Blockbuster season nears, and for every webslinger, mutant and giant lizard, there seems to be fare more intimate and potentially interesting — a sex-hungry woman, terminally ill teenagers in the thrall of romance, a bear family making its way across Alaskan tundra. There are also Muppets, dragons, Greek gods, biblical legends and Jon Hamm. So, something for everyone.
NEED FOR SPEED — We kick off our list with a film based on an incredibly popular series of video games. Great start, no? Look, it’s a film about cars with a thin plot weaved in between the driving sequences. Aaron Paul cashes in on his Breaking Bad notoriety in a movie that will please the Fast and the Furious crowd, who’ll drive their pimped out ’90s Honda Civics to see it and likely love every minute. (3/14)
(Photo by Robert Voets)
VERONICA MARS — Fans of the canceled CW series Veronica Mars wanted a film so badly they paid for it themselves. One year after the most successful Kickstarter funding campaign in history and seven years after the show went off the air, Kristen Bell and company return in this noir drama, which will feature copious amounts of fanservice. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter — it’s a success story befitting the digital age. (3/14)
BAD WORDS — Oh, Jason Bateman. Your film career has never quite matched the brilliance of playing Michael Bluth. Perhaps, then, starring in a film you’re also directing will improve matters? Bad Words, about a middle-aged man who uses a loophole to enter a spelling bee, could be just the success Arrested Development fans have been hoping for. Come on! (3/14)
Muppets Most Wanted
MUPPETS MOST WANTED — Dear Gods of Film: Please, please, please don’t let this suck. The Muppets’ comeback was so brilliant I don’t think I could handle a lackluster sequel. Trailers and synopses point to an absolute train wreck, but I have faith. (3/21)
DIVERGENT — I feel like the only one who had never heard of Divergent, the young-adult novel set in near future where society is divided into five factions as determined by their personalities. No matter, as it’s now an $80 million blockbuster starring Kate Winslet as the head of one faction who is intent on destroying all “divergents,” those who don’t fit into any one category. Finally, I can be that person who sees the film instead of reading the book. (3/21)
NYMPHOMANIAC: PART 1 — Don’t let Shia LaBeouf’s current bout of insanity stop you from seeing Nymphomaniac. It follows one woman’s erotic journey from birth to age 50, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe. Featuring un-simulated sex, the film is a two-fingered salute to slut-shaming — so probably not one to take your mother to see. (3/21)
NOAH — Russell Crowe takes the lead in this fantasy epic based on the biblical tale of Noah. With a huge budget, all-star cast and copious amounts of CGI, it’s typical pre-summer blockbuster fare. God wasn’t given a token producer’s credit, but he’s likely too busy looking after Matthew McConaughey to notice. (3/28)
SABOTAGE — Arnold Schwarzenegger. Guns. Explosions. Action thriller. That should be enough to make up your mind on this one. (3/28)
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