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The 2019 Film Release Calendar: April

New year, new movies.

I begin every new year by taking a look at what movies there are to come out. It helps me to be aware of stuff so I can actively track it throughout the year, and I think it’s helpful for most people who care about movies to at least be informed of what’s going on. Far too often do I talk to my friends who are casually into movies, and they have no idea what’s coming out or when the stuff they want to see is supposed to come out.

Of course, when I do something, I really do it, so instead of just a casual preview of the big 35 movies of the year, I go all out. You’re gonna get everything as it’s currently scheduled to come out, plus another 200 or so movies that are not dated but are finished and ready to come out, plus another 100 or so that I’ve been tracking from previous years. I dare to say that no one on the internet goes as deep into their coverage as I do.

Today is April.

April

The Best of Enemies

Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.

Oh, this is a tough one for me.

First time director, put out by STX whose taste in material is questionable at best. The story/trailer seems completely generic. However… I like stuff like this. And the two leads are Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell.

My gut would be, with something like this, to go 3.5 stars, but I have to go 3 stars. I can’t assume this will be a 3.5 star movie. It just looks generic. Maybe I’ll get 3.5 out of it, but… coming out in April, with that trailer… it looks like a 3 star movie.

Pet Semetary

Louis Creed, his wife Rachel and their two children Gage and Ellie move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie ‘Pet Sematary’ located near their home. After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better.

Did we need this?

2.5 stars.

Unnecessary remake and a horror movie. Completely the opposite of my alley.

At best this is going 3 stars, and even then that would be a minor miracle.

Shazam!

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.

This looks fun. If there’s one thing I respond to with stuff like this, it’s dumb fun.

The trailer was real amusing, and it looks like an enjoyable movie.

HOWEVER… it is still a D.C. movie. And a lot of times a trailer can mask a lot of the other stuff I won’t care about in a movie. And the director did Lights Out and that last Annabelle movie. So I have to say 3 stars and hope I can get more. I’ll gladly be wrong if it means a good movie.

Peterloo

The story of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre where British forces attacked a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Manchester.

It’s Mike Leigh, which means an automatic 3.5 stars. I was curious when it got released in the UK in the fall and then only came out here for April. That tells me this isn’t the kind of movie they are pushing for awards, which is usually something automatic for Mike Leigh movies.

This looks to be the norm for him — looks great, really solid, but I’m not overly in love with the story. But I guess if there’s anything of his I will respond to, it’ll be something like this. So we’ll see.

Teen Spirit

Violet is a shy teenager who dreams of escaping her small town and pursuing her passion to sing. With the help of an unlikely mentor, she enters a local singing competition that will test her integrity, talent and ambition.

So it’s American Idol Cinderella? Okay.

Max Minghella wrote and directed it. He wrote that Louis Drax movie a couple of years ago, which was not great.

This, the thing I’m worried about is that the soundtrack is all pop nonsense that I’m not gonna like. Which is why I can’t, in good conscience, guess more than 3 stars on this.

Looks totally watchable, but I can’t see it being anything more than that.

After

A young woman falls for a guy with a dark secret and the two embark on a rocky relationship.

Oh no.

Oh no oh no oh no.

I can’t stand this serious teen bullshit. Especially with their trailers with their pop music and slow sex moments. I hate everything about these movies.

2.5 stars.

We will assume best case, that I won’t care, but this definitely has a chance to drop to 2. This is that Endless Love shit that just bores the hell out of me.

Hellboy

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

The remake that only the creator of the graphic novels wanted. They also recast Ron Perlman yet made him look exactly like Ron Perlman. I mean, that’s just the character, but still.

It looks fun. Just not sure how much I’m gonna care.

It’s a superhero movie, so at best I have to guess 3 stars, even though if they strike the right tone, I could easily get 3.5 stars out of this. Not gonna assume that for one second, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Little

A woman receives the chance to relive the life of her younger self, at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much for her to bear.

I like the concept. The writer wrote Drumline, ATL and What Men Want. So not gonna hope for too much out of this.

3 stars. Concept should keep it watchable.

Missing Link

Mr. Link recruits explorer Sir Lionel Frost to help find his long-lost relatives in the fabled valley of Shangri-La. Along with adventurer Adelina Fortnight, this trio of explorers travel the world to help their new friend.

It’s Laika, so 3.5 stars is the absolute floor here. But I’m gonna go 4 stars. This story seems more interesting than something like The Boxtrolls. Plus, they’re coming off Kubo, which is the best movie they’ve ever made. Also, with them, the gorgeous imagery will likely carry them that extra half-star as long as the story is up to snuff. So let’s figure it will be and go from there.

High Life

A father and his daughter struggle to survive in deep space where they live in isolation.

3 stars.

Claire Denis directing means nothing to me, the trailer looks decent, and it just looks like a sci-fi movie that’s just watchable.

Breakthrough

When he was 14, Smith drowned in Lake Sainte Louise and was dead for nearly an hour. According to reports at the time, CPR was performed 27 minutes to no avail. Then the youth’s mother, Joyce Smith, entered the room, praying loudly. Suddenly, there was a pulse, and Smith came around.

Shitty Christian movie!

Oh man.

I saw a trailer for this while going to see something in an out of the way theater that caters to people who see this bullshit. So I was ready for this to come down the pike.

1.5 stars.

And yes, it is solidly on Unforgivable watch. It looks like straight garbage.

The Curse of La Llorana

Ignoring the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment, a social worker and her own small kids are soon drawn into a frightening supernatural realm.

Supernatural horror. Not my thing.

2.5 stars.

Oh, and it’s a Conjuring movie? Then I absolutely don’t give a shit about this.

Under the Silver Lake

Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre.

It’s David Robert Mitchell, whose last movie was It Follows, which I loved.

This has been delayed at least a year, and its release date was moved at least twice. That is concerning. The reviews are pretty mediocre too.

I’d have automatically said 4 stars to a neo noir with Andrew Garfield in it directed by this guy, but I have to, on principle, go 3.5 stars. I think I could still get 4, because let’s face it, there are few people who don’t give a fuck about reviews and are willing to like stuff hard despite them as much as I do, but I’m not really sure what I’m getting with this. The tone looks weird. Which means it could work and I could love this, or it could fall real flat. Let’s stick with 3.5 and let the movie decide what it wants to be.

P.S. I have a copy of this and it likely will be the first movie I watch for 2019 proper, so I’ll know exactly how I feel about this real soon.

Avengers: Endgame

It’s the last Avengers movie. Or, you know, last of this crew. They saved it all up for this.

On the one hand, my gut would be to guess 4 stars because this is the culmination of everything and you feel like there’s gonna be some catharsis when most of the original stars go away. But for me, I’m wondering how and if they’re gonna stick the landing when they undo all the deaths that happened in the first one, and I’m wondering if this is gonna be as much of a clusterfuck as the last one was.

So I’m gonna stick with the standard Marvel 3.5 stars. I can’t assume they’ll overcome that, but if they do, that’s cool. No Marvel movie has gone over 4 stars for me, and the ones that got to 4 are the ones that have an element of fun to them, like Ragnarok and Spider-Man. This… 3.5 feels right. At best it has a shot of being the best Avengers movie, all of which were 3.5 star movies for me and all of which felt like a child banging action figures together and making explosion noises.

So, you can let this be your most anticipated movie of the year. This doesn’t even crack my top 20. If that. Let’s just see what this is gonna be and go from there.

Also — and I don’t necessarily think this will happen — if they fuck up the way they undo everything and don’t make it all fee satisfying in the end, this will go Unforgivable.

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