Friday, March 31, 2023

Top 20 Movies to Look Out For In April (2023)

According to: Selina

20 – Chupa (4/7)

Production/Distribution: 26th Street Pictures, Netflix
Director: Jonás Cuarón
Writer: Joe Barnathan, Brendan Bellomo, Sean Kennedy Moore, Marcus Rinehart
Actors: Christian Slater, Demián Bichir, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Evan Whitten, Ashley Ciarra
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 35min
IMDb Blurb: While visiting family in Mexico, teenage Alex gains an unlikely companion when he discovers a young chupacabra hiding in his grandpa's shed. To save the mythical creature, Alex and his cousins must embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Chupa looks extremely cute, if a little on the recipe side of things. It’s very E.T. (1982) in its structure. A kid finds a thing no one believes exists and trys to keep it safe. In the end I’m sure there’ll be all kind of growth and they’ll undoubtedly have to let go.
Never-the-less, it still looks like the kind of film that wouldn’t bore a parent to tears while their kid watches.
As a parent myself, I appreciate that.
It doesn’t hurt that director Jonás Cuarón (Desierto, Aningaaq, The Shock Doctrine) is the son of award-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Roma, A Little Princess). It doesn’t immediately mean success, but it does mean that he was brought up around movies, which will make him much more experienced than his filmography might lead one to believe.
Chupa is not Jonás’ directorial debut, but it’s the first of his full-length feature films (as director) that I’m familiar with.
He has a lot to live up to, and I’m looking forward to seeing how he does.
19 – Kids vs Aliens (4/14)

Production/Distribution: Yer Dead, Shut up & Colour Pictures, Bloody Disgusting, Cinepocalypse Productions, Studio71, RLJE Films, Shudder
Director: Jason Eisener
Writer: John Davies, Jason Eisener
Actors: Dominic Mariche, Phoebe Rex, Calem MacDonald, Asher Grayson, Ben Tector, Emma Vickers, Isaiah Fortune, Jonathan Torrens
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 15min
IMDb Blurb: An all-time rager of a teen house party turns to terror when aliens attack, forcing two warring siblings to band together to survive the night.
I’ll admit that Kids vs Aliens looks like it’s full of low-budget camp. I wouldn’t really be all that surprised if we catch a glimpse of a costume’s zipper in the movie. That said, I can’t deny that I’m still interested.
If anything, the quality and over-the-top nature of Kids vs Aliens reminds me of another Shudder flick we watched: Psycho Goreman (2021). As ridiculous and campy as Psycho Goreman was, it had a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993-1996) kind of charm that had us really enjoying it.
Where director Jason Eisener (V/H/S/2, Hobo with a Shotgun, Dark Side of the Ring) wasn’t involved in that Shudder offering, he was responsible for Turbo Kid (2015). That’s another movie we reviewed from the platform. As odd as it was, Cat thought it was above average. I watched it later and enjoyed it a bit more than she did. This stuff is right up my alley. I love a good, strange, low-budget horror-comedy.
If Kids vs Aliens falls somewhere between Turbo Kid and Psycho Goreman, I’ll be a happy camper.
18 – You’re Killing Me (4/7)

Production/Distribution: Iris Indie International, Quiver Distribution
Director: Beth Hanna, Jerren Lauder
Writer: Walker Hare, Brad Martocello
Actors: McKaley Miller, Brice Anthony Heller, Wil Deusner, Keyara Milliner, Anne Heche, Dermot Mulroney
Genre: Action, Horror, Mystery
Rated: Unrated
Length: Unknown Length
IMDb Blurb: Follows Eden, who goes to a coveted 'Heaven and Hell' party, hoping to get a letter of recommendation to an elite university from the wealthy parents of her classmate, but the party quickly turns into a fight for her life.
I have so many questions – which is the point of a trailer.
There is a lot I want to know about You’re Killing Me because I’m left just enough in the dark to be curious, while still getting what the basic plot is. It seems slasher-esque, but there are some little details that make me wonder if there’s going to be an interesting twist involved somewhere. The inclusion of the parents and the waffling reactions of Brice Anthony Heller (Brief Candle, Icon, Psycho Sweet 16) give me some pause on who’s to blame for what’s going to occur.
At the very least, You’re Killing Me should be a fun watch. At the most, it could include a twisty-turny mystery worth trying to unravel.  
17 – Beautiful Disaster (4/12)

