The 2020 Film Release Calendar: April

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Anyway, here’s April:

April

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway

It’s a sequel to that first one. Which wasn’t great. It’s a road trip movie. “Oh no, they’re gonna have a baby, so we should leave!”

Honestly, I don’t care, and I’ve never cared. It’s for children, and I’ll leave it to children to enjoy it.

2.5 stars.

The New Mutants

Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

They’ve pushed this for like two years now and finally Disney is pushing it off the slate. Probably so they can actually put their own X-Men movies into production.

The plot looks like the exact same plot as Split, which I’m sure we all think is a great sign. Plus the horror overtones… not my tempo.

This has been pushed for so long and had so many reshoots, I can’t assume this will be good.

So 3 stars has to be the guess, and if it’s gonna somehow get to 3.5, I’m fine with that. But there’s no way I can assume it with two years on the shelf and Disney taking it over. And doing new and interesting things is not their cup of tea.

The Lovebirds

A young couple is pulled into a bizarre (and hilarious) murder mystery. Working to clear their names and solve the case, they need to figure out how they, and their relationship, can survive the night.

Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani star, and it’s directed by Michael Showalter, who did The Big Sick. Which is promising.

The trailer… alternatively promising and not promising. Looks like the usual studio comedy. Aside from Big Sick, which Kumail and Emily obviously wrote themselves, Showalter’s had a hand in writing his other two movies (Hello My Name Is Doris and The Baxter). He’s not credited on this script and there are the usual glut of comedy writers on this, which is very much a bad sign to me. Because that means script by committee, which is one of the death knells of studio comedy nowadays.

So 3 stars. I can’t assume anything more than that. Comedies nowadays have to prove to me they’re gonna more than just ‘whatever’. And they almost never are.

No Time to Die

James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.

YEAH, BUDDY.

I’m so fucking down for this movie. I don’t even care that it’s coming out in April, since it would have been November except they didn’t want the production squeeze. I’m totally fine with the release date and honestly it saves me six months of anticipation.

4.5 stars. That’s the blanket rating for a Craig Bond film. They always get 4 or 4.5 from me. Maybe I can get 5 from this, I don’t know. But what I do know is that it’s gonna have to be a real disaster for me to go less than 4 stars in the end on the rating, and none of Craig’s movies has been anything less than very good thus far.

I honestly don’t even need to hear anything more about this, I’m in. I was in yesterday. I will be the first one seeing this at the earliest possible showing the minute I can. This is one of the very few movies I actually care about in 2020.

Charm City Kings

A young boy joins a dirt bike gang in Baltimore. Feature film adaptation of the documentary ’12 O’Clock Boys’.

Oh, it’s 12 O’Clock Boys. Interesting. Worried how they’re gonna try to turn that into a narrative feature, but I guess that’s the beauty of a trailer. We can see how they’re gonna attempt it.

I can’t tell. Could be solid. Could just be the same old shit.

3 stars. Let’s let the movie decide what it’s gonna be.

Trolls World Tour

Okay, they made a sequel.

And it looks stupid.

The first one was dumb, so I’m not gonna think this can be any better.

2.5 stars. I’m sure I will be properly indifferent toward this.

Antlers

A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences.

So this one’s been an interesting one for me for a year now. It’s a horror movie, which is not my genre. But it’s Scott Cooper, who to this point has made exclusively 4-star movies. Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace, Black Mass, Hostiles. All 4-star movies every time.

Seeing a trailer, it looks really solid. But because it’s horror, I really don’t know what I’m getting. So I’m gonna say 3.5 stars. I’ll trust my gut on genre over director. Even though I know Cooper’s probably earned the benefit of the doubt on this. But I’m sticking with 3.5, because I just can’t see what’s gonna make me really like this as opposed to just think it’s really solid.

Promising Young Woman

A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against men who cross her path.

Interesting. Carey Mulligan in a rape-revenge deal. Looks fun as hell.

There’s not nearly enough Carey Mulligan on the screen, but when there is, she’s always really good.

3.5 stars.

The Secret: Dare to Dream

A feature film adaptation of the self-help book, ‘The Secret’, which focuses on the power of positive thinking.

A HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

Oh my god.

It’s movies like this that make me disappointed that I’m retiring the Unforgivables list.

From the director of The Bounty Hunter and Hitch and starring Katie Holmes, Josh Lucas and Jerry O’Connell… because the movie thinks this is still 1998.

2.5 stars.

Maybe this goes down to 2 because it’s so awful, but I’ve learned over the past two years that I tend to just give things up to indifference rather than hold deep hatreds toward them. So let’s assume positive and figure indifference rather than me just abjectly hating this. But man, it looks like a real piece of shit.

Sergio

A sweeping drama set in the chaotic aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq, where the life of top UN diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello hangs in the balance during the most treacherous mission of his career.

Oh, I thought this is a surfing movie. It’s a political thing.

3 stars. Iraq movies… things like this… generally not for me, but usually watchable.

Bad Trip

Two friends embark on a cross-country road trip where they prank people using hidden cameras.

Oh, it’s an Eric Andre movie. Interesting. The title made it seem like… well, we’ll skip that part.

And it’s a prank movie. Build around a loose narrative. Okay, then.

3 stars. Can’t assume more, can’t assume less. Looks like it can be really funny, but you can’t assume anything with a movie like this.

Antebellum

Successful author Veronica finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.

Seems like the premise is a woman is sent to an alternate reality where slavery still exists in the modern day world. Which is funny… that sounds just like the Game of Thrones guys’ idea for a show and people flipped out over that. Though I guess this one’s more a Twilight Zone kind of episode whereas that is a straight alternate reality kind of deal. Or maybe people are just selective in their outrage. Who’s to say, really.

Janelle Monáe stars, and that’s really all I need to know about it. I like that they’re hiding the plot from us, though that could backfire by revealing there isn’t much more to reveal in the movie. But, for now, from what I’ve seen and how it could set up… 3.5 stars. There’s a solid rest of the cast here… Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Jena Malone and Jack Huston. I think the writer-directors wrote a script they know is solid, so the movie should be 3 at least and probably a 3.5. I can’t assume anything more than that with a movie of this genre. But 3.5 should be easily attainable.

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