Film Latest - - by Amaliah Marmon-Halm

FILM ROUNDUP: April 2016 film releases

FILM ROUNDUP: April 2016 film releases

Spring has finally sprung, the Easter chocolate has been devoured, and the weather is just as confusing. Luckily, we have a great selection of films to keep our minds of the sun, wind and rain!

From intriguing horrors, touching dramas, first-person action, the odd thriller, and our regular instalment of superhero goodness, there is enough to keep everyone happy this month. And to help you out with this crucial decision-making process, we have our collection of April’s finest film releases.

 

April 1st

Anguish – Arrow Films (15)

The first horror – and film – of the month. A new girl in a quiet town, Tess (Ryan Simpkins) tries to manage her psychosis while adjusting to her new life with her mom (Annika Marks). After stumbling upon the shrine of Lucy (Amberley Gridley), a hit and run victim, Tess finds herself overwhelmed by hallucinations of the dead girl and starts to question her sanity again.

When the spirit possesses Tess’s mind and soul, mother and daughter are at a loss for where to turn next for salvation: religion or medicine? Both institutions have failed them to date but faith leads them to the house of Sarah (Karina Logue), Lucy’s mother, who has been despondent since the accident.

All together with time working against them, Sarah is desperate to believe that Lucy is still alive in Tess but neither parent wants to give up on their daughter. Now that she understands what is happening to her, ultimately Tess must decide whether she wants to keep fighting or succumb to her affliction.

 

Black Mountain Poets – Metrodome (15)

Two professional con artist sisters Lisa and Claire go on the run after being caught trying to steal a JCB. They decide to lie low by assuming the identities of the owners of their escape vehicle and become The Wilding Sisters, guest stars of the Poet’s Poetry Society retreat in the depths of the Black Mountains.

Thinking this will be an easy task, they don’t count on the presence of handsome poet Richard and his jealous girlfriend Louise. Competing for a large cash prize, the two sisters are forced to confront not only their relationship but also their place in the world. Can they survive the competition and learn to appreciate the powerful beauty of the Black Mountains?

 

Eddie The Eagle – Lionsgate (PG)

Cut from the Olympic ski team, British athlete Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton) travels to Germany to test his skills at ski jumping. Fate leads him to Bronson Peary (Hugh Jackman), a former ski jumper who now works as a snow-plow driver. Impressed by Edwards’ spirit and determination, Peary agrees to train the young underdog.

Despite an entire nation counting him out, Eddie’s never-say-die attitude takes him all the way to a historic and improbable showing at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta.

 

Victoria – Curzon Artificial Eye (15)

Victoria, a young woman from Madrid, meets four local guys outside a nightclub. Sonne and his friends are real Berliners who promise to show her a good time and the real side of the city. But these boys have got themselves into hot water: they owe someone a dangerous favur that needs repaying that evening.

As Victoria’s flirtation with Sonne begins developing into something more, he convinces her to come along for the ride. As the night rolls on, what started out as a good time, quickly spirals out of control. As dawn approaches, Victoria and Sonne realize it’s all or nothing and they abandon themselves to a heart-stopping journey into the depths of the night.

And all in one take!
 

April 8th

Boulevard – Kaleidoscope Entertainment (15)

While Nolan Mack (Academy Award-winner Robin Williams) and his wife Joy (Kathy Baker) wake up under the same roof each morning, separate bedrooms underscore the disparate worlds they are living in. Nolan’s steady disconnection carries on in his job at the bank, where even a promotion cannot seem to lift the emptiness that permeates his life.

It is only when a drive down a desolate city street throws a troubled young man named Leo into his path that Nolan’s life is transformed. As lost time slowly awakens Nolan’s secret life, he realizes that truth is an opportunity for change and only by confronting his reality will he allow happiness an opportunity to bloom.

