Winter is slowly loosening her frigid grip on us and spring is right around the corner. March and April will bring us all the signs of the season of rebirth -- flowers, baseball, and best of all, some new movies aiming to entertain us...at least until the big summer blockbusters enter the scene. Here's a look at some of the films coming to a theater near you during the weeks ahead.
WEEK-BY-WEEK MOVIE PICKS FOR MARCH 2013
Jack the Giant Slayer (March 1) - Director Bryan Singer brings us the latest fairy tale reboot, with Nicholas Hoult (who played Beast in X-Men: First Class and the Romeo zombie in Warm Bodies) as the beanstalk-climbing young lad who finds himself in a war between humans and giants. The fantasy epic also stars Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, and Warwick Davis.
Oz the Great and Powerful (March 8) - One of many projects inspired by the classic tales of L. Frank Baum finally arrives, as director Sam Raimi gives us a special effects extravaganza, showing how the Wizard (played by James Franco) came to the Emerald City and finds himself in an adventure with three witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams. (As with most Raimi movies, Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi have cameos.)
The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (March 15) - Even though the title sounds like a Will Ferrell movie, it's actually headlined by Steve Carell as a stage magician who tries to rediscover his passion for magic. The comedy also stars Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, and James Gandolfini.
Olympus Has Fallen (March 22) - Here's the first of two competing flicks about the terrorist takeover of the White House. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, who previously helmed Training Day, it stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhardt, Dylan McDermott, Morgan Freeman, and Angela Bassett. Stay tuned for a similar premised movie, White House Down, in a few months!
G.I. Joe Retaliation (March 29) - The long-delayed sequel to the 2009 surprise hit G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, has a bigger-name cast with Bruce Willis, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, and Adrianne Palicki (who for a very short time gave us all the hope of seeing her in a televised version of Wonder Womanbefore the pilot turned out to be a dud). Now that Channing Tatum is a superstar, they brought him back to shoot some extra scenes.
WEEK-BY-WEEK MOVIE PICKS FOR APRIL 2013
Evil Dead (April 5) - They keep remaking horror movies, so now it's Sam Raimi's 1981 cult classic's turn. The interesting part is that Diablo Cody is one of the writers. Will it be a hit like Juno or a trainwreck like Jennifer's Body?
42 (April 12) - Just in time for the start of a new baseball season, here's a bio-pic about the legendary ballplayer Jackie Robinson who broke racial barriers when he was signed to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The cast includes Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford.
Oblivion (April 19) - Tom Cruise stars in what looks to be a pretty interesting science fiction story. Morgan Freeman is also on board.
Pain and Gain (April 26) - Bodybuilders, extortion, and kidnapping all add up to an action adventure starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Mark Wahlberg, Ed Harris, and Tony Shalhoub.
OTHER MOVIES IN MARCH AND APRIL 2013
The Last Exorcism Part II - Part One was a surprise hit, so they're trying their luck again.
Phantom - Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner, and Lance Henriksen star in this submarine thriller.
The Lost Medallion: The Adventures of Billy Stone - Two teenagers travel back in time.
Dead Man Down - Actress Noomi Rapace plays a victimized woman who seeks revenge against a crime lord by seducing his right hand man, played by Colin Farrell. The cast also includes Terrence Howard, F. Murray Abraham, and Armand Assante.
The ABCs of Death - If you like horror in little doses, here's your chance to see 26 chapters all in one movie.
Ginger and Rosa - Elle Fanning and Alice Englert star as two teen girls in London during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The cast also features Annette Bening and Oliver Platt.
Upside Down - This sounds really interesting (which means it will probably fail miserably). It's a tale of star-crossed love -- actually gravity-crossed love. Check it out and judge for yourselves. It stars Kirsten Dunst.
Admission - Tina Fey stars in a comedy alongside Paul Rudd, with Michael Sheen and Lily Tomlin in there for good measure.
The Croods - Here's a cartoon set in prehistoric times, with the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, and Cloris Leachman.
Spring Breakers - The buzz on this controversial movie has portrayed it as an edgy comedy about four young ladies who get arrested for robbing a restaurant to pay for a vacation and then get bailed out by a drug and arms dealer who wants them to do some illegal errands for him. It stars James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, and Selena Gomez.
The Host - Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, it likely won't be anywhere near as big a hit as her Twilight franchise, but it's directed by Andrew Niccol who gave us Gattaca and In Time (and also wrote The Truman Show), so there's some hope that it might have some redeeming qualities.
Room 237 - This intriguing documentary about the alleged hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining should delight movie buffs and conspiracy theorists.
Jurassic Park 3D - The trend of taking a classic movie and converting it into a 3D flick continues with Steven Spielberg's dinosaur masterpiece.
Scary Movie 5 - The so-called comedic spoof of the horror genre continues with the fith in the series. Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen are in it. Need I say more?
The Big Wedding - Here's a comedy with an all-star cast that includes Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Katherine Heigl, Susan Sarandon, and Topher Grace.
Which of these will hit box office gold and critical acclaim?
Welcome to the online journal of Nick Leshi, his official daily blog about pop culture and the wide world of entertainment in all media. Nick Leshi is a writer, actor, media professional, and aficionado of entertainment. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org (or search for him on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google+, and LinkedIn)
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