This Weekend In Theaters - March 7th Edition

Published: Mar 06, 2014 15:27pm EST
By Bob Phelan, Movie Critic for Konsume Entertainment

Please Note: This article was updated Mar 06, 2014 @ 03:27pm EST

 

Outside of a handful of weekends a year I think most people don't time when they go to the movies to a particular release. It seems to be a more spontanious notion along the lines of "hey, wanna go to the movies?" or "we can get a babysitter tonight, why not go out and see something?". I'm not too far from that boat. Having a full time job, a wife, and kids can make it difficult to make it out to the theater so when the time does come to do so its nice to have an idea of what to steer towards and what to avoid. As I listen to a dozen movie podcasts and try to pay attention to the movies coming out, I'm going to do my best to help you make that decision.

 

March used to be a month much like January and February that was a wasteland with a few gems here and there if you looked hard enough but now with the summer blockbuster "season" starting sooner and sooner we're starting to see bigger releases, at least in budget. There are a couple of those this weekend, the first of which is '300: Rise of an Empire'. Seven years later with the sequel to '300', Warner Brothers is hoping that people still remember the franchise that set the then record for opening weekend gross for a movie released in March ($70 million). I loved '300' when I saw it back then. The visual style and action was fairly unique at the time and Zack Snyder has gone on to use that to take charge of the financially successful 'Man of Steel' franchise. It doesn't hold up completely now but its still a fun action movie with a flair for the dramatic. Even though I enjoyed the original I'm not looking forward to 'Rise of an Empire'. Its four or five years too late and early reviews seem to indicate that its more of the same which isn't as interesting after the many similar movies that have come out over the last seven years. If you're a huge fan of the original or just a lover of slow motion packed action movies in general this could be what you're looking for.

The other big release of the weekend is 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman', an animated kids film time traveling adventure based on the characters from 'The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show'. I saw the trailer for this when I took my daughter to see 'The Lego Movie' last month and it looked like it could be a good time. There are a spectrum of kid/animated movie types. On one end are the inane wastes of time like 'The Smurfs' or 'The Lorax' and on the other end are the ones that the adults seem to enjoy much more than their kids, 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' perhaps. I'm hoping this one can manage to find a happy medium between the two to make everyone happy. It seems like it could meet the quality of the 'Despicable Me' franchise, which I don't love but is passable. Early reviews are decent so if you have a kid I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this is the movie to see. And if you haven't seen 'The Lego Movie', what are you waiting for? Kids or not.

The last release of note is Wes Anderson's new film 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'. Its the story of a concierge at a European hotel and involves the theft of an important painting. The cast is so jam packed with big names I won't even take the time to name them all here (could, but won't) but Ralph Fiennes, Bill Murray, and Edward Norton lead the list. Anderson is an interesting film maker with a unique style. It took me a while to come around on him, I didn't like any of his films that much until recently with 'Fantastic Mr. Fox' and 'Moonrise Kingdom'. I loved both of those and I'm hoping he continues the trend here. Currently sitting at 86% on rotten tomatoes it would appear that it does. Its only being released in limited theaters this weekend but is sure to expand over the rest of the month.

Best Bet: If you can find 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' go with that otherwise 'Mr. Peabody and Sherman' is the choice if you have a kid to tag along with you, '300: Rise of an Empire' if not.

 


 

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Bob Phelan
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