JoBlo.com previews this week's new releases: April 1, 2011
At JoBlo.com, we feel it’s our duty to keep you informed and satisfied. You want to know what your big choices are at the theater each weekend, and we’re happy to reach out and give you the full release.
Who’s In It? Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright
Who Made It? Directed by Duncan Jones (Summit)
What Is It? Jake G. is a soldier whose mission involves continually brain-blipping into the past for eight minutes at a time in order to prevent a bombing on a Chicago commuter train. During his head-trips, he discovers a larger terrorism plot and an unsurprising attraction to Michelle Monaghan.
How’s It Look From Here? Director Duncan Jones follows his superb lunar mindwarp MOON with some ambitious cerebral sci-fi, but is this thriller too twisty for the average audience (who already proved they won't flock to watch Gyllenhaal even in a pricey Bruckheimer blockbuster like PRINCE OF PERSIA)?
The DEJA VU meets "Quantum Leap" theme seems fascinating enough, but perhaps it's just too convoluted to convey in a two-and-a-half minute trailer. Or... even a two-hour movie?
Who’s In It? Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Barbara Hershey, Lin Shaye
Who Made It? Directed by James Wan (FilmDistrict)
What Is It? A couple moves to a new home, where one of their three sons falls into a coma. Shortly after, they believe that their house is haunted, only to discover their conked-out kid is a receptacle for evil spirits.
How’s It Look From Here? Director Wan and writer Leigh Whannell should still be held accountable for inflicting an interminable string of SAW movies on audiences after they launched the series and stepped aside after one flesh-wrecking torture tale. But at least they seem to be ditching the hardcore gore and delivering straight chills and scares with what appears to be an old-school supernatural thriller.
The movie has been playing film festivals to a generally positive reception (our Chris Bumbray really dug it), the cast is solid (nice shout-out to similar spooker THE ENTITY by casting Hershey, also recently creepy in BLACK SWAN), and it's produced by PARANORMAL ACTIVITY director Oren Peli, for whatever that's worth to you.
Who’s In It? James Marsden, Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, voices of Russell Brand, Hugh Laurie and Hank Azaria
Who Made It? Directed by Tim Hill (Universal)
What Is It? EB is the son of the Easter Bunny and heir apparent to the job, but instead wants to be a rock star. Escaping from Easter Island, EB arrives in Hollywood and meets a slacker who is expectedly stunned at finding a talking rabbit who shits candy.
How’s It Look From Here? Director Hill has plenty of experience with animation, non-humans and everything in between (he worked on "Spongebob Squarepants", MUPPETS IN SPACE, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS), and the quirky concept comes from Illumination Entertainment, who surprised with the endearing DESPICABLE ME. Brand is (thankfully) present in voice only, which gives Marsden an opportunity to demonstrate his under-appreciated comic ability.
Universal might be overly optimistic to think that their holiday bunny's legs will be strong enough to carry it all the way to the actual holiday weekend, which isn't until April 24th... although the endless racks of colorful marshmallow and chocolate critters at the grocery stores may keep it fresh in the minds of parents and sugar-craving kids.
OUTLOOK: If you have kids, you know where you'll be (although if you want to mentally scar them, you have a solid alternative). Otherwise, the sci-fi and/or scares should provide respectable choices if you're heading to the cinema (you can also track down SUPER, CAT RUN or RUBBER in limited release, but we can probably trust you to avoid the PG-13 chopped re-issue of THE KING'S SPEECH, which the filmmaker himself disapproves of). Either way, enjoy these weekends of original material before the summer of sequels, prequels, remakes and adaptations begins!
MUCH $$$ DO YOU THINK EACH
FILM WILL MAKE?