The 2013 Film Release Calendar: April

The Film Release Calendar is something I do each year to preview the upcoming year’s slate of films. It started as both a way for me to start paying attention to what was coming out (since I was really slacking around the time I started the blog) and to be able to see how well I know myself and how much I know exactly what I’m gonna think about a movie before I even see it.

What I do is, I go through the list of films scheduled to come out in a given year (using my go-to article, Wikipedia’s year in film article), month by month. I write down what they’re about, who’s in them, and generally what my thoughts are on what I see. And then I guess what I think I’m gonna rate it when I see it. Because at this point — I’ve seen so many movies — I know what a movie is gonna be. I’m running about a 70% correct percentage on guessing stuff in January. Plus, that aside, it also gives me a chance to see what movies, come the end of the year, surpassed (or fell way below) my expectations (or everyone’s). So it’s not all just a chance for me to talk about how awesome I am (since, believe me… I’m gonna do that anyway).

Today, we’re looking at all the films that are currently scheduled to come out in April:


The Heat

Uptight FBI special agent Sarah Ashburn is paired with testy Boston cop Shannon Mullins in order to take down a ruthless drug lord. The hitch: neither woman has ever had a partner — or a friend for that matter.

Before we get to the obvious — there are problems here. And I’m gonna skip the whole “Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy” aspect until afterward. First — the set-up. Generic as shit. How many fucking times have we seen this? Next — why the fuck do we need to know their names in the fucking synopsis? That’s how you know it’s a bad movie. Bad movies make it a point to tell you these people’s exact names. First and last. I don’t know why they do it, but it’s just a thing they all do. I guess it’s one of those things that’s like, “Oh, this is what by-the-book, proper writing is,” meanwhile they’re writing this fucking story again. I don’t get it.

A woman wrote this, so I don’t want to get too negative about it, since it’s hard enough for a woman to get a big writing gig, but, on the other hand — shouldn’t I hold all movies to the same standard? So that’s what I’m doing. A movie is a movie. And this one looks like a huge piece of garbage.

The fact that it’s directed by the guy who did Bridesmaids isn’t inspiring much confidence at all.

1.5 stars. Major Unforgivable watch. All I’m asking is that it does something right. But from the look of it, I see completely generic all the way through, but the difference being it’ll have swear words in it and extended takes of Melissa McCarthy ad-libbing, which will make the scenes make even less sense. This looks bad, and there’s no way I can guess any higher than this. At best, I won’t like it.

Jurassic Park 3D

Another one — I just want you to know this exists and is coming out.

In lieu of me not having anything to say, here’s this:


It’s the life story of Jackie Robinson, which should be made in a classy manner and be released in November or December. It says a lot that it’s coming out in April. And not even about the quality of the movie — about the people putting it out. This is here because America doesn’t watch black movies. And because it’s probably not of an Oscar quality. So, April. Since it’s about as classy as you can get without being a second half of the year movie.

It’s written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who is a very talented writer. He wrote L.A. Confidential (or rather, adapted it), he wrote and directed Payback, which I love (though I love the studio version over his. So maybe that’s not a good example), he wrote and directed A Knight’s Tale. But he also wrote The Postman, and Conspiracy — which… not helping. Blood Work — not good. Mystic River — which, how much of that was in the book? But I’ll give him a thumbs up there. He wrote the Man on Fire script. He wrote The Taking of Pelham 123, which I loved, for 2/3 of it. He wrote Green Zone and Robin Hood — so it’s a hit and miss for him. Hard to tell how much of it is him and how much is him writing well for directors to come in and change it and do their thing with it.

Either way — the fact that he wrote this gives me some hope. Harrison Ford is Branch Rickey, who hired Robinson, and someone named Chadwick Boseman is playing Jackie Robinson. He hasn’t really done all that much.

I have hope this’ll be good. I don’t think I’ll go 3.5 stars, though. April makes me think this is most likely to be 3 stars. I’d like 3.5 stars, I’d like 4 stars. But I can’t expect it’ll be anything higher than 3 stars. I don’t see enough to guess that.


A drama centered on a group of people searching for human connections in today’s wired world.

Well that’s very specific and paints a perfect picture of what it’s about. So it’s about how the internet has changed our culture.

Jason Bateman, Paula Patton, Alexander Skarsgard, Max Thieriot, Michael Nyqvist, Andrea Riseborough and Hope Davis are in this, and other than that, I know nothing.

So that said — I can’t guess anything more than 2.5 stars. It doesn’t sound good enough to guess 3. It might be 3, but I can’t guess it. 2.5 is my guess. I doubt I’ll care about this, if I see it. Who knows if these even comes out.


A biopic of Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher. Could be good, could be real bad.

Let’s stay with a steady 3 stars and see what this is. The cast doesn’t give off much of a positive impression, but it is closing Sundance this year, so that’s something, right?

Evil Dead

Not that people probably need this, but:

Mia, a young woman struggling with sobriety, heads to a remote cabin with her brother and a group of friends, where the discovery of a Book of the Dead leads to danger and horror.

I guess this is gonna necessitate me seeing the original now. (I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen a lot of fundamental horror movies, due to my complete disinterest in and dislike of the genre.)

Uhh… 3 stars? I honestly can’t really gauge this one. It really depends on what I think about the first one. It’s either gonna be 2, 2.5 or 3 stars. Let’s assume the best. We’ll go with the Cabin in the Woods rating, which is “I won’t care, but it’ll be okay, and everyone else is gonna go way higher and overrate the fuck out of this.” That seems most likely.


One of the few remaining drone repairmen assigned to Earth, its surface devastated after decades of war with the alien Scavs, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents that bring into question everything he believed about the war, and may even put the fate of mankind in his hands.

