April movie guide
Your monthly collection of cinematic selections…
Let’s be real here. There is only one film coming out this month — only one that really matters. I could dedicate this entire entry into the Movie Guide oeuvre to this one film, but for the sake of continuity, I’ll be keeping with the arbitrary format I established for myself, wasting both your time and my own. Let’s move this along.
Here is an interesting film. Because it looks ... good? But also ... gross? Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz and John Cena play three parents lost in a teenage world of emojis and butt-chugging when they snoop through their kids’ phones and discover their daughters’ plans to lose their virginities after prom.
Mann, Barinholtz and, yes, even Cena have proven themselves on every occasion to be talented comedians. Cena especially seems to be channeling an Arnold Schwarzenegger circa “Jingle All the Way” as the hulking brute everyone is pretending is a normal human being. But the plot of the film seems to be built around the premise of parents — particularly Barinholtz and Cena as fathers — sexualizing their teenage daughters and trying to control their sex lives. Surely the parents will learn a valuable lesson about letting their children grow up, but that doesn’t make it any less grody.
When the trailer for “Rampage” begins with The Rock talking to his friend, a gorilla named George, you may understandably be excited for a gritty “Curious George” reboot with Dwayne Johnson as The Man in the Yellow Hat. But the disappointment immediately sets in when you realize you’re in for another video game adaptation, in this case, Midway Games’ “Rampage.”
The video game centers on a mutant gorilla, lizard and wolf destroying buildings while the military tries to stop them. The game has a tongue-in-cheek tone that this washed out gray-and-beige movie seems to be missing with its screenplay-by-committee about genetic engineering and animal testing.
“I Feel Pretty”
A lot of people are over Amy Schumer’s schtick – self-deprecating jokes and pratfalls – at this point. But “I Feel Pretty” looks like an interesting if not clever use of her persona. Schumer plays a woman who struggled her whole life with her weight and resulting insecurity.
After a fall, she begins to see herself as she always dreamed she looked: pretty, thin and capable. Assuming something about her accident changed her appearance, she starts to act sexy and confident. The rest of the world just sees Amy Schumer.
“Avengers: Infinity War”
This movie is a decade in the making. Almost 10 years ago to the day “Infinity War” comes out, the people at Marvel Studios took a chance when they released “Iron Man,” a movie by an unproven studio about a C-list superhero starring a recovering drug-addict in Robert Downey Jr. “Iron Man” was the first entry to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a wacky concept from producer Kevin Feige to bring comic-book storytelling to the big screen. Now about to be 19 films deep, the MCU is the most successful film franchise of all time. Not bad for something made from what was essentially a box of scraps.
The company sold the film rights to most of their major characters — Spider-Man, the X-Men — years earlier. It’s easy to forget that Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow weren’t the household names they were before “The Avengers” came out in 2012.
Building off that initial team-up and the rest of the MCU films, “Infinity War” finds our heroes, well, at war with the Titan Thanos, an intergalactic being who seeks the Infinity Stones to impose his will on the universe and court Death herself. The Avengers and company — including the Guardians of the Galaxy — must put their well-documented differences aside to save the world, galaxy, universe for, like, the umpteenth time.