April Movie Preview: Part 1

Now that we’re post awards season, we’re in that weird in between before the summer movie explosion.  That being said, there are several movies of note trying to get the jump on those summer releases (Captain America being the most obvious… why isn’t this a summer movie?  I mean, it’s fine, I’m still super pumped for it.)  Here are a few films coming out the first half of April.  With any luck, at least one of these will catch your eye.

Captain America: The Winter Solider

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: 2 years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers still struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.  Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Robert Redford, and Samuel L. Jackson.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: It will be seen opening day. Marvel has done an amazing job of making better than expected movies even with characters that should be 2 dimensional. Last year’s Thor did a good job of having fun and still make you sit at the edge of the seat. From the early reviews, it seems that this has done the same, and Marvel is already ordering a sequel. Yay and yay.

Jennie: I have been nothing but impressed by this series of Marvel movies. They have done such a great job with story lines that many were skeptical of. They are really well done visually, but honestly I think the writers deserve the most praise. So far this one seems to be falling in line the same way and I’m very much looking forward to it.

Dave: I asked and they wouldn’t take my money ahead of time when they announced they were making this movie like two years ago. I gladly would have given it to them then. Marvel hasn’t made a bad movie in this series yet…which is really really impressive considering the genre they are working in and some of the trainwreck movies that come out of it. If they can make Thor work in theaters (with all his crazy and convoluted backstory) another Captain America movie should be a slam dunk.

Dom Hemingway

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: After spending 12 years in prison for keeping his mouth shut, notorious safe-cracker Dom Hemingway is back on the streets of London looking to collect what he’s owed.   One car accident and a femme fatale later, Dom realizes his priority must be to reconnect with his long-lost daughter Evelyn. Directed by Richard Shepard and starring Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Mădălina Diana Ghenea.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: This kind of feels like a Guy Ritchie movie, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Dave: I’m going to guess this one will fly pretty far under most people’s radar. It doesn’t look bad, but not the type of movie that most people will rush out to see. Reminds me of some of these small British-y films that are generally pretty good, but not well publicized kind of like In Bruges or Brothers Bloom. (Side note: I just looked all these movies up and In Bruges is the only one made by a British Director. I wonder why I assume they are all “British-y”?)

Rob: It’s “(Actor) as you’ve never seen him before!” It must be good!

Jennie: I kind of assume that this is what Jude Law is like in real life.


Under the Skin

Release Date: April 4th

Synopsis: In Scotland, an alien takes the body of an attractive young woman and travels the country in a van picking up men. As she lures her victims into sex, the men are trapped in a kind of preserving liquid and their organs are harvested. She is monitored by another alien, who has the body of a male motorcyclist.  Directed by Jonathan Glazer and starring Scarlett Johansson

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I like Scarlett Johansson and this seems like an interesting role for her. The trailer itself is confusing to me though. I guess that’s to be expected for a Sci-Fi film, but I don’t really think it’s clear that it IS a Sci-Fi film.

Felix: It feels like a drama-sci-fi like Another Earth

Dave: I don’t tend to think Scarlett Johansson is an amazing actor or anything (don’t get me wrong she’s ok.)…But doesn’t this role seem a little beneath her? Hopefully her agreeing to do this role means that it’s a better movie than I’m giving it credit. Just seems like something that should star Megan Fox instead.

Rob: I think the trailer only really works for Kubrick fans. Everyone else is kind of left thinking “what the hell was that?” The Kubrick fans at least are left thinking “what the hell was that, that might be interesting…”


Rio 2

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: It’s a jungle out there for Blu, Jewel and their three kids after they’re hurtled Rio de Janeiro to the wilds of the Amazon. As Blu tries to fit in, he goes beak-to-beak with the vengeful Nigel, and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law.  Directed by Carlos Saldanha and starring the voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Leslie Mann, Bruno Mars, Jemaine Clement, George Lopez, Jamie Foxx, Will.i.am, Andy Garcia and tons more.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: The first one was a terrible mess and it was badly acted. That’s right, a cartoon that the actors are so bad it seems badly acted. cialis generic brand viagra for sale

In other words, Rio 2: Electric Boogaloo is a pass.

Jennie: I don’t know, I liked the first one more than expected. I’ll probably see this one at some point. Admittedly, definitely not in 3D, and probably at home after it’s released on DVD.

Dave: I didn’t love the first one. I didn’t hate it either. Just seemed like a generic kids movie…which is fine, just not my cup of tea. I don’t doubt that it will make boatloads of money. I feel like a lot of animated movies have been so great over the last 15 years or so, that the bar is set really high. I guess not everything is going to have the crossover kid/adult audience that something like Shrek did. I’ll probably see it at some point…


Draft Day

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: At the NFL Draft, general manager Sonny Weaver has the opportunity to rebuild his team when he trades for the number one pick. He must decide what he’s willing to sacrifice on a life-changing day for a few hundred young men with NFL dreams.  Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Sam Elliott, Ellen Burstyn, Chadwick Boseman.

Our Thoughts:

Felix: When a sports movie about the behind the scenes aspect of sports is made well we get a movie like Moneyball. When it’s done mediocre we get Jerry Maguire (actually, that was great until the love story derailed it). This looks like it could be good, but the NFL sanctioned it, so they’ll come off spotless. Regardless, as an Ohio citizen, and as my dad’s son (he still loves Costner because of Best Picture Winner Dances with Wolves), I will see it on opening day (get the sports pun?!?!).

