The 2013 Film Release Calendar: March

The Film Release Calendar is something I do each year to preview the upcoming year’s slate of films. It started as both a way for me to start paying attention to what was coming out (since I was really slacking around the time I started the blog) and to be able to see how well I know myself and how much I know exactly what I’m gonna think about a movie before I even see it.

What I do is, I go through the list of films scheduled to come out in a given year (using my go-to article, Wikipedia’s year in film article), month by month. I write down what they’re about, who’s in them, and generally what my thoughts are on what I see. And then I guess what I think I’m gonna rate it when I see it. Because at this point — I’ve seen so many movies — I know what a movie is gonna be. I’m running about a 70% correct percentage on guessing stuff in January. Plus, that aside, it also gives me a chance to see what movies, come the end of the year, surpassed (or fell way below) my expectations (or everyone’s). So it’s not all just a chance for me to talk about how awesome I am (since, believe me… I’m gonna do that anyway).

Today, we’re looking at all the films that are currently scheduled to come out in March:

March

21 and Over

The night before his big medical school exam, a promising student celebrates his 21st birthday with his two best friends.

A movie that sounds exactly like Project X, coming out the same weekend as Project X, written and directed by the guys who wrote: Four Christmases, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, The Hangover 1 and 2, and The Change-Up.

I mean — should I try to be optimistic about this? Or should I just say 1.5 stars? I guess 2 stars is most likely, and it could even be watchable… but that poster, and the people involved… I can’t assume this will be good (or that I’ll like it). I just can’t. Let it, and I’ll be wrong, but — I’m trying to be nice and optimistic, but… this looks terrible.

Stoker

I’ve been following this one for a while. Mostly because, as the poster says — it’s by the director of Oldboy. But also because this is his first English language movie. That interested me.

After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

Starring Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode. It seems interesting, and based on the director, I want this to be good. So I want to guess 3.5 stars. It could be 3, could end up being 4, but let’s guess 3.5. I’m at the point in the year where I’m sick of shit being 3 stars or less. So I want to take some chances.

Jack the Giant Slayer

Yeah… I really had no idea why this existed last year. It seemed like a weird movie to spend a lot of money on. And then they push it? And there were stories that it went wildly over budget and all this other stuff — I really don’t have high hopes for this one.

A modern day fairy tale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants’ kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess.

I saw a trailer for this in front of The Hobbit. It was all right. But still — why do I give a fuck about people fighting giants? I mean, Bryan Singer is an able director (though… Superman Returns… and then Valkyrie… which wasn’t half bad, but still)… it worries me. The premise, the trailer, the fact that they pushed it and it went wildly over budget, the fact that he went back to the well and is directing the next X-Men movie now out of nowhere — this worries me.

I’m still gonna say 3 stars. It’s a very tepid, hesitant 3 stars, but I have to figure it’ll be 3 stars. Even John Carter was a 3 star movie. I would not be shocked if this were 2.5 stars and even Unforgivable, but for now, let’s just assume I’m gonna see this, go, “Yeah, all right. But $(x) million? That was unnecessary. It wasn’t that worth telling.” So basically like John Carter. I’m thinking more John Carter here than Battleship. Let’s hope it turns out that way. Because I’m gonna bitch about the budget no matter what. So let’s hope it’s at least watchable and that’s all I have to bitch about.

The Last Exorcism 2

The only reason this exists is because the first one randomly made a shit ton of money. They dumped it end of August, small $2 million movie. And it hit. It made $40 million. So they made a sequel. And (because I love when shit follows my rubric), if you remember my How to Read a Hollywood Release — this is what they do. Something hits in a spot it’s not supposed to hit — end of August/early September, first week of January, etc. — they make another one and try it in another spot. This is a pretty prime spot for this movie, all things considered. Not sure why they put it here. But whatever. But that’s all irrelevant to what we’re doing here. (I’m mostly just saying — it fucking works, people. I threw those articles together, and they actually still hold up to almost all examples.) What’s important is —

I don’t need a synopsis for this. Let’s not waste any more time. 2 stars and I definitely will not see this. There’s not even a chance, unless something completely crazy happens. I’ll leave it at that. There’s always something that could get me to see something, but barring that one in one hundred chance, I definitely will not see this movie.

