The 2014 Film Release Calendar: March

Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for that year. Not all of them do, of course, and it gets a bit crazy every year in terms of changes, but basically the point of it all is to know what’s coming out, know what to get excited for, know what to start bracing myself for, and, selfishly, guess what I’m going to think about all the movies to see how accurate I was at the end of the year. And also see which movies surprised me, for better and for worse.

It’s gotten to be a whole great thing. Since at first it was just what Wikipedia’s year in film article said, plus a few others that weren’t scheduled that I just knew about. And then the year after that it was a few more films. And last year it was like, 200 or something. And now, it’s probably like 200 or something, plus all the ones from last year that I’m continuing to track. Eventually it’ll be to the point where really the only ones I haven’t heard about or previewed at some point are either foreign films, documentaries, and like 5% of those movies that just come out of nowhere.

What I’m doing is going over everything as it’s currently scheduled. I’m doing the first six months now, then taking a ten day break in between to go over some other stuff (Oscar nominations are going to be announced, the Golden Globes will happen — big stuff), plus allow for the later months of the year to maybe become more solidified, and maybe let a few changes happen, since I’ve discovered that a lot of things do get moved this time of year, often right as I’m putting the articles together. So it works twofold. I get to talk about other stuff and let the dust settle as much as possible so as not to make everything that much crazier come December.

Here’s March:

March

300: Rise of an Empire

I wasn’t really excited for this when it was scheduled last year. I just sort of figured, “Yeah… it’ll be all right,” and didn’t think much of it. Then I went to see The Hobbit.

I was about to watch The Hobbit in IMAX, and a preview for this movie came up in 3D. And I have to say — it looked pretty spectacular. To the point where I actually thought about going to pay and see this when it comes out. So my spirits have lifted considerably on this one.

I consider the first 300 a four star movie. There’s no substance to it, but it’s fun. It’s an enjoyable movie. This one, I assume, will not be as good. But, based on the visuals, I think there could be some kind of bump for that.

So I’m going to guess 3.5 stars. I think it’ll be a 3 star movie, but the visuals and the general enjoyment of it will carry it up to 3.5. I think that’s a safe bet. I’ll settle for 3 stars, but I really think there’s potential here for an entertaining movie. That trailer really won me over. (I’m afraid to see it in 2D, just in case it makes me lower my rating.)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

It’s Wes Anderson. The cast list is in the poster.

I don’t need any more than that. You have him, you know what the style is, you know who’s in it, and we saw a trailer.

I might consider going higher here, but I’m gonna stick with 4 stars. Just because I don’t want to be over excited for this, since I really don’t think this one’s gonna hit that level of Moonrise Kingdom. So I’ll stick with the standard Wes Anderson 4 stars (which he’s hit consistently), and let it go higher (or lower, though I doubt that one).

Mr. Peabody & Sherman

Using his most ingenious invention, the WABAC machine, Mr. Peabody and his adopted boy Sherman hurtle back in time to experience world-changing events first-hand and interact with some of the greatest characters of all time. They find themselves in a race to repair history and save the future.

Uhh… sure.

I’m pretty sure I previewed this last year and they bumped it.

I doubt I was interested in this then.

Let’s just call it what it is and say 2.5 stars. I’m probably gonna not give a shit about this at all. 3 stars really seems like a maximum on this. It’s not Disney, and it’s not Pixar, and almost always do these end up being 2.5 stars for me. So I’m not gonna pretend like I care about this even a little bit.

Grace of Monaco

Grace of Monaco

This got pushed out of Oscar season, which should let us all know how atrocious this probably is.

Who thought Nicole Kidman was a good choice for Grace Kelly to begin with?

Though I highly doubt this is gonna be as bad as that Diana movie from last year that they wisely swept under the rug and didn’t let anyone see.

The story of former Hollywood star Grace Kelly’s crisis of marriage and identity, during a political dispute between Monaco’s Prince Rainier III and France’s Charles De Gaulle, and a looming French invasion of Monaco in the early 1960s.

This sounds like a movie that should be called “Rich White Woman Problems.”

Man, am I not expecting good things from this at all.

2.5 stars. And I’m being nice. I fully expect this to drop to 2.

Need for Speed

Fresh from prison, a street racer who was framed by a wealthy business associate joins a cross country race with revenge in mind. His ex-partner, learning of the plan, places a massive bounty on his head as the race begins.

Sounds like it could be fun.

I’m not expecting much, but I also won’t be that negative on it.

I expect mediocre B movie with enough to get me through the once.

3 stars.

I figure it’s gonna be 2.5 or 3. So I’ll be right there either way, and it seems I want to be positive this year.

Single Moms Club

No poster for this one.

It’s a Tyler Perry movie.

Automatic skip.

Not wasting time this year. Moving on.

