Friday, April 5, 2019

Incredibles 2 (2018)

Movie Name/Year: Incredibles 2 (2018)
Tagline: It's been too long, dahlings.
Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 118 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios
Producers: John Lasseter, Nicole Paradis Grindle, John Walker
Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Actors: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Brad Bird, Sophia Bush, Phil LaMarr, Paul Eiding, Barry Bostwick, Jonathan Banks, John Ratzenberger

Blurb from Netflix: When Elastigirl gets recruited for a high-profile crime-fighting mission, Mr. Incredible takes on his toughest assignment ever: full-time parenting.

Cat’s Point of View:
Writer and director Brad Bird (Ratatouille, Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol, Tomorrowland) really hit one out of the ballpark with Incredibles 2 – and not because it was breaking records as soon as its trailer released. I can definitively say that this animated feature definitely didn’t fall prey to the sequel curse. It’s safe to say that this movie stands on par (no, I’m not punning… this time) with the original movie, if not exceeding it in quality.

I have serious respect for Bird, as he stuck to his guns in waiting until he had the right story to bring forth this next chapter in the Incredibles’ story; rather than simply churning out something potentially sub-par while it was a hot commodity. . (Yes, that one was intentional. Ha.) The 14 year time lapse was worth the wait. Though, I’m always down to see what Bird has up his sleeve. He had me hooked on his storytelling ability as soon as I saw The Iron Giant (1999), which remains one of my (many) all-time favorite movies.

I was also super happy that, in spite of the passage of time, there were very few substitutions in character voices. Hearing Craig T. Nelson (Soul Surfer, Get Hard, Book Club), Holly Hunter (Nine Lives, Top of the Lake, Manglehorn), Samuel L. Jackson (The Hitman's Bodyguard, Unicorn Store, Glass), as well as a few others reprise their roles helped it seem like no time at all had passed since the first Incredibles’ (2004) credits rolled. I don’t think the movie would have been as impactful if those core characters had been replaced.

The story for this sequel was very solid. I loved the role reversal with Bob navigating the world of a stay-at-home-parent complete with angsty kids, crazy homework, and sleep deprivation while Helen was off doing Super things. I’m glad that Bird kept that juxtaposition as the core of the story. Why? Because that’s the reality of this day and age. Mr. Mom (1983) might have been forever ago, but stay-at-home dads are more the norm these days than ever before with an increasing number of mom’s in the workplace. My husband has been the at-home parent quite a bit for our daughter, while I’ve been dangling off the corporate ladder.

I also really enjoyed tying in the other supers and the kids’ involvement with this story as well. After the first movie, we all knew that they weren’t going to be on the sidelines really, right? There’s also even more of a foundation in ‘realism,’ in spite of the fictional setting, because the film shows cause and effect very well – as well as the downside of collateral damage that tends to follow superheroes around. I mean, seriously – the damage that happens in movies like Man of Steel (2013) and Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) is just mind-boggling. (OK, I know the last one is robots and not super-powered people, but still!)

I’ve got to admit, though, that Jack-Jack is my favorite part of the movie. Hands down. His scenes are always interesting and usually hilarious as the movie explores the extraordinary munchkin and his superpowers.

All told, the movie is funny and heart-felt. There is a whole rollercoaster of emotions to ride through as you experience the tribulations of the Parr family. I am looking forward to watching this movie again and again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 94%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 85%
Metascore – 80/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.9/10
IMDB Score – 7.7/10

Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5

P.S. There are some scenes with bright flashing lights that have caused seizure warnings to be necessary - be mindful of any medical conditions that could be affected by this when watching this movie.

Also P.S. There are some animations that play through the credits, but they don't depict extra scenes.

Movie Trailer:

Monday, April 1, 2019

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In April (2019)

According to: Selina

20 – Penguins (4/17)

Tag Line: For Steve, his adventure isn’t all black and white.
Production Company: Disneynature
Director: Alastair Fothergill, Jeff Wilson
Writer: David Fowler
Actors: Roy Conli, Alastair Fothergill, Daniel Rasmussen, Keith Scholey, Jeff Wilson
Genre: Documentary
Rated: G
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: The story of Steve, an Adélie penguin, on a quest to find a life partner and start a family. When Steve meets with Wuzzo the emperor penguin they become friends. But nothing comes easy in the icy Antarctic.

We all know I’m not much of a documentary kind of person. Trust the Dice is about entertainment. I just don’t see much of an entertaining quality in most documentaries. That said, I happen to love penguins. I think they are fascinating creatures – and adorable.

From the trailer, I think that Disney is going to take an entertaining look at the lives of penguins. They probably won’t go into the darker aspects of their existence, however, seeing as it has a G rating. I imagine this documentary will be geared more toward the cuter facts of penguin life, more for the kiddos.

That is especially with Ed Helms (Tag, The Hangover III, The Office) narrating. I expect there’ll be a lot of laughter.

In reality, I’ll probably always want to see whatever penguin documentary comes out. We all have that one thing we love for no damn reason, this is just mine.

