Movies Not to Miss: April 2016
Writer: Casey Lee
Which of these are you going to watch?
While the train of major releases continues to chug on in April, there is a considerable space to take a breather if you are not looking for blockbusters to explode left right and center.
Ki and Ka
April stands for Asian in our list of recommendations, besides the couple of Hollywood must-sees that will be coming out this month.
So if you are having "Batman V Superman" fatigue (or can't wait for the big Marvel showdown), you can certainly use these releases for April to refresh yourself!
Kia is an ambitious marketing manager who is on track of becoming the CEO of her company, while Kabir is a man with more humble ambitions. Despite knowing what they want to do in life, Kia and Kabir decides to marry, upsetting the traditional gender roles placed on them.
The romantic chemistry in "Ki and Ka" cannot be more sizzling than it already is with Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor, with her wearing the pants while he shows his sharp knife skills in the kitchen. Written back in 2015, we like to see where director R. Balki is taking his challenge to gender roles in Indian society, but even if nothing profound comes out of it, we think we'd still enjoy the music from Balki's favourite composer Ilaiyaraaja.
General Release Date: 1 April
From famous action star to action choreographer, Sammo Hung hasn't stop in delivering the punches or teaching others on how to deliver them, but it has been 17 years since we have seen Sammo sitting in the director's chair after 1997's "Once Upon a Time In China and America". "The Bodyguard" will mark that return to the director's chair, but directing duties won't stop him from starring in his own movie as a retired soldier with memory loss, who is entrenched in a war between Russian and Chinese gangs. Already promising to have some hard-hitting fight scenes, "The Bodyguard" will also have the benefit of a dazzling cameo cast, starting with producer Andy Lau, Feng Shaofeng, Eddie Peng and action director Tsui Hark.
The Jungle Book
General Release Date: 7 April
Raised by wolves, Mowgli is on the run from the only home that he has ever known when the tiger Shere Khan forbids humans to live in the jungle. Guided by Bagheera the panther and the trusty Baloo the bear, Mowgli will learn that not everyone can be trusted in the wild jungle, in whatever shape or form they may come.
Eye in the Sky
It may have been a mistake to remake this Rudyard Kipling and Disney classic any time before 2016, but in between the nearly 40 years since cinematic technology has advanced, now is almost a better time than ever to make a live-action version of this tale that features life-like walking and talking animals. From "Avatar", the rebooted "Planet of the Apes" series, to "Life of Pi", there's certainly a case to be made that motion capture and photo-realistic image rendering has reached the point of enhancing the experience when we see a dancing bear and a slithery python. Already supported by a tremendous voice cast that we won't even get to see in person with Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, and Christopher Walken, director Jon Favreau is bringing more than the bare necessities for a truly cinematic experience.
General Release Date: 7 April
While we don't know what disabled Andrew Niccol's drone drama "Good Kill" from its gripping relevancy, but the subject matter of unmanned drones is one that is timely and needs to be explored further. Perhaps with the much stronger cast in Gavin Hood's "Eye in the Sky", there will be much more weight put on exploring the human and ethical dilemmas of employing such heartless (and sometimes inaccurate) weapons on the battlefield.
The Huntsman: Winter's War
Receiving a much more favourable reviews than "Good Kill" since its premiere at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, "Eye in the Sky" will see Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman, Aaron Paul and "Captain Philips" breakout, Barkhad Abdi (who we like to see in more acting appearances) stand to give solid performances on their own as they never shared the same set during production. This will also be the last seen performance of the late Alan Rickman.
General Release Date: 7 April
Take note that this is not a sequel to "Snow White and The Huntsman" but is actually a prequel story, following the evil Queen Ravenna and her Ice Queen sister, Freya who fled their kingdom after a heartbreak. This almost sounds like Disney's "Frozen" except that in this darker tale we also have Chris Hemsworth playing the Huntsman whom Freya trains along with the warrior Sara, played by Jessica Chastain. Naturally the two fighters fall in love, defying Freya's only rule of hardening their hearts and this leads to all kinds of battles including one with a powerful army.
General Release Date: 14 April
After establishing his name through his own indie projects, it is about time that someone takes director Jeff Nichols seriously and why he is a worthy player in the big genre field. "Midnight Special" is probably the biggest budget that he has been given to work with by Warner Bros, but he still appears to have retained much of the creative freedom and control that he needs to tell his brand of science fiction drama that is compelling and thoughtful. In "Midnight Special", a boy has inexplicable supernatural powers and is chasing to be at a particular place at a particular time when cosmic forces are set to align to fulfill his destiny. Steered by the fruitful combination of Nichol's direction with his main lead Michael Shannon, the cast is lit by an even more startling ensemble with Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton, and Kristen Dunst, but we already know that we are in for an intense and mystifying story by anything that is written by Nichols.
Marvel's Captain America: Civil War
General Release Date: 21 April
After the anticipation and anti-climatic excitement that was "Batman V Superman", there is still one other climatic showdown of superheroes to look forward to. Although strictly a Captain America installment, "Civil War" will see Captain America and Iron Man butt heads (or punching out perfect teeth) over the future of Earth's Mightiest Heroes as superheroes are deemed too dangerous to run amok. So now is the time to decide whether you are #TeamIronMan or #TeamCaptainAmerica, and just wait for those "Dawn of Justice" and "Civil War" memes to fight each other.
Cinema Online, 01 April 2016
General Release Date: 28 April