2007 April movies, April 2007 films

2007 Winter Movie Preview: April

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It's been a long, cold, cruel winter of pushed-back, half-assed films...but the sun is finally shining on a theater near you, because April usually marks the beginning of Good Movie Season. The studios aren't rolling out their tentpole pictures yet -- that's for May, June, and July -- but generally speaking, there's enough of a thaw on the big screen to make you forgive the faceless greenlighters for cinematic offal like "Code Name: The Cleaner." (But not forget. Never forget.) This April seems faintly disappointing -- what's with the Jamie Kennedy? -- but it's still early yet. Keep hope alive!

Are We Done Yet? (Columbia, April 6)
Starring: Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen, Philip Bolden
Director: Steve Carr
Rating: NR

The Pitch: A man (Cube), his girlfriend (Long), and her kids move from the city to the suburbs, where they purchase a "fixer-upper" that turns out to be a nightmare.
The Buzz: 2005's "Are We There Yet?" was a medium-sized hit for Cube, and he's got a natural gift for comedy. Unfortunately, judging from the trailer, there's no comedy here.
Trailer Highlight: None. It's completely awful. Makes your average Tim Allen movie look like "Some Like It Hot."
Bottom Line: "Are We Done Yet?" indeed.
Official Site: http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/arewedoneyet/index.html

Grindhouse (Dimension, April 6)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson, Rose McGowan, Marley Shelton, Jeff Fahey, Josh Brolin, Michael Biehn, Naveen Andrews, Stacy Ferguson
Director: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez
Rating: NR

The Pitch: Tarantino and Rodriguez team up for a separately directed double feature -- Tarantino's "Death Proof" and Rodriguez' "Planet Terror" will allow moviegoers to double their stylized gore, double their fun for the price of a single ticket.
The Buzz: Looks like Tarantino and Rodriguez on amphetamines; in other words, it's absurdly over-the-top, but assembled with visible affection for the old exploitation flicks the directors used for inspiration.
Trailer Highlight: Rose McGowan as the weirdest damn gun moll you've ever laid eyes on.
Bottom Line: Some people think Tarantino and Rodriguez make groundbreaking art, and some people think their films are just numbingly violent and profane. Chances are, you already know which side of the fence you're on.
Official Site: http://www.grindhousemovie.net/

Disturbia (DreamWorks, April 13)
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, David Morse, Sarah Roemer, Carrie-Anne Moss
Director: D.J. Caruso
Rating: R

The Pitch: A high school student (LaBeouf) takes an antisocial turn after his father's death, eventually winding up under house arrest...at which point he becomes convinced that one of his neighbors is a serial killer.
The Buzz: Yes, it's a pale "Rear Window" retread, and LaBeouf's no Jimmy Stewart (or perhaps even French Stewart). But he has done better work than you'd expect for a Disney Channel grad. And okay, so that bar's been set pretty low, but the R rating -- and the presence of Carrie-Anne Moss, as LaBeouf's mom -- is encouraging.
Trailer Highlight: None available.
Bottom Line: Call us crazy, but this might not be as bad as its title.
Official Site: N/A

Hot Fuzz (Rogue, April 13)
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
Director: Edgar Wright
Rating: R

The Pitch: London's top cop, Nicholas Angel (Pegg), is so good at his job that his jealous co-workers have him transferred to Sandford, Britain's version of Mayberry. As luck would have it, Angel and his new partner (Frost) stumble on a high-profile case.
The Buzz: The guys who brought you "Shaun of the Dead" take a poke at the bobbies. It's bound to be funny -- but how it'll play to ticket-buyers in Arkansas is another story.
Trailer Highlight: Fat man through a little fence...
Bottom Line: If you liked "Shaun," reserve April 13 on your calendar.
Official Web Site: http://www.jointhefuzz.com/

Perfect Stranger (Columbia, April 13)
Starring: Halle Berry, Bruce Willis, Giovanni Ribisi, Gary Dourdan, Patti D'Arbanville, Clea Lewis
Director: James Foley
Rating: R