Phantom

I was on this last year. Apparently they just didn’t release it. That’s probably not a good sign.

The haunted Captain of a Soviet submarine holds the fate of the world in his hands. Forced to leave his family behind, he is charged with leading a covert mission cloaked in mystery.

“Haunted.” He’s gonna die. Ed Harris is presumably the haunted one. David Duchovny is also in this. And William Fichtner, who’s awesome.

I have to assume this is still 3 stars, right? I mean, maybe 2.5, but it has to be one or the other. I’d be pretty surprised if it wasn’t one of those two.

Admission

A Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.

Starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd. I saw half of the trailer. Yeah — not good. Not — not looking forward to this. Maybe it’ll be okay, but —

2.5 stars. Maybe 3, maybe 2. Let’s split the difference.

The Call

This used to be called The Hive, until actually yesterday. They moved this up from not having a release date to here. There is no poster yet, but I imagine there will be one very soon.

In order to save a young girl’s life, an emergency operator must confront a killer from her past.

Oh look, it’s a shitty thriller.

Starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. And Morris Chesnut and Michael Imperioli.

Not looking good that I’ll ever see this.

But if so — 2.5 stars. Why not. It’s either that or 2, really. Let’s be optimistic, even though I know it’s more likely to be 2.

Dead Man Down

In New York City, a crime lord’s right-hand man is seduced by one of his boss’s victims, a woman seeking retribution.

Directed by the guy who did the Swedish Dragon Tattoo trilogy, starring Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace. I’m in.

Kinda want to say 3.5 stars, but I think I’m gonna go 3 stars. I don’t think it’ll be 2.5 stars. More like 3 or 3.5. I hope for 3.5, but let’s stay safe. I tend to be wary when foreign directors come over here and make their first movie. (See: The Tourist.)

Oz: The Great and Powerful

Don’t we all know about this one already?

It’s a Wizard of Oz prequel.

A stage magician is hurled into a fantasy world, and must use his wits to stay ahead of three enchantresses who have plans for him.

James Franco is Oz, Michelle Williams is Glinda, Rachel Weisz is the Wicked Witch of the East and Mila Kunis is the Wicked Witch of the West. Sam Raimi is directing.

The trailer looked great, and I like that the first act or first reel or whatever is in black and white. I expect this probably won’t be a very good movie, story-wise, but the visuals look amazing.

Fuck it. Let’s guess 3.5 stars. I expect 3 stars, and I’m sure I’m gonna be slightly overeager on it, but I don’t care. Those visuals — let’s go for it. I’d rather this be good than not good. I’m not the biggest Sam Raimi fan, but let’s go for it. Why not?

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Magician Burt Wonderstone splits from his longtime stage partner after a guerrilla street magician steals their thunder. By spending some time with his boyhood idol, Burt looks to remember what made him love magic in the first place.

Starring Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Brad Garrett, Jay Mohr, Gillian Jacobs — pretty strong cast.

I really want to to go 3.5 stars here. Because of the cast. I was about to say “I want to go 3.5 stars, but I just know it’s gonna be 3.” But, I already bolded the 3.5 stars, and I do really like that cast… so let’s be positive. Fuck it. Optimism win out. I can’t imagine I’ll be more than a half-star off anyway.

The Croods

The world’s very first prehistoric family goes on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world.

I saw a trailer for this. Honestly… it doesn’t look bad.

Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman… nice cast.

I want to go higher, but, it’s DreamWorks. 3 stars. I have to assume 3 stars until they’re better. DreamWorks movies are almost never above 3 stars for me.

Well… maybe I spoke too soon. Let’s look…

Antz — I haven’t seen in a while. Let’s figure 3. The Prince of Egypt I never saw. The Road to El Dorado I never saw. Chicken Run I never saw. (Well this is working out real well, isn’t it?) Shrek — it was great at the time, so let’s call it 3.5 stars. Or 4. Probably 3.5. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas — didn’t see. Shrek 2 — ehh. Shark Tale — 3. Madagascar — all of them — never saw. Bee Movie — 3. Kung Fu Panda — 3.5. Monsters vs. Aliens — 3. How to Train Your Dragon — 3.5. Megamind — 3.5. Puss in Boots — 2.5. Rise of the Guardians — 3.5. So maybe I spoke too soon.

