Spring flicks HIFF Springs Forward
The insiders picks
by Kawehi Haug
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
The spring film season is officially under way, and whether you hit the movie theaters to escape reality, to get the lowdown on someone else's reality or to get the 3-D glasses scared off your head, there's an upcoming movie that's right up your alley. Here's our list of 15 upcoming spring flicks including five family-friendly films that we can't wait to see.
1. "Date Night" (PG-13, opens today)
Steve Carell ("The Office") and Tina Fey ("30 Rock") together in one goofball comedy? That might even be TOO much funny. Then again, we'd take too much of a good thing over, say, "Cop Out" (sorry, Kevin Smith).
Carell and Fey play a bored-with-life married couple who, in an attempt to reignite the spark, stumble instead into a whirlwind adventure of mistaken identity, mobster activity and crooked cops.
2. "Kick-Ass" (R, opens April 16)
Don't let these younguns fool you. The innocence of children? More like the irreverence of children.
In this adaptation of the "Kick-Ass" comic books, a team of trash-talking tweens fancy themselves superheros only without the superpowers. They can't fly, they don't have X-ray vision, they don't have bionic body parts, but they WILL kick your you-know-what.
Nicolas Cage stars as a superhero daddy.
3. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (R, opens April 30)
Wes Craven's 1984 horror classic gets a revamp with this new version of the Freddy Krueger chronicles. The gist is the same a serial killer with blades for fingers kills people in their dreams, and then they die in real life but the story's been rewritten, so don't expect a carbon copy of the original. Do expect chicken skin.
4. "Iron Man 2" (not yet rated, opens May 7)
Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has gone public with his superhero alter ego Iron Man, and now everyone wants a piece of him. The military wants him to share his technology and a scary villain played by Mickey Rourke (when we said scary, we meant it) threatens to undo him once and for all.
5. "Robin Hood" (PG-13, opens May 14)
Remakes abound this film season (see "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "The Karate Kid"), and in this rehashing of the classic tale of anarchy and wealth distribution, director Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe team up again (they did "Gladiator" together) to take on the too-rich-for-their-own-good bad guys.
Arrows fly. Justice is served. And love is found (the always captivating Cate Blanchett plays Maid Marian).
6. "Princess Kaiulani" (PG-13, opens May 14)
If you missed this biopic about Hawai'i's Princess Ka'iulani when it screened at the Hawaii International Film Festival last year, plan for this. The film was originally titled "The Barbarian Princess," but it was recently renamed after Native Hawaiian activist groups objected to the title.
Though it wasn't a critics' favorite, it's interesting to see how our home and its history get the Hollywood treatment.
By the way, the title was a reference to the way the American press of the time depicted the princess as a barbarian rather than as the intelligent, well-educated, empowered woman she in fact was.
7. "MacGruber" (R, opens May 21)
The "Saturday Night Live" crew knows a hero when it makes one up. The comedy show's MacGyver-like mulleted soldier of fortune, MacGruber (played on the show and in the movie by Will Forte), takes on the task of hunting down a nuclear warhead in his first movie-length crime-fighting operation.
8. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (PG-13, opens May 28)
Jake Gyllenhaal unleashes his manly manliness in this fantasy-action flick in which he fights the forces of darkness, natch, and saves the mystical Persia from the "Sands of Time" a sandstorm that could destroy the world.
9. "Sex and the City 2" (not yet rated, opens May 27)
Yes, ladies, it's back! Carrie Bradshaw and her well-dressed friends will prove once again that their lives in no way whatsoever resemble anything even remotely like real life. But who cares? We love the clothes and shoes, dirty girl talk and Sunday brunches.
In this sequel, Carrie and the girls get out of the Big Apple and make a break for Morocco, and what happens there well, we'll just have to wait and see.
10. "The A-Team" (not yet rated, opens June 11)
Aww yeah! The A-Team. The war-vet mercs on a mission to do good as underground commandos in Los Angeles. Sounds like the television show, right? Right, but in the grittier film version, the war zone is the Middle East instead of Vietnam, and there's no Mr. T but we're told there's plenty of B.A. (bad attitude).
Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper ("The Hangover") star.
1. "Furry Vengeance" (PG, opens April 30)
Brendan Fraser and Brooke Shields are attacked by a band of angry forest animals when a development project, helmed by Fraser's character, starts to infringe on their forest home. Mayhem ensues as the, um, fur flies.
2. "Babies" (PG, opens May 7)
Who doesn't love babies? "Babies" follows a year in the life of four babies from around the world. The movie is the recipient of the Heartland Award for being a "truly moving picture."
3. "Shrek Forever After" (PG, opens May 21)
It's the third and final chapter of the Shrek and Fiona story, and even if it turns out to not be as good as the other two movies, we'll be there, bidding a fond farewell to the world's most beloved ogres and their donkey friend. Because it's Shrek. And we heart Shrek.
4. "The Karate Kid" (PG, opens June 11)
We grew up knowing and loving Daniel-san and Mr. Miyagi, and now it's time for "The Karate Kid," the next generation. The classic family film gets a redo with Jaden Smith as Daniel and Jackie Chan as Mr. Miyagi.
5. "Toy Story 3" (not yet rated, opens June 18)
Buzz Lightyear and Woody have been relegated to the give-away toy pile when Andy heads off to college. (But we remember Andy when he was just this big!) The toys must adapt to a new life while coming to terms with getting older. We can relate.