As Summer creeps ever closer, Hollywood has already begun to prep us for blockbuster season with a collection of films sure to keep you busy at the theaters this month.
There's enough laughs, thrills and edge-of-your-seat action to fill an entire season's worth of movies this month, and with CraveOnline's April Movie Guide we've got the breakdown on the important ones right here for you, as always. Bring your own popcorn!
Starring: Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon
Directed By: James Gunn
Opening: April 1st
In the outlandish dark comedy Super, James Gunn has created what is perhaps the definitive take on self-reflexive superheroes.
When sad-sack loser Frank (Rainn Wilson) sees his ex-addict wife (Liv Tyler) willingly snatched by a seductive drug dealer (Kevin Bacon), he finds himself bereft and wholly unable to cope. But soon he decides to fight back under the guise of a DIY superhero called Crimson Bolt. With a hand-made suit, a wrench, and a crazed sidekick named Boltie (Ellen Page), the Crimson Bolt beats his way through the mean streets of crime in hopes of saving his wife. The rules were written a long time ago: You are not supposed to molest children, cut lines or key cars; if you do, prepare to face the wrath of the Crimson Bolt!
CraveOnline's Call: They had us at "Shut up, crime!" A hyper-violent team up between Ellen Page and Rainn Wilson? Yes, let's absolutely do this. Most definitely a better bet than The Rocker.
What's that? Oh, you need more convincing? This should do the trick:
American: The Bill Hicks Story
Starring: Bill Hicks
Directed By: Matt Harlock, Paul Thomas
Opening: April 8
Seventeen years after his death, Bill Hicks has taken a permanent place in the cultural landscape and is widely recognized as one of the greatest American comedians of the modern era. Described as many things – philosopher, social satirist, even preacher – Hicks was ultimately a performer who, for many, changed what comedy could be. He believed that comedy played a vital role in any free and just society, and that the comedian, a free spirit detached from political or corporate agendas, was able to voice what others wouldn't, challenging convention and presenting ideas that would stimulate the minds of the audiences.
Hicks had no difficulty making people laugh- but what he really wanted to do was make them think. His life tragically cut short at the age of 32, Hicks' timeless material lives on, revered today by both comedians (many who cite him as an influence) and fans alike. Hicks' remarkable journey is brought to life in the documentary feature American: The Bill Hicks Story. Combining revealing new interviews from those who knew him best with a bold new photographic animation technique, American: The Bill Hicks Story takes the audience inside Hicks' unfolding life story using archival footage and animated photographs, many from Hicks' personal collection and previously unseen. It's a film that innovates, inspires, and outrages- while being funny as hell in the process.
CraveOnline's Call: Finally, it appears true justice has been done to Bill's incredible legacy. The comedy world lost a brilliant shining light with his passing, and this film does a fantastic job of telling the man's story and carrying on his spirit. Watch this.
Starring: Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman
Directed By: David Gordon Green
Opening: April 8
Throughout history, tales of chivalry have burnished the legends of brave, handsome knights who rescue fair damsels, slay dragons and conquer evil. But behind many a hero is a good-for-nothing younger brother trying just to stay out of the way of those dragons, evil and trouble in general. Danny McBride and James Franco team up for an epic comedy adventure set in a fantastical world-Your Highness. As two princes on a daring mission to save their land, they must rescue the heir apparent’s fiancée before their kingdom is destroyed.
CraveOnline's Call: Did I laugh my ass off at this movie? Yes I did. Was I under the influence of medicinal herbs? Yes I was. Was anyone else around me laughing during the screening? No, they were not. You're welcome to draw your own conclusions on that one, ladies and gentlemen.
Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Nick Nolte
Directed By: Jason Winer
Opening: April 8
Irresponsible charmer Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge–choosing between an arranged marriage that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future with the one thing money can't buy, Naomi (Greta Gerwig), the only woman he has ever loved. With Naomi's inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and finally learn what it means to become a man, in this re-imagining of the classic romantic comedy Arthur.
CraveOnline's Call: While it may be popular to hate on Mr. Russell Brand these days, the Brit with the jutting jawline is actually charmingly hilarious in this film. While it doesn't replace the original (who could top Dudley Moore's performance, really?), it certainly entertains with quick wit and a charming update on the old tale. It's worth a look.
Starring: Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette
Directed By: Wes Craven
Opening: April 15
Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now the author of a self-help book, returns home to Woodsboro on the last stop of her book tour. There she reconnects with Sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) and Gale (Courteney Cox), who are now married, as well as her cousin Jill (Emma Roberts) and her Aunt Kate (Mary McDonnell). Unfortunately Sidney's appearance also brings about the return of Ghostface, putting Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, along with Jill, her friends, and the whole town of Woodsboro in danger.
CraveOnline's Call: Somehow we get the impression that Charlie Sheen would be in this movie, had his little "Winning" phenomenon taken off prior to production. This horse has been beaten to fur-covered jelly, the story's been old for three sequels and spoofed twice as much. And what the hell is Hayden Panettiere doing in this? Did the Smurfette role go to somebody else?
