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What’s Worth Watching – March 2013

What's Worth Watching - March 2013 (featured pick Compliance)

It’s the first day of the month which means we get to look ahead to the big March movies!

February turned out to feature a few real memorable efforts like Cloud Atlas, No and Mea Maxima Culpa but also some drivel like A Good Day to Die Hard and Hitchcock. You can now revisit our February 2013 “What’s Worth Watching” post and see updated review links to all the films we took the time to assess.

March means that slump between the awards contenders and the big summer blockbusters. This means there may not be as much fuss or media coverage about what shows up in your local cinema every Friday but that’s not to say that there isn’t going to be something there worth your €9. We’ll run through the whole list of films from the month ahead and then pick out 5 that may be of interest…

Irish Cinema Release Dates – March 2013

22 March 2013

27 March 2013

29 March 2013

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#1 Oz the Great and Powerful

March 8th

Oz The Great and the Powerful

Sam Raimi has had a funny few years. The man who made his name with the Evil Dead and Spider-man trilogies is now more likely to show up as producer or presenter on projects than behind the director’s chair. His last film was the fun but forgettable Drag Me to Hell, but his follow-up is a different beast altogether. Oz the Great and the Powerful is a sort of prequel to The Wizard of Oz and is Disney’s attempt to try and capture some of that huge Alice in Wonderland audience who lapped up Tim Burton’s film when it was released in March 2010.

The film has some big names like James Franco, Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis alongside smaller names like Zach “remember Garden State?” Braff. The film looks like a packet of Starburst and will arrive in all the 2D and 3D formats imaginable. We’ll find out next week whether it’ll blow your mind or give you a headache.

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#2 – Robot and Frank

March 8th

Robot and Frank

This nice little film has been hanging around for the best part of a year after its debut at Sundance 2012. If you haven’t caught it at a festival or seen it online, then what better time than now to watch it. The film features Frank Langella (him of Frost/Nixon fame and Whoopi Goldberg’s ex FYI) as an old tired burglar whose son gives him a robot and they become mates. Weird., But lovely.

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#3 – The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

March 15th

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

It’s been a while since we’ve seen the likes of Steve Carell or Jim Carrey hamming it up in wigs and costumes. Carell in particular has spent the last 18 months selling himself as the straight man on films like Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Hope Springs and Crazy, Stupid, Love. 

Here he slaps on the fake tan and goes nutso on a can of hairspray to become the Vegas magician Burt Wonderstone with sidekick duties from Steve Buscemi, taking a break from winning awards on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. Wonderstone’s mentor is played by Alan Arkin and his biggest rival is Jim Carrey in full-on David Copperfield mode. One things for sure (wait for it)… the chemistry between these actors will be MAGICAL.

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#4 – Compliance

March 22nd

Compliance

An over-worked fast-food restaurant manager gets a phonecall saying one of her staff has been stealing and needs to be brought to a back-room to await police attention. The film raises questions over the trust we place in those purporting to be in power and just how easy it us for us to comply with whatever they tell us to do, often with devastating results.

Craig Zobel’s film is one of the most uncomfortable, compelling films you’ll see this month with strong performances from Ann Dowd as the boss and Dreama Walker as the employee. You may think it’s all a bit too far-fetched until you consider the fact the film is all based on a true story.

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#5 – Trance

March 27th

Trance

Yer man wot done the Olympics opening ceremony has a new film! It’s his first since that one where yer man cut off his arm!

Danny Boyle, one of our generation’s defining film-makers showed up on screen in last month’s Side by Side documentary and made me a little nostalgic for the days when he was a little more prolific and able to produce more than three films in eight years. Of course when you’re making films like 127 Hours, Sunshine and Slumdog Millionaire we should probably allow him to take a break in between.

The lead in Trance, James McAvoy also has another film out this month Welcome to the Punch, which played as JDIFF’s surprise film last week, but this certainly looks the stronger of the two. Throw in supporting appearances from Vincent Cassel and Rosario Dawson (two people who I’m more than happy to watch on-screen) and I for one am sold.

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Nigel

Nigel loves stupid films almost as much as he likes clever films. He'll watch anything but is usually drawn to documentaries, North American independent films, Irish cinema and gung-ho, balls-to-the-walls Hollywood blockbusters. Here's what he's been watching.