HomeMoviesArticlesMonthly Movie Roundup for March 2017

Monthly Movie Roundup for March 2017

The Cinema Geeks podcast continues with their Monthly Movie Roundup! blog series. For this edition we are giving you our thoughts on the March releases.  In order to help supplement the lack of new movie reviews we do in the actual podcast, each month we will give you our quick takes on the previous months new releases. Each release will receive a quick take from at least ONE of our resident geeks, and at times may receive a take from all four of us. In the comments section be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree with our takes. You can also tweet your thoughts to us directly. The show handle is @CinemaGeekCast or you could reach us each individually by tweeting to Kevin @OptimusSolo, Dan @MovieRevolt, Amanda @HardCandiMandi or Matt @FridleyCent. If you need a refresher on the GCRN Universal Rating Scale you can check that out by clicking here!

If you are interested in our past Roundups you can check them out here.

February Movie Roundup


 

Logan

Release Date: 3-3-2017
Director: James Mangold
Genre: Superhero

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

I went into Logan with low expectations actually compared to the other superhero fare we will be getting this year. Early reviews made me a little more optimistic and I was glad to find out the reviews were nailing this one on the head. Logan is a film that could have worked even if you stripped away most of the super hero elements. However, the super hero aspects just added another layer of fun and entertainment overall. This film showcased some powerful and affecting performances from Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman and newcomer, Dafne Keen. It developed its characters so much better than many comic book films do and it had a powerful emotional pull at various points in the final act. Wolverine and Professor Xavier pulled off a magic trick in this film as decades later and almost a dozen films in they were still able to bring new nuances to their characters. This film also did something very few comic book films do, they dealt with aging and mortality. This film is easily sitting atop the list of 2017 films early on. Let’s see how long its claws can cling to that spot as we move through the year.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

This was the most heart breaking and action packed comic book movie I have ever seen. Loved every minute of the ass kicking action. The relationships between all of the characters were spectacular. The performances were tp notch, including those of Hugh Jackman as well as his child counterpart, Dafne Keen. I would recommend this film to anyone.


 

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date: 3-10-2017
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Genre: Monster

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

Kong was a surprise to me. I did not think I would have as much fun as I did with this one. It is FAR superior to the Peter Jackson version early on in the 2000s. If you are able to just sit back, grab your popcorn and allow yourself to just have fun, you will not be disappointed. If you are incapable of watching a film without having your super critical goggles on then stay away from this one as it does have a bucket full of issues. Perhaps the most glaring issue in the entire film comes from Samuel L. Jackson’s character of Preston Packard who’s motivations and actions are laughable given the setting of this film. The director’s and writer’s failed to realize that in a monster film of this magnitude you don’t NEED to have a human villain. If they would have just made the film a universal struggle for survival and escape the film would have been elevated exponentially. Kong is visually breathtaking and much of the world and the creatures are very well conceived. John C. Reilly is hilarious in this film but he is sometimes lost amongst the overly bloated cast that takes part in this island romp. I would recommend this to most people as a fun popcorn blockbuster.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I expected something bombastic from this blockbuster with a high profile cast. I was very pleased with how they did Kong himself. The creatures and natives were great but the story had some major holes. My biggest disappointment was the story-line surrounding Sam Jackson’s character and his ridiculous decisions and motivations. All the other characters, especially John C. Reilly were great. I loved the action and I loved the high stakes that were present in the action. It was definitely better than the last film rendition of Kong.


 

Beauty & The Beast

Release Date: 3-17-2017
Director: Bill Condon
Genre: Musical Fantasy

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

Beauty and the Beast is easily the best live-action adaptation that Disney has done so far. It got so many thing right and paid its respects to the original animated masterpiece but at the same time elevated the story by adding so much in backstory and character nuances. The casting of this film was impeccable. Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Dan Stevens, Emma Watson and Kevin Kline were amazing in their respective roles. The visuals were awe inspiring, especially everything outside and within the Beast’s castle. The additions to Belle and Beasts backtory and the relationships with their families that this brought to the forefront were well thought out and executed. It corrected some minor plot holes from the animated series, especially from a timeline aspect when it comes to the age of the Beast as well as the village’s lack of knowledge of the castle’s existence that many people have had questions about since the 90s film release. The music was mostly magical. I especially adored the new song they gave the Beast and will be expecting an Oscar nomination for best original song come next award season. The other new musical pieces were mostly forgettable however and a few of the classic songs just seemed a little bit off in the respect of missing the emotional punch or cadence that made the original songs resonate so well. The biggest example of that would be Emma Thompson’s performance of the title song which just seemed so disappointing in comparison to Angela Lansbury’s rendition. I did enjoy most of the lyrical changes they made to the various songs however to help fit this modern take on the story. If this is the direction we are headed with these live-action Disney re-imaginings, then I am excited to see what we get next.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

This was the perfect mix of old and new. Beautiful blend of nostalgia and new elements. I was glad to see more back story of Belle’s mother and her connection with her, but was disappointed in Emma Watson’s singing. I was also disappointed in Cogsworth, he was off character and under used. I was however very pleased with the ‘Be Our Guest’ dinner scene as well as the gorgeous use of color, costuming, and CGI. The Beast’s castle was far more detailed and interesting than the original (which is saying something to the grand scale). I also enjoyed the new song of Beast’s. Luke Evans was a great Gaston and Lefou, although different from the original, added his own flair to the film. Overall a great watch and one I even enjoyed in 3D which is rare for me.


 

Power Rangers

Release Date: 3-24-2017 (Wide Release)
Director: Dean Israelite
Genre: Superhero

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

I come to this movie with a unique perspective having not seen a single minute of this entire franchise prior to this. I have a strong disdain for this entire property and was incredibly surprised that I actually enjoyed myself during this film. It’s not an incredible film in any way but it serves its fans well as being a very serviceable adaptation of the classic property. I would say it does a much better job of re-envisioning this world than we have received in the likes of Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jem and G.I. Joe. It knew what to pay homage to and it knew where to go different directions. The putties and Goldar were laughable as villains and there is a high level of cheese involved but the movie actually takes its time to develop its characters and the relationships between those characters to make it so you are actually invested in what happens to them and their mission. Did it inspire me to go watch the TV series, absolutely NOT, but did I enjoy myself with this individual film, yes, I did.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

As a fan of the 90s TV show, I was needless to say, skeptical, about this “modern day” telling…or re-telling. I found myself in fangirl glee as the movie progressed though. It had all the right pieces here. The backstory of the Rangers and each individual Ranger was great. I loved the effects AND the new suits (even though I didn’t think I would). The putties, I hated though and Goldar was crap. However, I thought Rita was excellent. This had just the right amount of adult humor and nods to the original to make me really enjoy myself.


 

Ghost in the Shell

Release Date: 3-31-2017
Director: Rupert Sanders
Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

I came into this film with no knowledge of the franchise (seems to be a recurring theme lately). However, unlike Power Rangers this one actually did make me want to go back and watch the previous film/series that this installment is drawn from. They created a fascinating world visually that was reminiscent of something like The Fifth Element. I think the film also poses some interesting questions regarding technology vs what it means to be human. I’ve heard this is done even more effectively in the aforementioned installments of this franchise but that doesn’t totally take away what they were giving us in this film. This one won’t be for everybody but if you like Science-Fiction films or our a fan of this franchise then you should have an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I was totally on board from the first time I saw the trailer for this flick. The look and tone of this film was so amazing. The detail to the world and the super cool costuming blew me away. It was super reminsicent of the Fifth Element and I loved it. I thought it had a great concept and was executed beautifully.

Quick Take:
(By FridleyCent)

A serviceable prequel to the serialized anime, if you’ve ever seen the original. The actors do a great job and the movie looks the part, but the story is inferior in most ways. It’s an okay action movie with a similar thread to V for Vendetta, though not as compelling.


 

Life

Release Date: 3-24-2017
Director: Daniel Espinosa
Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

This film received a TON of unwarranted hate before it was ever released and I was really hoping that it would prove all the naysayers wrong, especially given the cast involved. Instead all we got was a watered down version of Alien. The film had the potential to take that same premise and take it down a new and interesting path but failed to do so at every turn. It’s as if they never had someone read through the final script to check for errors or inconsistencies. You never really felt connected to any of the characters involved and the true motivations or inner workings of the main alien, Calvin, were never explored. It’s not the worst movie I’ve seen this year in any way, but given the potential and given the masterpiece that is Alien, you can’t feel much more than disappointment when it comes to Life.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I didn’t expect much from this recycled story (Alien, much?) but I expected more from the Grade-A actors in this film. They wasted no time getting deep into the tension and it has some solid horror elements and visuals but I was definitely not ‘wow’d’ by this film. Mildly entertaining at best.


 

Gifted

Release Date: 4-12-2017
Director: Marc Webb
Genre: Drama

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

We were able to see this one about a month before it came out which I only bring up because it meant that we were in a packed theatre for our viewing which is very rare for us. I’m not sure if that enhanced my overall experience with this film or not but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this one. It may be that it is hitting theatres at the perfect time in our country, in which public and private education debates are at the political forefront. It may be that is has a ridiculously good child performance by McKenna Grace. It may be because I could relate to it as a former teacher. I’m not sure I can pinpoint the exact reason why, but the film worked for me easily. Cinephiles and movie critics will probably not have much praise to send this film’s way and I’m sure its Rotten Tomatoes score will reflect that with something in the 40 range. However, if you want a film that you can recommend to your parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, neighbors or just one you can watch at home with your immediate family, this will not disappoint.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

Had low expectations for this film, but left the theatre surprisingly satisfied. This story was joyful and heartbreaking. It broke me down and warmed me back up from the inside out. The performances here were perfect as well as its witty dialogue. It was a definite feel good film that touched on some very serious content. I enjoyed this a great deal.

 

Cinema Geeks – Epi
PRESS RELEASE - IDW