Movies Not to Miss: April 2015 | News & Features | Cinema Online

Movies Not to Miss: April 2015

Writer: Casey Lee

Which of these are you going to watch?

Although the seasons have only started to change, summer comes early in Hollywood where they have begun to push out the first phase of its packed release schedule. April is going to start things off with a bang with some of the much anticipated instalments from the biggest franchises and we are seeing that this will be the case for the next few months.

If fast-paced and explosive action is not quite your take, this April is also filled with slower and more dramatic pieces (with a couple potential awards-worthy entries). There is also a selection for the more matured audience, so there's reason to bring along your parents or grandparents to the cinema, while you get your eyeballs blown by the next Marvel movie.

Needless to say, things are starting to heat up in our cinemas, and we can't wait to see these movies in April!

Furious 7

April starts out with one of the most anticipated sequels from probably one of the longest running franchises that are not an adaptation. "Furious 7" takes off from where "Furious 6" ended with Owen Shaw's big bad brother coming to exact revenge for his brother's death. While the trailer hasn't failed to show that this instalment is ready to take things to the next level with more outrageous stunts, it will be seen with a bittersweet taste as this will be the last time we will see Paul Walker. This would also be the first instalment not to be directed by Justin Lin since "Tokyo Drift", but we have utmost confidence that James Wan can do the job just as well. Also joining the franchise family is Jason Statham, Tony Jaa, Kurt Russell and Ronda Rousey, so you can bet that things just got 'badder' for Toretto and family.

General Release Date: 2 April


Neil Bloomkamp started us off with "Chappie" in March, and if you are still ticking for more robotic themed movies then you should see "Automata" next. Antonio Banderas stars as an insurance agent for a robotics company in the future, where he investigates robots that are overriding their protocols to alter themselves; potentially leading to the robots wanting their freedom. In many ways, "Automata" can feel like a thematic sequel to "Chappie", while it gives out the same vibe as "I Robot", and could be seen as the beginning of "The Matrix". Our inner robot fan is rejoicing (while cowering in fear for the day when they would become our robotic overlords) to see this.

General Release Date: 9 April


The Duff

Not many recent high school movies have managed to be groundbreaking since 2005's "Mean Girls", but this feature length debut from Ari Sandel may step up to the challenge. Bianca Piper, played by Mae Whitman, has never noticed that she has been the DUFF, or Designated Ugly Fat Friend, to her popular friends in her school. When Wes, her neighbor and star of the school's football team reveals to her of her role, she decides to change herself to be her own person instead of being someone to make others look prettier. Adapted by Josh Cagan from the novel of the same name by Kody Kepelinger, reviews of "The Duff" has already marked it as being something a little different from your regular high school movies, and maybe change the course of those that follows it.

General Release Date: 9 April


The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Few expected that a movie about a group of elderly white people finding new life in the exotic parts of India would be a sleeper hit when "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" was released in 2011. So it is only natural that this hotel business is expanding with a sequel. Having a mild success as a retirement hotel to its foreign patrons, proprietor Sonny Kapoor takes his business proposal of opening "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" to the tycoons in America, and is expecting an anonymous inspector to come and inspect his business. There is much to love about the original cast that had Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup and Celia Imrie, who will be back for this sequel, while new faces like Richard Gere and David Strathairn would be checking in.

General Release Date: 9 April


The Cobbler

Adam Sandler may have been getting bad rep these days for the endless and tiresome comedies that he has been churning out from his Happy Madison house, so it was a great relief when we saw the trailer for "The Cobbler". Sandler here is Max Simkin, a cobbler who runs his father's shoe store. When he is forced to use his father's sewing machine, he finds that he is able to literally become his customers when he steps into their shoes. While we can imagine how such a premise can be turned into another one of Sandler's tasteless comedy, we are glad that Sandler's involvement is only to be the lead in this mild family drama for writer and director Thomas McCarthy. We are hoping that this could be as good to Sandler as "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was to Ben Stiller.

General Release Date: 9 April


Two Thumbs Up

This month is not shy of having its fair share of crime movies, with "Kidnapping Mr. Heineken" having the highest profile with its cast of Anthony Hopkins, Sam Worthington and Jim Sturgess. But after reading some discouraging reviews of it, we felt a little cautious of making a recommendation. So we decided to take our chances with Ho Leung Lau's "Two Thumbs Up" after watching its off-kilter trailer. Led by Simon Yam, with Francis Ng, Patrick Tam, Mark Cheng and Christie Chen as a gang of robbers posing as cops with a modified van, we hope to find some slapstick comedy, injected with clever jibes or two against the Hong Kong authorities mixed into this gun-toting crime thriller that could make a successful directorial debut for Ho.