19 – Storm Boy (4/5)

Tag Line: Let your heart soar.
Production Company: Ambience Entertainment, Best FX Adelaide
Director: Shawn Seet
Writer: Justin Monjo, Colin Whiele
Actors: Jai Courtney, Geoffrey Rush, David Gulpilil, Erik Thomson, Finn Little, Morgana Davies, Thibul Nettle, Luca Asta Sardelis, Chantal Contouri, Simone Annan,Paul Blackwell, Trevor Jamieson, David John Clark, Brendan Cooney, Michelle Nightingale, Miraede Bhatia-Williams, Rory Walker, Tim Whibley, Martha Lott, Bradley Trent Williams
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 99 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale. 'Storm Boy' has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When Kingley starts to see images from his past that he can't explain, he is forced to remember his long-forgotten childhood, growing up on an isolated coastline with his father. He recounts to his grand-daughter the story of how, as a boy, he rescued and raised an extraordinary orphaned pelican, Mr Percival. Their remarkable adventures and very special bond has a profound effect on all their lives. Based on the beloved book, Storm Boy is a timeless story of an unusual and unconditional friendship.

Storm Boy just looks like a solid inspirational movie. A little predictable, a little emotionally manipulative, but with an interesting and heartwarming story.

I’m not overly fond of pelicans, but watching the scenes between the boy and the birds was cute.

The trailer essentially did what it was supposed it, it made me want to know more.

Although the trailer indicates that the release date is in January, that’s only the release date for Australia. April 19th is the release date for the USA.

18 – Mia and the White Lion (4/12)

Tag Line: Friendship is the wildest adventure of all.
Production Company: Galatée Films, Outside Films, Film Afrika Worldwide, StudioCanal, Pandora Films, M6 Films, Canal+, Ciné+, M6, W9, Film- und Medienstiftung NRW
Director: Gilles de Maistre
Writer: Prune de Maistre, William Davies, Giles de Maistre, Jean-Paul Husson
Actors: Daniah De Villiers, Mélanie Laurent, Langley Kirkwood, Ryan Mac Lennan, Lionel Newton, Lillian Dube, Brandon Auret, Paul Davies, Ashleigh Harvey, Tessa Jubber, Noko ‘Flow’ Mabitsela
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
Rated: PG
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A young girl from London moves to Africa with her parents where she befriends a lion cub.

I was looking at my list and going through the trailers for a second time when I realized… this film is born from the same recipe as Storm Boy. That’s not to say that both movies will be the same, it’s more that both will probably leave their audience with the same feelings.

You’ve got a human positively influenced by an animal – and the relationship is mutual. Either the animal will be harmed by that relationship or they will be released to the wild – I’m 100% sure of that one. There will be a bettering of the human’s life in the end. Maybe a final shot of the human staring off into the distance thinking of – or watching – their animal buddy go off into the wild.

So, why did both of the films make my list this month? I’m a sucker for animals. I just am. I love them. Whether they’re fuzzy or cute doesn’t matter. I wanted to be a vet when I was younger, but I’m deathly allergic to cats so it just wasn’t an option. I make up for it by enjoying these recipe-based animal movies that really don’t add much to the general cinematic landscape.

Don’t judge. Just skip to the next one if these films aren’t your cup of tea.

17 – The Wind (4/5)

Tag Line: It never stops.
Production Company: Soapbox Films, Divide/Conquer, Mind Hive Films
Director: Emma Tammi
Writer: Teresa Sutherland
Actors: Miles Anderson, Caitlin Gerard, Julia Goldani Telles, Dylan McTee, Martin C. Patterson, Ashley Zukerman
Genre: Horror, Western
Rated: R
Length: 86 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A supernatural thriller set in the Western frontier of the late 1800s, The Wind stars Caitlin Gerard (INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY) as a plains-woman driven mad by the harshness and isolation of the untamed land. The film is directed by Emma Tammi, written by Teresa Sutherland and stars Gerard, Ashley Zukerman, and Julia Goldani Telles. It was produced by Soapbox Films and Divide/Conquer.

Although westerns are some of my least favorite films, this one is much more a horror than anything else. The ‘western’ aspect barely even seems like a backdrop, so I’m less concerned with it.

As horror goes, The Wind seems a little more subtle than a lot of the stuff we get now-a-days. It looks like it’s going to rely more on psychology than jump scares. Although I believe there is a time and a place for jump scares, I do prefer a more dreadful psychological jolt in my horrors.

I’m not familiar with pretty much anyone in the credits. The only person I know anything about is Jennifer M. Quinteros (Independence Day: Resurgence, Ninja Apocalypse, Totem), a member of the makeup department. She worked on Mystique in X-Men: First Class (2011). The only thing that really tells us is that make-up is going to be on point.

The quality of pretty much everything else is up in the air. The people who worked on the film could be brilliant, awful, or anywhere in between. I actually like that in films. It allows you to walk into it with absolutely no expectations.

