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The 2018 Film Release Calendar: April

It’s January, which means it’s preview time up here at B+ Movie Blog.

I don’t really peruse other places, but if I were to guess, I would say I’m the only person that goes this deep on their preview coverage for a year. I go month to month based on what’s scheduled to come out, preview like 200 extra movies that you probably have never even heard about as of now, and then bring back all the stuff from last year and previous years that I’ve been tracking that hasn’t come out yet. I’m not the kind of person who just goes, “Oh my god, Avengers! Wrinkle in Time! (Insert other movies the studios are paying us to talk up to fit the narrative to get us more clicks)!” If you ever see a slideshow from me, then you know I’ve given up.

The reason I do this is purely for me, though I imagine anyone stumbling on this will get something out of it to. What I try to do is preview everything so I’m aware of it when it comes out, and, to make it interesting for myself, try to guess what I’m gonna think of it when I do see it. That way, I can see what films surprised me or disappointed me from every angle (before, during and after).

It’s April, fools.

April

Blockers

Three parents try to stop their daughters from having sex on prom night.

Why?

Why is this a movie?

It’s 2018, why are parents trying to control their kids’ sex lives? Who is this appealing to? This is a movie for middle-aged people. Also, what universe is this that the kids are waiting until prom night to have sex?

This was directed by the woman who wrote Pitch Perfect, so sure. But written entirely by dudes. So, not so great.

Also, based on the poster, it’s supposed to be ‘Cock Blockers’. I like the idea of the poster, but I also disapprove of them just calling it by what it is.

I think you know where this is going… you’re expecting this to be on Unforgivable watch. But I’m not gonna do that.

I know, right?

3 stars.

Bam. 3 stars. Which is NOT like me.

Maybe I just don’t care this year? We’ll see. I’ve noticed a weird apathy toward bad movies lately, and a general indifference toward bad comedies. Maybe I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is where comedy is now and have stopped getting angry because it’s like that guy in the old western movies who kept getting mad when the train got built. That’s what we’re at now, guys.

Chappquiddick

Ted Kennedy’s life and political career become derailed after he is involved in a fatal 1969 car accident that claims the life of a young campaign strategist, Mary Jo Kopechne.

I love the poster for this movie. Calling it now that makes the top ten next year.

This quietly got pushed from Thanksgiving into the spring. Could it be because of quality, or could it be because of subject matter? No clue, but it’s worth noting that it might not be entirely because of quality.

The director of this did Tracks, which I liked quite a bit, Stone, which was fine, and The Painted Veil, which was fine. So I’m expecting a minimum 3 star movie here.

But with Jason Clarke as Kennedy, Kate Mara as Kopechne, plus Bruce Dern and Olivia Thirlby — I’m going 3.5 stars. Doesn’t look like a 4-star movie. I think I’ll get 3.5 out of this easy.

A Quiet Place

A family lives an isolated existence in utter silence, for fear of an unknown threat that follows and attacks at any sound.

Interesting concept. John Krasinski directed this. He also stars with his wife.

I like the idea, and it looks like it’s trying to be another 10 Cloverfield Lane. If they do this right, it could be good. Only gonna guess 3 stars though. Not sure where it’s going and what the reveal will be, if any. Could be Cloverfield, could be The Village, could be It Comes at Night. No idea. Just gonna let the movie decide what it wants to be.

Show Dogs

Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.

Sounds kiddie. But also not the worst idea in the world.

I’ll say 2.5 stars, but I think I could get 3.

Prayer Before Dawn

The true story of an English boxer incarcerated in one of Thailand’s most notorious prisons as he fights in Muay Thai tournaments to earn his freedom.

Trailer for this looked awesome. It’s A24 though. All their trailers look awesome. Generally the films are good, but they’re not automatic.

Still, 3.5 stars. Sounds like it can be good.

Beirut

A former U.S. diplomat returns to service in order to save a former colleague in Beirut.

Generic action movie. Written by Tony Gilroy, but then again, so was Duplicity. Brad Anderson is a solid director. I like The Machinist a lot. Everything since then has been average, or average but ‘interesting’ at best.

Stars Rosamund Pike, Jon Hamm and Shea Whigham. This is all enough to go the standard 3 stars here. 3.5 would be exceptional for this, but you can’t assume it. This looks exactly like a 3 star movie and nothing more.

The Rider

After suffering a near fatal head injury, a young cowboy undertakes a search for new identity and what it means to be a man in the heartland of America.

Oh yeah. This was nominated for a bunch of Indie Spirit awards. Sure. I’ll see this.

3 stars.

Overboard

A spoiled, wealthy yacht owner is thrown overboard and becomes the target of revenge from his mistreated employee. A remake of the 1987 comedy.

They remade this?

Yeah… that usually only means one thing.

Let’s see the trailer to get a… yeah, that’s about right.

They reversed the situation. He gets amnesia this time.

2 stars.

It’s on watch.

Rampage

Based on the classic 1980s video game featuring apes and monsters destroying cities.

That’s your synopsis? All that does is make us wonder how the hell you could turn that into a movie.

Spoiler alert: watch the trailer — you probably can’t.

This looks so dumb. I’m going 3 stars because of Dwayne Johnson, but 2.5 seems very possible.

Super Troopers 2

When a border dispute arises between the U.S. and Canada, the Super Troopers are tasked with establishing a Highway Patrol station in the disputed area.

It’s 15 years too late, but I don’t give a shit.

3.5 stars. I’m sure it won’t be that good, but I need to see this be a disappointment.

Tully

A comedy about motherhood.

It’s Jason Reitman reuniting with Diablo Cody.

Reitman’s been in the woods for about five years. Labor Day wasn’t great, and Men Women and Children wasn’t great either. And now, he’s got two movies in the can for this year.

I’m hoping for a return to form.

I gotta go 3.5 stars here. His collaborations with Cody have been 4 stars or more, but I don’t know what I’m getting. So sight unseen, I think he’s earned the benefit of 3.5 stars but not 4. I thought about 4, and I might get 4 (with Charlize Theron and Mackenzie Davis starring), but I can’t assume 4. So here’s hoping this turns out to be one of the better films of the year.

God Particle

After a scientific experiment aboard the space station involving a particle accelerator has unexpected results, the astronauts find themselves isolated. Following their horrible discovery, the space station crew must fight for survival.

This is that Cloverfield movie that’s been called this for over a year but they still haven’t committed to the title.

Here’s the problem — doesn’t this sound a hell of a lot like Life from last year? Which was basically an Alien ripoff with a great cast?

This has Elizabeth Debicki, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris O’Dowd, Daniel Bruhl, David Oyelowo, Ziyi Zhang and John Ortiz. I like all of those people. Problem is, the movie sounds generic as shit and got adjusted like three times already (not out of 2018, but the date went all over the place the first four months).

Without seeing what differentiates this from the other movie that sounds just like it from last year, I have to go 3 stars. Could I get 3.5? Sure. Cloverfield Lane was 3.5, and the cast would normally get a 3.5 out of me. But if I’m seeing the same stuff I see in all those other movies, how can I really guess higher than 3? So without a trailer, 3 it is.

Game Over, Man!

Three friends are on the verge of getting their video game financed when their benefactor is taken hostage by terrorists.

This is the Workaholics guys making a movie. Called ‘Die Hard in a hotel’ when it was announced. This has been dated for over a year.

Looks fun. Should go 3 stars, but going 3.5 stars. Netflix has a handful of 3.5’ers. Maybe this’ll be one of them.

Traffik

A couple off for a romantic weekend in the mountains are accosted by a bike gang. Alone in the mountains, Brea and John must defend themselves against a gang, who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets.

Uhh… oh-kay.

No reason to think this will be good at all. Paula Patton and Omar Epps star as the couple. William Fichtner is in it, probably as the head of the gang.

Wait… is this Green Room with black people?

Is it, though? Because it sounds like it is.

2.5 stars.

Truth or Dare

A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.

So this is Final Destination done with Truth or Dare.

Doesn’t look great.

2.5 stars.

Disobedience

A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish home after the death of her rabbi father and stirs up controversy when she shows an interest in an old childhood friend.

Is this lesbian Jews? Stars Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. It definitely seems like that’s what this is about.

Directed by the guy who did A Fantastic Woman.

Sure, I’m down.

3 stars. Could be 3.5, but 3 feels safer.

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