March is for Meh: March 2015 Movie Preview

E: So, M, what was it that you were saying about a sea change in the studio release schedule?  Let’s look at all March’s amazing offerings. Oh, wait.

M: Okay, look, the schedule for March was already lined up when American Sniper went and busted the block. Another plus, the February box office was up almost 10% over last year.

E: And considering the weather, which has been slamming the North East and dropping actual snow in the South, that’s pretty impressive.

C: People need some comfort! Plus, they can’t even use the sidewalks, and malls are one of the only places left in New England where you can park. But yeah, more good movies year round would be a good thing.

M: I’m still hopeful we don’t get as many months like this in future years.

March 6th

Chappie

M: So, remember the movie about the robot with artificial intelligence that the creators think is a brilliant, smashing idea but the bigots of the world are scared by and want to destroy? Well, this is the big budget Australian version of it.

E: Oh, M.  South African.  It’s South African.  It’s a Neill Blomkamp movie — the writer/director of District 9, remember?  With the same star, Sharlto Copley?  Only this time he’s a formerly evil police robot reprogrammed to be able to learn, so  you don’t actually see him.  This is actually a pretty big budget movie for March.

C: One that’s getting only mediocre reviews, though.

M: In my defense, I’ve never actually seen District 9, and Hugh Jackman’s presence and the chick that looks like the girl from the Matrix threw me off. Anyway, the aforementioned creator names the robot Chappie, and tries to teach it to be, well, human. The corrupt, jaded military dude with a mullet, played angrily by a mulletted Jackman, does everything he can to kill it. Who will succeed, and what will Chappie do in his own defense? Only seeing the movie will tell, so you, are dear readers, are charged with telling us, because I doubt any of us will go see this.

E: I quite liked District 9, and you should see it, but yes, I doubt I’ll make it out to see this unless the word of mouth is amazing.  The trailer looks pretty messy; it doesn’t give me a strong sense of the film.

C: It just seems like a rehash of all the other “put down those pitchforks, extraterrestrial/monster/robot is really a good guy!” stories.

Merchants of Doubt

M: A “documentary” presenting a left-wing opinion as if it’s fact, that has won awards at film festivals. NO WAY!

E: Oh, M.  For those who’re interested, this is a series of interviews with paid consultants who go on talk shows and testify to congress about various scientific subjects in which they have no training, all to make the public think that there’s no such thing as global warming, or that pesticides are really safe.

M: None of whom I’ve ever seen or heard of, while I have seen plenty of REAL science that contradicts the “consensus” on global warming, while also seeing all kids of scandals about made up and fudged data supporting that “consensus.” How about we don’t let either side try to intimidate the other, let the science stand for itself, and stop trying to sway public opinion (read: money) with propaganda pieces like this?

E: Yeah, I don’t think anyone wants to hear the two of us fight about this, least of all me.

C: And what would be the point? Our readers surely have decided before now whether they agree with M or think he’s an otherwise-loveable right-wing conspiracy nut.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

E: Every time I turn on PBS these days, I see a commercial for this movie.

M: Isn’t the point of PBS that there are no commercials?

E: Not that I disagree, but you’re a good fifteen years late with that outrage.  Now there are commercials between shows, not during them. And yeah, it’s lame.

M: OK, I’ll come up to present day. For the love of God, in the days of DVR, why are you watching commercials that are in between shows? For that matter, why are you watching shows when they are actually on? Who has time for that?

E: I didn’t actually say that I watched the commercials; I said I saw them.

C: That is a weird distinction. But I don’t find it all that odd that E is watching movie previews, personally!

E: Now.  I won’t be running out to the theater, but it looks just as pretty and sentimental as the first, the same riot of color and the same romantic/sweet/horny old people vibe.

M: You’ll have to excuse me for not being excited by the “horny old people vibe.”

E: Oh, whatever.  Maybe there’s a better word?  Love-lorn? Saucy? It wasn’t icky.

M: Silly me, thinking “horny old people” might be icky.

C: I’d rather watch a romance starring Judi Dench than Megan Fox. I find Bill Nighy far more compelling than Channing Tatum. I don’t have to feel sexual urges toward an actor to be interested in the story they’re telling. So, you’ve got a cast of damn good actors who also happen to be old people? Yup, I’ll watch that.

