(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)
So after all the Oscar buzz, we’re slowly inching back to blockbuster season. While March is still quite a slow month when it comes to big features, we’re getting quite a few big budget releases. Hooray!
First up is the vertigo-inducing thriller Sam Worthington in “Man on a Ledge” as well as Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “In the Land of Blood & Honey”. We’re pretty sure you’re curious to find out how Mrs. Brad Pitt is behind the camera. Is she as sizzling as she is in front of it?
It has been in the making for the last 70 years, and finally its out. Martian sci-fi epic “John Carter” is one movie that we’re madly anticipating. Why, you ask? The original comics have influenced almost every sci-fi movie there is. If there was no “John Carter”, there probably would never be “Star Wars” or even “Avatar”.
Fresh out of their franchise movie shells are Daniel Radcliffe and Robert Pattinson. One is starring in a horror classic, “The Woman in Black” while the other stars a manipulative Casanova in “Bel Ami”.
RPatz getting it on with Uma Thurman? This we got to see.
Speaking of movie franchises, if you’re suffering from those tween-franchise movie withdrawal (Read: Harry Potter, Twilight), there’s The Hunger Games.
Jennifer Lawrence running about in the forest, killing people? Yes please! And the sequels are already in the works.
Well, enough talk already. Let’s get on with our picks for March!
Week of March 1
The Stars: Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Kyra Sedgwick, Sam Worthington, Genesis Rodriguez
The Story: The man on the ledge is Nick Cassidy (Worthington), a former policeman jailed for stealing a diamond from a property tycoon (Harris). After escaping from prison, Cassidy checks into a high-rise hotel, climbs out of the window and threatens to jump. Cassidy demands to talk to officer Lydia Nercer (Banks), who was unsuccessful in her last negotiation with a suicidal cop, in order to form a large crowding the street below. This crowd acts as a distraction while illegal activities are taking place in a building nearby, where Joey (Bell) and Angie (Rodriguez) must find the diamond before the police discover Nick’s true identity and employ tactical response to capture him.
inSing.com says: If you’re into high altitude hi-jinks, look no further than “Man on a Ledge”. Nearly the entire film takes place within a very confined area of Manhattan and alternates between three points of view: with Cassidy on the ledge, following Joey and Angie’s progress, and listening in on the police--somewhat reminiscent 2003’s “Phone Booth” starring Colin Farell and the vertigo-inducing plot has also been compared to Tom Cruise’s recent adventures on the Burj Khalifa in “M:I 4”.
Also Opening: Catch Angelina Jolie’s directorial debut “In the Land of Blood and Honey”. Set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War in the ‘90s, this provocative new film follows a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who fall in love on the brink of the terrible armed conflict that tears their world apart. Also opening is sleeper hit “The Devil Inside”. This found footage horror movie follows Isabella Rossi as she reunites with her mother, Maria Rossi and searches for an exorcist that can free Maria of a long-running demon possession. Look out for the review of “The Devil Inside” in the coming episode of Film Flush soon.
Week of March 8
The Stars: Lynn Collins, Mark Strong, Taylor Kitsch, Thomas Haden Church, Willem Dafoe
The Story: Civil War veteran John Carter (Kitsch, “Friday Night Lights”) of Virginia seeks his fortune in Arizona only to find death in a lonely cave. However, he awakens on a new world with a new chance at life. Called "Barsoom" by its inhabitants, the planet we know as Mars is home to a group of dying civilizations struggling for survival in an environment that is slowly losing its atmosphere and water. John Carter galvanizes Barsoomian society and wins the heart of Barsoom's most beautiful princess.
inSing.com says: He may only now be getting a movie, but John Carter has influenced just about every sci-fi movie of the last 100 years. Created by Disney and Pixar, John Carter is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' (who also created Tarzan) pulp John Carter novels. The original story, "Under the Moons of Mars", was first published in 1912. Burroughs actually pitched the story to movie studios back in the 1931 but was put on the backburner ever since. Costing an epic US$250 million, “John Carter” is a huge “Lord of the Rings”-style marathon mash-up of CGI and live action. The movie is also the first live-action film from Andrew Stanton, the Oscar-winning director of “Wall-E”, and all the team was unanimous in their praise for his perfectionism and his attention to details; so you can expect some stunning visuals and imagery from this sci-fi epic. We even hear that Willem Dafoe who plays the four-armed Tars Tarkas was performance captured for his part. He even acted on stilts. Now that’s something we have to see.
