Is March here to save us from theater-going woes? It would appear so on paper.
Article first published as Movie Preview: March 2011 on Blogcritics.
Now that the worst is hopefully finally over (cough February cough), are we finally closing in on the good stuff? Admittedly, January wasn’t a total bust, there was some fun to be had, and Sundance was a total blast as expected. However, I think February decided to make up for it. While the summer movie season doesn’t hit full tilt until May, there is still almost too much to look forward to in March, let alone April (so much so that we’ll have to get to that one in a few weeks).
It’s a busy day as we get a fix of aliens and period drama. Disney unleashes its latest dismal-looking Robert Zemeckis-produced motion capture flick, “Mars Needs Moms” which had me hopeful until I saw the trailer. Now all the fun has been sucked out of it by the endlessly lifeless humans and their inexpressive faces once again. It hasn’t worked before (“Polar Express,” “Beowulf,” and worstly “Disney's A Christmas Carol”) so go ahead, Zemeckis, prove me wrong! Meanwhile Jonathan Liebesman will try to prove us all right that the man can finally make a good movie with the less family friendly “Battle: Los Angeles.” Thankfully all of the trailers have made it look head and shoulders above his previous entries consisting of “Darkness Falls” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.” Here’s to hoping.
With the last name of Burger, let’s hope that director Neil Burger can bring something tasty to the table with “Limitless.” While the screenwriting duties of Leslie Dixon over the past ten years may make her seem out of place (“The Heartbreak Kid,” “Hairspray,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Freaky Friday,” and “Pay It Forward”), none of those films have been complete busts with more wins than losses. And seeing how Burger gave us “The Illusionist” (2006), underseen thanks to Christopher Nolan’s superior “The Prestige;” a story about an enhancement drug could be the right fix to bring his career to the forefront. Having Bradley Cooper, Abbie Cornish and Robert De Niro in front of the cameras hopefully help too, however, their hit to miss ratio have been more middling lately than most so we’ll just have to see.
While Matthew McConaughey tries to prove he can still act in a movie you’ve never heard of called “The Lincoln Lawyer,” the real winner of this weekend will undoubtedly befall upon yet another alien movie for sure. However, “Paul” happens to feature the awe inspiring conglomeration of director Greg Mottola (“Arrested Development,” “Superbad,” “Adventureland”), writers/stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (“Spaced,” “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz”), and a true slew of additional funny people: Seth Rogen (voicing the title alien), Jane Lynch, Sigourney Weaver, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Blythe Danner, Jeffrey Tambor and David Koechner; this film is primed to explode with hilarity.
Finally we get a weekend that seems to live up to the title of at least one of the films coming out. While absolutely no one saw this sequel coming, a second “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is headed our way. I know everyone has mortgage payments to make, but Steve Zahn, you’re better than this! So alas, along comes Zack Snyder to make up for the final 30 minutes that his “Owls of Ga’Hoole” turned into once it never recovered its blundering pop song montage blundering. Hot chicks kicking major ass and visual wonderment rears its head in a new blue screen extravaganza as Snyder gives us a cinematic “Sucker Punch.” Casting Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung and Carla Gugino to wear as little as possible while maneuvering through fight scenes has sold me since the first teaser arrived. Come male or female, if this film doesn’t entice you, you need to check your pulse. Throwing Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn into the mix can’t hurt things either.
With such a busy month we’ll all just have to wait to see what April will be throwing our way, but spoiler alert, summer may be arriving early, that is if Ghostface himself doesn’t kill us with scares and laughs first. Bet you can’t tell which movie I’m personally most excited for. So until then, I’ll be right back!
Photos courtesy Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures