The month of April marks the beginnings of the much-awaited Summer Movie Madness, where studios slowly let out their smaller releases before unleashing their big guns later in the month or early May.
The first wave of attack for April comes in the form of Ryan Gosling who will tag-team with Bradley Cooper in Derek Cianfrance’s crime drama ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’.
The second wave sees Tom Cruise dropping in with the much-talked about ‘Oblivion’ with support from sci-fi horror ‘Dark Skies’.
Coming in for the kill will be none other than Robert Downey Jr’s Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man 3’ which itself is the first wave of comic book movies (‘The Wolverine’ in July and ‘Thor: The Dark World’ in November) aimed to stun moviegoers with their awesomeness.
So let’s check out our picks for April.
Week of 4 April
The Stars: Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Ryan Gosling, Ray Liotta
The Story: The film, directed by Derek Cianfrance (‘Blue Valentine’), tells the story of a motorcycle stunt rider (Gosling) who turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover (Mendes) and their newborn child. The decision puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop (Cooper) navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective (Liotta).
The Buzz: The amount of eye candy in the movie alone is worth the price of the ticket.
inSing.com says: What’s with Ryan Gosling taking on same-old same-old roles these days? After playing a stunt/getaway driver in ‘Drive’, he’s playing a bank-robbing motorbike stunt rider in ‘The Place Beyond The Pines’. Not that we’re complaining, of course. Initially conceived as an action fantasy film while Gosling and director Cianfrance were filming ‘Blue Valentine’, ‘Pines’ has evolved into much more. Like how ‘Blue Valentine was an emotional drama about husbands and wives, Cianfrance follows up; focusing on fathers and sons (and inherited legacies) in his new movie. It will be interesting to see how Gosling brings his cultivated quiet intensity into the role – not to mention Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper who turns in his most powerful performance yet. Another Oscar nom perhaps?
Also opening: Don't miss ‘Saving General Yang’, which is basically the Chinese period version of ‘Saving Private Ryan’.
Week of 11 April
The Stars: Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Olga Kurylenko, Tom Cruise
The Story: ‘Oblivion’ takes place in a grim future after a war with an alien superpower has devastated the planet. Earth's few survivors have been evacuated, and Jack Harper (Cruise) is a maintenance man who looks after the drones that monitor activities on the silent planet. Then a spaceship pod crashes near him, containing a mysterious, beautiful woman (Kurylenko) and things get a lot more complicated…
The Buzz: The movie marks the return to the big screen for Tom Cruise as he returns to sci-fi for the first time since ‘War of the Worlds’ back in 2005.
inSing.com says: If dystopian science-fiction is your thing, then ‘Oblivion’ might just be, too. From the trailer, we can see that the movie has some veiled references to movies like ‘’Solaris’, ‘ 2001: A Space Odyssey’, ’12 Monkeys’ as well as Pixar’s wonderful ‘Wall-E’ which also features a lonely protagonist prowling an uninhabited planet. The movie is actually based on a graphic novel of the same name written by Kosinki (which is rather auteurish, in our opinion) and with him in the director's chair, ‘Oblivion’, certainly has the potential to be more than another big budget sci-fi spectacular. Not to mention, headliner Tom Cruise in the driver’s seat. The very hip Anthony Gonzalez from electronica act M83 will be scoring the film, following in the footsteps of Daft Punk. You can sample one of his sweeping music from the movie below.
Also opening: Will it ever end? ‘Scary Movie 5’ opens this week and this time it has its sights on movies like ‘Black Swan’, ‘The Hunger Games’, ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes’ and ‘Inception’. Gerard Butler stars in thriller ‘Olympus Has Fallen’ while Anna Faris, Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne and Minnie Driver take on ‘I Give It A Year’.
Week of 18 April
The Stars: Dakota Goyo, Josh Hamilton, Keri Russell
The Story: ‘Dark Skies’ revolves around a suburban couple, Lacey and Daniel Barret (Russell and Hamilton) whose lives become a nightmare when a terrifying alien presence enters their home each night to prey upon their children.
The Buzz: It’s from the producer of ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Insidious’, and ‘Sinister’.
inSing.com says: We’re pretty sure most of you know what happens when aliens visit Earth: they either want to invade and take over our world or just irritate and confound us with crop circles; but to sneak into someone’s house, terrorise its occupants and occasionally steal their children? We don’t know what’s in the big bulging head of the ETs in ‘Dark Skies’ but that’s pretty much what they do in this horror alien crossover. The man behind this madness is none other than producer Jason Blum who is also responsible for the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise. Yes, we all know how exasperating the whole franchise has become but his recent efforts like ‘Insidious’ and ‘Sinister’ were quite spot on and perhaps this “bad ET” outing might just work.
Also opening: Mark Walhberg and Russel Crowe team up in ‘Broken City’ while Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan star in ‘Penthouse North’.
Week of 25 April
The Stars: Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Gwyneth Paltrow, James Badge Dale, Jon Favreau, Rebecca Hall, Robert Downey Jr.
The Story: The third in the series of adventures about billionaire playboy Tony Stark and his alter ego Iron Man sees him struggling to adapt to life following the Battle of New York he fought alongside the Avengers. He has trouble sleeping, is worried about girlfriend Pepper Potts (Paltrow) and very much not the Tony Stark we know. But then he faces a very new threat from an unknown enemy (Ben Kingsley’s Mandarin) and soon he’s in a life-or-death struggle relying on his wits and intelligence to save the day.
The Buzz: With ‘Iron Man 3’, we are one step closer to the other much-awaited movie event – ‘Avengers 2’ which comes out in 2015.
inSing.com says: The stakes are considerably high for the third instalment of the ‘Iron Man’ franchise after it took a dip in the very lukewarm ‘Iron Man 2’ but was centre-stage in last year’s ‘Avengers’. If you caught the latest trailer, the story arc in this one is definitely miles ahead of number 2, much more action-packed and ties in the three movies together (the Asia-set origin story in ‘Iron Man’, the new villain as well as how Stark can summon his suit remotely). Another exciting aspect of the movie is Sir Ben Kingsley’s take on Marvel comics’ most iconic villain: Mandarin. Although the comic version is ethnically Chinese and got his power from an alien dragon (which is quite ridiculous), Marvel film boss Kevin Feige has said that this Kingley’s version will be very different and very intriguing. Another feature that has gotten fanboys talking is what will be in the post-credits scene: Will it give hints to a new superhero (’Ant-Man’) or a sneak peek into an upcoming movie with new characters (‘Guardians of The Galaxy’, ‘Thor 2’)?
Also opening: ‘Iron Man 3’ is the biggest release this week but if you’re a fan of comedy there’s Tina Fey and Paul Rudd’s ‘Admission’ which follows an admissions director for Princeton University.
(Note: All release dates are subject to change; all information correct as of press time.)