 

Couple In A Hole – Verve Pictures (12A)

It’s a mystery why exactly John (Paul Higgins) and Karen (Kate Dickie) have renounced civilization in order to live like feral creatures in a dirt cave in the woods. John hunts rabbits with his bare hands, and when such riches are unavailable, the pair sustain themselves on insects.

But when a poisonous spider bites Karen, John breaks their self-imposed isolation to get help. This leads him to befriend local farmer Andre (Jérôme Kircher), who becomes suspiciously over-invested in the pair’s wellbeing. As the couple’s backstory unfolds, an impending sense of doom casts a pall over their small world. The seeming serenity of the forest is revealed to be as fragile and unstable as the characters, who, it becomes apparent, are on the brink of rupturing with violent emotion.

 

Hardcore Henry – Entertainment Film (18)

Shot in first-person, a man wakes up in a Moscow laboratory to learn that he’s been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. With no memory of his former life, a woman who claims to be his wife tells him that his name is Henry. Before she can activate his voice, armed thugs storm in and kidnap her.

As Henry starts to understand his new abilities, he embarks on a bloody rampage through the city to save his spouse from a psychopath (Danila Kozlovsky) who plans to destroy the world.

 

The Huntsman: Winter’s War – Universal (12A)

Expanding on the world that was introduced by Snow White and The Huntsman. Long before the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was thought vanquished by Snow White’s blade, she watched silently as her sister, Freya (Emily Blunt), suffered a heart-breaking betrayal and fled their kingdom. With Freya’s ability to freeze any enemy, the young ice queen has spent decades in a remote wintry palace raising a legion of deadly huntsmen—including Eric (Chris Hemsworth) and warrior Sara (Jessica Chastain)— only to find that her prized two defied her one demand: Forever harden your hearts to love.

When Freya learns of her sister’s demise, she summons her remaining soldiers to bring the Magic Mirror home to the only sorceress left who can harness its power. But once she discovers Ravenna can be resurrected from its golden depths, the wicked sisters threaten this enchanted land with twice the darkest force it’s ever seen. Now, their amassing army shall prove undefeatable… unless the banished huntsmen who broke their queen’s cardinal rule can fight their way back to one another.

 

The Man Who Knew Infinity – Warner Brothers Pictures (12A)

Colonial India, 1913.  Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel) is a 25-year-old shipping clerk and self-taught genius, who failed out of college due to his near-obsessive, solitary study of mathematics.

Determined to pursue his passion despite rejection and derision from his peers, Ramanujan writes a letter to G. H. Hardy (Jeremy Irons), an eminent British mathematics professor at Trinity College, Cambridge.  Hardy recognizes the originality and brilliance of Ramanujan’s raw talent and despite the skepticism of his colleagues, undertakes bringing him to Cambridge so that his theories can be explored.

 

Midnight Special – Entertainment One (12A)

A provocative, genre-defying film as supernatural as it is intimately human, it follows a father, Roy (Michael Shannon), who goes on the run to protect his young son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), a boy with mysterious powers that even Roy himself cannot comprehend.

What starts as a race from religious extremists and local law enforcement quickly escalates to a nationwide manhunt involving the highest levels of the Federal Government. Risking everything, Roy is committed to helping Alton reach his ultimate purpose, whatever that might be and whatever it costs, in a story that takes audiences on a perilous journey from Texas to the Florida coast, while exploring the bonds of love and trust, and the nature of faith.

 

10th April

1915 – Film Volt Ltd (15)

In cinemas for one night only. Exactly a century after the Armenian Genocide committed in Ottoman Turkey, a mysterious director (Simon Abkarian) is staging a play at the Los Angeles Theatre to honor the victims of that tragedy.

Because of the controversial theme of the performance, protesters surround the theater and series of strange accidents spread panic among his producer (Jim Piddock) and actors (Angela Sarafyan, Sam Page, Nikolai Kinski), it appears that the director’s mission is profoundly dangerous, and the ghosts of the past are everywhere.