Production/Distribution: Voltage Pictures, Warner Bros.
Director: Roger Kumble
Writer: Roger Kumble, Jamie McGuire
Actors: Virginia Gardner, Dylan Sprouse, Autumn Reeser, Michael Cudlitz, Austin North. Brian Austin Green
Genre: Drama, Romance
Rated: R
Length: 1h 45min
IMDb Blurb: College freshman, Abby, tries to distance herself from her dark past while resisting her attraction to bad boy, Travis.
What originally looked like it would be one of those guilty pleasure, dime-a-dozen romantic drama films, took a hard left later in the trailer. As shallow as the characters seem at the start, when the main female starts pulling money out of a hole in her mattress, that changed things real quick.
Immediately I have questions.
I had to watch the trailer a second time, because I had just about checked out when I realized there was a twist the first time around. I’m dying to know what the rest of the plot is. The trailer is very careful to make it seem like a basic romance story and just gives a small taste that there’s something deeper.
It’s a creative way to get people like me interested. And it worked.
16 – Peter Pan & Wendy (4/28)

Production/Distribution: Walt Disney Pictures, Whitaker Entertainment, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films, Disney+
Director: David Lowery
Writer: David Lowery, Toby Halbrooks
Actors: Alexander Molony, Ever Anderson, Joshua Pickering, Jacobi Jupe, Yara Shahidi, Jude Law, Jim Gaffigan
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 46min
IMDb Blurb: Live-action adaptation of J.M. Barrie's classic tale of a boy who wouldn't grow up and recruits three young siblings in London to join him on a magical adventure to the enchanted Neverland island.
There have been an obnoxious amount of Peter Pan flicks coming out in the last few years. Either direct adaptations or upgraded versions. That made me seriously consider whether to add this flick to my list at all.
The factor that helped me decide was Disney.
When it comes to any Peter Pan story, there’s bound to be a lot of CGI, at least these days. Disney has the money to make a live action Peter Pan with CGI that doesn’t feel rushed.
Of course, my all-time favorite adaptation is Mary Martin’s Peter Pan (1960) which was essentially a stage play and had no CGI, but that was then and this is now.
I expect Disney has a good reason to be releasing Peter Pan & Wendy. Otherwise, they wouldn’t bother following up every other adaptation that’s been flooding the box office. Most with unsuccessful results. It undoubtedly has something that sets it apart from the rest. Hopefully not the way Pinocchio (2022) did.
Not angry about Jim Gaffigan (Troop Zero, Stargirl, Luca) playing Smee, either.
15 – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (4/28)

Production/Distribution: Gracie Films, Lionsgate, Starz
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Writer: Kelly Fremon Craig, Judy Blume
Actors: Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bates, Abby Ryder Fortson, Benny Safdie, Elle Graham, Jecobi Swain, Wilbur Fitzgerald
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Unrated
Length: Unknown Length
IMDb Blurb: When her family moves from the city to the suburbs, 11-year-old Margaret navigates new friends, feelings, and the beginning of adolescence.
Most girls that went to school after 1970 have read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. I have a distinct memory of picking the book up at a Scholastic Book Fair one year and it was a great read. I’ll admit, though, I haven’t read it again since I was a teenager.
To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time it’s being adapted into a movie. That’s not entirely surprising since it was challenged and even banned in places when it first came out (which, of course, just made kids want to read it more.)
Don’t let the fact that it’s been challenged in the past fool you, there’s nothing awful in it. There’s some frank discussions about puberty and menstruation, which scares up-tight jackasses. It’s no more offensive than Turning Red (2022) is. Of course, most people can probably understand what happened with it since there’s been an emergence of dumb asses trying to ban books again. But I digress.
The only reason it’s not higher on my list, is because there’s quite a bit of cringe humor. I’ve got an overdeveloped sense of second-hand embarrassment that keeps me from fully enjoying that kind of comedy. If you don’t have the same problem, though, then this is going to be 100% must-see.
14 – The Black Demon (4/28)

