March will likely be remembered more for this weekend’s Academy Awards presentation than any of the movies released this month, but we do appear to be coming out of a barren winter for movies. More than a handful of movies released this month are gathering attention and exciting fans. February was largely forgettable with more flops than successes. In February’s Flashforward we highlighted Robocop (a flop with 49% on Rotten Tomatoes), The Monuments Men (a flop with 34% on RT) and A Fantastic Fear of Everything (which has gone largely unnoticed and is lingering at 35%). Winter’s Tale, our least anticipated film of the month, is sitting at 13% and was the topic of my favorite film podcast “How Did This Get Made?” with Paul Scheer, Jason Mantzoukas and June Diane Raphael, featuring Andy Daly. The biggest failure of last month’s Flashforward was the glaring omission of The Lego Movie, which I actually saw (and loved), unlike all the actual Flashforward selections.
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Release Date: March 7, 2014
Director: Wes Anderson
Starring: Bill Murray, Ralph Fiennes, Angela Lansbury, Jude Law, Saoirse Ronan, Jeff Goldblum
Wes Anderson’s newest film features an impossibly long list of cast members, most of whom are eccentric in their own right. The trailer hints at predictably beautiful visuals delivered by Anderson and interesting characters in a strange, tangential plotline. Anderson has established himself as a more polarizing figure with obsessed and fist-pounding fans and an equal number of people who leave his films scratching their heads and vowing to never waste their time with his movies again. I haven’t seen too many of this films, but the loyalty and admiration of his fan base is reason enough for me to see this new film.
Release Date: March 14, 2014
Director: Roger Michell
Starring: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum (double appearance), Olly Alexander, Judith Davis
Likely not on the top of many people’s lists, Le Weekend stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as an English couple who travel to Paris to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. The pair hit the usual travelling mishaps but the film appears to be a very sweet story about the older couple’s love and marriage. The themes in the film come up time and time again but appear to be well used here.
Muppets: Most Wanted
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Director: James Bobin
Starring: Steve Whitmore, Eric Jacobson, Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Tom Hiddleston
Maybe I’m including this because I don’t want to miss on a kid’s movie like I did with The Lego Movie. Maybe it’s because I love Tina Fey and Ty Burrell. Either way this next installment of the Muppets film franchise features another long cast list, and familiar puppet faces. Unfortunately Jason Seigel is noticeably absent so the results may not be as spectacular as the last film.
Release Date: March 28, 2014
Director: Darren Aranofsky
Starring: Russell Crow, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Logan Lerma, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Connelly
This is the second appearance for both Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connely on FB/BS’s Least Anctipated Films of the Month, both earning a nod for Winter’s Tale. Some people are really excited for Noah. I don’t know… it looks pretty terrible. It looks like it wants to be both epic and visually stunning but I’m not sure the movie has strong enough legs to fulfill these aims. I’m afraid it will be more The Fountain than Gladiator. The cheesy one-liners will likely be overbearing and unneeded lessons of morality will probably litter the movie. Admittedly, I might see it just for Emma Watson.
Release Date: March 21, 2014
Director: Neil Burger
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Maggie Q, Zoe Kravitz, Ansel Elgort, Jai Courtney, Kate Winslet
Kate Winslet is making her second appearance here after Labor Day. It’s a little unfair to judge this movie when it clearly shooting for a young teen audience. Still, the cheesiness is out of control. The idea behind the movie is interesting but the dialogue looks awful and the trailer deals more with what looks like a love story than the sweet (not Le Week-end sweet but The Matrix and Fifth Element sweet), post-apocalyptic story I’d prefer. The movie is based on a book with similar target audiences as The Hunger Games, but the latter is much more mature, serious, and enjoyable. The opening of this trailer is very reminiscent of The Hunger Games. The main character asks “we’re you nervous for your test” (slash the reaping). And the government badguy says “the only way for our society to survive is for each of you to find your place” (slash the Hunger Games).
Thanks for reading!