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Movie Madness in March

By Jean Teller, Sr. Assoc. Editor


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Jean TellerGuess what? Basketball isn’t the only thing to watch in March. A few interesting movies are heading to your cineplex.

In the last month, I’ve been to the theater to see Taken, Push, Milk and The Wrestler.

Taken = good action, extremely predictable and almost non-existent plot; Push = good action, not great but one I’d see again; Milk = excellent, and I’m glad Sean Penn won the Oscar for Best Actor; and The Wrestler = great movie, though more than a little dark, and if Penn hadn’t won that Oscar, I was rooting for Mickey Rourke.

A chiling thriller, Taken stars Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace and Famke Janssen.

By the way, what did you think of the Oscars?

On to March. Here are a few of the movies being released that are on my hope-to-see list:

Watchmen's cast includes Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian.

Watchmen: Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, this one looks to be action-packed (read violent and gory). I spent part of weekend reading the book so I’m all caught up on the Watchmen universe, and I’m looking forward to the movie. Among others, Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Supernatural and Grey’s Anatomy) portrays the Comedian, Jackie Earle Haley (a child actor who made a big comeback in Little Children) plays Rorschach, Billy Crudup (Almost Famous and Stage Beauty) turns blue for Dr. Manhattan and Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera) dons Nite Owl’s costume – not a bad cast! A cool website, too; not that I’d expect anything less for a graphic novel adaptation. Rated R, Watchmen opens March 6.

All About Steve: Comedies usually aren’t my style, so adding this to the list is quite a departure for me. The trailers look hilarious (although that’s often a sign that all the good stuff is in the trailer), and with Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper (Alias, He’s Just Not That Into You) and Thomas Haden Church (Wings, Spiderman 3) heading up the cast, I may have to make an exception to my rule. Rated PG-13, All About Steve opens March 6. 

The Horsemen: Early buzz hasn’t been too favorable for this thriller. I, however, like Dennis Quaid and Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), and I’m a sucker for mysteries. Quaid portrays a grief-stricken detective on the trail of a serial killer enamored of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Adding to the suspense is the connection between the detective and the murders. I can’t see this one ending well, folks. Rated R, The Horsemen opens March 13.  

Race to Witch Mountain stars Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino.

Race to Witch Mountain: While more of a tween movie, Race looks to be just plain fun. Dwayne Johnson (The Rock) portrays a smart-mouthed cabbie squiring around a pair of siblings who are out of this world. Then he meets a beautiful ufologist (Carla Gugino; she’s also in Watchmen) and the sparks fly. I’m sure I know how this one ends, although it’s supposed to be a “re-imagining” rather than a straight remake of the original Escape to Witch Mountain. Rated PG, Race opens March 13. 

Sunshine Cleaning: With a tagline of “Life’s a messy business,” the indie darling (a Sundance Film Festival grand jury prize nominee) takes the viewer into the lives of sisters Rose (Amy Adams, Enchanted) and Norah (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada). Rose decides to start her own business – a crime scene clean-up service – with the somewhat unreliable Norah. With the addition of Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine), Steve Zahn (Sahara) and Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe on TV’s 24), this promises to have quite a few laughs added to the tears of a dysfunctional family. Rated R, Sunshine opens March 13.

Knowing takes Nicolas Cage into dangerous territory - the future.

Knowing: Nicolas Cage’s choices in movies can be hit or miss (can anyone say The Wicker Man or Bangkok Dangerous?), so I’m a bit ambivalent on this one. I did enjoy the National Treasure duo (even with the necessary suspension of disbelief), and I cried in City of Angels. Knowing has the advantage (is that the word I’m looking for?!) of an interesting plot: A time capsule buried 50 years ago contains a sheet of numbers, which turn out to be dates of major tragedies and the number of people who perished. And several dates indicate future catastrophes, perhaps even the end of the world. Not a light-hearted comedy. Rated PG-13, Knowing opens March 20.

Duplicity stars Julia Roberts and Clive Owen.

Duplicity: OK, the trailers are pulling me in. Julia Roberts and Clive Owen (The International) make a great romantic duo, and throw in spies conning their respective employers, and this movie promises to be a fun romp with some suspense thrown in for good measure. We also have Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man) and Tom Wilkinson (Batman Begins, John Adams) as the bosses. And, if the website is any indication, the soundtrack is going to rock! Rated PG-13, Duplicity opens March 20. 

Monsters vs. Aliens gives the battle for the Earth an animated twist.

Monsters vs. Aliens: From the title, one might think the movie is a low-budget knockoff of such horror classics as Alien vs. Predator. However, Monsters vs. Aliens is an animated fun fest featuring the voices of Seth Rogen (Knocked Up), Paul Rudd (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Hugh Laurie (House), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), Kiefer Sutherland (24’s own Jack Bauer), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Will Arnett (Arrested Development), Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report), and Jimmy Kimmel (Jimmy Kimmel Live!). Just from that lineup, it promises to be good. The plot line: A meteorite turns young Susan (Witherspoon) into a giant monster; the government scoops her up; she meets other monsters collected by the feds; and then the motley crew of monsters saves the world from aliens. Sounds fun! Rated PG, Monsters opens March 27.

The Accidental Husband: After seeing the trailer quite a while ago (the movie premiered in London back in February 2008 and is already out on DVD in the United Kingdom), I’ve been looking forward to this rom-com. Urma Thurman (Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) plays a radio talk show host who unwittingly sets off a string of events leading her to a care-free firefighter (Jeffrey Dean Morgan, also seen in Watchmen) who appears to be her accidental husband. Of course, this doesn’t set well with the fiancé (Colin Firth, Mamma Mia!). Which man will she choose? Rated PG-13, Husband opens March 27. 

Whew, too many movies, too little time. Oops, that’s for books, isn’t it? Anyway, I will definitely be spending time at the cineplex this month. See ya at the movies!