13 Films to Watch in April 2012

We tell you all the movies you absolutely have to see - or avoid at all costs - in the month ahead.

William Bibbianiby William Bibbiani

 

It's an an unusually weak April this year, with all the Summer blockbusters either nestled safely in the bosom of May or migrating to March, for some reason. The upcoming month is a time for broad comedies, re-releases, high concept horror films and chick flicks, but are they going to be any good? Join us here at CraveOnline as we run down all the biggest and most noteable releases in April 2012 and tell you what's worth seeing in theaters, and what looks like total crap.

 

Titanic (PG-13)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Gloria Stuart, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Directed by: James Cameron

Opening: April 4

James Cameron’s Oscar-sweeping epic gets retrofitted in 3D for the 100th anniversary of the original disaster. Classy.

CraveOnline’s Call: Titanic got a bit of a bum rap from jaded James Cameron fans who resented the film’s enormous popularity amongst hopeless romantics who probably wouldn’t be caught dead at a screening of Aliens, but it’s not as bad as you remember. Except for the dialogue, that still sucks. The word’s still out on how the 3D looks, but as long as it’s not eye-gouging there are worse movies to be dragged to by your little sister or girlfriend.

 

American Reunion (R)

Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Tara Reid, Eugene Levy and pretty much everyone else from the original franchise

Directed by: Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg

Opening: April 6

The cast of the original American Pie movies reunite for their high school reunion. Hilarious antics ensue.

CraveOnline’s Call: American Reunion seems to be cashing in on nostalgia alone, as depressing as that is. (This series is over ten years old already? Yikes…) Presumably the grosser jokes can’t be seen in the generic theatrical trailer, but in the years that followed the original film, this particular brand of potty humor got played out very quickly. Unless you had some kind of deep emotional connection to the American Pie series, it looks like you can safely steer clear.

 

Comic Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope (Unrated)

Directed by: Morgan Spurlock

Opening: April 6

Supersize Me director Morgan Spurlock stays behind the camera for a change to tell the story of a group of fanboys and fangirls who each come to San Diego Comic Con to realize their individual dreams.

CraveOnline’s Call: We couldn’t be happier that Spurlock has set aside his gross self-promotion for Comic Con, but can he pull together an old-fashioned documentary without a commercial hook? Our sources say yes. Comic Con looks to capture the greatness of an event that has turned so commercial in recent years that the magic seems almost gone.

 

Damsels in Distress (PG-13)

Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody

Directed by: Whit Stillman

Opening: April 6

Whit Stillman’s first film in over a decade focuses on a group of college girls working to revolutionize their male-oriented campus.

CraveOnline’s Call: Whit Stillman’s made another movie? We’re. So. In. After the one-two-three punch of Metropolitan, Barcelona and The Last Days of Disco we thought Stillman would turn into the Woody Allen of his generation, but alas, he just hasn’t been that prolific. But the charming trailer for Damsels in Distress assures us that he’s still got the knack, and that he’s found a stellar leading lady in up-and-coming superstar Greta Gerwig (House of the Devil).

 

The Cabin in the Woods (R)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Kristen Connolly, Fran Kranz, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams, Amy Acker

Directed by: Drew Goddard

Opening: April 13

We’re sworn to secrecy, but we can tell you that The Cabin in the Woods turns the old horror set-up on its head with hilarious and surprising results.

CraveOnline’s Call: Joss Whedon co-scripted this horror-comedy satire with director Drew Goddard, and if you have any idea who those people are you’re already planning to go on opening night. Our only concern is that the film might be too high concept to reach mainstream audiences, but that’s the stuff cult films are made of. See it. You’ll like it.

 


 

Lockout (PG-13)

Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare

Directed by: James Mather & Stephen St. Leger

Opening: April 13

A disgraced CIA agent (Guy Pearce) is offered a chance to clear his name by rescuing the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from an orbiting space prison taken over by the homicidal inmates.

CraveOnline’s Call: Okay, okay, it sounds like Escape from New York in Space, but ask yourself… doesn’t Escape from New York in Space sound awesome? Besides, Lockout is produced by Luc Besson, the man responsible for Taken, The Transporter, and District B13, so the odds of it sucking – completely, at any rate – are pretty slim. We’re hoping for good, old-fashioned, macho fun.

