Holy hell there’s a lot of movies out for a March. I hadn’t even heard of half of them myself, so there’s a lot of chaff in here, but some wheat too. Let’s dig in!
- A WRINKLE IN TIME – March 9, RealD3D, IMAX. The classic tale comes to life in the hands of Ava DuVernay, given a proper budget, the Disney machine, and OPRAH. It’s a pretty big deal. It looks fantastic, and in the wake of the monster success of BLACK PANTHER this should be almost as big a hit and a powerful statement for giving women of colour the chance to run with the ball.
- PACIFIC RIM UPRISING – March 23, RealD3D, IMAX. This one’s frustrating, since Del Toro isn’t behind the camera, but hey, John Boyega as the son of Stacker Pentacost? SOLD. Director Steven DeKnight is best known as a TV director and producer, but that includes DAREDEVIL and SPARTACUS so he’s got action chops. Travis Beacham isn’t involved either, but surprisingly the credited writers are Emily Carmichael and Kira Snyder, which is refreshing. Maybe this will be better than the trailer makes it look.
- READY PLAYER ONE – March 28, RealD3D. I’ll be honest, I kinda hate the source material. It’s a string of constant references to pop culture strung together with a WILLY WONKA knockoff story. Thanks to the power of corporate synergy, WB is able to grab real licensed characters to make things more, well, real. The one thing that keeps me interested is Steven friggin’ Spielberg. Never underestimate the master, and this is definitely in his wheelhouse. Hopefully he’ll make something great out of it.
- RED SPARROW – March 2, IMAX. Jennifer Lawrence is BLACK WIDOW. Basically. She’s been trained for seduction since childhood, and now it’s time to work. Reviews have been fairly positive, so it should deliver the goods. Plus, that bikini. Yowza.
- TOMB RAIDER – March 16, IMAX. Alicia Vikander won an Oscar for THE DANISH GIRL, so to celebrate she made a video game movie. *cough* This is based off the reboot game of the same name, right down to the outfit she’s wearing and the bandage on her arm. Norwegian director Roar Uthaug makes his english debut off the success of THE WAVE, a cool thriller about a tidal wave in a fjord. It looks like a perfectly cromulent actioner.
- UNSANE – March 23. Steven Soderbergh claimed he was retiring, but I guess he meant that more in an eventual way. This mental-ward thriller’s standout element is that it was shot entirely on an iPhone. Hey, it’s Soderbergh, he’ll make it work. Claire Foy from THE CROWN is the possibly crazy lady in question.
- THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT – March 9. It’s been ten years since THE STRANGERS turned out to be a modest horror hit, and the family’s back again for more shenanigans. If you like BOO scares, this should scratch that itch quite nicely, and it’s the only horror on the menu this month.
- GRINGO – March 9. One of the films I only just found out about, and I also discovered that Joel Edgerton’s brother is a stuntman AND a director. Joel’s here with Charlize Theron as owners of a pharmaceutical company that’s made a weed-pill which will change the game. They send their low-level employee (David Oyelowo) to deliver the formula in person but he’s kidnapped, and chaos abounds. Oh yeah, it’s a black comedy too. It all seems a bit much, especially when Sharlto Copley shows up as a crazy hitman, but it might be a fun night at the movies.
- THE HURRICANE HEIST – March 9. Oh lord. Rob Cohen made the first FAST AND THE FURIOUS and xXx, but this one’s closer to STEALTH if you get my drift. A robbery using a massive hurricane as a distraction, what could go wrong? Looks dumber than a bag of hammers, but it might be fun.
- LOVE, SIMON – March 16. Simon’s a high school boy in the closet, until he gets outed by a blogger. This one’s all over the map, kind of a dramatic romantic comedy without a romance. Could be a look into the teen psyche, or it could be insulting as hell. Being gay in high school isn’t like it used to be, but it’s still brutal to be outed against your will. Then he goes looking for his soul mate or something. Go Simon, I guess.
- TYLER PERRY’S ACRIMONY, A SERIOUS FILM NOT STARRING TYLER PERRY BUT STARRING TARAJI P HENSON SO YOU KNOW SHIT’S GETTING REAL – March 30. When a long-suffering housewife discovers her husband is having an affair, she basically goes off like a nuke. Tyler and Taraji made the insane I CAN DO BAD ALL BY MYSELF and this one looks like it’ll top it, but without Madea.
- MIDNIGHT SUN – March 23. Oh god another doomed teen romance. In this one, the girl is allergic to sunlight, and the boy is Patrick Schwarzenegger. I literally can’t even.
- I CAN ONLY IMAGINE – March 16. I guess the song that shares the title is a Christian megahit, and this tells the story of the songwriter. Turns out his dad (played by Dennis Quaid, wow) is a asshole that drove mom away and said he could never be a musician. Guess he showed him! Once he’s a big star dad decides he wants to be a better person. Also, Jesus. But dammit, I gotta admit I appreciate how darned earnest the whole thing is. They’re fully committed, and it’s a nice sentiment. So it’s not at the bottom.
- PAUL, APOSTLE OF CHRIST – March 23. Jim Caviezel is BACK BABY! Only he’s not Jesus this time, he’s Luke! He’s trying to find the disciple Paul so he can tell his story and bring the story of Jesus to the downtrodden. But oh no, those bad Romans want to kill the nascent Christians! I wonder how it turns out? At least these Christians have a legit persecution complex.
- SHERLOCK GNOMES – March 23. If you loved GNOMEO AND JULIET, you’re part of the problem. Regardless, I guess someone else listened because here’s the sequel! They’ve moved to a new garden, but shit happens and the gnomes are stolen so hey, Holmes sounds kind of like gnomes so what if we had them hire Sherlock to find them oh god my brain is melting out of my brain HEY ELTON JOHN SONGS WHOO
- DEATH WISH – March 2. This is probably the worst and best time for a male power fantasy where the only person who can get the job done is an old white man with a gun. It’s pretty reprehensible, which you’d expect from Eli Roth (HOSTEL). The whole film feels like an ad for the NRA. “Minorities are coming for your women! Protect them with Many Guns!”
- GOD’S NOT DEAD: A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS – March 30. Hey, remember those persecuted Christians I was talking about? These aren’t them. These are the ones that don’t really exist, but man do they act like it. A struggling pastor’s university-based church burns down under mysterious circumstances. The school wants those evil Christians off their property! It turns out that God has no place in our schools and their bible thumping days are over! But gosh darn it, the pastor just wants to get the word out on this Jesus fella! Can he overcome these godless liberals and bring Christ back to the world? In this universe, he sure can!
Man that’s a lot of movies. I mean, damn. April was looking thin until a certain film bumped up its release a week, but we’ll look at that in a few weeks. Go see BLACK PANTHER!