5 Films To Look Forward To In April (2013)

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April marks the start of a decent-looking movie landscape. So far January and February have been complete shit for films, with March slowly testing out the audiences with a few box office successes and a couple throwaway films from last year. The only films that I’ve seen so far that have completely wowed me are Warm Bodies and Side Effects. Although The Last Stand and Bullet to the Head were excellent action films, but not necessarily great films overall.

April is usually a bit better in terms of quality films, because it leads us into May, which is the kickoff of the summer movies. In May we have films like Iron Man 3 and Fast & Furious 6 to look forward to, while in April we don’t have as many big-budget blockbusters, but a few genre films that are shaping up pretty good and a handful of possibly good projects that haven’t received much of any buzz.

Below I’ve outlined a list of five films that I’m personally looking forward to that will see a wide or limited release in the month of April. There might be a few big titles that I’ve purposely left off my list, because I’m going more for variety and personal preference over what studios are projecting to be the big releases. Box office isn’t really something I’ve factored in either, meaning that this list will range from big-budget titles to smaller independent pieces. Also, some of these are films that I’m hoping with all of my might are good, but could end up being complete disasters.

5. Oblivion

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Oblivion has the biggest chance out of all of the films featured on this list to be a complete stinker. Directed by TRON: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski and starring the go-to action man Tom Cruise, Oblivion has the look and feel of most studio-funded big-budget blockbusters. It has a science fiction twist to it that has me naturally interested, but so far the trailers have been cut up rather poorly and I think I’m starting to piece together most of the film without having actually seen a single unedited clip.

Morgan Freeman‘s inclusion in the trailer has me worried that the film is going to take a specific turn at one point in time, but I’m still holding out for an original piece of sci-fi filmmaking with a budget to impress us visually as well. At this point I’m not expecting the film to amaze me, but I’m still hoping for it to at the very least entertain me. The director mentioned going for a Twilight Zone feel, which would be awesome and make for something a little different than what we’ve been used to over the past couple of years. Also, M83 did some work on the musical score, so at least it’ll sound unique.

Check out the trailer below:

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Oblivion opens on IMAX and regular screens on April 19th, 2013.

4. The Lords of Salem

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Visionary director Rob Zombie returns with The Lords of Salem, an original film written and directed by the atmospheric filmmaker. He hasn’t made a film this big since H2, which I didn’t care for all that much, but knowing that Zombie is working from original material always has me excited.

My problems with H2 rest in Zombie’s inability to make anything more than a crazy-looking slasher film with a disturbing amount of gore and very few characters to actually give a shit for. I’m one of the rare supporters of his work on Halloween and I’ll always defend the man because of The Devil’s Rejects, which to this day is one of my absolute favorite horror films, but has the filmmaker already made his best work?

The Lords of Salem from a visual standpoint looks to be his strongest film yet, with the first trailer giving our eyes plenty to feast over. Naturally I’m worried about the casting of Sheri Moon Zombie, but hopefully her acting has improved since the last time we saw her.

At the very worst The Lords of Salem will end up being another disappointing story held together by strong visuals and a dark and unsettling energy that Zombie brings with him on all of his projects. I’m just glad to see Rob Zombie behind the lens again, working on something that isn’t based on previously established characters. Will The Lords of Salem be that Devil’s Rejects follow up that we’ve all been waiting for?

Check out the trailer below:

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The Lords of Salem is scheduled for a limited release on April 19th, 2013.

3. Pain & Gain

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I know what you’re thinking and hold up just a second before you start freaking out. Yes, I cannot wait to see the newest Michael Bay film, starring Dwayne Johnson and Mark Wahlberg. Yes, I’m fully aware that Bay last gave us the mediocre Transformers: Dark of the Moon and the even worse Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, but this is Michael Bay making an R-rated comedy that he believed in so much that he signed onto making a fourth Transformers.

See, Bay wanted to make this passion-project of his for so long, but studios were hesitant to give him the proper funding due to the nature of the source material, which is darkly comedic and actually based on real events.

Dumb ass bodybuilders getting mixed up in the criminal underworld with a dash of humor and craziness? What’s not to love? This is exactly what we need to get the summer going.

In addition to Johnson and Wahlberg we also have Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Anthony Mackie, Rebel Wilson, Ken Jeong and Rob Corddry. So far 2013 has generated zero good comedies and I strongly believe that Bay’s Pain & Gain is going to change that and possibly be the best comedy of the year.

Check out the trailer below:

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Pain & Gain opens on April 26th, 2013.

2. To the Wonder

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Terrence Malick‘s latest film is looking more and more like a spiritual sequel to the poetic masterpiece The Tree of Life. There will never be a day where I don’t get excited for a new Malick film. The fact that this one is following his last one by just a couple years is amazing.

He’s a director that makes films that divide audiences, but I’ve mostly fell on the side that’s enjoyed a bulk of his work, so I think I can safely start preparing for this epic romantic journey, which stars Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams and Javier Bardem.

Check out the trailer below:

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To the Wonder opens in limited release on April 12th, 2013.

1. Evil Dead

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Back in December Evil Dead was probably looking like something that I wouldn’t mind skipping altogether. I was never the biggest fan of the original Sam Raimi film, but I’ve always appreciated what it has done for the horror genre. When I heard that a newcomer director by the name of Fede Alvarez was working on a remake, written by one of the worst writers in Hollywood (Diablo Cody), I certainly had some reservations, but Sony has done a fantastic job marketing this film as the first must-see horror film of 2013.

They’ve done a good job focusing on the film’s use of practical special effects, by giving us a gore-soaked red band trailer, plus a batch of bloody photos and a poster making a rather bold statement. As of now the film has screened at SXSW to mixed reviews, with some critics claiming that it’s one of those rare remakes that’s bad ass and exactly what we’ve been hoping for, while others call it nothing more than fan service with technical efficiency, but not much of anything else.

I’m hoping that since I’m not a diehard fan of the original that this new remake will satisfy my horror taste buds, because the last time I really got behind a horror film was the genre-changing The Cabin in the Woods, which just so happened to be released in April of last year.

Check out the trailer below:

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Evil Dead opens on April 5th, 2013.

Which films are you most looking forward to in the month of April? Are any of the ones on my list also on yours?

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