This year at the movies is likely to go down in history as one of the best in a long time. The next few months hold some cool surprises, so forget about the spring weather and get yourself to the nearest theater. Here are my picks for six releases you won’t want to miss.
Project X – March 2
“Project X” seems like it was made with a singular goal in mind: to be the ultimate party movie. It follows three high school seniors as they throw a party that gets wilder than any of them could ever imagine as the night spins out of control. Imagine the forgotten night from “The Hangover” except with teenagers, add a handheld documentary style and then bring more people and craziness than Jay Gatsby would know what to do with, and here’s a movie that could very well deliver on its raucous promises.
John Carter – March 9
A man from the Civil War gets transplanted onto Mars and gains warrior super powers, and joins the inhabiting, humanoid 12-foot tall aliens in battle to save a princess. From the trailer, this sci-fi special effects extravaganza basically just looks like “Attack of the Clones” meets “Avatar,” but what’s not awesome about that? This was originally supposed to be the first animated movie ever, but as the first live-action film from the director of “Wall-E,” and coming from a rich literary origin, “John Carter” should impress with both dazzling visuals and a hearty story.
Casa de mi Padre – March 16
Last year Will Ferrell proved his dramatic acting chops in the seriously depressing “Everything Must Go,” and now he takes on another challenge – Spanish. “Casa de mi Padre” is an action comedy spoof of Spanish soap operas and westerns, starring several big Spanish actors alongside Ferrell, all speaking only in español. Coming from two alumni SNL writers (from when it was great), there’s no doubt that this will be hilarious, and the fact that it’ll probably be the year’s highest grossing foreign language film in America is pretty funny in itself.
The Cabin in the Woods – April 13
The done-a-million-times premise of ‘college kids go to a solitary cabin to party, someone/something picks them off one by one’ is more than a standard cliche of horror flicks by now. So “Buffy,” “Angel” and “Firefly” creator Joss Whedon and the writer of “Cloverfield” have taken this setup and turned it on its head, unleashing mysterious creatures, electro-fields and all sorts of twisted surprises into the mix to subvert all usual genre expectations. So the only things you can really count on are bloody deaths, a lot of scares and plenty of WTF moments.
Lockout – April 20
Get ready for the summer blockbuster season with a sci-fi actioner that’s self-aware of its over-the-top premise, and taking full advantage of the fact. “Lockout” is essentially “Taken” in space – the convicts of a maximum security space prison gain control of the facility while the president’s daughter (Maggie Grace) is visiting, and a badass rogue outlaw (Guy Pearce) is sent in to rescue her. So that means kick-ass shootouts, inventive set pieces and a body count that’d make Liam Neeson proud – just what the doctor ordered when the end of school is within reach.
The Avengers – May 4
The Marvel brand has been building up to this movie for four years, and now that it’s finally here, they know damn well not to screw it up (like they did with “Captain America”). So they hired a wunderkind of spectacle to write and direct, Joss Whedon. As Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and more team up to stop Loki (Thor’s nemesis) from destroying the world, you can expect explosions galore, amazing thrills, a great dynamic between characters and one of the best superhero flicks in quite a while. Summer starts here – prepare to be wowed.