The final week of the month of March brings two very different kinds of wide releases, neither of which will likely have the ability to overthrow Belle.
Let’s bitch it out…
Despite taking a tumble, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast continued to reign supreme at last weekend’s box office. The live action sensation may be able to threepeat if both of the new releases underwhelm this weekend. Overall look for some mild fireworks (if there are any at all) as we close out the third month of the year.
March 31, 2017
Ghost in the Shell (Wide)
- Cast: Scarlett Johansson (Ghost World), Michael Pitt (Hedwig & the Angry Itch)
- Official Synopsis: Based on the internationally-acclaimed sci-fi property, Ghost in the Shell follows the Major (Johansson), a special ops, one-of-a-kind human-cyborg hybrid, who leads the elite task force Section 9. Devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists, Section 9 is faced with an enemy (Pitt) whose singular goal is to wipe out Hanka Robotic’s advancements in cyber technology.
- Good for fans of: Anime, existential questions, camouflage nudity
- Is it worth your time? Depends on your background with the material. If you’re a fan of the original anime, you may have chafed at the whitewashing casting of Johansson, as well as the dumbing down of one of the most philosophical animes in existence. If, however, you’re not too much of a purist and you’ve been dying for a live-action version (albeit with a bit more emphasis on the guns and violence), this could be just the ticket. Critics are split, leaning a bit more to the positive.
The Boss Baby (Wide)
- Cast: Voices of Alec Baldwin (Trump on TV’s SNL), Lisa Kudros (TV’s The Comeback), Steve Buscemi (TV’s Portlandia)
- Official Synopsis: A hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.
- Good for fans of: Singular idea narratives, sight gags, Dreamworks Animation
- Is it worth your time? Fully acknowledging that I am not the target market, this looks completely insufferable. If, however, you’ve already seen Beauty & the Beast a half dozen times, perhaps you’re ready for something new. Who knows?!
The Zookeeper’s Wife (Limited)
- Cast: Jessica Chastain (), Daniel Brühl
- Official Synopsis: The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska (Chastain) and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński (Johan Heldenbergh), have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Germans, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck (Brühl). To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.
- Good for fans of: holocaust dramas, book adaptations, animals
- Is it worth your time? The trailer is hitting the emotional empathy angle a little too strongly for my tastes (and the timing of the release screams “failed Oscar contender”) but Chastain is reliably great and the subject matter offers a slight variation on a familiar subject. Could be decent.
That’s it for March. April brings showers and fresh horrors in the form of a new Smurfs film and Morgan Freeman’s tired-looking geezer heist film, Going in Style. So maybe The Boss Baby isn’t so bad after all!