Thursday, March 31, 2016

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In April (2016)

According to: Cat

20 – Kill Your Friends (4/1)

Tag Line: Lies. Betrayal. Murder. Just another day at the office.
Production Company: Unigram, AI-Film, Altitude Film Entertainment
Director: Owen Harris
Writer: John Niven
Actors: Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Georgia King, Ed Skrein, Craig Roberts, Rosanna Hoult
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Thriller
Rated: Unrated

This movie is based on a book that apparently did rather well. While I haven’t read it, the trailer intrigued me with this story. Depending on how I actually like the movie, I might just add it to my list to see what morsels of detail couldn’t be fit onto the screen.

Be that as it may, I am a sucker for British comedies. This one seems wonderfully snarky, dark, and the music interesting. I’ve read that this 90’s BritPop satire is being compared to American Psycho (2000), and am wildly curious if this depiction of slashing your way up the corporate ladder really hits that mark (or anywhere near it).

This is also Nicholas Hoult (Clash of the Titans, Dark Places, Equals). I have enjoyed his work so far, and am glad that this is something a bit different than what we’ve seen before in his roles. They’ve also got Ed Skrein (Game of Thrones, The Transporter Refueled, Deadpool) in there somewhere – have you ever noticed how they resemble each other a bit?

19 – Dead 7 (4/1)

Tag Line: Larger than life!
Production Company: The Asylum, Kaotic Productions
Director: Danny Roew
Writer: Nick Carter, Sawyer Perry (screenplay)
Actors: Nick Carter, Carrie Keagan, Joey Fatone, A.J. McLean, Howie Dorough, Lauren Kitt Carter, Chris Kirkpatrick, Jeff Timmons, Erik-Michael Estrada, Frenchie Davis
Genre: Horror, Western
Rated: Unrated

Zombies. Done!

April fools!

We love our zombie movies, and we’re also suckers for B-Movies that just might fall into the ‘horribly good’ category.  The Asylum (Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, Hansel vs. Gretel, Wuthering High School) also pulls us in every time. You never know what you’re going to get. They’ve made some hilariously amazing cult classics like Sharknado (2013); but they’ve also put out some real stinkers like our recently reviewed 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015).

What’s the premise of this one? Resurrected boy band members fighting zombies. Okay! I know I’ll be tuning in to The Syfy Channel.

18 – Everybody Wants Some!! (4/8)

Tag Line: Here for a Good Time Not a Long Time
Production Company: Annapurna Pictures, Detour Filmproduction
Director: Richard Linklater
Writer: Richard Linklater
Actors: Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman, Juston Street, Wyatt Russell, Glen Powell, Temple Baker, J. Quinton Johnson, Will Brittain, Zoey Deutch
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R

This movie is being billed as “the spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused [1993].”

I recognize and enjoy the work of some of the actors involved in this movie, and am intrigued by the premise of a college take on the 1993 classic. Of course, it’s been made clear this isn’t a true sequel but it runs in the same vein as the first.

Honestly, I don’t expect it to be a whole lot different than other college ‘finding yourself’ comedies. There’s going to be some crude humor, sex, drinking, and parties. So many worn-in tropes are pretty much guaranteed to be present in this movie. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if it could stand up on its own to the original its being compared to – and stand out in the crowd of movies like it.

I’m also a sucker for 80’s music – guess what year this is set in.

17 – Collide (4/20)

Tag Line: None.
Production Company: 42, Automatik Entertainment, DMG Entertainment, Hands-on Producers, Silver Pictures, Open Road Films
Director: Eran Creevy
Writer: Eran Creevy (screenplay), F. Scott Frazier
Actors: Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Anthony Hopkins, Ben Kingsley
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: PG-13

Given the lack of general marketing for this movie in the U.S. so far, I’m not 100% sure that this will really be released on the date promised. (Considering all of the movie posters that I have seen still have the movie’s original title of “Autobahn” on them and the foreign language script in the only trailer available remains untranslated as yet; it’s a dicey prospect.)

However, I really want to see this movie.

It’s Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Young Ones, Equals) as an action lead and Sir Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock, Solace, Misconduct) is the bad guy! I’m sold.

I’ll be crossing my fingers on the 20th, and hoping that it’s not some belated April Fools prank.

16 – The Girl in the Photographs (4/1)

Tag Line: A picture is worth a thousand screams.
Production Company: Alghanim Entertainment
Director: Nick Simon
Writer: Robert Morast, Osgood Perkins, Nick Simon
Actors: Christy Carlson Romano, Katharine Isabelle, Claudia Lee, Kal Penn, Mitch Pileggi, Kenny Wormald, Eva Bourne, Toby Hemingway
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R

The trailer for this film is a little odd in places but the movie looks really creepy. Stalker themes, done well, really give me the heebie jeebies.

