by HELEN GEIB
These are the theatrical releases scheduled for general release in April, 2009. Title links are to the film’s page in the internet movie database.
Adventureland – Dorky young man learns about life and love working a summer job at a run-down amusement park in the late ‘eighties. Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad) and starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristin Stewart, and Ryan Reynolds.
Fast and Furious – To quote the marketing tag line: New model. Original parts. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster return for the fourth entry in the popular street-racing franchise; directed by Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift).
Dragonball: Evolution – Loosely based on a popular Japanese anime TV series loosely based on the classic Chinese tale “Journey to the West.” The trailer promises lots of action and Chow Yun-Fat as the hero’s ultra-cool mentor. Co-starring Justin Chatwin and James Marsters; directed by James Wong (The One).
Hannah Montana: The Movie – Miley Cyrus stars in the big-screen spin-off of the tweener TV favorite. Miley’s dad Billy Ray plays Hannah’s dad; directed by Peter Chelsom.
Observe and Report – The in-your-face, gross-out comedy version of Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Starring Seth Rogen, Anna Faris, and Ray Liotta; directed by Jody Hill.
17 Again – Matthew Perry’s depressed family man has an “It’s a Wonderful Life” encounter and wakes up in the body of his 17-year old self. Zac Efron (High School Musical and sequels) stars as the younger version; directed by Burr Steers.
Crank: High Voltage – Jason Statham returns as the – literally and figuratively – super-charged Chev Chelios in this sequel to the last movie in the world I ever expected would have a sequel. I can’t wait to see how they pull this one off. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor continue at the helm as co-directors.
State of Play – Russell Crowe headlines this drama about an investigative reporter who uncovers a D.C. political conspiracy. Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, and Rachel McAdams co-star; directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland).
Fighting – The trailer suggests this street fighting story is an earnest drama in the mold of “poor boy makes good in the ring” boxing movies. Starring Channing Tatum as the bare-knuckle brawler and Terrence Howard as the manager who recognizes his money-making potential; directed by Dito Montiel.
Obsessed – Beyonce Knowles plays the wife in this “Fatal Attraction”-type thriller. Co-starring Idris Elba and Ali Larter; directed by Steve Shill.
The Soloist – Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx star in a dramatized true account of the unlikely friendship between a reporter and a homeless man. Joe Wright (Pride and Prejudice, Atonement) seems the ideal director to tackle the heavy emotional material of the story. Co-starring Catherine Keener.