Maybe it's the beautiful spring weather, maybe it's the fact that we need some semblance of hope after this week's episode of Game of Thrones, but we're feeling pretty positive this month, electing to give you a preview of eleven movies to keep an eye on and no recommendations to avoid anything! Optimism! We even see the good in "The Internship"! $12 for two hours of air conditioning? Sounds like a good deal to us.
GGOOOOOOGLLEEEEYYY. Director Shawn Levy's track record may be anything but comforting, but this movie was shot AT GOOGLE HEADQUARTERS so honestly who cares. I have strange criteria. No, but truthfully it seems as though the story behind the scenes here is way more worthwhile than the movie itself, which is already receiving poor reviews. Google agreed to let the film use its HQ and branding in order to appeal to a mainstream audience outside of the tech community. As the LA Times notes, Google perks including nap pods, beach volleyball courts, and free gourmet food all make appearances on screen. Since the movie is pretty much "The Wedding Crashers", but Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson crashing Google instead of a wedding, the real appeal here is solely the Google element and might literally be the only reason anyone ever bothers to see it.
"Much Ado About Nothing"
Joss Whedon's highly anticipated adaptation of the beloved Shakespeare play finally comes to theaters and the Whedonites of the world rejoice! This excellently executed take on the play emphasizes the dark, sensual side of the comedy and showcases another side to a slew of Whedon regulars, including Amy Acker, Alexis Denisof, Fran Kranz and Sean Maher and introduces the striking Jillian Morgese as Hero. The movie is everything you want it to be, regardless as to whether you see yourself as Shakespeare Fan, a Whedonite, both or neither. Enjoy.
Zack Snyder directs this reboot of the Superman series, produced by Chris Nolan, starring Henry Cavil and Amy Adams as Supes and Lois Lane. Snyder has a lot to make up for in the fan community after "Sucker Punch" (although I liked it just fine WHATEVER) - could it be his sensibility paired with the serious, grounded tone of Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy that brings Snyder back into the genre fan's good graces? Luckily, early word is that the film delivers. Please oh please be true.
"This is the End"
How awkward is it that in a month with a new Superman movie, the sequel to my favorite Pixar movie and "World War Z", my most anticipated studio film is a random end of the world comedy? The conceit is just too enticing: Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and James Franco play themselves, trapped at James Franco's house as the world comes to an end. Sure, the subject matter was recently (and successfully) tackled by "It's a Disaster", with a serious take hitting the big screen in "Goodbye World" at LA Film Fest this month, but the meta aspect takes this well-tread concept to a whole new level. It's a fascinating idea to have a film starring characters we think we know already, playing on our expectations of celebrity and eliminating the need for much if any exposition and back story. How can this movie not be at least a little bit awesome?
Some love it, many don't, but what else is new, Sofia Coppola? Being described as the slightest and therefore most accessible of her work, Coppola fans may find themselves somewhat disappointed, but perhaps it also means the film may become more of a commercial success than her previous outings. Mainstream appeal and Sofia Coppola are somewhat diametrically opposed – much like "Spring Breakers", the cast may attract an audience expecting something a little less artsy, so keep an eye on the film's Cinema Score and make sure to be following your teen during the film's rollout! Reaction should be interesting to say the least. But hey, at the end of the day, the film didn't get booed after its Cannes premiere, unlike Coppola's "Marie Antoinette", so, victory!
One of my favorite movies from LA Film Fest last year hits theaters in very limited release and it is your duty as a human to go see it. "Call Me Kuchu" chronicles the life and death of David Kato, gay rights activist in the startlingly homophobic country of Uganda. Filmmakers Katherine Wright Fairfax and Malika Zouhali-Worrall happened to be in Uganda following Kato and his movement when the activist was murdered for his beliefs. The film is difficult but powerful, moving and necessary viewing.
Sully and Mike are back on the big screen, 12 years after their first outing in "Monster's Inc", my personal favorite of the Pixar canon. In "Monster's University", we learn how the two expert scarers met and eventually became friends. This is director Dan Scanlon's first time with a Pixar feature, and luckily for him, early word is positive (though one must remember that early word was similarly positive for last year's "Brave", and we all remember how that turned out. Poorly, guys. Poorly is how it turned out. In case you don't remember).
Brilliant book by Max Brooks. Epic, seemingly interminable production mired in problems. What happens when the two come together? Directed by Mark Forster, starring Brad Pitt, and partially re-written by love him or hate him Damon Lindelof (with help from Drew Goddard….based on drafts by J. Michael Straczynski and Matthew Carnahan…featuring on set doctoring by Chris McQuarrie…oh boy) this adaptation has become notorious for its countless reshoots, budgetary problems and poorly received original ending. Will it all be worth it? The film was received well enough by UK critics at its London premiere, but it ain't over till the fanboy sings and our brethren is very protective over the source material.
Real talk time. Are we still trusting Melissa McCarthy's taste in material after "Identity Thief"? On the plus side, "The Heat, starring McCarthy and Sandra Bullock as an awkward FBI agent and equally awkward Boston cop partnered together, is directed by Paul Feig, who brought McCarthy to stardom in the first place (though she'll always be Sookie St. James to me), and written by Katie Dippold, producer/writer on the always lol worthy "Parks & Recreation". Not to mention, we're always down to support a giant studio movie starring two women. So let's all just pretend "Identify Thief" never happened and look forward to "The Heat," shall we?
The "Fast and Furious Six" of June! Is there really any other explanation required? More?! Fine. Policeman Channing Tatum is on a tour of the white house when armed invaders attack and it's up to Policeman Tatum to protect President Jamie Foxx and save the day. Directed by Roland Emmerich because duh. Fact: You're either super excited for this movie and have been since it was announced or you are going to half-watch it on HBO sometime in 2014 after having your wisdom teeth and/or appendix removed.
"I'm So Excited"
Pedro Almodovar's latest and the opening night film of this year's Los Angeles Film Festival finally hits American screens (in limited release) at the end of the month. The film is a comedy about the people on an airplane after a technical failure endangers all of their lives (also, massive doses of peyote are involved). Current reviews for the broad romp are mixed, and compare it to Almodovar's earlier work, which could be seen as either a good or bad thing. Just don't go in expecting "Bad Education", "Talk To Her" or "The Skin I Live In" and you should be okay.