It doesn’t matter how many times you see Sean Penn as ageing rocker Cheyenne, you still have to do a double take. Yes, that really is him and he’s looking suitably kooky in this brand new UK Quad poster for This Must Be The Place, the latest release from director Paul Sorrentino (Consequences of Love, The Family Friend, Il Divo). The film also features Frances McDormand, Harry Dean Stanton, Eve Hewson and Judd Hirsch.
This Must Be The Place is out to watch in UK cinemas 6 April 2012.
Release Date: 26 April 2012 Directed by: Joss Whedon Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson
It’s what fans of Marvel have been waiting for and what could potentially be one the start of one of the biggest franchises in film history. Having already established audiences for Captain America, Iron Man and Thor, this film brings them all together (plus a few others – the Incredible Hulk, Blackwidow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury) for what is one of the most anticipated blockbusters of the year. After placing teasers at the end of most related Marvel films (a wonderful marketing tool) over the last few years, people have been talking about The Avengers since the first Iron Man film in 2008. As usual, the group of superheroes will battle to save the world, presumably from an evil plot planned by Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s evil brother. But, it wouldn’t really matter what they did, box office glory is pretty much assured. Based on anticipation alone, this is Filmoria’s Film of the Month.
Release Date: 6 April, 2012 Directed by: Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg Starring: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Chris Klein, Eugene Levy, Jennifer Coolidge
It’s hard to believe that this is the fourth film in the American Pie franchise (there were some straight to DVD spin offs as well but they are hardly worth mentioning). The first was released in 1999 and earned over $235 million world wide with the sequels making fairly equal dollar at the box office. However, it has now been 8 years since the original cast was together, and those of us in our late 20’s or early 30’s might be a little nostalgic and looking forward to seeing how the gang has fared and changed, just as we have changed. The film is based on a simple premise of the cast returning to East Great Falls in order to attend their high school reunion. From the trailer, it looks as if it could be full of laughs, and by capitalizing on the recent success of R rated comedies like Bridesmaids and The Hangover, it may end up being the most lucrative of the series.
Release Date: 13 April 2012 Directed by: Drew Goddard Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford
It’s a big month for Joss Whedon. Not only does he direct The Avengers, but he has written the screenplay for this horror/thriller. The Buffy/Firefly scribe has fans follow him wherever he goes as a built in audience, which is why this film makes it as one of ‘The Big Ones’. The trailer starts off like any horror: group of beautiful young people head to remote cabin after being warned not to go there by a creepy guy, start having fun, then start becoming victims. However as is the case with most of what Whedon writes, things aren’t always like they seem. The twist in the trailer makes the film appear original and unique, which should put it on the must-see list for April.
Release Date: 11 April 2012 Directed by: Peter Berg Starring: Liam Neeson, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker
After a myriad of films involving alien invasions in 2011 (Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles) that had mixed results at the box office, and not so great reviews, the makers of Battleship, which seems to follow in this thread, might be a little nervous. On viewing the trailer you might not be sure of this film either, but then there is Liam Neeson, who gives this film some credibility and it looks like it could be a fun, action packed popcorn movie. So long as it doesn’t try to be more than that, it will likely be successful. Based on the board game of the same name, here’s hoping ‘You sunk my battleship’ is uttered at least once!
Release Date: 27 April 2012 Directed By: Nicholas Stoller Starring: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt
The latest from producer Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin, Knocked Up) begins where most romantic comedies end. Segel and Blunt play Tom and Violet, a couple who get engaged and then have major delays when it comes to actually walking down the aisle. Supported by the engagingly funny Chris Pratt (TV’s Parks and Recreation), this film looks to follow in the footsteps of most of Apatow’s work. With a screenplay written by Segel (who must have been VERY busy last year!), we know that we can look forward to more than a few laughs.
Headhunters, a Norwegian thriller, comes complete with an existing audience who are already fans of popular author Jo Nesbo’s work. Based on the novel of the same name, Headhunters follows Roger Brown, a headhunter for Fortune 500 inductees. His life seems complete – nice house, lovely wife, a mistress on the side. But, due to his opulent lifestyle and his spending of money he is forced to moonlight by stealing artwork from his clients. His latest target however causes him to uncover something that could bring it all crashing down around him. After opening in Norway this past August, the film was immediately sold to over 50 countries and played several film festivals this fall. This already successful film will certainly be one to watch.
Release Date: 6 April 2012 Directed By: Paolo Sorrentino Starring: Sean Penn, Frances McDormand, Judd Hirsch
This is a film that made the festival rounds this year, earning it relatively good reviews, though most agree it is a bit of an odd one! Sean Penn plays Cheyenne, a 50 something former rock star living out his days in Dublin and surviving on the royalties he receives. When he gets news of his father’s death he travels back to the States in order to continue his father’s journey to find the Nazi war criminal who had held him in a war camp. It’s a journey of self discovery but he also discovers his father along the way. If you’re looking for something different this spring, it may just be the movie for you!