Starring: Karen Disher, Jason Fricchione, Leslie Mann
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha
Opening: April 15
Rio is a 3-D animation feature from the makers of the Ice Age films. Set in the magnificent city of Rio de Janeiro and the lush rainforest of Brazil, the comedy-adventure centers on Blu, a rare macaw who thinks he is the last of his kind. When Blu discovers there's another – and that she's a she – he leaves the comforts of his cage in small town Minnesota and heads to Rio. But it's far from love at first sight between the domesticated and flight-challenged Blu and the fiercely independent, high-flying female, Jewel. Unexpectedly thrown together, they embark on an adventure of a lifetime, where they learn about friendship, love, courage, and being open to life's many wonders. RIO brings together a menagerie of vivid characters, a heart-warming story, colorful backdrops, energizing Latin and contemporary music, and family-friendly song and dance.
CraveOnline's Call: We saw this movie before, back when it was Madagascar. Except now George Lopez is yapping in our ears. All the same, it's a cute children's tale that the grownups can have a bit of fun at as well. Be a good big brother and take the sprout to the movies for this one.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rainn Wilson
Directed By: Spencer Susser
Opening: April 15
Loud music. Pornography. Burning shit to the ground. These are a few of Hesher’s favorite things. And they are what Hesher (Joseph Gordon Levitt) brings into the lives of TJ (Devin Brochu) and his father, Paul (Rainn Wilson) when he takes up residence in their garage uninvited.
Grief-stricken by the loss of TJ’s mother in a car accident, Paul can’t muster the strength to evict the strange squatter, and soon the long-haired, tattooed Hesher becomes a fixture in the household. Like a force of nature, Hesher’s anarchy shakes the family out of their grief and helps them embrace life once more.
CraveOnline's Call: A darkly funny tale of redemption through friendship takes a turn for the gripping. This is one of those films to make you take stock of the people in your life, and examine the truue value of some of the more reckless characters entering into it. This aint no filler flick – we've got quality goods with this one.
Starring: Norman Reedus, James McAvoy, Robin Wright, Evan Rachel Wood
Directed By: Robert Redford
Opening: April 15
Against the turbulent backdrop of post-Civil War Washington, rookie lawyer Frederick Aiken (James McAvoy) reluctantly agrees to defend Mary Surratt (Robin Wright Penn) – the lone woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. When his colleagues, friends, and true love begin to desert him, Aiken must rely on Mary’s spirited daughter Anna (Evan Rachel Wood) to help piece together the events leading up to the assassination. Facing down the government he fought so heroically to defend, Aiken quickly realizes Mary may be innocent and that she is being used as bait in order to capture the only conspirator to have escaped the massive manhunt: her own son, John. Unwilling to incriminate her boy, Mary refuses to cooperate as Aiken seeks to defend her by building his case against John. With time running out, Aiken puts everything on the line in order to convince a bloodthirsty nation – and Mary, herself – to do what is right. But will this be enough to prevent the U.S. government and its people from flouting principle and exacting revenge?
CraveOnline's Call: This gripping period piece features remarkable performances by an outstanding cast that runs in alarming parallels to today's toxic political climate. Don't miss it.
The Greatest Movie Ever Sold
Starring: Morgan Spurlock
Directed By: Morgan Spurlock
Opening: April 22
From the billboards in Times Square to the barren streets of São Paulo, acclaimed documentarian Morgan Spurlock shines a light on the world of product placement, marketing and advertising through his new film, fully financed by the very product placement the movie explores on screen. With humor and insight, Spurlock unmasks the marketing process, bringing audiences directly into the pitch meetings and marketing presentations which inform our everyday entertainment decisions. From small, family-owned operations to multi-million dollar global brands, Spurlock uses his integrity as currency to sell out to the highest bidder, and garners the kind of large-scale marketing support and promotions customarily reserved for studio blockbusters in an effort to create a first – a “docbuster.”
CraveOnline's Call: If you've ever been fascinated by marketing or how a film gets made, this is a must-watch. Unless you still feel sick from SuperSize Me, in which case you get a pass from Mr. Spurlock's latest work. There's no Big Macs here, however – just good old fashioned capitalist whoring on a grand scale.
Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil
Starring: Hayden Panettiere, Bill Heder, Glenn Close, Joan Cusack
Directed By: Mike Disa
Opening: April 29
From the team that brought you Hoodwinked, the comedic portrayal of the fairy tale Red Riding Hood, comes the all-new animated family comedy Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil in 3D. The sequel finds our heroine, Red (Hayden Panettiere), training with a mysterious covert group called the Sisters of the Hood. But Red is forced to cut her training short when she gets an urgent call from Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), who returns as head of the super-secret Happily Ever After Agency, aka the HEA.
A wicked witch (Joan Cusack) has abducted two innocent children, Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler), and Nicky needs Red for the search-and-rescue mission. Of course, what is a sequel without guest stars from the original? Thankfully, Granny (Glenn Close) and the rest of the Hoodwinked gang—including the ever-clueless Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and his over-caffeinated little partner, Twitchy (Cory Edwards), join Red to solve the forest’s latest caper. Fracturing fairy tales and pop culture with good-natured glee, Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil in 3D takes viewers on a rollicking rollercoaster ride combining edge-of-the-seat adventure with classic, zany cartoon antics.
CraveOnline's Call: Pure nonsense.