LOOKING AHEAD: New Movie Releases for March 14, 2014

Looking at what new movies are coming out this week, there are several romantic comedies on the list. It’s like they all got their calendars mixed up, and got these films out a month later then expected.

No matter, there are some decent looking choices this one, and one film in particular that made some HUGE waves in the world of crowd sourcing.

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What’s it about? A small town pharmacist’s uneventful life turns into a walk on the wild side when he embarks on a drug-and-alcohol fueled affair with a seductive customer in this murderously funny dark comedy starring Sam Rockwell and Olivia Wilde.

My thoughts?  When Sam Rockwell is leading the charge in your black comedy, your film is starting in the right place. The rest of the cast is pretty great too, though after seeing Drinking Buddies, I know that Oliva Wilde is capable of more then being the “hot” one in the movie. Not a must see for me, but definitely could be enjoyable.

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What’s it about? When five struggling single moms put aside their differences to form a support group, they find inspiration and laughter in their new sisterhood, and help each other overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.

My thoughts? Step one…this is not a Madea movie. So, that’s a good start. Second, I kinda dig the cast combo in this one. It’s a bunch of pretty strong female actors that can show off a bit more in a movie like this then being type cast. That’s something I can give to Tyler Perry. He usually cast actors that the main studios seem to have forgotten, and he tries to give them roles that are fun and different for them to play. So with that Tyler Perry, you got my respect sir.

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What’s it about? ‘Enemy’ tells the story of a university lecturer named Adam (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is nearing the end of a relationship with his girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent). One night, while watching a film, Adam spots a minor actor who looks just like him. Consumed by the desire to meet his double, Adam tracks down Anthony, an actor living with his pregnant wife Helen (Sarah Gadon) and engages him in a complex and dangerous struggle. The film is a haunting and provocative psychosexual thriller about duality and identity, where in the end only one man will survive.

My thought? I still haven’t seen PRISONERS yet, but it is pretty cool to see the director of PRISONERS reteam with Jake Gyllenhaal in something that is coming out so quickly. A interesting looking mind bender, the film looks to get to some pretty heavy areas with the two Gyllenhaals. Could be worth a viewing.

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What’s it about? Jason Bateman stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of the National Quill Spelling Bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. Contest officials, outraged parents, and overly ambitious 8th graders are no match for Guy, as he ruthlessly crushes their dreams of victory and fame.

As a reporter attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand of ‘Homeland’), who is completely unfazed by Guy’s take-no-prisoners approach to life.

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My thoughts? Actors directing themselves can either be an ego trip of a movie…or a film that perfectly utilizes the actors own strengths to it’s fullest. For me, this movie looks like the latter. That trailer cracked me the hell up. It’s easy to cast Jason Bateman as the straight man thanks to his work in Arrested Development, but Bateman has a killer timing with his dialogue that is golden. Definitely will look forward to seeing this one.

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What’s it about? Leo Palamino has dedicated his life to what some may call impossible dreams. At least his ex-wife Julie would call them that. But Leo is an expert at not listening to her criticism or anyone else’s for that matter because Leo is a stubborn romantic… An idealist. A dreamer. And to dream big, impossible dreams you can’t listen to the people who tell you that’s what those dreams are.

It is precisely this refusal to listen to criticism that drove his ex-wife Julie to blog about Leo’s flaws as their relationship broke down. A blog… called Why You Suck that would become a cultural phenomenon. And so when we meet Leo Palamino, he is a romantic dreamer, a dedicated writer, a dishwasher in a tourist trap, and a celebrity…

A man famous for his flaws.

Then one afternoon, as the very dejected Leo watches Julie being interviewed on a talk show about her upcoming book, he lays eyes on the woman of his (impossible) dreams… Colette is on her way into a wedding across the street from Leo’s house.

Her wedding.

My thoughts? Ryan Kwanten is an appealing lead who hasn’t found the right movie that will let him pop yet….this movie will NOT be that movie.  After watching that trailer, and seeing the girl that Kwanten is in love with is married to an obvious douche bag,  who doesn’t already know the ending to this one? But if you want an easy romantic comedy that you just want to leave your brain at the door, then this truly seems harmless enough.

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What’s it about? When a young nurse begins work at an isolated psychiatric ward, she quickly becomes fascinated with Patrick, a brain dead patient who is the subject of a mad scientist’s cruel and unusual experiments. What starts as an innocent fascination quickly takes a sinister turn as Patrick begins to use his psychic powers to manipulate her every move, and send her life into a terrifying spiral out of control.

My thoughts? This film is  a remake of an old Australian grindhouse (or OZploitation as they call it) film that was pretty much a rip off of Carrie.

While one would like to just dismiss a remake (though, truthfully, this remake will have no effect here in America since Patrick isn’t that well known.) there is a general affection from the filmmaker behind this movie. Mark Hartley directed the incredibly fun documentary Not Quiet Hollywood, which was about the OZploitation films that came out in the 1070’s. This is his first narrative feature film, so it’s possible that Mark Hartley is going to give film a fun edge that the recent Carrie remake didn’t have, simply because he has a clear love of the genre. But, can he make a narrative film as good as he can make a documentary? Not sure, I’m looking forward to seeing this to find out.

