Film Film & Television

gXp Top 5 Anticipated Films of March 2018

*Synopses provided by Metacritic.com and Wikipedia.org.

Red Sparrow

Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Genre(s): Spy Thriller
Release date (US): March 2, 2018
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Matthias Schoenaerts, Charlotte Rampling, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeremy Irons

Synopsis: Dominika Egorova is many things. A devoted daughter determined to protect her mother at all costs. A prima ballerina whose ferocity has pushed her body and mind to the absolute limit. A master of seductive and manipulative combat. When she suffers a career-ending injury, Dominika and her mother are facing a bleak and uncertain future. That is why she finds herself manipulated into becoming the newest recruit for Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people like her to use their bodies and minds as weapons. After enduring the perverse and sadistic training process, she emerges as the most dangerous Sparrow the program has ever produced. Dominika must now reconcile the person she was with the power she now commands, with her own life and everyone she cares about at risk, including an American CIA agent who tries to convince her he is the only person she can trust.

I love Jennifer Lawrence. She is one of my favorite actresses in Hollywood right now and her body of work shows that she has got quite a range when it comes to the kinds of roles she is able to portray on film. Now, with her starring in this new spy thriller, Red Sparrow, I am excited to see what she can do in a role like this.

A Wrinkle in Time

Directed by: Ava DuVernay
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Genre(s): Science Fantasy Adventure
Release date (US): March 9, 2018
Starring: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Peña, Storm Reid, Zach Galifianakis, Chris Pine

Synopsis: After learning her astrophysicist father, Alex, is being held captive on a distant planet deep in the grip of a universe-spanning evil, Meg Murry works with her highly intelligent younger brother, her new friend and fellow student Calvin O’Keeffe, and three astral travelers, Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit and Mrs. Who to save him.

I will admit that I am not as familiar with the 1962 novel that serves as the basis for this new film, A Wrinkle in Time, as I should be. I know it is a literary classic but I honestly never had a chance to get around to reading it. All I know is that I am hoping that this new theatrical adaptation is way better than that 2003 made-for-TV movie was. This kind of story deserves to be told in as grand a fashion as possible and I believe that director Ava DuVernay has the talent to do just that.

Tomb Raider

Directed by: Roar Uthaug
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre(s): Action Adventure
Release date (US): March 16, 2018
Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dominic West, Walton Goggins, Daniel Wu, Kristin Scott Thomas

Synopsis: Lara Croft is the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen. Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone. Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death. Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan. But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.

Though I am excited for this new Tomb Raider movie, hoping it is infinitely better than the two previous films starring Angelina Jolie – and that it seems to stem from the new origin for the Lara Croft character brought about by the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot video game, I must admit that I have my reservations about the project, despite the fact that Alicia Vikander is starring as Lara Croft. Hopefully Square Enix is more careful with the film rights to the IP than Eidos did previously.

Pacific Rim Uprising

Directed by: Steven S. DeKnight
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Genre(s): Action Science Fiction
Release date (US): March 23, 2018
Starring: John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Jing Tian, Adria Arjona, Rinko Kikuchi

Synopsis: The globe-spanning conflict between otherworldly monsters of mass destruction and the human-piloted super-machines built to vanquish them was only a prelude to the all-out assault on humanity in Pacific Rim Uprising. John Boyega stars as the rebellious Jake Pentecost, a once-promising Jaeger pilot whose legendary father gave his life to secure humanity’s victory against the monstrous Kaiju. Jake has since abandoned his training only to become caught up in a criminal underworld. But when an even more unstoppable threat is unleashed to tear through our cities and bring the world to its knees, he is given one last chance to live up to his father’s legacy by his estranged sister, Mako Mori—who is leading a brave new generation of pilots that have grown up in the shadow of war. As they seek justice for the fallen, their only hope is to unite together in a global uprising against the forces of extinction. Jake is joined by gifted rival pilot Lambert and 15-year-old Jaeger hacker Amara, as the heroes of the PPDC become the only family he has left.

Again, I am cautiously awaiting the release of Pacific Rim Uprising because of the fact that Guillermo del Toro will no longer direct the film and is handing over the reins of the film to Steven S. DeKnight. And while DeKnight is a capable director, having worked on several Starz Spartacus series, I do worry that he may not be capable of handling the story behind the Pacific Rim franchise. Still, the film looks fun and interesting enough that I am willing to give it a chance and see if it can live up to what has come before.

Ready Player One

Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Genre(s): Action Science Fiction
Release date (US): March 29, 2018
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, T. J. Miller, Simon Pegg, Mark Rylance

Synopsis: In 2045, the world is on the brink of chaos and collapse. But the people have found salvation in the OASIS, an expansive virtual reality universe created by the brilliant and eccentric James Halliday. When Halliday dies, he leaves his immense fortune to the first person to find a digital Easter egg he has hidden somewhere in the OASIS, sparking a contest that grips the entire world. When an unlikely young hero named Wade Watts decides to join the contest, he is hurled into a breakneck, reality-bending treasure hunt through a fantastical universe of mystery, discovery and danger.

Oh man, do I have some high expectations for Ready Player One. Having read the 2011 novel by Ernest Cline and being completely blown away by the story, I am expecting a lot from the film – especially since it is being directed by Steven Spielberg; perhaps the best director of the past 40 years. I don’t know what I can say here that would properly convey how excited I am for this release, but it is one of my most anticipated films of 2018.

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