March 2016 Primer: The Best Sports, Movies, Shows And More Coming Your Way This Month

Above (top L-R): Gwen Stefani’s ‘This is What the Truth Feels Like’ and Zayn Malik’s ‘Mind of Mine’ are released this month and Kevin Spacey is back as Frank Underwood in ‘House of Cards’ Above (bottom L-R): The latest in the Divergent series, ‘Allegiant’ and Jeff Nichols’ ‘Midnight Special’ hit theatres on March 18th, while ‘Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ hits theatres on March 25th
March 2016 Primer: The Best Sports, Movies, Shows and More Coming Your Way This Month

Once the first couple months of the year are over and the urge to question how it’s already March subsides, looking at everything on tap for the next 31 days provides plenty of reasons to get excited.

Here’s a snapshot of what’s on tap.

Series Continue on Various Consoles

This month in gaming is all about new entries in established franchises, including Mortal Kombat XL, Hitman and MLB The Show ’16 with Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson on the cover and available exclusively on the PS4.

The most scrutinized arrival, however, will be EA UFC 2, which lands at the end of the month. EA’s first foray into the Octagon was pretty, but flawed, and while this game looks much improved, MMA fans are brutal and if it’s not aces, EA and the UFC are going to hear about it.

Same as Above with Books

Games aren’t the only area where familiar series get a new addition, as the bookshelves will feature some of the most established serial writers dropping fresh material, with James Patterson (with Mark Sullivan), Danielle Steel, David Baldacci and Wilbur Smith all have new material coming out this month.

Fresh Beats

There is a surprisingly limited amount of new music hitting the shelves (or Internet) this month, at least from a widely known, bigger picture standpoint. Veterans like Iggy Pop and Ray LaMontange both deliver new albums, “Popular” band Nada Surf returns and Gwen Stefani’s third solo album, This is What the Truth Feels Like, hits in the middle of the month.

Perhaps the most interesting and anticipated release is the debut solo project from former One Direction member Zayn Malik, whose album Mind of Mine, with it’s Lil Wayne-like cover, arrives on March 25.

First Friday Movie Grab-Bag

As a guy that watches a lot of movies, I love Fridays where there are multiple new arrivals from different genres in the theatre and March 4 brings three very different debuts. London Has Fallen continues where Olympus Has Fallen left off, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot follows Tina Fey to the Middle East and Zootopia offers animated family fun with familiar voices.

The Conor McGregor Show

Conor McGregor is the biggest deal in the UFC right now and he returns to the Octagon on Saturday, March 5 in a pay-per-view headlining assignment opposite Nathan Diaz. Originally scheduled to be an historic “Champion vs. Champion” clash with lightweight kingpin Rafael dos Anjos, this fun fight with Diaz should carry even more electricity in all honesty.

The co-main event features Holly Holm, the woman who unseated Ronda Rousey from the top of the women’s bantamweight division, defending her title against perennial contender Miesha Tate.

Netflix and Chill

You have to give the streaming platform credit for doing a great job of staggering releases and finding original content that keeps you engaged every month. In addition to bringing films like Ride Along, Ant-Man and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl to the fold this month, we also get the return of two very successful original series.

Frank Underwood and House of Cards comes back on March 4, while two weeks later, Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle, better known as The Punisher, joins Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen. Oh yeah – Pee-Wee Herman is back as well!

10 Cloverfield Lane

Called a “spiritual successor” to Cloverfield by producer J.J. Abrams, this sci-fi thriller is basically a three-man play starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr. stuck in an underground cellar. The trailers look tense and Goodman is having a nice late-career comeback, so expect tension and a spot atop the box office after its debut on March 11.

March Madness

True story: I used to skip class on the first two days of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament every year to hang out in the campus bar with my friends, watching the action on the big screen. While I’ve graduated to my couch and removed the alcohol from the equation, I still get amped for the opening 48 hours of this tournament every year.

The action kicks off on March 17 and this year’s tournament is the most wide open it has been in a long time, with 10-12 teams legitimately in the running to win the National Championship, so it should be fun.

Big Budget vs. Brilliant Ensemble

March 18 offers two contrasting new movies in theatres, with the latest in the Divergent series, Allegiant, going up against Midnight Special, the newest movie from writer-director Jeff Nichols.

The Divergent Series has been good, but not great thus far; a less successful, less cohesive alternative to The Hunger Games and this next installment should be no different. As for Midnight Special, it brings a great cast headlined by Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver (and others) together in a sci-fi flick centered on a special kid, St. Vincent star Jaeden Lieberher.

Dawn of The DC Universe

Sure, Man of Steel came out a couple years ago, but this month’s Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice feels like the true jump-off point for DC Comics’ counter to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as this film will set the table for the Justice League movie, the first half of which is expected in 2017.

It will be interesting to see how this movie does at the box office and with critics as Man of Steel was mediocre and there was plenty of backlash about Ben Affleck donning the cap and cowl.

Tags: Netflix

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