Pick of the Litter – March 2016

BLOCKBUSTER OF THE MONTH

Batman v. Superman Dawn of Justice

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice

(Warner Brothers) Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Jesse Eisenberg, Amy Adams. For years DC had the upper hand when it came to cinematic comic book adaptations thanks largely to the Batman franchise, but Marvel has since overtaken the venerable comic publisher for superiority at the box office. Now, DC is set to fire a salvo of their own back as they kickstart their own cinematic universe here as the two most iconic superheroes in the DC universe – and arguably in all of comic books – face off as the destruction that was rained down on Metropolis by Superman’s battle with General Zod affects the Caped Crusader in a personal way, leading to a conflict of philosophies between the two heroes, gleefully orchestrated by Lex Luthor. However, what Luthor doesn’t get is that these two titans aren’t the only superheroes in town. March 25

INDEPENDENT PICKS

Knight of Cups

Knight of Cups

(Broad Green) Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Antonio Banderas. A Hollywood screenwriter finds himself in a surreal environment that try as he might, he just can’t make any sense of. With his relationships crumbling, he sets out to find love in all the wrong places and just might – might, mind you – find redemption. I know that director Terrance Malick is an acquired taste and I’m also painfully aware that he hasn’t delivered what I’d consider an outstanding film in nearly 30 years but I hold out hope that he still has another masterpiece in him; certainly he is one of the most visual directors in the medium and his films always inspire at least some degree of thought. March 4

The Boy and the Beast

The Boy and the Beast

(FUNimation) Starring the voices of Eric Vale, John Swasey, Monica Rial, Chuck Huber. Not all the great anime in Japan comes from Studio Ghibli. A young street orphan is taken as an apprentice by a warrior beast who shows him a world of beasts that coexists with our own. Although their relationship is tempestuous, the two slowly begin forming a bond. That bond is threatened by a dark force that threatens both the human and beast worlds; master and apprentice must work together to defeat this evil or lose everything that matters. March 4

Cemetery of Splendor

Cemetery of Splendor

(Strand) Jenjira Pongpas Widner, Banlop Lomnoi, Jarinpattra Rueangram, Petcharat Chaiburi. A lonesome housewife tends to soldiers with a mysterious sleeping sickness. She herself begins to have strange dreams and hallucinations, the line between reality and dreams growing ever more vague. She begins to see strange phantoms and portents…and as she does she begins to fall in love with the young soldier in her charge. This is the latest film from acclaimed Thai director Apitchatpong Weerasethakul.  March 4

Marguerite

Marguerite

(Cohen Media Group) Catherine Frot, André Marcon, Michel Fau, Christa Théret. In Paris of the 1920s, Marguerite Dumont is a wealthy woman, a patron of the arts and well-loved by her friends and Paris in general. She loves opera and even more, she loves to sing and often sings for her friends; the problem is that she is a terrible singer. Her husband and devoted friends have kept this simple fact from her but now she has determined that she is going to sing for an audience. March 11

The Confirmation

The Confirmation

(Saban) Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher, Maria Bello, Patton Oswalt. A young boy is forced to spend the weekend with his alcoholic dad when his mom heads out to a Catholic retreat with her new husband. The boy has an uneasy relationship with his dad, and a series of events, including the breakdown of his truck, his landlord locking him out of his apartment and worst yet, his prized set of tools, which he desperately needs for an upcoming job, are stolen. He goes on a search for those tools along with his son and an assortment of oddball friends and in doing so, finds a place where he can be the father his son always wanted. March 18

Fastball

Fastball

(Gravitas) Kevin Costner (narrator), Derek Jeter, Nolan Ryan, Yasiel Puig. One of the great appeals of baseball is the mano-a-mano aspect – one pitcher, armed with a ball throws at a batter, armed with a stick, and tries to throw the ball by him. It is the essence of baseball, the pitcher throwing as hard as he can and the batter trying to connect with the ball and drive it as hard as he can. This documentary, produced under the auspices of Major League Baseball, takes a look at the most popular pitch among baseball fans – the fastball, and those who threw it well. March 25

 

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