These Final Hours

E: If you had twelve hours until the end of the world, what would you do with them?  This Australian apocalyptic drama attempts to answer that question.

M: Like Chappie, this isn’t the most original concept. However, unlike Chappie, I don’t feel like I’ve seen this specific version of it before. Oddly, IMDb lists this as being from 2013.

E: Wait, you feel like you’ve seen the exact movie of Chappie before? Huh.  I don’t.

C: I don’t know that I’ve seen a “few hours till the end of the world” movie (where they weren’t desperately trying to save the world) either.

E: My best guess from the information available is that this movie opened last summer in Australia, and was either so popular, so good, or both that someone decided to give it a theatrical run here.  Since we don’t get a lot of Australian films in America (which is weird when you think about it), this bodes well for the film as a whole.  Maybe some of our Australian readers can let us know if this guess is on target.

M: Agreed, that would be a good development. We aren’t the only country that makes good movies.

C: We’re just one of the few that can’t understand anybody else’s accents.

E: So, the actual plot of this one: a young man named James, on his way to join his girlfriend at an epic rave that’s meant to usher in the literal end of the world, sees a young girl being kidnapped.  Instead of driving by, he rescues her, and begins a journey to reunite her with her family.

M: The trailer asks the question where do you want to be for the end of the world, which is well worth asking. If there was some cataclysmic event that was about to wipe out all human life, what would you do? Would it bring out the best or the worst in you? Would you be at peace?

C: Would you kidnap someone, when you wouldn’t even have time to spend the reward?

E: It didn’t look like that kind of kidnapping.  More like “I want to spend my last hours torturing and murdering someone.”  Clearly the sort of person in whom the last day scenario brings out the worst.  Fairly horrifying to think that there are people feeling like that’s the one thing they’ve been missing in life.

C: These are the big questions in life to ponder.

Unfinished Business

E: Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson join forces as a small start up.

C: One of these things is not like the other… And by the way, to continue my point from above, Tom Wilkinson would definitely be the draw here.

E: Also starring James Marsden as their soon-to-be biggest client, and Sienna Miller as their icy, soulless competition.

M: Vaughn, in what appears to be the Vaughn wheelhouse of comedic semi-success story, starts his own business after being told he’s replaceable by former boss Miller. He’s about to land his first really big deal, and takes his two employees, one too old (Wilkerson) and one too young (Franco), to shake on it. However, Miller shows up, and then, as best I can tell, the script writer decided to have Old School happen.

E: Which is totally unexciting to me.

M: I passed on free tickets to a sneak preview of this, if that lets you know how excited I feel about it.

E: Glad I’m not alone.

M: However, then there’s this funny bit of unconventional marketing, which anyone who’s ever tried to find a stock image for a presentation will find spot on hilarious.

C: Ha! Okay, those are pretty great.

March 13th

3 Hearts

M: A heartwarming French tale of a man who falls in love, at separate times at first, but then overlapping, with two sisters. Ahhh… the French.

E: Yeah, they’re so charming, the French.

C: They make romances like no other. Because no other country agrees with them on what stories count as “romantic.”

E: To clarify — there’s a sort of mystical, very French meet cute involving a missed train, cigarettes, and wet cobblestone streets at night.  Perhaps this is all set before cell phones, because the two arrange to meet again in a park, and then there’s an accident of some sort and they don’t meet up and they have no way of knowing how to reach each other again (my kingdom for a cell phone! or a phone book!), and how’s he to know that the next woman he falls for is the first woman’s sister?

C: Okay, I guess we do also agree that cobblestone streets are romantic. But that’s it.

Cinderella

E: Is anyone else as surprised as I am to see this at 100% fresh rating?

M: As a general concept, I’m surprised at anything getting unanimous support or scorn. Heck, even the greatest baseball players of all time had people that didn’t vote for them for the Hall of Fame.

C: 94% as of this writing, and Rotten Tomatoes hasn’t collected enough reviews for a “critical consensus” yet. I think that 100% was just a fluke of a much-too-small sample size.

M: That said, I’m not AT ALL surprised by this receiving tons of love.

E: Really?  I like the fairy tale as much as the next person, but the trailer doesn’t look that impressive to me.

