CultBox at the Movies: March 2013 preview

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CultBox takes a look at this month’s cinematic highlights…

Stoker (18)

Release date: Friday 1 March

The Talent: Park Chan-wook (Dir.), Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman.

The Plot: Suspicion turns to infatuation when a teenage girl’s uncle comes to stay following the death of her father in a car accident. Despite her doubts surrounding the motives of her Uncle Charlie, young India Stoker is drawn closer to this mysterious man as he starts to fill the void in her life.

The Buzz: Korean director Chan-wook (Oldboy) presents his first English-language movie and evokes a psychological thriller of Hitchcockian proportions. Penned by Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller this film has been attracting positive reviews that wax lyrical about the nuanced performances from all involved. If you fancy a grown up thriller that treats its audience as such and feels arty without being pretentious, then you could do a lot worse than checking Stoker out.

Oz the Great and Powerful 3D (PG)

Release date: Friday 8 March

The Talent: Sam Raimi (Dir.), James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz.

The Plot: A small-time magician’s hot air balloon is blown off course to a magical world populated by talking porcelain dolls and flying monkeys. Will the magician become the great man he is rumoured to be? Or will the original owner of a certain pair of sparkly shoes stand in his way?

The Buzz: This is technically Oz: Episode One – The Wiccan Menace. A prequel to a beloved classic that has shaped and defined childhoods in equal measure; will it suffer the same critical mauling that part one of the Skywalker saga did back in 1999? With the talent on show we’d like to think ‘no’. The look of the film resembles Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland but surely Raimi is too canny a director to repeat the follies of that reimagined tale. The trailers have looked pretty impressive though, with little old black and white Kansas once again blossoming into technicolour. Could this be the film we’ve been waiting 74 years for? We’re willing to follow that yellow brick road to find out.

Jack the Giant Slayer 3D (12A)

Release date: Friday 22 March

The Talent: Bryan Singer (Dir.), Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor.

The Plot: Jack climbs up to a city in the clouds in order to rescue a beautiful princess from the enormous clutches of the giants … which all sounds very familiar so far. But, how will Jack cope when the giants slide back down the Beanstalk and threaten everything he’s ever known?

The Buzz: When a film’s release date is delayed it doesn’t usually bode well (just ask GI Joe: Retaliation, which also finally arrives this month) and Jack was originally due on our screens back in June 2012. Early word on X-Men director Bryan Singer’s latest, however, seems to be quite positive. Some dodgy CGI aside, this appears to be an enjoyable, witty romp that really steps up a gear when the giants arrive on the scene. It’s a shame then that most people will be watching this whilst wishing the time away for Singer’s next film and his return to a certain school for gifted youngsters.

The Croods 3D (U)

Release date: Friday 22 March

The Talent: Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco (Dir.), Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds.

The Plot: When a Stone Age family’s cave is destroyed they must rely on the expertise of a resourceful nomadic teenager to lead them to a new home. Having rarely left their cave they must battle the trials of the outside world if they’re going to be safe from an impending disaster which will change the world forever.

The Buzz: Castor Troy meets The Flinstones via The Land Before Time. Now that sounds like our kind of film! Seriously though, how often can you take the little ‘uns to a Nicolas Cage film? (What do you mean your local multiplex’s Kids’ Club is showing Leaving Las Vegas?) With no reviews yet it’s hard to guess whether this will be a future classic or end up extinct, but this prehistoric adventure should entertain your children this Easter.

Trance (15)

Release date: Wednesday 27 March

The Talent: Danny Boyle (Dir.), James McAvoy, Vincent Cassel, Rosario Dawson.

The Plot: An art heist goes awry when the inside man suffers amnesia and can’t remember where he’s hidden a multi-million pound Goya. When he doesn’t crack under torture there’s only one thing left to try … will Rosario Dawson’s hypnotherapist be able to tease the information from him?

The Buzz: How do you follow The Greatest Olympic Opening Ceremony of All Time™? With a film noir in the style of a 90’s erotic thriller, of course! A kind of Bogart meets Basic Instinct if you like. Not as tense as Stoker but with just as watchable a cast it would be difficult to discuss Trance in any more detail without giving the whole plot away. Danny Boyle has never made a film that isn’t worth watching. We even have a soft spot for A Life Less Ordinary.

What are you looking forward to at the cinema this month? Let us know below…