 

April 15th

The Brand New Testament – Metrodome (15)

When Ea gets fed up with her overbearing father (who happens to be God), she decides to follow in her older brother’s footsteps by leaving the house, gathering her own apostles, and writing her own testament.

 

Criminal – Lionsgate (15)

The story of the right man in the wrong body. In a last-ditch effort to stop a diabolical plot, the memories, secrets and skills of a dead CIA operative (Ryan Reynolds) are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous death-row inmate (Kevin Costner) in hopes the he will complete the operative’s mission.

 

Despite The Falling Snow – Altitude (12A)

In 1950s Moscow, Communist Katya secretly spies for the Americans in the Cold War arms race. When she lands her biggest assignment, stealing secrets from rising government star Alexander, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with him.

Reconciling her passion for him with her beliefs about Communism means making the greatest sacrifice – of her life – a sacrifice that Alexander only uncovers thirty years later.

 

Eye In The Sky – Entertainment One (15)

Eye In The Sky stars Helen Mirren as Colonel Katherine Powell, a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya.

Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Powell discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone, triggering an international dispute reaching the highest levels of US and British government over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.

The film also stars Alan Rickman in what is now his last on-screen role.

 

The Jungle Book – Walt Disney Studios (PG)

What looks like a surprisingly good, yet CGI-clad remake of another Disney classic.

Raised by a family of wolves since birth, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) must leave the only home he’s ever known when the fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) unleashes his mighty roar. Guided by a stern panther (Ben Kingsley) and a free-spirited bear (Bill Murray), the young boy meets an array of jungle animals, including a slithery python (Scarlett Johansson) and a smooth-talking ape. Along the way, Mowgli learns valuable life lessons as his epic journey of self-discovery leads to fun and adventure.

 

Our Little Sister – Curzon Artificial Eye (PG)

Based on the award-winning manga series Umimachi Diary, Our Little Sister is the new film by acclaimed director Kore-eda Hirokazu (Like Father, Like Son and I Wish). Nominated for the Palme d’Or, this exquisite family drama, set across the varied colors of the four seasons, is one of the most graceful, tender and moving films of the year.

Sachi, Yoshino and Chika are three sisters living happily together in a relaxed, tight-knit seaside town south of Tokyo. When their long-estranged father passes away they travel to the countryside to attend his funeral, where they meet their shy teenage half-sister, Suzu.

Bonding quickly, they invite the orphaned Suzu to live with them and she eagerly agrees, sparking a journey of self-discovery for all four sisters, looking back into painful pasts but also reaching forward to hopeful futures.

 

April 22nd

Bastille Day – Studiocanal (15)

Michael Mason (Richard Madden) is an American pickpocket living in Paris who finds himself hunted by the CIA when he steals a bag that contains more than just a wallet. Sean Briar (Idris Elba), the field agent on the case, soon realizes that Michael is just a pawn in a much bigger game and is also his best asset to uncover a large-scale conspiracy.

Going against commands, Briar recruits Michael to use his expert pick-pocketing skills to help quickly track down the source of the corruption. As a 24 hour thrill ride ensues, the unlikely duo discover they are both targets and must rely upon each other in order to take down a common enemy.

 

Desert Dancer – Metrodome (15)

In the volatile political and social climate of 2009 Tehran, Afshin Ghaffarian (Reece Ritchie) and a group of dancers start a secret dance company in the Iranian desert, far from the prying eyes of the government police.

Along with a woman named Elaheh (Freida Pinto) who helps them refine their skills, Afshin and his company use what little Internet they can access to learn moves from banned videos starring legends like Michael Jackson, Gene Kelly and Rudolf Nureyev.

 

Friend Request – Warner Brothers Pictures (15)

This is undoubtedly a film for the social media generation. When a college student unfriends a mysterious girl on-line, she finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends.

