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Off The Couch And Into The Theater: March 2010

There are a crapload of movies coming out this month. I don't even know why, other than maybe hoping spring break rushes kids into the theaters to see a whole bunch of mediocre retread? You know Hollywood's going down the tubes when the most promising wide release in the next thirty days features time travel via jacuzzi. And judging by my past month of movie-going habits when I had tons of Oscar bait options in my mist and still failed to see more than a few flicks, I am not going to do any better at attending the cinema with the following schlock at my fingertips. Or does it actually mean I'll be more likely because I actually hate myself and somehow revel in flocking to the theater for so-so films? Anyway, my February viewings of Crazy Heart, the Oscar Nominated Live Action Shorts, and Precious were all kind of a wash anyway. They all had their definite upsides (good acting, well made, etc.) but none really stood out to me in any phantasmagorical way except the Denmark-made "The New Tenants" from my Oscar shorts excursion, which better win Sunday night or I will cry like the big dumb baby that I am. Here are your March 2010 releases (with "Will I See It?" percentages in parentheses):

Mar 5th: Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (73%) looks like one more in a long line of old story-rehashing with an overdone creepy aesthetic that is more boring than it is engaging. Even if it is in 3D this time. Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke all play cops with intertwining personal dramas in Brooklyn's Finest (34%), which sounds as appealing as rewatching any of those actors' other mainstream films, though I am a sucker for watching cop movies by myself on Nerdflix years later. Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer (48%) unfortunately has nothing to do with the PBS kids drama about a ghost that helps you solve crimes through writing and therefore I see little to no reason to see it, except that I can't help but be curious by Polanski's inability to make a good movie post-1980. St. John of Las Vegas (4%), which was supposed to come out last month, finally gets its release this weekend, and I still don't care about an over-stylized Steve Buscemi as an insurance fraud investigator trying to win the heart of Sarah Silverman.

Mar 12th: Paul Greengrass for some reason decides to cast Matt Damon as a character just like Jason Bourne (oh yeah, probably because those movies were hits) but isn't in Green Zone (56%), which I might see just because I remember liking that last Bourne movie. Edward Cullen shows he can be sad and romantic but not a vampire this time with Emilie de Raivin in Remember Me (10%) and I don't really know what it's about but it really doesn't matter, does it? Jay Baruchel somehow landed a leading role in She's Out of My League (61%), which is a bland romantic comedy that I will most likely see just because of the tangential Judd Apatow connection. Our Family Wedding (8%) is a wide release film starring Forest Whitaker that is a pretty self-explanatory light drama that I had never heard of before until just now. A Prophet (82%) is an Oscar-nominated foreign language film about an Arab man who becomes a Mafia kingpin when sentenced to a lengthy prison term, so since I'm watching The Sopranos now and am in the midst of teaching The Godfather, this one's a given. The Red Riding trilogy (55%) looks like it has potential even though somehow one of the cops from Hot Fuzz is the main detective in this dark historical noir, but I am not sure how I'll be able to see three movies within a few weeks time and so I might wait until DVD altogether. A Town Called Panic (64%), an stop-motion animated flick with cowboy and Indian figurines, could either be riotously awesome or dreadfully dumb. Finally, the fourth film opening at the arthouses this weekend is The Yellow Handkerchief (13%), in which strangers played by William Hurt, Kristen Stewart, and Maria Bello somehow end up on a road trip through Louisiana together. Snoozefest alert!

Mar 19th: Somehow not a generic action flick, The Bounty Hunter (1%) is this year's requisite Gerard Butler offensively sexist romantic comedy, this time co-starring Jennifer Aniston. Diary of a Wimpy Kid (15%) is yet another mainstream release that I didn't know existed until now, and apparently it's based off a popular book about a smart-ass junior high kid. Steve Zahn is in the mix somewhere I guess. The Runaways (90%) is the Joan Jett and co. biopic, following Kristen Stewart, Dakota Fanning, and more as they pretend to be punk rock chix. The tepid reviews from Sundance are the only thing keeping me from seeing this otherwise entertaining-looking flick. Repo Men (35%) is unfortunately not the sequel to the non-plural Emilio Estevez cult fave, but rather an action-version of Repo! The Genetic Opera, about illegal organ hunting starring Jude Law and Liev Schreiber. Sounds trashy, possibly fun, and definitely terrible. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (49%) is an indie thriller, so it automatically bypasses the 40% mark, but it looks dull because it's about a computer hacker, so it can't quite break the halfway threshold. Fish Tank (42%) looks like it may be a hipster mumblecore pain in the ass, but then again, those movies also always have potential because they are sparse and haunting as much as they are boring. This one's about a 15-year-old whose mother brings home a new boyfriend. Mother (45%) is once again an indie thriller, but is also Asian, which gives it bonus points, but also sounds like your typical revenge flick (mother looks for revenge on son who was framed for murder) so it also doesn't quite make the halfway mark. Art of the Steal (78%) looks like a fascinating documentary (not always an oxymoron) about how somebody tried to legally seize the art gallery fortunes of a man who voraciously fought for having a museum in the Pennsylvanian countryside rather than in a sterile downtown setting.

Mar 26th: The best Dreamworks can come up with combat Avatar is How to Train Your Dragon (14%), which looks like a mopey animated-for-kids version of just the dragon training scene from the aforementioned blockbuster over and over again. Hot Tub Time Machine (97%), as much as I may hate to admit it, will definitely get seen even though I still haven't laughed at anything in its trailer. And so goes the sad inevitabilities of life. Greenberg (86%) is the latest Noah Baumbach (The Squid & The Whale, Margot At the Wedding) creation and thus I will most assuredly see it, especially since it seems to be Ben Stiller's chance to redeem himself and do something more low key for the first time in years. Terribly Happy (73%) is a Danish cop flick, so it gets way more percentage points than any American cop flick, and it involves a policeman who's prone to nervous breakdowns, so that makes it introspective, thus even more points. Neil Young Trunk Show (2%) is a Neil Young concert film that's finally getting its arthouse release and although I respect the man's talents, I have never clicked with his music. Chloe (67%) is Atom Egoyan's latest melodrama, and I'm glad I finally saw last year's Adoration, so I'm going to put more of an effort into catching this one in the theater. Lastly, City Island (26%) is yet another family comedy drama, this time taking place on Staten Island and starring Andy Garcia as the patriarch, so it really doesn't bear any grand interest to me.

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  1. Blogger Unspar! | 9:43 AM |  

    Chris, just so you know, this is one of my favorite features on the Blogulator. Maybe my very favorite.

  2. Blogger chris | 3:41 PM |  

    Thanks Ben! I know it's not really something that can start a comment thread, so I appreciate hearing that other people enjoy reading the monthly preview, as I enjoy writing it. It helps keep my movie-obsessed brain organized.

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