This month, I decided to start a newly monthly series looking at the wide release movies hitting screens in that month. I will go over every wide release (with the limited releases, who know when you’ll ever actually see them) and then give each an anticipation rating out of 10 (1 meaning no desire, 10 meaning must see as soon as possible). So here goes.
Adventureland – The director Superbad returns, with what looks like another funny, coming of age coming. This time, he wrote the screenplay himself, and his filled his movie with a good bunch of actors – Jessie Eisenberg (so good in The Squid and the Whale), Kristen Stewart (better than what Twilight would have you believe), Martin Starr (of Freaks and Geeks), Ryan Reynolds and my own favorites Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig. It may be too much to ask that this film be anywhere near as good as Superbad, but I cannot wait to find out. Anticipation Level: 9
Fast & Furious – This series never really got over losing Vin Diesal after the first installment. Try as they might, they were never able to get the right chemistry with the co-stars in the second and third movies. So I for one, want to see what the series has left in the tank for the fourth installment. True, none of the other films were exactly masterworks, but they weren’t boring either. I still wonder why Justin Lin decided to go in this direction after his excellent debut film, Better Luck Tomorrow, though. Anticipation Level: 6
Dragonball Evolution – I have never seen the TV show, or played the card game (there is a card game, right?) so I have no idea what the hell a dragonball is, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t care. As much as I like Chow Yun Fat, and think that director James Wong will one day make a movie worthy of his talent, unless I hear this is a masterpiece, I’m staying as far away as possible from this one. Anticipation Level: 1
Hannah Montanna: The Movie – Okay, I’ll be honest, I have been known to sit down and watch Hannah Montana. It’s a cute, innocent show, and when I want to watch some TV that makes absolutely no demands on my brain, and there’s nothing else on, Hannah Montana fits the bill. Still, there is a difference between watching the show at home on my couch, and going out and actually seeing the damn movie. I think I’ll wait until video. Anticipation Level: 4
Observe and Report – Seth Rogen can generally do no wrong by me. I have been a fan of his since Freaks and Geeks, and I don’t think he’s made a movie that didn’t make me laugh, so I look forward to everything he does. The trailer for this one is a killer – both kind of hilarious, and terrifying at the same time., with Rogen playing a kind of comedic Travis Bickle. While I may have not liked director Jody Hill’s debut, The Foot Fist Way, it certainly did show potential. This film, which wasn’t on my radar at the beginning of the year, has turned into THE must see film of the month. Anticipation Level: 10
17 Again – Surely, there have been some decent movies made out similar concepts – that is an adult trapped in a teenagers body – but 17 Again really does not look like one of those movies. For one thing, I don’t think Zac Efron is very good as an actor, and as younger version of Matthew Perry – really not so good. For another, the trailer is just one cliché piled on top of each other. I’m sure teen girls will go gaga for it, but I thin I’ll pass. Anticipation Level: 2
Crank 2: High Voltage – The original Crank was my worst film of 2005, so you would think that this film was rank much lower than it does. But I have to admit I am curious to see if the filmmakers can make a louder, more incoherent, more racist, more misogynistic, more homophobic and altogether more hateful film than they made the last time around. I would say it was impossible, but what the hell – I have to see them at least try! Anticipation Level: 5
State of Play – Kevin Macdonald proved with The Last King of Scotland that is capable of making intelligent, adult dramas, and illicit great performances for his cast. This film, a conspiracy thriller set in Washington stars Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, Jason Bateman, Robin Wright Penn, Jeff Daniel, Henry Lennix, Viola Davis and more. The trailer is wonderfully tense, and the film looks like a top notch entertainer. In April, that’s rare, so I for one cannot wait. Anticipation Level: 9
Fighting- Ditto Morel’s first film, A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, was a strong debut in the Mean Streets vain, and proved that Channing Tatum can be more than just a pretty face. The two of them reteam again for this film, about the underground world of, you guessed it, fighting. The movie, which also features Terence Howard, certainly doesn’t look like Fight Club, but it looks a hell of a lot better than Never Back Down. We’ll just have to wait and see. Anticipation Level: 7
Obsessed – I’m quite enjoyed Idris Elba in his recent stint on The Office, and Beyonce Knowles isn’t that bad an actress, and Ali Larter can probably be okay as well, but something about this African American version of Fatal Attraction is turning me off. I think it’s the trailer that makes the film look like a direct to video sex thriller. I may see it, if I’m bored, but I’m really not looking forward to it. Anticipation Level: 4
The Soloist – As much as I love Robert Downey Jr., and think that Joe Wright (Atonement and Pride and Prejudice) is a fine filmmaker, this movie just isn’t doing that much for me. Haven’t we seen this film before? The gifted, but mentally disturbed prodigy brought out of his shell by a once selfish, amoral asshole? I’m sure the movie is done well – not only because of Downey and Wright, but also because of Jamie Foxx and Catherine Keener, and it may well be fine film. It’s just not one I’m on the edge of my seat looking forward to. Anticipation Level: 6
And that’s a wrap for April. In May, we’ll have some bigger films like Wolverine, Star Trek, Angels and Demons, Up and Drag Me to Hell.