Movie Previews: February and March 2011

By Michael Vass | February 9, 2011

One of the more difficult things to do is to go through some of the dregs of films that encompass the beginning of the year. While January is the junk yard of movie releases, February is little better off. March is really the only time that any quality generally shows up.

This year is little different than most. While there is far less concern about Black History Month – how odd that has become less and less of a focal point since the election of President Obama (but thats another post) – and therfore even fewer Black-centric films, there are the Valentines Day films. The worst thing about a Valentine’s Day film is that it’s omnly purpose is to suck the money out of your pocket. Almost like video games based on movies. Just horible.

Big Mommas: Like Father, like son
Its the kind of sequel film you know Hollywood will make because of how much the prior film made, but you can’t imagine why anyone will see it. And if you happen to be African American then you are fighting the need to “support” anything and everything Black, even when its an obvious waste of money and time. Worse yet, when such a Afrocentric film is targeted in Black History Month.

No matter what, a bad film is just bad. Martin Lawrence is sure to drag out a few laughs, but the drag show is old news. You know all the gags by now, the only new ones involving his sidekick Brandon T. Jackson. Faizon Love really shouldn’t be that desperate for work.

Sadly, there will be yet another of these films. The profit is guaranteed. To bad the laughs aren’t.

Of course there is always the feel good option of over-the-top acting. That’s where Drive Angry comes in.

Nicholas Cage stars in this forgetable film that is only slightly more worthy of your movie theater dollars than his last film Season of the Witch. In fact this retrograde Ghost Rider remake of The Car (too old a film for most movie goers today) is about as useless as the watered down parts that make it up. There is the Rosemary’s baby angle, the devil cult, the escape from hell. Is this making you fall alseep already? Nothing in the film gives you that sense of terror you might expect for a film so deeply involved with the afterlife in Hell.

If the choice was between Big Momma and this, get a coloring book.

For those that want a bit more Twillight for their movie dollar there is always I Am Number Four. A very long winded title, but in fact the name of the books that this is copied from. A movie converting a book, focused on teens, how original. Yes except this time we have aliens with goofy powers instead of werewolves and vampires.

Given the moderate CGI and special effects, and far more importantly the fact that Timothy Olyphant is in the film, this rates a maybe on the Summer DVD dicount bin. Unless you love watching teen angst, wait for it to be free on cable.

Moving on to March, we get a sigh of relief. Movies with budget where the writers got paid at least as much as some of the actors. Films where you get a plot, maybe CGI, some acting, all at once. March is a good month.

The big draw for the month will be Rango. During the Super Bowl several Jophnny Depp fans were very clear on how this film was the kids wersion of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (an excellent film that we recommend). Looking at the movie trailer you have to agree it does look like it.

What ever Rango is, a bit of spaghetti-western mixed with anime and a dash of too may phychodelics perhaps, it is entertaining to watch. No surprise the voice cast includes Johnny Depp and Alfred Molina.

Another good pick comes from Matt Damon, who has had a bit of a shaky run with his last several films. This time out he sticks with the classics in a film version of Phillip K. Dick’s Adjustment Bureau. If you don’t know who Phillip K Dick is, look him up, but suffice to say that he is responsible for some of the best films and television ideas in the last 3 decades or more.

Damon has the ultimate choice. Knowing the future, would you choose the woman you are not supposed to be with or success as you have always dreamed of. What would you pick?

In a bit of a surprise there is the release of Battle: Los Angeles in March. A film you might have expected to go for the summer throne. But this film is definitely in the genre of recent films with aliens attacking Earth (or more specifically humans on Earth). Of course the film ignores the obvious (like just throw a big rock at the planet and then sweep away any survivors), and presumes that beings that can travel light years aren’t smart enough to figure out how to protect themselves from bullets. Puting aside logic, it looks like a good action film.

Michelle Rodriguez, Aaron Eckhart, and enough CGI to make anyone born after 1990 happy

Going in a very different direction is the glitzy film Limitless. A film that seems intent on being a tool for denouncing the excesses of 2011 in a similar manner to how Wall Street expressed the 90′s. The film looks great, as a trailer. But the story is pretty straight forward. Kid takes drug, becomes god-like, gets paranoid (possibly with good reason), and burns out like a light bulb. Still there is Robert De Niro so that is something. A bit too slick for me, but you may like it.

Lastly there is Electra Luxx. The title sounds stupid given. Then again what do you expect out of the name of a porn star. Well not a real porn star, but the titular lead of the film. Again this film star Timopthy Olyphant, which bodes well for it. But the most important actress is Carla Gugino who is the lead.

It’s quirky, independent, and not quite right. It makes fun of the porn industry, blogging, mothers, and blondes. It is hardly serious, and yet it covers more than you expect. The movie trailer invites you in, and you want to stay. Is that worth a movie ticket?

Well that’s a few of the upcoming movies. check them out if you dare.

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