Box Office Weekend: April 2023

There are a whole lot of movies out this month (including the Super Mario movie) but there’s also a ton of re-releases, including The Lord of the Rings (whatever), Flashdance, Spirited Away, and The Big Lebowski. Check your local listings, as these are mostly one-night-only events from Fathom. And, since this is move than two weeks late, we’re skipping Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and HBO. Fingers crossed for better luck in May!

Now in theaters:

The Fist of the Condor is a Chilean martial arts film written and directed by Ernesto Díaz Espinoza. It stars Marko Zaror, Gina Aguad, Eyal Meyer, Man Soo Yoon, José Manuel and Fernanda Urrejola. A group of martial artists seek a book that will allow them to overcome the limits of the human body. 

New in theaters Wednesday, April 5:

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is an animated adaptation of the Nintendo franchise. It features the voices of

Chris Pratt, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Day, Jack Black, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Rogen, and Fred Armisen. It did OK at the box office and looks fun as hell.

One True Loves is a romance film starring Simu Liu and Phillipa Soo. A woman, who has finally moved on and found love, is torn when her presumed dead husband reappears.  

On a Wing and a Prayer is an “extraordinary true story of faith and survival” about a man who lands a plane when the pilot dies. The man is Dennis Quaid. The film is also streaming on Amazon Prime!

Ride On, a Chinese action drama, stars Jackie Chan as a man who finds viral fame when a fight with debt collectors–to save his horse–ends up online. 

Joyland is a Pakistani drama. The son of a severe patriarch falls in love with a transgender dancer at the erotic club where he is employed. The film, which has encountered backlash, has glowing reviews.

Showing Up, directed by Kelly Reichardt (my favorite!) stars Michelle Williams and Hong Chau as two artists on the verge of a breakthrough. (And it appears that Chau has an upperhand on Williams, who doesn’t have hot water. Fix the water!) 

Paint stars Owen Wilson as Carl Nargle, a man who hosts a painting show on public access television. Loosely based on Bob Ross (who painted more than the same mountain!) Nargle sees everything and everyone he loves disappear when the station hires a new, younger painter. 

Imagining the Indian is a documentary about the neverending fight to get rid of racist mascots. Get rid of the racist team name, already! 

The Lost Weekend: A Love Story is a documentary about May Pang, John Lennon’s assistant, and her 18-month long relationship with her boss. I don’t know! It sounds like she has some autonomy?

New in theaters Friday, April 14:

The Pope’s Exorcist is a horror film “inspired by the actual files by Father Gabriele Amorth.” Amorth, who is played by Russell Crowe, claimed to have performed “tens of thousands” of exorcisms. Sure, bud.

Rare Objects an adaptation of  Kathleen Tessaro’s novel, stars Katie Holmes and Alan Cumming. Holmes directs and stars; she plays a woman who puts her life back together as a saleswoman in an antique store after her release from a mental institution.

Suzume, an anime, is a coming-of-age drama about a 17-year-old who must “close the doors causing devastation” in disater-stricken locations across Japan. Sounds heavy, but looks good!

Renfield stars Nicholas Cage as Dracula and Nicholas Hoult as his assistant. You know how Nicolas Cage has one amazing movie a year (occasionally two)? This is the one! 

Everything Went Fine, a French drama and adaptation of Emmanuèle Bernheim’s memoir, stars Sophie Marceau as a woman who must aid her estranged father with his end-of-life wishes.

Nefarious is a horror movie about a serial killer on death row. Looks dumb!

Sweetwater, a sports bio, stars Everett Osborne as Nat Clifton, a Harlem Globetrotter who was one of the first Black players in the NBA. Cary Elwes, Jeremy Piven, Richard Dreyfuss, and Kevin Pollak also star.

Mafia Mamma stars Toni Collette as a woman who inherits the mob. It looks silly, but it’s directed by Catherine Hardwicke! This would be a fun movie to see with friends.

New in theaters Friday, April 21:

Carmen, the directorial debut from Benjamin Millepied, stars Paul Mescal as a marine and Melissa Barrera as an undocumented woman from Mexico. Mescal’s marine rescues? Barrera’s character and together they go on the run to Los Angeles. The drama is only roughly inspired by the opera, and critics say the plot bears little resemblance to it.

The Tank is a horror movie. A man accidentally unleashes an ancient entitty that has long terrorize the region, including his ancestors.

Beau Is Afraid, written and directed by Ari Aster (no thank you!!!) commits everyone’s nightmare to film. Joaquin Phoenix stars as Beau, a paranoid man trying to get to his hometown and incessantly waylaid along the way. I skimmed the Wikipedia and it’s a whole lot of Can’t Even for me, but people are going to tell you they loved it.

Evil Dead Rise, the fifth film in the Evil Dead series, follows two sisters who battle evil forces after accidentally unleashing them via an old book. The film is written and directed by Lee Cronin.

River is a docutmentaty about “the timeless relationship between human civilization and Earth’s rivers.” It’s narrated by Willem Dafoe.

To Catch a Killer stars Shailene Woodley as a troubled Baltimore cop (red flag!) recruited by the FBI to catch a serial killer. Who is holed up in the country somewhere. Hagerstown? Burkittsville? The film was shot in Montreal so now I’m even more offended. Anyway, the killer is played by Ralph Ineson and Scholars fave Ben Mendelsohn stars as an FBI agent. I’m going to watch this, but it’s reluctantly! 

Guy Ritchie’s The Covenant stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a veteran of the War in Afghanistan who travels to the country himself to save his translator, who is portrayed by Dar Salim.

Chevalier, which I swore came out already, stars Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, a celebrated Black violinist in 18th century France. 

Somewhere in Queens, directed and co-written by Ray Romano, stars, well, Romano and Laurie Metcalf. It’s about an overbearing Italian-American family in Queens.

Other People’s Children, a French drama, follows a woman in her 40s who forms a strong bond with her boyfriend’s daughter.

New in theaters Friday, April 28: 

Freaks Vs. The Reich, a historical fantasy film, follows four circus performers who use magic to escape Italy in WWII.

Polite Society is a British “romantic heist comedy.” A young woman, who has been training to be a stunt double, uses her skills to rescue her sister at her wedding. For fans of Frozen, for sure. 

Sisu is a historical-action film. A prospector in Lapland tries to get gold from a Nazi officer. 

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. is an adaptation of Judy Blume’s much-beloved 1970 novel. It looks wonderful! Abby Ryder Fortson stars as Margaret, an 11-year-old who moves from New York City to New Jersey with her family. Rachel McAdams and Benny Safdie are her parents, Kathy Bates is her grandmother.

R.M.N. is a drama about an economically depressed town. Marin Grigore stars as a man who returns to his ex-lover and son from Germany, to care for his ill father. In town, a bakery hires Nepalese immigrants, to the distress of the unemployed townspeople. The film is written and directed by Cristian Mungiu. 

Big George Foreman: The Miraculous Story of the Once and Future Heavyweight Champion of the World, a George Foreman biopic, stars Khris Davis as Foreman in a film directed by George Tillman Jr. The film will follow Foreman’s rise, retirement, return, and financial success as an electric grill spokesperson.

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