16 – Little (4/12)

Tag Line: Little secret, big problem.
Production Company: Khalabo Ink Society, Legendary Entertainment, Universal Pictures, Will Packer Productions
Director: Tina Gordon
Writer: Tracy Oliver, Tina Gordon
Actors: Regina Hall, Marsai Martin, Issa Rae, Justin Hartley, Tone Bell, JD McCrary, Mikey Day, Luke James, Caleb Emery, Noree Victoria, Kausar Mohammed, Abbie Gayle, Jonathon Watson, Kayte Giralt, Katelyn Farrugia, Hannah Westerfield, Blair Jasin, Palmer Williams Jr., Thalia Tran, Chelsea Hayes, Tucker Meek, Karon Riley, Nicole Marie Johnson, Marley Taylor, Cecelia Specht, Marc Hawes, Jade Fernandez, Kendra L. Franklin, Eva Carlton, Ella Madison, Andrew Nicolas Starr, Kayla Trinity Peltier
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear.

Ok, Little’s been done before. About a hundred times. Like every recipe in creation, sometimes it comes out great and other times… not so much.

In this case, I have reason to be confident. Regina Hall (The Hate U Give, Girls Trip, When the Bough Breaks) and Issa Rae (Insecure, The Hate U Give, The Number) are both great actors that have decent comedic timing. Considering these are the adult actors that Marsai Martin (Black-ish, Goldie and Bear, Fun Mom Dinner) has to look up to as she plays the young version of Hall’s character, I have to imagine that she is going to knock it out of the park, too.

Now, there are numerous ways this movie could flop. I have to admit that. I still think it may be worth a watch through. At least once.

15 – Bright Ones (4/22)

Tag Line: Tell your story. Change the world.
Production Company: Bethel Music
Director: David Norona, Fred Vassallo
Writer: David Norona, Fred Vassallo
Actors: Peyton Allen, Josie Buchanan, Chloé Elizabeth Vassallo, Asher Hansow, Christian Allen, Sydney Allen, Dominique Coq Vassallo, Fabiano Altamura, Dann Farrelly, Abigail Rheem, Marion McAuley, Francesco Sideli, Seth Dahl, Claire Riddle, Tiffany Williams, Ben Day, Cru Buchanan, John Paul Vargas, Jay Miller, Garrett Viggers, Kristene DiMarco, Donta Nelson, Fred Vassallo
Genre: Musical
Rated: PG
Length: 82 minutes

IMDb Blurb: What happens when a group of talented kids from a performing arts school are faced with an impossible challenge - to create a showcase that teaches the world how they were created to shine? From the creative minds of award-winning Bethel Music and writer/directors, Fred Vassallo and David Noroña, comes this high energy and heartfelt story that combines incredible dance with powerful songs to reveal that even kids can change the world when they find their voice and tell their story. In the veins of High School Musical, Bright Ones is an uplifting and moving film that will inspire the whole family.

At first glance, Bright Ones looks pretty typical. There seems to be no difference between this one and every other performance movie in existence. It was only on second look that I saw anything special.

The majority of these films teach the very important lesson that dreams take work, but if you work at them, you can get what you want. Every kid needs to know that. That said, this one seems to touch on another lesson, as well. A lesson that most of these movies ignore. In fact, the only one that touches on it in my memory – in any kind of significant way – is Center Stage (2000).

That second lesson is that you don’t have to stick with something that you don’t love.

It’s so important for kids to figure out what they love because there does come a point in people’s lives where they no longer have a choice. They can get stuck. They have to provide for families, pay bills, and their options can easily be taken away.

We have a society of people who are stuck in jobs they hate because no one ever told them that it was ok to stop when they were young enough for it to matter. The lesson was always ‘keep at it’, ‘keep working’, ‘work harder’ – but that advice rarely ever came after the question, ‘do you want to be doing it?’ Even my mother always told me that you finish what you start. You never give up. But if you start something and legitimately hate it, what then?

Bright Ones seems like it touches on both – equally important – lessons. In my opinion, that elevates it above the others.

14 – Pet Sematary (4/5)

Tag Line: Sometimes dead is better.
Production Company: Alphaville Films, Paramount Pictures
Director: Kevin Kölsch, Dennis Widmyer 
Writer: Stephen King, Matt Greenberg, Jeff Buhler
Actors: Jason Clarke, John Lithgow, Amy Seimetz, Jeté Laurence, Naomi Frenette, Alyssa Brooke Levine, Maria Herrera, Obssa Ahmed, Hugo Lavoie, Sonia Maria Chirila, Locas Lavoie
Genre: Horror, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie 'Pet Sematary' located nearby. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better.

I know a lot of people are looking forward to this one, but I’m not really. I didn’t particularly like the original.

The story, as a horror, is amazing. It’s psychological with a lot of actual creep factor in there. It’s Stephen King (Castle Rock, Carrie, Gerald’s Game) through and through. I might even read the book at some point, but seeing it on the screen hurt my stomach. It’s too much for me, personally. As a result, I likely won’t see the remake unless it comes up for the blog.

