Flashforward: March’s Most Anticipated Films

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.

Le Week-End

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.

LEAST ANTICIPATED:

Noah

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.

Divergent

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!

Flashback/Backslide

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11 thoughts on “Flashforward: March’s Most Anticipated Films

      • I’ve read the first book. It’s solid to good, despite skipping over opportunities to showcase emotion and resonant with thematic power, sometimes in strange places at even odder plot points.

        I do think the story lends itself to screen adaptation remarkably well, though, so I hold our some hope for it, too.

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  1. I think I would much rather be wrong about Divergent than Noah. I love the Hunger Games movies (I only read the first book), and would love to see another solid series with similar contexts. And with Noah, we know Aronofsky is going to make more amazing movies in the future, even if Noah falls short of that mark (I can’t put my finger on why it looks so unappealing to me).

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    • I imagine she signed on because of the lead and the director. It seems like she still has to fight to establish herself in the post-Potter world. She’s already worked with Sofia Coppola in “The Bling Ring” and now working with Aronofsky, across from Crowe, will be a nice addition to her already pretty solid resume.

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      • Yes, I’m also not sure why Aronofsky was attracted to the project, either. I’ve heard Watson was good in “The Bling Ring,” and she was pretty good in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” as well. Oh well. Even the best actors and actresses usually have a few duds on their resumes.

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        • From what I’ve read, Noah has been Aronofsky’s pet project for a while now and has wanted to do a movie about Noah for some time. That could be a good thing (because of his passion) or a bad thing. Sometimes it doesn’t bode well for a project when the director has obsessed over it for a long time. I’m not sure if he has really been obsessing or not but sometimes a big name director can get a bad movie idea green lighted. If the director has been thinking about the project for a while he/she might get tunnel vision and not realize the movie isn’t all that great. I hope that makes sense and apologize for not having any actual examples off hand.

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          • yes that makes sense! I would say that Wolf of Wall Street is a prime example of a bad project getting greenlighted because of Scorsese being the director. The script for American Hustle shouldn’t have gotten greenlighted in my opinion, either. But I realize neither of those opinions is very popular…!

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  2. Pingback: Whiplash: Talented Damiens Strike Again | Flashback/Backslide

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