C: Me neither, and I really wanted to like it. But from the trailer, just looks like Ever After without the “in an actual historical time and place!” premise, or anything else to make this a unique, fresh, or interesting take on one of the world’s most retold tales.

E: Kenneth Branagh: lo how the mighty have fallen!  Now, I don’t say that because he’s traded Shakespeare and film noir for superheroes and fairytales, because I like all four of those things, but because this just seems flat to me, unimaginatively faithful to the Disney animated feature.  Is there even a minute of true magic in that trailer?  If you can’t do better than the good-but-not-great reimagining Ever After, then why are you trying?

M: Do you really need to ask that?

E: No. It’s for the money, clearly.  Duh.  It’s not really a question.  It looks like a soulless, annoying money-grab to me without any artistic merit at all.  Maybe what I mean is that if that’s all they’ve got, why should I give my money to them?

C: Yes, that’s the real question. Perhaps it has more charm than the trailer suggests, though, like Paddington.

M: Yeah, E, are you judging that based on trailers, or on the words of those who have seen it? You are usually much more inclined to listen to critics than I am, so you’re baffling me here.

E: Well, I haven’t read a lot of those early positive reviews, it’s true.  I’m basing it on the trailer, which other than Helen Bonham Carter’s Fairy Godmother looks boringly by the book.  It doesn’t look like they’re trying to do anything nuanced or new except pretend that damn dress is bright blue, which annoys me to no end.

M: Really, it seems like you’re just annoyed at the idea of this, not what they actually made.

E: I’m definitely annoyed by both.

M: I think it looks visually stunning, and the cast is certainly spot on.

E: If you say so!

M: I do. I know everything.

C: I’m not annoyed by the idea at all. I’m really excited about the live-action Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, so I’d like this to be good as a promise that that might be, too. It’s just a philosophical thing: is it enough of a change to tell the same story in live action/CGI that you already told in a cartoon? Or should you be clever? I feel like they’ll make money either way, but they should be aiming to make classics, and for that they should try to be clever.

E: Either way, I’m pretty sure my girls want to see it, so I’m going to hope for the best.  Heck, after all that vitriol, I ended up seeing and enjoying Paddington; I’m willing to look past my first impression.

The Cobbler

E: Interesting.  Interesting.  Adam Sandler stars as the depressed titular cobbler who finds a magical sewing machine at the back of his shop and realizes that — stay with me here — when he works on someone’s shoes with it, he can step into them and become that person. Except women.  Then he looks like a man in drag.  Which is jarring, unless that person was actually a drag queen; I can’t tell from the trailer.

C: I think that may be just because the world for some reason likes seeing Adam Sandler dress as a woman.

M: Oddly, the trailer that I linked to and watched didn’t have him turn into a woman. It did have him change into someone who was dead and decomposing, which made for two funny scenes, though.

E: We so did not see the same trailer.

M: Not that that’s shocking, most movies have around 42 trailers these days.

E: The trailer I saw gives mostly a sad, sweet folktale tone, plus some shenanigans with criminals and also a gross, almost hook-up with the model next door.

M: Yeah, the model part was really creepy-sketchy, and clearly a bit of Sandler’s usual sophomoric tastes making its way in. However, it looks to have a bit of a Love Bug-esque “stop the corrupt people from tearing down the neighborhood” story line that Sandler stumbles into, and uses his, ah, unique abilities, to gather information about.

E: Huh.  My trailer did not show that bit at all, though there was a lengthy bit with Sandler’s dead father (played by Dustin Hoffman).  How many plots does this movie have?

C: Enough that I’m totally lost.

M: It’ll probably be lousy, but I’m hopeful. It’s certainly more interesting than another Grown Ups movie.

E: Yeah, I think it’s actually a terrific concept.  It’s just the execution that’s worrying.

Run All Night

M: Liam Neeson. Ed Harris. Old friends. Trying to kill each other. Fun stuff!

E: Oh yes.  Sign me up.

M: Really?

E: No, not really. But you knew that.

M: I did.  I keep telling you, I know everything. I also know this: the basic set up is that Neeson, in full-on Taken persona, killed Harris’ son… because Harris’ son was about to kill Neeson’s. Now Harris, in full-on Taken copy-cat persona, is coming after Neeson and his son with everything he has.