That said, I do think it will benefit from a remake. The acting and script of the original is dated. It just doesn’t make sense any more for our time, it doesn’t hold up. Fresh new actors, a new script, and a more modern setting will bring Pet Sematary to a whole new generation.

Just because I don’t see this film as something for me, doesn’t mean that it’s not one to look out for. Keep your expectations in check, though. I hear they changed the ended and some people are a bit enraged about it.

Then again, aren’t people always enraged with change?

13 – The Curse of La Llorona (4/19)

Tag Line: She wants your children.
Production Company: Atomic Monster, New Line Cinema
Director: Michael Chaves
Writer: Mikki Daughtry, Tobias Iaconis
Actors: Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Marisol Ramirez, Patricia Velasquez, Sean Patrick Thomas, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Tony Amendola, Irene Keng, Oliver Alexander, Aiden Lewandowski, Paul Rodriguez, John Marshall Jones, Ricardo Mamood-Vega, Jaydan Valdivia, Andrew Tinpo Lee, Madeleine McGraw, DeLaRosa Rivera, Sophia Santi
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 93 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.

It feels like we get at least one of these ghost-type horrors per month. Sometimes they look like little more than a jump scare-fueled attempt at being the next big paranormal horror series start. Other times, you get something like this.

Sure, you can see influences from some of the big-name horrors out there and there are definitely going to be a lot of jump scares offered. However, watching the trailer gives the impression that there’s also going to be a ton of psychological terror as well.

It’s a product of the times. Jump scares became big in horror and that’s where the trend is lingering. You’re not really going to get many horrors without them, but you can demand that they be surrounded by quality.

I have to admit, part of why this film sticks out to me is because the director, Michael Chaves (Worst Date Ever, Regen, Chase Champion), also directed the music video Bury a Friend (2019) by Billie Eilish. I’ve been mildly obsessed with that project since it came out. I’m more than willing to give him a shot in his first full-length feature film direction.

12 – The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (4/10)

Tag Line: Today’s a marvelous day for adventures!
Production Company: Alacran Pictures, Tornasol Films, Entre Chien et Loup, Ukbar Filmes, El Hombre Que Mato a Don Quijote AIE, Carisco Producciones AIE, Recorded Picture Company (RPC), Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), Movistar+, Wallimage, Proximus, Fonds Eurimages du Conseil de l'Europe, Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA)
Director: Terry Gilliam
Writer: Terry Gilliam, Tony Grisoni
Actors: José Luis Ferrer, Ismael Fritschi, Juan López-Tagle, Adam Driver, William Miller, Will Keen, Jason Watkins, Paloma Bloyd, Óscar Jaenada, Sonia Franco, José Aser Giménez, José Antonio Fernández, Viveka Rytzner, Alberto Jo Lee, Bruno Sevilla, Stellan Skarsgård, Olga Kurylenko, Jordi Mollà, Jonathan Pryce, Joana Ribeiro, Jorge Calvo, Hovik Keuchkerian, Mario Tardón, Antonio de la Cruz, Matilde Fluixá
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Rated: NR
Length: 132 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Toby, a disillusioned film director, becomes pulled into a world of time-jumping fantasy when a Spanish cobbler believes him to be Sancho Panza. He gradually becomes unable to tell dreams from reality.

I spent a lot of this trailer grinning. It looks like a decent comedy. Quite frankly, it looks like how I expect being around a method actor might feel. (No offense to any method actors out there.)

It’s got a great cast, and some clearly amusing scenes.

The crowning reason it’s on my list? Terry Gilliam’s (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, The Meaning of Life) involvement. He’s one of the creators of Monty Python. The trailer could have shown nothing of any interest at all and this film would still be on my list for no other reason than this man’s involvement.

11 – Mary Magdalene (4/12)

Tag Line: His story will be told.
Production Company: See-Saw Films, Porchlight Films, Universal Pictures International Production (UPIP), Film4
Director: Garth Davis
Writer: Helen Edmundson, Philippa Goslett
Actors: Rooney Mara, Joaquin Phoenix, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tahar Rahim, Ariane Labed, Denis Ménochet, Lubna Azabal, Tchéky Karyo, Charles Babalola, Tawfeek Barhom, Ryan Corr, Uri Gavriel, Shira Haas, Tsahi Halevi, Michael Moshonov, David Schofield, irit Sheleg, Jules Sitruk, Zohar Shtrauss, Lior Raz, Hadas Yaron
Genre: Drama
Rated: R
Length: 120 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The story of Mary Magdalene.

I flip-flop on this one.

It looks like Mary Magdalene will be a huge, well-done film. It’s possible that we’ll get to see the story of Mary Magdalene in a way that will speak to everyone, not just people of the faith. I know this, because my family is Jewish – I’m more along the lines of agnostic – and It still looks pretty epic to me.

