Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast
Welcome to a new series on ComiConverse, one that preview’s the upcoming releases for this month; which is shaping up to be solid one for Marvel fans and movie goers in the UK and elsewhere. With a few other big projects added in the mix, April should be a great month for film.
So buckle up and look out for anything that catches your eyes, because April is looking incredible!
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Here is you full ComiConverse preview:
Jake Gyllenhaal has had a pretty bubbling career, with his leading roles all coming across as perfectly cast. In April, he has another solid looking film to debut with Demolition – which is being directed by Dallas Buyers Club’s Jean-Marc Vallée.
This could be early Oscar contender, after the amazing early reception at 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
Demolition hits theaters on April 8th (Worldwide).
Davis (Jake Gyllenhaal), a successful investment banker, struggles after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. Despite pressure from his father-in-law Phil (Chris Cooper) to pull it together, Davis continues to unravel. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’ letters catch the attention of customer service rep Karen (Naomi Watts) and, amidst emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. With the help of Karen and her son Chris (Judah Lewis), Davis starts to rebuild, beginning with the demolition of the life he once knew.
GoPro short films have us hooked on YouTube, and finally in April we have our first theatrical release using the same style with Hardcore Henry. A first-person film that will be the first of its kind; this indie project has been getting a warm reception and could be a hardcore action movie experience which might be the start of a new film genre.
Hardcore Henry releases April 8th same day as Demolition (Worldwide).
Hardcore Henry is a first person action film in which the audience sees everything through the eyes of Henry, a man resurrected from the brink of death as a cybernetic super soldier who remembers nothing about his past. He is trying to save his wife Estelle, who has been kidnapped by Akan, a powerful warlord with a plan for bio-engineering soldiers. In the unfamiliar city of Moscow, Henry tries to avoid being killed while discovering the truth behind his identity.
Another interesting movie release of the month is Criminal (yeah the name sounds tacky) but packs a promising cast, with Kevin Costner, Gal Gadot, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds.
Directed by Ariel Vromen, an relative unknown with some talent, who might surprise us with Criminal; especially with this insane cast.
The memories and skills of a deceased CIA agent are implanted into gruff convict, Jericho Stewart, in order to finish an incomplete mission.
Criminal releases on 15th April (Worldwide).
The Jungle Book:
Finally, another live-action Disney adaptation of a classic story releases; this time with The Jungle Book. The film stars Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson and Christopher Walken.
This movie has all the chops to be a hugely successful adaptation of the animated version, which was created by Walt Disney himself.
And after last year’s Cinderella, all eyes are on this project, directed by the legendary Jon Favreau, to see if there is a future in such productions.
Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a human boy raised by the Indian wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) ever since he was a baby and brought to them by Bagheera the black panther (Ben Kingsley). When the fearsome scarred Bengal tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) threatens his life since man isn’t allowed in the jungle, Mowgli leaves his jungle home. Guided by Bagheera the black panther and Baloo the bear (Bill Murray), he sets out on a journey of self-discovery while evading the man-hunting Shere Khan. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who do not exactly have his best interests at heart including Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) the python and the smooth-talking Bornean orangutan-resembling Gigantopithecus King Louie (Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly “red flower”.
The Jungle Book releases April 15 (Worldwide).
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Now this one looks quite interesting, even though the CGI is a little dodgy. French director and editor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan helms the prequel to 2012’s Snow White And The Huntsman; a movie that was seen by most as a decent at release.
This time, it focuses on the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and Sara (Jessica Chastain), who battle against The Evil Queen (Charlize Theron). It could be a cheesy treat for cinema goers this April, who need that type of experience every once and a while.
Long before the Evil Queen Ravenna was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister Freya, the Ice Queen, suffered a heartbreaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young Ice Queen has spent years in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly Huntsmen, including Eric and warrior Sara, only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: forever harden your hearts to love.
When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she resurrects Ravenna from the Mirror’s golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkness it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove unbeatable unless the banished Huntsmen who broke their Queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War drops April 22, 2016 (United States) and April 8th (United Kingdom).
This flick is going to be insane in the best way possible. Director Peter Atencio has created a film that is all about a little cat called Keanu whom gets lost. April is already proven to be the most different month for film so far in 2016, and this film proves that. We certainly won’t lack for variety at the cinema.
When Rell’s beloved pet kitten “Keanu” is taken from his home, he and his friend Clarence seek out those responsible to recover the cat, and find themselves in over their heads dealing with violent gang members.
Keanu drops April 29, 2016 (Worldwide).
Ratchet & Clank:
The first video game movie adaptation of the year, Ratchet & Clank brings the series to the big screen. The film brings some Pixar level animation to the table, and potentially creates a new movie franchise for younger audiences.
I loved the games growing up, so this will be a must watch for me.
The film will be an origin story that retells the events of the original Ratchet & Clank, depicting how Ratchet and Clank met each other as they attempt to save the Solana Galaxy from being destroyed by Chairman Drek and the Blarg. However, the film will expand on various plot points in greater detail, and will also incorporate some elements from later series entries, such as the introduction of Doctor Nefarious and the Galactic Rangers.
Ratchet & Clank releases April 29th (Worldwide).
Captain America: Civil War
Yes, we left the best for last. The sequel to the amazing Captain America: The Winter Solider is releasing in the UK this month. After more than a year of build-up, the next installment in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is around the corner and could potentially change the series forever.
The Russo Brothers direct this production, which has been in development ever since the heavily regarded Winter Solider achieved its success. Potentially being the biggest film of the year, Captain America: Civil War brings Iron Man and Captain America together in a conflict which has been bubbling in the universe for some time.
It also sees the inclusion of long awaited Marvel characters, with Black Panther and Spider-Man coming on board; thus being this the largest film in yet in one of the largest franchises on the planet.
One year after the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, another international incident involving the Avengers resulting in collateral damage occurs, prompting politicians to form a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to call in the team. When Steve Rogers attempts to protect his friend Bucky Barnes from this act, he is brought into conflict with Tony Stark. This results in the fracturing of the Avengers into two opposing factions–one led by Rogers who wishes to operate without regulation, and the other led by Stark who supports government oversight–while the world is threatened by a new enemy.
Captain America: Civil War drops April 29th (United Kingdom).
We’ll return in May with another comprehensive ComiConverse preview.
Jordan Samuel is the Lead Film Critic for ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel