April is, like March, a funny month for cinema. But given that the festival circuit is coming to an end, more gritty, challenging and original films are making it to release. That said, there are also still doodoo films. There is True Story, a brilliantly written psychological thriller with a brave performance from Jonah Hill (I’m starting to love this guy) and Simon Pegg in Kill Me Three Times. But, we also have to sit through Furious 7 and Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It’s a give and take kinda month.
So whether you choose to checkout that indie movie you’ve heard so much about, or the latest big studio release, don’t forget to click on the movie title below to view the trailer. We want to make sure you know what you are getting into before you head to the theater.
– Lottie Abrahams
Stars: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Statham
Directed by: James Wan
Synopsis: The Fast and Furious gang get together again (again, again, again…) because this time, it’s personal. Jason Statham stars as the vengeful brother of Owen Shaw, who the crew killed in their last adventure. Shaw is now out for blood, and takes the crew to places they have never gone before.
Two Cents: The production story behind this film, and it being the last performance of Paul Walker, means it’s probably worth a watch, not just for those who loves cars and explosions.
Woman in Gold
Stars: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Tatiana Maslany, Katie Holmes, Max Irons
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Synopsis: Based on the true story of Maria Altmann, who suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Not only did she lose her family, but she also lost the “Woman in Gold”, a portrait of her aunt by Gustav Klimt. Years later, she understands her struggle is not yet over when she decides to confront the Austrian government in court and reclaim what is rightfully hers. Ryan Reynolds plays her young yet cynical lawyer.
Two Cents: The Weinstein Company. Need I say more?
Effie Gray (Limited)
Stars: Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Greg Wise, Tom Sturridge
Directed by: Richard Laxton
Synopsis: The film follows the infamous love triangle between the artist John Everett Millais, Art critic John Ruskin and Ruskin’s wife, Effie Gray, from its origin. Effie suffered greatly at the head of her husband, least of all remaining a virgin throughout the initial years of her marriage before she sought a divorce. Throughout this time, she was supported by Millais, who she eventually came to marry.
Two Cents: The trailer views like a slow-motion horror film, which might not be altogether a bad thing.
The Longest Ride
Stars: Britt Robertson, Scott Eastwood, Jack Huston, Oona Chaplin
Directed by: George Tillman Jr
Synopsis: From the cloyingly sentimental Nicolas Sparks comes literally the same story told with different actors.
Two Cents: *vomits in corner* this movie is a must-see!
The Moon and the Sun
Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Kaya Scodelario, William Hurt, Fan Bingbing, Benjamin Walker
Directed by: Sean McNamara
Synopsis: Pierce Brosnan stars as King Louis XIV of France, and his increasing fear of dying. This quest for infinite life makes him capture a live mermaid and drain her life force. This is made more difficult when his daughter discovers the creature and forms an unlikely friendship.
Two Cents: Wait wait wait. King Louis? Mermaids? I’m in! (on opposite day)
Desert Dancer (Limited)
Stars: Reece Ritchie, Freida Pinto, Tom Cullen
Directed by: Richard Raymond
Synopsis: Desert Dancer tells the true story of Afshin Ghaffarian, a young ma growing up in Iran during its most repressive regime. Afshin continues his dream to become a dancer despite a nationwide ban of the art, risking his life to fulfil his heart.
Two Cents: I’m not crying you’re crying.
Ex Machina (Limited)
Stars: Domnhall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Oscar Isaac
Directed by: Alex Garland
Synopsis: Domnhall Gleeson stars as Caleb, a young computer programmer who wins the chance to spend a week with famous tech CEO Nathan (Oscar Isaac). It is quickly revealed that Nathan is working on an AI droid known as “Ava”, and anticipates that she will soon pass the Turing Test. In his time there, Caleb forms a close attachment with Ava, and upon learning that her memory will soon be wiped pending her upgrade, he seeks to break her out.
Two Cents: This could be really great and really creepy.
Kill Me Three Times (Limited)
Stars: Simon Pegg, Alice Braga, Luke Hemsworth, Teresa Palmer
Directed by: Kriv Stenders
Synopsis: Simon Pegg stars as a professional assassin sent to kill the wife of a client in the Austrailian outback. As he hopes to execute his task, he soon understands that he is not the only one out to get her.
Two Cents: Simon Pegg as a anti-hero – say no more.
Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman
Directed by: Daniel Espinosa
Synopsis: Tom Hardy stars as MGB Agent Leo Demidov, an intelligence collector at the height of Stalin’s rule in Soviet Russia. He quickly uncovers a series of brutal child under the communist regime, and faces staunch denial from his superiors who claim they are “accidents”. When his best friend’s child becomes one of the victims, Demidov sets himself on a path that could lead to his death.
Two Cents: Bad Russian accents aside, the cast is gold and it is certainly worth $15.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Stars: Kevin James, Molly Shannon, Neal McDonough
Directed by: Andy Fickman
Synopsis: Paul Blart returns as a supposedly-hilarious cop on a segway. *Insert generic plot here*
Two Cents: I mean, no.
Stars: Shelley Hennig, Renee Olstead, Courtney Halverson
Directed by: Levan Gabriadze
Synopsis: After a girl is humiliated in a video posted online, she commits suicide. However, her friends receive a sinister Skype call on the anniversary of their friends death, with a mysterious party in the conversation. Bit by bit, the anonymous person demands justice, and with each hour kills of the friends one by one.
Two Cents: A completely modern and terrifying horror movie – a class of its own. Everyone with a Facebook account should see this film.
True Story (Limited)
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones, Gretchen Mol
Directed by: Rupert Goold
Synopsis: Joanh Hill stars as Michael Finkle, a New York Times journalist who loses him job following allegations of misconduct in an article. Months into his unemployment, he receives a call, informing him that Christian Longo (James Franco), a man on trial for murdering his wife and kids, has been found hiding under his name. Michael goes to see the accused in jail, and it is revealed that Christian has an unhealthy obsession with Michael. Michael agrees to write an article on him aimed at his aquittal, only to find the story not adding up, and finds that he has been a pawn in a much larger game all along.
Two Cents: It’s a shame James Franco is such a great actor – it makes it really hard to hate him when he comes out with movies this good.
The Age of Adaline
Stars: Blake Lively, Harrison Ford
Directed by: Lee Toland Krieger
Synopsis: Blake Lively stars as Adeline Bowman, a woman who, struck by lightning in her youth, never ages. Forced to live a new life every fews year and watch her children grow old, she is completely alone. However, this years love feels different, and may be exactly what keeps her from running.
Two Cents: Because the only thing better than Blake Lively is forever young Blake Lively.
Stars: Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson, David Henri and Kevin James
Directed by: Alejandro Gomez Monteverde
Synopsis: A young boy idolises his father above all else, but when he is forced to go to war, he leaves the boy with nothing but with faith in his return. Very soon, his powers of faith change not only his community, but the war itself.
Two Cents: The trailer gave me goosebumps. It’s probably overly sentimental, but in the best possible way.
The Water Diviner (Limited)
Stars: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko
Directed by: Russell Crowe
Synopsis: An Australian farmer makes a promise to his dying wife to find his sons following the Battle of Galipoli in 1919. He travels there, only to find two of their graves. However, there is evidence that the third son may be alive and captive elsewhere.
Two Cents: I want to hate it, I really do, but it actually looks quite good.