Monthly Rewind of April

Hello, everybody!

The fourth edition of Monthly Rewind is here, and we’re doing April!

I mentioned in the last post that I’m going to change how I did these going forward, and that’s going to happen here. I originally did all the movies I watched that month and gave my reactions to all those movies, good or bad. The new change is that I’ll still be doing that, but this time with only the movies that really left an impression or stood out. I’m not saying I won’t mention the bad movies, but for the most part, it’s going to be the ones that stood out.

If you know something came out during that month, or year, and it’s not on here. It’s a good chance that I haven’t seen it – yes, even after all these years – or I just completely missed it while putting the list together. It’s a lot of movies after all.

Alright, let’s get started with 2010!

 

2010

Kick-Ass

The Losers

The Good the Bad the Weird

A Nightmare on Elm Street

The Human Centipede

Thoughts: Alright, let’s start off with The Human Centipede, you know, the movie that has three people surgically connected to each other ass-to-mouth. I do kind of get why so many people like this movie, but honestly I can’t get behind it myself. I saw it with a crowd that really dug it, and while the movie promised it was the “most grosses movie you’ve ever seen!” it really wasn’t. It fact, beside the general concept, it’s rather tame compared to other movie with a concept like this.

Next is the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street, and oh man did I NOT like this movie. Like at all! While the movie had some descent imaginary, oh man did I NOT like this movie. Like at all! While the movie had some descent imaginary – the only standout to me is the scene when Rooney Mara’s Nancy is “micro-dreaming” in the pharmacy as sees Jackie Earle Haley’s Freddy coming for her – and that is most likely thanks to music director Samuel Bayer (who hasn’t directed another movie since), who gave the movie a grimy feel. The movie itself, from what I can remember, was very generic, with no real bigger standout moments – at least for me. Haley was a good “replacement” for Robert Englund, but the script didn’t do him too many favors.

Kick-Ass, based off the comic of the same name, brought the superhero movie genre to the ground level and made them a little more edgy than what we were getting. It’s also our lead getting the crap beat out of him and having to be saved by a kid, who actually knows what she’s doing. The movie was a nice little breather from other comic book movies, especially with Chloe Grace Moretz’ breakout performance.

The next movie, also a comic book adaptation, is The Losers. Honestly, to me, one of the under-appreciated comic book movies out there. Simple concept, a CIA special forces team are betrayed and they want payback, but it’s definitely held together by the cast and how they all play off each other, the humor, and how ridiculously fun it is. I mean seriously, look at this cast; Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Idris Elba, Columbus Short, Oscar Jaenada, Holt McCallany and Jason Patric.

Finally, one of my personal favorites of all time, the Korean hit The Good the Bad the Weird. Set in 1940s Manchuria, two outlaws and a bounty hunter clash over a treasure map, while also being pursued by the Japanese army and a group of bandits. I first saw this at the Chicago International Film Festival, and immediately fell in love with it. The three main leads, the score and the action just blew me away when I first saw it, and still does to this day. Highly recommend if you haven’t seen it yet.

 

 

2011

Insidious

Fast Five

13 Assassins

Thoughts: Let’s start off with Takashi Miike-directed (which should tell you what you’re getting into already) 13 Assassins. The film followed a group of assassins who band together on what is basically a suicide mission to kill an evil lord. I saw this at the no-longer film festival Actionfest, in a packed theater who was already rowdy before the movie even started. That did play a factor in my enjoyment of the movie, but the movie itself is a huge buildup to its massive third act where we see the titled assassins let loose on the lord’s men, and to take a line from the movie it was a “total massacre.”

Next, is the James Wan-directed horror Insidious. This is one of the more modern horror movies that made me audibly gasp in a movie theater along with the whole theater – the famous scene of the lipstick demon behind Patrick Wilson. It’s also James Wan, who at this point I was wholly behind as the new master of horror.

Finally, Fast Five! The movie basically took the reboot route here as the movie was no longer about stealing DVD’s, or working with a crime lord, but instead started becoming heist movies. It introduce Dwayne Johnson to the series and had a, still to this day, exciting and thrilling final act with the Brian and Dom dragging the vault across the streets of Rio.