That said — I’m sticking with 3 stars and am gonna let it be 3.5 if it’s that good. It’s not that I don’t have faith in animated movies when they’re not Disney or Pixar… I don’t have any faith in animated movies when they’re not Disney or Pixar.

Olympus Has Fallen

A former Secret Service agent works to prevent a terrorist attack on the White House.

I thought this movie was called White House Down.

Do we really have two separate secret service thrillers coming out within three months of each other? Uh oh. One of these isn’t gonna fare very well.

This one stars Gerard Butler.

Well I guess we know which one it’s gonna be.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua, who started off promising, with Training Day and Tears of the Sun (which I really like) — we’ll ignore Bait — then he did King Arthur, which — yeah. then Shooter — which was whatever. Then Brooklyn’s Finest, which wasn’t very good. So — let’s assume this is one of those for-hire jobs.

Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman, Dylan McDermott, Aaron Eckhart, Ashley Judd, Radha Mitchell, Melissa Leo, Rick Yune, Cole Hauser, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster — that’s a pretty big cast. The script must have been pretty good. But that’s still not a sign of a good movie. Vantage Point had a solid cast.

3 stars. I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt that it’ll be watchable. I’m leery, but let’s figure it’ll be watchable, the way Shooter (mostly) was.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Not that this matters, but…

The G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence.

I had some worries about this one, when they pushed it, but I get why they did, even if they didn’t want to admit it.

For those who don’t know — this was scheduled to come out on… I wanna say June 29th of 2012. Then in like, March or something, they announced they were pushing it to 2013. They said it was because they wanted to convert it to 3D. Which was ridiculous and nobody believed it when they said it. That’s like a 1940s actress taking a 9 month break and claiming exhaustion. The word is that the reason they bumped it was because they were so upset with how the first one turned out that they killed off Channing Tatum’s character in the first act and retooled the film to be more about Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis’s characters and the two ninjas. Then The Vow popped huge and 21 Jump Street popped huge and Magic Mike was setting up to pop huge, and they went, “Well damn… maybe we should put him back in the movie,” and reshot a bunch of stuff to make him the main character of the film again.

I don’t know where the fuck that leaves this one.

That said… the first G.I. Joe — I’m freely willing to admit — is a guilty pleasure of mine. I enjoyed the shit out of it for what it was. So I’m willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt and say 3 stars. I know, I know — everyone’s all ready to put this on their “Worst of 2013” list, and I’m sure this could easily end up in the 2.5 star territory — but fuck it. 3 stars. I want to enjoy this. I just hope the film obliges.

The Host

Based on the “Twilight” author’s other book.

A parasitic alien soul is injected into the body of Melanie Stryder. Instead of carrying out her race’s mission of taking over the Earth, “Wanda” (as she comes to be called) forms a bond with her host and sets out to aid other free humans.

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, starring Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, William Hurt. Let’s hope it’s decent. 3 stars. It’s not Twilight, so I figure it’ll be watchable. I’m not gonna expect anything (except that this makes millions of dollars, coming out the same weekend as The Hunger Games — so they have expectations for this one, it seems), so let’s hope it’s decent.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Directed by Derek Cianfrance, who made one of the best relationship movies I’ve ever seen in Blue Valentine, and starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne, Ben Mendelsohn and Bruce Greenwood.

A motorcycle stunt rider considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child, an act that puts him on a collision course with a cop-turned-politician.

I don’t care. I’m in. Apparently it’s 140 minutes long, which — shit. I’m down.

4 stars. I hope this is fucking incredible. I hope it doesn’t go less than 3.5 stars. I want it to go higher. I’d love to have a top ten/top 20 contender from the first three months of the year. I hope this is that good.

(Tyler Perry’s) Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor

This is the movie he shot with Kim Kardashian that was gonna come out last August until they dumped another Madea movie there and pushed this here. That should tell you something.

Oh, by the way, I won’t see this. I won’t. 2 stars as a blanket, but I won’t see it. So let’s not waste time.

– – – – –

Tomorrow is April, and we move closer to the summer.

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One response

  1. I’m looking forward to Stoker, Oz: The Great and Powerful & The Place Beyond the Pines. Others don’t look/sound promising to me.

    January 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm

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