Production/Distribution: Chocolatito, Lantica Media, Mucho Mas Media, Silk Mass, The Avenue Entertainment
Director: Adrian Grunberg
Writer: Carlos Cisco, Boise Esquerra
Actors: Josh Lucas, Fernanda Urrejola, Héctor Jiménez, Raúl Méndez, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Venus Ariel, Jorge A. Jimenez
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown Length
IMDb Blurb: Stranded on a crumbling rig in Baja, a family faces off against a vengeful megalodon shark.
Creature features are some of my favorite movies to watch. They’re not always the best in existence, but they’re almost always a lot of fun. In this case you have the addition of folklore, a remote/claustrophobic location, and the added plot of an oil spill.
All of that can easily elevate a creature feature like The Black Demon.
Of course, there is a lot going on, and when you get too much happening at once, it can feel chaotic. There’s a balance that needs to be struck with this kind film.
It does look like it has promise. The shark looks great, and the acting doesn’t seem hokey in the slightest. That gives me hope.
I’m looking forward to The Black Demon.
13 – One Day as a Lion (4/4)

Production/Distribution: Roxwell Films, Three Point Capital, Lionsgate, Grindstone Entertainment Group
Director: John Swab
Writer: Scott Caan
Actors: Frank Grillo, J.K. Simmons, Virginia Madsen, Taryn Manning, Scott Caan, Marianne Rendón
Genre: Action, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: 1h 27min
IMDb Blurb: Jackie Powers will stop at nothing to prevent his son from following him into a life of crime. With his mob employer in pursuit, a chance encounter at a roadside diner charts a new path.
Any chance I get to see J.K. Simmons (Invincible, Glorious, Spider-Man: No Way Home) as a bad ass, I’m going to take it. He has one of the most distinct voices in Hollywood and he’s always a joy to watch. Even in bad films, he still shines. I would follow him to any project.
It just so happens that One Day as a Lion looks great. There’s pulse-pounding action, feels, and even some comedy thrown in.
I’d have this much higher on my list, but I’m a little skeptical about what the script could look like. Scott Caan (Hawaii Five-0, Rock the Kasbah, All at Once) is a decent actor, but he doesn’t have a lot of writing experience yet. An amazing director could have made that a non-issue, but John Swab (Ida Red, Candy Land, Body Brokers) is closer to the middle of the pack in that position. I’m curious to see how it works out.
I hope One Day a Lion lives up to its trailer.
12 – Chevalier (4/21)

Production/Distribution: Element Pictures, Searchlight Pictures, Stillking Films
Director: Stephen Williams
Writer: Stefani Robinson
Actors: Kelvin Harrison Jr., Samara Weaving, Minnie Driver, Lucy Boynton, Marton Csokas, Sian Clifford, Mezi Atwood
Genre: Biography, Drama, History
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 47min
IMDb Blurb: Based on the true story of composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner, who rises to heights in French society as a composer before an ill-fated love affair.
Period pieces are not normally for me. Then tend to feel tedious. There are exceptions however, and Chevalier looks like it might be one of them. It helps that it’s not just the 87th Jane Austen adaptation of the year.
My biggest issue with period pieces is that the setting seems to mean more to the creators than the story. More often than not, I find the script winds up hurting because there’s so much effort put into the setting that people forget the rest matters.
What I see in Chevalier is a strong plot, with deep characters. I suspect it will also have a killer soundtrack (if you like classical music).
The cast is nothing to sneeze at, either. I’m not familiar with Kelvin Harrison Jr. (The Photograph, Cyrano, Elvis), the lead, but he’s surrounded by strong female actors. Minnie Driver (Cinderella, Good Will Hunting, Speechless) and Lucy Boynton (The Pale Blue Eye, Murder on the Orient Express, Rebel in the Rye) are both powerhouses. Then there’s Samara Weaving (Babylon, The Babysitter, Ready or Not). I know her primarily as a scream queen, but I adore her. She has it in her to become iconic to our time, I’m just waiting to see it happen.
If you like period pieces, Chevalier was probably already on your to-see list. If it’s not normally your first-choice genre, you might still want to look into it. It’s going to be strong.
11 – Polite Society (4/28)

