KYLE’S KAVE: March Movies
A Disney cartoon and a massive superhero movies being released in March marks some strange times for the movies.
A cop and a fugitive must team together to tackle a conspiracy that has made them both targets. Now this sounds like the plot to any number of action films and that’s what excites me most about Zootopia a non-Pixar film from Disney about life in a city populated by walking, talking animals. The cop is a bunny and the fugitive is a fox. Not sure what the conspiracy is because each time I read a plot synopsis it just says there is in fact a conspiracy. I figure it’s based around polluting. That’s a very PG conspiracy. The only trailer I’ve seen features the two leads trying to get information from the DMV but all of the DMV employees are literal sloths and the scene hilariously drags on. Funny for kids until they grow up and realize how awful a trip to the DMV really is.
With a poster featuring Big Ben on fire and a tattered Union Jack plus a tagline that reads ‘prepare for bloody hell’ you can see that London Has Fallen does not have subtlety high on its list of priorities. The sequel to the crazy violent Olympus Has Fallen brings back our heroic Secret Service agent Mike Banning, played again my Gerard Butler, who is accompanying the POTUS, played again my Aaron Eckhart, to the Prime Ministers funeral. While there Banning uncovers a plot to assassinate all world leaders attending so he takes the battle to the streets of London. The original was released before White House Down, the other Die Hard in the White House film but that one did not fare so well, even though it had Channing Tatum, Fallen was greenlit for a sequel where Down will not get a sequel even though I feel it is the more entertaining one. I’ll still have to see this one and, please fact check me, but I believe this to be the first sequel to a Die Hard wannabe to be released since Speed 2: Cruise Control. So that’s something.
The first movie my wife and I saw before we started dating was Cloverfield so I’ve got some sentiment towards it. It’s a small scale monster movie where a creature destroys New York and we the viewer follow T.J. Miller as he runs around with a camera with his friends and they try to stay alive. It doesn’t answer a lot of questions about the creature or its origins and it ends rather abruptly, but it’s pretty fun. Most thought it was a one and done horror adventure until a few weeks ago when a trailer appeared online. It featured a group of people in what appeared to be a bunker, the details were vague but there was a sense of danger and then the title reveal: 10 Cloverfield Lane and people were like whaaaaaaat?! Is this a sequel to Cloverfield? Well since this film was made in secret details are delightfully scarce and producer J.J. Abrams has only stated that it is a ‘blood relative’ and I have no idea what that could mean, but I have my theories.
I’ll wind up seeing any action comedy, the only question is whether I see it in theaters or not. I can make assumptions and I’ve been wrong before but a lousy trailer can really prevent me from spending money in a theater (besides tickets I’ll always end up getting popcorn and soda, I just can’t help it) and the trailer for The Brothers Grimsby is pretty lousy. Starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong as the titular brothers, Strong is a secret agent and Cohen is his hard partying football hooligan brother. Circumstances arise and the two must team together, it being a Cohen starring film there will undoubtedly be some gross out gags, here’s hoping the action helps balance out the lunacy.
I usually shy away from topical dramas at the theaters but Eye in the Sky is Alan Rickman’s last live action performance (he will voice the Caterpillar in Alice Through the Looking Glass) and features Helen Mirren in charge of military drone missions. The film focuses on her given a kill order on a terrorist target right as a child enters the blast zone. Yeah stuff like that is not for me, probably because I don’t really enjoy watching versions of sad reality put on screen but it is Rickman’s final performance so I will most likely end up seeing this eventually.
On the lighter side of wartime films we have Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, I could tell you what that means but it’s inappropriate, which is about real life reporter Kim Barker and her time on the ground as a journalist in Afghanistan and Pakistan. I can’t tell if this focuses on one big story or several small ones but I know that Margot Robbie and Martin Freeman are fellow reporters and Billy Bob Thornton plays a general. The book it’s based on is called The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan and apparently the real life Kim Barker always tried to maintain a sense of humor even while reporting on heavy topics.