 

Jane Got A Gun – Lionsgate (15)

Panic strikes Jane Hammond (Natalie Portman) when her outlaw husband John returns to their farm with bullet wounds. Expecting the worst, she brings her young daughter to safety and travels to the home of Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), a boozing ex-lover who may be her only hope.

With Dan now on her side, Jane prepares for a showdown with the vengeful John Bishop and his gang of thugs. Looking to settle an old score, Bishop must now contend with the gun-toting Jane and her new partner.

 

Louder Than Bombs – Soda Pictures (15)

On the eve of an exhibition honoring noted war photographer Isabelle Reed (Isabelle Huppert), whose career was cut short in the wake of her untimely death, a father and two sons grapple with her domestic and professional legacy. Flashbacks of Isabelle’s conflated role of wife, mother and photojournalist intermingle with the present-day attempts of the Reeds to manage their grief amid combat of a different kind.

Family patriarch Gene (Gabriel Byrne) discovers secrets about his late spouse while pursuing a new romance and struggling to connect with teenage son Conrad (Devin Druid), who hides in video games and introspection. Adult son Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) takes leave from academic and married life to organize his mother’s archive, only to slip into reckless behavior.

Past and present coalesce in sharp focus as the surviving Reeds come to terms with love and loss – locating in memories both painful and joyous the skills they need to soldier on

 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot – Paramount (15)

When reporter Kim Barker’s (Tina Fey) life needs something more, she decides to “shake it all up” by taking an assignment in a war zone. There, in the midst of chaos, she finds the strength she never knew she had. Sometimes it takes saying ‘WTF’ to find the life you were always destined to have.

 

April 29th

Captain America: Civil War – Walt Disney Studios (12A)

Continuing with the “a superhero film a month” theme, Civil War is the next one to get the geeks excited.

Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.

 

Demolition – 20th Century Fox (15)

A sympathetic woman (Naomi Watts) and her rebellious son (Judah Lewis) form a strong bond with an investment banker (Jake Gyllenhaal) whose life begins to unravel following the death of his wife (Heather Lind).

 

God’s Not Dead 2 – Kaleidoscope Entertainment (PG)

From the college classroom of God’s Not Dead to the public square in God’s Not Dead 2, the name of Jesus is welcomed less and less with each passing day. If Christians don’t take a stand today, will we even have a choice tomorrow?

Welcome back to Hope Springs… home not only of Hadleigh University, but also Martin Luther King Jr. High School, where beloved teacher Grace Wesley helps students understand and enjoy history. Her love of teaching, her love for her students, and her love of life all come from the same place: her love of Christ.

So when Brooke, a hurting student grieving the loss of her brother, reaches out to Grace, their coffee-shop conversation naturally leads to Grace sharing the hope she finds in Christ.

When Brooke later asks an honest question about Jesus in the classroom, Grace’s reasoned response lands her in big trouble—almost before she even finishes giving her answer.

 

Ratchet and Clank – Vertigo/Lionsgate (PG)

Ratchet is the last of his kind, a foolhardy lombax who grew up without a family. Clank is a pint-sized robot with more brains than brawn.

After stumbling upon a weapon that can destroy entire planets, they join forces with a team of do-gooders known as the Galactic Rangers. Together, they must stop the evil alien Chairman Drek from utilizing this dangerous technology. Along the way, Ratchet and Clank learn valuable lessons about heroism, friendship and discovering one’s own identity.

 

Son of Saul – Curzon Artificial Eye (15)

Winner of the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and Golden Globe, Son of Saul is Hungarian director László Nemes’ blistering debut feature, a courageous and unflinching reimagining of the Holocaust drama.

Saul Ausländer is a member of the Sonderkommando, the Jewish prisoners forced to assist in the machinery of the Nazi concentration camps. While at work, he discovers the body of a boy he recognises as his son. As the Sonderkommando plan a rebellion, Saul vows to carry out an impossible task: to save the child’s body from the flames and to find a rabbi to recite the mourner’s Kaddish and offer the boy a proper burial.

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