Production/Distribution: Focus Features, Parkville Pictures, Working Title Films, Universal Pictures
Director: Nida Manzoor
Writer: Nida Manzoor
Actors: Priya Kansara, Ritu Arya, Renu Brindle, Rekha John-Cheriyan, Seraphina Beh, Ella Bruccoleri, Nimra Bucha
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: 1h 43min
IMDb Blurb: Ria Khan believes that she must save her older sister Lena from her impending marriage. After enlisting her friends' help, she attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists, in the name of independence and sisterhood.
I love everything about this trailer. The fight scenes alone are ridiculous, in the best possible way.
Every time there’s some action on the screen, I find myself giggling. It’s got that precisely choreographed feel, while still injecting a ton of humor into every movement. Even the bite marks are exaggerated for the optimal amount of comedy.
There’s also a bit of plot that reminds me of a less serious Bend it Like Beckham (2002).
Everything about Polite Society makes me feel like it’s going to be so much more epic than it looks. I’ll be watching as soon as I have access to it.

10 – Mafia Mamma (4/14)

Production/Distribution: Cattleya, Cornerstone Films, Edver Films, Idea(L), Ingenious Media, Lipsync, New Sparta Films, Vocab Films, Bleecker Street Media
Director: Catherine Hardwicke  
Writer: J. Michael Feldman, Debbie Jhoon, Amanda Sthers
Actors: Monica Bellucci, Alessandro Bressanello, Eduardo Scarpetta, Toni Collette, Tommy Rodger, Tim Daish, Jay Natelle
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rated: R
Length: 1h 41min
IMDb Blurb: An American mom inherits her grandfather's mafia empire in Italy. Guided by the firm's consigliere, she hilariously defies everyone's expectations as the new head of the family business.
Mafia Mamma is a very familiar fish-out-of-water tale. Usually we see it more from the perspective of a random person finding out they’re a princess, or an important person going incognito for a bit. I’m amused at the thought of some random basic lady becoming a mob boss. Usually, the stories I’ve seen that revolve around that idea tend to lean more serious.
What with all the murder usually involved.
As good as the trailer looks, the only reason it made top 10 instead of Polite Society is because of Toni Collette (Hereditary, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Knives Out).
Collette gives every single one of her parts 100%, and it shows. The naïve character she portrays in Mafia Mamma is a bit outside of what I’ve seen her play, and I’m here for it. No doubt she’s going to take this flick to places it could never be without her.
9 – Hunger (4/6)

Production/Distribution: Netflix, Song Sound Production
Director: Sitisiri Mongkolsiri
Writer: Kongdej Jaturanrasamee
Actors: Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying, Kenneth Won, Nopachai Chaiyanam
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 2h 10min
IMDb Blurb: A woman running her family's noodle restaurant receives an invitation to join the fine-dining industry under the tutelage of an infamous chef.
Hunger looks like a much more serious and straight-forward version of The Menu (2022). It might even be a movie that focuses on the type of life that The Menu satires.
That said, there’s no denying the thrills shown by the trailer. In just over two minutes, I found my eyes glued to the screen and awaiting more. I’m ecstatic that the film is going to be on Netflix, because I’ll be able to watch it as soon as it comes out.
I’m a lot less familiar with Thai cinema, so none of the names involved in the film really stand out to me. I do know that the writer, Kongdej Jaturanrasamee (P-047, Sayew, Cherm), is an award winner. At the very least, that tells me we can expect a well-constructed story.
8 – Sisu (4/28)

