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The 2019 Film Release Calendar: March

New year, new movies.

I begin every new year by taking a look at what movies there are to come out. It helps me to be aware of stuff so I can actively track it throughout the year, and I think it’s helpful for most people who care about movies to at least be informed of what’s going on. Far too often do I talk to my friends who are casually into movies, and they have no idea what’s coming out or when the stuff they want to see is supposed to come out.

Of course, when I do something, I really do it, so instead of just a casual preview of the big 35 movies of the year, I go all out. You’re gonna get everything as it’s currently scheduled to come out, plus another 200 or so movies that are not dated but are finished and ready to come out, plus another 100 or so that I’ve been tracking from previous years. I dare to say that no one on the internet goes as deep into their coverage as I do.

Today is March.

March

Chaos Walking

A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each others’ thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise.

Doug Liman directs. Tom Holland, Daisy Ridley, Cynthia Erivo, Mads Mikkelsen, Nick Jonas, Demian Bichir, Ray McKinnon and David Oyelowo star. And it was written by the guy who wrote A Monster Calls. And the script was punched up by John Lee Hancock and Charlie Kaufman. There’s class all over this movie.

However… it’s based on a book series, which is usually not a good sign, and it’s coming out in March. Hard to assume 4 stars with something like that. The Cloverfield Paradox had a cast. Cast doesn’t mean everything. Doug Liman also usually means good things, but he also made Jumper.

The synopsis sounds a little YA novel-y, so I’m gonna go 3.5 stars with this one. Maybe I get to 4 and I’m pleasantly surprised, maybe it sucks and I only get 3. 3.5 seems like the easy baseline for this one.

A Madea Family Funeral

A joyous family reunion becomes a hilarious nightmare as Madea and the crew travel to backwoods Georgia, where they find themselves unexpectedly planning a funeral that might unveil unsavory family secrets.

It’s hilarious that I’m a person who watches Tyler Perry movies now.

Still living in hope that I’ll actually enjoy one of them someday.

2.5 stars.

Greta

A young woman befriends a lonely widow.

Stars Chloe Moretz, Isabelle Huppert and Maika Monroe. On that alone, I might be tempted to go 3.5 stars. But I also know better than to jump to that conclusion. These people are very capable of a mediocre movie. It was written by the guy who wrote The Crazies and is directed by Neil Jordan. His last couple of movies have been pretty ehh.

3 stars seems like an easy guess on this one.

Captain Marvel

Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.

It’s Marvel. 3.5 stars is the baseline for them. Even the ones I don’t like (Thor 2, Doctor Strange) managed 3.5 from me. This one looks like one of the bad ones. There’s nothing here I’m remotely interested in, and this might end up being one of the three worst movies they’ve made. That said, I’m still not gonna go down to 3 stars for this, because I know Marvel. They’ll get a 3.5 out of me even if I end up hating it three months later. It’s what they do. Plus, the cast is cool, and I like the directors. So we’ll give it the 3.5 benefit of the doubt and see if it’s as dog shit as I think it might be.

Gloria Bell

A free-spirited woman in her 50s seeks out love at L.A. dance clubs.

Starring Julianne Moore and directed by the Fantastic Woman guy who also did Disobedience last year.

Sure sounds like a 3 star movie that you might wanna go higher on because of the lead performance.

I also like how they put this out right in that March “quirky indie” spot, which feels like the same spot they put that My Name Is Doris movie with Sally Field.

I’m Not Here

A man struggles with the tragic memories of his past to make sense of his present, but soon realizes that time isn’t the enemy he thinks it is.

Sure sounds like the kind of generic indie that would come out here.

Stars J.K. Simmons, which is good. And Maika Monroe, which is also good. And Sebastian Stan and Mandy Moore.

Sounds like a 3 star indie to me. Thought about dropping it to 2.5 just because it was finished two years ago (and because of the tone from that trailer), but I think it’ll be fine. I tend to be okay with stuff like this as long as I like the cast.

Us

A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited.

Jordan Peele’s followup to Get Out.

Just so we’re all clear, Get Out was a 3.5 star movie for me, so I’m not going any higher than that.