I would have this movie much higher, except I’m left knowing that there’s also the possibility that it could go the way of The Passion of the Christ (2004). It’s really only a small possibility, though. If you look through the cast of this movie, you’ll find yourself more confident that it’s just meant to be a good film in general.

Regardless of faith, the story of Mary Magdalene is a fascinating one. To me, that means it’s worth giving this movie a shot.

10 – Breakthrough (4/17)

Tag Line: Based on the impossible true story.
Production Company: Fox 2000 Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox
Director: Roxann Dawson
Writer: Grant Nieporte
Actors: Topher Grace, Chrissy Metz, Sam Trammell, Josh Lucas, Marcel Ruiz, Dennis Haysbert, Rebecca Staab, Mike Colter, Ali Skovbye, Lisa Durupt, Victor Zinck Jr., Kristen Harris, Nancy Sorel, Stephanie Czajkowski, Isaac Kragten, Taylor Mosby, Maddy Martin, Nikolas Dukic, Chuck Shamata, Stephanie Sy, Callie Lane, Alicia Johnston, Travis Bryant, Lauren Cochrane, Scott Johnson, Kate Yacula, Geoff Banjavich, Lecrae, Erik Athavale, Logan Creran, Annelise Pollmann, Karl Thordarson, Saul Elias, Phil Hepner, Jemma Griffith
Genre: Biography, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: 116 minutes

IMDb Blurb: When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.

This is another spiritual film.

It’s one thing for a faith-based movie to speak to people of the faith that it’s representing. That’s easy. It’s when that film speaks to people outside the faith that you have something special.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m agnostic with a Jewish family. Still, watching this trailer gave me chills.

In movies like this, faith is shown as a conduit of hope. The family is getting the child all the help they possibly can – they’re just also praying that it works. Watching a community get together to help one child or family will always get me. I’ve never seen that kind of human kindness in real life and it’s fascinating that there are places where it actually seems to exist.

Watch the trailer. It’s got all the makings of a heart-wrenching drama: tragedy, love, and hope.

Besides, I’m super pissed that they canceled Luke Cage (2016-2018) and I will literally watch Mike Colter (Skin, Before You Know It, Extinction) in anything he does.

9 – Hellboy (4/12)

Tag Line: Legendary AF
Production Company: Nu Boyana FX, Campbell Grobman Films, Dark Horse Entertainment, Lawrence Gordon Productions, Millennium Films
Director: Neil Marshall
Writer: Andrew Cosby, Mike Mignola
Actors: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Daniel Dae Kim, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane, Thomas Haden Church, Sophie Okonedo, Brian Gleeson, Kristina Klebe, Alistair Petrie, Ashley Edner, Douglas Tait, Vanessa Eichholz, Mario de la Rosa
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: R
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

Unlike Pet Sematary, I loved the original Hellboy films.

I will absolutely admit that the trailer looks great. Based on the trailer alone, it should probably be higher on this list. That said, I cannot let go of the idea of Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Bad Ass) not being a part of it. As heroes go, Hugh Jackman (Logan, The Greatest Showman, Happy Feet) will always be Wolverine, Chris Evans (Avengers: Infinity War, Before We Go, Snowpiercer) will always be Steve Rogers, Robert Downey Jr. (Avengers: Infinity War, The Judge, Sherlock Holmes) will always be Tony Stark, and Ron Perlman will always be Hellboy. No super hero has been as perfectly cast as those four.

David Harbour (Stranger Things, State of Affairs, Sleepless) has some big-ass shoes to fill, and I’m skeptical.

He’s a great actor, don’t get me wrong. If ANYONE can follow Perlman in this role, it’d be him.

The saving grace, in my eyes, is that this version of Hellboy is rated R. There’s talk that the film will hold closer to the horror aspects of the comic. That means we’ll get to see Hellboy in all his glory.

It’s easier to give this film a real chance when it seems like it’ll hold truer to the source material.

8 – Someone Great (4/19)

Tag Line: Getting it. Together.
Production Company: Feigco Entertainment, I Can & I Will Productions, Likely Story
Director: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Writer: Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Actors: Rosario Dawson, Brittany Snow, Gina Rodriguez, LaKeith Stanfield, Faith Logan, DeWanda Wise, Peter Vack, Thomas Kopache, Salvatore DiSanto, Ben Sidell, David Granados, Kenneth De Abrew, Sam Moko
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 92 minutes

IMDb Blurb: After a devastating break up on the eve of her cross-country move, Jenny enjoys one last NYC adventure with her two best pals. Someone Great is a romantic comedy about love, loss, growth and the everlasting bond of female friendship.

I love this trailer. I just do. It’s a girls-night-out movie with a fantastic cast based in NY.

In fact, I think I relate so much to this one because I’m going to be leaving Brooklyn soon. Moving outside of my comfort zone. I still love this place, but it’s best for my family to be elsewhere. So, aside from the main character’s break-up, I feel like I get where her head is.

The trailer looks like fun. It looks like something a LOT of people could relate to and it has the kind of people involved that really make you want to give it a shot.

