In a bizarre bit of post-Valentines scheduling comes The Choice (March 4), the latest joint venture by movie producers and Nicholas Sparks to cull large swaths of heterosexual women by making them cry until they die from dehydration.
The story is thus: Travis Shaw (Benjamin Walker) is a charming single vet busy enjoying his life of plentiful but meaningless romantic assignations, walks on the beach and non-stop animal neuterings. But a man cannot be happy with just a fulfilling career, picturesque home and active sex life, so when attractive medical student Gabby moves in next door Travis promptly falls in love with her. With his life now complete, Travis immediately falls down dead and ascends into heaven.
Just kidding! No-one dies until the second part of any Sparks-adaptaion, and before that there’s an unworthy boyfriend to be cast aside (a sadly bloated Tom Welling from Smallville).
The flirty fun comes to an abrupt end when Gabby is involved in a near-fatal car crash that leaves her on life-support and Travis with some serious decisions to make. Well, one serious decision. Is this some lame metaphor about how love is the greatest life-support machine of all? Or just another garden variety weepy? You decide.
Also released at the top of the month is London Has Fallen (March 4), an empty-headed action sequel starring 300‘s Gerard Butler.
Butler reprises his role as jocular Secret Service agent Mike Banning, employed by POTUS (played by Aaron Eckhart) to watch his back, guard the White House and run alongside his cavalcade while wearing sunglasses.
When the British Prime Minister dies in mysterious circumstances, all the world leaders inexplicably gather together in the one spot to mourn his passing. Unsurprisingly, terrorists take this opportunity to bomb the hell out of everything in an attempt to decimate the global leadership and to plunge the world into chaos.
Only Banning, Vice Pres Morgan Freeman and enigmatic MI6 agent Charlotte Riley can stop the terrorists, rescue the president and save the gosh-dang world. Go ‘Murica!
“I wonder what Julia Roberts is up to these days?” said probably no-one, ever, but nevertheless the answer is: starring in Secret in their Eyes (March 11), a remake of the brilliant 2009 Argentine El secreto de sus Ojos.
The story sees Roberts as Jess Cobb, a counter terrorism agent working for the FBI, alongside fellow agent Ray (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and newly-appointed boss Nicole Kidman. When the agents receive a call about a dumped body, they arrive on the scene only to discover that the victim is Cobb’s teenage daughter, who has been raped and murdered. Ray promises Cobb he’ll uncover the killer’s identity and bring him to justice.
Before long a suspect, Marzin, surfaces and he’s a right rum ‘un, but instead of being charged, he is released when it’s discovered that he’s an informant feeding the counter-terrorism unit intel on a nearby mosque. Upon his release hr destroys all the evidence against himself and disappears, which causes Jess to fall apart and Ray to pledge to bring Marzin to justice, no matter how long it may take.
Fast forward 13 years and Ray, who has since left the FBI but continues to investigate the murder privately, contacts Jess after a new lead promises to resolve the case. But is this clue the one that will crack the case? Or is justice illusory? Pop along and ponder it for yourself.