E: Because of course he is.

M: It looks slickly made, the trailer is slick, the old dudes have the badass persona down, the stakes feel real. My guess, though? This is in March for a reason.

E: Because consistently taking an eye for an eye made the whole creative team involved in this movie blind?

Cymbeline

E: Shakespeare gets the contemporary noir treatment in this version of one of his least known, and most bloody, plays.  A excellent cast lines up to squint into the sun and die: Ethan Hawke, Ed Harris, John Leguizamo, Dakota Johnson, Mila Jojovich.

C: Ed Harris has two movies coming out in the same week? Have we entered some sort of alternate timeline?

M: Possibly. The trailer calls this a mashup between Sons of Anarchy and Game of Thrones. I know they meant that as a compliment, but, well, it’s not. And while the mixture of the SOA look and feel and the occasional lines of Shakespeare’s prose sounds cool in the trailer, I wonder if it’ll work when stretched out over 97 minutes.

E: I agree that it looks and sounds cool, but it’s a minor play for a reason.  Still, it might be worth renting.  Maybe I’ll do a double feature with the Ralph Fiennes version of the other minor Shakespearean tragedy, Coriolanus.

C: And I’ll skip, because I quite dislike this play.

Eva

E: Super cool looking Spanish sci fi flick about a robotics engineer, played by Daniel Bruhl, who returns to his hometown after ten years away to find his brother married to his sweetheart.   Do they not have phones or email in this near future?  Anyway, he’s also unaware of the existence of his niece, who looks to be about 12, and is almost certainly a robot.

C: Wait–she’s–huh? Is this some kind of Caprica scenario?

M: So, in 3 Hearts we have a “romantic” French film about a man who falls in love with two sisters. In Eva we have a dark Spanish tale about a woman who falls in love with two brothers. Is it fair to dive into stereotypes and say that this, with a dash of the ever-present fear of the artificial intelligence apocalypse, embodies the difference between the Iberians and their neighbors to the north?

E: Much as you’re always ready to slam the French, I don’t know if any of us know enough about Spanish film history to say that definitively.

M: I was more speaking of the stereotypical views of the countries themselves, as opposed to their cinema, but whatever.

It Follows

E: Here we have the rare horror movie that gets great reviews. The reviews keep highlighting originality: girl hooks up with boy who’s haunted by a mysterious something that might kill her. The only way she can get rid of it, he tells her, is to pass it on to someone else.

C: Through… sexytimes? That does not seem nice.

M: The start of the trailer reminded me of that awful Super Bowl commercial with the dead kid. The main girl here is narrating about how she used to dream about going on dates, driving down pretty roads, and so on. I expected her to end it with “But I can’t… because I’m dead.”

E: I shouldn’t laugh, but you’re totally right.

M: I think when it comes to horror films and horrible commercials, it’s better if we can laugh. But let’s get back to the movie.

E: I wonder if the movie actually treats the philosophical premise: what your moral responsibility for dooming someone else is.

C: Is that a question? I’m pretty sure that ethical systems exist specifically to prevent people from dooming others in order to help themselves.

M: What I was wondering for most of the trailer was if it was going to all end up being fake, it’s all just a guy messing with her head, and there is no mythical evil thing that “follows.” That wouldn’t be a bad twist for a horror movie.

E: It’d be different, anyway.

March 20th

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

E: M, why don’t you take this one?  All I’ve got is hate for the way they’ve configured the title.

M: Couldn’t agree with you more about the title. But I can pile on top of that. In the entire trailer there is ONE thing that looks or sounds like it comes from the book. Nothing else looks familiar at all. If I saw the trailer for this not knowing what the title was, I’d be wondering why someone made some random movie with most of the people from Divergent. So strange.

C: That’s a pretty far cry from the way the otherwise-similar Hunger Games movies have played out.

M: And actually, I liked this book series, especially in the end, more than the Hunger Games books.

E: Wait, you liked the end?  I read Divergent, didn’t love it, and got spoiled for the end.  Most people I know who’ve read it had issues.  Not that we should be talking about the final book now, that is.

