Are you excited for the summer movie season? I mean, in parts of the country it is literally still snowing so it hardly feel like the sun-filled days of summer just yet, but apparently Jack Frost doesn’t quite make it out to Hollywood. Their mega-budget blockbuster onslaught starts earlier each year, and the first week of April kicks into high gear with the premiere of Furious 7 (get ready for the procession of articles asking if the film is in bad taste given the circumstances of star Paul Walker’s death). You really can’t object much to being forced to see The Longest Ride or The Age of Adaline if you’re off to see the hot rods of Furious 7, but how about we skip all of them and snuggle up at home on the couch?
Furious 7 (April 3)
I have no doubt that fans of the other six films in this endless franchise would laugh if anybody raised the suggestion of giving the latest one a miss, but don’t people get sick of being taken for chumps by Hollywood? Movie studios expect you to just march like pre-programmed zombies to the multiplex for whatever they’ve spent their latest $200-million on. If you wanna get your fix of revved-up engines and barely-dressed women, why not give Quentin Tarantino’s neglected carsploitation grindhouse homage Death Proof (2007) a spin? It’d be about time, and it’s a much better film than Django Unchained or Inglourious Basterds. Or how about you prepare for next month’s Mad Max: Fury Road by watching The Road Warrior (1981)? It’ll be the best movie you watch all month, guaranteed.
Death Proof is available to rent on iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu and YouTube.
The Road Warrior is available to rent on GooglePlay and YouTube.
The Longest Ride (April 10)
Clint Eastwood’s son does his best to get into the family trade by starring as a rodeo rider in this adaptation of yet another Nicholas Sparks novel. At this stage, Sparks is just as much of a franchise as the visual effects-filled superhero movies that flood our screens over the summer months. This one sounds awfully similar to The Notebook, as both deal with the interconnectedness of a young couple and an older couple because love is timeless or whatever. Instead of this syrupy nonsense, why not brave the wilds of Quebec’s hipster scene with Heartbeats (2010)? It’s about a super-stylish love triangle between three super-attractive Canadians, including writer/director Xavier Dolan.
Heartbeats is available to stream on Netflix, and available to rent on iTunes, GooglePlay and YouTube.
Self/Less (April 17)
Director Tarsem Singh is known for his vividly visual extravaganzas like The Cell (2000), The Fall (2006) and Immortals (2011). His latest is a sci-fi reincarnation story about a wealthy man dying of cancer having his mind transferred into the body of a healthy, young family man. This story has been done in some form or another for a very long time. Go for a sci-fi film with something a little different and watch Upsteam Color (2013), which does some really fascinating and evocative things with reincarnation and life cycles. You’ll be confused, but hopefully entranced.
Upstream Color is available to stream on Netlix, and available to rent on Amazon, iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu and YouTube.
Monsters: Dark Continent (April 17)
No, seriously, just watch the original Monsters (2010) and forget about this ridiculous sequel that doesn’t seem to realize why the original was so good.
Monsters is available to stream on Netflix, and available to rent on iTunes, GooglePlay, Vudu and YouTube.
The Age of Adaline (April 24)
Nobody seems to respond to the premise of this Blake Lively vehicle without laughing. It’s not too far removed from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but when it stars somebody like Lively, whose career is virtually nonexistent beyond showing up with her husband Ryan Reynolds to red carpets, it just becomes ridiculous. Save yourself the effort and watch literally anything else. How about The Wings of the Dove (1997)? It’s got romance and fancy hats and beautiful people and Helena Bonham Carter being a schemer in a hoop skirt so I can guarantee it is a hell of a better movie than The Age of Adaline. I’d bet the house on it!
The Wings of the Dove is available to stream on Netflix, and available to rent on iTunes, GooglePlus, Vudu and YouTube.