That being said, this movie is worth a watch all on its own due to the fact that it was the final project that horror master Wes Craven (The People Under the Stairs, Scream, My Soul to Take) was working on as Executive Producer before he died of brain cancer.

There’s a quote in the publicity that the film is something he would be proud of. I just have to watch it to find out for myself.

15 – Holidays (4/22)

Tag Line: Every one has a dark side.
Production Company: ArtCastle Productions (in association with), Distant Corners Entertainment Group Inc., XYZ Films
Director: Anthony Scott Burns, Matt Johnson, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Gary Shore,  Kevin Smith, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Dennis Widmyer
Writer: Anthony Scott Burns, Matt Johnson, Kevin Kolsch, Nicholas McCarthy,  Gary Shore, Kevin Smith, Sarah Adina Smith, Scott Stewart, Dennis Widmyer
Actors: Kevin Smith, Lorenza Izzo, Seth Green, Clare Grant, Ruth Bradley, Michael Gross
Genre: Comedy, Horror
Rated: Unrated

This anthology project was spearheaded by none other than the mad genius of Kevin Smith (Hiatus, Cop Out, Tusk). That really is enough of a reason to see this movie all by itself.

However, I’m always fascinated when people take different spins on beloved topics – such as fairy tales and, in this case, the concept of widely celebrated holidays.

It’s especially interesting when such concepts can be twisted to a more sinister side. It’s even better when there is some dark humor involved.

This film might be unrated as yet; however, I would strongly urge audiences to consider it at the very least an R when planning whether or not to bring the kiddos along.

14 – Papa: Hemingway in Cuba (4/29)

Tag Line: Hemingway's Untold Story
Production Company: Sunstone Film Productions, Yari Film Group
Director: Bob Yari
Writer: Denne Bart Petitclerc
Actors: Minka Kelly, Giovanni Ribisi, James Remar, Adrian Sparks, Joely Richardson, Shaun Toub
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: R

Hemingway is a name that resonates. This biographical drama takes a peek into a portion of the late great author’s life that is little talked about in most circles. It also looks to be a wonderful opportunity to live vicariously through a fan that gets to meet, befriend, and spend considerable time with one of their heroes.

As an added endorsement for the film, Hemingway’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway (Nanking, The Golden Boys, Rise of the Zombies), has a cameo in the film as a guest.

13 – Bill (4/11)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: BBC Films, Cowboy Films, Punk Cinema
Director: Richard Bracewell
Writer: Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond
Actors: Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard, Helen McCrory, Damian Lewis, David Crow
Genre: Family, Comedy
Rated: Unrated

This film was made in order to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. A little morbid, perhaps, but it’s also the first motion picture by the Horrible Histories (2009-2015) team. Their specialty is taking bits of history and shining light on aspects that just aren’t taught in school.

This is a little unusual to be on the list, considering this is a one-night-only release in selected theaters. It just couldn’t be passed up, though.

When I saw the review quote at the beginning of the trailer; that was it for me. The Independent said "Imagine Shakespeare In Love (1998) with Monty Python."

Hopefully, as this is billed as a family movie,  it’s not quite as raunchy in humor as the Python boys tend to go – but the cheekiness in the previewed scenes seems right on par with expectations.

I really hope that this doesn’t let me down in that respect.

12 – Friend Request (4/22)

Tag Line: Be careful who you click with.
Production Company: Wiedemann & Berg Filmproduktion, Seven Pictures, Two Oceans Production
Director: Simon Verhoeven       
Writer: Matthew Ballen, Philip Koch, Simon Verhoeven
Actors: Alycia Debnam-Carey, William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Brit Morgan
Genre: Thriller
Rated: Unrated

This movie seems to be similar to, but shouldn’t be confused with the film Unfriended (2015). In fact, this movie apparently underwent a title change so that it specifically wouldn’t get confused with the other film – especially in Germany.

The theme of supernatural stalking via social media is along the same lines, though the scope isn’t limited to individual computer screens the way the 2015 film was.

I think it looks super creepy.

11 – Criminal (4/15)

Tag Line: The mission is in the memories.
Production Company: BenderSpink, Campbell Grobman Films, Lionsgate, Millennium Films
Director: Ariel Vromen
Writer: Douglas Cook, David Weisberg
Actors: Gal Gadot, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Costner, Alice Eve, Gary Oldman, Tommy Lee Jones, Antje Traue, Michael Pitt, Natalie Burn, Jordi Mollà, Amaury Nolasco
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Rated: R

The cast in this movie is just insane. There’s also a lot of six-degrees action going on among the heavy hitters that star in this movie. It’s just too much to get into here – but go check it out in IMDb’s trivia, if you’re curious! I find little things like that fascinating.

