Film Friday (4/24): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: April 24, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

. Ex Machina R SCI-FI/THRILLER Trailer(s)
Expands nationwide. The directorial debut for screenwriter (and frequent Danny Boyle collaborator) Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine) is an idea-heavy sci-fi thriller about artificial intelligence. Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and a much-praised Alicia Vikander—whose performance is the highlight of the film for many critics—star.
Nationwide releases
. The Age of Adaline PG-13 DRAMA Trailer(s)
[PICTURED] Director Lee Toland Krieger’s follow-up to Celeste and Jesse Forever is this somewhat "preposterous" but "earnest" romance starring Blake Lively as a woman who is born in 1908 but doesn’t age past 27 because of a magical car accident. Michiel Huisman, Ellen Burstyn, Harrison Ford, and Kathy Baker co-star.
. Little Boy PG-13 DRAMA Trailer(s)
Receiving mostly crummy reviews so far is this overly sentimental faith-based WWII tale from Mexican director Alejandro Gómez Monteverde about a 7-year-old boy who attempts to bring his father home from the frontlines through sheer will.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck NR DOCUMENTARY/MUSIC Trailer(s)
The first authorized film biography of the Nirvana frontman comes from director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture). The documentary gets a limited theatrical screening this week before debuting on HBO on Monday, May 4th.
. Adult Beginners R COMEDY/DRAMA — Also on VOD Trailer(s) iTunes
Produced by the Duplass brothers, this debut from director Ross Katz stars Nick Kroll as an entrepreneur who crashes and burns on the eve of his company’s big launch. With his entire life in disarray, he leaves the big city and moves in with his pregnant sister (Rose Byrne), brother-in-law (Bobby Cannavale), and three-year-old nephew in the suburbs—only to become their manny. Joel McHale, Bobby Moynihan, Jason Mantzoukas, Mike Birbiglia, Jane Krakowski, and Josh Charles also star.
. The Water Diviner R DRAMA Trailer(s)
Russell Crowe’s feature directorial debut earned shared best picture honors (with The Babadook) at Australia's equivalent of the Oscars. Too bad American critics aren't so fond of it. The war melodrama follows an Australian farmer (Crowe) as he travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli in hopes of finding his three missing sons.
. The Forger R THRILLER — Also on VOD Trailer(s)
John Travolta's latest dud finds the former star playing the world's best art forger. After making a deal to get out of prison, he quickly learns he has to repay his debt by forging and then stealing a painting by Monet. Christopher Plummer, Tye Sheridan, Abigail Spencer, Anson Mount, and Jennifer Ehle also star.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. 24 Days NR DRAMA/THRILLER iTunes
. After the Ball NR COMEDY Amazon iTunes
. Anita B. NR DRAMA  
. Bass Clef Bliss NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Because I Was a Painter NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Blackbird NR DRAMA  
. Brotherly Love R DRAMA  
. Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll NR DOCUMENTARY
. Emptying the Skies NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Gardeners of Eden NR DOCUMENTARY  
. The Great Museum NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Helicopter Mom NR COMEDY iTunes
. Just Before I Go R DRAMA/COMEDY iTunes
. Kung Fu Killer NR FOREIGN/ACTION/THRILLER  
. Laugh Killer Laugh NR DRAMA  
. Lou! NR FOREIGN/DRAMA/COMEDY  
. Misery Loves Comedy NR DOCUMENTARY Amazon iTunes
. Planetary NR DOCUMENTARY  
. Revolution PG DOCUMENTARY  
. Road to Juarez NR ACTION/THRILLER  
. Rock the Kasbah NR COMEDY  
. See You in Valhalla R DRAMA/COMEDY  
. WARx2 PG-13 DOCUMENTARY  

All movies now in theaters... | Recent DVD/Blu-ray releases... | Recent streaming releases...

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Affleck?

Superman (Henry Cavill) claims that next year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is not a sequel to Man of Steel, but a “separate entity altogether” and an “introduction of Justice League.” So what do director Zack Snyder and writers David S. Goyer and Chris Terrio have planned for audiences on March 25, 2016? Jesse Eisenberg will play Superman’s longtime nemesis Lex Luthor, but there’s no hint of what he’s up to in this first trailer. Ben Affleck will be introduced as Batman, and he’s obviously upset with Superman about something. We can also expect the return of Amy Adams as Lois Lane, Diane Lane as Martha Kent, and Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, along with the first appearance of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman and rumored cameos by Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Revisit Tomorrowland today

Brad Bird’s first feature since 2011’s Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol tells the story of a former boy genius played by George Clooney, a curious teenager played by Britt Robertson, and a futuristic place called Tomorrowland. Why is there a robotic security force destroying George Clooney’s house in this latest trailer? Ask screenwriter Damon Lindelof (Lost), or wait until Tomorrowland, also starring Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer and Kathryn Hahn, comes to theaters on May 22nd.

