Robot fights! Monsters! Mental institutions! Mind-bending thrills! Jason Boyega! Dogs! Garden gnomes? Yes, March is going out like a lion at the box office this weekend, with some highly anticipated blockbusters set to open alongside Steven Soderbergh‘s latest, as well as some family-friendlier fare from Wes Anderson and John Stevenson (the Kung-Fu Panda guy) starring some famous and familiar voices. Here’s how to make the most of your movie viewing over the next few days:
Pacific Rim: Uprising
Are you ready to rumble? We’re so pumped to see how this next installment of Guillermo del Toro’s mecha vs. monster mash (and the movie that gave us the Mako Mori test, at that) plays out—after all, even if he’s not helming the sequel, he did act as a producer. Will it look, sound, and feel like a del Toro movie? There’s only one way to find out, and we think we’re going to enjoy it. Don’t wait too long, or you’ll be forced to watch this epic on your phone! Do yourself a favor and see it on the biggest screen you can.
Isle of Dogs
Like a twee reboot of Homeward Bound for the still-young-at-heart set, we’re still not totally sure why the Isle of Dogs needed to be set in Japan (frankly, it feels a bit like exoticization) but we also didn’t think Fantastic Mr. Fox would be such a triumph, and well, we ate some crow for it. Based on the trailer and our past experiences, we know this experience is going to be charmingly awkward, his protagonist will exhibit a certain childhood whimsy, and Anderson will have his aesthetic totally dialed in, from framing, colors, and soundtrack to the dryly ironic dialogue. Plus, some of our favorite actors will be lending their voices to the project! If you like Wes Anderson’s whole vibe, it’s safe to say that you’re going to enjoy this movie. If you don’t, well, maybe just go see Sherlock Gnomes instead…
Our first question was, “If we haven’t seen Gnomeo and Juliet, will we still be able to enjoy Sherlock Gnomes?” and it looks like the answer is probably yes. If seeing a CGI-animated lawn ornament “twerking” is your idea of a good time… then buy some tickets, bring the kids, and buy them lots of sugar. Here’s hoping for robust promotional tie-ins that allow us to purchase these movie gnomes and arrange them in our yards next to our “normal” and “non-celebrity” gnomes, sparking a generational blood feud that will take place entirely out of sight of human observation. And just like that, we’ve got the spec script for Sherlock Gnomes 2.
I Kill Giants
Like Louise Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, the young protagonist of I Kill Giants is a bunny-eared badass. Unlike Louise Belcher, she’s dealing with problems far larger than family, school, or even run-of-the-mill tween vengeance! Based on a comic book series, directed by an Academy Award winner (for a best live-action short film, but still), and starring Star Trek’s Zoe Saldana and True Detective’s Madison Wolfe, I Kill Giants looks like the best kind of coming-of-age movie: one that uses genre conventions to talk about very real struggles, Buffy the Vampire Slayer-style. Call us sappy, but we can’t help it! We’re big suckers for watching a young woman take down her demons — be they literal or metaphorical — with a giant, glowing hammer.
We saved this one for last because (in our best Jessie Spano caffeine pill freakout impression) we’re so excited, we’re so excited, we’re so scared! Soderbergh shot this whole movie on iPhones, a technique that really works for creating a claustrophobic, walls-closing-in kind of vibe, which is appropriate for bringing the nightmare-fuel plot of Unsane to terrifying life. And since we first saw the trailer we’ve been beyond excited to see The Crown‘s Claire Foy really pump up the volume on the “is she or isn’t she” of it all. We’re frankly not sure which is worse, which of course, is part of this movie’s fundamental genius. We’re not usually the types to disparage the social acceptability of solo moviegoing. but it’s safe to say that we’re definitely going to be implementing the buddy system for watching this one. Shudder.