Post-Oscar films to enjoy in March

By Hoang-Mai Hong

Emerging from all the hullabaloo and buzz of the Academy Awards, one realizes that other than a few upcoming “majorly anticipated” movies, what else is there? Not that anything else is less than worthy of our collective attention, but there hasn’t been much circulating around other than Watchmen trailers. Well, the Oscars have been awarded now, and according to the adverts at the end of the show on the U.S. feed, we need to push forward on the movie front.

Unfortunately, things start out rather slowly so the film world can recover from its award season hangover. Pre-teens will be delighted to flock to Jonas Brothers: 3D Concert Experience this week, which also features Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift. The other new release option this week is the more fantastically horrifying Street Fighter: Legend of Chun-Li starring Smallville’s and Canada’s own Kristin Kreuk. Why Street Fighter and why now? Be one of probably 12 people in the world who ever find out before it is more than likely to be released straight to DVD and obscurity the following week.

Rather than venturing into theatres this week, you could alternatively read or re-read the beloved Watchmen, probably the greatest graphic novel of all time, before its highly anticipated movie adaptation is released March 6. The story is probably too complex for any summary to do it any justice, so read the graphic novel.

If you’re in the ABBA and singing mood (and when aren’t you ever?) the Uptown Theatre and CBC radio will be presenting a Mamma Mia! Sing Along on March 5. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door and costumes are delightfully encouraged. Starting March 5 as well is the 17th annual CSIF $100 Film Festival showcasing low-budget independent short films in Super 8 and 16mm film prints. It runs until March 7 at the Plaza.

On the slightly grittier side, Movies that Matter will be premiering Crips and Bloods: Made in America on March 9. The documentary, helmed by the renowned Stacy Peralta, was recently screened at the Sundance Festival and examines the infamous south central L.A. rival gangs.

Movie releases quicken their pace March 13, starting with the limited release of Crossing Over. It stars Harrison Ford and Sean Penn, fresh from his Oscar-winning performance in Milk, and has him dealing with another hot-button, Californian issue: immigrants from across the border struggling to achieve legal status. Also in limited release is the comedy Sunshine Cleaning with the always wonderful Amy Adams and Emily Blunt as two sisters who start a crime scene clean-up company. Stalling things is yet another generic-looking comedy, Miss March, which stars the brilliant comedy troupe from IFC’s The Whitest Kids U’Know. The movie is about guy who emerges from a coma and journeys with his sex-crazed buddy to find his hot ex, now a Playboy centrefold. Unfortunately, you can literally watch the entire, mediocre movie in 10 minutes in its “trailer,” which shows clips of nearly every scene from the start to finish of the movie.

March 20 features some bigger names in the form of Duplicity, starring Julia Roberts and Clive Owen as former CIA and MI-6 agents working for rival multinational corporations who duke it out while fighting off their attraction for one another. If their chemistry in Closer was any indication, the slightly fluffy-sounding thriller plot might be worth enduring. Also out that day is the new Paul Rudd and Jason Segel comedy, I Love You Man, which, even without the magic touch of Judd Apatow, features the same players and what looks like the same quality of raunchy yet warm and heart-felt comedy. The stinker of this week is the “new” Nicholas Cage treasure hunting/conspiracy movie, Knowing. It’s a very bad sign indeed that the trailer can easily be mistaken for National Treasure 3.

Finally, on the cheap and free side of things, Cinemania will be presenting that old chestnut, Max Payne, on March 9. Mark Wahlberg, a bevy of naked superfluous love interests (one played by Olga Kurylenko) and video-game styled shoot ’em ups are hard enough to resist on a regular day, but free? Please.

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