Jennie: This looks pretty good, a bit like Moneyball, but I loved Moneyball so I guess that’s OK. Plus, I ALWAYS prefer my sports movies to be about real teams. I fully understand that there is a risk doing that, but I still prefer it.

Dave: Name a bad Kevin Costner sports movie… You can’t do it.

*Draft Day photo courtesy of Summit Entertainment


Only Lovers Left Alive

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: A story centered on two vampires who have been in love for centuries. Directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright.

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: I do like a good Vampire Movie (not that there’s been one recently), but I’m not sure if this is it. It seems a bit too angst-y. Not to mention the hair! The hair is so distracting…

Dave: This seems like a pretty unique twist on Vampires but it’s a little hard to tell what (if anything) the plot is for this. Looks like Nick Hornby meets Interview with the Vampire.

Rob: I’m all for Vampires being less sparkly, but this trailer gives off a very dull vibe. They keep talking about how romantic it is, but I’m not seeing any of that in the trailer.

Jennie: I will say, the casting looks great. I’m at least a little intrigued.

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The Railway Man

Release Date: April 11th cialis cheap

Synopsis: A victim from World War II’s “Death Railway” sets out to find those responsible for his torture. Based on a true story as told in the autobiography of the same name.  Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Jeremy Irvine, Stellan Skarsgård, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tanroh Ishida

Our Thoughts:

Felix: This looks like the kind of Oscar Bait that seems to not be award worthy with its April opening date.

Jennie: I saw a trailer for this awhile ago and completely forgot about it. I remember thinking a similar thought the first time — This movie looks like an awards season movie… and then… I wonder what’s wrong with it? Could be nothing and I’m being overly suspicious. Or it could be that it just doesn’t find its footing. Either way, I like War time movies and I like Colin Firth, so I will give it a shot.

Dave: It really does seem like it should be great. I have no idea why this is opening in April. Here’s hoping it’s good despite a strange, non-award season release date. I seem to recall thinking the same things about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen when it was released early in the year. It ended up being ok and even got some award recognition.

Rob: For some reason this seems like the kind of serious movie that seems like it should win awards, but will end up getting one Oscar nomination for best music or something.

Jennie: I agree. I think when awards season pops up it will randomly get nominated for something and everyone will say “oh yeah… I forgot about that movie”

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Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. Directed by David Gordon Green and starring Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan

Our Thoughts:

Jennie: This of course lends itself to the unsolvable question: Nicolas Cage, Good or Bad? (Seriously, click on that link if you haven’t seen the Community bit about Nicolas Cage.  Even if you have already, it’s totally worth a second look.)

Dave: AAAAHHH! Nicolas Cage drives me nuts. I wish he’d just be bad. All things considered he seems to do a pretty good job in this. But maybe my expectations are too low for Nicolas Cage acting performances. This doesn’t look bad. I also really like Tye Sheridan in Mud. I assume this is one of those movies that I wouldn’t mind seeing but will almost certainly not get around to unless it get some Award nominations.

Coincidentally (or not), David Gordon Green, the director of this movie (and cinematic masterpieces like Pineapple Express and Your Highness) went to college with Jeff Nichols, who directed Mud. The more you know… buying cialis mexico pharmacy viagra no prescription

Rob: My money’s on “bad” here. His acting skills here seem to have been devoted mostly to growing a beard and gritting his teeth.

Dave: Growing a beard is hard and rewarding work. Give that man another Oscar.

Jennie: I’m willing to give this the benefit of the doubt. There have been several movies similarly themed and done in this style lately and I have generally enjoyed them. I, like Dave, also thought Sheridan was great in Mud and am looking forward to seeing what else he can do.


Cuban Fury

Release Date: April 11th

Synopsis: A former salsa prodigy attempts a comeback years after his career was ruined. Directed by Jon Brown and starring Nick Frost, Rashida Jones, Chris O’Dowd, Olivia Colman

Our Thoughts:

Felix: This looks like a combination of the charming Strictly Dancing and the better than expected Shall We Dance? (J. Lo and Japanese versions). Unfortunately it also seems it has the kind of stereotypical assumptions of Dance with Me. I expect to watch this via streaming if there isn’t a Ken Burns‘ Documentary about Salsa Music

Jennie: I worry that it’s not going to be as funny as it should be for the type of comedy I like and not as sentimental enough for a romantic comedy. I also think (and have noticed a lot lately) that British comedy’s go way overboard with their fat jokes. I think half the jokes they used in that trailer were based on Nick Frost’s weight.

Dave: I feel like saying “From the team behind Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead” is a little misleading. Unless I’m missing something, that really means “Hey! Nick Frost is in this movie!” There’s no Edgar Wright or Simon Pegg (Wright and Pegg co-wrote and Wright Directed the two). I’m skeptical. If I had to wager money on this I would bet it will turn out less like Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead and more like Paul…which wasn’t terribly good.

Rob: Just what we need, yet another take on Hollywood’s standard “fat former salsa prodigy gets back in the game to win the girl” genre…

(Also, Felix should be ashamed of knowing every movie he mentioned.)

Dave: agreed.

Felix: In my teens I went through a dance movie phase.

Jennie Stoddart (24 Posts)

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