 

 

2012

The Cabin in the Woods

Lockout

Headhunters

Thoughts: Let’s keep the Actionfest trend going here with the Swedish film Headhunters. The film followed an accomplished headhunter who obtained a valuable painting from a former mercenary (played by Game of Thrones’ Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and the cat-and-mouse game they play afterwards. To the best of my memory, Headhunters was the third Swedish film I had ever seen, and it was in the dark, mystery drama genre like The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo that I loved.

Next is the forgotten about, Escape from New York knockoff, Lockout. Starring Guy Pearce as an ex-CIA operative who may or may not have committed espionage against the U.S, but instead of going to prison, he’s given a chance to earn his freedom by going on a mission to rescue the president’s daughter from outer space prison that has been taken over by its violent inmates. I’ll be honest, it’s not all that great, but it was rather enjoyable seeing Pearce play it a little more loose and as an action hero for a change.

Finally, The Cabin in the Woods. The meta-horror film that you could make the argument is the be-all-end-all horror film. The cliché horror trope of college kids going to a cabin in the woods and they start getting attacked, until they learn that they are part of something bigger. It’s honestly a super smart horror film with great characters once you really dig deep into it.

 

 

2013

Evil Dead

Thoughts: The rare month where only one real movie stood out to be, and that was the remake/reimaging of Evil Dead. I, like many, was very skeptical about the remake considering the legacy of the franchise already, but DAMN did Fede Alvarez do this movie justice! The gore, the griminess, the dread of it all, I was all for it.

 

 

2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Oculus

The Raid 2

Brick Mansions

Locke

Thoughts: Let’s start off with the remake of District B13, Brick Mansions starring Paul Walker and original film star David Belle. The movie takes the action from France to Detroit, following the bare bones premise of the original; a cop teams up with a resident of the blocked off city run by a crime lord to stop him from devastating the city. Problem is the movie doesn’t have the same flare and substance like the original. Which is a shame since Brick Mansions was the last movie that Paul Walker completed (having shot most of Furious 7 at that point).

Next is the Tom Hardy-led, and really only star of the movie, Locke. The movie followed Hardy’s Locke, a construction manager who gets a call that makes him drive from Birmingham to London at night. So yes, it’s a movie about Hardy sitting in a car driving all night as he takes constant phone calls trying to keep his family life intact. It’s a rather enthralling performance by Hardy, and one that proves Hardy can indeed carry a movie himself.

Moving on to the horror-drama Oculus, directed by Mike Flanagan (Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House series) which starred Karen Gillan as a woman trying to prove that an evil mirror has been behind her families deadly past, and trying to clear her brother’s name. I remember watching this and immediately loving it. It was the first movie I saw with Flanagan’s name on it, and I loved how he edited scenes together almost seamlessly. On top of that, the family drama aspect was good “filler” in between the horror moments.

Next is The Raid 2, the sequel to the heavy-hitting action film The Raid. The sequel takes a different approach by taking the action outside, and upping the ante on the fight scenes, introducing the now famous Hammer Girl, and the awesome final fight between Iko Uwais’ Rama and Cecep Arif Rahman’s The Assassin in a restaurant kitchen. It does have some pacing problems, and takes a more story driven approach for the most part, but The Raid 2 is a wholly worthwhile action sequel.

Finally, let’s talk about, arguably, my favorite movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Captain America: The Winter Solider. Directed by The Russo Brothers, who then took over the MCU directing wise, took a more spy 70s thriller approach to the sequel, giving the movie a completely different feel, and the result worked. I honestly only have one thing that I “dislike” and that’s the return of Toby Jones’ Dr. Zola.

 

 

2015

Furious 7

Ex Machina

Thoughts: Let’s start off with Alex Garland’s Ex Machina, the sci-fi thriller that was the talk of the town and year for those that ended up watching this in theaters. The film lead by Domhnall Gleeson as a programmer who is selected to participate in an inclusive ground-breaking experiment involving A.I., played by Alicia Vikander, created by Oscar Isaac’s Nathan. The film was completely thought-provoking, and all of that was because of the cast who one-hundred percent committed to everything in the film, including a dance sequence by Isaac and Sonoya Mizuno.

Then we have Furious 7, the last Fast & Furious film that starred Paul Walker, and one of the more personal films in the series. The thing that everyone remembers from the movie is the tribute to Walker and his character at the end, which is fair, since it was a touching tribute. The movie was also directed by James Wan, which was refreshing (he did have a non-horror movie at this point in Death Sentence), and it was the last movie directed by series writer Chris Morgan (who started writing the movies since Tokyo Drift).

