Coming Soon To Theatres: April 2017
Audiences have only one more month before the big summer season kicks off, but in the meantime there's still a ton of great films coming for the month ahead. From the highly anticipated return of one of cinema's biggest franchises (hint: it ain't The Smurfs) to some truly exceptional genre films, here's a look at 10 films opening in April that should be on your radar.
In a major departure from the type of fare we're used to seeing her in, Anne Hathaway plays a woman who is psychically connected to a giant monster attacking Seoul on the other side of the world, in writer-director Nacho Vigalondo's Colossal. An interesting spin on the American kaiju film, one that uses the subgenre for social commentary above all else while also being pretty darn entertaining, it also features Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, and Tim Blake Nelson. Vigalondo has had an interesting career over the past decade since his breakthrough Timecrimes in 2007 - here he manages to convey an equally interesting spin on a story we're used to seeing, but in a (excuse the pun) very big way.
Steven Kostanski, the Canadian director behind the much-beloved Astron-6 production Manborg, returns with this delightfully wicked 80s horror homage. The Void follows a group of people trapped inside of a hospital by a group of ominious cloaked figures, who eventually learn that they are to bear witness to the opening of a portal to another dimension and the various evils that exist within. Sure to delight anyone looking for a modern, John Carpenter-like film, it's a solidly entertaining flick and one with serious cult status potential.
The second highest grossing anime film in Japan since Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away (and the fourth overall), Your Name is a delightful fantasy about two teenagers from different places who find that they swap bodies on alternating days, attempting to learn about their other half in the process and the mystery behind it all. Motoko Shinkai has become a celebrated name over the years within the medium, but Your Name is high and above his biggest commercial endeavor to date - and for good reason. A complete and utter crowdpleaser, that is sure to be a mighty success in its own right in North America.
The Fate of the Furious
Sure to break box-office records and become one of 2017's biggest films period, The Fate of the Furious is the first in the Fast franchise to not feature actor Paul Walker since his untimely passing, but continues the rebooted essence of these films which started with underground street racing and has now become an action heist franchise where the heroes outrun tanks and submarines. In a major twist, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) turns on his family to work alongside nefarious cyberhacker Cipher (Charlize Theron), leading the crew to rely on each other and past enemy Owen Shaw (Jason Statham) in order to set things right. If the past two trailers have been any indication, this is going to be a hell of a ride and true to the nature of a series that gets bigger with every installment.
The Lost City of Z
Director James Gray (The Immigrant, Two Lovers, We Own the Night) adapts David Grann's 2009 novel about a real life British expedition to discover a lost Amazon city. Starring Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, and Sienna Miller, the film has been heavily hyped since having its world premiere at the New York Film Festival last October. Gray is one of modern American cinema's most respected directors, and here he cultivates a project beyond anything he's attempted before. Based on the word-of-mouth from those who saw The Lost City of Z at NYFF, it's certainly something to behold.
A Quiet Passion
Only a year after his last film Sunset Song made a spring debut, English director Terence Davies returns with this biopic about poet Emily Dickinson (Cynthia Nixon), notorious for being a recluse. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2016 and since then has received praise for being an outstanding piece of cinema and among Davies' and Nixon's best work. There's a good chance it'll draw a ton of business at arthouse cinemas across the country throughout the season.
Disneynature's Born in China
A strange entry on this list for sure, but who doesn't want to watch baby pandas for 76 minutes while Jim from The Office narrates?
Set in the backdrop of the Armenian Genocide of 1914, The Promise follows a love triangle between a medical student (Oscar Isaac), a journalist (Christian Bale), and the woman who comes between them (Charlotte le Bon) as they come into conflict with the outbreak of violence and conflict. Director Terry George (In the Name of the Father, Hotel Rwanda) is no stranger to tackling such serious subject matter, and based on the reviews the film recieved out of TIFF in September, it is a true sweeping epic in every sense of the word.
Ben Wheatley has made some of the most daring and narratively sporadic films in the past few years, continually surprising and altering our perception of him as a director. Free Fire could be called his most mainstream effort to date (bolstered by a cast which includes Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, and Jack Reynor among others), its story centering around an argument between two gangs in an abandoned warehouse, that quickly devolves into a strictly shoot 'em up affair. There's enough high volume sound effects here that make the idea of bringing earplugs to the movie not such a bad idea.
Emma Watson is currently lighting up the screen in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, and next month she stars in The Circle, based off the popular novel by Dave Eggers of the same name. The story follows Mae, the newest employee at a major Google-like Internet corporation called The Circle. Soon she realizes that her every move and action is under surveillance at all times as the dark secrets of The Circle are slowly but surely uncovered. Director James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now, The End of the Tour) directs a major ensemble cast which also includes Tom Hanks, John Boyega, Karen Gillan, Ellar Coltrane, Patton Oswalt, and the final on-screen appearance of the late Bill Paxton.