Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: The Year in Film 2014 - Episode III

To coin an old sports-phrase, the movie studios like to move the goal-line around a lot. For decades, the month of May was considered to be the start of the Summer Movie Season. This year, things warm up a little early…and that’s not a bad thing. Here are the notable releases for the month of April.
It all heats up with…

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER – Marvel continues its ever-expanding connected universe with Cap’s first sequel. Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers in this action-packed espionage-thriller. Joining him are Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Frank Grillo, Anthony Mackie, and Robert Redford.
NYMPHOMANIAC: VOLUME II – Lars von Trier wraps up his opus to human sexuality. Stars Stellan Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stacy Martin, Shia LaBoeuf, Willem Dafoe, Uma Thurman, and Jamie Bell.

RIO 2 – Our animated feathered friends return for their first sequel. Includes the voice-talents of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, and Jamie Foxx.
OCULUS – Be wary of horror films not good enough to be released in October. This one involves creepy little kids and stars Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane, and Katee Sackhoff.

DRAFT DAY – Kevin Costner is the general manager of the Cleveland Browns with the opportunity to save his team’s season and future. Co-stars Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, and Frank Langella. Directed by Ivan Reitman (GHOSTBUSTERS).
THE RAILWAY MAN – Based on the bestselling autobiography, Colin Firth (THE KING’S SPEECH) stars as a British Army Officer tormented at a Japanese labor camp during WWII. Co-stars Nicole Kidman.

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE – Famed independent director Jim Jarmusch (BROKEN FLOWERS) takes a bite out of the vampire apple. Stars Tom Hiddleston (THOR), Tilda Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, and Jeffrey Wright.
JOE – This little indie film is being touted as the possible return of Nic Cage to serious filmmaking. This adaptation of a Larry Brown novel has Cage starring as an ex-con who befriends a hard-luck kid. Directed by David Gordon Green (PINEAPPLE EXPRESS).

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL – In this adaptation of the #1 best-selling novel, Greg Kinnear stars as a father whose son claims to have visited heaven. Directed by Randall Wallace (WE WERE SOLDIERS).
TRANSCENDENCE – Wally Pfister, who served as the director of photography for Christopher Nolan’s THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY, directs this sci-fi thriller about a man (Johnny Depp) who uploads his own mind into a super-computer. Co-stars Rebecca Hall (IRON MAN 3), Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara.

BEARS – A Disney film about a family of…bears.
FADING GIGOLO – John Turturro directs and stars in this oddball comedy. Co-stars Woody Allen, Sofia Vergara, Sharon Stone, and Liev Schreiber.

THE QUIET ONES – The studio which brought us THE WOMAN IN BLACK a few years back returns with another horror film not good enough for October.
LOCKE – Taking place in the setting of a single car ride, this early Oscar-buzzer stars Tom Hardy (THE DARK KNIGHT RISES) as a man whose life is turned upside-down after one phone call. Directed by Steven Knight (EASTERN PROMISES).

Next month, Reel Speak previews the month of May.



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