 

 

2016

Hardcore Henry

The Jungle Book

Sing Street

Thoughts: Let’s start off with the “one-shot” first-person view action movie Hardcore Henry. The movie’s concept came from the viral music videos from the band Biting Elbows like “Bad Motherfucker” which was also directed by the movie’s director Ilya Naishuller. So yes, the movie is basically like a video game. The action scenes are pretty well thought out, and you could actually tell what’s going on for the most part, but it’s definitely not for everyone, especially the easily motion-sickness people.

Let’s go from one ambitious movie to another one in Disney’s The Jungle Book. I didn’t have the same connection to the animated movie like a lot of people do, so I was pretty much going in freshly minded. Thankfully, the movie surprised the hell out of me, cause I really dug it. The big takeaway was of course what Jon Favreau was able to pull off with the special effects, which were highly impressive and groundbreaking, and something Favreau brought with him to do the new Lion King movie this year.

Finally, let’s talk Sing Street. This was one I didn’t know too much about before watching. I had seen the trailer once, and thought it looked okay, but the movie itself was great! The film is set in Dublin during the 80s, and follows a group of kids start a band, mainly done by one kid who wants to impress a girl (of course), at a catholic school. It’s a very well done coming-of-age story with an amazing original soundtrack. Look for it if you hadn’t seen it.

 

 

2017

Colossal

The Fate of the Furious

Free Fire

Thoughts: Okay, let’s start off with The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise, but it’s on here not for the reason that you think. I, like some I’m sure, saw Fate of the Furious as a massive step down from the last movie, and you can make the argument that it was because it was hard for the franchise to continue without one of the franchise’s leads. It was a huge question mark, and for the most part, they really didn’t execute it too much. Then there was some of the behind-the-scenes stuff between Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson, and Diesel with Universal. Unfortunately, we now have to wait a little longer to see if the series can bounce back since F9 is now delayed a whole year (Hobbs & Shaw doesn’t count since it’s a spinoff).

Next is the Anne Hathaway-led Colossal, which followed Hathaway’s Gloria, an out-of-work party girl who is forced to leave her lifestyle in New York and has to go back to her small town home. While she gets accustomed to her now new life, a giant creature ends up attack Seoul, South Korea and eventually she learns she had a connection to it. And if you haven’t seen the movie or read anything about, DON’T. Go watch the movie just with that information, because Colossal is one of the prime movies that lives us to the motto “the less you know, the better.” I will admit that the reveal and what follows is kind of wacky, but director Nacho Vigalondo is known for wacky concepts (watch is other great film Timecrimes from 2007)

Finally, Free Fire, which immediately jumped to my favorites of all time list after one watch. The movie is set in Boston during the late 70s, where two gangs meet at a warehouse to make a deal, but of course, it goes wrong and a shoot-out ensues. The movie is held together by its impressive cast of Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy, Jack Reynor and Sharlto Colpey; to name a few. Highly recommend.

 

 

2018

A Quiet Place

Isle of Dogs

Avengers: Infinity War

Thoughts: Now, to probably and arguably, the best April of this list, we’ll start off with Wes Anderson’s stop-motion/CGI film Isle of Dogs. I know Anderson isn’t for everybody, and I really just started getting into Anderson myself. I did like Isle of Dogs, but I’d be lying if I said I preferred this to The Fantastic Mr. Fox, because I love Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Next let’s talk about A Quiet Place, directed by John Krasinski, which followed a family trying to live in a post-apocalyptic world that is haunted by monsters that are ultra-sensitive hearing. The movie itself is almost like a silent-movie, and movie experience was something that really took people by surprise. People took online to say that their theaters were absolutely silent as to not ruin the experience, and when a movie can do that, especially a horror movie, that’s saying something.

Finally, the last movie of the list is Avengers: Infinity War. The culmination, at that point, of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is wholly remembered for the ending. The ending of a comic book where the heroes lose and the villain, although some make the argument that Thanos was the hero, so he’s the hero? Regardless, ten years of superhero movies, all coming down to this, what a way to leave the theater, and for Marvel to take the chance? Oh boy!

 

And that’s it everyone. Admittedly, this was still a lot movies, but I can’t help that enjoy a lot of movies more than others. But more importantly, I want to know what you guys think about this. Let me know what your favorite movies in February were?

