This January and February lived up to their dumping ground stigma. We saw a few satisfying films here and there, but we also saw A Good Day to Die Hard. Brian Salisbury gave that movie a whooping, and he, along with other critics, could have been much harder on John Moore’s bland nightmare of a movie. The good news about this March, though: no movies directed by John Moore.
Instead we’re seeing films from Park Chan-Wook, Sam Raimi, Derek Cianfrance, Harmony Korine, and Antoine Fuqua, directors a bit more trust-worthy. Even though Fuqua’s Olympus Has Fallen didn’t make the must-see list, it looks like a better Die Hard movie than the one we just endured.
Without anymore further mention of A Good Day to Die Hard (seriously, I think I’m hung up on it), here are the five films to check out this month:
Now in limited release.
Fear not, Park Chan-Wook’s english debut is as entertaining and imaginative as his previous best works. While the story is slimmer, Park and his cast, notably Matthew Goode, gloss over a few storytelling misgivings. Stoker is chalk-full of bombastic and subtle visuals, a true marvel in visual storytelling.
Two Movies That’ll Make Magic Cool Again
Opening March 8th and 15th
If any of you closeted magicians have been waiting for the right time to come out, this March may be your time to do so. We got Sam Raimi’s Oz the Great and Powerful and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. Magicians are finally hot again, and everyone’s going to want a piece of them after Oz and Burt Wonderstone. Both films have good buzz building and hopefully Oz provides the fantastical richness Jack the Giant Slayer seriously failed to deliver on.
Opens March 22nd
“Look at my shit!” a cornrolled, grilled out, cartoony James Franco shouts in the Spring Breakers red band trailer. If that doesn’t hook you, nothing else will. Spring Breakers reads as Harmony Korine‘s chance of breaking into the mainstream, but this doesn’t look like the film that’ll do it for him.
Does anyone, even Korine’s critics, want to see a conventional film from the man? I certainly don’t, especially if that means no James Franco donning grills.
The Place Beyond the Pines
Opens March 29th
Derek Cianfrance is rising fast as one of today’s most beloved independent voices. Blue Valentine introduced him as a writer and director with an extremely grounded voice and a cinematic eye to go with it. A rare combo. The Place Beyond the Pines allows Cianfrance to paint on a bigger canvas, spanning many years. Plus, everyone who has seen the film has had nothing but positive things to say.
Welcome to the Punch
Opens March 29th
The first ten minutes of Welcome to the Punch are terrific. The film begins with a clever chase scene between James McAvoy and Mark Strong, both making for a memorable pairing. What follows isn’t always as magnetic, but Eran Creevy‘s Welcome to the Punch is a stylish thriller with some striking moments.
Honorable Mentions: Olympus Has Fallen (Gerard Butler blows up the White House), Admission (Tina Fey + Paul Rudd), The End of Love (a compelling drama from Mark Webber), and Gimme the Loot (a festival favorite)
What March movies are you looking forward to the most?