With the month of love at our heels and St. Patrick's day right around the corner, the weather is promising to thaw and the movies are starting to get hot. Oscar season is over, which can mean only one thing: the push to summer block busters is right around the corner.
Fans of academy-driven mellow drama, art pictures, or just some more meaningful films must go into hiding for a few months or simply stay glued to George Clooney's
IMDb in production page. Meanwhile, mindless summer gags are toning their movie-watching physique at muscle beach getting ready for their time. All that stands in their way from superhero drama and chick flick/ horror double features is the final spring lull.
The bliss of summer CGI-enhanced action adventure is getting a sneak preview with 10,000 BC
, opening March 7. If the preview is any indication, what we're in for is some larger-than-life wooly mammoths and saber tooth tigers hunting early man, and vice-versa, along a backdrop of what look like early South American temples. Larger than life, it turns out, is quite literal. The mammoths and the saber tooths are easily larger than the real deals were, so expect large sweeping shots to contain it all. This movie could go either way - an exciting epic adventure equal in size and success to Independence Day or a focus group driven free-for-all where producing a wildly excitable preview was more important that a good movie.
Boding well for the film is the driving hand, writer/director/producer Roland Emmerich
, whose past such credits include Stargate
, Independence Day
, and The Day After Tomorrow
. Unfortunately, he's also responsible for the Godzilla
remake. Also keep in mind, the release date is chosen for a reason. Why would a movie with all the makings of a summer blockbuster hit the big screen in early March? Odds are, the studio is trying to be a bigger fish in a smaller pond rather then take on the usual summer titans. This lack of confidence is not reassuring. Still, there won't be much else out worth seeing, if you've already seen the Oscar films.
Horton Hears a Who
, a new animated film based off the Dr. Seuss classic, comes out March 14. Though it's clearly suitable for children, Horton has promised to keep those who grew up reading Suess satisfied and feeling young again. The question is, at what point does a flooded market of computer animated flicks overflow? Take Bee Movie
, which did not do well with its theatrical release. Four years ago, an animated picture with Jerry Seinfeld
would have been an easy sell, but people are getting warier.
The good news is in the cast: Jim Carrey
, Steve Carell
, Will Arnett
, Dane Cook
, Carol Burnett
, Jonah Hill
, Seth Rogan
, and Amy Poehler
lead the star parade. A cast such as this one combined with the classic works of Dr. Suess may be hard to beat, but don't think FOX wasn't curiously eying Pixar's Wall-E
, which comes out this summer, when it decided on Horton's early release date.
(March 21) is interesting if for no other reason than it's marking Owen Wilson's
return from his suicide attempt (although it completed filming before the incident). Wilson, whose presentation at the Oscar's seemed particularly uncomfortable and out of place, hasn't done or said much of anything since trying to take his own life. How Wilson presses this tour combined with how the film is received should give a clearer indication of where he's headed next.
The movie itself seams to leave something to be desired, where Wilson serves as a bodyguard for hire to a bunch of teenagers. It seems to be of the classic "Zoolander
" as opposed to the more artistic "Wes Anderson
" Owen Wilson, which may be a good thing. Unlike Darjeeling Limited's
uncomfortably suicidal character played by Wilson, this mindless kind of comedy leaves little room for speculation about Wilson's work leading to his depression.
By far the early favorite to steal best movie this month is 21
(March 28), which is all about the MIT students that brought Vegas to its knees by counting cards. Jim Sturgess is in his first big role since "Across The Universe
," and it will be interesting to see how he fares in his sophomore film. Kevin Spacey
, Kate Bosworth
, and Laurence Fishburne
add to the supporting cast to give 21 an edge in the acting category. It should offer moviegoers a lot in terms of story (it's based off of a NY Times Bestseller), drama, and acting. Most importantly, the Vegas conspiracy/heist/beat the dealer kinds of movies are common, but this style seems to be a bit less played.
All in all, this year's pre-summer lull may actually find itself stronger then ever, so long as the above movies live up to their side of the bargain.
Also out in March:
The Bank Job
College Road Trip
Never Back Down
Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns
Run, Fat Boy, Run
Story by James Fagan
Starpulse.com contributing writer