There's a sense of charm that comes to establishing your most anticipated films months in advance, because I have no reason to change my current list of anticipated films for this coming. The further I get into this year, the less I've seen of the films highlighted, and it's getting to the point where I have no knowledge outside the hype people display. I only ever treat their hype suspicion, because I don't trust anyone else to know if a film's worth it. So this April, from my eyes, is just the same as any of the many months that come after it. There's going to be some great cinema, and some less than exciting films as well. That goes without saying, since it starts out with "American Reunion" of all things, continuing the tradition of not letting things die.
Technically speaking, though, the month effectively kicks off with "Titanic 3D", which even though I am never hasty to spring up and watch it even when it's on television, I'll still see it. Why? Because it's back in theaters, and the experience is the only thing James Cameron has ever been concerned with. He's doesn't obsess over script or story integrity, but he cares deeply about the audience interaction with what's onscreen. I'll politely caution you to avoid cheap space thriller "Lockout", and even more so to skip out on "The Three Stooges". I have never felt greater pain than the abysmal trailer for that feature.
Disney has another nature flick in "Chimpanzee", which will fare as well as any nature film they've made. "Darling Companion" is a film about a lost dog. That's all I need to gather. Similarly I can't care for a Zac Efron film called "The Lucky One", or a film called "Think Like a Man" from the director of "Fantastic Four". The month ends on a slight uptick, with the latest from Richard Linklater, "Bernie", Edgar Allen Poe decapitation "The Raven", Jason Statham flick "Safe", and two other films I'll talk about right now.
3. "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
Remember when I kept complaining that "Arthur Christmas" should have been done in claymation, though it was made via the living trend of computer animation? Aardman is retracing their steps back to their proven area of expertise with a nutty comic adventure about pirates. Given the last film we saw about pirates, they could surely use a bit of a face lift. Aardman's name on the banner is enough justification I need to put this film on the list, because even if it's not the most intellectually ravaging film in the world, you can't possibly look at a stop-motion film and scoff that it took no skill to make. A little bit of whimsical fun along the way can't hurt either.
2. "The Five-Year Engagement"
I consider Nicholas Stoller to be at the forefront of the mainstream comedic circuit these days as far as directors go. He goes above the bare less-than-minimum that most comedic directors deem as respectable. More often, however, is when he's working with Jason Segel such as on "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and the more recent "The Muppets". This one is not a passion project on the same level as those two other films, but rather a story to serve and build characters. It might work, though I admit that Jason Segel and Emily Blunt are an odd pairing, depending on their onscreen chemistry. It could work, or it could seem like the fake rom-com we saw in "Friends with Benefits". It's about paying off reality factors.
1. "Damsels in Distress"
Okay, this is not just a film I am looking forward to mildly as a film that may not be so terrible, but one that I am actively anticipating. Mind you, I've only really seen one Whit Stillman feature, and that alone is enough to raise hairs on the back of my neck for the possibilities of a single other film from him. I'll get to bringing up "The Last Days of Disco" in due time, but it needs to be said that if Stillman still writes as carefully and hilariously as he did a decade ago, this won't disappoint. I obviously can't say anything for certain, but I've heard good things on the trailer from one good authority, and great things on the film itself from another. Here's hoping it at least has some believably hot ladies. I know Whit will at least give us that.