April! It’s the prelude to the Summer blockbuster season! Well at least it was until a certain film got moved up a week, so whammo! Here we are.
- AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – April 27, RealD3D, IMAX3D. It’s all been leading up to this. Every goddamn Marvel hero taking on Thanos, who was first teased in the stinger on the original AVENGERS. Can it possibly live up to the hype? I’d say all it can do is equal it, which is like rooting for a team where the only outcome you can accept is a championship. Anything else is a failure. Hell, there are already articles online chirping about how a projected $200 million opening would be a disappointment. All I can say is that the Russo brothers gave us two of the best Marvel films with CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER and CIVIL WAR, and this is the first Marvel film to be shot entirely in native IMAX, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Keep in mind this is really part one of two, with the currently untitled conclusion coming next summer.
- SUPER TROOPERS 2 – April 20. 4/20, get it? GET IT? The original was an all-timer, but all the subsequent Broken Lizard films failed to live up to its high standards. Thankfully, early screenings suggest that the sequel doesn’t suffer from the comedy sequel curse, and it’ll be fun to see the gang back together again on the big screen.
- A QUIET PLACE – April 6. Humanity is under assault from an unknown force that hunts by sound, so survivors stay alive through silence. The buzz on this practically silent film is deafening. *cough* Actually, the festival screenings have been gangbusters, and it’s rocking a 96% on RT right now, so if you’re looking for a good freakout at the movies, this will fit the bill quite nicely.
- RAMPAGE – April 13, RealD3D, IMAX. Yes, it’s based on the ancient video game. Yes, it stars The Rock. Yes, it will be a fun goofy over-the-top action spectacle, and it’s directed by Brad Peyton who also made SAN ANDREAS which was also an over-the-top disaster film starring The Rock. Good popcorn fun.
- BLOCKERS – April 6. Parents don’t want their kids to lose their virginities at prom, so they hatch an elaborate scheme to, well, block ‘em. This is as close to a Judd Apatow film as you can get with the man himself behind the camera, and the reviews have been surprisingly positive. First time director Kay Cannon cut her teeth in UCB while writing for 30 ROCK and the PITCH PERFECT movies.
- BORG VS MCENROE – April 13. One of tennis’ most legendary battles comes to the big screen, with enfant terrible Shia LeBouf playing enfant terrible John McEnroe, so yeah, it’s a little on the nose. Looks intense but the reviews are pretty soft.
- TRUTH OR DARE – April 13. Blumhouse has been, well, killing it with their horror films since GET OUT and HAPPY DEATH DAY, and this looks to continue the trend. A group of friends get pulled into a supernatural game of truth or dare with some rather unsettling Joker-looking demons. DO NOT watch the trailer since it shows the entire movie complete with what seems to be the last goddamn shot. I know that’s been proven to actually increase the box office but STOP IT.
- TRAFFIK – April 20. Paula Patton and Omar Epps get terrorized by, I’m gonna say, meth dealing bikers? Maybe human traffickers, given the title? Anyway, this actually looks fairly intense, almost turning into a horror film more than a straight thriller. Probably not worth admission but should be a good Netflix choice in a few months.
- SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO – April 13. Ah, here we go, good old fashioned family-friendly entertainment. The true story of a stray dog adopted by a troop of WWI American soldiers who actually served on the front line and reportedly saved quite a few lives. I wish I could believe it’ll be a decent film but it’s all a bit much, and the trailer doesn’t show any of the battle sequences so it’ll probably just focus on the feel-good bits during basic training. My cynical brain assumes that the whole story was just a feel-good tale to tell the folks back home, but hey, who is it hurting, right? Unless it was meant to convince more people to enlist for the war who then went on to die horribly in the trenches.
- CHAPPAQUIDDICK – April 6. A take on the tragic 1969 accident that took the life of Ted Kennedy’s campaign strategist, and pretty much ended his presidential aspirations thanks to his inaction that likely left her to drown. It’s a complicated story, and many assume they were having an affair that was on the verge of getting out. It looks like Oscar bait, but an April release sure doesn’t give it much chance on that front, and it looks more like an HBO movie than a theatrical release. Ah well.
- THE MIRACLE SEASON – April 6. High school volleyballers bounce back from a tragic death to fight for the state championship. From the director of SOUL SURFER, which was a modest success. Again, why give this a theatrical release? Helen Hunt? Volleyball? They present it as an underdog story, but they’re still the defending friggin’ champions. It’s like the whole team never played a game before. Eh, I dunno. Reviews are super soft.
- I FEEL PRETTY – April 20. Amy Schumer is on a bit of a slide. After exploding with her TV show and comedy tour, she suffered from overexposure and last year’s SNATCHED was a critical and commercial misfire. This one doesn’t look like it’ll win her any new fans. She’s a miserable woman in her 30s that feels unattractive until she gets a head injury and wakes up thinking she’s stunningly beautiful. What could be a story about broadcasting self-confidence ends up playing her looks for laughs instead, like, “Ha ha this fat girl thinks she’s hot lol.” I have to believe it ends up with a positive message in the end but who knows.
And that’s that. Most of these films won’t make a dime. It’s a weird time for the film industry. Blockbusters are largely murdering everything in their way, with a handful of hits in between, but lord help you and your little family drama. Anyhoo, May has two monsters but we’ll check them out later.