March Movie Releases

Hello there!

Can you believe it’s March already? Anyway, besides it being my birth month(!) there are some great films coming out in March that we can look forward to. Also, a large amount of limited releases to some big films, so let’s start shall we?

 

2nd

Death Wish

Loosely based on the novel by Brian Garfield, and remake of the 1974 classic with Charles Bronson, A family man becomes a vigilante killing machine when his family is violently attacked by robbers. I really don’t have much interest in this. For one, it’s directed by Eli Roth, and Bruce Willis is always hit-or-miss, but from the trailers, it kind of looks like he’s there and not phoning it in, so we’ll have to wait and see. Death Wish stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dean Norris, Camila Morrone, Beau Knapp and Elisabeth Shue.

 

Red Sparrow

Based on the novel by Jason Matthews, ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to ‘Sparrow School’ a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. But her first mission, targeting a CIA agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations. The first trailer didn’t really do too much for me, but this latest trailer got me interested a little more. I mean sure, it has Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons, but let’s hope the movie is a worthwhile thriller, and not one that drags things on longer than it should. Red Sparrow also stars Charlotte Rampling, Ciaran Hinds, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Mary Louise-Parker.

 

9th

Limited Release: The Leisure Seeker

Based on the novel by Michael Zadoorian, a runaway couple go on an unforgettable journey in the faithful old RV they call The Leisure Seeker. The film stars Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren.

Limited Release: Thoroughbreds

Two upper-class teenage girls in suburban Connecticut rekindle their unlikely friendship after years of growing apart. Together, they hatch a plan to solve both of their problems – no matter what the cost. I didn’t know anything about this until I saw the trailer, and I was immediately hooked. The dark comedy of it all with the cast and the late Anton Yelchin is really all I need. Thoroughbreds stars Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin, and Paul Sparks.

The Hurricane Heist

Directed by Rob Cohen, thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities. Good, god. This is honestly one of the most ridiculous movie trailers I’ve ever seen. Not only that, I’m sure the movie will be too, but you damn well know I’m going to go watch this. The Hurricane Heist stars Maggie Grace, Toby Kebbell, Ryan Kwanten and Ben Cross.

Gringo

A dark comedy mixed with a white-knuckle action and dramatic intrigue, explores the battle of survival for businessman Harold Soyinka (David Oyelowo) when he finds himself crossing the line from law-abiding citizen to wanted criminal. I had briefly heard about this project before the trailer, and when I watched the trailer I was completely hooked. I don’t know what it was, but this just looks like a hell of a lot of fun. Gringo stars David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Joel Edgerton, Amanda Seyfried, Thandie Newton and Sharlto Copley.

The Strangers: Prey at Night

A long awaited sequel for The Strangers, a family staying in a secluded mobile home park for the night are visited by three masked psychopaths, to test their every limit. I was a huge fan of the first movie, and do consider it to be one of my favorite horror/thrillers of all time, so like everyone else, I have been eagerly awaiting a much-talked about sequel. The Strangers: Prey at Night stars Christina Hendricks, Bailee Madison, Lewis Pullman and Martin Henderson.

A Wrinkle in Time

Based on the beloved novel by Madeleine L’Engle, and directed by Ava DuVernay (Selma) after the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother and her friend to space in order to find him. I have not read the book, but I know this has been in the works for a while, and to finally see it happen, with a cast like this with a director like DuVernay, we might be in for a great experience. A Wrinkle in Time stars Storm Reid, Levi Miller, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey.

 

16th

Limited Release: Flower

A sexually curious teen forms an unorthodox kinship with her mentally unstable stepbrother. Flower stars Zoey Deutch, Dylan Gelula, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn.

Limited Release: 7 Days of Entebbe

Inspired by the true events of the 1976 hijacking of an Air France flight en route from Tel Aviv to Paris, and the most daring rescue mission ever attempted. The film stars Rosamund Pike, Daniel Bruhl, Nonso Anozie and Eddie Marsan.

I Can Only Imagine

The inspiring and unknown true story behind MercyMe’s beloved, chart topping song that brings ultimate hope to so many is a gripping reminder of the power of true forgiveness. The movie stars Dennis Quaid, Madeline Carroll, Trace Adkins and Cloris Leachman.

