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Feature: Marvellous March movies

Movie Spotlight

March's Marvellous Foursome? Royal Tenenbaums, Mel Gibson in We Were Soldiers, The Mothman Prophecies, ET 20th Anniversary

They're not in contention for this year's Oscars, so can March's top movies rival the fantastic bunch reaching the UK in February?

COMEDY The Royal Tenenbaums
The reclusive head of an absurdly talented family reappears after many years in self-imposed exile. Far from happy to see him, his ex-wife and children can only wonder what he’s after…
4 StarsUSA 2001 • 1hr 49mins • Opens March 15

"Imagine a twisted middle-class Dynasty as directed by David Lynch and that’s about the best description on offer of this consistently chuckle-some and stylish satire, rich in cockeyed detailing, underlying warmth and spirited irony... Wes Anderson skilfully explores the idiosyncratic fragility and resilience of the human condition by mining veins of devilish humour with deadpan assurance. That’s the key to the movie’s skewed success."
Read The Royal Tenenbaums Film Bytes here

FANTASY THRILLER The Mothman Prophecies
A journalist investigating the death of his wife discovers there may be more to it than a car accident as he’s drawn into a web of paranormal intrigue…
4 StarsUSA 2001 • 1hr 58mins • Opens March 1

"The basic idea of this movie is utterly preposterous. The fact that director Mark Pellington and writer Richard Hatem have taken this small-town America ‘I saw a big guy who looked like a moth’ story and turned it into a frightening and compelling psychological thriller is something of a minor miracle."
Read The Mothman Prophecies Film Bytes here

DRAMA We Were Soldiers
This Vietnam War film sees 400 young US troopers surrounded by 2,000 enemy soldiers. Just remember, these things come in threes…
4 StarsUSA 2002 • 2hrs 18mins • Opens March 8

"We Were Soldiers, in essence, is not that different from the countless other bloody Vietnam films that have preceded it, yet it does shed a fresh light on two aspects of the war: the design of the enemy (who are not portrayed as screaming sadists) and the women left behind. War affects everybody and We Were Soldiers attempts to address that fact. So far, so good..."

SCIENCE FICTION ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL
Whether it’s at the death of the alien or the fact that Spielberg has snipped elements for this 20th anniversary re-release, you will blub.
4 StarsUSA 1982/2002 • 2hrs • Opens March 29

"Powered by John William’s hair-raisingly emotive, Oscar-winning score and Carlo Rambaldi’s superb creature design – which remains far more convincing and involving than any contemporary CGI trickery – ET is unquestionably a stirring, sincere movie that wears its big beating heart on the outside of its clothing. In all honesty, however, the film is far more languidly paced than memory served..."

Reviewers: Alan Jones (1), Nick Briggs (2)

James Cameron-Wilson (3), Jason Caro (4)

 Get the full reviews, plus other March releases, incuding The Shipping News, Crossroads, The Majestic and more, when you buy
Film Review (April 2002).

Images © Buena Vista, Icon, UIP, Helkon SK
Feature © Visual Imagination 2002. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review Feb 2002, see below for ordering options
Film Review #616
April 2002
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