I’ve seen a trailer for this at almost every movie I’ve gone to see over the past few weeks. It actually looks really good. The poster is amazing, and I’ll tell you right now, it’s gonna feature somewhere on my Favorite Film Posters of 2013 article.

Otherwise — I’m excited for this, and I think it can be really solid.

The question is, what do I rate this? I’m thinking either 3.5 stars or 4 stars. Do I go 4 stars, figuring Cruise’s movies are almost always worthwhile, or do I go 3.5 stars, citing the April release as something worrisome?

Let’s see… Jack Reacher was really good. Rock of Ages was not. Ghost Protocol was amazing. Knight and Day — not so much. So he’s — when he goes action, it’s usually good. He’s also doing All You Need Is Kill right now, which is another one that sounds like it could be good.

Let’s assume, despite the April release date, that Cruise knows how to make an action movie good. And no big action movie has been released in April the past decade. So I’m thinking this is a business decision — push the summer earlier, get the jump on all the shit coming out from May through August — and I think it doesn’t say anything about quality. I’ll say 4 stars.

Scary Movie 5

I wish the tagline was just “trilogy.” The four-part thing feels like it calls too much attention to itself. I’d have just left it as “trilogy” and let people realize they read it normally and didn’t realize what was wrong with it.

Not that we should pay any attention to this, but:

Three dancers — one veteran performer and two upstarts who are also best friends — vie for the lead in a new production from a snooty, aloof, imperious, and oversexed director.

Can we figure this is gonna be good at all? It’s not like the Wayans brothers have anything to do with this. I enjoyed the third one, even though it wasn’t good, and the fourth one just wasn’t very good (though I enjoyed Craig Bierko in it quite a bit). And now Leslie Nielsen is dead, so we don’t even have him to look forward to.

Uhh… 2.5 stars? Should we be optimistic? It’s not gonna be Unforgivable, since I give sequels (for the most part… we’re probably gonna test that one quite a bit in a few months) a pass, and we’re not expecting this to be good. This will very likely be a 2 star movie. We’d be collectively shocked if this hit 3 stars. So let’s just let it suck on its own and leave it at that.

The Big Wedding

This got pushed from October.

A long-divorced couple fakes being married as their family unites for a wedding.

Amanda Seyfried, Robert De Niro, Katherine Heigl, Robin Williams, Susan Sarandon, Topher Grace, and Diane Keaton.

Cast is solid, the April release date is not, along with the fact that it was pushed. Though that probably had to do with April being a more fitting time for this to be released.

I’m gonna stick with 3 stars. It’ll probably err closer to 2.5 stars. But I’ll stick with 3. That cast — even if it’s not good, I assume it’ll be watchable and not good. So we’ll stick with 3.

Pain & Gain

It’s Michael Bay.

Michael Bay has been talking about this movie since my freshman or sophomore year of college. To the point where, when he showed up to screen Transformers at the school fall semester of my sophomore year, he talked about wanting to do a smaller, $30 million, Coen brothers type movie. Now, ignoring that last part (I know people are waiting to tear that apart) — this has been a passion project of his for a long time. He’s really wanted to make this. And finally, after he made them billions and billions of dollars from the first three Transformers movies, and probably as collateral to coax him back for #4, they said, “Well, all right, we’ll give you $25 million.” If that’s what it takes for Michael Bay to get a smaller movie made nowadays, we’re all fucked.

That said — he’s been trying to make this for years. It’s based on a true story, and is about:

A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong.

I heard the whole thing is sickly dark and hilarious, like Fargo, in that shit keeps getting worse and worse. I hope it’s great. I hope this doesn’t suffer from the negative aspects of his style coupled with his usual budgets. I hope this doesn’t give people anything to shit on. (Even though they will. They always do.)

I know I’m being wildly optimistic, and I’ll pay for it, but I’m saying 4 stars. 3.5 is most likely, and 3 stars is also a decent possibility, but fuck it. I’m knowingly guessing higher and saying what it’s most likely going to be. At least let me be optimistic about something like this than something with the possibility to suck.

To the Wonder

Another one I’ve been following for years, since, when Terrence Malick makes a movie, it’s a big deal.

Though I must say, it is weird now — him doing Tree of Life and shooting this before that one’s even out, and now shooting two movies back to back — he’s like Clint Eastwood all of a sudden.

No one is complaining about that.

There’s finally a synopsis for this:

After visiting Mont Saint-Michel, Marina and Neil come to Oklahoma, where problems arise. Marina meets a priest and fellow exile, who is struggling with his vocation, while Neil renews his ties with a childhood friend, Jane.

Basically, Ben Affleck is married to Olga Kurylenko overseas, then brings her back home, and they drift apart, and he gets closer to Rachel McAdams and Olga gets with Javier Bardem. And then Rachel Weisz also shot scenes for this and was apparently cut out.

I heard the first cut wasn’t received well when they screened it. I think he went back in and edited afterward. I don’t know what to expect. I heard that this is a disjointed film, with the usual stuff you expect from Malick, shots of nature and stuff, but then with him actually trying to tell a coherent plot with the story. Which — that’s not his deal. So you probably see this and go, “I want the plot, stop showing me the nature shit,” or, “More nature shit, stop telling this boring plot.” So I’m curious to see if he edits this to have more of a plot, or he makes it more like Tree of Life, where there is no plot, but just — life.

I also have no idea what to do with a rating. Before the early reviews, I’d probably have gone 4 stars. Now — I think I have to go 3.5 stars and hope it’s 4 stars. Malick hasn’t made anything below 3.5 stars yet (might not have made anything below 4 stars yet), so assuming this is his worst (to date) movie, 3.5 stars would be that. Which is saying something. I hope it’s not, though.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is May, and summer. Oh boy. He said, sarcastically, knowing what he was in for.

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