April Movie Guide
Your monthly collection of cinematic selections
Hollywood is gearing up for a summer full of blockbusters but that doesn’t mean April has any less of a selection.
Audiences have been anticipating big-name films from superhero flicks to female-driven comedies. The Spectrum compiled a list of what to look out for this month.
Guillermo Del Toro’s 2004 “Hellboy” adaptation is rooted in nostalgia for many UB students, so the choice to reboot the franchise 15 years later came as a surprise.Mike Mignola originally adapted the film from the comic series. It explores the story of a demon, rescued from the Nazis, who must protect humanity. This reboot does not seem to add anything new to the original canon. It touches on Hellboy’s backstory and focuses on his battle with an ancient sorceress in modern London.
The dialogue appears to give Hellboy a similar style of comedy and one-liners as the original, but David Harbour’s performance does not land quite as well. The practical effects and CGI in the trailer leave something to be desired. Hopefully the film can detach itself from its knock-off “Suicide Squad” plot and make something interesting.
Regina Hall returns to the comedic spotlight in her leading role as the tyrannical boss in “Little.” The actress is known for her work in the “Scary Movie” franchise, but will take on a more serious comedic role compared to the previous stereotype-based comedy. Hall is joined by Issa Rae and Marsai Martin. The film works as a reversed “Big,” asHall is turned into a little girl and has to adjust with the help of her ambitious assistant.
The film offers a lot of comedic potential, especially with such a talented cast. The predominately African American cast is pivotal to the nuanced subgenre of comedy. Critics are hoping for the film to follow in the footsteps of other female-driven comedies like “Girls Trip” and “Night School.”
Laika Entertainment Studio returns with another installment into the filmography of stop-motion animated films. It hasa long history of critical successes like “Coraline,” “The Corpse Bride” and “Kubo and the Two Strings.” The new film follows the unlikely friendship between Bigfoot and a world-renowned adventurer. They are eventually joined by a third adventurer in search of the Yeti, who Bigfoot believes to be his long-lost relative.
The wholesome storyline is only exceeded by the project’s prestigious cast. Big names like Hugh Jackman, Zach Galifianakis and Zoe Saldana all lend themselves as the voice actors for the main roles. The animation is rich in detail and texture, giving intricate details to the backgrounds and characters. The color palette is vivid and bright, even in contextually dark scenes. It should be a solid contribution from the studio.
“The Curse of La Llorona”
People of color are often misrepresented in the Western horror film genre.
“The Curse of La Llorona” is not the figurehead for Mexican representation in horror films. Although the film profits off of the lore of La Llorona, the Mexican legend of a ghost of a woman who drowned her children, it falls short of being anything significant.
The film casts Linda Cardellini as the lead. Cardellini, a white woman, finds herself and her children at the mercy of La Llorona. Similar in tone to the critical failure of “The Other Side of the Door,” the film appears tone-deaf and ingenuine. The supporting cast all appear to be people of color, one of whom also loses her children to La Llorona.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe returns with its newest installment “Avengers: Endgame.” The film will directly follow the story of “Avengers: Infinity War,” addressing the aftermath of Thanos’s plot to kill half of all living beings. The previous film set up a scenario for the introduction of Captain Marvel, since half of the Avengers have been killed off.
The film is almost guaranteed to be a financial success since the Marvel fanbase has allocated so much emotional energy into the series. However, the existence of the time stone lessens the stakes of the film. Obviously the Avengers will be able to bring certain characters back to life, that’s just a given. It will still be an entertaining ride.
Samantha Vargas is the senior features editor and can be reached at Samantha.Vargas@ubspectrum.com