The Pitch: A reporter (Berry) goes undercover to determine whether a multi-millionaire ad executive (Willis) was behind the mysterious death of her friend.
The Buzz: High-tech sex thrillers like this one seemed to die off after the era of "Sliver" and "Indecent Exposure," and there were plenty of good reasons why. Even with the cast's pedigree, there's a distinct movie-of-the-week vibe about this.
Trailer Highlight: Willis doing his best scenery-chewing Pacino impression.
Bottom Line: The movie may end up being a lot better than the trailer, but we aren't betting on it.
Official Site: http://www.actionshaveconsequences.com/

Primeval (Hollywood, April 13)
Starring: Dominic Purcell, Orlando Jones, Brooke Langton, Jurgen Prochnow
Director: Michael Katleman
Rating: NR

The Pitch: An American news crew travels to a remote jungle to try and capture a bloodthirsty crocodile who has claimed the lives of more than 300 victims.
The Buzz: Boy, this sure does want to be scary. Much like Walter Mondale wanted to be President.
Trailer Highlight: Orlando Jones! We've been wondering what happened to you!
Bottom Line: Um, since when did it become the job of news crews to catch serial killers of any species? We've heard of "if it bleeds, it leads," but this is ridiculous.
Official Site: http://www.primeval-themovie.com/

Spring Breakdown (Warner Bros., April 13)
Amy Poehler, Parker Posey, Rachel Dratch, Amber Tamblyn, Seth Meyers, Sophie Monk, Missi Pyle, Jane Lynch
Ryan Shiraki

The Pitch: A trio of thirtysomething nerds (Poehler, Posey, and Dratch) tag along with the boss' daughter (Tamblyn) on her island vacation, and use the opportunity to try and do a little late blooming.
The Buzz: Nice cast, but that doesn't always mean much, and Shiraki's previous credits aren't much to go on. This will either be a funny update/twist on the tired old spring vacation T&A flick, or it'll try way too hard to be. We're laying even odds.
Trailer Highlight: None available.
Bottom Line: Without a trailer, we aren't sayin' nothin'.
Official Site: N/A

The Invisible (Hollywood, April 13)
Starring: Justin Chatwin, Marcia Gay Harden, Margarita Levieva, Chris Marquette
David S. Goyer

The Pitch: A brutal assault leaves a teenager (Chatwin) trapped between life and death, separated from his dying body and unable to reach those searching for him.
The Buzz: It's a cool idea, and Chatwin seems to bring the right mixture of dread and teenage entitlement to the role. Usually, when the studio is advertising things like "From the producers of 'The Sixth Sense,'" caution is advised, but this could be an exception.
Trailer Highlight: "What do you want the body for? He's already dead!"
Bottom Line: If you see only one supernatural thriller this year involving a teenager's spirit in limbo, this should be the one.
Official Web Site: http://www.theinvisible-movie.com/

The Kingdom (Universal, April 20)
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman, Jeremy Piven
Director: Peter Berg
Rating: NR

The Pitch: FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Foxx) and his team (Garner, Cooper, and Bateman) have one week to infiltrate and destroy a Saudi terrorist cell.
The Buzz: The cast sounds ridiculous -- Jason Bateman as an FBI agent? -- and the plot reads like a bad Clive Cussler novel, but give 'em credit: if the trailer's any indication, the film, though rabidly opportunistic and riddled with clichés, won't be awful.
Trailer Highlight: Cooper, waist-deep in a crater full of mud, exhorting his colleagues to get filthy.
Bottom Line: If you've seen a political thriller in the last twenty years, you've probably already seen most of what "The Kingdom" has to offer, and the subject matter is at least midlly skeevy...but it'll most likely still be better than "Stealth."
Official Site: http://www.thekingdommovie.com/

Kickin' It Old Skool (Yari, April 20)
Jamie Kennedy, Maria Menounos, Christopher McDonald, Debra Jo Rupp, Alan Ruck, Vivica Fox
Harvey Glazer