Production/Distribution: Stage 6 Films, Subzero Film Entertainment, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (SPWA)
Director: Jalmari Helander
Writer: Jalmari Helander
Actors: Jorma Tommila, Aksel Hennie, Jack Doolan, Mimosa Willamo, Onni Tommila
Genre: Action, War
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 31min
IMDb Blurb: When an ex-soldier who discovers gold in the Lapland wilderness tries to take the loot into the city, Nazi soldiers led by a brutal SS officer battle him.
Sisu is essentially John Wick (2014) if he was killing Nazis.
Clearly this film is going to be very little more than a beautiful revenge story, but I personally don’t need more than that. It’s going to be a turn-your-brain off hour and a half of pure action fun.
And watching Nazis die, is always fun for me.
7 – Simulant (4/7)

Production/Distribution: WANGO Films, Myriad Pictures, Three Point Capital, Vertical Entertainment, Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Director: April Mullen
Writer: Ryan Christopher Churchill
Actors: Robbie Amell, Jordana Brewster, Simu Liu, Sam Worthington, Alicia Sanz, Mayko Nguyen, Masa Lizdek, Christine L. Nguyen
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller
Rated: Unrated
Length: 1h 35min
IMDb Blurb: A humanoid A.I.'s attempt to win over a widow's heart places it in the path of a government agent trying to stop the rise of machine consciousness.
I love a good science fiction film. I tend to lean more toward fantasy, but I especially love when sci-fis are more modern and on Earth. A setting like the one shown in this trailer reminds me of Detroit: Become Human (2018) – which is a video game I absolutely adored.
Stories like this ask the question of when does the artificial part of A.I. stop mattering. It’s a philosophical question that we’re getting closer and closer to asking in our real lives. If it’s done right in a movie, it can be absolutely brain breaking.
Pair that with the performance prowess of people like Robbie Amell (The Babysitter, The Flash, Upload), Jordana Brewster (F9: The Fast Saga, Lethal Weapon, Secrets and Lies), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Kim’s Convenience, Bright: Samurai Soul), and Sam Worthington (Lansky, Avatar: The Way of Water, Fractured) – it makes Simulant a can’t-miss flick.
6 – Ghosted (4/21)

Production/Distribution: Apple Original Films, Skydance Media, Studio Concierge, Apple TV+
Director: Dexter Fletcher
Writer: Chris McKenna, Rhett Reese, Erik Sommers, Paul Wernick
Actors: Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Amy Sedaris, Adrien Brody, Tim Blake Nelson, Tate Donovan, Mustafa Shakir, Marwan Kenzari
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Length: Unknown Length
IMDb Blurb: Cole falls head over heels for enigmatic Sadie, but then makes the shocking discovery that she's a secret agent. Before they can decide on a second date, Cole and Sadie are swept away on an international adventure to save the world.
Post-Captain America Chris Evans (Free Guy, Lightyear, The Red Sea Diving Resort) is on fire. I’ve been a fan of his since before Marvel, and I remember how close he was to retiring before he got his iconic part. I’m so glad he reconsidered.
From the hardcore mystery of Knives Out (2019) to the action sequences and hilarious banter in The Gray Man (2022) he’s been killing it. Now, he back to his roots in a romantic comedy. I’m very much here for it.
Ghosted looks beyond entertaining. It’s not a completely unfamiliar plot, though it is gender-swapped from the norm. Still, the people involved are more than capable of elevating the flick into something that sets it apart. Aside from Evans, there’s Ana de Armas (Deep Water, Knives Out, Blade Runner 2049), Amy Sedaris (Somebody I Used to Know, Theater Camp, Clerks III), and Adrien Brody (Chapelwaite, The French Dispatch, See How They Run). Every one of them is a top-of-their-game performer.
Just watching through the trailer once makes it apparent that Ghosted cannot be missed.
5 – Evil Dead Rise (4/21)

