April showers may bring May flowers, but you can also expect a storm of new movies. Mythological warriors, spoofed superheroes, and the return of a horror icon are all on the to-do list for the month. It’s one more step toward the $20 million explosions of the summer movie season, so jump up and down and say to yourself, “Hollywood loves me!”
Clash of the Titans (April 1)
Perseus and the rest of the Greek mythological crew make yet another appearance in only a couple of months (see Percy Jackson & the Olympians). Busy bees, they are. Only this time Perseus doesn’t stop a war of the gods…he leads it.
Hades, god of the underworld, is intent on seizing power from Zeus and unleashing his unholy wrath on the world in this loose remake of the 1981 original. Perseus says no-go to that plan though, and along with a band of warriors, sets out to defeat Hades and preserve Zeus’s position in the firmament. But can Perseus, who was born of a god but raised as a man, fulfill his destiny and find his own power to succeed? Who knows, but with Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes, it should be worth the effort to find out.
Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images, and brief sensuality.
Date Night (April 9)
A romantic action comedy, kind of an odd pairing there, but that’s apparently what Date Night is supposed to be. Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a married couple who unwittingly get caught up in a case of mistaken identity, and much to their dismay they end up on the run from gun-wielding bad guys who are looking for money owed them.
Director Shawn Levy’s body of work is not overly impressive, with Cheaper by the Dozen and Night at the Museum at the top of his list of accomplishments, but this one looks like it might be a step forward in his career. Shenanigans will no doubt ensue, and hopefully laughs will come with them. With Carell and Fey around to keep things lively, Date Night should be the perfect film for a date night.
Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference.
Kick-Ass (April 16)
Based on the best-selling comic book by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr., Kick-Ass is all about a high school student who takes his obsession with superheroes one step too far: He becomes one. The only problem is that he doesn’t have any superpowers. No matter. He’ll just go Batman style. Batman’s the only realistic superhero, anyway.
The comic book is a sensation. “Move over, Superman!” That sort of thing. Director Matthew Vaughn is relatively new to the scene, but his previous two films-Layer Cake and Stardust-were inspired efforts. Aaron Johnson stars at the titular hero, Mark Strong (Lord Blackwood for you Sherlock Holmes fans) steps up to the play the evil druglord, and Nicolas Cage makes an appearance as an ex-cop who trains his 11-year-old daughter to become the vigilante Hit-Girl. Sounds like gold.
Rated R for strong brutal violence throughout, pervasive language, sexual content, nudity and some drug use – some involving children.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (April 16)
The late Swedish author Stieg Larsson passed away in 2004, but not before writing three as-of-his-death unpublished novels that posthumously went to press and sold over seven million copies. The story has now been movie-ized (not a word, but whatever), bringing the phenomenon to the big screen. Originally released in Sweden in February of 2009, the film has since been sold to 25 countries. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive, with Roger Ebert giving it four stars and making the interesting statement that it’s a “compelling thriller to begin with, but it adds the rare quality of having a heroine more fascinating than the story.”
Speaking of that heroine, the story centers around the-you guessed it-girl with the dragon tattoo, a computer hacker who teams up with a middle-aged journalist to investigate the disappearance of Harriet Vanger. The deeper they go, the more serious things get, however, and the two realize that the secretive Vanger clan may be more dangerous than they realize.
The buzz around this film is incredible, but be prepared to read. Subtitles, homies.
This film has not been rated by the MPAA.
A Nightmare on Elm Street (April 30)
“Five, Six, Grab your cru-ci-fix.”
Freddy’s back (not that he hasn’t been back plenty of times before) in this remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Franchise reboots seem to be all the rage these days, and why not? The art of filmmaking changes over time (along with the technology that goes with it) and films made 20 or 30 years ago may not be accessible to today’s generation.
Robert Englund (the original Freddy for you newbies) is nowhere to be found in this one, but it appears to be well done and the story seems ripe for a re-imagining. In fact, the cast is full of a bunch of nobodies, but hey, that’s par for the course for the series so we’ll just call it an adherence to tradition.
For those unfamiliar with the storyline, the horribly disfigured Freddy Kreuger has a penchant for terrorizing-and occasionally murdering-teenagers in their sleep. Everything’s cool so long as they can stay awake, but once they drift off…well, sucks for them.
This film has not yet been rated by the MPAA.