Let's cut right to the proverbial chase. April starts out in a big way as the blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier storms into theaters. The fate of the box office top spot was sealed the moment Marvel/Disney put this one on the calendar, and it appears from all the advance word that its top perch will be greatly justified as it is being billed as Marvel's best movie to date in many circles. Color me ecstatic to see it, but let's also review some of the other contenders for left-over ticket sales. Jesse Bradford and Virginia Williams tell us the 10 Rules for Sleeping Around (as if that was ever a good idea) in this raunchy comedy. Two friends attempt to find out what the heck is going on when one of the two is stricken with a mysterious virus that enhances his strength but take away his humanity in the horror flick Afflicted. Steve Coogan tries to make amends for his mistakes as a broadcast journalist in the off-beat comedy Alan Partridge. Jude Law takes a markedly different turn as an ex-con who adjust to life after being released from prison in another off-beat comedy Dom Hemingway. Stellan Skaarsgard tries to help Halle Berry who plays a women with a split personality in the drama Frankie and Alice. In the docu-drama The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden, Cate Blanchett provides one of the voice-overs for the true life tale of a German couple who embark on a strange journey of isolation on one of the islands and receive some interesting from the rest of the world. In the Blood features Gina Carano(prize fighter turned actress) as a woman whose husband disappears on the Caribbean honeymoon setting her on a dangerous path of criminal underworld elements against whom she seeks justice. It's PG-13 horror time in the supernatural thriller Jinn, about a recently married man who discovers a curse on his family has unleashed an ancient evil. Nymphomaniac Volume 2 continues the awkwardly creepy story of a woman saved by a stranger featured in December's trailer preview. The long-shelved thriller Something Wicked was the last movie Brittany Murphy filmed before her passing and it finally gets a release. It is about a young woman who goes through a tragedy and in her attempts to move on a menace of unknown origin does its best to keep her in terror. And finally in Under the Skin, Scarlett Johansson takes a break from her Marvel Black Widow role (yes, it is double duty for her since she is a featured player in Captain America) to play a seductress preying upon hitchhikers in the Scottish countryside in what is being labelled as a Kubrick-inspired thriller.
Kevin Costner takes a turn as an NFL GM out to save the Cleveland franchise with a bold move in Draft Day, as his life descends into chaos. Jennifer Garner co-stars. Karen Gillan stars as a young woman out to prove her brother innocent of the murders of their parents, which she blames on a supernatural antique morrir in the horror movie Oculus. Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg return to voice-over the animated Rio 2, which will likely take the box office by storm. Nick Frost and Rashida Jones star in the silly comedy Cuban Fury, about a former UK Junior Salsa contestant who loses his confidence but finds a reason to regain it. Nicholas Cage stars as Joe Ransom, ex-con, who tries to make good in being a young boy's protector in the simply named Joe. Kristen Wiig and Guy Pearce star in a drama about two lonely souls who may or may not be brought together by a well-meaning prank by a single dad's teen daughter, in the movie Hateship Loveship. Tilda Swindon and Tom Hiddleston play vampires who worry about their future immortality as humans continue to contaminate themselves through the decay of civilization in the drama Only Lovers Left Alive. And in the biopic The Railway Man, a British radioman is caught in WWII Singapore and forced to slave labor building a railway line while being continuously and mercilessly tortured. Years later, his discovery that is tormentor is still alive and facing the question of reconciliation serves as the background of this story. It may be tough to find, as it is limited in release, but The railway Man starring Stellan Skaarsgard, Colin Firth, and Nicole Kidman seems like one to check out to us (at least if you don't have the kiddies in tow!).
The third week of the month features a completely unnecessary sequel to a spook comedy brought to you by the Wayans in A Haunted House 2. Heaven is for Real stars Greg Kinnear in what could be one of the most impactful releases this year as a boy named Colton recounts his near death experience and returns with knowledge previously not thought possible, based on a true story. In Transcendence, Johnny Depp is a scientist who is murdered by an anti-tech terror group but is able to send his consciousness into a computer to potentially disastrous and scary results. This intriguing thriller also stars Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman. In 13 Sins a desperately indebted man is offered an end to his financial troubles if he accomplishes 13 increasingly horrible tasks as part of a game show. Alien Abduction is a sci-fi horror take on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights of North Carolina. John Turturro plays a gigolo for Woody Allen in the comedy aptly named Fading Gigolo, which also stars Sharon Stone and Sofia Vergara. Shirley Knight stars as a woman in the downside of her years who decides she is not too old for a journey of discovery in the Oregon wilderness. Redwood Highway also stars Tom Skerritt. Dean Norris who is making a name for himself as a power-hungry selectmen/used car salesman in TV's Under the Dome, also plays a used car salesman in the movie Small Time, about a kid who desires to follow his Dad's footsteps in the business instead of going to college to much disapproval. We'll be checking out Heaven is for Real for sure, and we encourage you to learn more about the story behind the film! But if you can't find that movie playing in a cineplex near you, Transcendence looks very good too. Check out both trailers below.
It won't be the last time we are graced with the presence of Paul Walker (RIP) on our big screen, but Brick Mansions looks like a capable thriller with an undercover cop trying to take down a crime lord with a very large and destructive goal. The Other Woman stars Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton in a comedy about a man leading a triple life and the women who come together to expose his disloyalty. Another PG-13 horror-lite movie called The Quiet Ones as a university professor runs experiments on a young abandoned girl with a team of students to expose the evil she may harbor inside her. In a tale of revenge gone wrong, a man fights to protect his estranged family in the eerie looking Blue Ruin. In the thriller The Last Passenger a man traveling with his wife and child discovers that they have boarded a train with sabotaged brakes. Locke features a dedicated working family man who receives a life-changing call on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career in a movie being billed as an exceptional thriller. Two researchers create the first fully self-aware artificial intelligence that goes horribly wrong when the government co-opts the invention and weaponizes it, in The Machine. Blue Ruin looks like the winner at the close of the month. Check it out.
What are you excited about seeing this month?
Coming up will be the slightly delayed Robot God Akamatsu graphic novel review and more, so check back with us again soon!
The Great Stories Team