Arts & Culture

March 13, 2012

Spring movie preview: The ‘Games’ begin

Springtime at the movies kicks into high gear on March 23 with the highly anticipated opening of “The Hunger Games,” the first film based on the young-adult books by Suzanne Collins.

Springtime at the movies kicks into high gear on March 23 with the highly anticipated opening of “The Hunger Games,” the first film based on the young-adult books by Suzanne Collins.

But Katniss Everdeen won’t be the only draw. We’ll also get everything from the Avengers (finally) to Snow White to the return of a certain man in black.

Here’s a look at what’s in store for the next couple of months (release dates are subject to change):

March 23

“The Hunger Games” — Takes place in a dystopian future where a boy and girl from 12 “districts” fight to the death on live television. Now that’s an entertainment-starved future! Jennifer Lawrence (an Oscar nominee for “Winter’s Bone”) stars as Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in the grisly match.

“October Baby” — Christian-themed drama about a college freshman who learns that she is the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion.

March 30

“Wrath of the Titans” — Sequel to “Clash of the Titans,” as Perseus (Sam Worthington) embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus (Liam Neeson).

“Goon” — Comedy with Seann William Scott (“Role Models”) as a nightclub bouncer who leads a team of misfits to semi-pro hockey glory.

“Mirror Mirror” — The first of two “Snow White”-inspired films this year with Julia Roberts as the evil queen, who steals control of Snow White’s kingdom.

“Intruders” — Twisty thriller about two children living in different countries who are visited nightly by a faceless man (Clive Owens) who wants to take possession of them.

April 6

“Titanic in 3-D” — The Oscar-winning hit gets the 3-D treatment — because watching people plummet to their death in the ocean wasn’t already real enough.

“American Reunion” — The gang from “American Pie” comes home for their high school reunion, and I’m sure they haven’t matured at all, or this movie wouldn’t exist.

“The Cold Light of Day” — Action-thriller about a young American man (Henry Cavill) who uncovers a conspiracy while trying to rescue his kidnapped family in Spain. Bruce Willis also stars.

April 13

“The Cabin in the Woods” — Chris Hemsworth (“Thor”) leads a cast of overly photogenic friends who go to spend spring break at a remote cabin in the woods, where — spoiler alert! — things go awry.

“The Three Stooges” — The scariest movie ever made, because it’s further proof that Hollywood is going to remake everything.

April 20

“Think Like a Man” — Comedy about four men who conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using relationship advice against them.

“The Lucky One” — Romantic drama with Zac Efron as a Marine who travels to North Carolina after serving three tours in Iraq to search for the woman he believes was his good luck charm during the war.

April 27

“The Five-Year Engagement” — Jason Segel reteams with his “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” director (Nicholas Stoller) to star with Emily Blunt in this comedy about an engaged couple’s up-and-down relationship.

“The Raven” — When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe (John Cusack) to stop him from making his stories a reality.

“Safe” — Jason Statham stars in this actioner as a former elite agent (why are they always former agents?) who tries to rescue a Chinese girl while outwitting the Russian Mafia and corrupt New York City officials. Now that’s a full slate!

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” — Animated tale about a Pirate Captain who sets out on a mission to defeat his rivals for the Pirate of the Year award. It’s good to have goals.

May 4

“The Avengers” — Finally, the culmination of all those superhero films, as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and the international agency S.H.I.E.L.D. form the Avengers to help save the Earth from despair.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” — Judi Dench and Maggie Smith are among the cast as British retirees who travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel.

May 11

“The Dictator” — Sacha Baron Cohen dons another disguise as a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy will never come to his country.

“Dark Shadows” — Tim Burton directs this update of the TV show centering on the life of vampire Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) and his run-ins with various monsters, witches, werewolves and ghosts.

May 18

“Battleship” — Film version of the popular game about warring battleships. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone can actually pull off the line “You sank my battleship!”

“What to Expect When You’re Expecting” — Jennifer Lopez stars in this romantic comedy that looks at the lives of five couples about to become parents.

May 25

“Men in Black III” — Agent J (Will Smith) travels back in time to the 1960s to stop an alien from assassinating his friend Agent K (Josh Brolin) and changing history.

“Moonrise Kingdom” — Wonderfully quirky director Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) brings us this period romantic comedy about a pair of lovers who flee their New England town, which causes a ruckus among the locals.

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