General Release Date: 9 April


Danny Collins

As a hit making rocker from the '70s, Danny Collins has been enjoying the high life from his successful music career. However, when his longtime manager reveals to Collins that John Lennon himself had written a letter to him during his early years as a budding musician, Collins begins to wonder what his life would have been had he taken Lennon's advice true to himself. Dan Fogelman, who wrote the much enjoyed "Last Vegas" in 2013 that also deals with old men finding a new lease of life, makes his directorial debut with the one and only Al Pacino as the titular character. Assembling a likable cast from Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Garner, and Annette Bening, we are already liking what we see in the trailer, especially Pacino's chemistry with Bening for this old but gold romantic comedy.

General Release Date: 16 April


Lost and Love

Andy Lau plays Lei Zekuan, a father searching for his son; who was kidnapped when the boy was only two years old. After traveling and searching throughout China over the span of 15 years, Lei stumbles unto a young mechanic who believes himself to have been kidnapped as a child. Based on a true story, Chinese novelist and screenwriter Peng Sanyuan makes her directorial debut with a story that runs on the real premise of child trafficking in China. With powerful performances from Lau and some touching moments with Jing Boran as the lost mechanic, "Lost and Love" is bound to be on the list for the next Golden Horse awards as a viable contender.

General Release Date: 16 April


Child 44

Based on the investigative thriller novel by Rob Smith, Tom Hardy leads in this adaptation as disgraced military police Leo Demidov in Soviet Union Russia when crimes such as murder is considered non-existent. When a child is believed to have been murdered, Demidov is sent to investigate and finds out that a serial child killer could be on the loose. Directed by Daniel Espinosa, whose most noteworthy work to date is 2012's "Safe House", we hope that he would be able to take its formidable cast of Hardy, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman and Gary Oldman to task as we would hate to see them fail in this chilling thriller.

General Release Date: 16 April


Good Kill

Drone warfare has been one of the methods of warfare devised from the 21st century and is a timely topic that needs to be explored after more than a decade of its use. While we absolutely have little doubts that Ethan Hawke would kill his lead role as a drone pilot who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, we are pining that this will be director Andrew Niccol's return to form. After the lukewarm-received "In Time", and the dead-cold adaptation of "The Host", we hope that getting out of the sci-fi setting and dealing in the real world would strike the chord that he once did with "Lord of War".

General Release Date: 16 April


The Avengers: Age of Ultron

It still felt like yesterday when "The Avengers" was the biggest movie event of the year back in 2012. Three sequels and one new team of galactic superheroes later, the world is once again about to see the next assembly of our favourite superheroes against a new threat that is even larger than the first. There is pretty much nothing left to be said about why anyone would be watching "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (the Hulkbuster suit? Marvel's rendition of Quicksilver? The death of Captain America?), and it would be compulsory viewing for those who are vested in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It's time to assemble at your nearest cinema when this comes out (but buy your tickets now before it's too late!).

General Release Date: 23 April


Wild Tales

Damián Szifron's anthology of six shorts may not have taken home the prize at the recent Oscars, but being on the nominees list for the Best Foreign Film category is already reason enough why this needs to be seen; standing ovation from its premiere at Cannes notwithstanding. It has been so long since we last saw a Latin American movie reaching our cinemas, so we will be sure not to miss this one.

General Release Date: 23 April



April may be a terrifying month when GST kicks in (don't shriek at the box office counter when you see the new ticket prices), but April is nothing without the bunch of horror movies. From Vietnam's "Conjuring Spirit", the local "Hantu Bungkus Ikat Tepi" to "Monsters: The Dark Continent", there are plenty of choices to keep you awake at night. Our poison, though, is Levan Gabriadze's "Unfriended" because we want to see how far this new breed of first person, streaming cybernatural horror can go, or maybe we just need a little reason why we should not be stuck onto our Facebook all day (and night).

General Release Date: 30 April


Ode to My Father

When a young Deok-Su promises his father that he would take care of their family during the Korean War in the 1950s, it would set off a lifelong journey through the turbulent times of modern Korean history that would span over 60 years. Since 2009's "Haeundae" ("Tidal Wave"), director Youn JK is once again making waves at the Korean box office with his next epic drama "Ode to My Father", which has become the second highest grossing movie in Korea (and here's to hoping that it would lead to bringing in the highest grossing movie "The Admiral: Roaring Currents"). We would advise bringing in those boxes of tissues or else we would be making teary waves in the cinema halls.

General Release Date: 30 April



2012's "Cold War" may have been one of the biggest police procedurals from Hong Kong in recent years, but directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk are taking things up a notch with their newest collaboration that extends all the way to China, Taiwan and Korea. When a criminal mastermind is assembling a device with weapon-grade uranium in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Counter Terrorism Response Unit are on the case to stop the bomb from ticking off, with experts from the surrounding region being called in. Jacky Cheung, who hasn't been in a major film role since 2010, makes his return here and we are expecting to see some explosive action in this procedural thriller, with maybe a few unexpected cameos as well?

General Release Date: 30 April


Cinema Online, 30 March 2015

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