Upcoming Spring Films

Spring is in the air – depending on the day. If the season is flirting with winter on your day off, it might be a good idea to head to the theater and enjoy the fresh crop of science fiction and fantasy films hitting the silver screen.

April 22: The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman – a poorly reviewed, but relatively successful financial venture – this movie aims to wrangle more credibility with the addition of more stars to their already-studded cast. Of course, the producers chose to write out Kristen Stewart’s character after her personal life was hijacked by the media to outshine while simultaneously besmirching the first film.

If it is anything like its older sibling, this film will be a visually stunning but intellectually lacking exploration of fairy tale tropes with a plot no deeper than a splash pool. But –seriously – the art direction is so good it might be worth buying a ticket just to enjoy the shiny, shiny splendor for a while.

April 22: Tale of Tales

A much smaller-budget production than Huntsman, this film offers a very different kind of fairy tale experience. Whereas Huntsman uses the old stories as a fragile base for several gallons of action and adventure, Tales digs into the darker layers of subtext and the opportunities for literary interpretation in the classic material.

Grisly, unforgiving, and beautifully designed, this is a fairy tale for adult audiences only. Leave the kids at home for this one. It’s gonna get rough.

April 29: Ratchet and Clank

Readers of a certain age will doubtless recognize the title of this film as belonging to the same game that ate up many, many hours (days/weeks) of childhood. This animated origin story is aimed at a new generation of slap-stick-hungry youngsters, and the trailer bounces along from one pun to the next with a lot of falling, slapping, barfing, and shooting.

May 6: Captain America: Civil War

The latest installment in the MCU, this film is anticipated even more for the secondary characters it promises to introduce than either of the warring team leaders. Audiences are chomping at the bit to see if a different studio can handle Spiderman better and/or worse than his previous wranglers. Even more exciting, T’challa (aka the Black Panther) is set to appear in the film as a precursor to his own stand-alone adventure.

While the internet is split between the usual balance of enthusiasts and jaded viewers who’ve moved on to other franchises, the hype is very real.

May 13: The Lobster

A scifi/romance/humor/thriller piece, The Lobster is likely to be everything you’ve been waiting to see in a movie, or the antithesis of coherence – and that will depend almost entirely on the viewer. This is the kind of risky film those who are fed up with franchises have been waiting for. Honestly, films like this never left, but no one has ever made something quite like this.

In a dystopian future, two clashing cultures create totalitarian views on love: you either find your life partner under threat of being turned into an animal, or you escape to the opposite society, where you face consequences for daring to fall in love.  Where do lobsters come into the mix? Better go see the movie and find out.

May 20: Angry Birds

Born from the smart phone game of legend, this film offers a story about threatened birds with anger management issues. It uses the same premise as the game, but with slightly more adult humor – hopefully without losing its appeal to a family audience.

May 27: X-Men: Apocalypse

Rumored to be Hugh Jackman’s last run as Wolverine, Apocalypse introduces one of the comics’ most feared villains. Fans of the X-Men series have been bouncing around screaming since the credit sequence showing the titular villain at the end of Days of Future Past. A rebooted Storm will take to the skies along with Angel, another fan favorite.

Trailers show a very bald Xavier and feature Mystique stepping into the role of team leader to galvanize her traumatized some-time-enemies. A lot of potential is here, and a lot of risk, which always comes hand in hand with the joy of addressing adored comics material.

May 27: Alice Through the Looking Glass

After long last, Disney has made a sequel to its successful live-action interpretation of Alice in Wonderland. Although this installment’s trailers seem a little more tongue-in-cheek than the first film’s, it’s hard to judge a film’s tone by trailers.

The movie features the original cast revising their previous characters along with several new faces. The late, great Alan Rickman recorded his part for the film before he passed, and even if Alice isn’t your cup of tea, enjoying one of Rickman’s last performances is worth the trip.

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