March Magnificence: Spartans, Killers and a trip to the Sun

While the basketball world eagerly awaits their March Madness, the cinematic world is on the brink of its own special month. Though it seems that the world is not fully cognizant of what is about to occur, being caught up in the anticipation of one lone film, I think that March, 2007 will produce more good cinema than the entire year preceding it, and possibly more than any single year of this decade so far. March Magnificence is about to get under way.

On March 9th , the long awaited and much ballyhooed 300 opens. So far, Rotten Tomatoes has it all fresh, though only a few reviews are in. Directed by Zack Snyder, it tells the tale of the Battle of Thermopylae according to the vision of graphic novelist Frank Miller, filtered through the conception of the young and aforementioned director. After his surprisingly good Dawn of the Dead remake, I tagged Snyder as a filmmaker to keep an eye on. All early news is that 300 is far superior to his first film.

But though 300 has taken all the press, it could well be a March 2nd opener that proves the best of the month. For the first time in half a decade, the superlative David Fincher is back, bringing us Zodiac. Chronicling the real life story of the California killer from the late sixties and seventies, it too is all fresh at Rotten Tomatoes. From what I hear, this may be his best film (better than Fight Club?! Hmmm… that’s a tall order!). To what do we owe the honor of having these two reputedly wonderful films open with a week of each other? Is the god of cinema, so long angry, brooding and largely absent, once again on our side?

But it gets better. Danny Boyle, a director the equal of just about any in the business, is also set to bring us another fine tale, this one due on March 16th. Having delivered the greatest zombie movie of all time (28 Days Later) as well as several other very good movies, Mr. Boyle is delving back into science fiction with Sunshine. Worst case scenario: Sunshine is an entertaining flick and probably worth buying at some point. Best case scenario: it upsets 300 and Zodiac and takes the crown!

So let the basketball players dribble in their shorts. March Madness can’t hold a candle to March Magnificence. We’ve been through a bit of a drought, passing by the occasional oasis, and now we might just be on the outskirts of Canaan. Can I overstate the case any more?

My prediction for the three upcoming masterpieces-to-be? Bronze Medal to Sunshine, Silver Medal to 300, and Gold Medal to Zodiac. Here’s hoping there won’t be a let down.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Matthew is a graduate of THE Ohio State University. An occasionally truant student, he majored in Spanish when he finally got around to it. His interests, apart from movies, range from heavy metal and classical music to football, soccer, hockey, history, economics and obviously sex, a subject in which, like the Vicomte Sabastien de Valmont said of Madame de Volanges in Dangerous Liaisons, he is more noted for his enthusiasm than his ability. So be it. His DVD collection is growing to an acceptable size, and along the way he has noted that decades which begin with an odd number the 1950s, the 1970s and the 1990s are cinematically stronger than decades which begin with an even number. Therefore, he is anxiously awaiting 2010 and hopes still to be a Reject at that date.

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