 

The Three Stooges (PG)

Starring: Sean Hayes, Chris Diamantopoulos, Will Sasso, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Hudson, Larry David, Sofia Vergara, The Situation

Directed by: The Farrelly Brothers

Opening: April 13

The Three Stooges have to save their childhood orphanage, foil a murder plot and star in a reality TV series. Hilarity ensues.

CraveOnline’s Call: We’re pretty sure we’d rather die than sit through this, if the atrocious trailer is any indication of what we’re in for. Yes, we’d all like to see The Farrelly Brothers return to the heyday of There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin, but this doesn’t look the film to do it. Nyuck-nyuck-yuck.

 

Darling Companion (PG)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Ayelet Zurer, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Elizabeth Moss

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

Opening: April 20

Diane Keaton has a deeper connection with her dog than with her husband, Kevin Kline. When he loses the dog on a family vacation, everyone learns a valuable lesson.

CraveOnline’s Call: On one hand, we’d like to get excited about the first film from director Lawrence Kasdan since 2003’s awful Dreamcatcher, but Darling Companion looks so damned slight we keep forgetting that it’s even coming out. It looks like something your parents would drag you to that you end up liking more than you thought.

 

The Moth Diaries (R)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Scott Speedman, Lily Cole

Directed by: Mary Harron

Opening: April 20

The director of American Psycho returns for a horror story set at an all-girls academy, where Rebecca (Sarah Bolger) is convinced that her roommate’s best friend (Lily Cole) is a vampire. Not to be confused with Mark Pellington’s The Mothman Prophecies.

CraveOnline’s Call: It only sounds like Twilight. The trailer for Mary Harron’s latest promises spooky chills in the classic, gothic horror tradition. And while that’s quite a lot to ask for, we think it just might deliver.

 


 

The Five-Year Engagement (R)

Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt

Directed by: Nicholas Stoller

Opening: April 27

Jason Segel and Emily Blunt can’t wait to get married, but they’ll have to when fate steps in and postpones their nuptials for years. Hilarity ensues.

CraveOnline’s Call: From the makers of Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a pretty encouraging phrase, and the trailer promises more of the same heartfelt wackiness, although apparently a lot less of the sex. Okay, so maybe it won’t be quite as good as their first feature, but everyone loves Segel and Blunt has been due for a breakout leading role for years now. Can we RSVP now?

 

The Pirates! Band of Misfits (PG)

Starring: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, David Tennant, Jeremy Piven, Brendan Gleeson, Imelda Staunton, Brian Blessed

Directed by: Peter Lord & Jeff Newitt

Opening: April 27

Aardman Animation finally returns to stop-motion with the story of a pirate (Hugh Grant) who dreams of winning the Pirate of the Year award.

CraveOnline’s Call: The “Must See” film of the weekend has to be The Pirates, which looks like it could potentially be the funniest film of the year. It certainly it looks like another winner from the folks who brought you Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, and with a track record like that, consider us sold.

 

The Raven (R)

Starring: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson

Directed by: James McTeigue

Opening: April 27

A detective (Luke Evans) enlists the aid of Edgar Allen Poe (John Cusack) after a serial killer begins copycatting his famous horror stories.

CraveOnline’s Call: This sure sounds like a neat idea, but everything we’ve seen so far makes The Raven seem like a standard Se7en knockoff with a famous protagonist as a gimmick. If James McTeigue ends up having something to actually say, The Raven might rise above the pack (flock?), but for now it looks like little more than a genre curiosity.

 

Safe (R)

Starring: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon, James Hong

Directed by: Boaz Yakin

Opening: April 27

Jason Statham must protect a little girl with valuable information from the Triads, the mafia and the police. We presume he beats most of them up.

CraveOnline’s Call: Look, we love Jason Statham. Love him. But this doesn’t look like one of his best efforts. The trailer doesn’t boast a single intriguing action sequence and the plot sounds like it came from a cliché factory. We could be wrong, but we’re pretty sure it’s safe to skip Safe.

 

Disclaimer: Release dates, ratings and our opinions are subject to change.