank you, I won’t! In football a touchback is when a kickoff or punt is downed in the end zone, allowing the receiving team to start the ensuing possession at the 20 yard line. In this instance, I think it’s a reference to the sci fi-ish aspect of the plot where the main character (not Russell or Blucas, who really needs to drop that “B” from his last name) has the opportunity somehow to go back in time 15 years to relive the last football game of his storied high school career. Look, I love football, sci fi, time travel fiction and all that stuff, but this seems weak even to me.
E: Michelle Yeoh takes on the role of Aung Yan Suu Kyi of Burma, with no kung fu involved.
C: This sounds like the kind of movie you put on your queue but keep moving down when it’s about to be sent to you.
M: Or don’t put on your queue at all.
E: I think that’d depend on the reviews in this case; but I agree with C, a movie about a Nobel Peace Prize winner feels more like the sort of thing you ought to see rather than something you feel like in the moment.
The Lucky One
E: Zac Efron romances a war widow and tries to pretend — with some success — that he’s a grown up.
M: While he’s actually been grown up since, what, the filming of High School Musical?
C: I think he was around 18 then, but he’s grown up now. I’m not sure this is how I’d have chosen to celebrate that fact, were I him.
Think Like A Man
E: Comedy based on a book written by Steve Harvey, featuring 4 interconnected love stories. Also stars (among others) Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut and Taraji P. Henson.
M: Stars from FlashForward, V and Person of Interest? It’s almost enough to ignore domestic abuser Chris Brown’s presence. Almost.
C: Almost? Not even close. To quote a friend: “Finally! A comedy about the differences between men and women! I can’t wait!”
E: Disney nature movie. Don’t know what it’s about, though.
M: Yeah, tough one to nail down.
E: Comedy about dogs and people in late middle age, starring Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest and Richard Jenkins.
C: Does a person die, or a dog die, or both?
M: C, maybe you’re confused. The Lucky Ones is the one based on a Nicholas Sparks novel, not this.
E: How is there a John Cusack movie coming out so soon that I’ve never heard of?
C: I’ve heard about it! And you have too!
M: We talked about it back when we were reviewing promising-looking pilots, because of the Poe pilot. And because, you know, Hollywood does everything in twos. This looks slick, and could be worth seeing, but Poe’s stories always creeped me out too much.
E: That’s true, we did talk about this, and I find Poe very unsettling as well. So, I don’t know.
C: I’m waiting for the reviews to tell me whether this skews more toward suspense/mystery or horror, but if it’s suspense I’m so there. I love the milieu and I love John Cusack and I’m a sucker for the “writer turns detective” idea, as our readers have reason to know…
E: Just a guess, but with Jason Statham and Chris Sarandon involved? I’m thinking the title is ironic.
M: I’ve liked each of them in exactly one thing I’ve seen them in, The Italian Job for Statham and Princess Bride for Sarandon. So, yeah, may not be the safest bet.
C: Unless, like The Italian Job, it’s about an actual safe…
M: Now you’re talking. Alas, I have little hope that this will bear y resemblance to The Italian Job.
The Five-Year Engagement
M: I saw the trailer for this a couple months ago. I don’t know if it will actually work out, but I liked the looks of it. And the leads?
E: Emily Blunt and Jason Segal? Could there be a more appealing couple at the center of this rom-com?
C: Not that I can imagine. But to academics I live among, the premise of the enforced separation, extended and re-extended, will be more than a bit familiar and could make for bittersweet viewing…
Pirates! Band of Misfits
E: I love Aardman Entertainments films, but I have to admit, for some reason, this pirate tale doesn’t look all that thrilling to me.
M: Oh, I think it looks like fun! Especially the parrot.
C: Are you nuts, E? How could British claymation pirates who are bad at being pirates not be fun?
E: It’s a winning premise, but the trailer doesn’t make me laugh. It just doesn’t.
M: So, the trailer is to you what the entire series of Glee is to C and me? Ok, I suppose I can let that go.
E: This is an indie movie which I had to include because, really, what are the chances that there’d be two movies called The Raven and Raven released in the same weekend? Here’s the write-up from Rotten Tomatoes, in case you were looking for a laugh:
“Raven” chronicles the re-awakening of a seductive vampiress and the struggle of a lone vampire hunter who must overcome his desire for her in order to destroy her.
C: I think I saw that one when I walked by the Paranormal Romance section of the bookstore…
Dorothy of Oz
E: Animated Wizard of Oz “update” (oh dear) featuring the voices of Kelsey Grammar, Dan Akroyd, Jim Belushi and Glee‘s Lea Michelle.
C: Oz has spawned dozens of iterations and though many are dreadful, several are very fun. I won’t write this off until I hear some feedback on it. I mean, Patrick Stewart does a voice! It could be awesome.
M: You know what I’m hoping someone makes? A re-imagining of it where instead of some LSD-inspired land of flying evil monkies, yellow brick roads and (in all likelihood mistreated) little people, Oz is *actually* Australia. You could have an all-star Aussie cast, with John Noble as the wizard, maybe Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts as the witches (wicked and good, respectively). Dorothy could be someone like Emily DeRavin from LOST, or even little Bindy Irwin if you wanted younger. You could have people like Geoffrey Rush as the Cowardly Lion, Hugh Jackman as the Scarecrow (can’t you picture him singing “If I only had a brain”?), and Guy Pearce as the Tin Man. Maybe throw the likes of Simon Baker, Hugo Weaving, Anna Torv, the Hemsworth brothers, and of course Cate Blanchette in there somewhere. Ooooh, and Toto could be played by a wallaby instead of a little dog! Come on, who’s with me?
C: (polite cough)
E: Dude. You have way too much time on your hands.
E: What it all adds up to? I’m saving my money for May. Unless I see The Hunger Games again, that is. Who’s with me?
M: I am, since we’ll likely be taking your niece to see it. Outside of that, I’ll be waiting for the summer movie season, when the likes of Prometheus, The Dark Knight Rises and Avengers come out. Or for December when the first of the two Hobbit movies finally hits theaters!
C: Are you saying April is the cruelest month? I’d have to disagree — I’m holding out hope for The Raven, at least.