It’s fairly easy to see that when you look back at February in the cinema, it was a pretty slow month with only a slim few worth getting yourself into a seat. I cannot exactly say that this month is going to be that much different, but I can say it is going to be much more epic with quite arguably the top release for the geek world hitting screens the last week of March. This is going to be a very varied mix of releases but that is something to look forward to, so let’s start off with one that isn’t actually that unusual.
Hail, Caesar! – 04/03
The newest offering from the Coen brothers, as usual with a whole host of famous faces including George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill and Frances McDormand. Set in the 1950’s, Brolin’s Eddie is brought in as our Hollywood fixer to find the missing leading man Baird Whitlock (Clooney) and of course I’m sure calamity will ensue, paired with some musical and dance numbers. The trailers make this one look like fun, and generally Joel and Ethan are reliable for good cinema, but there’s no telling how good just yet.
Check out the review here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/review-hail-caesar/
Truth – 04/03
With the second big journalistic film of the year, headed by Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford, telling the story of a 2004 60 minutes report investigating the then-President George W. Bush’s military service and the backlash that came with it, ending the careers of both producer and anchor. Supported by Topher Grace, Elizabeth Moss, Dennis Quaid and Stacy Keach, it’s well documented that stories of this type can make for fantastic films, but it all depends whether they can get that crucial hook into the audience, then pull you in for a fast paced and interesting story. Other than the basics it’s difficult to get a real grasp of what this film may be, with director James Vanderbilt giving us his debut and one and only directorial credit as of the moment; having previously worked as a writer on such films as Zodiac, The Losers, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 & 2 and White House down, it’s really anyone’s guess as to whether this will be a hit.
Anomalisa – 11/03
Co-directed by Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman and with a cast of only three (David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh & Tom Noonan) is this years stop-motion drama, and one of the nominations for Best Animated Feature Film at this years Academy Awards which in fact started out as a Kickstarter campaign. Kaufman has previously brought us the weird, yet wonderful worlds of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, this one being no exception; the story of a man trapped in a mundane life until he meets a woman who makes things more interesting, not altogether a new idea but it’s a story that has never before been told using puppets, and should be interesting to see how (and if) it works.
The Witch – 11/03
The tales of witch hunting and trials several hundred years ago are innumerable, a fear of anything other than the beliefs of the many which resulted in countless deaths and a whole host of things, the full extent of which we probably don’t want to know, but it’s the basis for the film, set in 1630s New England, a family is torn apart by witchcraft, black magic and possession following the disappearance of their newborn which turns suspicions to their daughter. With a fairly unknown cast (with the exception of Ralph Ineson, whose most likely more familiar to British fans) and coming from a first time feature director, it’s difficult to tell how this one will go but from the trailers and buzz that’s out there it looks to be the most terrifying and unnerving horror film you’ll see in a while.
High Rise – 18/03
Based on the novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard, set in 1970s London, a young doctor (Tom Hiddleston) takes up residence in a tower block, joining a community of high class injustices which will ultimately descend into chaos and violence. The latest project from Ben Wheatley and Amy Jump, also starring: Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss, James Purefoy and Keeley Hawes. Ballard’s work has a reputation for being particularly difficult to adapt but nonetheless here it is, from the trailers things are looking pretty crazy, but it’s unclear whether that’s a good thing. Whether Wheatley can step out of the shadows of the indie world and break towards the mainstream will become evident after this release.
The Boy – 18/03
First intended to be released last month, after a brief slide back a few weeks, it still figures into my list of what to watch because, quite simply, it intrigues me. Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead) plays an American nanny who takes a job looking after an elderly couple’s son, but when she arrives and finds that the boy is in fact a life-sized doll and is handed a list of rules to what she must do and not do, how much can possibly go wrong if she stops following the list? A lot probably, but the idea of a adults being terrorised by what is really a ventriloquist’s dummy sounds ridiculous and yet possibly still a little scary so it should be interesting whether they can hold that line and not stray into more silly territory.
10 Cloverfield Lane – 18/03
Intended as a possible follow up, but more likely set alongside the original, this time around the scene is much more intimate with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle who after crashing her car, wakes up in the basement of John Goodman’s Howard who claims to have saved her from a chemical attack that has left the outside world uninhabitable. The original did not fail at the box office but it was not the biggest of successes, yet has gathered itself a more cult following in the 8 years that have passed since its release. The film originally began under the title The Cellar, and it’s unclear how much the relation to Cloverfield was intended, added after the fact, or if it was simply another tactic of J.J. Abrams to keep it very much under wraps until the trailer, either way there’s plenty of fans out there that will be eager to see what it has to offer.
Check out the review here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/03/28/review-10-cloverfield-lane/
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice – 25/03
Now how much really needs to be said about this release? It’s the follow up to Man of Steel and our first feature with Ben Affleck as Batman and Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor as well as introducing us to Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman before her own feature. The expectations for this one are going to be high and with a running time of 151 minutes, it really needs to be as epic as advertised to keep the audience’s attention and the fans coming back for repeated screenings. Man of Steel gives the film a fairly strong foundation to build on, and with the story of Batman seeking to prevent Superman as a threat to his city and the world it gives us that interesting dynamic of hero vs hero that plenty are dying to see, quite possibly including myself, if all goes well this should be a major box office hit for the year.
Also out: The Choice (04/03), Time Out of Mind (04/03), The Other Side of the Door (04/03), Allegiant (11/03), Fifty Shades of Black (11/03), Kung Fu Panda 3 (11/03), Norm of the North (18/03), Risen (18/03), Rock the Kasbah (18/03), The Divergent Series: Allegiant (18/03) Disorder (25/03), My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (25/03), Zootropolis (25/03) reviewed here: https://filmcarnage.wordpress.com/2016/03/25/review-zootropolis/ Yellowbird (25/03)