Production/Distribution: Department of Post, Ghost House Pictures, New Line Cinema, Warner Bros., Wild Atlantic Pictures, HBO Max
Director: Lee Cronin
Writer: Lee Cronin
Actors: Alyssa Sutherland, Lily Sullivan, Morgan Davies, Nell Fisher, Gabrielle Echols, Anna-Maree Thomas, Mirabai Pease, Jayden Daniels, Richard Crouchley, Billy Reynolds-McCarthy, Tai Wano
Genre: Horror
Rated: R
Length: 1h 37min
IMDb Blurb: A twisted tale of two estranged sisters whose reunion is cut short by the rise of flesh-possessing demons, thrusting them into a primal battle for survival as they face the most nightmarish version of family imaginable.
Evil Dead (2013) got a little bit of hate when it came out from hardcore fans of the original. I, however, really enjoyed it. I went to see it in theaters, and I had a great time. It lost the campy nature of the first series – which was a shame, but it made up for that with some really great scares.
Evil Dead Rise confuses me a bit. It has nothing to do with the original or the 2013 version. The only joining factor that I can see is that Bruce Campbell (Black Friday, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Ash vs Evil Dead) is credited for a cameo. So, I’m not entirely sure what makes it an Evil Dead film.
I believe the book of the dead will be involved in some way, but that might be it. Does that mean that the people in charge are going to be taking Evil Dead in an anthology direction? I wouldn’t hate that idea, but I’d love to revisit the 2013 Ash at some point as well.
Either way, the trailer looks sick. I can’t wait.
4 – Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant (4/21)

Production/Distribution: Fresco Film Services, STX Films, Toff Guy Films, CAA Media Dinance, STX International, WME Independent
Director: Guy Ritchie
Writer: Guy Ritchie, Ivan Atkinson, Marn Davies
Actors: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dar Salim, Alexander Ludwig, Antony Starr, Jonny Lee Miller, Emily Beecham, Rhys Yates, Jason Wong, Bobby Shofield
Genre: Action, Crime, Thriller
Rated: R
Length: Unknown Length
IMDb Blurb: Guy Ritchie's The Covenant follows US Army Sergeant John Kinley (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Afghan interpreter Ahmed (Dar Salim).
I am a banter girl. I love banter. I will watch absolutely anything if that back-and-forth dialogue is on point. As a direct result of that, I also tend to love Guy Ritchie’s (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes, Revolver) work (with a few exceptions). The thing is, where Ritchie does serious films, they normally have just enough levity to make that banter doable. That doesn’t seem to be the case in The Covenant.
I’m not entirely sure what to expect. The trailer is as serious as it comes, with a revenge/rescue plot that’s based around a subject nobody is going to be laughing at.
I think Ritchie is going to wind up taking a unique perspective on the subject. I’d bet that it’s going to be incredible – especially with Jake Gyllenhaal (Brokeback Mountain, Nightcrawler, Strange World) in the lead.
Betting against Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant would be a sucker’s bet.
3 – Renfield (4/14)

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, Skybound Entertainment
Director: Chris McKay
Writer: Ryan Ridley, Robert Kirkman
Actors: Nicholas Hoult, Nicolas Cage, Awkwafina, Ben Schwartz, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Brandon Scott Jones, Adrian Martinez, Camille Chen, Bess Rous
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 1h 33min
IMDb Blurb: Renfield, Dracula's henchman and inmate at the lunatic asylum for decades, longs for a life away from the Count, his various demands, and all of the bloodshed that comes with them.
Nicolas Cage (Pig, Willy’s Wonderland, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent) is known for turning down any part that doesn’t cause the movie to revolve around him. That’s why it’s almost weird that he took this part as Dracula, who is not the main character.
One of the things he’s also known for is having a deep desire to play two characters at some point in his career: Superman and Dracula. Here he gets to fulfill one of his character dreams. It may not be the serious horror version he likely hoped for, but it’s Dracula none-the-less.
Of course, all I see in my head when he pops on screen with those fangs is a much younger Cage running through the streets screaming “I’M A VAMPIRE! I’M A VAMPIRE! I’M A VAMPIRE!”
If you know, you know.
Our one true Cage facts aside, the trailer for Renfield looks hilarious. The teaming up of Nicholas Hoult (The Menu, Those Who Wish Me Dead, Warm Bodies), Awkwafina (The Bad Guys, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Jumanji: The Next Level), and Ben Schwartz (Sonic the Hedgehog, DuckTales, Space Force) is a dream for this brand of ridiculousness. It’s based on an idea of Robert Kirkman’s (The Walking Dead, Invincible, Outcast) – a man responsible for some very bloody horror and it’s written by Ryan Ridley (Invincible, Ghosted, The Inbetweeners), one of the writers from Rick and Morty (2013 -).
Just about everyone involved is a superstar. Director Chris McKay (Robot Chicken, The Lego Batman Movie, Oceanic Panic) being the only debatable aspect, but I personally like him. I thought his last offering, TheTomorrow War (2021), was a lot of fun. I expect this one will be, too.
Renfield is going to be hilarious.
2 – The Super Mario Bros. Movie (4/5)