The Pitch: A twelve-year-old hits his head at a breakdancing competition in 1986, falls into a coma for 20 years, and wakes up as a grown man (Kennedy). Of course, he immediately sets about trying to save his parents' yogurt shop through the power...of...breakdancing.
The Buzz: There are a number of inexplicable careers in Hollywood. If Jamie Kennedy's isn't at the top of the list, it's close, and "Kickin' It Old Skool" might send Kennedy hurtling past Charo and JM J. Bullock.
Trailer Highlight: None available.
Bottom Line: Looks like an early contender to challenge "Code Name: The Cleaner" and "Epic Movie" for worst film of 2007.
Official Site: N/A

Vacancy (Screen Gems, April 20)
Starring: Luke Wilson, Kate Beckinsale, Frank Whaley, Ethan Embry
Director: Nimród Antal
Rating: NR

The Pitch: After their car breaks down, a married couple (Wilson and Beckinsale) wind up in an isolated motel, where their evening of watching low-budget slasher films is ruined by the discovery that said films were all made in their room. Cue frantic escape attempts.
The Buzz: Okay, so Wilson and Beckinsale aren't exactly De Niro and Streep...but their involvement still seems to suggest that the script is better than your average escape-from-impending-and-all-but-certain-death thriller.
Trailer Highlight: None available.
Bottom Line: A novel idea, if one that doesn't seem destined for box-office domination. But hey, next to "Kickin' It Old Skool," it's freakin' "Gone With the Wind."
Official Site: N/A

Balls of Fury (Rogue, April 27)
Starring: Dan Fogler, George Lopez, Maggie Q, Christopher Walken
Director: Robert Ben Garant
Rating: NR

The Pitch: Down-on-his-luck ping-pong pro Randy Daytona (Fogler) is recruited by the FBI to take down Chinese crimelord and table tennis fanatic Feng (Walken).
The Buzz: Based on the trailer, this looks thoroughly ridiculous, but in a "let's get drunk and see it again" kind of way. Think of it as the "Billy Madison" for a new century.
Trailer Highlight: How about Christopher Walken as a Chinese gangster who talks (and pretty much looks) exactly like Christopher Walken?
Bottom Line: Did we mention Christopher Walken plays a guy named Feng?
Official Site: N/A

The Pathfinder (20th Century Fox, April 27)
Starring: Karl Urban, Moon Bloodgood, Russell Means, Clancy Brown, Jay Tavare, Nathaniel Arcand, Ralf Moeller
Director: Marcus Nispel
Rating: R

The Pitch: A young boy is left behind on American shores by his marauding Viking elders. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and the boy has grown into a tribal warrior (Urban) determined to thwart an invasion by the folks who abandoned him.
The Buzz: Looks muddy and battle-riffic enough to appeal to the "Braveheart" and "Lord of the Rings" crowds, and corny enough to keep them both away.
Trailer Highlight: Wait for it...wait for it...aha! Halfway through, there's the reference to a "prophecy" you've been craving.
Bottom Line: Not since Marc Singer in "Beastmaster"has a leading man rocked a loincloth so convincingly.
Official Web Site: http://www.pathfinderthemovie.com/

The Condemned (Lionsgate, April 27)
Stone Cold Steve Austin, Vinnie Jones
Scott Wiper

The Pitch: Joe Conrad (Austin), a death row inmate in a Central American prison, has his freedom purchased by a television producer, who then drops Conrad on a remote island where he is forced to fight nine other killers to the death.
The Buzz: Looks kind of like "The Running Man," only, you know, hellishly awful.
Trailer Highlight: None available.
Bottom Line: Seriously, what do we have Cinemax for if movies like this one are being released to theaters? We aren't the betting kind, but if we were, we'd be willing to wager that the most entertaining thing about "The Condemned" -- by far -- will be the director's name.
Official Site: N/A


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