The Divergent Series is another in a long line of young adult action series and Allegiant is the third. In a post Hunger Games world this seems to be the leading YA series out there. I saw the first one, it’s a serviceable action/sci-fi movie that, like most YA films features some young up and comers like Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller along with better known folks like Jeff Daniels and Naomi Watts. This third one has our heroes dealing with the Bureau of Genetic Welfare which sounds like a generic company out of any sci-fi action film, we’re a long way from Weyland/Yutani.
Jeff Nichols is quietly taking over the indie drama genre with actor Michael Shannon, the two have made 4 movies together (working on 5) and they all look good so I am jumping on this bandwagon so I can catch up with the previously released movies. Midnight Special is the fourth and features Shannon as a father on the run with his son after it is discovered that his son has strange and dangerous powers. People seem to take an interest in these powers and that’s never a good thing, especially if these powers are harnessed by a small child unaware of consequences. It sounds like I’m describing Looper and that’s not a bad thing. Smaller budget sci-fi thrillers made by directors with an appreciation for the genre usually yields good results.
I’m not sure why a film about exposing Lance Armstrong’s doping is called The Program, but it is. This is a sports story that I’m aware of so I guess it was a big deal, I’m usually unaware of matters involving sports. After journalist David Walsh (played by the usually hilarious Chris O’Dowd who probably has to turn it down here) suspects Armstrong (played by the usually intense Ben Foster who probably has to turn it up here) of using banned substances he begins a search for the truth that eventually lead to it being discovered that he had used performance enhancers to win the Tour de France several times. I don’t think that’s a spoiler, the tagline on the poster is ‘Champion Hero Legend Cheat.’
Tom Hiddelston has had an interesting career. He had some small roles, then appeared as Loki in Thor then stole the show as Loki in The Avengers which was no small feat. All the while rather than taking pay check jobs he’s been working with directors like Woody Allen, Jim Jarmusch and Guilmero Del Toro. He also has a few interesting films coming out this year, the first of which looks to be his first starring role where he will play country music legend Hank Williams in I Saw the Light. Will he be able to pull off the role? No idea, I just appreciate that he’s trying.
The word Dawn has been used in A LOT of movies titles: Red Dawn, From Dusk til Dawn, Dawn of the Dead, and Rescue Dawn. Then there’s several sequels with Dawn in the title: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, The Twilight Series: Breaking Dawn, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. In some cases it means the beginning of something, in some cases it literally means the morning and in the case of Dawn Treader, well, I have no idea. In the case of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the follow up to Man of Steel, it means that this is the beginning of The Justice League. Much like with Captain America: The First Avenger this is a standalone film that precedes a big team up movie bringing many characters from the comics together. One major difference is Marvel had several films leading up to their big team up while DC had Man of Steel and now this. This and the fact that it’s being released in March as opposed to Summer shows a lack of patience on their part but they are way behind Marvel as far as their filmographies so the time for solo adventures will have to come later. A promo poster for Dawn has the title and the two heroes, who are beloved by children everywhere, grimacing at each other with ‘#WhoWillWin’ at the bottom. It’s bizarre marketing because another trailer already showed when a bigger threat reveals itself and the two have to stop fighting and team up, which takes all significance out of the v in the title.
The State, Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, Stella, They Came Together, and now Hello, My Name Is Doris are all TV shows or movies (both in the case of Summer!) that Michael Showalter has been involved in as an actor and/or writer and/or director. Each of these is a spoof of something like a sketch show, or a summer movie or a romantic comedy but the movies are always self-aware, hilarious and poke fun at the genre while also using the genre to tell an entertaining story. This is why I am excited for Hello, My Name Is Doris starring Sally Field as a 60ish year old pursuing her younger co-worker Max Greenfield. Normally I would probably ignore something like this but it’s written and directed by Showalter so it has my attention.
Every time I check the March releases it seems they’re adding more and more but this is what I got so far, what are you interested in seeing?