In 2011, my goal is to see 66 movies I had never seen before the year began.  The start was optimism-inspiring for the potential to surpass the goal.  In January and February I saw a combined 11 films, putting me right on track.  To stay on pace, I’d need to hit 17 by the end of March, and I surpassed it.

Below is a list of the films I’ve seen in the month of March and my corresponding review of each film.  Following those reviews is a list of potential superlative nominations from those films for various categories along the lines of what you might see in the Academy Awards and such.

With no further ado, here are the reviews for the seven films I saw in March which I had never seen prior to the start of 2011.

12.  RED

It was interesting to see an action film with aging movie stars and a bit of comedy thrown about.  RED had tons of action, though as most would expect based on the actors involved, there wasn’t much hand-to-hand combat, but the gun-play made up for that.  The storyline was interesting and moderately plausible.  I enjoyed the movie, as did my wife, but I don’t think I’d ever own it on DVD.  Bruce Willis was as good as always, Morgan Freeman’s role could’ve been a lot bigger, John Malkovich played crazy well as usual, and Helen Mirren seemed oddly comfortable in a role where her specialty was killing people.
The Bottom Line: Maybe it didn’t live up to some of the hype I heard going into it, but it was an entertaining way to spend an evening.

13. Bronson

In preparation for the next Batman film, I wanted to see Tom Hardy in a role which many are saying give a preview for what he’ll be like as BANE in Dark Knight Rises.  He certainly portrayed the insane, hulking brute in a very believable manner.  There were a few scenes in BRONSON where he brutally attacked someone (or groups of people), so there’s no doubt in my mind he’ll be able to pull that off in Christopher Nolan’s DKR.  What I wasn’t expecting from BRONSON was the amount of male full frontal nudity, of which there was an over-abundance.  It didn’t ruin the movie, but I could’ve done with some different, less revealing, camera angles.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t say it was a great performance by Hardy, who had some very strong scenes where the insanity was on full display, depicted in a very original way.
The Bottom Line: I’m glad I saw it, and while I can’t imagine a situation where I’d end up seeing it again, I wouldn’t mind sitting through it a second time.

[spoiler effect=”phase”]I really would’ve thought they were going to kill him by the end of the film[/spoiler]


Having enjoyed the zombie-themed survival novella which a couple years ago, I was interested in seeing the movie inspired by I AM LEGEND. Fifty years having passed between the book’s publication and the Will Smith film, there was clearly some obviously some updating necessary, but the biggest change between the two works surrounded Will Smith’s character trying to find a cure for the zombie condition plaguing those who roamed the streets at night.  It certainly gave the film’s protagonist a sense of purpose, which the main character in the novella didn’t have.  The endings are also quite different.
The Bottom Line: It was enjoyable, but I’ll probably never watch it again. I’m not sure whether I prefer the book or the movie.

[spoiler effect=”apblind” show=”Show spoilerific info” hide=”Hide the spoilerific info”]here we go spoiler, here we go[/spoiler]

15. F/X

Growing up I head heard about this movie, but I didn’t know much about it other than a special effects expert who got involved in trying to work with law enforcement to setup some sort of scene and make it look as real as possible.  What I found when I finally watched it was a more complicated thriller which almost held up over the 25 year span from its release until I finally got around to watching it.
The Bottom Line: It’s not a classic, but it was a decent ride. Not as much special effects as you might expect.  There was a decent explosion though.

16. Morning Glory

I’ve always been a fan of Harrison Ford, and in the past few years I’ve become a fan of Rachel McAdams.  This certainly wasn’t a meaty role for either of them, but Ford had some of his “Han Solo” attitude and McAdams was enjoyably quirky as the young producer trying to fix a problematic morning show.  Jeff Goldblum had a decent role, and Ty Burrell was good in the small role he had.  Diane Keaton and John Panko were also good additions to the film.
The Bottom Line: It wasn’t really a chick flick, and if there were a little more of Harrison Ford in the film, it wouldn’t even really be a woman-centric story.

17. Middle Men

When I heard that Luke Wilson was going to be in a movie about the guys who helped bring porn into prominence on the internet, I thought it was going to be a fun little romp with some gratuitous nudity here and there with some “based on true story” elements.  I was wrong, but the movie I enjoyed was a much deeper drama… albeit still with a little nudity.  It wasn’t a movie about the porn industry, it was a story about guys who found themselves in a situation potentially over their heads when they try to make money by being in the business of bringing porn to the internet. Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Terry Crews, Jacinda Barrett and James Caan gave good performances.
The Bottom Line: It was far more interesting than what I expected, but the humor I thought would be there was quite absent in a major way.  Good film, and I’m surprised it didn’t get more support in the theaters.

18. The Marine

As a long-time wrestling fan, I was bombarded by the advertising blitz from WWE when the John Cena vehicle THE MARINE was released.  I wasn’t expecting a lot going into the film, but Kelly Carlson is one of the hottest ladies in Hollywood, and because I haven’t seen much of her work, that only fueled my interest.  What I found was an average film with plenty of action and equal levels of absurdity. No one expected the film’s script to be award-worthy, and I was pleased to find that aside from a couple of head-shakingly bad lines or plot elements, it wasn’t terrible.  I’m not surprised that John Cena hasn’t followed in the footsteps of Dwayne Johnson and taken his act to Hollywood full time.
The Bottom Line: Glad I finally saw the movie, as it put an end to my curiosity, but I won’t be watching it again. If you’re not a fan of John Cena, there’s not much reason to check it out.  There’s definitely not enough of Kelly Carlson in scenes her fans will appreciate.

Potential 2011 Nominees from these 11 films:

Potential Best Actor Nominee – Tom Hardy (BRONSON)

Potential Best Supporting Actor Nominee – Harrison Ford (Morning Glory)

Potential Best Film Nominee – Middle Men

Potential Best Actor Nominee – Luke Wilson (Middle Men)

Potential Best Supporting Actor Nominee – Giovanni Ribisi (Middle Men)

On Deck for April & May:

True Grit (old version)
It’s Kind of A Funny Story
The Romantics
X-Files: I Want To Believe
Trading Places
Weird Science
Hang ’em High
The Fighter

Instantly watch from thousands of TV episodes & movies streaming from Netflix. Try Netflix for FREE!