The Month in Theaters March 2023
In March, I managed to get to the theaters nine times plus an additional nine movies otherwise, for a total of eighteen total reviews. I watched a lot of television during March, which is why the number of non-theater movies is limited.
March is the month of sequels. Four came out this month, if I exclude one I don’t really count (which I’ll get to in due time.) The first out of the gate was the ninth entry in the Rocky franchise that conspicuously is missing Rocky. Stallone apparently had some rights issues over the franchise. The movie didn’t really need him, as Creed finally stepped out of Rocky’s shadow. Although he’s gotten into trouble (to put it mildly) since, Jonathan Majors was really good in this. The boxing scenes were also shot differently than previous films, apparently influenced by Michael B. Jordan’s love of anime. He even directed the movie. This is a B to B+.
Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre
We get another Guy Ritchie movie that is painfully average, much like Wrath of Man. It’s a heist movie without bite, but nothing is really wrong with it. It just bored me. A heist movie is supposed to be exciting. This really wasn’t that. The performances aren’t bad, per se, but also nothing to write home about. Bland and forgettable. C- to C.
The Scream franchise continues to chug on with another installment that I enjoyed. The kills are pretty brutal in this one. I also really liked the killer reveal. A- to A. Much of the movie is spoiler heavy, which I try my hardest to avoid. This is a very fun movie in one of my favorite horror franchises. Best I not say anymore.
This movie was disappointing. I expected more from the concept of advanced intergalactic travelers being stranded on Earth 65 million years ago. C. The action is fine for what it is, but the dramatic elements related to Adam Driver’s character’s backstory are very clichéd. The thing you think will happen totally does. The trailer avoids mentioning it, so I will refrain as well. I wanted to like this movie more because the concept was such a fun idea, but not enough was done with it.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu No Yaiba – To The Swordsmith Village
The shortest movie title of the year likely followed by the longest. This movie is not as good as the first Demon Slayer movie, by a long shot. This was basically three episodes or so of the show stitched together into a movie. And that was done so lazily too. There are credits after the first two episodes! They didn’t even care enough to remove that. This is technically a sequel film, but I don’t count it. It’s not really a movie. F. I just can’t give this pathetic excuse of a “film” anything but a failing grade.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Man, talk about a letdown. I love the first Shazam!, easily my favorite movie in the DCEU. The sequel doesn’t get anywhere close to it. Black Adam or Mister Mind should have been the antagonist of the film, but neither happened. Partially, this was because Black Adam crapped the bed hard (that movie falls to a C in my rankings in retrospect.) This is also a C. The villains are undercooked, the plot is a mess, and there’s a really painfully bad product placement.
This is a very strange movie. It feels like a Wes Anderson film, but isn’t. It is seemingly inspired by Bob Ross, but isn’t. Owen Wilson plays not-Bob Ross, a man obsessed with something so strange. He has a painting show on a local Vermont PBS-like station. C. Such an odd film.
John Wick: Chapter 4
Movie of the month goes to this wonderful (likely) conclusion to the John Wick storyline, although they are not done with the universe. At least two planned spin-offs. A+. The action is just so amazing. While the movie is nearly three hours, the audience doesn’t really feel it. A thrill ride from start to finish. Outside of Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen was particularly great. I went to see it again in May. Such a good time.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
This is a bog-standard film. It has decent fun and adventure with some comedy thrown in. It is the better of the two Hugh Grant movies this month (the Guy Ritchie heist movie also had him.) I never saw the original D&D movie, but I’m just gonna assume this one is better. B- to B.
As mentioned previously, I watched a lot of television this month. I binged the entirety of X-Men: The Animated Series, started Yellowstone (which I finished up to the end of the fourth season next month,) finished Maigret, and began X-Men: Evolution (which I also finished next month.)
The Midnight Meat Train is a movie I wanted to like more than I did. It has a lot going for it on the surface, but a few unanswered questions left a bad taste in my mouth. Vinnie Jones was excellent, though. B.
Tropic Thunder is a movie I adore. As a massive movie buff, this is the kind of love letter to movies that appeals to me. The parody elements are also pitch perfect. I originally saw this movie in theaters, which is the best way to see it. There are fake trailers at the beginning. A+.
This is not a great movie, but one I have seen before. Leprechaun is the start of a surprisingly large horror movie franchise. And Jennifer Aniston’s movie career! This is a C. Warwick Davis is definitely fun, though.
Based on a true story, Invincible tells the tale of a nobody getting a shot as a professional football player. B. The film takes some liberties with what actually happened, but I enjoyed myself.
A Goofy Movie hits all the right notes for a family film about a father and son road trip. B+. It is funny that Pauly Shore is uncredited.
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, the original 1974 film, is an enjoyable ride. I’ve never seen the remake, but this one was on HBO Max. B+ to A-. Lots of good character actors in this.
Another based on a true story sports flick, The Rookie this time involves baseball, but similar notes. Relative nobody who gets a shot at pro ball. This one is a little better. B to B+.
I liked this more than I thought I would. Murder Mystery is another Netflix Adam Sandler movie. It’s certainly better than it had any right to be. B- to B.
The Founder is a really fun movie. A. Michael Keaton is a delight as Ray Kroc. See this if you haven’t. It’s a good time.
And that’s everything. I know this is later than it should be. The April one will be out as soon as I have time.