Opening This Week: “The Promise,” “The Lost City of Z” and “Born in China”

Posted on April 18, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Two films open this week that could be described as old-school, grand epics like those from the classic era of Hollywood. Both are based on true stories. “The Lost City of Z” (with Z pronounced “Zed,” as the British do), is based on the life of dashing explorer Percy Fawcett, who inspired many fictional characters, including Indiana Jones. “The Promise” stars Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale in a story inspired by the Armenian genocide in Turkey around the time of World War I.

Also this week: DisneyNature’s annual documentary for Earth Day, this one “Born in China,” featuring snow leopards, monkeys, and pandas.

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Opening This Week

April 2017: Coming to Theaters

Posted on April 1, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures
Copyright 2017 Sony Pictures

Happy April! Wishing you all a minimum of showers and a maximum of flowers. Here’s what I’m especially looking forward to in theaters this month.

April 7

Smurfs: The Lost Village
The smurfs are back where they belong — in a fully-animated feature set in their own magical world. Smurfette who was created by the evil wizard Gargamel but became a part of the otherwise all-male and all-named after one characteristic smurf community, wants to know who she is. And she discovers a whole village of female smurfs. It features the voices of Rainn Wilson, Jack McBrayer, Joe Manganiello, Demi Lovato, and Julia Roberts.

Going in Style
Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin star in a remake of the George Burns film about a retirees who rob a bank. Ann-Margret and Kenan Thompson also appear, and it was directed by Zach Braff (“Scrubs,” “Garden State”).

April 12

Chris Evans and Jenny Slate star in the story of a man who cares for his intellectually advanced young niece, despite those who think she needs a different kind of environment.

April 14
The Fate of the Furious
Those Fast and Furious rascals are back, still fast, still furious. This time it appears Dom has become a bad guy, but don’t you believe it. We know he’d never turn on his family.

The Lost City of Z
Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson star in the real-life story of Englishman who explored South America, the man who inspired dozens of adventure sagas, including the Indiana Jones films.

April 21

Born in China
DisneyNature releases a nature film every year in honor of Earth Day. This one is sure to elicit “awwws.” It’s about pandas.

Free Fire
Martin Scorsese produced this stylish and very violent story about illegal arms dealers, starring Oscar winner Brie Larson, Sharlto Copley, Jack Reynor, and Armie Hammer.

The Promise
It was 100 years ago, but it is more relevant than ever. The story of the Armenian genocide (the event that gave rise to that term and the need to have such a term) provides the background for a story of love and loss starring Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte LeBon, directed by “Hotel Rwanda’s” Terry George.

April 28

The Circle

Tom Hanks, Emma Watson, and John Boyega star in a story that could not be more timely — about a company that knows everything about you and just wants to help…or does it?


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Features & Top 10s Opening This Month
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