April Preview: ‘American Reunion’ to ‘The Five-Year Engagement’

Monthly Movie Preview – April 2012

Can you smell that? It’s the scent of “Almost Summer.” No, that’s not the name of a cheap fragrant candle, but the aroma multiplexes let waft when it’s almost the main season for blockbusters. But before we focus on mega movies like The Avengers in May, and The Dark Knight Rises in July, April has some unique choices for us, most of which are not based off comic books, or feature gluttonous budgets.

April is going to be an intimate month with a slew of romantic movies, some more comedic than others – American Reunion, The Lucky One, Think Like A Man, The Five-Year Engagement, and even the indie Darling Companion. Even the horror genre is going to see some unique spins, with movies like The Cabin in the Woods, Detention, and The Raven.

And of course, before we head off into the land of summer blockbusters, a Jason Statham movie (Safe) plops into theaters on April 27. We should absolutely be ready for Summer 2012 after that release.

April 6

Movie of the Week

American Reunion

The Stars: Jason Biggs, Alyson Hannigan, Seann William Scott, Tara Reid, Chris Klein, Mena Suvari
The Plot: The young men and women from the high school sex comedy American Pie have now grown up and gotten married. They attend their high school reunion.
The Buzz: After American Wedding, the American Pie “franchise” went dark (to straight-to-DVD production) with movies like American Pie Presents Beta House and American Pie Presents Band Camp. Now, the powers that be at Universal have gathered up the true stars of the series, with Alyson Hannigan probably being the most successful of the entire bunch. Will this Reunion make us re-care about these former teenagers, most of which we can’t even remember their names? Will any of this wipe away memories of Chris Klein in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li? Will this be the Toy Story 3 of sex comedies?

The Others:

Jiro Dreams of Sushi – Documentary
God Bless America (VOD) – Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr
We Have a Pope (VOD) – Nanni Moretti, Michel Picoi

April 13

Movie of the Week

The Cabin in the Woods

The Stars: Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly
The Plot: A group of young men and women go into a cabin in the woods, only to find out it’s not just a regular cabin in any regular woods.
The Buzz: It wasn’t just Jeff Bayer who wouldn’t shut up his gushing about this movie when it premiered at SXSW – it was everyone who saw it. As of this moment, I have yet to hear a negative remark about this movie. Each bit of praise for the movie comes with a, “Don’t let anyone spoil it for you!” statement, as followed by a, “Wait, you didn’t see the trailer, right?”

The Others:

Detention – Josh Hutcherson, Dane Cook, Spencer Locke
Bully – Documentary
Damsels in Distress – Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton
Blue Like Jazz – Claire Holt, Tania Raymonde, Jason Marsden
The Three Stooges: The Movie – Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulous, Jane Lynch, Sofia Vergara
Lockout – Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare

April 20

Movie of the Week

The Lucky One

The Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner, Sharon Morris
The Plot: A US Marine returns home to meet the woman whose picture was a lucky charm during his three tours in Iraq.
The Buzz: Another Nicholas Sparks book turned into a movie, starring another young teen heartthrob trying to make it out into “serious” work (a la Miley Cyrus in the surprisingly good The Last Song). What’s going to be the third act twist of this one? Who’s going to die? Who will be … The Lucky One? Place your bets now, ladies and gentlemen.

The Others:

Think Like a Man – Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good, Chris Brown, Steve Harvey
Marley – Documentary
Chimpanzee – Documentary
To The Arctic 3D – Documentary

April 27

Movie of the Week

The Five-Year Engagement

The Stars: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt, Alison Brie
The Plot: Due to unpredictable circumstances, a couple extends their year of engagement to five years, testing their relationship’s vitality and their patience.
The Buzz: This romantic comedy has a lot going for it that seems to indicate it won’t be just another wedding-centralized yuk-yuk fest. First, it’s directed by Nicholas Stoller, who previously has wild comedies Get Him to the Greek on his resume, along with Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Second, it’s co-written by Jason Segel, and stars the actor working alongside a good alternative to “typical” actresses, Emily Blunt. A certain cherry on top, this one also features a producing credit from Judd Apatow, who can wrangle in dudes and dudettes to this movie with “Engagement” in the title just by slapping the word “Bridesmaids” on the poster.

The Others:

Safe – Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon, James Hong
Monsieur Lazhar – Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Neliise, Emilien Neron
The Pirates!: Band of Misfits
– Hugh Grant, Selma Hayek, Jeremy Piven, Brendan Gleeson
The Raven – John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans, Brendan Gleeson
Bernie – Matthew McConaughey, Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Veronica Orosco
Darling Companion
– Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline, Dianne Wiest, Richard Jenkins, Mark Duplass

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