Dorri Olds’ must-see movies this month include sci-fi thriller ‘Chappie,’ above, dramas ‘White God’ and ‘Danny Collins’ and action flicks ‘The Gunman’ and ‘Run All Night.’ (robohub.org photo)
It looks like March’s offerings are more than the slim pickings of January and February. There are many genres and multiple stars to choose from. A quick rundown on a smorgasbord of choices includes “Serena” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Disclaimer: It’s been sitting in wait for a few years now, and critics haven’t been too kind now that’s it’s been seen. The actors do a great job, but the script ain’t up to snuff, and what should be a passionate love affair isn’t. I like that it’s directed by a woman, though — Susanne Bier (“Things We Lost in the Fire”).
“Kidnapping Mr. Heineken” stars Anthony Hopkins, and I do recommend it (review coming later this week); it’s based on the true story of beer tycoon Alfred “Freddy” Heineken (Hopkins), who was kidnapped by a bunch of bumbling criminals.
“Insurgent,” the second film in the “Divergent” trilogy, stars Kate Winslet and Shailene Woodley with Octavia Spencer and Naomi Watts. These types of cool effects but far-fetched plots just never grab me.
“Get Hard” with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart actually looks kind of funny, but I can’t believe I just said that. I’m going to deny it.
Directed by Neill Blomkamp (“Elysium,” “District 9”), “Chappie” is about Deon, a brainy programmer (Dev Patel) and a robotic police force. It is set in 2016, and Deon is passionate about making a robot that can think and feel. Police officer Vincent Moore (Hugh Jackman) is dead set against the idea. He thinks it is dangerous for man to be playing god and becomes sure of impending disaster. Michelle Bradley (Sigourney Weaver), a woman in a high-power position, sets out to destroy Deon’s thinking machine. Not the most original or deepest film, but lots of fun kabooms and one very cool looking robot. Sci-fi action thriller. Rated R. 120 min.
I haven’t seen this one yet but, man, what a cast. I love my husband dearly, but I’ve had a serious crush on Joel Kinnaman ever since he starred in “The Killing.” In “Run All Night,” he plays Mike, the estranged son of the haunted and regretful hit-man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson) aka “The Gravedigger.” Conlon’s long-time friend is mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), who is gunning for Conlon’s son. Wanting to save his son and make up for being such a lousy father, Neeson’s testosterone goes off the charts — “Taken”-style. Expect an adrenaline-fueled race against time, lots of violence but with an impressive cast that includes Boyd Holbrook, another one of my movie crushes, and Vincent D’Onofrio. It was originally slated for release on April 17. Let’s hope the early release means it’s that good. Interestingly there isn’t a review of it anywhere online. That’s not always a good thing — it could be critics were not allowed to pre-screen it for fear of bad reviews. We shall see. Action crime drama.Rated R. 114 min.
Dan Fogelman (“Crazy, Stupid Love,” “Cars”) wrote this drama about an aging 1970s rocker Danny Collins (Al Pacino) on the verge of a breakdown. Collins’ manager (Christopher Plummer) gives a newly discovered letter that was written to Collins by John Lennon four decades ago. It becomes life-changing for Collins and shakes him out of his darkness and sets him on a path to repair his life, and most importantly, to reunite with his son (Bobby Cannavale). I know, sounds kind of corny, right? But it’s a killer cast and actually very touching. Annette Bening and Jennifer Garner also star. Drama. Rated R. 106 min.
Directed by Pierre Morel (“Taken”), “The Gunman” stars Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance and Jasmine Trinca. It looks like typical fast action, but is elevated by a fine cast. A former Special Forces soldier (Penn) and military contractor suffering from PTSD tries to reconnect with his longtime love, but first must go on the run from London to Barcelona and across Europe in order to clear his name. Action crime drama. Rated R. 115 min.
I didn’t think I’d be able to watch this one because people abandoned dogs. I can watch anything gory or violent in a movie and love it, but if you touch one hair on a dog, I want to flee from the theater weeping. However, this film from Hungary is a masterpiece, and the dogs get their revenge against the humans who mistreated them and young Lili (Zsófia Psotta) tries to get her dog back after he was snatched away. It’s a metaphor about what can happen in society when “mixed breeds” are looked down upon. Drama. Rated R. 121 min.
Watch the trailer:
Have fun inside a warm theater and remember, spring is almost here.