Sunday, March 09, 2008

Spring 2008 Movie Preview, Part 2

Judging by the schedule of releases for April, Hollywood is betting on audiences being ready to laugh, as comedies dominate the landscape for the month. Some of the comedies might be a little less cerebral than others (hello, Harold and Kumar!), but if they make you laugh, then who cares?
Here’s an overview of the films coming to theaters in April, keeping in mind release dates are subject to change.

Starring George Clooney, Renée Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce
Directed by George Clooney

Having been pushed back from a 2007 release, this comedy about a ragtag football team has a winning cast in the lead roles, plus Clooney is directing and coming off of tons of recognition for “Michael Clayton.” The timing of this would seem to be about perfect – if only it were football season. (April 4)
Official Web site

“Shine A Light”
Starring Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Charlie Watts
Directed by Martin Scorsese

Filmed over a two-night appearance at the Beacon Theater in New York City during the Rolling Stones’ most recent tour, Oscar-winning director Scorsese looks to capture some of the seemingly endless musical energy of the legendary rock band in this documentary. The film is set for release in standard and IMAX movie theaters.(April 4)
Official Web site

“Nim’s Island”
Starring Abigail Breslin, Jodie Foster, Gerard Butler
Directed by Jennifer Flackett and Mark Levin

With Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) getting top billing here, it looks like young girls are an obvious target audience in this adventure film. Breslin plays a girl seeking help from her favorite author (Foster) when her island home becomes threatened by outsiders. Foster should help bring in adults, plus it’s nice to see the two-time Oscar winner playing a rare comic role. (April 4)
Official Web site

“Smart People”
Starring Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Page and Thomas Haden Church
Directed by Noam Murro

A widowed English professor (Quaid) finds a new love come into his life, even as he has to deal with a rebellious daughter (Page) and the arrival of his ne’er-do-well brother (Church). Having picked up some strong notice at the Sundance Film Festival, the movie also benefits from having a red-hot Page in the cast, fresh off of “Juno.” (April 11)
Official Web site

“Street Kings”
Starring Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Common, The Game
Directed by David Ayer

It seems to be getting difficult to put different spins on cop movies nowadays, but the people involved in this one might just make it worth a look. Director Ayer was the writer of “Training Day,” while the script was co-written by noted crime novelist James Ellroy (“L.A. Confidential”). Reeves stars as a cop that has to prove his innocence in the death of a fellow police officer. (April 11)
Official Web site

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”
Starring Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand, Mila Kunis, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader
Directed by Nicholas Stoller

Written and starring Segal, he plays the ex-boyfriend of the title character, an actress who dumps him for another guy. He heads to Hawaii to try and mend his broken heart, only to run into the new couple there. The movie is co-produced by Judd Apatow (who you might have heard of), and features several of his regulars in supporting roles. Billed as the “ultimate romantic disaster movie,” can Apatow and Co. strike box office gold again? (April 18)
Official Web site

“Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay”
Starring John Cho, Kal Penn, Paula Garcés, Roger Bart and Neil Patrick Harris
Directed by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Scholssberg

Never mind the fact this sequel is coming out four years later after the original, this “Harold and Kumar” adventure picks up on the same day the last movie ended. The duo decide to head to Amsterdam to pursue Harold’s new love (Garcés), but when Kumar is mistaken as a terrorist and some paraphernalia (such as a bong) is found in their possession, they are diverted to Guantanamo Bay. And yes, Neil Patrick Harris is back to hilariously skewer his image once again. (April 25)
Official Web site

“Baby Mama”
Starring Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Greg Kinnear, Dax Shepard, Romany Malco, Maura Tierney, Holland Taylor and Sigourney Weaver
Directed by Michael McCullers

A career driven woman (Fey) decides it’s time to have a child in her life. But the low odds of her ever successfully conceiving leads her to select a surrogate mother (Poehler), a rough around the edges working girl. The pairing of Fey and Poehler, who formerly worked together as co-anchors on “Weekend Update” on “Saturday Night Live” should be comedic gold and Fey’s stellar work on “30 Rock” has her poised to make a hit crossover into movies. (April 25)
Official Web site

No comments: