Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top Ten Movies to Look Out For In April

10 – See You in Valhalla (April 24)

Director: Jarret Tarnol
Writer: Brent A. Tarnol
Actors: Sarah Hyland, Steve Howey, Bret Harrison, Michael Weston, Jake McDorman, Alex Frost, Odeya Rush, Emma Bell, Allie Gonino, Beau Mirchoff, Conor O’Farrell
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

It’s pretty slim pickings for April this year. There are a couple of REALLY interesting movies and the rest were pretty much about deciding which others were the least mediocre.

I enjoy films that revolve around families. This one seems kind of interesting. I’m a big fan of Bret Harrison (The Loop, Deal, Grounded for Life) and I’m glad I’ll get to see him in something this month. I definitely believe his show, Reaper, did not get enough attention.

Sarah Hyland (Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, Date and Switch, Vampire Academy) I only know from Modern Family, but she’s shown a good amount of acting talent on screen while she was suffering from a painful ailment behind the scenes. I’m sure she can rock whatever role she gets.

It’s a drama, which is not my favorite genre. Unfortunately, April is the month of dramas this year and there’s very little I could do to avoid them. At least See You in Valhalla seems to have a comedic edge.

9 – Monsters: Dark Continent (April 17)

Director: Tom Green
Writer: Jay Basu
Actors: Joe Dempsie, Johnny Harris, Sofia Boutella, Sam Keeley, Jesse Nagy, Nicholas Pinnock, Parker Sawyers
Genre: Sci-Fi
Rated: R

Monsters: Dark Continent is the sequel to Monsters (2010). You may remember that I reviewed the original movie a while back and that I found it to be a little disappointing. The trailer for the sequel seems to address the majority of the issues I had with the first one.

Of course, we all know trailers can be misleading. This film is in “we’ll see” territory.

8 – Beyond the Mask (April 6)

Director: Chad Burns
Writer: Paul McCusker
Actors: John Rhys-Davies, Andrew Cheney, Kara Killmer, Adetokumboh M’Cormack, Steve Blackwood, Samrat Chakrabarti, Carl Harry Carlson, Thomas D. Mahard
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG

What really intrigued me about Beyond the Mask is that the world seemed very similar to one of the Assassin’s Creed games. There seems to be a heavy romance aspect, but what would you expect with a PG rating?

7 – True Story (April 17)

Director: Rupert Goold
Writer: David Kajganich, Michael Finkel, Rupert Goold
Actors: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones, Ethan Suplee, Gretchen Mol, Robert John Burke, Maria Dizzia, Robert Stanton, Betty Gilpin
Genre: Drama
Rated: R

James Franco (This is the End, The Interview, As I Lay Dying) and Jonah Hill (22 Jump Street, How to Train Your Dragon 2, This is the End) are most well known for their comedy. Together they could make pretty much anything funny, if they tried. However, this movie is not a comedy. In fact, it doesn’t seem like there’ll be many, if any, comedic moments at all.

The plot seems interesting enough, but the acting talent involved elevates that into something that almost feels like a “can’t miss” film.

6 – Cut Bank (April 3)

Director: Matt Shakman
Writer: Roberto Patino
Actors: Liam Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer, John Malkovich, Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Dern, Oliver Platt, Michael Stuhlbarg
Genre: Thriller
Rated: R

Although the cast is obviously a well known and super talented lot, what makes this movie for me is the plot. There are parts of the trailer that look like it could be recipe-ish, but others that make it seem much more original. There’s no clear sign of exactly how this film will go, and I like that.

5 – Unfriended (April 17)

Director: Levan Gabriadze
Writer: Nelson Greaves
Actors: Shelley Hennig, Renee Olstead, Will Peltz, Courtney Halverson, Jacob Wysocki, Matthew Bohrer, Heather Sossaman, Mickey River, Moses Jacob Storm
Genre: Horror
Rated: R

I’ve been seeing a lot about Unfriended for a while now. I’ll admit, this looks like an overused horror movie, shaky-cam plot. What I find interesting is that the method of story-telling actually loses the shaky-cam aspect.

I HATE shaky-cam.

There have been a lot of movies I wanted to like, but I couldn’t get over the fact that the way it was filmed made me feel like I was going to vomit or fall over. This movie gives people like me the chance to judge it on the content rather than the movement of the camera.

4 – Last Knights (April 3)

Director: Kazuaki Kiriya
Writer: Michael Konyves, Dove Sussman
Actors: Clive Owen, Morgan Freeman, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ayelet Zurer, Aksel Hennie, Dave Legeno, Cliff Curtis, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Noah Silver, Peyman Moaadi
Genre: Action
Rated: R

If there’s anything better than watching good sword-work, it’s watching good sword-work with Morgan Freeman’s (Lucy, The Lego Movie, Now You See Me) silky voice in the mix.

There are many ways this movie could go wrong, but how could I not want to give it a chance?

3 – The Age of Adaline (April 24)

Director: Lee Toland Krieger
Writer: J. Mills Goodloe, Salvador Paskowitz, Allison Burnett
Actors: Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, Ellen Burstyn, Michiel Huisman, Kathy Baker, Amanda Crew, Peter J. Gray
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13

Now, this movie is one I can’t wait to see.

When a film or a book takes the normal world and injects just a touch of magic into it, that’s when I find things the most interesting.

Everyone who’s lost someone, been in severe pain or watched someone they love in pain; everyone who has tried to get up after falling to bad mistakes; pretty much everyone in general, has had that moment in their life when something fantastic and incredible could have helped them through a situation. Movies like The Age of Adaline give viewers a few moments of hope that their own lives could be touched by something unbelievable.

2 – Little Boy (April 24)

Director: Alejandro Monteverde
Writer: Alejandro Monteverde, Pepe Portillo
Actors: Michael Rapaport, Emily Watson, Jakob Salvati, Kevin James, Tom Wilkinson, Ali Landry, David Henrie
Genre: Drama
Rated: PG-13

Many of these movies I’ve heard of before. I’ve had time to consider what I think of them and let the plots mull about in my mind. This was the first time I’ve heard of Little Boy. It doesn’t matter, though, I was instantly hooked.

I don’t know if the “magic” seen in the trailer is actually supernaturally based or just circumstances that happen in the child’s life to make him believe in the fantastic, but it doesn’t matter. Both the possibilities add to different kinds of very interesting plots.

It also seems like it won’t be a straight drama. This is good, because there’s a sad lack of comedy in theaters this month.

1 – Furious 7 (April 3)

Director: James Wan
Writer: Chris Morgan, Gary Scott Thompson
Actors: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russel, Iggy Azalea, Caleb Walker, Cody Walker, Gal Gadot, Luke Evans
Genre: Action & Adventure
Rated: PG-13

I’ll be honest. There’s only one reason this movie is at number one on this list: The Paul Walker tribute.

I watched the first of the Fast & Furious series and enjoyed it, but I never bothered to see any of the others. Don’t get me wrong, I like the majority of the actors involved. Vin Diesel (Guardians of the Galaxy, Riddick, XXX) is a self-named RPG nerd; I feel I have to support him on principle. None-the-less, the movies never interested me.

I’ve heard about the Paul Walker (Brick Mansions, Hours, The Lazarus Project) tribute and it’s all over the internet already. If I wanted to, I could look it up. However, considering the end of his life and his significant part in these movies, I feel it’s important, as a fan, to see it as it was meant to be seen.

I’m sure the action of Furious 7 won’t disappoint either.