Sliding this one just under the line: the midnight screenings of the first film on the list are mere hours away. I beg your pardon. The question as always: does the Good Movie Season begin in March this year? And the answer is, “I really, really hope so, because if I’m let down two months in the row by a film I’ve been waiting for ever since it got delayed from last fall, I’m going to have to hit the bottle”.
I’ll assume you pay attention to anything at all, so you’ve noticed the incredibly marketing blitz by Walt Disney Pictures on behalf of the latest adaptation of the well-worn Alice in Wonderland, this time directed by Tim Burton (making his first ever 3-D film). I cannot speak for anyone but myself; but the side-effect of that blitz is that I have grown completely and utterly disgusted with every last scrap of footage that we’ve seen so far: it rather seems like Burton is making the film the way he is supposed to, being Tim Burton, and not because he is driven to make it this way. At any rate, every time I see the Red Queen, I become even less excited about what promises to be, from my perspective, the damn fugliest movie of 2010.
On the other hand: its competition is Brooklyn’s Finest, a three-pronged cop movie from the director of Training Day (meh) and King Arthur (fuck, no). Co-starring Richard Gere. One can always be surprised, but this would be, like, a really surprising surprise, y’know?
Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon! Together again! High-octane Iraq adventure! Green Zone! I am indecently and probably unsupportably excited for this movie, so I will merely note that it was bumped from Oscar season, and hope that this time, that isn’t a bad sign.
Competing with it in the wide release sweepstakes (and certain, I imagine, to relegate it to third place) are Remember Me, a ghastly-looking romantic drama starring those powerhouses of charisma, Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin – I love that the director has apparently stated that he would not have cast Pattinson if he’d seen Twilight, which I assume is junket-speak for “he gave an awful performance and I should have seen it coming” – and She’s Out of My League, a reductive sex comedy looking to make a headlining star out of Jay Baruchel.
There’s also something called Our Family Wedding, about which I know nothing, except that the combination of Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia in one cast can mean nothing good.
Though I do not usually make not of the films only getting a New York/LA release, Bong Joon-Ho’s Mother does just that on this date, and it’s well worth your time if you live in those cities. A national art house tour is presumably just in the wings.
Look, it’s another high-concept romantic comedy that will inexplicably make $100 million dollars despite absolutely nobody you know seeing it! The Bounty Hunter, with Gerard Butler hunting down his ex-wife Jennifer Aniston. Let us pray that their chemistry is better than the trailer makes it look.
Aaaand… a tween niche-film, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Repo Men, a limp-seeming sci-fi thriller that stars Jude Law and, hey, Forest Whitaker, who needs a new agent, right now. It appears to be a remake of Repo! The Genetic Opera, everyone’s favorite cult horror musical that’s less than two years old.
On the limited release front, we have The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is tearing it up in Europe, apparently (I have the book sitting on my table. Poll: do I read it now, or after the movie?), and The Runaways, featuring the grotesque spectacle of Kristen Stewart playing Joan Jett, and literally, all the movie has to do in order to rise above my expectations is not cause my death while I’m watching it.
Hot Tub Time Machine was one of those things that sounded like an awesome idea when you assumed it would never actually get made. And now there’s a trailer, that makes it look really, really bad. Like, “Haha, the 1980s existed and now it is not the 1980s!” bad.
How to Train Your Dragon also looks kind of bad, after the fashion of all DreamWorks Animation pictures, but this is also the first directorial effort of the team of Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois since the wonderful, wonderful Lilo & Stitch, all the way back in 2002. Since they were able to sneak something that wonderful, idiosyncratic, and weird past Disney, I have to assume that they can do the same at the much less rigidly image-controlling DreamWorks.
In limited release, Noah Baumbach gets uncharacteristically hipster on us with Greenberg, which the trailer makes out to be a slightly horrid update of Kicking and Screaming – so I can only imagine how terrible it looks to people who did not, as I do, love Kicking and Screaming – but maybe, somehow, the combination of Dramatic Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, and twee humor will spark some sort of alchemical reaction, by which I mean perhaps the film will catch fire in the projection booth. Also, Atom Egoyan’s latest, Chloe, which should be good for a few laughs. Because that Egoyan, he’s a kidder.