Not quite sure where the concept is going from that trailer. It’s clear there’s a commentary there, but I’m not sure just what it is. Doesn’t really matter. I think I can feel safe guessing 3.5 stars here. Maybe I don’t like it and it’s 3. Okay, fine.

Wonder Park

Wonder Park tells the story of a magnificent amusement park where the imagination of a wildly creative girl named June comes alive.

Nahhhhhhhhhh.

2.5 stars.

The Aftermath

Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.

Saw a trailer for this in front of something.

I get why they’re putting it out in March.

Seems like a period piece that doesn’t quite work, despite all the people involved.

The director is the guy who did Testament of Youth with Alicia Vikander, which was just fine. This looks like a movie that’ll be just fine, but with Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgard.

The only question is if I think the cast will get me to 3.5 stars or if I think it’ll just be a 3 star movie.

My gut is saying go 3 stars and just be wrong. I feel like in the past I’d go 3.5 stars and try to force myself to like it that much. Here, I’m just gonna go with precedents and see if it ends up any better. Coming out in March, something tells me this will end up a strong 3 but not strong enough to go to 3.5.

The Hummingbird Project

A pair of high-frequency traders go up against their old boss in an effort to make millions in a fiber-optic cable deal.

The director did Two Lovers and a Bear and War Witch. Stars Jesse Eisenberg, Alexander Skarsgard and Salma Hayek.

This feels exclusively like a 3 star movie.

Out of Blue

When Detective Mike Hoolihan is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell, she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend.

What a great name Mike Hoolihan is. Even better? Mike Hoolihan is played by Patricia Clarkson. Also has Jackie Weaver and James Caan in it.

Seems like an easy 3 stars. It’s a detective movie with people I like. Based on a Martin Amis novel. And the director did a movie four years ago called The Falling with Maisie Williams and Florence Pugh. Had no idea that existed. But yeah, this should exclusively be 3 stars.

Five Feet Apart

A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love.

Oh boy.

Stars Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson. I like her. Oh man, and Claire Forlani! She’s still alive! I can’t even remember the last time I saw her in something.

But yeah, 2.5 stars. These movies are not for me. Sick people romance. The Fault in Our Lungs.

Triple Frontier

Five former Special Forces operatives reunite to plan a heist in a sparsely populated multi-border zone of South America. For the first time in their prestigious careers these unsung heroes undertake this dangerous mission for self instead of country. But when events take an unexpected turn and threaten to spiral out of control, their skills, their loyalties and their morals are pushed to a breaking point in an epic battle for survival.

J.C. Chandor’s new movie. Margin Call was very solid, All Is Lost was great, and A Most Violent Year was great. He was gonna do Deepwater Horizon but left, and now he’s made this, after a bunch of failed starts.

This movie was gonna get made in 2010 with Kathryn Bigelow directing Tom Hanks and Johnny Depp. Then Chandor took over in 2015 and it was gonna be Hanks and Will Smith. Then it was Channing Tatum and Tom Hardy and Mahershala Ali. Then Paramount dropped it a month before shooting. Three weeks later, Netflix picked it up, and it was gonna be Ben and Casey Affleck. Then Ben dropped out and it was gonna be Mark Wahlberg. Now, finally, we have Ben, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, Garrett Hedlund and Pedro Pascal. Not an all star cast, but a solid one.

Chandor hasn’t made a movie less than 3.5 stars. Hard to think this will go lower than that. The only question is, do I want to assume 4?

I don’t think so. I think I go 3.5 stars because of the troubled history, figuring this to be solid but not great, and then I’ll take great if that’s what I get.

Greyhound

A navy officer commands the Greyhound during World War II.

This is based on a book by the guy who wrote The African Queen and Horatio Hornblower. The director did Get Low, which I quite liked, and is scarily almost ten years old now.

Tom Hanks wrote the script and stars. That’s really the big thing to note here.

Honestly, I’m going 3.5 stars. I wanna go 4, but I don’t know what this is gonna be and I’m going in without a trailer. It’s also March. I think I could get 4 stars out of this, but 3.5 seems most likely. Hanks has written two other movies: That Thing You Do and Larry Crowne. So let’s split the difference and go 3.5. I think it’ll either be 3 or 3.5.