Veronica Mars

Never watched the show, and it’s gonna take some research to see if I should bother watching this movie or not. I guess I watched Serenity even though I never watched Firefly. Not that I particularly enjoyed it, but I assume it’ll be standalone like that and I’ll just be able to see it as a movie and not anything else.

But yeah, this is what it is. I know nothing more about it. Rob Thomas, the creator of the show is directing the movie. So, if nothing else, this movie should be…. Smooth.

But seriously, I know nothing about this movie, and have no idea if I’m going to like it or not. And maybe because I’m feeling optimistic, maybe it’s 3 AM and I must be lonely… but I think I might go 3 stars here.

Though, I don’t know. I know nothing about this. Maybe it’s not a good idea to… Push, myself into a decision. So let’s stick with 2.5 stars and let the movie decide its fate. That way I probably won’t be that far off and won’t risk the chance of getting all… Bent, out of shape.

I know. Too much. It’s not even the same guy. I promise I’m not crazy.

I’m just a little unwell.

Bad Words

A spelling bee loser sets out to exact revenge by finding a loophole and attempting to win as an adult.

Bateman is directing and starring in this. So there’s that.

It’s gonna be rated R, I think, so that might be a plus.

I feel like it’s gonna be either 2.5 or 3 stars. So let’s say 3 stars. Why? I don’t know. But I hope I laugh.

Divergent

They’ve been shoving trailers for this down my throat for about three months now. I still can’t tell if this is gonna be good or not.

I love Shailene Woodley, so I’ll give this a shot purely for her.

They’re promoting the shit out of this, so I expect I’ll be seeing three movies of this, whether this is good or not. Since the amount of promotion almost has to turn itself into some big earnings for this.

And since I already know how the trilogy ends — I’ll go into it with an open mind.

3 stars.

I’m thinking 2.5 might happen, the way it did with The Host, but let’s figure Shailene Woodley will get me that extra half-star, the way Saoirse Ronan almost did last year. The cast is definitely stronger than the cast for The Host was, so let’s call that the half-star.

Muppets Most Wanted

While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by aKermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.

It’s the fucking Muppets. I’m gonna enjoy this regardless.

I like that they’re going outside the genre. Or rather, doing something totally different this time. That’s nice.

There’s gonna be a host of cameos, we know that. And these movies typically are well-written and have smart jokes.

So I’m thinking 3 or 3.5 stars. Let’s say 3.5 stars and hope it’s really fun. 3 stars is the minimum on this, and I’m clearly going positive this year, so why not?

Stretch

A chauffeur takes a job for a billionaire who makes his life hell.

Joe Carnahan’s new movie. He’s always a solid director.

Starring Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Brooklyn Decker, Patrick Wilson, James Badge Dale, Ed Helms, Ray Liotta — sure.

I’m gonna go 3 stars. I feel like 2.5 is a distinct possibility, but let’s trust Joe Carnahan. I really have no idea what I’m getting here, so let’s trust a director who has done well more times than not. He’s always good for a 3 star movie.

Cesar Chavez

I saw a trailer for this in front of Wolf of Wall Street, of all things.

I’m guessing I’ll have to see this. I’m not particularly interested.

Diego Luna is directing. Michael Pena is Chavez. Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich are also in it.

I really doubt I’m gonna care about this.

2.5 stars. Let it be engaging.

A Haunted House 2

Nope.

I gave you guys a pass the first time for being bad, but also not being a fucking disaster like I was expecting. This time, you don’t get a pass.

Having exorcised the demons of his ex, Malcolm is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, however, Malcolm is once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

Do I even want to see this?

I might, just to pad the numbers.

1.5 stars. You’re not getting a pass this time. I know what I’m getting.

Noah

I’ve been excited for this for over a year. I know it could turn out to be a disaster (pun ridiculously intended), but I trust Darren Aronofsky. And Russell Crowe is usually good for making solid choices. But mostly I trust Darren Aronofsky. He’s coming off three great films: The Fountain, which I think might be his best, The Wrestler and Black Swan. Obviously this looks at the outset like it’s not going to be as good as those three, but, since he is who he is, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. I have a hard time finding this particular story interesting, but sometimes you just have to trust a director.

I don’t want to overdo this, so I’m gonna go 3.5 stars. 3 would be a disappointment, and 4 would be pretty expected. Higher than 4… not that expected, and I’ll actually be very impressed, if he manages that. 3.5 or 4 seems most likely, with 3 being the “disappointed” rating.

Raid 2 Berandal

The Raid 2: Berandal

The first Raid was incredible. It was fun, it was badass, I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Will this one be as good? I don’t know. But I’m willing to bet it isn’t more than a half-star worse.

All we know about this is that it takes place two hours after the first movie ends. That’s all I need, really.

Let’s say 3.5 stars. I’ll go for the same rating as the last one, even though I feel like 3 stars is most likely. But let’s assume this is just as badass as the first one.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow, we’re previewing April.

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