Also Opening: Dr Seuss returns to the big screen with “The Lorax”. The original Dr. Seuss story pitted the wily recluse the Lorax vs the greedy Once-ler. The Once-ler wants to destroy the Trees for which the Lorax is a guardian and a defender. The Lorax book has been one of the most controversial books from Dr. Seuss, since it brings in a powerful message of conservation. This movie may reignite some of that controversy, but it still packs a large punch of family fun and humour that the children will love. Also releasing this week is Iranian film, “A Separation,” a film about the collapse of a Tehran couple's marriage that offers a broad view of the rifts of Iranian society.
Week of March 15
The Stars: Ciaran Hinds, Daniel Radcliffe, Liz White
The Story: Based on Susan Hill's 1983 thriller, "The Woman in Black" is about a menacing specter of darkness who haunts a small, coastal town in England. Radcliffe is the young lawyer (widower and father) who travels to this remote village to discover the secret of the vengeful ghost and those who get swept up in her revenge.
inSing.com says: By legendary British horror studio Hammer, “The Woman in Black” film stars Daniel Radcliffe in his first major film since Harry Potter. He ditches the Hogwarts wizard robes in favour of some period clothes. From the trailers, this movie looks to be a terrifying, spine-tingling, mystery and classic movie thriller. The story is set in the early 20th century, and both writer and director (James Watkins and Jane Goldman respectively) make great use of the period to create an old-fashioned ghost story that is heavy on spooky atmosphere and not without its fair share of chills and thrills (if a scary lady in black doesn’t give you nightmares, well… then perhaps a grown up and stubbled Radcliffe would?)
Also Opening: It looks like a slow week for movies as at press time only Taiwanese romance flick “The Soul of Bread” also hits theatres. The movie is about a love triangle between a handsome young baker and a local bread maker.
Week of March 22
The Stars: Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Lenny Kravitz, Liam Hemsworth, Stanley Tucci, Toby Jones, Woody Harrelson
The Story: The movie chronicles a dystopic Capitol which requires its twelve subjugated districts to pay tribute in the form of a teenage boy and girl, forced to participate in the annual “Hunger Games,” a fight-to-the-death live televised event.
inSing.com says: “The Hunger Games” may not have a high-profile director (Gary Ross, “Pleasantville”, “Seabiscuit”), but who needs more publicity when all eyes are already on this upcoming game of survival set in a dystopian future where the ruling government, the Capitol, selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television. And every year, all the districts and tributes submit to their fate, willingly or unwillingly, until headstrong Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match. Paired up with the baker’s boy who once helped her a long time ago, Katniss has no intention of letting the odds beat her as she fights to become the champion. As one of the few movies with a female lead and a soundtrack featuring songs by Taylor Swift, The Civil Wars, The Decemberists, Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire, as well as star Jennifer Lawrence singing "Rue's Lullaby", Suzanne Collins’ positively received novel trilogy is definitely one to anticipate this year.
Also Opening: Don’t let the name fool you but “Sleeping Beauty” isn’t about sleeping princesses. It is rather an Australian erotic drama starring Emily Browning (Sucker Punch) who acts as a young university student who becomes a strange kind of sex-worker. She is paid to fall into a drugged slumber while old fogeys do ‘funny’ stuff to her. Also in theatres this week is “Salmon Fishing In The Yemen”. It stars Ewan McGregor as a scientist with the unenviable task of introducing salmon fishing to the Highlands of Yemen.
Week of March 29
The Stars: Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, Sam Worthington
The Story: A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus (Worthington) – the demigod son of Zeus (Neeson) – is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Zeus has been kidnapped by Hades, and Perseus has to travel to the underworld to save him.
inSing.com says: After watching the trailer, we felt that this sequel (yes, there’s finally ‘TITANS’ in this one) stole the thunder from Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals”. Sporting brand new armour and a shaggy mullet, Worthington reprises the role of Perseus again. If you’re into these Greek myths and fantasies, you’ll definitely love this movie with its sword-slinging, horde of CGI monsters and titans that actually broke free and wreck chaos. “Wrath Of The Titans” also stars Edgar Ramirez as war god Ares, and Rosamund Pike as Andromeda, along with Toby Kebbell as Argenor and Bill Nighy as Hephaestus
Also Opening: After that ‘steamy’ ‘sex scene’ in “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1”, Robert Pattinson gets down and dirty with Christina Ricci and Uma Thurman in “Bel Ami”. The movie is based on the 1885 French novel of the same name by Guy de Maupassant and tells the story of a manipulative, social-climbing young man in 19th-century Paris.