7 – Under the Silver Lake (4/19)

Tag Line: What are they hiding.
Production Company: Vendian Entertainment, Stay Gold Features, Good Fear Film + Management, Michael De Luca Productions, PASTEL, UnLTD Productions, Salem Street Entertainment, Boo Pictures, P2 Films
Director: David Robert Mitchell
Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Actors: Andrew Garfield, Wendy Vanden Heuvel, Deborah Geffner, Riley Keough, Riki Lindhome, Chris Gann, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Makinson, Reese Hartwig, Izzie Coffey, Kayla DiVenere, Tucker Meek, Zosia Mamet, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Laura-Leigh Claire, Jimmi Simpson, Patrick Fischler
Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama
Rated: R
Length: 139 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment's pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.

Who doesn’t love a good mind-fuck movie?

That’s exactly what this looks like. Under the Silver Lake will probably be a mystery/conspiracy film with a twist ending. On top of that, it seems like it will have both serious and humorous parts. If there’s a good balance of all of it, that will be a recipe for a hell of a movie.

The trailer is fast-paced and highlights Andrew Garfield’s (Hacksaw Ridge, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus) quirky nature without answering any questions about other characters in the film. Normally – I would see this as a misstep. I have a different opinion here, though.

Because this movie is likely to have more than just one twist at the end, it’s possible that none of the characters are what they seem – and the ones that are, you’re supposed to question. Taking their actions out of context, or inserting the wrong scene for a character could probably wind up giving story-ruining spoilers. So, in this kind of situation, I appreciate the narrow focus of the trailer. Flash some faces at me, show me the main character’s state of mind, let me know the feel of the film, and then let me see the rest for myself.

There’s very little I hate more in a trailer than spoilers. Anytime the editing reveals the ending or a huge plot twist I get grumpy. I don’t think that will be an issue here.

6 – Red Joan (4/19 UK)

Tag Line: How far would you go to protect everything you love?
Production Company: Trademark Films
Director: Trevor Nunn
Writer: Lindsay Shapero
Actors: Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Stephen Boxer, Stephen Campbell Moore, Kevin Fuller, Freddie Gaminara, Tom Hughes, Ben Miles, Ciarán Owens, Robin Soans, Laurence Spellman, Tereza Srbova, Stuart Whelan
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 101 minutes

IMDb Blurb: The story of Joan Stanley, who was exposed as the KGB's longest-serving British spy.

This biography also feels like it’s going to dip into the spy drama area. Sure, most of that might be in flashbacks… but I’m here for it. I do enjoy a good spy story. Even if it’s unintentional.

I’ll admit, I know nothing about the woman this film is about. Joan Stanley doesn’t feel like a name I ever heard of before – not even in school. So, I was fresh to the story when I watched the trailer for the first time. Originally, Red Joan was much lower on my list.

Upon the second and third watch-throughs, though, I became more invested. I was curious about the whole story. 

Now, I’m really looking forward to it. I have no idea how close to the true story it is. Of course, you have to expect some deviation.

Besides, they couldn’t really have gotten a better leading lady team for the film. Judi Dench (Tulip Fever, Philomena, Skyfall) and Sophie Cookson (Gypsy, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Ashes in the Snow) are bound to be a giant win together.

5 – High Life (4/5)

Tag Line: Oblivion awaits.
Production Company: Alcatraz Films, Andrew Lauren Productions (ALP), Arte France Cinéma, BFI Film Fund, Canal+, Ciné+, Madants, Pandora Filmproduktion, Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej, The Apocalypse Films Company, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF)
Director: Claire Denis
Writer: Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Geoff Cox, Nick Laird
Actors: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, André Benjamin, Mia Goth, Lars Eidinger, Agata Buzek, Claire Tran, Ewan Mitchell, Gloria Obianyo, Scarlett Lindsey, Jessie Ross, Victor Banerjee, Juliette Picollot, John Kimani Njeri, Mikolaj Gruss, Lukasz Osik, Weronika Wachowska, Mikolaj Zeman
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 110 minutes

IMDb Blurb: A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

When you have a claustrophobic film like this, the horror can easily be amped up to a thousand. In this case, that claustrophobia is achieved by not only sticking people into an isolated setting – but by sticking them into an isolated setting in space.

That ‘in space’ part is a big deal. It means that they’re not likely to randomly find a survivor wandering. No human is going to knock on the door and be like “surprise, bitch!” Unless they’ve been lied to and they’re really being held on Earth. I suppose that’s an option, but I am keeping my hopes high that they won’t be using that tired trope here.

The point is, anything coming to the door is not likely to be friendly. Whatever the core of the horror is will be bolstered by that fear of the unknown that humanity is prone to.

On another note, Robert Pattinson (Remember Me, Good Time, The Childhood of a Leader) has come a LONG way. When I see him in a film, I no longer picture that awkward character he played in the movies that shall not be named. Instead, I immediately think of all the great indie films he’s been bringing to the landscape. He’s pretty much the new juggernaut of the indie scene, and I’m all for it.

