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This, Not That: Your March Guide To Pop Culture

This Not That March

Can you believe it’s March already? I’m not quite convinced that February even happened (in retrospect, that must be why I forgot to do a pop culture roundup last month, oops).

March is an interesting month for entertainment. We saw some major award shows come and pass, which means a huge chunk of our time is spent catching up on the award-winners we missed. I personally finally got a chance to watch Room last weekend and experienced all of the feels Brie Larson brought to her role  – she was no doubt the best leading lady in all of last year’s productions. But for those of us who think that award shows mean nothing or have already experienced all of the acclaimed films and music, here are some new things that might peak your interest this month:

MOVIES

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Zootopia

Michelle told me that this movie is Disney’s secret attempt to market to furries, which kind of makes me question all of the rave reviews. Disney Picture’s first stand-alone (not produced with Pixar) animated feature since Big Hero 6 (a must-see if you haven’t) takes places in Zootopia, a modern animal metropolis. Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) becomes the first bunny on a police force of tough animals and tries to prove herself to the big boys with the help of scam artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). Zootopia reminds the audience that Disney Pictures has been and always will be really good at telling stories. The underlying themes of this movie and the smart humor it incorporates makes it an animated film that both adults and children can enjoy.

10 Cloverfield Lane (Mar. 11)

Disclaimer: 10 Cloverfield Lane is not like its 2008’s nausea-inducing Cloverfield. When I first heard the name of this film, I was immediately filled with dread along with flashbacks of the dizzying experience from the original, which for whatever reason received a lot of praise. The mixed reactions of the original Cloverfield is perhaps the reason why this quasi-sequel was dropped like a bombshell out of nowhere – and to J.J. Abrams’s credit, it worked. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. is the golden trio in 10 Cloverfield Lane which bears no narrative or stylistic resemblance to the 2008 mess. As a stand alone thriller, people are saying it will keep you on the edge of your seat, calling it a must-see.

The Little Prince  (Mar. 18)

An animated adaptation of everyone’s beloved childhood novella, The Little Prince is bound to be good. Rather than a straight book-to-movie adaptation, Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda) offers a different take by weaving elements of the original story with a new narrative about a young prodigious girl, with an overbearing mother, who befriends the story’s now elderly aviator. The trailer alone proves itself to be whimsical and charming, true to the qualities of childhood wonderment. The endearing nature of the film is sure to rival anything Pixar puts out this year, and that’s saying a lot.

The meh:

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot : When I first saw the trailer, I anticipated mixed reactions towards the movie. I say if you’re a fan of Tina Fey -raises hand- you’d probably like this. And if you use the word “feminist” in a condescending and/or negative way in movie reviews (or just life in general) you should probably stay the eff away.

The Bronze (Mar. 11): Rotten Tomato reviews for this one are surprisingly poor. My guess is that people don’t appreciate raunchy, loud-mouth comedy from a leading lady. But if you treat it like a Seth Rogen or Will Farrell movie, you’d probably pee your pants laughing.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (Mar. 25): Sequels are never as good as the originals but with much of the original cast, this may have potential.

The Flops this month as told by Rotten Tomatoes and my own biased predictions: London Has Fallen (apparently the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), Hyena Road (another military movie), Divergent: Allegiant Part 1 (the worst book is the series is being split in two-parts, a Hollywood standard these days, in the worst book series-to-movie series adaptation yet), and Get A Job (a movie-adaptation of my life).

TV+ NETFLIX

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House of Cards Season 4 (Netflix)

House of Cards fans are probably like “okay, I’m ready for Season 5 now Netflix.” If you’ve watched the series before then you don’t need me to tell you that the new season came out a couple of days ago. If you haven’t seen the series before, allow me to introduce you.  House of Cards is a political drama about Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey), a Democrat from SC’s 5th congressional district who comes up with an elaborate plan to get himself into the oval office after being passed over for Secretary of State. As you can expect with any political drama, the series is plagued with pragmatism, manipulation and power. Every character is slimy and infuriating but you still want to find out what happens next.

Marvel’s Daredevil Season 2 (Netflix, Mar. 18)

Superheroes are the new hot ticket item and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be leaving anytime soon. Marvel’s Daredevil series follows the journey of Matt Murdock as he transforms from a typical lawyer by day to a “Man Without Fear” by night. The Netflix series takes everything that’s good about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and reformats it for television/binge-watching. If you’re not familiar with Daredevil’s back story, it’s darker and grittier than most. He may be a superhero who kicks ass, but he also has his ass handed to him quite a few times. This is a great watch for anyone waiting for the next season of Jessica Jones.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (ABC Family, Mar. 8, 9 p.m.)

This show has been on my “need to watch” list for quite some time now but I’m already committed to so many other things. Irregardless, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always had rave reviews and if you’re comic book or superhero fan who hasn’t dived into this series, you should. The series returns to wrap up the latter half of Season 3, which only has 4 episodes left, meaning this is the perfect time to catch up on the 58 episodes before Season 4 hits the small screen in the fall.

MUSI

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Kendrick Lamar – Untitled Unmastered (Mar. 4)

As music festival and concert season preparations begin, there’s not much music coming out this month aside from a few singles here and there. But Kendrick Lamar unexpectedly dropped a project that has the streets talkin’. Untitled is a collection of tracks that didn’t cut for his last album. It is raw, unrefined and the perfect “F U” to the conventions of hip hop and the music industry. Definitely worth a listen.

Also for inquiring minds – is “No” (Meghan Trainor’s new single) worth a listen? No.

Vivian Huang

Black coffee drinker. Adventurer. Fluent in sarcasm. Find me rambling about life and music at vivianlindsay.com.

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