KYLE’S MOVIE KAVE: April Addition

April movies

April is my birthday month and each year I am treated to something great, usually in the form of a Fast and Furious film. No FF this month but there’s still a lot to look forward to.

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I never saw Boyhood but I’ve seen Dazed and Confused like 20 times. Does that make me well versed in Richard Linklater’s filmography? No, no it does not – but my appreciation for Dazed and Confused does get me excited about his newest film, Everybody Wants Some!! (with 2 exclamation marks which, grammatically, goes against everything I believe. It’s either 1 or 3).

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This new film is a spiritual sequel to Boyhood because at the end of that film the lead goes off to college and it is a spiritual sequel to Dazed because that was a fun 70’s high school period piece and this is a fun 80’s college period piece. The term ‘spiritual sequel’ really just means that it is not an actual sequel, it just reminds you of another film. Everybody Wants Some!! focuses on a group baseball players and all the good times they have in college. Kurt Russel’s son, Wyatt, plays one of the guys and he is certainly looking like a late 70’s Kurt Russell, so that’s awesome.

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Go-Pros are nifty little cameras that people can attach to their heads so a viewer can see the footage from the wearer’s point of view. It can be pretty cool if they’re doing some sort of extreme sport but if they’re just sitting down it can be pretty darn boring. Fortunately the folks behind Hardcore Henry managed to come up with a way to shoot a full length action movie using the camera. You are Henry and you are about to have a very rough day. You wake up in a lab, your wife is operating on you, giving you a new leg and a new arm. She begins to explain that you are stronger now but then you get attacked and she gets taken away. You then meet up with a guy named Jimmy who explains that there are people trying to kill you and you can fight back because whatever happened to you made you faster and stronger. Now it’s your mission to drive, shoot and punch your way through all of the waves of bad guys to get to your wife. If this sounds like a video game it’s because it is supposed to. That might not work for some but the trailers I’ve seen show off some crazy stunt work and what this director can pull off with a Go-Pro makes me happy the thing was invented in the first place. The First Person Movie experience will either die with this film or it’ll become another fad like the found footage movie. Either way I’m happy this one is out and can’t wait to see it.

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There’s a guy who appears in pretty much every Melissa McCarthy movie. His name is Ben Falcone and he also happens to be Melissa McCarthy’s husband. The two of them wrote Tammy together and he directed and the same goes for The Boss, where McCarthy plays a rich and powerful business woman who loses it all after being arrested for insider trading. Her old assistant, played by everyone’s favorite person ever Kristen Bell (I can’t hide my appreciation for her, I think she’s awesome), helps her get back on her feet and the two tackle the ugly, cruel world of selling girl scout cookies, which takes them from arguments in school halls to street brawls. McCarthy has shown off some solid skills in the R-rated comedy department and there’s something about the manner in which she uses profanity that I find wonderfully entertaining.

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Occulus is a horrifying movie that came out a few years ago about a killer mirror. It deals with kids whose parents were killed by the evil mirror years ago and now they are trying to fight it. Any more details would be too much because the movie is not an easy watch – images of it haunt me. So one horror film based around kids deserves another, apparently, and the creator has made Before I Wake, which I feel is a much less original title than Occulus. In the director’s newest, a couple adopts a young boy and realize that his dreams literally come true. It’s wonderful and magical, that is until he has nightmares and those come true, too, and everything goes horribly wrong. This might be the kind of film I’ll watch in the comfort of my own home with all the lights on and a blanket to hide under.

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Marvel alumni Jon Favreau, Scarlett Johansson (I’ve been misspelling that name forever), Idris Elba and Ben Kingsley joined with greatest actors ever Bill Murray and Christopher Walken to bring a new version of The Jungle Book to the big screen. The trailer looks like a decent adventure and it is fun that Bill Murray is voicing the ever optimistic Baloo, singing about his bear-necessities. But man, the CG is mind blowing. If I were in a Rip Van Winkle scenario where I’ve been asleep for decades or centuries or whatever and when I awoke the first thing I viewed was this trailer I would assume I was in a world where animals can talk. It looks that good. It’d probably also freak me out. But yeah, this looks pretty solid for yet another remake and, for some reason, it’s one of two Jungle Book movies we’re getting in the near future. Slated for an October 2017 release is Jungle Book: Origins, directed by the king of motion capture Andy Serkis. He’s Gollum/Smeagol in The Lord of the Rings/Hobbit films, the titular King Kong, Caesar in the Planet of the Apes films and Snoke in the new Star Wars. So there’s that to look forward to.