On a release date note: Although the movie is said to be from 2018, it was just making its rounds in the film festivals at that time. The date noted above is for the main limited release in the US.

Further research has indicated that there are some severely disturbing scenes in this film. I’m going to issue a trigger warning, though I don’t know exactly what those scenes are. I’m fairly certain they are based on a sexual topic. Keep that in mind.

4 – Drunk Parents (4/19)

Tag Line: Hung over and tapped out.
Production Company: BRON Studios, Creative Wealth Media Finance, Fortitude International
Director: Fred Wolf
Writer: Fred Wolf, Peter Gaulke
Actors: Salma Hayek, Joe Manganiello, Bridget Moynahan, Alec Baldwin, Treat Williams, Ben Platt, Sasha Mitchell, Aimee Mullins, Jim Gaffigan, Dan Soder, Olivia Luccardi, Kelly AuCoin, Aasif Mandvi, Natalia Cigliuti, Michelle Veintimilla, Kid Cudi, Stephen Gevedon, Eddie Schweighardt, Patrick M. Walsh, Brian Donahue, Lean M. Clark, JoJo Kushner, Gibson Frazier, Jeremy Shinder, Frank Anello, Laura Jordan, Daniel Hayek, Matthew Porter, Time Rose
Genre: Comedy
Rated: R
Length: 97 minutes

IMDb Blurb: Two drunk parents attempt to hide their ever increasing financial difficulties from their daughter and social circle through elaborate neighborhood schemes.

I have no fucking idea what’s happening in this trailer, but it’s hilarious and I want to see it.

The entire trailer is just pure chaos. You get the basic gist, though. The main characters are affluent people who lose all their money and are trying to keep their lifestyle through any means necessary.

Then you spend the rest of the 2 minutes seeing flashes of what ‘any means necessary’ means… with no context. For a comedy film like this one, I think that was an appropriate way to market the story.

The people involved had something to do with the placement. Fred Wolf (Without a Paddle, Grown Ups, Saturday Night Live) and Peter Gaulke (Ice Age: Meltdown, Saturday Night Live, Black Knight) are great creators in general. When you then team them up with actors like Alec Baldwin (Before You Know It, BlacKkKlansman, 30 Rock), Salma Hayek (The Hitman’s Bodyguard, Sausage Party, Muppets Most Wanted), Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike, Justice League) and Jim Gaffigan (Super Troopers 2, Chappaquiddick, Chuck), you get a team that’s pretty hard to beat for a comedy.

3 – Shazam! (4/5)

Tag Line: Just say the word.
Production Company: Warner Bros., DC Entertainment, DC Comics, New Line Cinema, Seven Bucks Productions, The Safran Company
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writer: Henry Gayden, Darren Lemke, Bill Parker, C.C. Beck
Actors: Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Borth, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Meagan Good, Asher Angel, Marta Milans, Ross Butler, Grace Fulton, John Glover, Stephannie Hawkins, Cooper Andrews, Natalia Safran, D.J. Cotrona, Evan Marsh, Ava Preston, Andi Osho, Ian Chen, Faithe Herman, Caroline Palmer, Lotta Losten, Carson MacCormac, Jovan Armand, Sarah Bennani, Ethan Pugiotto, Krystal Kiran, David Kohlsmith, Ali Badshah, David J. MacNeil, Tabitha Tao, Manuel Rodriguez-Saenz, Jillian Rees-Brown, Pamela Matthews
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 132 minutes

IMDb Blurb: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.

You know I’m a fan girl. I love comics. I love comic book movies. In fact, I really like the story of Shazam in the comics, as well.

The trailers look great. I even got a real laugh out as I watched. The only problem I have is that I don’t trust DC movies anymore. They’ve let me down one time too many.

Working around my DC trust issues, if they did Shazam right, I think it could be a game changer for them. Let me explain why.

DC films are known – at almost a parody level – for being DARK. They tried to lighten things up with the Suicide Squad (2016) film, but that was a mistake since the Suicide Squad comics are too dark for that. They seem to be trying to feel like the MCU in order to obtain the same kind of success, but they’re missing the whole point of what Marvel does.

Although the Stan Lee (Avengers: Endgame, Luke Cage, Black Panther) cameo-infused films are often woven with comedy and the general sass of the characters – even in darker stories like Infinity War – the creators never deviate the feel of the stories. Sure, they don’t hit every aspect of the comics. Scenes are missing or changed. Characters are left out or brought in when they were original used in a different way – or not at all. But, whatever they do, Marvel sticks to the basic FEEL of the original story. You had a lot of humor in Avengers: Infinity War (2018), but you damn well better believe that the sense of loss and tragedy silenced the entire movie theater in the end.

DC doesn’t get that. They lightened the entire story of the Suicide Squad, instead of just playing with the contrast of dark and light. In the end, it felt like they were fighting the comics instead of working within them.

Here’s where Shazam comes in. Even in the comics, Shazam is kind of a silly character. He’s a kid that says the word and then transforms into an adult superhero. How could it not be at least a little silly?

