Spring Movie Preview: The Watch List

Here’s a list of movies not quite worthy of my Top 10 and not quite worthy of being branded as something you shouldn’t consider. I’ve also mixed in some indie movies as some films coming off the festival circuit are getting small releases these coming months. I call this my Watch List, because you’re supposed to keep an eye out for reviews and other indicators to tell you which way this movie swings come release time, or in the case of an indie film, if it’s coming out near you. If you missed any other parts of my Spring Preview, click the links below.

Remember Me (Mar. 12)


The Word: As part of his deal with Summit for the Twilight films, Robert Pattinson stars as a rebellious young man at odds with his father (Brosnan, in one of his four movies in the first quarter of 2010, randomly) who gets abused by a cop (Cooper) for helping defend a guy getting beat up. He then learns the cop has a daughter (Emilie de Ravin of “Lost”) and the two form a relationship with anything but a solid foundation. It’s the screenwriting debut of Will Fetters who has some good projects in development. Allen Coulter (Hollywoodland) directs.

My Thoughts: I’ll take Pattinson as the rebel — I think this could help him climb out from the Twilight and Harry Potter shadow for sure.I certainly like the involvement of de Ravin too. The thing that gets me is in a story of four New Yorkers, two are Brits and one’s an Aussie. Can’t discredit the talent, however. Looks like it could be interesting, but in a busy March 12 weekend, it could get skipped over. (View Trailer)

Greenberg (Mar. 19 – ltd)


The Word: Indie legend Noah Baumbach, creator of The Squid and the Whale and writer of several Wes Anderson films, tries to put his 2007 effort Margot at the Wedding, which fell short with everyone critics on down, out of memory. Greenberg is equal parts comedy and drama from the looks of it and stars Ben Stiller in a rare role. Roger Greenberg is a middle-aged guy content on doing very little with his life and then he meets a slightly younger woman who begins to change all that. The story was co-authored by one of the stars, Jennifer Jason Leigh.

My Thoughts: What a relief to see Baumbach come out with a film that has a little more mainstream appeal as far as indies go. We know him capable of better than “Margot.” With Ben Stiller, any positive momentum from critics will really help this film become one of the bigger indie splashes of the year, maybe even overall. (View Trailer)

Chloe (Mar. 26 – ltd)

The Word: Amanda Seyfried sure has been busy this past year. Dear John faired well with the genre fans and she stars in a similar film, Letters to Juliet, early this summer. She also has two schedule indie releases coming up: Boogie Woogie and this French thriller remake, Chloe. Watch out Pierce Brosnan. Anyway, with two great co-stars (Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore) and the promise of girl-on-girl action, Chloe is sure to create one of the strongest indie buzzes thus far for Sony Pictures Classics. The story follows Moore, a wife who believes her husband (Neeson) is cheating on her, who hires a young woman to “present herself” to her husband to see if he’s really being unfaithful. The deal, of course, gets a bit out of hand.

My Thoughts: I love the talents in this film, which makes it a film to look out for immediately. It will be interesting to see if the movie translates well for an American audience and garners enough positive reviews as the 2003 original Nathalie. We tend to see sexual intrigue stories as a bit abrasive in this country, of course. (View Trailer)

How to Train Your Dragon (Mar. 26)


The Word: The latest animated feature from the second-best animation production company, Dreamworks, takes place in a world where Vikings live and where young men and women, as a rite of passage, must slay one of the many dragons that live among them. But when one young viking (voiced by Jay Baruchel) comes across an injured dragon, he learns that there are more to these creatures than his people have told him. He tries to train one so that he can ride it and will eventually lead the dragons against the ignorant viking people. Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to link his hair with the dragon?

My Thoughts: I was never thrilled with this concept, which is why “Dragon” didn’t make my Top 10. Partly because it wasn’t dragons that vikings attacked hundred of years ago, but also a seeming lack of originality. That aside, that animation looks great and the direction for an animated action film looks pretty intense and exciting, even if it’s aDances with Dragons on Pandora” storyline. (View Trailer)

Leaves of Grass (Apr. 2 – ltd)

The Word: What could be better than Edward Norton fighting against himself in Fightclub? Playing opposite himself as his redneck pot-dealing twin brother. Appearing at South By Southwest pretty soon, this movie has some great early buzz and I wish I’d found out about it prior to my Spring Top 10 because I might’ve very likely included it there. Written and directed by actor Tim Blake Nelson, the film follows an ivy league professor who, on the belief his twin has been killed, goes to Oklahoma and gets wrapped up in his brother’s plot to take down a druglord.

My Thoughts: How does Edward Norton always find the most obscure and amazing roles to play? This film looks pretty hysterical, you just need to watch this low quality trailer and everything makes sense. Co-stars Keri Russell, Susan Sarandon and a foul-mouthed Richard Dreyfuss are even bigger draws. (View Trailer)

The Runaways (Apr. 9 – ltd)

The Word: Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie of the renegade fem rock group The Runaways. Only a teaser has been released, so it’s hard to say much more about this movie. It appears to be a rock ‘n roll coming of age story.

My Thoughts: I hate the Joan Jett look for Kristen and I still haven’t divorced myself from the image of Dakota Fanning as anything but the little girl who starred in everything, but I like the concept. (View Trailer)

A Nightmare on Elm Street (Apr. 30)


The Word: Finally, the last of the big three original slashers gets his remake. Former child star-turned psycho character actor Jackie Earle Haley (who’s destined to get an Oscar nom for playing a villain at some point in his life) stars as Freddy Krueger in this remake of the classic ’80s horror film about a mysterious burned man wearing a razor-sharp glove who only attacks in his victims’ dreams. Don’t fall asleep.

My Thoughts: I’ve never been a big horror movie fan and seeing as this is another remake I have to be wary, but I get a different feeling watching this trailer. Part of it is casting an established actor as the killer, but part of it is I just like this concept much more than other horror movies. With good reviews, I could be persuaded to see this in theaters, which would make it one of the only horror movies I’ve ever paid money to see. (View Trailer)

Have a great spring at the movies! Stick with Movie Muse for reviews and great posts relating to much of the spring releases.


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