Nymphomaniac, trailer

Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Synopsis: A woman named Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) flashes back to her life of sexual debauchery after being declared a nymphomaniac.
What You Need to Know: Director Lars von Trier (“Melancholia”) is no stranger to controversy, and his latest will likely be no different. The cast, comprised of Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgård, and Shia LaBeouf get to take it off and get it on to various degrees, but the hardcore stuff finds body doubles in their place. Von Trier’s opus has been cut into two parts, with a longer director's cut promised. Indeed, that's what our Jessica Kiang saw when she experienced Part 1 in Berlin a few weeks ago, calling it an “incredibly rich, engaging, occasionally challenging film” in her “A” review. Sex remains a controversial subject in film, if the discussion over last year’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” is any indicator, and von Trier is certainly stoking the fires of conversation with his latest.
Release Date: March 21st in limited release


Synopsis: In a dystopian society where everyone is categorized into particular groups, Tris Pryor (Shailene Woodley) is marked “divergent” (able to enter any group she wants). Unfortunately, those with divergence are deemed a threat to society and are set for elimination.
What You Need to Know: Earlier YA franchise adaptations (“Beautiful Creatures,” “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” and “Vampire Academy”) have failed to entice anyone but die-hard fans. The outlier remains the adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games” series. “Hunger Games: Catching Fire” grossed over $423 million upon release last year, with part one of the final installments slated for later this year. Unfortunately, as proven by the failures above, not everything is “The Hunger Games.” Though you might not figure that out from the first trailer for “Divergent,” based on the popular YA novels by Veronica Roth. A dystopian future, a group of teens forced to become adults quickly, and corrupt governments are all staples of Collins’ films, so if anything fans who love “Hunger Games” and/or believe this is associated with it could turn out for “Divergent.” The addition of Shailene Woodley also brings up comparisons to Jennifer Lawrence; both are now leading YA franchises and both are awards darling. Woodley lacks the Oscar nods Lawrence has received, but it’s only a matter of time. And despite falling out of favor with “Amazing Spider-Man 2,” this could be the boost to Woodley’s career, giving her longevity for both adults and children. If anything, “Divergent” will certainly tide over the teen crowd until Katniss Everdeen’s return.
Release Date: March 21st

Jodorowsky's Dune

Jodorowsky’s Dune
Synopsis: In the 1970s, cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky (“El Topo”) attempted an ambitious adaptation of the sci-fi novel “Dune.” This documentary explores Jodorowsky’s dreams for the movie, as well as why it never came together.
What You Need to Know: Sometimes the best movies are made about an attempt, and failure, to create a finished film. Terry Gilliam turned his failed “Don Quixote” adaptation into the brilliant documentary “Lost in La Mancha,” while 2012’s “Persistence of Vision” detailed the making, and failure to complete, Richard Williams The Thief and the Cobbler.” The backstory of turning Frank Herbert’s 1965 sci-fi novel, “Dune,” into a movie has been written about in various “development hell” books, but Jodorowsky’s was one of the more serious attempts, with casting already set to include Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, and Salvador Dali. Frank Pavich’s documentary received an “A-” from Jessica Kiang back at the Göteborg film festival where she called it a “riotous yet loving and meticulous documentary about one of cinema’s greatest what-if stories.” Hollywood what-ifs always lead to a good time!
Release Date: March 21st in limited release

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted
Synopsis: The Muppets are back on top once again, but their good fortune could run out once an international criminal named Constantine (who is Kermit the Frog’s doppelgänger) decides to infiltrate the group for his own selfish ends.
What You Need to Know: 2011’s “The Muppets” was a successful coup for the Walt Disney Company who’d recently acquired Jim Henson’s puppets and proceeded to do nothing with them. The return of The Muppets to circulation hinged on the success or failure of "The Muppets," and Disney felt that the eventual $88 million dollar gross was enough, signaling that audiences still cared about Henson’s zany characters. Their latest caper is a wacky mystery involving a faux-Kermit the Frog and a who’s-who of actors including Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, and Loki himself, Tom Hiddleston. The first film came out in November, in time for awards season (where its song “Man or Muppet” received Best Song at the Academy Awards). No such awards love for its sequel is planned, as it’s stuck in the middle of March leaving prognosticators worrying about its quality. The Muppets never commanded boffo box-office during their heyday, so hopefully Disney sees this as more than merely something to tide over the bored, and/or those waiting for more from the Marvel universe. 

Release Date: March 21st