If DC wants to play with the tone of their films, this is when to do it. Shazam can feel like a lighter movie without losing the base feel of the hero. If it works out, they can transplant the character into future crossovers to give a thread of comedy to an otherwise dark story and work on that balance that has so far eluded them.

That’s why I think Shazam could be a game changer. We’ll have to wait and see what happens. If it flops, they’re still stuck at the drawing board.

2 – The Best of Enemies (4/5)

Tag Line: Change is worth fighting for.
Production Company: Astute Films, Material Pictures
Director: Robin Bissell
Writer: Robin Bissell, Osha Gray Davidson
Actors: Sam Rockwell, Taraji P. Henson, Wes Bentley, Anne Heche, Alyssa Mari Stilwell, John Gallagher Jr. Bruce McGill, Nicholas Logan, Caitlin Mehner, Nick Searcy, Babou Ceesay, Cranston Johnson, Jessica Miesel, Rhoda Griffis, Ned Vaughn, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Carson Holmes, Sope Aluko, Nadej K. Bailey, MxKenzie Applegate, Kendall Ryan Sanders, Chris Cavalier, Susan Williams, Brody Rose, Rae Olivier, Time Ware, Chanté Bowser, Jeanette Branch, Arin Logan, Morgan Brown, Joy Johnson Coleman, Wes McGee, Kevin Iannucci, Elizabeth Thorp
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown

IMDb Blurb: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.

There’s nothing I don’t find interesting about this trailer. ANY other month, it would have likely come in at number one.

As important as I find the subject matter and the history lesson shown in The Best of Enemies, the first thing to catch my eye wasn’t that. It wasn’t the weight of the situation shown in the film. It wasn’t even the knowledge of the kind of tragedies that would be shown. It wasn’t even the fact that it is based on a true story. As heart breaking and essential as The Best of Enemies will likely be, there was only one aspect that caught my attention immediately upon watching the trailer.

Taraji P. Henson (Empire, Proud Mary, Hidden Figures).

Henson is on FIRE in this trailer. She’s impossible to look away from. I don’t know too much about the true story this movie is based on, but I imagine a person in Henson’s character’s shoes would be just as much a commanding personality, and whirlwind of change, as the trailer portrays her. She’s seen as an avenging angel of her community and Henson just embodies that.

For Taraji P. Henson alone, this film is worth watching. For the lessons The Best of Enemies is bound to share, it’s worth being high on any list of films to look out for in April.

1 – Avengers: Endgame (4/26)

Tag Line: Avenge the fallen.
Production Company: Marvel Studios
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Writer: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Jim Starlin
Actors: Brie Larson, Scarlett Johansson, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Winston Duke, Chris Evans, Josh Brolin, Evangeline Lilly, Robert Downey Jr., Pom Klementieff, Tom Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Dave Bautista, Danai Gurira, Sebastian Stan, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeremy Renner, Jon Favreau, Katherine Langford, Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton, Chadwick Boseman, Frank Grillo, Kerry Condon, Ty Simpkins, Letitia Wright, Sean Gunn, Don Cheadle, Emma Fuhrmann, Hiroyuki Sanada, Penelope Kathryn Golden, Benedict Wong, Terry Notary,
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 182 minutes

IMDb Blurb: After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to undo Thanos' actions and restore order to the universe.

I can’t wait. I’m not going to be able to see it opening night (I’m a mom now, I don’t have the time). Still, I’ll be seeing it very soon after it’s release. Hopefully the same weekend, since I’ll have to avoid the hell out of social media until I do.

I’m dying to see how the story ends.

Now, I’ll be honest here, I’ve read the comics. Infinity War is one of my favorite arcs. That said, the movie and comics don’t line up 100%. That means that what I think I know may not be what is. I love that feeling when I’m watching a film based on a book. It’s why I don’t get too hung up on changes to the story if the feeling is the same.

The trailers for End Game give me chills. Likely because they rely on exploiting the feelings people had when they first witnessed the snap. There are black and white clips from past films, Tony Stark just flat out talking to Pepper on a recording… it’s impossible not to FEEL the trailers for this one. And the movie posters are all along the same track. They just released a bunch of them with the people who survived in color and the people who got dusted (or otherwise died) in black and white.

It’s appropriate.

Infinity War was a risky and amazing journey for a production studio to take. I think they did phenomenal with it and I just can’t wait to see what they leave the story with.

I wish Stan Lee was here to see it.

We’ll all be thinking of him.

Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat

Mary Magdalene .20
Body at Brighton Rock .19
Missing Link .18
The Curse of La Llorona .17
Her Smell .16
After .15
The Best of Enemies .14
High Life .13
Little .12
Penguins .11
Storm Boy .10
Mia and the White Lion .9
Teen Spirit .8
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote .7
The White Crow .6
Drunk Parents .5
Shazam! .4
Hellboy .3
Pet Sematary .2
Avengers: Endgame .1