Moving on.

I think we’ve established that we’ll watch just about anything with Ryan Reynolds (Turbo, The Captive, Woman in Gold) in it, right? This isn’t his first movie where personalities and bodies get switched. Though, this seems to be a reversal from Self/less (2015); where he got someone else’s personality stuck into his body. This time around, it appears that the personality and memories of his character are being stuck into the sociopathic criminal played by Kevin Costner (Open Range, The Company Men, Draft Day).

10 – Bastille Day (4/22)

Tag Line: With law comes disorder.
Production Company: StudioCanal, Amazon Prime Instant Video, Anonymous Content. Anton Capital Entertainment, Canal+, TF1 Films Production, TF1, Vendome Pictures
Director: James Watkins
Writer: Andrew Baldwin
Actors: Idris Elba, Richard Madden, Kelly Reilly
Genre: Action
Rated: R

This looks like a solid action movie. Sure the ‘I’ve been framed’ trope has been used quite a bit – but I like the sleight of hand pickpocket spin. The trailer also gives the idea that there’s also a bit of a comedic element to the film. Sounds like a winning combination to me!

I hope the pickpocket lives. I'm still scarred by what happened to that actor in the Red Wedding.

– Hush (4/8)

Tag Line: Silence can be killer.
Production Company: Intrepid Pictures, Blumhouse Productions
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writer: Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Actors: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco, Samantha Sloyan, Emma Graves
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R

The situation depicted in this movie just strikes me as utterly terrifying in concept alone. The deaf and mute woman terrorized by some psychopath – what does she do to get help?? It’s certainly something that seems like it would amp up the intensity factor.

I have some serious research that I feel I need to do in order to brush up on exactly how a person in such a situation would be able to communicate a 9-1-1 plea for help.

I digress.

This movie may not be for everyone. There isn’t going to be a constant stream of dialogue – in fact, it’s said that there is less than 15 minutes of actual dialogue in the whole hour and a half long movie. I imagine that was one of the reasons they were able to get the film shot in 18 days.

It’s going to be a big challenge to carry an entire movie without the speaking – it will heavily rely on the lead actress’ skills with body language, etc. I hope she’s up for the task!

8 – The Driftless Area (4/26)

Tag Line: Destiny can lead to dangerous places.   
Production Company: Unified Pictures, Bron Studios
Director: Zachary Sluser
Writer: Tom Drury, Zachary Sluser (screenplay)
Actors: Anton Yelchin, Zooey Deschanel, John Hawkes, Frank Langella, Ciarán Hinds, Aubrey Plaza
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Mystery
Rated: R

This movie is based on the 2006 Tom Drury (Hunts in Dreams, Pacific, The End of Vandalism) book by the same name.

The trailer was interesting and drew me in to the story fairly quickly, though it seems to give away a pretty big spoiler – so if you don’t like that sort of thing, don’t watch it. (Or fast forward through the part where Zooey Deschanel (The Good Life, Your Highness, Rock the Kasbah) is about to make a confession.)

I love Zooey Deschanel. Her roles are always quirky and interesting and tend to have layers and depth to them – partly because she’s awesome; but I believe also it’s in the roles themselves. Her on-screen chemistry with her co-star Anton Yelchin (Odd Thomas, Star Trek Into Darkness, Cymbeline) is believable and a bit adorable.

I want to find out how this mystery unravels.

– Green Room (4/15)

Tag Line: Now. Whatever you saw or did. Is no longer my concern. But let's be clear. It won't end well.
Production Company: Broad Green Pictures, Film Science
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Actors: Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots, Anton Yelchin, Sir Patrick Stewart
Genre: Crime, Horror, Thriller
Rated: R

This punky movie looks like it’s quite the intense ride. I am really geeking out over the fact that a scruffy-faced Patrick Stewart (Match, Christmas Eve, Blunt Talk) is the big bad in this film, as well.

Do I really need any more of a reason to want to watch this one?

– High Strung (4/8)

Tag Line: See the music. Hear the dance.
Production Company: Riviera Films, Sforzando Productions, Castel Film Studio
Director: Michael Damian
Writer: Janeen Damian, Michael Damian
Actors: Keenan Kampa, Nicholas Galitzine, Jane Seymour, Comfort Fedoke, Dave Scott
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Rated: PG

This looks like it’s going to be an inspirational and sweet movie. Sure, the dance competition theme has been done so many times – but this seems to put a slightly new spin on it with the addition of the hip-hop-violinist.

