Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Reel Preview - The Year in Film 2017, Episode III

Awards season has ended which means the book on 2016 can mercifully be closed, and with our exit from the dead months of January and February, we now mark the beginning of a new cinematic year for real. Here are the notable releases for the packed month of March.

The evolution begins with…

LOGAN – Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart reprise their roles as everyone’s favorite mutants for the final time, in which an aging Wolverine (Jackman) and an even-more aging Professor X (Stewart), embark on a dangerous cross-country road trip to save the life of a young mutant. It is directed by James Mangold, who directed Jackman in THE WOLVERINE in 2013, and the Oscar-darling WALK THE LINE in 2005. It is the first R-rated X-MEN movie in the series.

THE SHACK – The best-selling novel by William P. Young finally makes it to the big screen. In this faith-based drama, a bereaved father (Sam Worthington), is mysteriously summoned to a shack in the woods where he is greeted by a trilogy of mystical beings…and they help him face his fears. Octavia Spencer co-stars.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND – This version of King Kong, which seems like the 987th one, serves as a reboot to the series and as a prequel to the 2014 GODZILLA film…which is setting up a future showdown. In this setup movie, an expedition to Skull Island goes wrong (of course it does). The overqualified cast includes Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Brie Larson, and John C. Reilly.

RAW – In this French-Belgian horror film, a vegetarian college student suddenly develops a craving for raw meat.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST – Walt Disney pictures remakes their own 1991 animated version. Emma Watson (HARRY POTTER), stars as Belle; a young woman taken prisoner by a Beast (Dan Stevens). It also stars Luke Evans (THE HOBBIT), Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, and Ian McKellen. It is directed by Bill Condon, who is known for directing and writing critically acclaimed films such as GODS AND MONSTERS, CHICAGO, KINSEY, and DREAMGIRLS. 

T2 TRAINSPOTTING – Danny Boyle directs this sequel to his very own 1996 cult-hit TRAINSPOTTING. Ewan McGregor reprises his original role.

SONG TO SONG – Maverick director Terrence Malick returns with a modern love story set in the Austin, Texas music scene. The impressive cast includes Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Benicio del Toro, Holly Hunter…and a few cameos from real-life famous musicians.

THE BELKO EXPERIMENT – James Gunn (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) wrote this horror-thriller in which 80 people are locked in a building and are ordered by an unknown voice to kill or be killed.

POWER RANGERS – The long-awaited reboot and reimagining of the once-popular superhero TV series. Bryan Cranston stars as Zordon, and Elizabeth Banks plays Rita Repulsa.

LIFE – In this science-fiction horror mashup, a crew aboard a space station retrieves a sample from Mars…which causes all sorts of horrific problems. Stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds.

CHiPS – The long-awaited film adaptation of the 1970’s TV series is finally here. Dax Shepard directs and plays Jon, and Michael Pena (ANT-MAN) is Ponch. Tagging along are Vincent D’Onofrio and Kristen Bell.

WILSON – Based on the graphic novel of the same name, a lonely middle-aged man reunites with his estranged wife. Stars Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern.

GHOST IN THE SHELL – The live-action adaptation of the Japanese manga of the same name. Scarlett Johansson plays a cyborg tasked with thwarting cyber criminals. It is directed by Rupert Sanders (SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN).

THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE – Based on the non-fiction book of the same name, this WWII drama tells the tale of a zookeeper couple who saved people during the war by hiding them in animal cages. Stars Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl.


Next month, Episode IV explores the month of April.

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