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Spring preview — Films: ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

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Wait, they haven’t given out the Oscars for last year’s films and we’re already talking about 2012? It’s hard to believe another movie season is upon us — and even harder, at a time when Hollywood seems more addicted than ever to sequels, prequels and reboots, that we might go to the multiplex and enjoy something genuinely original. The spring collection of films includes its share of adaptations of proven properties, but as anyone familiar with “Batman” or “The Green Lantern” knows, it’s all in the execution. Here are some opening dates to circle (and maybe one to cross off):

Most anticipated event: “The Hunger Games,” an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’s best-selling young-adult novel, has its own degree of “Harry Potter”-esque anticipation. The dystopian-futuristic tale seems to have all the right things going for it, from a script by the smart Billy Ray (“Shattered Glass”) to a cast headlined by Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) and Josh Hutcherson (“The Kids Are All Right”). (March 23)

Most surprising event: Bruce Willis’s brawn meets Wes Anderson’s brains in “Moonrise Kingdom,” a story of young love set in 1960s New England. Willis appears alongside such Anderson rep players as Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray, as well as Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton and Frances McDormand. (May)

Secret tip:The Secret World of Arrietty” may not sound familiar, but get a load of this pedigree: Adapted from the classic children’s book “The Borrowers,” this hand-drawn animated film is directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the key animator of such wonderments as “Ponyo,” “Howl’s Moving Castle” and “Spirited Away.” Voice talent includes Will Arnett and Amy Poehler. (Feb. 17)

Most dreaded: “The Three Stooges.” Even when Jim Carrey, Benicio del Toro and Sean Penn were attached, this sounded dreadful. Now, it’s Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos and Will Sasso, and it still looks execrable. It doesn’t help that the Farrelly Brothers are helming (we’re still smarting from “Hall Pass”). (April 13)

Most likely to either bomb or soar: Tarsem Singh’s “Mirror Mirror,” a revision of the Snow White story starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen. A bust a la Singh’s “Immortals”? Or a visionary head trip like his 2006 film “The Fall”? Let’s hope he can pull this one off. (March 16)

Most hometown-rooting interest: “Sound of My Voice,” Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling’s terrific psychological thriller about a mysterious cult leader (played by Marling in a mesmerizing performance) and a pair of skeptics who set out to investigate her past. This impressive debut made a splash at Sundance last year and holds special interest for Washington viewers: Batmanglij grew up here, and he and Marling graduated from Georgetown. (May)

Most wonk-friendly: AFI’s Presidents’ Day engagement of “The Best Man,” Franklin J. Schaffner’s 1964 adaptation of Gore Vidal’s play, starring Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson as presidential primary opponents trying out outmaneuver each other for the nomination. A taut, stinging, appropriately mud-slinging entertainment for political junkies who need a break from the news channels. (Feb. 18-23)

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