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A few years ago a little thriller came out that featured Jan from The Brady Bunch and Buzz from Home Alone in the quiet, eerie and violent crime drama Blue Ruin. Sticking with color in the title the director brings us Green Room, which features Maybe Funke from Arrested Development and Chekov from new Star Trek being hunted by Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This director likes putting likeable people into violent scenarios. This film involves a punk band looking for any gig they can get so when they get one at a sketchy bar they take it. Things don’t go well though, when they witness a terrible crime and the leader of a group of criminals, played by Patrick Stewart, orders his people to kill the witnesses. It is not going to be an easy watch. Blue Ruin is tough at times but this looks like a brutal film through and through. I want to see it but even without watching this I can’t recommend it to the faint of heart.

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I haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman (known in my household as Snow White and the Hemsworth, for some reason this has become a running joke) but this prequel, entitled The Huntsman: Winter’s War, looks pretty cool. Chris Hemsworth is back (can you be back if it’s a prequel?) as The Huntsman and Charlize Theron is back (?) as the evil queen who is apparently named Ravenna. Not sure if that is canonical but I guess since this is a prequel they couldn’t call her evil if she was not yet evil so best to give her a name. Jessica Chastain and Emily Blunt are joining the cast, which is great because they are no strangers to action films. Chastain isn’t usually in on the action but Blunt has shown off her action skills in Looper and especially in Edge of Tomorrow, so this should be fun to see.

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Ice Cube is probably the most successful rapper/actor – maybe even more so than Mark Wahlberg (he’d prefer you not remember the rapping part of his career). Mr. Cube is part of several film series including Friday, 21 Jump Street and Barbershop and this month he is revisiting the latter with Barbershop: The Next Cut. The first one dealt with Cube selling the shop only to realize that wasn’t the right thing to do and the second one dealt with bigger companies coming in and shutting down mom and pop shops. This most recent one features other artists turned actors like Eve, Common and Nicki Minaj and the film will balance humor with real world issues like violence in the neighborhood. It’s up to the folks at the barbershop to bring the community together.

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I learned a piece of history from the Elvis and Nixon trailer and that is that the most requested picture from the national archives is the image of Elvis Presley with President Nixon. Apparently there’s more to the story than just one of the most famous musicians ever wanting to take a photograph with the president at the time. Nixon was not known for being cool but Elvis was literally the king of cool so this was probably seen as a great PR boost. I haven’t read much more on it because I am very excited to see it since Elvis is portrayed by Michael Shannon and Nixon is played by Kevin Spacey. These are two great actors and this should be a pretty entertaining film right here.

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Garry Marshall has been involved with film and television for decades, he was a producer/writer for Happy Days, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple. He also made a few films and it seems that in all his years he has learned one thing: audiences will flock to a star studded film named after a holiday. Recently he has found success with New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, which are both films focusing on different groups of people celebrating said holiday. They’re simple, corny and mildly charming so why not continue it with Mother’s Day? This film comes out on my birthday. I will not be seeing it for my birthday.

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Sometime last year an action masterpiece hit theaters-it was called John Wick. It’s the coolest film and lots of people enjoyed it, including Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, better known as Key and Peele. The basic plot is that an ex-hit man who recently lost his wife but gains a dog then loses his dog after an attack by criminals. He then vows to destroy the criminal element that caused him such emotional and physical pain. In Keanu, Peele is a recently dumped man who gains a cat but then that cat is stolen by local criminals, so he and his friend, played by Key, team up and pretend to be hardened gangsters to try and get the cat back. This leads them down a hilarious path that they are not cut out for. The trailers for this are amazing and this is what I will be seeing on my birthday.

What are you looking forward to seeing?

 

 

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