Jeff Who Lives at Home
Release Date: 20 April 2012 Directed by Jay & Mark Duplass Starring: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Judy Greer, Susan Sarandon
This indie comedy premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this past September earning overall positive reviews. The Duplass brothers are perhaps going a bit more mainstream with this release, after becoming known for even smaller indies which surround family situations, such as the well reviewed John C. Reilly/Marisa Tomei comedy Cyrus. This film follows two brothers Jeff (Jason Segel) and Pat (Ed Helms). Jeff still lives with his mother (Susan Sarandon) with no intention of leaving the nest. Pat meanwhile has a home but a dysfunctional marriage. During the course of one day, they are given the chance to change the way they live.
Light Relief and Laughs
A Thousand Words
Release Date: 6 April, 2012 Directed by: Brian Robbins Starring Eddie Murphy, Cliff Curtis, Kerry Washington
This comedy sees Eddie Murphy playing a literary agent, Jack McCall, who is never short on words. His job and main purpose is to close the deal to get what he wants. But when he meets a new age Guru (Cliff Curtis) who is quickly onto his fast talking ways, he meets his match. A magical Bodhi tree appears in his yard and with every word Jack utters a leaf falls. It’s not long before Jack discovers that once the tree is bare, both him and it are finished. He therefore learns the value of a word, and of silence. The film looks a good deal more promising than some of the others Murphy’s been involved with lately, with an interesting premise. Should be good for a laugh in that early April slot.
Release Date: 27 April 2012 Directed by: Sacha Bennett Starring: Bob Hoskins, Jenny Agutter, Vincent Regan
This UK project is set in the 80s but resonates today, against a turbulent time of privatization, unions and money trouble. Bob Hoskins (Roger Rabbit, Made in Dagenham) plays Percy “Smudge” Smith, part of a group of friends who find themselves getting the short end of a redundancy pay out. What better way to turn your fortunes around than to invest all the savings you have left in a race horse hoping for one big race win? Well perhaps there are better ways, but we’ll get to see how this group fares mid-April.
Playing the Field
Release Date: 20 April 2012 Directed by Gabriele Muccino Starring: Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Gerard Butler seems almost perfectly cast as an ex-professional football player who is trying to improve his relationship with his son by coaching his soccer team. Unfortunately, all the soccer moms in the area prove too much temptation for him! The film’s currently in post-production, so no trailers yet, but based on the impressive cast it may be worth a look come April!
Drama and Romance
La Grande Illusion
Release Date: 6 April 2012 Directed By: Jean Renoir Starring: Jean Gabin, Dita Parlo, Pierre Fresnay, Erich vom Stroheim, Julien Carette
Getting a special digital re-release here, La Grande Illusion is a 1937 French film which follows a group of French officers during World War I who are taken prisoners by the Germans. The movie follows them as they interact with each other, are transferred through numerous POW camps and eventually plot an escape. The film has long since been considered a classic, being the first foreign language film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is your chance to re-visit this classic in all of its cinematic glory.
Release Date: 6 April 2012 Directed By: James Cameron Starring: Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates
Back in 1997 when it was first released, Titanic was the most successful movie of its time. It still holds the record for most weeks at number one at the box office, with 15 weeks in the top spot. It also claimed the best picture Oscar that year, along with 10 other academy award statues. However, if you’ve ever tried to watch Titanic on the small screen, you know that it just loses some of it’s power. So, to commemorate the centennial of the Titanic’s tragic sinking, James Cameron has re-released his ‘baby’ in 3D, putting the film back on the big screen where it was meant to be enjoyed. How the film will translate to 3D form remains to be seen, but Cameron isn’t one to cut corners and its lush sets and powerful story are likely to be just as mesmerizing as they were 15 years ago.
Release Date: 6 April 2012 Directed By: Mabrouk El Mechri Starring: Henry Cavill, Bruce Willis, Sigourney Weaver
This action thriller follows Will (Henry Cavill) as he tries to track down the kidnappers who have taken his family captive while they were in Spain on vacation. As he uncovers his father’s (Willis) web of lies and deceit, it is up to Will to get his family back alive. With Willis attached it’s sure to be an action packed adventure, however all eyes will be on Cavill, who is certainly looking to up his profile before he takes on the role of Superman in 2013.
Release Date: 13 April 2012 Directed By: Walter Hill Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater
Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Bullet To The Head is a cop revenge thriller. The story follows a New Orleans hit man and a NYPD detective as they work together to take down a common enemy after the vicious murders of their respective partners. This is Hill’s first big screen directorial feature since 2002’s Undisputed (an overall poorly reviewed B movie starring Wesley Snipes). Let’s hope his recent work producing Prometheus along side James Cameron has helped him dust off the cobwebs (and then some!).
The Harsh Light of Day
Release Date: 13 April 2012 Directed By: Oliver S. Milburn Starring: Dan Richardson, Giles Alderson, Sophie Linfield
The Harsh Light of Day is a small budget horror by first time feature director Oliver Milburn, who also wrote the script. It’s a movie about vengeance by a man who was paralyzed during a home invasion where his wife is also brutally murdered. In his desperation to take his revenge, he obtains help from a stranger, making an unmistakable sacrifice in return. While it may be low on budget, this film certainly doesn’t appear to be low on gore!!
