With a few months still to go before the summer blockbusters begin to overcrowd our screens, there is still time for some of the more alternative films with lesser budgets and universal appeal to try to make their mark and attempt to flourish at the box office.
Last year, the bar wasn’t exactly set very high in March. Enjoyable releases such as Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, 21 Jump Street; and some of the year’s finest including Michael and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, were mostly shrouded out by some of the year’s worst releases.
colossal disappointments last march included the utterly pointless and painfully cringe-worthy This Means War, the studio destroying antics of John Carter, John Cusack letting his faithful fans down yet again with The Raven, Mark Whalberg in the overly clichéd crime thriller Contraband, and Wrath of the Titans – the most needless sequel to a remake ever conceived.
So surely this year March will bring us a more promising list of releases? Thankfully, it looks like there will be a few.
Here are the films you should look out for in March:
Park Chan-wook’s English-language debut already looks set to be a success, with generally positive reviews and rumours coming from advanced screenings and its earlier release overseas.
And we should feel as though we are in safe hands. Chan-wook’s ‘Vengeance Trilogy’ (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Old Boy and Lady Vengeance) has already achieved a cult status and global success, and the second and generally most revered of these three films is already being remade into an English Language version, with Spike Lee Directing and Josh Brolin taking the lead role.
Stoker is a psychological thriller and stars Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode. Kidman and Wasikowska play the unstable mother, Evelyn, and the curious daughter, India. After the death of India’s father, her enigmatic Uncle Charlie (Goode) moves in, but before long, suspicions about his motives are raised.
This was the last film Tony Scott produced before his death.
Side Effects 08/03/2013
Another psychological thriller, this time directed by Steven Soderbergh. Side Effects stars Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Channing Tatum.
Mara plays a character suffering from anxiety and depression, who is prescribed a new, untested remedy by her doctor (Law). The obvious topical issues in Side Effects will be of a pharmaceutical nature, but, after Soderbergh’s last outing with the surprisingly fresh and raw Haywire, expect plot twists and differing agendas aplenty in what looks to be another hit for the dynamic Director.
Welcome to the Punch 15/03/2013
This crime-caper was voted third on the 2010 Brit List – a film-industry-compiled list of the best unproduced screenplays in British film. No wonder talents such as James McAvoy and Mark Strong signed up for the lead roles.
Written and Directed by Eran Creevy (Shifty), Welcome to the Punch follows the story of Jacob Sternwood (Strong), who is forced to return to London from his hideout in Iceland because his son has become mixed up in a heist gone wrong.
McAvoy plays detective Max Lewinsky who has made a career out of trying to catch Sternwood, and now has one last chance to do so.
With Welcome to the Punch, the question will not only be who comes out on top, but also, how are they going to survive the emerging conspiracy which surrounds them both.
This POV serial killer horror is already rumbling up a storm. Not just for its extremely gruesome, full-on content, but also for its originality and technical brilliance.
Elijah Wood plays Frank, the maniac of the title. This may surprise some, but if you’ve seen or remember his turn in Sin City as the terrifying cannibal Kevin, you’ll be as convinced as I am that he is going to deliver a harrowing, affecting performance.
With controversy surrounding the film since early in its pre-production, surprisingly the BBFC didn’t demand the exclusion of any part of the Director’s final cut.
With a screenplay by Alexandre Aja whose previous efforts include Switchblade Romance and the remake of The Hills Have Eyes, no wonder there have been nervous murmurs regarding the level of violence and horror.
Regardless of its success, Maniac looks to be a film which will be well-remembered by the end of the year.
It’s a film Directed by Danny Boyle. Need I say more? Okay. It stars James (busy boy) McAvoy, Rosario Dawson and everyone’s favourite French actor (now that the other one is Russian),Vincent Cassel.
The plot revolves around an art auctioneer who has become mixed up with a criminal gang who joins forces with a hypnotherapist in order to recover a lost painting.
All is as it should be from a British drama/thriller, that is until the boundaries between reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur. Expect stand-out performances from McAvoy and Cassel, and a full throttle ride with a few mysteries chucked in for good measure.
Still on general release:
Still on general release there is Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings‘ multi-dimensional epic fantasy, Cloud Atlas, which stars Hugh Grant in a number of unfamiliar roles. Their most challenging project since The Matrix also stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Jim Sturgess among various other big names.
Broken City and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters can also still be found in cinemas. The first is a crime thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe; the latter is pretty much as it sounds – a twist on the classic fairytale, with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton as the now bounty hunting pair who hunt and kill witches on a global scale.
Which of these releases are you most looking forward to seeing? Or is there any I’ve not covered which you think will be worth watching?