Entertainment Movies April showers movie mavens with a bumper crop of superheroes and scares

April showers movie mavens with a bumper crop of superheroes and scares

Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore shines in Gloria Bell, one of April's must-watch releases. Photo: FilmNation Entertainment
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From un-dead cats to a comic book death snaps, April keeps the heavy hitters coming in a jam-packed box office battle.

Here are 10 of the biggest releases hoping to shake a few dollars out of your pockets.

The goofball: SHAZAM!

In a busy month for comic book adaptations, DC – the house of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman – unleash their goofiest yet in David F. Sandberg’s dorky 80s-style adventure. Starring Asher Angel as a mischievous runaway resisting his loveable foster family placement, an ancient wizard transforms him into a beefy superhero (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s Zachary Levi) who looks old enough to score beer, which is basically every 14-year-olds fantasy, right?
Release date: April 4

The screamer: Pet Sematary

The first in a hat-trick of remakes this month, Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer resurrect one of Stephen King’s scariest stories, first published in 1983, complete with a significant upgrade on the 1989 adaptation’s animatronic zombie cat. At its heart it’s a tragedy about grieving parents (Jason Clarke and Amy Seimetz) who’ll do anything to be reunited with their boy, even if he comes back wrong. As John Lithgow’s cranky neighbour warns, “Sometimes dead is better”.
Release date: April 4

The flashback: Mid 90s

If last month’s ’90s retro infusion Captain Marvel left you craving for some Salt-N-Pepa and a natty line in hypercolour T-shirts, feed the need with 21 Jump Street star Jonah Hill’s directorial debut. Shot on grainy super 16mm, this sweet but sweary take on teenage skateboarding days in LA is packed with that era throwbacks and stars Sunny Suljic, the creepy kid from The Killing of a Sacred Deer, alongside Boy Erased’s Lucas Hedges as his nasty big bro.
Release date: April 4

The reboot: Hellboy

Pet Sematary isn’t the only reanimated movie stalking your dollars this month. Dog Soldiers director Neil Marshal reboots the supernatural demon-turned-earthly-defender series based on the Mike Mignola comics. Stranger Things star David Harbour steps into the cloven hooves once worn by Ron Perlman, with Ian McShane taking over from the late John Hurt as his human handler. Bonus geek cred for casting Resident Evil’s Milla Jovovich as the big bad.
Release date: April 11

The historical: The Aftermath

Look, the critics haven’t been very kind to this steamy post-WWII melodrama set in the ruins of Hamburg, but what’s not to want about Keira Knightley and Jason Clarke as a stuffy British couple whose marital bed gets a bit busier after they take over the home of Alexander Skarsgård’s hunky German widower? Based on Rhidian Brook’s novel, we loved director James Kent’s debut feature Testament of Youth, so why not give it a shot and make up your own mind?
Release date: April 11

The family fave: Missing Link

Home-grown star Hugh Jackman lends his multi-talented vocal chords to Corpse Bride and ParaNorman animation house Laika’s latest crowd pleaser. Playing a friendly explorer, he helps Zach Galifianakis’ lonely eight-foot furball named Susan search the world in the hope of finding his peeps, who might just be the fabled Yetis. Guardians of the Galaxy’s Zoe Saldana also signs up as a fellow adventurer.
Release date: April 11

The Cannes star: Burning

Narrowly missing out on the Palme d’Or at last year’s Cannes Film Festival to Kore-eda’s also excellent Shoplifters, South Korean filmmaker Lee Chang-dong’s gripping mystery didn’t leave empty handed, scooping two prizes there and a heap more elsewhere. The least you know about this slow-burn thriller going in, the better, but fair warning, the shock-a-rama conclusion is a jaw-dropper.
Release date: April 18

The blockbuster: Avengers: Endgame

This is it. The MCU showdown so big it’s going out a day early. With half the universe dusted dead after Thanos’ sassy finger-snap, can recruiting Brie Larson’s box office-smashing Captain Marvel save the day? Can they still make pay roll with so many celebrities on staff? And how many Avengers will fall now Disney’s devoured 21st Century Fox and they need to make room for uncanny X-Men?
Release date: April 24

The spirit-lifter: Gloria Bell

Hot shot Chilean director Sebastian Lelio takes the biscuit in the remake stakes this month by reshooting his own hit Gloria, this time in English. Mighty fine Oscar-winner Julianne Moore replaces Paulina García as a 50-something free spirit who finds emotional emancipation on the dance floor and in the bedroom.
Release date: April 25

The local hero: Celeste

Set in Paronella Park’s crumbling Spanish folly in lush, croc-infested Far North Queensland’s tropical rainforest, Aussie filmmaker Ben Hackworth’s second feature casts Radha Mitchell as a faded opera singer hoping for a glorious comeback and Thomas Cocquerel as a spunky bad boy on the run in this sweaty, sexy and soulful drama.
Release date: April 25

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