M: We shouldn’t, but since it looks like the movie series will only be very loosely based on the books, I think we can at least mention it vaguely. They have a lot of similarities, and make many of the same mistakes. I didn’t so much “like” the end, as I found it riveting and found myself emotionally invested in it. The difference for me was that as the Hunger Games went on I cared less and less. Divergent made me care. So between the two, I’d want this one to be more faithful to the source material. Yet it’s taken way more liberties. Odd.

E: So, are you and your oldest going to see this the way you saw the last one?

M: Mabye not, because the trailer has turned us off, but we’ll see. Have we mentioned yet that Naomi Watts is playing Theo James’ mom?

E: I guess it’s feasible for the character’s age, if he’d been born when she was a teen.  It’s not as ridiculous as 30-year-old James playing an 18-year-old character.

Do You Believe

E: Looks to be an Altman-esque connected anthology flick about people at different stages in their faith journeys, produced by the team that made God’s Not Dead and starring Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Ted McGinley, Cybil Shepherd, Lee Majors and Spy Kids’ Alexa Vega, who now goes by her married name, Alexa PenaVega.

C: That’s… curious.

M: I will likely see this, and think it could be interesting. However, the thing that my mind gravitates to with this is what has led up to it. For several years now there has been a progression in overtly-Christian movie making. If you go back 15 years, you had Kirk Cameron making what, at the time, was big-budget Christian films with the Left Behind series. They were not well funded, written or acted, but they were a foray. Fast forward to the late 2000’s and you started to really see a more concerted push. Films like Fireproof and Courageous opened the door to self-financing movies that were at least decent. Soul Surfer brought big name Christian actors into the mix, and some legitimate respect (that is a very good movie, btw).

C: I cannot imagine watching a movie with that title, but go on.

M: Last year saw three “mid-major” theatrical releases, Son of God, God’s Not Dead (from the same team that made this one) and Heaven is for Real, as well as the Nic Cage remake of Left Behind). Now comes Do You Believe, with the best cast yet, the biggest budget yet, and a wide theatrical release. It’ll be very interesting to see how it does, and what might follow if it does well.

E: Let’s not forget I’m in Love with a Church Girl.

M: And a few other small, yet successful productions.

E: Most of these movies are still not as good as I’d like them to be, but I feel that way about pretty much everything.

C: There’s an extreme hammyness to the acting quality in many of these that suggests that part of the problem may in fact be on the producing and especially the directing end. The people making these films may have a spiritual vision but not an artistic one, or they’d get better performances even out of B-listers.

E: Like you said, though, M, they’re getting better.  Why shouldn’t there be good Christian movies?

M: There should, and the increasing quality, star power and studio/distributor backing is why I think there could be. If this is a legitimately good movie, that will mean a lot. However, did I mention that the cast also includes Brian Bosworth? This is a long way from 1991’s Stone Cold!

The Gunman

E: Here’s a new idea.  Sean Penn plays a special forces operative who has to clear his name and recover from PTSD before he can reconnect with a long-lost love.  Gee, I’ve never seen that kind of story before.

C: Ha! I was recently complaining to a friend about precisely this story trope, where the woman serves as a motivating plot device (and never, by any means, a three-dimensional character).

M: Actually, based on the trailer I linked to, I think it’s even less original than what E outlined. Penn’s a black ops hitman, Javier Bardem his boss and former partner. Penn sours on what they’re doing just as the operation is being shut down. He threatens to expose everything, they kidnap his girlfriend and try to kill him. He, I assume, takes them down and saves the girl. Yawn.

E: Double yawn.  Worse, it looks very puffed up to me — it takes itself quite seriously for an action movie, which makes it even less fun.

Danny Collins

E: Al Pacino stars as a 1970’s rock icon whose discovery of a 40-year-old letter leads him to completely change his wastrel life. He’s going for a Keith Richards/Steven Tyler look, and achieves it; whether that’s a good thing is another story altogether.

M: I think it’s not supposed to be a good thing. It gets made fun of in the trailer, which was funny. Looks like the letter causes him to look back and realize the mistakes he’s made, and that despite his success and fame, he hasn’t done what he’s wanted to with his life.

E: He tries to make amends to the grown son (Bobby Cannavale) he never knew, and establish a relationship with his daughter-in-law (Jennifer Garner) and his adorable granddaughter.  He wants to write actual songs again, and he woos Annette Bening, the straight-arrow manager of the hotel where he’s taken up residence.