Even if it was a rinse and repeat of things that have come before – I think I’d still watch it, just because I love dance movies. One of my favorite shows is the So You Think You Can Dance [SYTYCD] (2005-) competition series. One of the former competitors as well as one of the choreographers featured on SYTYCD are actually in this movie.

5 – Mr. Right (4/8)

Tag Line: They make a killer couple.
Production Company: Amasia Entertainment, 3311 Productions, Circle of Confusion
Director: Paco Cabezas
Writer: Max Landis
Actors: Anna Kendrick, Tim Roth, Sam Rockwell, Anson Mount, RZA
Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance
Rated: R

This movie looks like it takes rom-com to the next level. It seems like a hilariously wild ride.

I’ll have to give it to them that the anti-hitman hitman is a new twist on the action shooter genre as well. I can’t wait!

4 – Harcore Henry (4/8)

Tag Line: First they made him dangerous. Then they made him mad.
Production Company: Bazelevs Production, Versus Pictures
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Ilya Naishuller (screenwriter), Will Stewart (additional writing by)
Actors: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Rated: R

This movie looks absolutely amazing. Nearly the entire thing was shot with GoPro cameras for the first-person perspective. Considering you are seeing through the main character’s eyes – rather than seeing the actual character; this must have been a true acting challenge to pull off the nuances that would make an audience member feel like THEY are Henry.

For a directorial debut, this movie is making a big splash. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve seen this trailer played on TV alone. Pretty impressive for a movie that caused a studio bidding war for distribution rights when it played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015.

The only downside I can see to this film is the motion sensations that will come from first-person perspective. It’s not just a shaky-cam issue. People that get carsick or experience vertigo easily should probably skip this one – or wait to watch it at home from a safe environment where fast-forward or pause might be useful. If you’re one of those, or just aren’t sure – please please don’t go see this in IMAX. The people that don’t want to get thrown up on thank you.

3 – Ratchet & Clank (4/29)

Tag Line: Kick some asteroid!
Production Company: Blockade Entertainment, CNHK Media, Insomniac Games, Rainmaker Entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment America
Director: Kevin Munroe, Jericca Cleland
Writer: T.J. Fixman, Kevin Munroe, Gerry Swallow
Actors: James Arnold Taylor, David Kaye, Jim Ward, Rosario Dawson, Sylvester Stallone, Bella Thorne, John Goodman, Paul Giamatti, Armin Shimerman
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure
Rated: PG

This movie is reportedly based on the story of the first Ratchet and Clank game (2002). Though, it’s said that the next release in the series for PS4 will be following up on this film.

The characters are adorable and I’m really excited that this was brought to the big screen. I love video games, but haven’t always been able to afford or have access to a console. I’ve always wanted to play this one, but have never had a chance. Now, those of us in a similar position will get to watch the story unfold!

A fun note for you – the actors that voice the main characters in all but the first game are the same actors in this movie. A little bit of irony, considering which one this is based off of.

– The Jungle Book (4/15)

Tag Line: The legend will never be the same.
Production Company: Fairview Entertainment, Moving Picture Company, Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Marks (screenplay), Rudyard Kipling (book)
Actors: Scarlett Johansson, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Neel Sethi, Lupita Nyong'o, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Esposito, Ben Kingsley
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG

I was a bit skeptical, at first, regarding this live action version of the classic Disney Movie. Though, once I saw the trailers, I’m satisfied that they’re paying significant homage to the original as well as the original author’s work. I hope it’s as good as it seems! This will be a great movie for family fun.

1 – The Huntsman: Winter's War (4/22)

Tag Line: None
Production Company: Roth Films, Universal Pictures
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Writer: Evan Spiliotopoulos, Craig Mazin, Evan Daugherty
Actors: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Sam Claflin, Ralph Ineson
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG-13

Is it really any wonder that this film is at the top of the list for this month? If nothing else, this prequel will be visually stunning and worth some really good laughs. I’m hoping for an excellent story, as well. There’s so much from the realm of fairy tales that could be pulled from to enmesh into the telling. I am excited to see what they did with it (and to learn the back story of the Huntsman character we saw in the first movie).

Movies to Look out For
According to: Selina

Dead 7 .20
High Strung .19
Rio, I Love You .18
Miles Ahead .17
Papa: Hemingway in Cuba .16
Demolition .15
The Driftless Area .14
Friend Request .13
Keanu .12
Pandemic .11
The Girl in the Photographs .10
Bill .9
Sold .8
The Jungle Book .7
Ratchet & Clank 6
Mr. Right .5
Hardcore Henry .4
The Huntsman: Winter’s War .3
Green Room .2
Holidays .1