Waiting for the Sun

March? But they'll never remember us come Oscar time!At the NOW offices yesterday, I was asked, in all seriousness: “When are the movies going to start getting better”?

That’s the problem with March. The Oscar pictures have played out, and there’s nothing to take their place but middleweight blockbuster wannabes and the headier movies the studios couldn’t figure out how to sell. But hey, you put Jim Carrey and Steve Carell in another movie together, you’re guaranteed a $60 million opening, right?

Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!“: The people who gave us the “Ice Age” films bring their lush visual sensibility (and weak sense of narrative) to the beloved children’s classic, and the good news is that this is probably the least disagreeable of the recent Seuss adaptations. Of course, that’s one hell of a sliding scale.

Funny Games U.S.“: Michael Haneke remakes his own 1997 meta-thriller, virtually shot for shot, with Naomi Watts and Tim Roth playing the poor bourgeois saps whose pleasant existence is violated by a pair of polite sociopaths. It’s our own fault because we were too dense to get his point the first time around. But unless he’s handing out mission statements at the popcorn counter, how will we know there’s a point to get?

Sleepwalking“: Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl and AnnaSophia Robb mope around gloomily as members of a dented family in William Maher’s Sundance-calibrated drama. I guess every year gets its own version of “Winter Solstice”. Or was it “Winter Passing”? Ah, whatever, they’re all crap.

Also opening this week: “CJ7”, with Stephen Chow and what appears to be a CGI tribble; “Doomsday” — a post-plague “Mad Max” redux from the director of “The Descent”, which the distributor inexplicably failed to screen for review — and “Never Back Down”, which apparently wants to be a 21st century “Karate Kid” for audiences raised on Mixed Martial Arts.

Me, I’m off to see Jacques Rivette’s new film this morning. So there.

2 thoughts on “Waiting for the Sun”

  1. I’m hoping Doomsday wasn’t screened for reasons other than quality. I was ready to dismiss it as a bad ‘Mad Max’/’Escape from New York’ remake with B level ‘Hot Warrior Chick’ – (What, Jovavich wasn’t available?).

    Then I realized Neil Marshall did ‘Dog Soldiers’ and ‘The Descent’, so there’s a slim chance it’s good and the studio didn’t know what to do with it?

  2. I’m hoping for the same thing. But this was Focus Features’ release in the US, and they’re usually terrific at marketing their movies — these are the guys who brought us my beloved “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, after all, and even put us in the right frame of mind for that “Assault on Precinct 13” remake.

    The last movie they didn’t screen for the press, if I’m remembering correctly, was “The Return”, that awful J-horror wannabe where Sarah Michelle Gellar wanders around Texas trying to figure out if she’s a ghost. I can’t believe Neil Marshall would make a movie as bad as that, but … well, I’m waiting on the early reviews before I decide whether to catch a screening or wait for the DVD.

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