Production/Distribution: Universal Pictures, Nintendo, Illumination Entertainment, Peacock
Director: Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic
Writer: Matthew Fogel
Actors: Kevin Michael Richardson, Jack Black, Khary Payton, Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Sebastian Maniscalco, Keegan-Michael Key, Anya Taylor-Joy, Seth Rogen, Scott Menville
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Rated: PG
Length: 1h 32min
IMDb Blurb: The story of The Super Mario Bros. on their journey through the Mushroom Kingdom.
I think everyone is a little concerned about the minimal amount of effort put into Mario’s voice by Chris Pratt (The Tomorrow War, Onward, Jurassic World), so I’m not going to waste time on it. Though, that is why The Super Mario Bros. Movie is not in my #1 spot this month.
Let’s talk about the good stuff.
We can’t go into anything else without talking about the voices that did have a ton of effort and energy put into them.
Jack Black (History of the World: Part II, Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, Jumanji: The Next Level) kills it as Bowser. He utilizes a slight growl behind every word that could not work better. Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, How It Ends, Hotel Artemis) breaks out a perfect vocal performance for Luigi. While Keegan-Michael Key (Pinocchio, The Bubble, The Prom) was the obvious choice for Toad from the jump. I do wish Princess Peach’s voice were a little higher, but Anya Taylor-Joy’s (Last Night in Soho, The Northman, The Menu) acting skill will undoubtedly make up for it.
The graphics team put a ton of effort into making the visuals represent every aspect of the games. Everything from the various turtle species to the cars on rainbow road can be traced to one of the games. They even have the cars mimic the Mario Kart 8 sideways wheels when they go upside down. The attention to detail is 100% there.
I do believe that we will get to see the Super Mario flick that we have all dreamed about here. If the only issue is Pratt phoning it in – then I still call it a win.
1 – Beau is Afraid (4/21)

Production/Distribution: A24, Access Entertainment, IPR.VC, Square Peg, Stage 6 Films
Director: Ari Aster
Writer: Ari Aster
Actors: Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey, Amy Ryan, Zoe Lister-Jones, Richard Kind, Nathan Lane, Michael Gandolfini, Patti LuPone, Kylie Rogers, Hayley Squires
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Horror
Rated: R
Length: 2h 59min
IMDb Blurb: Following the sudden death of his mother, a mild-mannered but anxiety-ridden man confronts his darkest fears as he embarks on an epic, Kafkaesque odyssey back home.
Ari Aster (Midsommar, Hereditary, Munchausen) is one of the greatest horror-centric minds in Hollywood right now. As a result, Beau is Afraid has been on most radars since it started filming.
Beau is Afraid was meant to be a 4-hour long flick straight from Aster’s nightmares. I don’t know who opted to cut it down to 3-hours, though. If it was Aster, himself, then it’s going to be surreal and tighter edited than anyone would expect from a 3-hour film. If the production company demanded it be cut down, however, it could wind up being a bit of a mess – at no fault of the director. That’s my only concern.
Otherwise, I expect that Beau is Afraid will be unsettling and terrifying. I cannot wait to see it.
Movies to Look out For
According to: Cat
Sweetwater .20
The Tank .19
Paint .18
Hunger .17
The Black Demon .16
Chupa .15
Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant .14
Polite Society .13
Beautiful Disaster .12
Chevalier .11
Kids vs Aliens .10
Beau is Afraid .9
Peter Pan and Wendy .8
Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret .7
Sisu .6
Evil Dead Rise .5
Simulant .4
The Super Mario Bros Movie .3
Renfield .2
Ghosted .1
          What makes a movie eligible for Trust the Dice’s Top 20?

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