With the end of February comes a new month of cinema here at Refined Geekery. To celebrate that fact, we here at the office take a look at what is up and coming this month. There are some great big budget titles and a few awesome Sundance films coming out this month, so get your fat pants on because you are going to be eating a lot of popcorn in March.
Jack the Giant Slayer (Dir. Bryan Singer) – This, along with Oz, are the real big budget films this month. I have absolute loyalty to Bryan Singer thanks mostly to The Usual Suspects. He started out as a great indie film maker in the 90s and has since been completely absorbed in the studio process of Hollywood and I am okay with that. Do I want to see him make a really terrific low-budget film again? Of course! But the chances of him making something on par with Suspects is slim these days. So until that happens, I am just happy he is working and will show up with bells on when ever we has something new for us.
Stoker (Dir. Chan-wook Park) – This is the one I am excited the most about. Stoker is director Chan-wook Park’s English debut. Park’s back catalogue is so exciting and his work behind the camera is the stuff of legends (see the steady cam hallway fight from Oldboy). Just watch the trailer below and get ready for the dark and broody tones, but also a lot of beauty in the photography.
The Sweeney (Dir. Nick Love) – There is just something about Ray Winstone as an anti-hero. The Sweeney has him playing the head of an underfunded division of the London police who like to take measures into their own hands. The Brits do crime thrillers right: filled with intelligence, thrilling violence, and heavy atmosphere.
Dead Man Down (Dir. Niels Arden Oplev) – If you had told me a year ago that I would be excited to see a film produced by WWE entertainment, I would have pile-drived you and then given you flying elbow, and then while standing above you, I would have grabbed the mic, insulted the crowd, and then told you you must be joking. But then WWE had to go out and try to be a legitimate studio, bring in the awesome directing talent of Niels Arden Oplev (director of the Swedish version of Girl with the Dragon Tatoo), and make one of the most awesomely moody trailers ever. And yes, now I am actually incredibly excited to see a film brought to us by WWE.
Oz: The Great and Powerful (Dir. Sam Raimi) – Sam Raimi, like Bryan Singer above, is just one of those directors who I will see everything they make, even now that they are fully embedded in the studio system. Yes he has come a long way from his Evil Dead roots (with the exception of the amazing and under-appreciated Drag Me To Hell), but even within the studio system, Raimi finds ways of letting his own personal flare shine through the subject material (like the hospital scene in Spider-man 2). Oz also benefits from the awesomeness that is James Franco, PhD, and the most beautiful woman in the world, Mila Kunis.
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (Dir. Don Scardino) – Yes, I know this film looks incredibly stupid. But I don’t care! I think that Jim Carrey is the funniest man of all time. I know that humour has evolved passed his style of physical comedy, and in many ways I prefer my comedy to be more cerebral, but still, Jim Carrey rocking this Chris Angel schtick sounds great to me, so I am going to give this film the benefit of the doubt.
Upside Down (Dir. Juan Solanas) – I am a sucker for sci-fi love stories. Films like the Adjustment Bureau, where two people need to fight, not just against romantic adversaries, emotional absences, and other romantic cliches, but also the laws of physics and other scientific rules which dominate the narrative of their worlds just get to me. So I am interested in this one, even though I have never enjoyed Jim Sturges as an actor. This is Solanas’ big feature film debut and going by the trailer, it looks like he has quite the eye for colour and tone in his photography. Here’s hoping the film is good as well.
Admission (Dir. Paul Weitz) – This film will probably be terrible, but I will probably see it for Paul Rudd and Tina Fey alone. I have a massive man-crush on Paul Rudd. He is everything I want to be in life. And Tina Fey, what can I say other than she is perfect in every way and I want to marry her.
Olympus Has Fallen (Dir. Antoine Fuqua) – What we have here is a “Don’t think too much” style of action flick. This is not great art. This is candy. Antoine Fuqua is a strange director. He doesn’t focus on one style of movie. He is capable of adapting his style to fit any sort of subject material. At one moment he is making a gritty realistic cop drama like Training Day, and the next he is making King Arthur.
Spring Breakers (Dir. Harmony Korine) – This film looks f’ed up. You have Disney princesses Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez dropping f-bombs, James Franco doing his best Kevin Federline impression, and high octane sex and violence abound. And all of this is brought to you by the disturbed vision of controversial director Harmony Korine, the writer of Kids and Gummo. I am interested in this if only out of a morbid fascination with the absurd.
Welcome to the Punch (Dir. Eran Creevy) – Like Sweeney, I look forward to this one because it has all the feel of a classic British cops and robbers film. Genre stalwart Mark Strong plays villain to James McAvoy’s earnest police officer in this crime drama about a criminal rescuing his son at the face of being nabbed by the police. The plot should make for some intense situations and the strength of this acting ensemble will surely pull it off.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (Dir. Jon M. Chu) – Don’t judge me. I know you are. I am that one in a hundred who found Rise of Cobra entertaining. Retaliation does everything right in taking 10 up to 11. You bring bigger stars (Dwayne Johnson and Bruce Willis), you up the action, and you give it the director of Just Dance 2: The Streets… wait, okay maybe not that last one. BUT I DON’T CARE BECAUSE THIS MOVIE IS GOING TO BE AWESOME! HATERS BE DAMNED!
The Place Beyond the Pines (Dir. Derek Cianfrance) – Okay so it is a little jarring when you move from defending G.l.Joe: Retaliation to an arthouse film like The Place Beyond the Pines. This film looks like truely deep and honest subject matter, the antithesis of the film before it. I love Ryan Gosling’s choices in roles. He makes the movies I want to see. Like in Drive, Gosling is playing an absolutely broken man, and it is a character he plays well. What a great way to close out the month.
OLD POSTS OF EXTREME RELEVANCE