Jurassic World in trouble

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar is a fully functioning dinosaur theme park. Unfortunately, corporate greed has resulted in humans playing god once again and creating a dinosaur hybrid called Indominus Rex. This does not bode well for park employees (Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, Irrfan Khan and Vincent D’Onofrio) or paying customers. Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) directs a cast that also includes Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, and Judy Greer. Jurassic World opens for business on June 12th.

A more fantastic Four?

Chronicle director Josh Trank’s decision to go with a younger cast than Tim Story’s Fantastic Four and Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer looks to be a good decision in this latest trailer for the August 7th reboot of the Fantastic Four franchise. Miles Teller plays Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic; Kate Mara is Sue Storm/the Invisible Woman; Michael B. Jordan is Johnny Storm/the Human Torch; and Jamie Bell is Ben Grimm/The Thing. Together they face off against Victor Domashev aka Doctor Doom, played by Toby Kebbell (Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes).

Johnny Depp gets a chance to shine in Black Mass

Johnny Depp might be back in awards contention if this first look at him playing Whitey Bulger is any indication of what audiences can expect when they see the September 18th release Black Mass. Directed by Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace), the film follows Bulger’s story as he is recruited by FBI Agent John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) in the 1970s to help take down the Italian mob, and then becomes one of the most powerful gangsters in Boston history, eventually going on the run and evading law enforcement for years. The film’s strong supporting cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, Corey Stoll, Jesse Plemons, Peter Sarsgaard, and Kevin Bacon.

The Overnight

Writer-director Patrick Brice’s comedy explores what happens when a recently relocated Seattle couple (Adam Scott and Taylor Schilling) meet their first Los Angeles couple (Jason Schwartzman and Judith Godrèche) and agree to a playdate with their kids. As the night continues and the kids are put to bed, much more is revealed. The Overnight earned good reviews when it premiered at Sundance this year. Find it in select theaters beginning June 19th.

The Visit from hell

M. Night Shyamalan’s recent output (After Earth, The Last Airbender, The Happening) makes it difficult to remember that he was once regarded as an auteur on the rise after the release of The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. His latest feature, which looks to be at least partially a "found footage" film, stars Kathryn Hahn as a single mother who drops off her kids (Ed Oxenbould and Olivia DeJonge) at her grandparents’ (Peter McRobbie and Deanna Dunagan) house. Unfortunately for the kids, there’s something wrong with Nana and Pop Pop. The Visit opens on September 11th a few months after the premiere of Shyamalan's first TV series, Fox's Wayward Pines.

Area 51

Shot six years ago, Oren Peli’s Area 51 will get a one-weekend limited engagement from May 15-17 at sixteen Alamo Drafthouse cinemas along with a same-day release on VOD and other digital platforms. Peli’s follow-up to his surprise hit Paranormal Activity tells the story of three conspiracy theorists who break into Area 51 and uncover long hidden secrets.

Short takes

Based on the World War I memoir by pacifist Vera Brittain (played here by Alicia Vikander), Testament of Youth has already earned good reviews from its UK release. Find it in select theaters beginning June 5th.

Gemma Bovery stars Gemma Arterton in her second adaptation of a Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel (following Tamara Drewe). See it in select theaters beginning May 29th.

The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? tells the story of Tim Burton’s failed 1998 Superman film starring Nicolas Cage. Look for it in select theaters beginning May 1st.

News and notes

  • Veteran Time film critic Richard Corliss died this week at the age of 71. - Time
  • The eighth film in the Fast and Furious franchise will hit theaters on April 14, 2017.
  • Ang Lee’s adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, starring Joe Alwyn, Steve Martin, Kristen Stewart, and Garrett Hedlund, will be released on November 11, 2016.
  • TheWrap revealed the names of five actors being considered for the next reincarnation of Spider-Man: Nat Wolff (Paper Towns), Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Tom Holland (The Impossible), Timothee Chalamet (Interstellar), and Liam James (The Way, Way Back).
  • Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) will direct Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in Battle of the Sexes. - Deadline
  • Stanley Tucci will play Cadenza, a grand piano described as a “neurotic maestro,” in Bill Condon’s live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. - Variety
  • EL James’ husband, Niall Leonard, will write the screenplay for Fifty Shades Darker, coming to theaters February 10, 2017. - THR
  • Tyler Perry will play Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. - Variety
  • Common has joined Jared Leto, Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Cara Delevingne, Viola Davis, Adam Beach, Ike Barinholtz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Scott Eastwood in director David Ayer’s Suicide Squad adaption. - Heat Vision
  • Michael Winterbottom is in talks to direct Will Ferrell as Russ Meyer in Russ & Roger Go Beyond, the story of Meyer’s relationship with Roger Ebert and their collaboration on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. - Variety
  • Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie, 21 and 22 Jump Street) will develop an animated Spider-Man movie that is due in theaters on July 20, 2018.
  • Domhnall Gleeson is in talks to join Tom Cruise and Sarah Wright in Doug Liman’s Mena, coming to theaters on January 6, 2017. - Variety
  • Sam Claflin and Riz Ahmed are being considered for roles in the Star Wars film Rogue One. Felicity Jones has already been confirmed. - TheWrap

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