M: Or at least tries to woo her, and gets repeatedly shot down. Though, I assume in the end he will succeed. Also, Christopher Plummer (yay!) supports as his friend and confidante.

E: I was thinking he might be his manager, but yes, loved Plummer, and really loved Bening.  The promotional materials say this is based on a true story.  Whose, you ask?  The super-well-known Steve Tilston.

M: Oh, Steve Tilston. Right.

Zombeavers

E: With a name like that, how could I not include it on our list?

C: You have chosen–wisely!

M: And with lines like “We can’t turn on each other right now. That’s exactly what the beavers would want” and the tagline “They’ll dam you to hell” how can we not make fun of it?

E: The filmmakers are aiming for Sharknado style campy fun — college kids staying at a remote cabin in the woods, atrocious animatronic undead beavers, lots of terrible anatomy jokes.  I think it might be too bad to be an actual camp classic, but it’s going for broke.

C: Too bad to be a camp classic? Is there such a thing?

M: I think it’s got a shot. Want another “great” line from the trailer? One of the college girls tells the local outdoorsman they’re looking for beavers, to which he replies “ain’t we all.” I think that gives you enough to go on.

E: I feel like people were so into Sharknado because everyone watched it at the same time and ranked on it over social media.  Without that group viewing aspect, could this film gain that much traction? I’ll be very curious to see the numbers.

March 27th

Get Hard

C: Oh, lovely title. That’s class, that is.

E: Will Ferrell has it all — but then gets convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to 10 years in jail.  Because he’s a thoughtless bigot, he (incorrectly) assumes that his black mechanic — the pint-sized Kevin Hart — is an ex-convict, and pays him for a course in prison survival.  Wackiness and male bonding ensues.

M: I’m so glad Kevin Hart was able to find work. It’s been so long since he’s been in anything. Oh, wait…

E: Prison consultants are apparently a real thing, by the way.  Too bad The Good Wife got there first.

M: Yeah, I’m not sure that this horrendous looking attempt at a comedy will have much audience overlap with TGW.

E: Nope, but I’m sure it will treat the subject with just as much nuance and class.  I could see this making some money, though not any of mine.  I’m not a big buddy comedy fan.  I will say, though, that gargantuan Ferrell and itty bitty Hart make an amusing looking duo, especially when Ferrell’s carrying Hart around on his shoulders.

C: How much time do they have to buddy around before Ferrell goes to prison? This seems strange to me.

Home

E: This looks pretty darn cute.

M: What? Ugh.

E: It does!  I’m sure a lot of that has to do with Jim Parsons, who voices an alien named O, looking for a new home, making friends with a sassy young tween girl named Tip.  Which, sadly, is short for Gratuity.

C: What?!?

M: I love Parsons, as you know, but this just looks like dreck to me. O (named that way because everyone says “ooohhh” — like “ugh” — when they see him) has made a lot of mistakes. Like, you know, blowing up multiple planets. No biggie. So he’s hiding on Earth, and learning how humans act.

C: Okay, so far we have the premise of Lilo & Stitch

E: The Boove — the alien species trooping around the universe, are truly adorable, what with the changing colors and the tentacles.  How can you not like a species called The Boove?  The whole thing looks bright and cheery and fun to me.

M: We are clearly not on the same page. Though, O’s comment when Tip’s cat starts purrring on him (“NOW IT’S VIBRATING!”) was pretty funny. I think aside from Sheldon-esque lines, this is going to be poor.

E: Yes, but seeing Sheldon as an alien is just so awesome, it might be enough.

C: It seems like you could just watch The Big Bang Theory to see that. However, you definitely couldn’t watch that to see a female of color in a starring role, so Home does have another thing going for it.

The Riot Club 

E: Feel like hating on the 1%?  This is the movie for you. Ten insanely overprivileged posh white boys at Oxford lord it about, drinking and wenching, until they inevitably do something unforgivable and must face (or use their money and influence to weasel out of) the consequences.

M: Another highly original idea!

C: I’d rather hate on the 1% by not paying $12 out of my thinly-lined pockets to see their antics.