Love, Simon

Based on the novel by Becky Albertalli called “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it’s complicated: no-one knows he’s gay and he doesn’t know who the anonymous classmate is that he’s fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing. I’ll be honest, when I first heard and read about this, I was not interested whatsoever. However, I saw the trailer and I loved the charm the movie had – through the trailer! That should tell you everything about this movie. Love, Simon stars Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, Logan Miller, Keiynan Lonsdale, Alexandra Shipp, Talitha Eliana Bateman, Josh Duhamel and Jennifer Garner.

Tomb Raider

Based on the popular video game franchise, Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared. I’ll be honest, I was all for this reboot when Alicia Vikander joined. Then the trailers started coming out, and I’ll be honest, I get pumped watching them. Tomb Raider co-stars Daniel Wu, Walton Goggins, Nick Frost, Kristin Scott Thomas, Hannah John-Kamen and Dominic West.

 

23rd

Limited Release: Isle of Dogs

Written and directed by Wes Anderson, Isle of Dogs is set in Japan and follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his dog. The highly impressive voice cast includes Koyu Rankin, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Courtney B. Vance, F. Murray Abraham, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray.

Paul, Apostle of Christ

The story covers Paul, going from the most infamous persecutor of Christians to Jesus Christ’s most influential apostle. The film stars James Faulkner, Olivier Martinez and Jim Caviezel.

Midnight Sun

Based on the Japanese film, Midnight Sun centers on Katie, a 17-year-old sheltered since childhood and confined to her house during the day by a rare disease that makes even the smallest amount of sunlight deadly. Fate intervenes when she meets Charlie and they embark on a summer romance. The movie stars Bella Thorne, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Quinn Shephard and Rob Riggle.

Sherlock Gnomes

A sequel to Gnomeo & Juliet, Gnomeo & Juliet, recruit renowned detective Sherlock Gnomes to investigate the mysterious disappearance of other garden ornaments. The voice cast includes James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Stephen Merchant, Mary J. Blige, Michael Caine and Maggie Smith.

Unsane

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, and shot completely on an iPhone. A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution where she is confronted by her greatest fear –but is it real or a product of her delusion? Soderbergh coming out of his self-retirement is the best thing that happened for us fans. Not only did we get Logan Lucky last year, now we have this coming out, and to find out that he shot it completely on an iPhone is so Soderbergh. Unsane stars Claire Foy, Juno Temple, Joshua Leonard, Aimee Mullins, Amy Irving and Jay Pharoah.

Pacific Rim: Uprising

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat. I mean come on! If these trailers don’t get you pumped up, what will? Pacific Rim Uprising stars John Boyega, Rinko Kikuchi, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny, Adria Arjona, Dustin Clare, Karan Brar, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Tian Jing.

 

30th

Limited Release: Gemini

A heinous crime tests the complex relationship between a tenacious personal assistant and her Hollywood starlet boss. As the assistant unravels the mystery, she must confront her own understanding of friendship, truth and celebrity. Gemini stars Zoe Kravitz, Lola Kirke, John Cho, Greta Lee, James Ransone and Ricki Lake.

God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness

The third film in the series, Pastor Dave responds to the unimaginable tragedy of having his church, located on the grounds of the local university, burned down.

Acrimony

Written and directed by Tyler Perry, a faithful wife tired of standing by her devious husband is enraged when it becomes clear she has been betrayed. Acrimony stars Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Nicolet and Lyriq Bent.

Ready Player One

Based on the book by Ernest Cline, and directed by famed director Steven Spielberg; when the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clued and starts a race for the Egg. I read the book a couple years ago, and really liked it. When I heard the movie was coming out, I wondered how they were going to even do this, but everything I’ve seen so far has been pretty great. I don’t know how the movie will bring everything in Ready Player One to life, but I’m excited to see it. Ready Player One stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Simon Pegg, T.J. Miller, Hannah John-Kamen, Lena Waithe, Ralph Ineson, Letitia Wright and Mark Rylance.

What are you looking forward to?

New Podcast – Linda Hamilton Returns to the Terminator Franchise, Taika Waititi Eyed for Akira & More

The Movie Pit Podcast is up!

It was also a big movie trailer week, so give it a listen and let me know what you think. The podcast is also on iTunes if Youtube is too inconvenient for you to listen everybody.