The 2017 Film Release Calendar: April
Every January, I preview all the films that are scheduled to come out for the year. I go through the existing release calendar, month by month, and guess how much or how little I’m going to like each of the films.
The major benefit is that it allows me, come the end of the year, to see which movies ended up surprising me for better or for worse, or which ones I had wildly disproportionate expectations for. It also gives me a chance to know what’s coming out and what to look forward to.
I also take all the films that are filming or in post and theoretically able to come out that year and preview those too, along with all the films from the previous year(s) that have yet to come out that I’ve been tracking. In all, I end up previewing more films than pretty much anyone else, I’ve been told.
The Case for Christ
Based on the true story of an award-winning investigative journalist — and avowed atheist — who applies his well-honed journalistic and legal skills to disprove the newfound Christian faith of his wife… with unexpected, life-altering results.
Oh my god, this looks like the worst movie of the year.
Bring this piece of shit on.
Going in Style
Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, three lifelong pals risk it all by embarking on a daring bid to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
The original was very entertaining, and this is a good idea for a remake.
Zach Braff directed this, which makes me very not-excited for this movie.
But he only directed it and didn’t write it and doesn’t star in it. So I can be okay with that.
Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman are awesome, and Ann-Margret and Christopher Lloyd are also in it.
I really should say 3 stars, but fuck it! 3.5 stars. Look at those actors! I’m going on the charm factor for that extra half star and nothing else. It doesn’t look overly promising, but I feel like I’m more willing to give that extra half-star than most.
A young street magician is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.
Interesting. I thought this was just about a magician, but after seeing a trailer, it looks like he might have powers. Which diminishes my excitement for this.
But, since this does seem realistic, I’m going to assume that’s for show and it’s not, and the realism is gonna win out, and I’m gonna get 3.5 stars out of this. If this does go supernatural, I’m going to be disappointed.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
In this fully animated, all-new take on the Smurfs, a mysterious map sets Smurfette and her friends Brainy, Clumsy and Hefty on an exciting race through the Forbidden Forest leading to the discovery of the biggest secret in Smurf history.
Did the world need another Smurf movie?
A young boy born with a facial deformity is destined to fit in at a new school, and to make everyone understand he’s just another ordinary kid, and that beauty isn’t skin deep.
So yeah. That seems… like one of those kinds of movies.
Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson play the parents. Not promising.
Jacob Tremblay plays the kid. Which, sure.
At best I’m getting 3 stars out of this. But this looks too cloying for that. So 2.5 stars.
The Fate of the Furious
When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of crime and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
This is not called The F8 of the Furious.
I am glad we are returning to Fast and Furious movies and not squeezing everything we can out of Paul Walker’s death. Though something tells me they’ll get a little bit more out of it somewhere in here.
It’s a Fast and the Furious movie. It’s gonna be fucking ridiculous.
And Helen Mirren is gonna be in it.
This franchise is incapable of being less than 3 stars and greater than 3.5 stars. It’s as close to a sure thing as we have.
Spark, a teenage monkey and his friends, Chunk and Vix, are on a mission to regain Planet Bana – a kingdom overtaken by the evil overlord Zhong.
We’re gonna assume indifference, but… yeesh.
A Quiet Passion
The story of American poet Emily Dickinson from her early days as a young schoolgirl to her later years as a reclusive, unrecognized artist.
Directed by the guy who did the Deep Blue Sea remake. (No, not the shark movie.)
Which tells me 3 stars. Standard biopic fare. Women in corsets feeling emotions.
In every generation, a torch passes from father to son. And that timeless dynamic is the beating heart of Tommy’s Honour – an intimate, powerfully moving tale of the real-life founders of the modern game of golf.
Yes, it is a gold movie. But it’s directed by Sean Connery’s son. Which makes it kind of interesting, right?
And Sam Neill is in it.
That’s all I need, really.
Frank, a single man raising his child prodigy niece Mary, is drawn into a custody battle with his mother.
Marc Webb directs, coming off the two Spider-Man disasters.
I generally like these kinds of stories, but this looks a bit too by-the-numbers.
There are elements that look really promising, but others that really do not. So we’ll split the difference and figure it’ll just be okay.
A woman sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband’s new wife.
Katherine Heigl movie.
She plays a crazy white woman.
This looks so bad.
The Lost City of Z
Based on David Grann’s best-selling book of the same name, The Lost City of Z is the true-life drama which centers on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.
This should have come out last year, but they pushed it into spring 2017 pretty early. So at least they stuck with that.
It’s James Gray, who is usually good for a solid movie.
It looks interesting, so I’ll say 3.5 stars. Usually Gray is a strong 3 with me, but the period nature and the story sounding interesting to me… let’s go 3.5.
A family must use a magical box of Animal Crackers to save a run-down circus from being taken over by their evil uncle Horatio P. Huntington.
This almost certainly won’t come out in April, but it’s technically dated for then, so we’ll put it here.
Animated. Seems pretty dumb, but the cast is strong. Emily Blunt, Sly Stallone, John Krasinski, Ian McKellen, Harvey Fierstein, Danny DeVito, Patrick Warburton.
Not for me, but what the hell. 2.5 stars.
A woman lands a job at a powerful tech company called the Circle, where she becomes involved with a mysterious man.
Tom Hanks really likes Dave Eggers, doesn’t he? That’s two in a row for him.
James Ponsoldt writes and directs. Smashed was very good, The Spectacular Now was very good and The End of the Tour was good. So I have no reason to think this won’t be pretty good.
After watching a trailer, I want to go 3 stars, but the director has a track record. So 3.5 stars. I’ll be pleased if I can get 3.5 out of this, though I’m expecting closer to 3.
How to Be a Latin Lover
Finding himself dumped after 25 years of marriage, a man who made a career of seducing rich older women, must move in with his estranged sister, where he begins to learn the value of family.
Ken Marino directed this. The writers haven’t done anything particularly memorable. The cast is whatever. The trailer was one of the oddest trailers I’ve ever seen, without any jokes.
2.5 stars. And that’s being generous.
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Tomorrow is May.