Lockout/MS One: Maximum Security
Release Date: 20 April 2012 Directed By: James Mather Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace
Having apparently recently dropped it’s title of Lockout for the longer MS One: Maximum Security, this sci-fi thriller comes from co-writer and producer Luc Besson, who is also responsible for the Fifth Element. While this film doesn’t necessarily look up to that calibre, the on screen dynamic between stars Maggie Grace (Lost) and Guy Pearce (The King’s Speech) seems lively and amusing. The film finds Pearce’s character arrested for espionage against the States. He is offered his freedom in exchange for saving the President’s daughter (Grace) who is trapped while visiting a maximum security prison. Not sci-fi you say? I suppose not until you discover that the prison is in outer space. While it might not be an A-list project, it could be some good fun if executed properly.
The House at the End of the Street
Release Date: 20 April 2012 Directed By: Mark Tonderai Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot
A thriller/horror from the director of Hush, The House at the End of the Street stars Jennifer Lawrence and Elisabeth Shue as a mother and daughter recently relocated to a new town. They soon discover that their new neighbourhood is more than they thought and that a vicious double homicide occurred in the house next door. When Lawrence’s character befriends the boy next door who escaped the tragedy, she discovers that the horrors are far from over.
The Island President
Release Date: 6 April 2012 Directed By: Jon Shenk Starring: Mohamed Nasheed
The Island President was this year’s People’s Choice Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Toronto International Film Festival. It tells the story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives as he literally battles to save his country from the rising sea levels induced by global warming and climate change. This film actually follows Nasheed’s first year in office as he battles to change his way the country, and the world, see and treat the environment around them. Topical and current, this documentary and indeed Nasheed himself has become the new voice of environmental awareness.
Release Date: 27 April 2012 Directed By: Alastair Fothergill & Keith Scholey Starring: Samuel L. Jackson
African Cats is Disney’s annual contribution to the celebration of Earth Day, much like the films Oceans and Earth before it. Using spectacular nature footage, and arranged in the tear inducing way at which Disney has become so adept, this film follows a family of lions and cheetahs as they survive in the Savannah. If you’re a fan of the BBC documentary series Planet Earth or Frozen Planet, you’ll appreciate this newest addition to the Disney Earth Day series.
Town of Runners
Release Date: 20 April 2012 Directed By: Jerry Rothwell
Town of Runners is a feature length documentary made by Jerry Rothwell (Heavy Load). This documentary was shot over four years in the town of Bekoji, Ethiopia, a small town that is home to the world’s best long distance runners. Though their town is stricken by poverty, long distance running is a way of life and the records a source of pride. The film follows young athletes as grow both into adults and world class athletes.
With all the blockbuster trailers airing this week you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing else is coming out next year. However let’s not forget that the year begins with the worlds premiere festival of independent movies, Sundance 2012. The festival, now in it’s 33rd year, features films and documentaries for all tastes. Not least of which is Spike Lee’s latest offering, Red Hook Summer. Yesterday it was announced that four new films had been added to the line-up, including the world premiere of the bizarre John Dies At The End. Along with films featuring Sean Penn and Jesse Eisenberg. Here’s a brief synopsis of the new additions:
John Dies At The End
On the street, they call it “soy sauce.” It’s a paranormal, psychoactive drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. Its users drift across time and dimensions, but some who come back are devoid of all humanity. While most of Earth’s inhabitants remain blissfully oblivious to its threat—make no mistake—an otherworldly invasion is under way, and mankind needs to be saved. Enter John and David, a pair of college dropouts who can barely hold down jobs. How can these guys possibly be expected to rescue mankind from certain destruction
Directed by Don Coscarelli
Oslo, August 31st
Anders is in his early thirties, smart, attractive, and finally sober. Yet in his wake are a string of broken relationships, bad financial decisions, and squandered talent. Today, however, is different. Today Anders has earned a day visit out of rehab, and he is going back to the big city—Oslo. He will see his sister and his old friends and have a job interview. But the pressures of the city and his “duty” to enjoy his youth and be loved may be too much for Anders to handle.
Directed by Joachim Trier
Eli Smith, a piano prodigy, is dealing with his troubled mother and enlisting help from a hapless drug dealer on the day he has an audition for a prestigious music programme. Events spiral comically out of control as this gang of misfits faces the mistakes of the past, the challenges of the future, and the possibilities of love.
Directed by Phillip Dorling & Ron Nyswaner
This Must Be The Place
A bored, retired rock star sets out to find his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the US.
Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
It’s certainly an eclectic group to be sure, but then what do you expect from a festival that now boasts 117 films ranging from horror to comedy and everything inbetween. The festival begins on January the 19th and runs for ten days in Park City, Utah. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of these films gaining a wider release through the year. Personally I’m particularly looking forward to Don Coscarelli’s latest project, but with entries from all over the world there really is something for everyone.