The Informer

An ex-convict working undercover intentionally gets himself incarcerated again in order to infiltrate the mob at a maximum security prison.

From the director of Escobar: Paradise Lost.

Stars Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Ana de Armas, Clive Owen and Common.

Like the cast, no way this is more than a 3 star action movie.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette

After her anxiety-ridden mother disappears, 15-year-old Bee does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process.

It’s Richard Linklater, which means automatic 3.5 stars. Over the past decade, he’s trending to 4 stars as a base. But 3.5 feels right here.

Cast is nice. Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig, Judy Greer, Laurence Fishburne, Billy Crudup. I think I could get 4 stars out of this.

I feel like this is the year I underguess a lot of these because of how underwhelming 2018 was.

The Beach Bum

A rebellious stoner named Moondog lives life by his own rules.

Harmony Korine’s followup to Spring Breakers.

Stars Matthew McConaughey as Moondog, and also Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Zac Efron and Jonah Hill.

Can’t wait for this.

I feel like I can’t rightly go 4 stars, so I’ll go 3.5 stars. I want it to be 4 though.

Hotel Mumbai

The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.

Stars Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, Nazanin Boniadi.

Sounds like a semi-generic thriller. That and the fact that they held it over certainly makes it seem like an easy 3 stars.

The Dirt

The story of how Mötley Crüe came to be one of the most notorious rock ‘n roll groups in history.

I can’t believe they finally made this. I remember this like ten or twelve years ago when they were pretending it was gonna be Val Kilmer as David Lee Roth and Christopher Walken as Ozzie. Cameos, but still. Imagine that version of the movie.

This stars nobody I’m watching for their acting, even though I’ve heard of them all, and is directed by Jeff Tremaine, who created Jackass and directed Bad Grandpa. Doesn’t that just give you all the confidence in the world?

I’ll say 3 stars, because I just feel like it’ll give me enough to get to 3, but there’s a distinct chance it’s only worth a 2.5.

Fast Color

A woman is forced to go on the run when her superhuman abilities are discovered. Years after having abandoned her family, the only place she has left to hide is home.

I like the synopsis. And the fact that it stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw. And David Strathairn.

3 stars. Think I could get 3.5 out of this, but I feel safer sticking with 3. Excited for this, though. Could be good.

The Highwaymen

A pair of police officers come out of retirement to catch the infamous outlaws Bonnie & Clyde.

Directed by John Lee Hancock, who is coming off The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks and The Founder. All of which were 4 star movies. And this stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson.

I should go 3.5 stars, but it’s also kind of a western, so I’m going 4 stars. Happy to be wrong on this, but this is everything I like in one movie.

Captive State

Set in a Chicago neighborhood nearly a decade after an occupation by an extra-terrestrial force, Captive State explores the lives on both sides of the conflict – the collaborators and dissidents.

Looks interesting. They pushed it, which is usually not a great sign. But directed by Rupert Wyatt, who did Rise of the Planet of the Apes and The Gambler, both of which I liked.

3.5 stars seems like the exact number to go with on this.

Dumbo

A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer.

What have they done to Tim Burton? He’s lived long enough to see himself become the villain. Remember when he started and he made the most anti-studio movies ever? Look where we are now.

This Disney remakes thing is beyond tiresome. And I’ve only got the energy for one of those this year, and that’s Lion King. But also, Dumbo doesn’t really have a story. Really all I care about with these things are the stories I remember from the original, the songs, and generally the costumes. Here, no costumes, not really any songs, and there’s no story. The only thing I’d be remotely interested in with this movie is whether or not they attempt Pink Elephants on Parade. But already this looks like a CGI fuck fest, so even that I wouldn’t be thrilled about.

3 stars. I’d be very surprised if this made it up to 3.5. And it’s Disney, so it’s not going lower than 3. I’m sure this will be 3 stars, I’ll wonder why the hell they decided to expand the story the way they did, and depending on how upset that makes me, it might have a shot at being Unforgivable.

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