HomeMoviesArticlesMonthly Movie Roundup for April 2017

Monthly Movie Roundup for April 2017

The Cinema Geeks podcast continues with their Monthly Movie Roundup! blog series. For this edition we are giving you our thoughts on the April releases. In order to help supplement the lack of new movie reviews we do in the actual podcast, each month we will give you our quick takes on the previous months new releases. Each release will receive a quick take from at least ONE of our resident geeks, and at times may receive a take from all four of us. In the comments section be sure to let us know if you agree or disagree with our takes. You can also tweet your thoughts to us directly. The show handle is @CinemaGeekCast or you could reach us each individually by tweeting to Kevin @OptimusSolo, Dan @MovieRevolt, Amanda @HardCandiMandi or Matt @FridleyCent. If you need a refresher on the GCRN Universal Rating Scale you can check that out by clicking here!

If you are interested in our past Roundups you can check them out here.

February Movie Roundup

March Movie Roundup


 

 

The Fate of the Furious

Release Date: 4-14-2017
Director: F. Gary Gray
Genre: Action

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

The Fast and the Furious franchise is a set of films that you are supposed to judge on a completely different scale than most films you encounter during the year. They are films that are impervious to normal critiques because…they know they are ridiculous and are intentionally being more and more ridiculous with each installment. So, given that we are grading on a curve here, The Fate of the Furious fits in quite well with the rest of the films in this franchise, especially from the 5th film on. It’s full of insane moments and things that you never thought you would see in a film. Overall I don’t think it works as well as a few of the past installments and most of that can be attributed to Vin Diesel’s performance both on and off the screen. What saves the film and makes me come down on the positive side overall is the combination of Jason Statham and The Rock. They are fantastic throughout and help give you a reason to be excited for an additional chapter in this series.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

The previews had me convinced this premise for this was too far out and ridiculous for its own good, but once I saw the motivations I didn’t think it was too far fetched. It definitely didn’t disappoint in the action sequences and bad ass fight scenes, not to mention the typical bad-ass rides. Super human strength, Rock, is also always a plus.


 

 

The Lost City of Z

Release Date: 4-14-2017
Director: James Gray
Genre: Drama

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

There is a good story somewhere in the Lost City of Z. Unfortunately, James Gray wasn’t able to find that movie. The movie is visually stunning and all of the efforts that Gray and the crew took to capture the natural amazonian environment were well worth it. The directing and especially the editing of this film however, stifle and sense of adventure that you may have hoped to get during your movie going experience. This was a 2 hour and 20 minute film that at times felt like a 3 hour film, especially when it contained at least 30-45 minutes that could have easily been cut without effecting the movie at all. The baffling part is that even with that lengthy of a screen time that they still failed to give us enough time or development to believe certain characters motivations and decisions. There is JUST enough for me to fall just on the side of rating this film positively but for the life of me I can’t understand the praise that so many other critics are heaping on this one.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

The seemingly endless back and forth of this repeated struggle / journey was very tiring and my interest waned as this back and forth with no progress shown continued. I also didn’t like the selfish choices these characters made throughout the film. However, Robert Pattinson was NOT the worst part of this film, which is telling.


 

 

Free Fire

Release Date: 4-21-2017
Director: Ben Wheatley
Genre: Crime

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

One of the most entertaining theatre experiences of the month for me, easily was Free Fire. Admittedly, there are a lot of people that this film will not work for, however it worked for me tenfold. I think Ben Wheatley pulled off the impossible here by making a film that was almost void of plot altogether be such an entertaining ride. The dialogue is incredible here and the performances far exceeded my expectations, especially from Sharlto Copley. You could pick this one apart if you wanted but in my mind most of the nitpicks I have heard can quite easily be explained away. I love the authentic nature that the film gives us as far as how REAL human beings would act in this type of situation. It may fail to quite reach the level of Tarantino that it undoubtedly was going for, but I still think it works overall and should be seen by most cinephiles this year.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

I was really hoping for some comedy and action with this film, but found myself hardly laughing and falling asleep. Most of the comedic moments that I thought were quality were shown in the trailer, so when the time came in the film they were almost ineffective. I did like how the ending played out and a few characters were a little more than serviceable, but the limited set was more a detriment than an elevation.