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What’s it about? Love has no borders and therein lies the premise of the hilarious, new Iranian-American romantic comedy ‘Shirin in Love.’ Nazanin Boniadi plays Shirin, an absent-minded, young Iranian-American living in “Tehrangeles” (the large Iranian community in Los Angeles) with her overbearing mother and empathetic father. Despite being engaged for years to a successful Iranian plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Shirin finds herself breaking loyalty and tradition when she falls in love with a mysterious young man who lives in a lighthouse in northern California. As her secret unravels and cultures clash, Shirin discovers what it ultimately means to be true to herself.

My thoughts? Well…the song at the end of the trailer nearly killed me with it’s awfulness, but this seems like an ok film. How I Met Your Mother fans will recognize will not only recognize Marchall Manesh (he plays the driver Ranjit) but they will also recognize Nazani Boniadi (she played Nora, one of Barney’s first real attempt at a real relationship in that show.) She was pretty good in the show, and I think it’s pretty great to see her as a romantic lead. Just wish it was a bigger movie…with a more interesting leading man. But hey, it’s a start.

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What’s it about? The heroes of ‘Tiger & Bunny’ are back in an all-new feature-length film! Picking up after the events of the Maverick incident, Kotetsu T. Kaburagi, a.k.k Wild Tiger, and Barnaby Brooks Jr. resume their careers as heroes fighting crime in Hero TV’s Second League. Their partnership comes to a sudden end when Apollon Media’s new owner Mark Schneider fires Kotetsu and moves Barnaby back into the First League, pairing him up with Golden Ryan, a new hero with awesome powers and a huge ego to match.

When the heroes are sent to investigate a string of strange incidents tied closely to the city’s Goddess Legend, they discover three super powered NEXTs plotting to bring terror and destruction to Stern Bild. With the lives of millions hanging in the balance, Barnaby and Goden Ryan must overcome their differences to contain the approaching doom, while a jobless Kotetsu’s resolve as a hero is put to the test as he struggles to help his fellow heroes from the sidelines.

My thoughts? I’ve been kinda curious about this Anime series for a while, but by the looks of this trailer, it would be a safe bet for me to NOT watch this movie with out seeing the series, because I am very confused at whats going on here. Looks cool though, so if your a fan of this series, did you see the other movies? Are you looking forward to this new movie? Comment below and let me know!

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What’s it about? Now in her early sixties, former beauty queen Bettie (Catherine Deneuve) finds herself jilted by her lover and left alone to deal with the financial problems facing her family’s restaurant. What begins as a quick drive to clear her head turns into a full-fledged road trip, and along the way there are chance meetings, an ex–Miss France gala, renewed ties with her estranged daughter and grandson, and possibly, at the end of the road, love…

My thoughts? A pretty great looking role of the legendary Catherine Deneuve. The plot is far from original, (hell, Jason Bateman’s movie has him teaming up with a little boy) but if you just want to see a great actress still prove she’s still got what it takes, then do seek this out.

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What’s it about? Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan give exquisite performances as Nick and Meg, a long-married British couple revisiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their relationship. During a two-day escapade, diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from harmony to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock of half a lifetime of deep tenderness — and even deeper regret. A surprise invitation from Nick’s old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), an amusingly boorish American academic with a fancy Parisian address, soon leads them to an unexpectedly hopeful vision of what their love and marriage might still become.

My thoughts? This looks really sweet. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan definitely showcase some great chemistry. This seems to be a simple pleasure…but a pleasure none the less.

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What’s it about? Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul) is a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Maddon (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey’s shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn’t commit, and sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out West.

Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge – but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon – the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first.

My thoughts? There is a huge cheesiness with this trailer that I kinda dig. I love Michael Keaton as the DJ/narrartor , (clearly a homage to the same kind of character in the ’70s chase flick Vanishing Point). Aaron Paul seems ready to be a leading man, and Dominic Cooper is usually pretty fun. They are selling the fact that most of the stunts in this film is done for real, with very little CGI, but will it all work? No idea. I’ll wait on the reviews to see if the film delivers on the action that this trailer promises.

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Whats it about? Years after walking away from her past as a teenage private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown – just in time for her high school reunion – in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who’s embroiled in a murder mystery.

My thoughts? A year after the legendary Kickstarter Campaign, the film to the beloved (yet cancelled) TV series is making it to the big screen. I personally have only seen season one and half of season two of the show…but, lets be clear, season one of Veronica Mars is one of my all time favorite pieces of TV storytelling. The characters, the cast, the dialogue, the use of long form storytine AND the compelling week to week mysteries is a reason I am a fan, regardless if I haven’t seen the whole series or not. I do have all three seasons of the show on DVD, but I still haven’t gotten around to watching it, but I think I’m just gonna go ahead and see the film anyways. The film screend at SXSW this past week, and the reviews have been glowing! Will this movie work on nonfans? God I hope so, especially for Kristen Bell’s sake. It’s because of her work as the title character that I still root for her when I see her leading a film, but I think it’s very obvious that the role of Veronica is the best use of her through and through. I can’t wait to visit Neptune High again, and I can’t wait see more scenes with Veronica and her father Keith Mars ( played by the great Enrico Colantoni). Their relationship was the best part of the show.

What films got your attention this week? Comment below and let us know!

Justin Quizon

About Justin Quizon

Film fanatic who can't stop writing about/talking about/ and even make films. Follow me on Twitter: @JustinQuizon and on Tumblr: http://justinquiz.tumblr.com/