Spring Movie Guide: April 2012 – Week 2

The Cabin In the Woods

Written by Joss Whedon & Drew Goddard

 Directed by Drew Goddard

Starring Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kantz, & Jesse Williams

“Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.”

Many were beginning to think this film would never see release, but now that it has, the horror community absolutely loves it.  However, the hardcore horror fans that will see this film aren’t necessarily the same people that saw The Devil Inside, and unfortunately, this movie is too old for that audience, so it has a lot to stack up to this first weekend, including The Hunger Games (which is still going strong) so I can only hope that word of mouth can get more people to see it.

Jeremy gave the movie a 10/10 in his review, if you love horror, hate remakes and found footage, you need to see this movie.

After languishing on a shelf at MGM for far too long, Lionsgate has put the movie in wide theaters this weekend.

Rated 17 by Common Sense Media for extreme violence.

Lock Out Written by Luc Besson & James Mather & Stephen St. Leger

Directed by James Mather & Stephen St. Leger

Starring Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace & Peter Stormare

“A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.”  

Luc Besson is most famous for The Fifth Element, but he has made a lucrative career of writing some crazy action movies like The Transporter and Taken.  With Lockout, he has his star, and the perfect setting, a space prison where Pearce gets to play a Snake Plissken-style bad ass.  

Unfortunately, it seems most reviews say the action fails to live up to the premise, and some of the story is a bit lazy.  Even Peter Stormare can’t seem to liven things up as the villain, something he often does best.  This one looks like it might be something best saved for home video or Netflix, but I’m sure the action fans will come out looking for something to tide them over until Avengers.

Read Jeremy’s review right here.

Rated 14 by Common Sense Media for violence.

The Three Stooges Written by Mike Cerone and The Farrelly Brothers 

Directed by The Farrelly Brothers

Starring Will Sasso, Sean Hayes & Chris Diamantopolous

“While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe, Larry, and Curly inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show.”

Many people will ultimately be disappointed with this film, no matter how funny, or how much like the original Three Stooges it is, because of what could have been.  Too many lament the version that never happened with Jim Carrey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn, and this version with much less known stars is a weird happening indeed.  However, the  undertaking of a Three Stooges movie has always been in the sights of the Farrelly Brothers, so it was just a matter of time before they got to make the movie, and apparently they took the first real opportunity they had.

From the trailers, it looks like they’ve captured what made the Stooges funny in the first place, silly, slapstick humor with ridiculous short stories.  Die hard fans of the Stooges might find it insulting, but really, it’s a flattering attempt at reminding people where slapstick was invented.  It might not be the funniest film of the year, but it’s probably worth a few chuckles, although I don’t know if many will be making the $10 trip to the theater to see it.

See what Jeremy thought of the movie in his review.

Rated 9 by Common Sense Media for questionably crude content and comic violence.  

LIMITED RELEASE

Bad Ass

Written by Craig Moss & Elliot Tishman

Directed by Craig Moss

Starring Danny Trejo, Ron Perlman, & Charles S. Dutton

“A Vietnam veteran who becomes a local hero after saving a man from attackers on a city bus decides to take action when his best friend is murdered and the police show little interest in solving the crime.”

Based on a real incident that became a YouTube sensation, this film finds Danny Trejo being his usual bad ass self, but on the other end, he’s trying his hand at dramatics within the confines of the bad ass character, which looks to have produced some cheesy moments.  They got a decent cast, and managed to get a wider release than most films of this caliber, so that’s something to take into consideration.  The film hit VOD a few weeks ago, and this weekend it hits limited theaters across the US.  I will be ordering the film this week and my review should be up by next weekend at the latest.

Rated 17 for language and violence.

L!fe Happens

Written by Kat Coiro & Krysten Ritter

Directed by Kat Coiro

Starring Krysten Ritter, Rachel Bilson, & Kate Bosworth

“A comedy centered on two best friends, Kim and Deena, who fight to maintain normalcy in their lives after Kim gets pregnant and has a baby.”

Writer and star Krysten Ritter has been appearing everywhere lately, with her new show Don’t Trust the Bitch in Apartment 23 premiering on ABC earlier this week, and L!fe Happens opens in limited release this weekend.  The story shows two sides of the same coin, with Kim (Krysten Ritter) getting pregnant after a one-night stand, while Deena (Kate Bosworth) has a one-night stand without the baby.  The movie follows their lives after that fateful night, and how it changes things for both women and their virgin friend Laura (Rachel Bilson).

The film looks harmless enough, and it can’t be as bad as some of the more recent movies of Katheryn Heigl, although I don’t know if it will do well enough to expand into more theaters in the coming weeks.

Rated 16 for sexual humor and adult themes.

EXPANDING

The Raid: Redemption

Written & Directed by Gareth Evans

Starring Iko Uwais

“A SWAT team becomes trapped in a tenement run by a ruthless mobster and his army of killers and thugs.”

The Raid: Redemption has made a big splash at film festivals across the planet, and it finally hits some limited theaters this weekend.  The insane Indonesian Silat film from a Welsh director takes full advantage of its concept, advertised as “100 minutes of straight action”, and based on early reviews, that’s exactly what it is.

The trailer (below) is pure insanity across the board, introducing the film world to Silat in the way that Ong Bak introduced the world to Muay Thai. Director Gareth Evans has an interesting story of how he ended up making the film, and he has expressed plans to make it into a trilogy, and of course, there is an American remake in development already.  See this one first, and hopefully it will expand beyond the limited release once people fall in love with the crazy action.

Jeremy got the chance to see the movie, read his review right here.

Rated 17 for constant violence, releasing from Sony Pictures Classics.

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