 

The Circle

Release Date: 4-28-2017
Director: James Ponsoldt
Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

This is easily one of the worst films I have seen this year so far. What makes is so frustrating is the amount of potential that the film had overall. A great director, great cast, interesting premise….and yet it all failed so miserably. The biggest problem this film had was that it never quite knew what kind of film it wanted to be nor what message it was trying to give. So, instead it waffles back and forth at one point going in one direction only to abruptly slam on the breaks, make a U-Turn and take us down a completely different road. Emma Watson was completely squandered and Ellar Koltrane proved that he does not belong in the acting business. What an unfortunate film for Bill Paxton to end on…

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

My biggest disappointment with this film was hoe underused several of the characters were. The motivations of the company were never really revealed either. The drive behind what they were doing was lacking as was its relevance. I couldn’t get a clear picture of what message they were trying to send here. I doubt the movie even knew what it wanted to say.


 

 

The Discovery

Release Date: 3-31-2017
Director: Charlie McDowell
Genre: Science Fiction

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

Perhaps no film made me THINK more this past month than The Discovery. Also for as much as everyone likes to complain about the lack of originality or chances that film makers take these days, here is yet another example of a film that dares to be different and pose some provocative questions, and everyone immediately craps on it. The Discovery is a great conversation piece that can take you in many interesting directions as you try to dissect everything you just saw. Could it have been better…of course, but so can most films. A film like this deserves a positive score almost on effort alone. I would recommend this one to most science fiction fans at the minimum.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

This concept was extremely intriguing to me. I believed in the scientific explanation right off the bat and never questioned it, which is telling on how impeccably they introduced it and backed it up in the film. How the story came full circle and intertwined upon itself was marvelous. It left you asking yourself some very important questions. My only criticism is more a personal and selfish one. I wanted to see more of what the world outside of the complex was like for people in the day to day dealing with the reality and gravity of the discovery.


 

The Institute

Release Date: 3-3-2017
Director: James Franco & Pamela Romanowsky
Genre: Thriller

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

This movie is not only an early front runner for the worst film of 2017, it may be one of the worst films I have seen this entire decade. James Franco during his career has been all over the map, but one thing seems to be true for sure, he has never read a script he doesn’t like and he’s never been pitched a movie he hasn’t said yes to. In this film not only is he a part of a terrible film, but he also provides atrocious directing and horrible acting along the way. This film is almost unwatchable and I can’t for the life of me decide which type of moviegoer may gain some sense of enjoyment from what is presented here. The sexual undertones, and overtones for that matter, are borderline offensive as is the movie overall. Stay away from this one at all costs

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

James Franco went off the deep end here. This was absolute garbage. This weird cult vibe mix with sexist archaic culture was a complete turn off. There were no interesting characters and none of this was believable. I could barely finish this trash. Josh Duhamel, what were you thinking? James Franco, try for quality over quantity from now on, ok?


 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Release Date: 5-12-2017
Director: Guy Ritchie
Genre: Fantasy

Quick Take:
(By OptimusSolo)

The visuals in this film are pretty neat to look at and Charlie Hunnam is not nearly as bad as people are going to say he is once they have seen the film. To me though this film really never hooked my interest. I never understood the motivations behind the ‘villain’ played by Jude Law which left me not caring about most of the dramatic beats the film went for. It’s an interesting take on the King Arthur Legend but in the end it is basically to the property what the 2010 Robin Hood was to that franchise. Years from now most people will forget this even exists. It’s a shame, because I typically enjoy Guy Ritchie and was hoping he could replicate what he did with the first Sherlock Holmes film.

Quick Take:
(By HardCandiMandi)

This was by far my favorite movie going experience this month. I’m a huge fan of Guy Ritchie and he did not disappoint here. The cinematography was crazy good and the story, although told many times before, felt fresh and distinguished itself from the others. One of the most interesting new features of the story was how the sword came to be in the stone. The magic, the creatures, and the characters were all well done and I enjoyed every minute.

 

TPB - BIC - DC Comic
Cinema Geeks – Epi