E:  Oh yes.  But see, here the young white men in question spend all their time wearing white tie and tails, which makes it all so much more entertaining than the thousand other times you’ve seen this story. While it looks odious and maddening, Anglophiles will find cast the cast of interest: Sam Clafin, Max Irons, Jessica Brown Findlay, Natalie Dormier, Douglas Booth, Harry Lloyd, Holliday Grainger and Tom Hollander.

C: Oh. Darn. Well, that’s disappointing. Couldn’t they all have been in a nice period piece instead?

Serena

E: Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, together again for the third time in as many years!  In this outing, directed by Susanne Bier instead of their old standby David O. Russell, they play a logging power couple. Suave Cooper chases the enchanting Serena down on horseback and proposes to her;  she may end up crossing lines to keep their business afloat in the Depression.  It looks beautiful, but also pretty stressful.

M: And nothing has changed in the last three years: she’s still too young for him.

C: Yep. She’s gotten older, yet somehow, so has he.

E: Much too young.  (I saw a really cute ad for another upcoming film in which Cooper romances Emma Stone.  Are they trying to make us ill?)  The supporting cast includes the fantastic British trio of Toby Jones, Blake Ritson and Rhys Ifans, the latter almost unrecognizable with dark hair.

C: Oo! All good!

While We’re Young

E: I can’t decide if I’m attracted to this hipster-iffic movie or if I need to run screaming from its potential for humiliation.

M: Oh, run screaming.  I know.  I know everything.

E: I hate to say it, but you may be right. Naomi Watts and Ben Stiller star as a couple entranced by a pair of Ben’s young film students, the ever-present Adam Driver and the perhaps not-present-enough Amanda Seyfried.  Because they feel like kids playing at adulthood, they’re invigorated and flattered to be hanging out with the much younger pair, a fascination which alarms their more age-similar friends.

M: Of course I’m right. I’m always right.

The White God

E: So you know how the hot style in YA fiction right now is alternating points of view?  Well, this Hungarian film does that — except the love story is between a girl and her dog.

C: Uh… come again?

E: The story’s much more complicated, and seems to flirt between a sort of grungy realism and a Planet of the Apes-style rebellion of mixed breed dogs who are hunted and fined (well, the owners are fined).  Coolest of all, there’s no CGI; it’s just real dogs.

M: Er, okay.  The Birds with dogs.

E: All told, it’s a fascinating-sounding adventure from the festival circuit.  If you’re looking for original, this might finally be your ticket.

C: Well folks, what do you think? Going out to the theater in March? And will it be to see something that came out in March, or a replay of Fifty Shades?

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5 comments on “March is for Meh: March 2015 Movie Preview

  1. Wow, so many movies! So little to tempt me. (Definitely feeling the “meh.”) However, I do want to thank you for bringing IT FOLLOWS to my attention. I’ll be looking out for that one.

    I saw a really cute ad for another upcoming film in which Cooper romances Emma Stone. Are they trying to make us ill?

    It can’t be worse than Colin Firth romancing Emma Stone in MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT. Gah, that was deeply unsettling, but not really a surprise considering the writer/director.

    • E says:

      I try to forget that Magic in the Moonlight exists! Everything about that movie looks wonderful except the casting. Even both of those leads with other people would have been lovely. Who gets behind a a what, 30 year age difference? Other than Woody Allen. I’m sure I can get over seeing Stone with Cooper, but I wish I didn’t have to. I thought those kind of age differences were gross when I was age of the girl, but now that I’m closer to the age of the leading man, it might be even ickier.

      If you see It Follows, I definitely want to hear about it! Very curious to know whether it’s as good as reported. There’s not much else to talk about with this month’s slate\, unfortunately.

    • E says:

      You know, the thing about Emma Stone with such age inappropriate guys is that she’s just so wonderful with Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spiderman. I know that movie wasn’t universally beloved, but their vibe was so adorable! After that, it’s hard to see her with Ed Norton and all the others.

  2. mitchteemley says:

    Particularly surprised/disappointed at the reviews for Chappie. Loved District 9 (though Elysium was just OK) and was looking forward to Chappie. Ah, well.

    • E says:

      Elysium definitely felt a bit sleepy, while District 9 was such a great jolt of energy! So yeah, it’s really disappointing that Chappie’s not connecting.

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