Monthly Preview: April 2016
Posted: April 2, 2016 Filed under: Monthly Preview | Tags: A Hologram For The King, April 2016, Don Cheadle, Everybody Wants Some!!, Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier, Jon Favreau, Jungle Book, Karyn Kusama, Keanu, Key & Peele, Miles Ahead, Monthly Preview, Nina, Patrick Stewart, Peter Atencio, Richard Linklater, Tale of Tales, The Huntsman: Winter's War, The Invitation, Too Late
So… where did March go, exactly? At least for me, that entire month disappeared under a mountain of writing projects and pressing adult responsibilities, and so I apologize to those of you who have enjoyed this blog that I haven’t had anything up here since February (save my new podcast Meeting Cute, which you should absolutely check out! Five episodes down, many more to go!). But, in an attempt to right the ship somewhat, we are returning to our regularly-scheduled Monthly Preview post, and hopefully in the next few days I will write something about the movies I’ve enjoyed most since I disappeared for the length of March. But first, let’s take a look at April’s offerings:
Everybody Wants Some!!: There are two different ways to get excited about this one: either as Richard Linklater’s follow-up to the phenomenal Boyhood, or as a spiritual successor to his classic Dazed and Confused. Either way this should be a must-see, and that’s not even taking into account just how fun and likable the movie seems to be in its trailers. I’m sure we’ll get a few breakout performances from this up-and-coming cast too, so if you wanna get a head-start on the franchise fantasy casting for the next few years this might be a good place to start. No matter what motivates you to check this sucker out, consensus is that it is a really fun ride, so we should all come out of this one happy.
Miles Ahead: This one has been on my radar for some time, and just the prospect of seeing Don Cheadle playing Miles Davis would be enough to get my ass in the seat. But adding in the fact that Cheadle himself is co-writing and directing, and that the film seems incredibly audacious and risky in its style and structure, and this could make for a very compelling piece of cinema on several other levels besides a sure-to-be-great performance from Cheadle. Even if you don’t have a very strong familiarity with Davis’ work (like me) it certainly seems like there’s enough on a cinematic level to make this one worth checking out regardless, and I can never complain about a film that refuses to take half-measures.
The Invitation: I have yet to acquaint myself with any of Karyn Kusama’s work, which as far as I can tell has ranged from bad (Aeon Flux) to good-but-forgotten (Girlfight) to hotly-debated cult fare (Jennifer’s Body). But the early notices for her latest film have been almost uniformly positive, so this seems like as good an introduction to her filmography as any. This could easily wind up being the sort of indie thriller material I tend to appreciate from a distance, but we could have another You’re Next here, and how can I not check that out?
The Jungle Book: The Disney live-action fairy-tale remake trend is a very slippery slope to go down, and has resulted in a fair share of crummy movies, from both within and without that particular studio (see: Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, Mirror Mirror, etc). But this one seems like the best attempt yet, combining Jon Favreau’s capable action chops with some beautiful imagery and a killer cast (not to mention the songs from the original animated film, a first for these remakes). There is something beautiful, emotional and exciting about the trailers in a way I can’t quite put my finger on, and I can’t wait to see if the full film can live up to that hype.
Green Room: The good buzz for Jeremy Saulnier’s Blue Ruin follow-up has been deafening for some time now, to the point where I’m a little bit hesitant about it. After all, the same people all uniformly loved The Witch, and while I liked that film very much it didn’t quite blow my mind the way that I’d hoped. Still, I will maintain my high hopes for this film, which if nothing else boasts what appears to be a killer Patrick Stewart performance and has the potential to be the exact kind of film I really really like if it works. This one has been a long-time coming, and these last few weeks before it hits will hopefully give me the time I need to finally watch Blue Ruin too.
Keanu: I think it’s safe to say that Key & Peele have been the biggest comedic voices of the last few years (tied with Amy Schumer), so seeing them bringing their voices to the big screen with the help of their TV director Peter Atencio should be a ton of fun. While some of the early reviews from SXSW suggested the film might fall back into the team’s sketch comedy comfort zone, that’s hardly something to be disappointed with, given how amazing their sketch material is in the first place. This looks like a lot of fun to close out the month with, not to mention a great lead-in to the killer summer movie line-up as well.
Too Late certainly looks impressive with its 35mm imagery but I’ve heard some very unfortunate things about the rest of it; the presence of Toms Hanks and Tykwer gives A Hologram for the King my attention, even if the subject matter doesn’t; speaking of the live-action fairy tale craze, The Huntsman: Winter’s War looks like both a decent enough sword-and-sorcery film on its own and a completely belabored prequel to a movie no one cares about, so who knows what to expect; Tale of Tales sounds interesting and potentially fun, though early reaction was mixed; and Nina looks like a decent movie with great performances, assuming you can get past the casting controversies.
So that’s April and we’re back on schedule. Next month, Summer Movie Deathmatch begins once again!