The Final Cut(shall)

Managing Editor

3/9/15

Movies to watch for in March

Although the weather outside might not show it, it’s March, and that means springtime is closer than ever. That may mean different things to different people, but more than anything it means we’re closer to having decent films coming to our theaters again. For the most part, January and February combine as one singular time period when the movie studios get to dump all of their extra films they didn’t want to release during the previous year for one reason or another. This is also a time when the casual moviegoer gets to play catch up on the movies that were big players during award season.

So far this year there have only been two films that have grossed above $100,000,000: Fifty Shades of Grey and The SpongeBob Movie. Viewers can look for that to change in the coming month.

Award season is over, which means we can consider this the unofficial beginning of a new year of films. 

With that being said, here are some of my picks for films to keep your eye on this upcoming month.

CHAPPiE

CHAPPiE is the latest science fiction film from Neill Blomkamp (District 9 & Elysium). The film takes place in the near but recognizable future when police are replaced with an oppressive mechanized force. When one police droid is stolen and reprogrammed, he becomes the first robot in history to think and feel for himself. This causes humanity to be fearful about what implications this might have for the future.

This is only the third feature-length film for Blomkamp, a South African director. From the trailer, the film seems to have potential to be a return to form for him. His previous films have been very allegorical, tackling issues such as apartheid, immigration and healthcare. I’m excited to see what this film has in store. It’s surprising to me that Sony would want to release this movie now instead of later in the year, say around August or September. I hope the decision to release it in March pays off and it’s not overlooked. We’ll know for sure this upcoming weekend. CHAPPiE will be released on March 6 in IMAX and regular release.

Cinderella

We live in a world of rehashes and remakes, and the upcoming remake of the Disney classic Cinderella is no exception. This time around we get a live-action, stylized and reinvented look at the fairy tale. Kenneth Branagh takes the helm for this film. This bit of news should give worried fans a breath of fresh air. The Academy Award-nominated director (Henry V) should bring his fresh touch of fantasy period-piece story telling to this film, which might help the fans of the original see a new vision for a tale they know so well. Cinderella comes out on March 13 in IMAX and regular release.

The weekend of March 27      

The first is Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. This will be the first film in which the two have starred opposite each other since Silver Linings Playbook (with the exception of American Hustle, where the two had supporting roles). Serena has been in production limbo. It failed to find a U.S. distributor, and the post-production process was plagued with delays. Currently, the film boasts a 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and isn’t expected to redeem itself. Nevertheless, Lawrence and Cooper are two huge movie stars, so the film still might be worth a viewing.

The second is 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks pictures’ Home Around this time last year, viewers were graced with The LEGO Movie. I’m not saying Home will be this year’s LEGO Movie, but we are usually given a fairly decent family-friendly animated movie. It looks quirky and cute and boasts a cast including Steve Martin, Jim Parsons and Rihanna.

Lastly, Get Hard, which stars Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell, is one to watch. This the directorial feature film debut of screenwriter Etan Cohen, not to be confused with Ethan Coen, co-director of No Country for Old Men. Cohen wrote Tropic Thunder and Men in Black 3. Get Hard follows millionaire James King (Ferrell), who is convicted for fraud and sentenced to 10 years in prison. King hires Darnell Lewis (Hart) to prepare him for his life behind bars. I’m interested to see the dynamic between these two comedians. The trailer seems promising, but comedy trailers have proven to be misleading. I’ll be interested to see how this one plays out.

Folllow Cameron Cutshall on Twitter @CameronCutshall

2/21/15

The Oscars

Everyone has an insane passion (or obsession, depending on who you talk to). That’s perfectly fine as long as it is something you care deeply about. Some people might really enjoy playing Super Smash Bros. Others use their passion to help a greater cause, like saving shelter pets and finding a good family to take them as one of their own.

My passion is film.

My obsession is the Oscars.

Yes, it is an annual award show that basically entails watching pretty people give out trophies to other pretty people who get to live out the dream us peasants can only wish for. But I don’t care.

The Oscars are so much fun. Ever since I was a little kid, my family and I would play a game come showtime in which we would guess who would win each category. Whoever had the most points at the end of the show usually won some sort of prize. As a kid, the award would usually be something small like a bowl of ice cream, but as I’ve grown older the prizes have increased in significance. The Academy Awards have basically become my Super Bowl Sunday.

Since I was not gifted with natural athletic ability, the Academy Awards have usually been my outlet to utilize my competitive fire. In 2004 when the “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” took home 11 Oscars, I won my first celebratory bowl of ice cream. Now I fight to make sure every Academy Award Sunday remains the same.  

Feb. 22 will mark my 11th year watching the Oscars, and I plan to do so with my closest friends and fellow film lovers.

Admittedly, I know the Oscars are pointless and hold no weight in actually deciding what was the best movie of that given year. Usually, nine times out of 10, I disagree with the Academy anyway. However, it ranks right up there next to Super Bowl Sunday and Christmas morning.

Folllow Cameron Cutshall on Twitter @CameronCutshall